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#245636 - 05/05/12 02:27 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: 7point82]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7051
Loc: southern Cal
I am a happy owner of a Fenix LD01. It has given reliable service on my keyring for over two years now and it still going strong. I will probably continue to buy that brand.

Truth to tell, there are lots of reasonably decent, fairly cheap AAA lights out there. Just don't bother with anything that is not LED - that technology is the best thing that has ever happened to portable lighting technology.
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#245637 - 05/05/12 02:42 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: billn]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: billn
Someone recommended the THRUNITE TI 3-60. Any better than the Fenix E01?

I don't have any personal experience with the Thrunite, but I would say they are different types of lights. The E01 uses a low power LED and emphasizes long battery life and durability. They are very popular and I'm not aware of anyone complaining of an E01 ever dying on them.

The Thrunite uses a higher power type of LED that has a high/low capability. The low will be noticeably dimmer than the E01 and the high is way, way brighter so they aren't really comparable in light output. The low level should outlast the E01 significantly, but at only 3 lumens, I think it's too dim to be generally useful except in very dark situations.

In my own experience, multi-level lights are more prone to failure, especially if they ride around in your pocket every day and are exposed to dust, sweat, and getting bumped around a lot but like I said, I don't know firsthand how durable the Thrunite is.

If you're interested in the Thrunite, another option is the Inova XS. I haven't carried one, but if they are as durable as their bigger X series cousins, it should be bulletproof and it has two light levels. High is not quite as bright, but the low is brighter (but still dimmer than the E01).

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#245638 - 05/05/12 03:23 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: billn]
billn Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 10
Loc: GA
I will get the Fenix E01 as my first EDC...thanks

Another question:

What about the photon type lights. The thumb looking ones. Which one of those are pretty good? Like the LRI Micro type light designs.

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#245639 - 05/05/12 03:53 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: billn]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2097
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: billn
What about the photon type lights. The thumb looking ones. Which one of those are pretty good? Like the LRI Micro type light designs.

The LRI's are good. But stick with the Fenix E01. AAA batteries are cheaper and easier to get ahold of. The one benefit I can see for the flat lights is that they can easily be used one handed. It's a bit awkward to turn on something like an E01 (with it's twist head) one handed, but it can be done. You just wouldn't want to normally.

I carried an ARC AAA for many years. The ARC is the granddaddy of all these 1xAA lights like the E01. I find myself in need of brighter light at times these days, so now I carry a 4Sevens Quark 1xAA with a 14500 LiIon battery in it. But you really can't go wrong with something like the E01 for your normal EDC light.

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#245640 - 05/05/12 03:56 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: billn]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
The photon type lights are handy but the main issue I have with them is durability. They are not very water resistant, they have limited light output and battery duration. Battery changes require an expensive button cell and a screwdriver.

I do, however carry one on my keychain, because it is small, and one handed operation. I only use it to find that keyhole or minor things like that. I would never "depend" on it.
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#245641 - 05/05/12 03:59 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: billn]
Treeseeker Offline
Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 180
Loc: California
I also have a Fenix E01 and love it.

I use an Energizer Ultimate lithium battery in it (the ones that say 8X on the package, not the 4X ones). Lithium batteries have about a 15 year shelf life, don't leak, and these ones supposedly have 8 times the working life of an alkaline battery.

The combination of the E01 and a lithium battery makes a really great EDC.

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#245644 - 05/05/12 04:33 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: Treeseeker]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Treeseeker
Lithium batteries have about a 15 year shelf life, don't leak, and these ones supposedly have 8 times the working life of an alkaline battery.

That's a great point. Most people don't proactively replace their flashlight batteries on a schedule (I find yearly works fine with alkalines) and they eventually discover that the alkaline batteries have leaked, sometimes ruining the light. Definitely not a good thing for an EDC light that you may really need to work. I also keep one of those Energizer "Ultimate Lithium" AAA cells in my Fenix E05.

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#245645 - 05/05/12 04:33 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: Arney]
wileycoyote Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 285
Loc: eastern Oregon & west TX
being a flashaholic and having owned hundreds and hundreds of 1xAAA lights, i can tell you that there is no such thing as a totally-reliable light. everything ever made by humans is capable of failing. that is why one should carry back-ups. but some designs are more inherently reliable than others. so with that said:

of all the cheapies the Fenix E01 is the most-reliable best-buy for long-runtime survival needs. (under 10 lumens)

for a general use EDC light i much prefer the beam shape, tint and brightness (27 lumens) of the Fenix E05, but runtime is much less.

for ultimate reliability and extreme-long-runtime in a 1xAAA survival light, there is nothing quite like the custom Mako. they were made in small runs and cost around $150. if you're committed and well-heeled, now and then one shows up for sale on CPF's BST Ti forum.
here's a thread i posted about them: Mako-1xAAA-the-most-important-flashlight-i-ve-ever-owned

re: Thrunite Ti - i've owned a few of them. nice light for the money but the tiny metal tab that controls the hi-low stages is far too small and fragile, which eventually leads to problems.

my EDC rule is "the smaller the better" so that you'll always have it with you. for that i like EDCing the DQG Tiny, currently the smallest 1xAAA in the world, which is made in stainless, has two stages (around 5 lumens on Low and 60 lumens on High), two different tint options (the warmer versions can be found here), is reasonably priced, and pretty reliable (for the half dozen Tinys i've had the pleasure of owning).

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#245646 - 05/05/12 04:44 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: billn]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: billn
Like the LRI Micro type light designs.

I have had the same Photon II on my keychain for going on 15 years and besides one battery change, I have not had to worry about it. It works every time I press the switch and it has sat in my sweaty front pocket through many a hot, sticky East Coast summer during those 15 years. (I just checked it--yup, lights up!)

I can't comment on other brands, but I would stay away from any super cheap ones unless you keep two or three handy. So, if you get one as a freebie or it costs a buck or two, I wouldn't count on it as an EDC light. That said, the cheap ones are great to keep a stash on hand to give out during a blackout and not worry about getting them back.

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#245647 - 05/05/12 07:06 PM Re: AAA Led Light [Re: Arney]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2097
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Arney
Most people don't proactively replace their flashlight batteries on a schedule (I find yearly works fine with alkalines)

How do you make a battery last a year? I guess I use my lights more than most people. My batteries would be dead as a doornail (from use) long before a year is up. That's why I went to rechargeables. NiMh (Eneloops) for the lights I use occassionally, and LiIon for the heavy hitters (both in frequency of use and brightness requirements). I do keep alkalines as backups for some flashlights, but those are stored separately - outside of the flashlight.

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