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Old 04-30-16, 03:36 PM   #1
no1mad 
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Decent, durable, budget-friendly AA flashlight?

First off, the intended use is not for cycling, but for household/EDC and for when I walk my dog in the dark.

I've been using my old Rominsen (1*18650), but it isn't holding up too well. Plus, I'm not sure what happened to my other 18650 cell when I moved and question the wisdom of just charging the one cell...
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Old 04-30-16, 04:08 PM   #2
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I hate posting this because this is the sister site to Gearbest which has cheated me out of money before. That said, this is the only place I know to get these "in colors". Solarforce-Z2, XPG2 R5, 4-modes, with clip. ( sadly it has no mode memory, it's one flaw. Starts in high, forward clicky to change output. )

These are listed as 120 Lm but I think they are brighter. They are super small and fit in a pocket right nicely. I carry mine everywhere. I lost the one I bought two years ago just some months ago. I liked it so much I had to get another. This time I ordered two. You can reverse the clip and mount to a ball cap right nicely as well. Just don't forget to remove it when done or you might lose it like I did. Anyway, I have two now so I'm good. I use with the rechargeable Low self-discharge Eveready Energizers... NiMh AA's ( uses a single AA ). I work at night and use mine all the time. One charge lasts for weeks ( of casual use ).

If you order these expect a slight delay. They are usually not in stock. Mine took maybe two weeks before they shipped. Great little torch, worth the wait. I think Kaidomain has these too but only in black. The colors rock and make it easier to find if you drop it.

These are actually bright enough to ride with FWIW. If you order be smart and order two. If you lose one ( like me ) you will be super pissed. [h=1][/h]

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Old 04-30-16, 05:12 PM   #3
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I love my nitecore sens AA for the nice beam and clever UI.
http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-Sens-.../dp/B008J4CHNW
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Old 04-30-16, 05:46 PM   #4
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I bought a Fenix BC21R bike light and have been using it as a flashlight for walking. It's pretty good, can use both walking and biking, usb charging, and the way they have an extra beam to fill in the ground between you and the main beam works better for walking than most other flashlights I've used:


I walk with it on the the mount as it provides a solid grip, but you can also take it off the mount easily.
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Old 04-30-16, 10:37 PM   #5
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How about the mini Mag Lite? Nothing fancy but highly dependable and inexpensive.
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Old 04-30-16, 11:04 PM   #6
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The Serfas SL-255 is designed as a bicycle headlight but works fine as a pocket sized flashlight, runs on a pair of AA batteries, and claims to be 255 lumens on the brightest setting -- which seems about right, subjectively speaking. About $30, pretty close to the price of the most recommended mini-flashlights like the Fenix.

Three brightness settings, one flash mode. Default from off to on is always steady low; then medium, and high. Enabling flash requires a two-second continuous press. A one-second press turns it off.

The Serfas is easy enough to detach and reattach from/to the handlebar that I find myself using it more often now than my older mini-flashlight. It's lighter in weight than my older metal bodied 4-LED mini-flashlight, with a more neutral white (my older flashlight is very blue), and much brighter, with a strong circular beam at center and less bright squarish outer beam. The squarish shape feels about as good in the hand as a cylindrical flashlight, and grips well due to the texture. It's heavy duty, rigid plastic, not metal, so it should be comfortable to hold barehanded in cold weather.
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Old 04-30-16, 11:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
How about the mini Mag Lite? Nothing fancy but highly dependable and inexpensive.
The Mini Mag Lite is very outdated. Less bright, less life per battery, less convenient to operate, and the mini designs are finicky compared with the full sized Mag Lites (which are still very good). I have a couple but rarely use them anymore.
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Old 05-01-16, 04:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The Serfas SL-255 is designed as a bicycle headlight but works fine as a pocket sized flashlight,....
I didn't see the size posted on that Serfas but it looks like it would be a bit more bulky than a typical single AA mini torch. The one I posted is about 93mm x 17mm ( diameter ) or about the size of my middle finger. It will tail stand and uses a clicky switch on the tail. The Serfas might make for an interesting commuter light but I don't think I'd like carrying it in a pocket as an EDC torch ( which is what the OP wanted )...

