AA flashlights are powerful tools in a variety of situations, from taking the dog for a walk to navigating through a week-long power outage. The versatility, availability, and affordability of AA batteries makes them a reliable option. In this article, we review the best AA flashlights on the market and give you some info to help you make the right decision.
The 10 Best AA Flashlights
Need recommendations for a good AA flashlight? The best AA flashlights are small, durable, battery efficient, and create a bright light. Here’s our list our the best AA flashlights:
1. Coast HP1 190-Lumen LED Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 190
- Runtime: 1 hours 45 minutes
- Beam distance: 259 ft / 79 m
Coast is a company based in Portland that has been creating tools for work and leisure for over a century. It was founded when the company’s creator developed a more effective knife for salmon fishermen on the Oregon coast. Their products offer lifetime warranties.
Today, Coast is well-known for its headlamps and flashlights, including the HP1 LED flashlight. This flashlight is available for a low price and runs on a single AA battery, producing 190 lumens of light. The 90-degree flood beam can be focused to a single point with a long beam distance. It fits easily into your pocket, but also comes with a pocket clip. Additionally, it can be used with a tactical mount.
Zoom between a super wide flood beam or spot mode with transition halo at varying distances and brightness. 190 Lumens in a small size perfect for any pocket and perfect for hand or tactical mount. Can use 1 AA alkaline, NiMH rechargeable, or 14500 lithium batteries.
2. ThruNite Archer 1A V3
- Lumen outptut: 200
- Runtime: 408 hours (in Firefly mode)
- Beam distance: 71 meters
The ThruNite Archer 1A V3 is a high-quality AA flashlight that is initially more expensive, but cost-effective in the long run. It is designed for efficiency, with a lightweight and compact size, and the ability to produce up to 200 lumens using a single alkaline battery.
The ThruNite Archer is versatile and can be used for various tasks, including as a self-defense tool. It features an LED bulb, an aluminum body, and comes with a 30-day replacement guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty. However, some users have reported issues with the end cap switch becoming loose and dust entering the case, which can cause problems with the wiring and shorten the overall lifespan of the flashlight.
Constructed from aerospace grade aluminum body with military grade Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish. The compact and lightweight design are convenient to be taken anywhere. CREE XP-L V6 LED light source. Economical power. Useful for EDC, law enforcement, emergencies, outdoor, self-defense, and more.
3. Dorcy Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 55
- Runtime: 8 hours and 45 minutes
- Beam distance: 31 meters
The Dorcy Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight is a great AA flashlight for anyone who spends time in or around the water. Not only is it waterproof, this flashlight is designed to float, so it can be retrieved easily if dropped in water.
In addition, the flashlight is powered by AA batteries that last more than eight hours of constant use. The LED bulbs used in the flashlight produce 55 lumens and are energy-efficient and have a long lifespan, so you won’t have to replace them as often as you would with traditional incandescent bulbs.
Finally, the Dorcy is a high quality, impact-resistant flashlight, making it ideal for outdoor use or in situations where it may be dropped or bumped. All of these features make the Dorcy Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight a good choice for anyone in need of a reliable and versatile flashlight.
Rugged design is impact resistant and will float if dropped in water. Contains (4) super bright LED bulbs that provides 55-lumens of light output. Lasts 8 hours and 45 minutes. Built-in tail cap carabineer clip that allows you easily attach the flashlight to your belt or back pack. Shock absorbing rubber for slip-free, comfortable grip.
4. Maglite Mini Incandescent AA Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 14
- Runtime: 5 hours 15 minutes
- Beam distance: 96 meters
The Maglite Mini Incandescent AA Flashlight is a compact and reliable flashlight that is perfect for everyday use. It is small enough to easily fit in your pocket or purse, yet powerful enough to provide bright illumination in any situation.
The flashlight is made of durable aluminum and has a tough anodized finish, which makes it resistant to wear and tear. It also features a 325 foot focusable beam, so you can adjust the intensity of the light depending on your needs. We also like the “candle mode” which lets you convert the torch into a freestanding light. The extra bulb in the tail cap is a nice touch too.
Superior quality craftsmanship with weather-resistant seal, diamond knurl design, and anodized inside and out for improved corrosion resistance. Compact design renowned for its quality, durability, and reliability. Made in America. Designed four heavy outdoor use. Includes a spare lamp safely secured in the tail cap and converts quickly into free standing candle mode.
5. GearLight S2000 High-Powered LED Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 813
- Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes
- Beam distance: unknown
While it’s true that the GearLight S2000 is heavier and more expensive than similar flashlights, it’s power is why it belongs on our list of the best AA flashlights. This beast emits up to 1,2000 lumens and offers an adjustable focus to spill light across a 90-degree area (which is a wide range). You can also shine a beam up to 1,000 feet of cool white light. There are five settings: high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. It’s also water resistant and can survive a 10 foot drop.
Like we said, this is a sturdy and powerful light. As such, it takes four batteries, and to be honest, they burn out pretty quickly. It’s also susceptible to overheating, but that’s not an issue if you only plan on using it for a few minutes at a time.
Ultra-wide beam effortlessly illuminates an entire backyard, and has double the lumen output as other tactical flashlights. Made from military-grade aluminum. Water-resistant and strong enough to survive a 10-foot drop. Compact enough to fit in your backpack, survival bag, or glove compartment.
6. Streamlight ProTac AA Tactical Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 350
- Runtime: 2 hours
- Beam distance: 130 meters
Streamlight’s ProTac model is a powerful and flexible tactical flashlight that offers a range of brightness settings and the ability to run on different types of batteries. With a range of 40 to 350 lumens, this flashlight is suitable for a wide variety of purposes and is not just for Navy SEALs.
Its aluminum casing makes it waterproof down to 1 meter, and the LED bulb has a lifespan of 50,000 hours. However, the battery life may be short at the highest settings and there is no low battery indicator. It is also on the higher end in terms of price. Overall, this flashlight is extremely durable and very bright at the highest setting, making it a solid choice for those in need of a reliable flashlight.
TEN-TAP programmable tail switch that allows the user to select one of three different programs: high/strobe/low. Maximum output 250 lumens, 2 hour run time, 130 meter beam throw. Anti-roll facecap and removable pocket clip. LED technology, impervious to shock with a 50,000 hour lifetime.
7. Fenix E12 V2.0 EDC Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 160
- Runtime: 70 hours (low setting)
- Beam distance: 75 yards
The Fenix E12 high-end flashlight offers incredible performance for its size. The compact size makes it easy to carry in my pocket or attach to a keychain, and the durable aluminum body means it can withstand some rough handling.
The Fenix E12 has a single Cree XP-G2 LED bulb that produces a bright, focused beam of light up to 160 lumens, which is a lot for an AA flashlight. It has three lighting levels to choose from, as well as a strobe function for emergencies. The flashlight is powered by a single AA battery, which provides up to 50 hours of runtime on the low setting.
One of the features we like most about the Fenix E12 is the simple, twist-head switch. It’s easy to operate with one hand, and the flashlight remembers the last light mode you used, so you don’t have to cycle through all the settings to get back to the one you want.
Throws a 160 lumen beam over 75 yards. Runs on a single AA battery for 1 hour on high and up to 70 hours on low. Press the anti-slip tail switch to power the light on/off and half press to cycle through the two output modes. IP68 waterproof rating and 1.5 meter impact resistant rating. The two-way clip securely attaches to your pocket, hat, or bag.
8. Ultrafire SK68s Tactical Flashlights (5 Pack)
- Lumen outptut: 300
- Runtime: 6 hours
- Beam distance: unknown
The Ultrafire SK68s is one of the best AA flashlights because it offers a good balance of features and performance at a reasonable price. It has a durable aluminum body and a single Cree Q5 LED bulb that produces a bright, focused beam of light. It also has three lighting levels and a strobe function for emergencies. The flashlight is powered by a single AA battery, which provides up to 6 hours of runtime on the high setting.
In addition, the Ultrafire SK68s has a convenient zoomable focus feature that allows you to adjust the beam from a wide floodlight to a narrow spotlight, depending on your needs. It also has a convenient pocket clip for attaching to a belt or backpack. It’s a budget light that isn’t as quality as higher-end lights, but it offers good value for the price and is a good choice for people who need a flashlight for everyday use or emergency situations.
IP65-rated water resistant. Designed for use in rain. Durable aluminum body and shock-resistance endure rough handling. Compact to fit into your pocket. Anti-slip finish holds in your hand. Adjustable focus range for different usage. Features 3 adaptable settings: High / Low / Strobe. Maximum output 300 lumens. Powered by AA or 14500 3.7v rechargeable battery.
