Note – this light was supplied by Lumintop as part of their global testing campaign.
AAA lights have really improved in the past few years. How many of us have carried the old standby Fenix E01? Or perhaps one of the more modern lights – one of the new Surefire Titans – or maybe a Streamlight, Olight, etc., etc. No doubt the field is crowded. On Amazon a search for “AAA Flashlights” brings up 15 brands, with multiple variants among each brand.
Narrow your search to a AAA light with a clicky switch and the field really begins to narrow. Arguably, the Fenix LD02 is the most well-known of the AAA clicky lights – and of course many are familiar with the Streamlight Microstream.
Regardless, it remains a crowded field so when Lumintop introduced their aluminum “Tool” AAA clicky light I barely noticed. But then this tested light, the Copper Tool XPG2 was released and it was different enough to get me to notice. Granted, there are other copper AAA lights out there with the Maratac being one of he most well-known, this Lumintop is one of the few (if perhaps the only) with a clicky switch.
My sample arrived in a nice presentation box and included a simple instruction sheet, extra o-rings, a lanyard, key chain and a snap on clip. The light was vacuum-sealed in a foil pouch – obviously to keep the copper finish from tarnishing. No battery was supplied, and Lumintop specifies 1.5V max and recommends against using a 10440 battery. I am using an Eneloop Pro in my sample.
I don’t normally like copper flashlight simply because of the weight, but in this small AAA light the weight actually seems to be a benefit. I removed the clip and dropped the light in my pocket and the weight seems to keep the light reassuringly deep in the pocket.
It fits well in my large hands, and the clicky switch is easy to activate.
The light clicks “on” at medium, then cycles to low, then high. There is no mode memory. After clicking the light on, you can lightly press the button to cycle through the modes or you can repeatedly click off and on. There is no momentary press activation.
Tint from the Cree XP-G2 R5 emitter is fairly neutral with a slight hint of green.
Lumintop offers this light with a Nichia 219. I would really like to see that light as it would surely have a much more pleasing and natural tint.
Lumintop rates output at 110/32/5 lumen. My readings are 92/20/2 – not enough difference to quibble about.
Here are a few random iPhone photos of the light on low, medium then high. This building is about 50 feet and there is a lot of ambient light (sorry). High is useful – medium and low not so much at this distance.
This fence is about 20 feet away.
The Big Green Egg is about 10 feet away
Here is a photo comparing the relative size of the Lumintop to a number of other small lights. From left to right: Zebralight SC32w (123 size battery), the Lumintop, Surefire Titan A, Surefire Titan Plus, Fenix LD02, Fenix E99 Ti (the last 5 use AAA batteries) and the Olight Tube (rechargeable)
My opinion/verdict? This is a nice little light that I’ve enjoyed carrying and using for the past week or so. It feels good in hand and produces a nice range of levels from the ubiquitous AAA battery. While it is no bargain at the average price of around $60, it is competitive with other copper AAA lights.
What would I change?
-Mode memory would be awesome – coupled with a true “moonlight” low. While we all want our lights to have a powerful high setting, a truly low setting is very valuable for navigating a dark space without upsetting night adjusted vision or disturbing a spouse/family member/friend. I personally would like to know that the light is going to come on at the lowest setting – whether that is via mode memory or rearranging the sequence. Opinions vary – tactical users probably prefer that it come on at the highest setting.
-A more substantial clip. This is a beefy light, and it’s fairly easy to remove the clip. Maybe too easy.
-Support for the 10440 battery. We all know that copper is a very effective heat conductor – it might be fun to see how bright this light would be with 3.7 volts going through the LED. I may try it….they “don’t recommend” using the battery but they don’t come right out and say that the light will be damaged. The LED can certainly handle it but the driver might not be able to.
Ultimately, I like the light and appreciate the difference the copper construction makes. Kind of pricey, but a copper AAA light with a clicky switch is a nice addition to the market.