The folks at Lumintop were generous enough to let me try out their new Tool AAA flashlight. My usual every day pocket flashlight is a Fenix E12 (AA light), so I was very interested to see how a new AAA light would compare in terms of usable brightness and runtime.
What’s in the box:
- AAA flashlight with high strength aluminum body
- Detachable clip
- Alternate flat tail cap (rather than clicky style)
- Spare o-rings
I’ve tried a few AAA flashlights before this, but mostly low power LED (not CREE) with unimpressive output. With this Lumintop featuring a tactical body with a tail switch and CREE XP-G2 (R5) LED, I was excited to try it to see the difference.
Build Quality and Features
What a lightweight flashlight. The small size of a AAA light combined with an aluminum body make for a comfortable pocket light. Doesn’t take up much pocket real estate and I barely noticed it was there.
Brightness modes are adjusted by twisting the bezel slightly (loosening it) and then back tight while the light is on, and it will remember your setting the next time you turn it on. You can also change the mode by pressing the tail switch in halfway. The Lumintop AAA provides 3 brightness modes at 5 lumens, 32 lumens, and 110 lumens.
Rated run-times are 60 hours, 10 hours, and 30 minutes respectively.
The body comes apart in 3 pieces: the head, the middle tube that holds the battery, and the tail cap.
- Reversible clip for belts or pockets
- Resists impact up to 1.5 meters
- Reverse polarity protection
- Waterproof to IPX-8 standard (6 meters)
As you’d expect, the low mode is mostly useful for if you drop something under a desk or need to check out a dark closet. It’s not bright enough for walking around outside at night or throwing light further than a meter from you. The upside is the 60 hour run-time in this mode, which if you were in a survival situation would be useful to have at least a little light for as long as possible.
Medium mode seems like your every day setting if you’re using the Tool AAA as a pocket flashlight. It’s bright enough for most situations. Because of the small bezel on any AAA light there isn’t a ton of throw distance, but medium mode does a pretty good job outdoors at night up to 5 yards or so. In most cases that’s probably the max range you’d be shining a small flashlight at anything; if you needed bigger or further you’d be using a much larger light.
Lastly, the high mode is pretty impressive from such a tiny flashlight. The brightness and distance are solid for when you need more detail when outside at night or need to light up a wider area. The only downside to using this mode frequently is the short 30 minute run-time. You’d probably want to stick with medium mode if you went for a walk or evening hike so you don’t lose power partway through.
It’s impressively bright for such a small flashlight. For a single AAA cell producing 110 lumens, a short run-time in high mode is understandable. But for short bursts where you need a light of light, it delivers.
Nighttime Comparison Shots
Series 1, a tree at roughly 2-3 meters away. Low, medium, high respectively.
Series 2, looking at a post at roughly 5 meters.
Series 3, looking at the ground less than 1 meter
I’m impressed at the usability of the light on medium and high modes. The medium is pretty solid for most tasks, so you could easily set the flashlight there and forget it. Just turn it on with that brightness each time and see what you need in pretty much any scenario you could envision using a small light.
The durable, light body and small size makes it easy to slide this flashlight into a pocket with no encumbrance. An advantage of an AAA flashlight is how easy it is to find replacement batteries in a pinch. Specialty batteries like CR123 are expensive and harder to find, and in a prolonged power outage or similar situation it’s not ideal to be stuck with a light that uses obscure batteries.
This flashlight packs a surprising amount of versatility into a tiny frame, great for backpacks, pockets, and keychains. Might make a good gift for just about everyone, whether they’re flashlight enthusiasts or not.
Interested? Check out the Lumintop Tool AAA on amazon.com: