Lumintop Tool AA2.0 Ti Flashlight Review
Lumintop is now offering an updated version of the ever-popular Tool AA light – the Lumintop Tool AA2.0 Ti. It offers some neat features!
Official Specs and Features
There are a number of new versions – the Tool AA2.0 came out first in aluminum and was available in black and white. Then there’s this titanium version. The manual also indicates there is a Nichia 219c version available. Previous to 2.0, the old versions are many.
The Tool AA2.0 Ti sells for around $56 (though I can’t find it for sale through official channels). The aluminum version sells for around $21 on Amazon (referral link).
Solid offering, in titanium here. The lighted tailcap is neat but surprisingly only works when a 14500 cell is installed. Output with a 14500 is quite stunning but the light will get hot. All told, I’m very satisfied with the light and would recommend the titanium version.
The Big Table
|Lumintop Tool TI|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L HD|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$56
$21 for the aluminum! Buy it on amazon.
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||650|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||956 (147.1% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||127|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||354lux @ 3.39m = 4068cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||127.6 (100.5% of claim)^|
|Lumintop Tool TI|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L HD|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||270|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||281 (104.1% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||74lux @ 4.177m = 1291cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||71.9^|
|All my Lumintop reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Lumintop Tool AA2.0 Titanium Flashlight
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Glow diffuser
- Crushed velvet draw-string pouch
Package and Manual
Typical Lumintop package.
The manual covers the needed info, too.
Build Quality and Disassembly
I expect good build quality out of Lumintop, and this delivers. The knurling in particular is very nice. Just grippy, not aggressive, and covering enough of the light to matter. Also for a titanium light, the knurling is quite uniform, which is something many makers can’t seem to get right.
Of course, you’ll note that the color scheme is a bit extra on this version – the gold (colored) clip with the titanium body. It works, for me. This light is sort of excessive, so the clip should also be excessive.
The head and tail are completely removable from the body. The threads are square-cut, and lubed enough, and feel like titanium threads. That’s not a slur on the light – titanium threads are what they are. But these are good enough that they aren’t annoying.
The head has a little ring around the positive contact, which will likely prevent the use of flat-top 14500 cells, though I’m not sure what the point in that would be (the light supports that cell and chemistry!) The head has no spring.
The tailcap does have a spring, and it’s quite long.
The cell tube is reversible, even though the pocket clip is reversible too.
Size and Comps
Officially 89.5*18.5mm in size, and weighing in at 23.5g.
I know for certain I took pics with the old version of the Tool but somehow I managed to not process them and get them into the post.
Retention and Carry
As mentioned above, there’s a pocket clip that is gold in color. It bears the design of the standard Lumintop clips, which I like. The clip is friction fit and has holes into which a lanyard (included) may be attached.
The body has allowances for the clip to be placed up or down, and also the cell tube may be flipped so that the clip is up or down. Two options. Neither of these options is particularly deep in carry, though.
They do allow for use as a hatlight, though.
Also an option for carry is the lanyard, which would ideally be attached through either of the 2 holes in the tailcap.
The light will also very comfortably tailstand.
Power and Runtime
The Tool AA2.0 Ti can be powered by AA-sized cells, of all available chemistry. That is primary alkaline cells, NiMH cells (aka Eneloops), or 14500 cells. I tested the light with the two cells below. Note that those are both button tops – button tops are required! There is physical prevention for flat tops on the head end of the light.
Though during testing, the Eneloop above did give some issues – The light flickered madly with that Eneloop, but with another NiMH cell (this time a LADDA from IKEA) the light worked fine. If you experience a flicker, try a different cell. (Flicker was almost certainly an issue with the cell, not the light, as my charger also reported negative things about the cell above.)
Runtime on Turbo with 14500. Note that the output is grossly higher than claimed (yay) but that temperature is completely unregulated. That is very hot and you will not enjoy holding the light then. So be careful. LVP was observed in both 14500 tests.
High doesn’t get too hot and would be a good mode to prefer, over Turbo, above.
The AA output is much more stable than the 14500 output, but also much lower.
High with AA is practically flat (though likely still not “regulated”.)
I will double-check if flat top 14500 cells work in this light if I can find some flat top 14500! Follow up: I can’t find one!
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
|Turbo – 14500||650||33m||956||2.68|
|High – 14500||360||1h19m||501||1.02|
|Medium – 14500||85||6h9m||105||0.24|
|Low – 14500||16||37h||15||0.06|
|Turbo – AA (NiMH)||270||43m||281||?|
|High – AA (NiMH)||140||2h33m||183||?|
|Medium – AA (NiMH)||28||12h30m||37||?|
|Low – AA (NiMH)||3.7||2.5d||2||?|
Bench power testing for the “NiMH” was a bit confusing because the light probably didn’t really know what to think…. So I’m not reporting anything for that category.
Pulse Width Modulation
Unfortunately, all modes have PWM, and in some of those modes, it’s visible to the naked eye. It’s by no means the worst PWM, though. Interestingly PWM is seen even on TURBO which would suggest the light isn’t a direct drive – may be surprising since the output is so high with a 14500 on Turbo.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single mechanical switch on the Tool AA2.0 Titanium. I say mechanical, but… I didn’t break the switch down. It acts as a mechanical switch but has this neat backlit feature (which only works with a 14500 cell).
The indicator feature only really serves as a locator – it does not indicate any aspect of the operation or state of the light, in any circumstance. When the light is off, the indicator is on (with a 14500 installed). When the light is on, the indicator is off. The indicator comes on momentarily during button presses (since technically the light is off then, too). Only with 14500.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory, if light has been on mode >2s)|
|On||Press||Mode advance (LMHT)|
The manual also mentions that the light may be used in twisty format, but that’s just not something that you’re going to do on a titanium thread light. It’s too gritty, unenjoyable, and you’ll end up dissatisfied. Stick with the click. And twisting still requires the click (the light will never be “on” without the mechanical switch being in the “on” position).
LED and Beam
In this copy, Lumintop has a Cree XP-L HD emitter. Not stated but what I’d call on the cool side of white. Per the manual, also available is a Nichia 219c version, which any tint-loving person will prefer. The reflector is smooth.
Also included and a means of altering the beam is this flexible glow diffuser cap.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Easy to see that the 14500 output is noticeably brighter, on all modes.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Build quality
- Use of titanium
- Cell chemistry choices
- Overall output is very high
What I don’t like
- Gets very hot on Turbo with Li-ion
- Would prefer Nichia 219c or some other newer emitter
- This light was provided by Lumintop for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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