LED Flashlight Review – AA Models

Years ago I posted my thought on The BEST LED Flashlights.   Unfortunately a few things have happened since publishing that post: 

  1. Costco stopped carrying the Luxeon LED flashlights.
  2. A couple of the Costco lights started to have intermittent problems.
  3. I needed something brighter than the Dorcy AAA light, but still wanted to stick with a single or double AA design.

A few months ago I received a post on that older article from Nick at http://www.workflashlight.com.   I asked him if I could test a couple of his lights and he sent me two single AA models to try:

Here are the two lights along side of the Dorcy AAA LED flashlight:


As you can see the beam of the 5w had a bit more of a yellow coloring while the 1w has more of a blue color similar to the Dorcy.   Both of these test lights had a much stronger and tighter beam than the Dorcy.  Pretty amazing when you consider the batteries in each are more or less the same (1.5 volts).

Next I setup my camera and each light to shine on a target picture 16 feet away.   I’ve found that while I’m outside checking on the chickens that this distance is usually the max distance of what I expect to see with a small form factor light light this.

 led-flashlight-1 Here is the baseline shot of the wall and picture with the lights on.The image is cropped and zoomed to get better detail.Click any of the thumbnails to see a larger image.
  led-flashlight-2  This is the 5W Super Duty 30 Lumens 1xAA Pocket LED Flashlight.Again, you can see that the color is a little bit on the yellow side, but could be considered more like “actual light” color. This light produced a good balance between the main beam with a decent amount of “side spill” for peripheral viewing.I prefer the feel of this light over the 1W below.  It seemed more solid and I liked the anti-roll notching into the body.
 led-flashlight-3  This is the 1W 32 Lumens 1xAA LED Flashlight.  It has a more “blue” color and a tighter main beam with less side spill.While I preferred the feel of the 5W light above, this light fit more smoothly into my pocket.  I also liked the light color better.The tail cap button felt a little less solid on this light and the optics were loose (could have simply been this model).
 led-flashlight-4  Here is the Dorcy AAA LED.  The light setting was fixed on the camera to provide for a relative display of how much light each of the flashlights produced.    The Dorcy was almost useless at this distance.

 Overall I was very pleased with the lights.   I’m not sure if it was an optical illusion produced by the different color light, but I honestly had a hard time determining which one was brighter.   After going outside in the dark and testing the lights on a plethora of different areas I decided I liked the brightness, color, and beam of the 1W 32 Lumens 1xAA LED Flashlight best.    While I like both lights, I think the 5W body with the 1W circuit / LED would be a perfect combo.

A big thanks to Nick at http://www.workflashlight.com for letting me test his lights.  Maybe someday he’ll be able to talk me into testing some of his brighter non AA based LED lights.  🙂

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