Anyway, if I was going to carry something a little bigger/brighter I'd go with a single 18650 cell torch like the Convoy S2. I have one similar to the link I posted only mine is gray and has a custom driver. The S2 is relatively small for a 18650 torch but very bright. It has no sharp edges to make holes in your pockets. Makes a great back-up lamp for your bike as well. Dealsmachine has several variations of the Convoy with different drivers. I bought and had mine custom built at Mountain Electronics for about $35. The one I linked to at Dealsmachine is about the same thing as the one I own ( except for the emitter and driver ) only the body is blue on the one from DealsM and about half the cost. ( note the DealsM. one is using a neutral white emitter which is great for natural terrain )

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Old 05-01-16, 07:24 AM   #9
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Here is a picture of the Fenix on a bike, it seems rather large


I dumped all my mini MAGs a long time ago, none of them were very bright or had any kind of battery life.
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Old 05-01-16, 05:49 PM   #10
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From my previous post; I thought I'd include a photo of the Convoy S2 vs. the Solorforce Z2 to show relative size compared to my hand. The Convoy would be great for dog walks but the Solarforce Z2 is what I carry in my pocket. It's so small that sometimes I have a hard time finding it in my pocket. Regardless, it's easy to handle with one hand. I've considered buying the smaller torches than use the Li-ion CR123's but those are so small that they are a little harder to handle ( at least for me ). For me the size of the single AA Z2 is about perfect. I wish it had memory but if it did the memory function would likely draw a small amount of parasitic current. Anyway, works for me.
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Old 05-02-16, 09:51 PM   #11
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How about this NiteCore EA41? I had always wanted to try it but never did. After using 18650 flashlights, I'm afraid the AA powered would seem not bright enough any more. But this one looks very compact. (If anyone has used it please share experience )
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Old 05-02-16, 10:11 PM   #12
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On sale and bright enough for use on the bike; uses a single 18650 or two CR123: Fenix LED Flashlight- E35UE

Also on sale and tiny for EDC; uses AAA and is titanium: Fenix LED Flashlight- E99Ti

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Old 05-03-16, 09:29 AM   #13
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I use a 4 AA bike headlight as my flashlight, now that I have a B&M bike headlight, also 4 AA that uses their IQ2 reflector ,
so on the bike works better.. the prior one is now what I grab to go into the basement when a circuit breaker trips.
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Old 05-03-16, 01:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
Here is a picture of the Fenix on a bike, it seems rather large


I dumped all my mini MAGs a long time ago, none of them were very bright or had any kind of battery life.
I think the lens or perspective there makes it look bigger than it is.
It's not a "tiny" light. I suggested it because it's about the perfect size for a flashlight in my opinion - big enough to be easy to grip, not to big where it's heavy or difficult to grip.

Here's a different pic that might actually understate it's size:


Here's a picture next to someone's hand that shows it's size compared to a hand:


What It's Not
- Not the tiniest lightest smallest flashlight possible
- Obviously not a headlamp
- The battery is user replaceable and the light can run off one-time-use lith-ion batteries, but they are not as widely available as AA batteries are in a "need a battery right now" situation

What It Is
- A good size for a flashlight - my priority is easy to carry and hold onto when using it, it's a good size to hold for walking
- It's dual-beam where it fills in the near area is even nicer for walking as it is for riding and I haven't seen plain flashlights that do that
- Dual purpose - only have to buy one light that works both on the bike and for walking
- Battery charges inside light, with micro usb (same as most cell phones) so no annoyance with taking the battery in and out of the light (though you can take it in and out yourself)

