Why A AA Flashlight?
Many of the flashlights on this site are based on the CR123a battery which is a specialty battery. But, what is the best AA flashlight? As you may already know a AA flashlight is referring to the type of battery that is used. The AA battery accounts for over 50% of all standard battery sizes sold. Since they are widely available they are more convenient than some other battery types. Sometimes you do not want to mess around with special batteries if your flashlight dies, you want to be able to go down to the gas station or use normal rechargeable batteries to get your flashlight going again. Lastly, many doomsday preppers like the idea of being able to stockpile standard size batteries.
Not Much Time? Here Is The Bullet List
- Best AA Flashlight (Budget): Thrunite Archer 1A V3
- Best AA Flashlight (Smallest): Eagletac D25A mini
- Best AA Flashlight (Variable Output): Sunwayman V11R
- Best AA Flashlight (Farthest Throw): Thrunite Neutron 2A V2
- Best AA Flashlight (Brighest & Overall Best): Zebralight SC5
- Best AA Flashlight (Budget): Thrunite Archer 2A
- Best AA Flashlight (Farthest Throw): Foursevens Quark Click QK2A-X
- Best AA Flashlight (Brightest): Thrunite Neutron 2A V2
- Best AA Flashlight (Overall Best): Fenix LD22 2015
- Best AA Flashlight (Overall Best): Eagletac GX25A3
- Best AA Flashlight (Budget & Brightest): Thrunite TN4A
- Best AA Flashlight (Farthest Throw): JetBeam SRA40
- Best AA Flashlight (Best Overall): Sunwayman D40A
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
If you are looking for some good batteries we like the Eneloop AA Ni-MH batteries (rechargeable) and the La Crosse BC-700 charger. If you want to use primary batteries (non-rechargeable) or just want some spares lying around, the Energizer L91 AA Lithium Batteries are great. These Lithium batteries are different and safer than Li-ion and they are way better than alkaline batteries. If you want to push your flashlight to the limit you could try 14500 Li-ion batteries. 14500 batteries will fit but they run at a voltage of 3.6 instead of 1.5 Volts and can easily kill the driver or led. Before you try 14500 batteries research your flashlight and see others results.
A flashlight with AA batteries can not perform to the same level as a light with CR123a without being way bigger. But, any of these lights would be a great flashlight for law enforcement as a backup to larger handheld lights or pistol lights.So when you are looking for the best AA LED flashlight we need to understand that it will not compete with the strength and size of other tactical flashlights but we can come close. For instance the brightest AA flashlight in our guide is 280 lumens with an XM-L2 bulb. A similar CR123a flashlight could produce above 600 Lumens. Here we are only talking about flashlights that use 1 AA and those that use 2 AA, I will give you my picks for both.
Best AA Flashlight
Best Single AA LED Flashlight (Budget)
The Thrunite Archer 1A V3 is actually an upgrade from the Archer 1A. With the archer 1A V3 Thrunite gave the flashlight an updated LED, which in this case was a CREE XP-L V6. With the new LED you can expect the bulb to last for over 20 years, even with everyday use. They even gave the light a new reflector to help improve the quality of the beam. Thrunite also gave the 1A V3 a better and friendly user interface. With the Archer 1A V3 users will delight in the fact that it now features two switches to make it easier to operate. The tail switch is the same forward clicky tactical switch that came on the previous version, but the side switch was added just to this model. The tail cap actually features a U shaped groove that protects against accidental activation, but also allows for easier activation. The Thrunite is only 1.48 ounces, but thanks to the stainless steel bezel it can be used for defense in emergencies. The Thrunite Archer 1A V3 features 5 modes, firefly, low, medium, high, and strobe that can be powered by a li-ion 14500 battery or a single, ordinary AA battery. With the memory function users can immediately access the last mode they used with the exception of the strobe mode. This is a great option for every day carry (EDC) Flashlight.
- Weight: 1.48 ounces w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 4.3 inches long and 0.78 inch diameter
- Lowest setting: 0.1 lumens for 17 days
- Highest Setting: 200 lumens for 1.9 hours
Best Single AA Flashlight (Smallest)
If you are looking for the best, yet smallest flashlight that runs off a single AA battery then the Eagletac D25A Mini is the ideal choice. The D25A Mini measures about 3 inches long and 0.69 inches in diameter, which makes it the perfect size for fitting into a pocket or other small place. Not only is it a small flashlight, it is also one of the lighter ones on the market, as it weighs less than 1 ounce without a battery. As a small flashlight you tend to carry it around with you, so the pocket clip can be a great feature, but can also get in the way or cause problems, so it being removable is even better. The D25A Mini comes with reverse polarity protection to help protect against any damage if the batteries are ever put in the wrong way, plus the tail stand makes it easy to set the light down without losing any light. The Eagletac D25A Mini offers three brightness levels, plus 5 hidden auxiliary modes. To change the brightness level you simply need to twist the head of the flashlight, which is also how you turn it on and off. To switch modes you have to switch between on and off within 1.5 seconds and the auxiliary modes can be reached after you have accessed all brightness modes two times in a row.
- Weight: .77 ounces w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 3.1 inches long and .69 inch diameter
- Lowest setting: 3 lumens for over 50 hours
- Highest Setting: 179 lumens for 1.2 hours
Best Single AA LED Flashlight (Variable Output)
The Sunwayman V11R comes with a XM-L U2 LED that will last for roughly 50,000 hours, it is also what allows the light to put out 570 lumens on turbo mode. However, if you are using turbo mode you do not want to run the flashlight for more than 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes is up switch to high mode where the light produces 216 lumens and can be run continuously for 1.5 hours. The Sunwayman V11R tops are list in the Variable Output category thanks to the technology used by Sunwayman. With the V11R users are able to benefit from Sunwayman’s Magnetic Control System with the infinite Variable Output switch. To change the amount of lumens the light projects users need to twist the rotator ring from left to right. The V11R also features broad-voltage circuit, which allows it to work with a variety of batteries regardless of their voltage. With the V11R you can use a single CR123A battery or you can opt for single AA battery, but to use the AA you will need to use the extender that comes with the flashlight. The V11R is perfect for an everyday carry flashlight as its user interface is easy to use. The V11R is operated by the tail cap switch, which users have their choice of a rubber or metal switch. The metal switch is beautifully designed, while the rubber switch offers comfort, but both are easy to use.
- Weight: 1.7 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions: 3.3 inches long and 0.9 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 35 hours
- Highest Setting: 216 lumens for 1.5 hours
Best Single AA Flashlight (Farthest Throw)
The Thrunite Neutron 2A V2 made our list as one of the best AA flashlights because it is a great long range flashlight when compared to similar lights. With the Neutron 2A V2 you can achieve a maximum beam distance of about 400 feet, not bad for a light that is being powered by a single AA battery. The 2A V2 features three basic modes, which are high, low, and medium. High mode puts out 230 lumens, medium puts out 70 lumens, and low mode puts out 11 lumens. These brightness levels can be memorized when they light is turned off allowing for easy recall of the last mode you used. The light also features a turbo mode that puts out 230 lumens and a moonlight mode that only emits 0.04 lumens and can run for a period of 12 days. When using Turbo mode the light features a timer controlled step down mode to protect the light from overheating. The 2A V2 features an electronic push button side switch to power the light. With the side switch there is no clicking sound when turned on or off, but the side switch provides you with the benefit of preventing accidental activation as it doesn’t protrude from the body of the light. While the UI doesn’t feature a locking out option, you can lock out light by turning the head of the flashlight. The head of the Neutron 2A V2 also features reverse polarity protection, which means flat-top cell batteries cannot be used.
- Weight: 2 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions: 3.75 inches long and 1 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 11 lumens for 29 hours
- Highest Setting: 408 lumens for 1.5 hours
Best Single AA LED Flashlight (Brighest & Overall Best)
If you are looking for the best and brightest flashlight that runs off a single AA battery then the Zebralight Sc5 is it. The SC5 is small and light enough to carry around for everyday use, but is also bright enough to be used outdoors for a variety of activities. The light features three main brightness levels, but each main level can be programmed one of its two sub-levels. The two sub-levels have their own brightness levels, which makes this flashlight even better. The first high level, referred to as H1 can reach up to 535 lumens for a period of 3 minutes, once those three minutes are up the light kicks down the lumens to 325 lumens. The SC5 can run 325 lumens for a period of 0.8 hours before the battery dies. To make the light even better Zebralight provides users with a battery capacity indicator, so you can easily know when your battery is about to run out. To activate the feature the light requires 4 short clicks to start, the LED will then flash 1 to 4 times depending on battery power. To help conserve battery power when battery is running low the Zebralight SC5 will automatically step down to various levels, i.e. from high to medium and medium to low.
- Weight: 2.0 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions:3.2 inches long and 1 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting:1.1 lumens for 16 days
- Highest Setting: 325 lumens for 0.8 hours
Best 2 AA Flashlight
Best Two AA LED Flashlight (Budget)
The Thrunite Archer 2A is very similar to the Archer 1A, the biggest and most notable difference is how it is powered. The Archer 1A is powered with a single AA battery, while the Archer 2A requires two AA batteries. The good news is with the extra battery you also get a bit more power, which means brighter light and longer run times. The archer 2A features five different modes, you have the normal high, medium, and low modes, but you also have firefly and strobe mode. The Thrunite archer 2A is powered on and off by a forward clicky tactical tail cap switch, you will hear an audible click as the light is turned on or off. You can activate the light momentarily by simply pressing the switch half way. To switch between modes users need to press the side switch. This will rotate through the various modes with the exception of strobe. The Thrunite Archer 2A has a memory feature that allows the light to turn on in the last mode that was used.
- Weight: 2.6 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions: 6.3 inches long and 0.9 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 17 lumens for 96 hours
- Highest Setting: 450 lumens for 100 minutes
Best 2 AA Flashlight (Farthest Throw)
The FourSevens Quark Click QK2A-X features a CREE XM-L2 LED bulb that will last for years to come. The bulb is protected by impact resistant glass that comes equipped with an antireflective and sapphire coating. The bezel and body of the flashlight is made from a type III hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum to help protect the light from various impacts. One of the reasons why the Quark Click QK2A-X is one of the best flashlights is how simple and easy it is to use. Unlike other flashlights this one doesn’t provide numerous bells and whistles. The QK2A-X comes with two different modes, is powered by 2 AA batteries and is turned on and off through an easy to use switch on the tail cap. If you are not a fan of the tail cap switch you can swap it out for the reverse clicky switch module. Although the basic model only comes with LOW and MAX modes, you can customize the QK2A-X to come with a bigger mode selection. With the customization feature you can choose from any one of the 8 modes offered by Quark, plus you can put them in any order that you would like, so you get custom modes and custom programming. The Quark Click QK2A-X comes with a memory feature that recalls the last mode used, so when you turn on the flashlight you will start with that mode.
- Weight: 2.2 oz. w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 5.8 inches long and .86 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 3 lumens for 72 hours
- Highest Setting: 336 lumens for 0.8 hours
Best AA LED Flashlight (Brightest)
Yes you are reading this correctly, no it is not a mistake, the Thrunite Neutron 2A V2 is listed twice on the best double AA flashlights. The first listing is under the lights that require a single AA battery to work, then it is listed here under the 2 AA battery requirements where it is the best because of how bright it is. The Thrunite Neutron 2A V2 can use 2 AA batteries because it comes with an extension tube to fit the second battery. The extension tube makes the flashlight longer than the one that takes a single AA battery, but the extension tube doesn’t detract from the light at all, if anything it adds to it. The Neutron 2A V2 features five modes, same as the single AA battery light. However, with the Turbo mode in the 2 AA battery model the light emits 750 lumens, almost double the brightness as the single AA battery. The UI for the Thrunite Neutron 2A V2 is the same for both models, light is powered on and off via a side switch, various modes are accessed by the side switch as well. The nice thing is switching between modes is very smooth, no sharp changes that make it hard for your eyes to adjust. Mode memorization works for high, medium, and low modes, but not for turbo and moonlight.
- Weight: 2.7 oz w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 5.76 inches long and 1 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 11 lumens for 7 days
- Highest Setting: 230 lumens for 215 minutes
Best 2 AA Flashlight (Overall Best)
The Fenix LD22 2015 is an upgraded version of the LD22 that was released in 2015. For us it is simply the best flashlight on the market that requires 2 AA batteries to work. Just like the LD22 the upgraded version is still compact enough to carry around for everyday use, but it has several new operational features and a brighter lumen output. With the upgraded version users can expect a maximum output level of 300 lumens. With the Fenix LD22 2015 you can choose between Outdoor or Tactical Mode. What mode you pick will determine how the flashlight will work. With Outdoor mode the tail switch is only used to turn the light on or off, you need to use the side switch to move between the various output modes. If you opt for Tactical mode the side switch will be turned off, everything will then be controlled by the tail switch. The LD22 2015 features four different brightness levels, plus gives you the option of a strobe and SOS mode. With everything the light has to offer it is perfect for everyday or tactical use.