9. J5 Tactical V1-PRO Ultra Bright Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 300
- Runtime: 20 hours (low mode)
- Beam distance: 600 feet
The J5 Tactical V1 pro is a lightweight and easy-to-use pocket light. It has a range of over 600 feet and is powered by a single AA battery. The light can be adjusted to different levels of brightness, including high, low, and strobe (sometimes called firefly mode), depending on your needs.
On a single AA battery, it can last for 4 hours on high mode, 20 hours on low mode, and 9.5 hours on strobe mode. Its performance and versatility make it a great value for the price.
600 foot range. Powered for hours with a single AA battery or a 14500 rechargeable battery. 3 settings (High – Low - Strobe) and wide-to-narrow beam zoom. Can survive a 9-foot drop or being temporary submerged in water. Compact size makes them ideal to keep in a pocket or purse for anyone who has to walk through a car park late at night. One-year no questions asked replacement warranty.
10. Wayllshine Mini Cree LED Flashlight
- Lumen outptut: 200
- Runtime: unknown
- Beam distance: 450 feet
The Wayllshine Mini Cree is small and compact, making it perfect for everyday carry. Despite its size, it produces a bright and powerful beam with good light output that is great for a variety of tasks. The build quality is top-notch and it has held up well under daily use. We also appreciate the long battery life and the fact that it is compatible with both AA and 14500 batteries.
Zoomable scalable LED for more than 150 yard light beam. One 1.5V AA size battery, or other rechargeable battery as the AA battery. Max Voltage is 4V. Very mild and doesn't affect night vision. 200 lumen max output. 3 modes: high, low, and strobe.
What to Look for When Buying AA Flashlights
When shopping for an AA flashlight, there are several key factors to consider: durability, size, brightness, and bulb type.
- Durability – Flashlights are often used in rugged circumstances, so durability is important. The best AA flashlights are made from stainless steel or anodized aluminum. Opt for flashlights that have tamper-proof lenses and sealed with an O-ring so they are at least partially water resistant.
- Size – Where do you plan to keep your light? The best AA flashlights fit where you intend to keep them. If you want to put it in your pocket, you may need a small 5 inch model. But if you plan to keep it in your car, you have the space for a 12 inch model. In general, bigger flashlights produce more light and have a further range, but they also go through batteries quicker.
- Brightness – A light’s brightness is measured in lumens. For reference, a typical 60W light bulb produces 700 lumens. AA flashlights are rarely that bright. AA flashlights are usually about 120-200 lumens of maximum output. 300 lumen lights exist, but they tear through batteries quickly, though they often offer multiple settings so you can choose the brightness level.
- Bulb type – Almost all AA flashlights are either incandescent or LED. Incandescent bulbs give out less light, so they make sense in situations where you need less light and want more battery time. LEDs produce more light, but wear down batteries faster.
Furthermore, consider the individual features of any light you consider. Some AA flashlights are designed for short-term emergency use, offering SOS and strobe options. Consider the activation switch as well. Tactical users often prefer a tail-cap switch that can be engaged with their thumb, but you may prefer a screw-on switch or side button.
AA Flashlights and 14500 Batteries
It’s important to note that some AA flashlights (including the best AA flashlights) are also compatible with 1400 lithium ion batteries. However, make sure that your flashlight is designed to handle the higher voltage of lithium ion cells (3.7V) before using them. That’s twice the voltage of standard alkaline batteries.
Using a lithium ion battery in a flashlight that isn’t designed to handle it can cause overheating or short-circuiting. To ensure that you’re using the right battery for your flashlight, check the user manual or contact the manufacturer. If you have any questions or concerns about which battery to use with your flashlight, don’t hesitate to reach out to customer service for assistance.
Best AA Flashlight Frequently Asked Questions
“AA flashlight” doesn’t refer to a specific kind of light. Instead, it refers to the type of battery used in the light, as opposed to an AAA flashlight or other battery type. Some lights use small batteries like you would find in watches. Others have internal batteries that must be charged directly using a cable or USB plug.
If you’re looking for a flashlight that doesn’t require buying fresh batteries all the time, check out our list of the best rechargeable flashlights.
What is the brightest AA flashlight?
