Single AA flashlight... the best one?


I ordered a Zebralight H51 which is on its way (it will arrive next week maybe) and meanwhile I have been reading specs of other AA lights. As an example, all this data is from Internet:

Fenix HL20:

* Battery: 1.5V AA

* LED: CREE XP-E R2 (unknown tint)

* 105 lm: 1 hrs 48 mins

* 48 lm: 5 hrs 30 mins

* 4 lm: 56 hrs

* Regulated: yes

Fenix LD10:

* Battery: 1.5V AA

* LED: CREE XP-G R5 (unknown tint)

* 100 lm: 1 hrs 48 mins

* 45 lm: 4 hrs 40 mins

* 13 lm: 11 hrs

* 3 lm: 70 hrs

* Regulated: yes

Fenix LD15:

* Battery: 1.5V AA

* LED: CREE XP-G R4 (unknown tint)

* 117 lm: 1 hrs 30 mins

* 8 lm: 39 hrs

* Regulated: yes

4Sevens Quark AA S2 Edition:

* Battery: 1.5V AA

* LED: XP-G S2 (unknown tint)

* 0.4 lm ANSI: 422 hrs

* 4 lm: 48 hrs

* 19 lm 6 hrs

* 83 lm: 90 mins

* 95 lm ANSI: 57 mins

* Regulated: yes (only non-strobe modes)

4Sevens Quark MiNi AA S2 Edition:

* Battery 1.5V AA

* LED: XP-G S2 (unknown tint)

* 4 lm: 39 hrs

* 21 lm: 6 hrs 12 mins

* 70 lm ANSI: 2 hrs 15 mins

* Regulated: it doesn't say (probably not)

Zebralight H51:

* Battery: 1.2V LSD NiMH AA (Eneloop)

* LED: XP-G R? (cool white)

* 200 lm OTF: 54 mins

* 140 lm OTF: 1 hrs 42 mins

* 100 lm OTF: 2 hrs 24 mins

* 30 lm OTF: 12 hrs

* 8 lm OTF: 39 hrs

* 2.5 lm OTF: 72 hrs

* 0.2 lm OTF: 384 hrs

* Regulated: modes 200, 140, 30, 8 and 2.5 lumens

Quark AA2 S2 Edition:

* Battery: 2 x 1.5V AA

* LED: XP-G S2 (unknown tint)

* 0.6 lm: 1277 hrs

* 4 lm: 120 hrs

* 19 lm: 24 hrs

* 83 lm: 5 hrs

* 180 lm: 42 mins

* Regulated: yes (only non-strobe modes)

I know that Zebralight H51 is measured using Eneloop, but how can it put 200 lumens out the front for 54 mins with an XP-G? It seems to beat all other single AA lights.

Compared to the Quark AA2 S2 Edition, which uses two AA batteries and an S2, H51 still provides more lumens (200 vs 180) and more runtime (54 mins vs 42 mins)! I am not having in mind if they are OTF, ANSI or whatever, but the difference seems too high anyway.

By the way, who knows the bin of H51? Is it R5? Somewhere I have read the new versions are using XP-G R2, is that possible?

In specs you can read some impressive things (are these typos or what?):

* 0.6 lumens for 1277 mins in Quark AA2 S2 Edition: super long low mode! But in high mode (180 lumens for 42 mins), seems worse than H51.

* H51 gives 0.2 OTF lumens for 384 hours but Quark AA S2 gives 0.4 ANSI lumens for 422 hours! Quark doubles lumens, they are ANSI and gives more runtime. Why is H51 better in higher modes but worse in low ones?

* S2 doesn't seem to be that good (for what I have been reading, neither are S3).

What is your opinion about ZL H51? Does it respect what they claim? It seems that beats all other single AA flashlights specs I have read. How can it be possible? Even using Eneloop in others, H51 seems to be much better.

My guess (maybe I am wrong): H51 seems to be optimized for Eneloop, making advantage of it. It also seems to have a very good driver. But if that is the reason, why don't others do the same?

Bonus question: would it be possible to have a 2 x XP-G flashlight powered by 2 x AA giving near 400 OTF lumens for near 1 hour? If so, would it work for 3 x XP-G and so on? I would be glad to see a 6 x XP-G using six AA batteries and putting near 1200 lumens out.