It seems to me (owning one and having carried it on several walks) to be a very good size and shape for walking around with, something smaller might be less easy to grip and would have less battery life. (It's fine that some people might prefer it, it's just a tradeoff)
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Old 05-04-16, 11:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
First off, the intended use is not for cycling, but for household/EDC and for when I walk my dog in the dark.
For EDC I wouldn't consider most of what has been mentioned just based on size, unless you carry your EDC in a bag or something. I like it in my pocket without even realizing its there. About the biggest I want for EDC is single AA and even then I have some like a 47's Quark Turbo that is still to large for me to EDC. I also like AA since it is commonly available and holds a lot more juice than AAA. By far my favorite choice for EDC (though a bit pricey) are Zebralights, like the H52. Designed to be used as headlight or handheld, includes pocket clip, and about as minimal size as AA gets and still cranks out 280 lumens on a good cell. Plus will accept li-ion like 14500 cell which kicks it up to 500 lumens! Available in cool or neutral white (I love the neutral!) and with clear or diffused lens. H52w AA Headlamp Neutral White
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Old 05-05-16, 04:14 PM   #16
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For EDC I wouldn't consider most of what has been mentioned just based on size, unless you carry your EDC in a bag or something. I like it in my pocket without even realizing its there. About the biggest I want for EDC is single AA and even then I have some like a 47's Quark Turbo that is still to large for me to EDC. I also like AA since it is commonly available and holds a lot more juice than AAA. By far my favorite choice for EDC (though a bit pricey) are Zebralights, like the H52. Designed to be used as headlight or handheld, includes pocket clip, and about as minimal size as AA gets and still cranks out 280 lumens on a good cell. Plus will accept li-ion like 14500 cell which kicks it up to 500 lumens! Available in cool or neutral white (I love the neutral!) and with clear or diffused lens. H52w AA Headlamp Neutral White
^^...I like the H52, Super bright, great quality BUT.... if I'm carrying something in my pocket as an EDC torch I want something I hold in my hand like a conventional torch ( reflector at the end pointing out, not on the side ). The H52 is designed for headlight use. Holding it in the hands and using it as a torch would feel very strange to me. However if I were into night hiking or caving the H52 would be high on my list of wanted lamps. BTW, the torch I first linked to is indeed very small and hardly noticeable if in your pants pockets. It's so small that sometimes when I check my pockets I'll think for a moment that I left it home.
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Old 05-06-16, 01:38 AM   #17
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They also have straight versions, but I much prefer the angled myself, and I use it handheld quite a bit.
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Old 05-06-16, 02:26 AM   #18
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The 52w is on back order. Maybe something better is in the pipeline. My only gripe with it... Needs a slight flat on the back to be able to tail stand beaming up.
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Old 05-06-16, 08:09 AM   #19
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You can get lights that will take 18650's or 3 by AAA if you really need to be able to take normal batteries in a pinch:

http://www.amazon.com/WindFire%C2%AE...dp/B00OOER06K/

For the price of a few AA batteries you can have a new 18650 light:

Coco Powerful 2500 Lumens Zoomable CREE XML T6 LED 18650 Flashlight Torch Lamp - - Amazon.com

If you get two or three discharges out of it before the junk fails, you've saved money. In my experience they'll last a bunch longer than that (just don't trust the waterproof claims on the cheap ones).
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Old 05-06-16, 08:28 AM   #20
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oh and most of the 18650 usb charge holders (if you're willing to trust them) have a reverse usb plug to charge your phone off the battery, so it's double use, especially since most phones don't have replaceable batteries now, something I suspect many cyclists care about. Some even have a tiny light built into the two-way charger.
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Old 05-08-16, 01:12 PM   #21
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I hadn't even considered an angle light before (and the H52 is a different take on the design than what I remember them being). Food for thought...

FYI, I'll probably just end up ordering from Amazon (I have some gift card $) or source locally from either Wal-Mart or Ace.
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Old 06-01-16, 03:52 PM   #22
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Update

For anyone that is/was remotely interested, my wife bought this today- https://www.aldi.us/en/weekly-specia...-flashlight-1/. I figure I'll swap in some rechargeables when the supplied primaries fizzle out.
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Old 06-01-16, 08:00 PM   #23
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Fenix HL21 for me in AA.
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Old 06-02-16, 02:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The Mini Mag Lite is very outdated. Less bright, less life per battery, less convenient to operate, and the mini designs are finicky compared with the full sized Mag Lites (which are still very good). I have a couple but rarely use them anymore.
I use a Mini Mag manufactured with an LED and it works great especially with the Eneloop rechargeable batteries. One charge lasts very long.
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Old 06-02-16, 01:16 PM   #25
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I know it's not what the OP wanted but I but I bought an OLight S1 ( NW ) about a week ago. This is a super small EDC torch that uses a single CR123A or CRC123A. Nice set-up for EDC as it comes with a small belt pouch. NW XM-L2 LED, on high it puts out about 480 lumen, pretty bright. It won't output that for long but it's there if needed. The medium ( 70 lumen ) mode is about perfect for normal stuff and the clip makes it work perfect on a ball cap. Only down side is the mode button is really small and hard to find ( by feel ) sometimes. I still like my Solarforce Z1 better but I wish the emitter were neutral white.

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