I actually tried an earlier model of the “IYP365” (in your pocket 365) years ago and thought it was decent, but wasn’t thrilled with it at the time mostly because I couldn’t see a use case for it in my collection of lights. I had big lights for 1000+ lumen uses, and I had small pocket lights already, so it wasn’t clear to me where it would make sense to use it.
Things can change.
In particular for me, the realization that flashlight girth is more bothersome in a pocket than length. I believe that is the main advantage AAA flashlights have is being very thin, and even the length of a 2x AAA light like this is doable because of it.
(Compare that to a 1x CR123 light that can be fat/bulgy in the pocket despite being very short.)
People point out that an AA battery has almost 3x the energy capacity of an AAA battery. However, even though AA batteries aren’t that big I do find the svelte design of AAA lights something that AA lights are often juuuust wide enough to miss the mark on. It’s trading sleekness for less battery life, but at least using two batteries in one light theoretically helps mitigate that.
I say theoretically because in some cases the run times aren’t that different than the Lumintop Tool AAA using a single AAA cell. More below.
I’ll be making comparisons throughout this review with the Lumintop Tool AAA light that I also own, since they are both AAA lights. As you’ll see, the Tool AAA stands up surprisingly well against a light with twice the battery capacity.
The IYP365’s High Mode
The Nichia model IYP365 features a high mode of 135 lumens (as opposed to the 200 of the CREE alternative).
As a pocket light it does a decent job of lighting up a wide area in front of you. I would say you lose the bulk of the light’s useful light after a distance of about 20 feet even in high mode, but up relatively close where this flashlight was built to illuminate, the output plus the sunlight-like color tone gives plenty of detail.
The 35 minutes of battery life in this mode mean is the real weakness of an AAA flashlight. You’d want to keep your uses of this mode brief throughout the day if it’s a work light — but it lights up a short range area in front of you with a roughly 8 foot wide beam.
(Obviously a pretty floody light, but that’s to be expected with a small, shallow bezel like this.)
It’s interesting that the Tool AAA’s high mode produces a similar lumen output with very similar run time on a single cell. It seems to indicate that perhaps the Nichia 219CT LED of the IYP365 takes more juice to function.
Otherwise it doesn’t really make sense to me how a single AAA light’s high mode at roughly the same lumens (110 lumens vs. 130) achieves basically the same run time as a light with 2 AAA’s and thus twice the energy capacity (30 mins vs 35 mins).
This is probably the bread and butter of the light. 25 lumens isn’t particularly bright, but it’s certainly enough to poke around under a desk or light up the area immediately in front of you in dark spaces.
Numerous nights testing this light when I needed to take the dog outside it was sufficient to walk around the yard and even illuminate nearby trees. Bearing in mind that it’s a pocket light, I found this output sufficient for these simple tasks.
Viewed alone, the IYP365’s medium mode is workable. It seems to be built to favor long run times (25 hours) in this mode. This seems like a good tradeoff of power for longevity, however…
Compared to the Tool AAA’s medium at 45 lumens (10 hours), I personally find that 10 hours is plenty of time for a medium mode and would probably rather have the 45 lumens for everyday use. The difference in light volume is noticeable enough that it makes a difference for what you could use the light for.
Given that, it’s strange to me that once again a smaller light with a single AAA has a more usable configuration than a light with twice the battery capacity.
The Nichia LED’s warm color tone, however, really carves out a meaningful niche in a flashlight collection. A lot of the LED lights on the market tend to feature cool white beams, so having a light with a very natural color tone for the detail creates a solid reason to reach for this light as an EDC rather than something else.
I understand that as a light geared toward doctors, the 1.5 lumen low mode makes sense for checking someone’s pupil response.
For just about anything else, though, I personally don’t find this mode useful.
Even in a pitch black room it’s barely enough light to make out objects right in front of you or read text — unless the flashlight is very close to the object you’re trying to see.
I mean sure, in an emergency 1.5 lumens is better than no lumens. But given a choice I’d personally opt for an EDC light with a slightly stronger low mode.
The 50 hours of run time is always a plus, but in this case that run time comes at quite a cost in terms of lumens. In an A/B test the Tool AAA’s 5 lumen low mode is significantly more useful than the IYP365’s 1.5 lumens. And the Tool AAA still gets 35 hours of run time at 5 lumens, which is plenty.
I personally found myself skipping this brightness level every time when cycling modes. Effectively I used the light as if it only had 2 modes: the medium and high.
Build Quality, Design, & Closing Thoughts
This is an elegant looking flashlight, no doubt. The matte black body with the brass accents is very striking, and actually matches my Waterman EDC pen.
O-rings seem pretty secure, but there is a very minor gap between the head and the body tube where the brass accent sits. It doesn’t seem to affect waterproofing, but it’s worth mentioning.
The pocket clip seems solid, though it’s facing the wrong direction for cases where you’d clip it to the brim of a hat while working. In my playing around it didn’t seem like you could reverse the clip to the other end of the flashlight to account for that.
The warm color tone of the Nichia LED is the best feature of the IYP365 in my opinion, and it’s the reason I’d use it despite some of the other comments I made above.
In fact, given my preference for the Tool AAA’s brightness modes and run time, the Nichia color tone is the main redeeming feature of the IYP365.
To work in an office or something, though, the elegant look of the IYP365 is certainly an improvement over the Tool AAA.
For everyday utility I’d probably opt for the Tool AAA instead, to be honest. It seems to be a better all around flashlight, and its brightness modes make more sense for practical applications I think most people would find themselves in.
I found myself repeatedly in a position where aspects of the IYP365 seemed cool and “good enough”, but only if viewed in isolation and not directly against the Tool AAA.
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