The Nitecore MT10A Flashlight is considered the brightest alkaline AA flashlight. This flashlight uses a Cree XP-L HI V3 LED bulb and has a beam intensity of up to 1000 lumens. That is seriously powerful light output! It also has a range of brightness settings and is able to run on both alkaline and lithium batteries.
Some factors to consider when looking for a bright AA flashlight include the type of bulb used (e.g. LED, incandescent), the beam intensity (measured in lumens), and the battery type (e.g. alkaline, lithium). Keep in mind that the brightness of a flashlight may vary depending on the type and condition of the batteries used. It is always a good idea to read reviews and compare the features of different flashlights before making a purchase.
What are the disadvantages of AA flashlights?
There are a few potential disadvantages to using an AA flashlight:
- Limited battery options: AA flashlights are limited to using AA-sized batteries, which may not be as widely available as other types of batteries in some areas. If you have a hard time finding batteries, you should opt for a rechargeable flashlight that takes rechargeable batteries or USB recharging.
- Lower capacity: AA batteries generally have a lower capacity than larger batteries such as C or D cells, which means that AA flashlights may not last as long on a single set of batteries. They also typically have fewer output levels and lumen output. And you certainly couldn’t consider any of them a flood light!
- Larger size: AA flashlights tend to be slightly larger and heavier than smaller flashlights that use AAA or even CR123A batteries. This can make them less portable and more difficult to carry around.
- Higher cost: AA flashlights may be slightly more expensive than other types of flashlights due to the cost of the batteries and the larger size of the flashlight.
Overall, the disadvantages of AA flashlights are generally minor and may not be a concern for everyone. The choice between an AA flashlight and a flashlight that uses a different type of battery will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
What makes an AA different from other flashlights like AAAs?
AA and AAA are two different sizes of batteries that are commonly used in flashlights and other small electronic devices. AA batteries are slightly larger and have a higher capacity than AAA batteries, which means that AA flashlights tend to be slightly larger and longer-lasting than AAA flashlights. AA flashlights may also be able to produce a brighter beam due to the higher capacity of the batteries.
However, AAA flashlights are generally more compact and lightweight than AA flashlights, which makes them more portable light source and easier to carry. Ultimately, the choice between an AA flashlight and an AAA flashlight will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Can I use other sorts of batteries in my AA flashlight?
It is generally not recommended to use other types of batteries in an AA flashlight. Most AA flashlights are designed to work specifically with AA-sized batteries, and using a different type of battery may cause the flashlight to malfunction or damage the battery compartment.
In general, it is always best to use the type of battery specified by the manufacturer in any device. That said, some flashlights allow different battery sizes, just make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions or you might overheat the flashlight. If you opt for a rechargeable battery, make sure it complies with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Why would someone need an AA flashlight?
AA flashlights are popular because AA batteries are widely available and relatively inexpensive. They are also relatively small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around and use on the go, though they aren’t as small as a pen light or keychain flashlight.
Additionally, AA flashlights are often more powerful and longer lasting than smaller flashlights that use AAA batteries. Some people may prefer AA flashlights because they provide a good balance of power, size, and cost. Some are as cheap as $10!
What are the types of AA flashlights?
There are several types of AA flashlights available on the market, including:
- Standard AA flashlights: These are the most common type of AA flashlight, and they are typically small and portable. They may have a single LED bulb or a series of bulbs, and they can be used for a variety of tasks such as lighting a dark room, reading a map, or finding a keyhole.
- Tactical AA flashlights: Tactical flashlights are designed for self-defense and outdoor activities. They are typically more durable and rugged than standard AA flashlights, and they may have features such as a bezel for breaking glass or a strobe setting for disorienting an attacker.
- Rechargeable AA flashlights: These flashlights use AA batteries, but they might be USB rechargeable. This can be convenient light source if you don’t want to constantly buy and replace batteries.
- Keychain AA flashlights: Keychain flashlights are small and lightweight, and they can be attached to your keys or carried in your pocket. These aren’t usually the brightest flashlights, but they are convenient for everyday use and are ideal for illuminating small areas or finding your way in the dark.
Why choose an AA to power your light?
When it comes to choosing the right LED flashlight, it’s important to consider the size and power of the light, as well as the type of battery it uses. Large and powerful lights are often powered by bigger lithium ion batteries, while smaller, more compact EDC (everyday carry) lights are powered by AA or AAA batteries (also known as double A or triple A). If you want to keep a flashlight on your person at all times, you might want an AA flashlight.