Thank you for reading, sorry about so long text, I hope not to have bored you ;)

I am sorry about my English :)

Welcome to BLF jalbam. Your English has nothing wrong with it, unlike my Spanish....

I think you have already ordered the best single AA light.

Not everyone is using the ANSI standard for lumens - Zebralight is not using it for example so its numbers will be higher than the Quark ones which do use the ANSI standard.

OTF lumens are usually about 65% of the number of lumens that the emitter/driver package are capable of.

I just had my Zebralight H51 from HKEquipment and it is a XP-G R5. It really puts out a bright light. Hasn't got a very definite hot spot but I can say its lumens aren't much exagerrated. I mean some say it is OTF 200lm, who knows, it may be true. It is on par my 180lm Fenix LD25. It is optimised for 1.5V but some others can accept 14500 too and this may hold them back with only 1xAA's.

This week, I ordered a ITP SA1 Eluma R5 version from GoingGear. It is rated at 140-145lm at most but has infinite brigtness setting and two buttons for on/off and modes. Can accept 14500's and I guess it would give at least 200lm with a LiIon.

Welcome Jalbam! Like Don said, you're english is great (better than a lot of my neighbors...).

I've had my H51 for a little over 5 months now, and have been very happy with it.

Zebralight has one of the most intuitive UI's that I've ever used. My guess is that they've designed it in-house and keep it to themselves, but since it's still made in China, it's only a matter of time before their drivers are finally copied and start showing up on ****fire or other models. A little dream of mine is to see them sell the bare drivers for modding .

Of the other lights you've listed by Fenix and 4Sevens, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. They've all gotten good reviews. I think it just comes down to personal preference.

Bonus answer: Yes, it's possible to make what you've described. Unfortunately though, Zebralight is the only manufacturer that currently has a boost driver efficient enough to get ~200lm from one eneloop. But, you could go with 3xAA in series and use it to directly power a triple xpg emitter board that's been wired up in parallel.

Hi there Jalbam, a warm welcome to BLF! Thanks for joining. Your English is great, by the way.

I have the Fenix LD15. (I won it in a prize drawing.) I tested runtime on low with an Eneloop of about 33 hours. The tint is neutral, and the brightness is quite good on high. I do like the small size. But I wouldn't pay almost $40 for such a simple twisty light.

Can you buy 4Sevens products in Europe? I thought they only sold to the USA.


4Sevens has a .pl store, and a .ca.

The Zebra really puts out about 200 lumens out the front. Their circuitry is patented, and requires the use of their pansonic switches, and I doubt panasonic is going to sell you 1- or 5 of those.

Zebralight has 200 lumens then. It is perfect as a head lamp, very good for closer distances. But I must also say, the eye barely notices the difference between its two high modes, especially in close distance or indoors. So it may not be so important if it pushes out 200lm or 140lm. Its more of a throw/spill balance that makes sense.

My XL100, although rated at 83 lumens give a nice (not so pure but nice) beam that can throw far and still have a good spill, that I almost start to love 3xAAA lights with lower lumens but longer times.

The Zebralight puts out 100 lumens for 2.5 hours, not bad. Yeah, the 140-200 lumen is only noticable outside, where it really helps. At 140, it outlasts and is just as bright as just about every other 1xAA......

Bienvenido ;)

As "Da Mod Man" said before, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Almost all lights are better with NiMh batts rather than Alcaline. And I would say that 200 and 180 lumens are pretty much the same, the human eye, probably, will not percieve 10% difference. And if you like small factor lights, I recommend you AA/14500 lights Extra power (usually up to 40%) or extra time (if the brightness is the same with AA and 14500). You can consider ITP brand also. offer free shipping worldwide AFAIK

I talked to Bryan @ SB last month about new R5 versions of ITP. He told me that the beam pattern is very similar. I think that R2 will throw slightly better, but R5 ceiling bounce should be twice as bright. If you have R2 version also, please make a small review/comparison ;)

Thank you all very much for your replies! :D

Today arrived my H51 and I am happy with it so far, we will see in a future if this changes :)

As far as I know, 4sevens ships (almost?) world wide since they claim free worldwide shipping.