- Weight: 2.5 oz. w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 6.1 inches long and 0.8 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 5 lumens for 100 hours
- Highest Setting: 300 lumens for 40 minutes
Best 3 AA Flashlight
Best 3 AA Flashlight (Overall Best)
If you are looking for the best flashlight on the market that uses 3 AA batteries look no further than the Eagletac GX25A3. One of the greatest things about this light is how easy the interface is to use. The electronic side switch allows you to easily turn the flashlight on and off, plus allows for momentary on/off. To adjust the brightness levels you simply need to twist the head to the desired level, you can even select the brightness level before turning the light on. Twisting the head also provides you with access to the seven hidden auxiliary levels. As if this wasn’t enough with the Eagletac GX25A3 you can choose between regular mode and tactical mode, which each mode provides their own brightness levels. The GX25A3 also features energy saving technology that is turned on by default. This technology reduces the current output by 45% after Turbo mode has been engaged for 200 seconds. Another great feature is the slot load battery design along with the spring loaded battery with reverse polarity protection. The Eagletac GX25A3 can be carried in a nylon holster or with a paracord lanyard that can be used with or without a pocket clip. The square-shaped knurling allows users to firmly and easily grip the light lessening the chance of dropping.
- Weight: 5.2 oz w/out battery
- Dimensions: 4.3 inches long and 1.5 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 10 Lumens for 100+ hours
- Highest Setting: 1116 Lumens for 1.3 hours
Best 4 AA Flashlight
Best 4 AA Flashlight (Budget & Brightest)
If you are on a budget and are looking for the best and brightest flashlight the Thrunite TN4A is the perfect choice for you. In keeping with the Thrunite brand the TN4A uses the latest LED technology to provide a highly efficient flashlight. With the TN4A users will benefit from silent operation, as instead of clicky switch the TN4A uses an electronic switch that also features low voltage indication. The electronic switch allows users to power the light on and off as well as switch between the six different modes offered. And with the exception of firefly and turbo mode, Flashlights, especially those that are considered the brightest, put out a lot of heat, which increases the chance of overheating and damaging the light, but o prevent this Thrunite uses Thrunite ITC technology. How this technology works is by lowering the current output when the temperature reaches 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Weight: 7.7 oz w/out battery
- Dimensions: 4.3 inches long and 1.8 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 15 lumens for 93 hours
- Highest Setting: 1150 lumens for 56 minutes
Best 4 AA Flashlight (Farthest Throw)
The JetBeam SRA40 makes our list as one of the best AA flashlights, as it is powered by 4 AA batteries and has one of the longest throws when compared to others on our list. To achieve the long throw the SRA40 uses a LED bulb paired with “Crystal Coating” and “Precision Digital” technology to improve the reflector’s performance. The SRA4O features a CREE XM-L2 LED bulb that comes with an estimated lifespan of over 50,000 hours, which means you can use this flashlight daily for years to come without having to replace the bulb. The CREE XM-L2 also increases the brightness of the light by about 15%. Although the SRA40 can use regular AA batteries, you can also use rechargeable ones. Being that the SRA40 comes with an AC charger most opt for the rechargeable batteries. Along with the charger the light also features two blue LED indicator lights, which function as a charging indicator and a battery power indicator. The JetBeam SRA40 user interface features two electronic switches. The lower switch is used to power the flashlight on and off, while the upper switch is the mode switch. The mode switch is used to change between the three brightness levels. You can also press and hold the mode switch when the flashlight is on gives you access to a SOS mode. Pressing the mode switch when the light is off is how you can determine how much battery power is left.
- Weight: 8.6 oz w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 4.9 inches long and 1.88 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 20 lumens for 45 hours
- Highest Setting: 960 lumens for 2 hours
Best 4 AA Flashlight (Best Overall)
The Sunwayman D40A is the overall best flashlight that requires 4 AA batteries to run and features a CREE XM-L2 LED that will last for 50,000 hours before burning out. One of the greatest things about this flashlight is that it comes with an optimized deep reflector, which gives the light a perfect beam pattern, but also gives the light a greater throw distance. The D40A uses Sunwayman’s newest dual side switch feature, which includes two side switch buttons one on top of the other. The lower button powers the light on and off, while the upper switch [provides access to different output modes. The 2 buttons work together to give users access to 9 different modes, including turbo, police strobe, SOS, Moon, and Aviation Signal. The buttons will also allow you to lock the light out to prevent accidental activation. The D40A comes with a turbo mode that puts out 980 lumens, but putting out that many lumens can lead to overheating. To prevent the flashlight from overheating the Sunwayman D40A will automatically switch to high mode after turbo mode has been on constantly for 3 minutes.
- Weight: 5.83 oz w/out batteries
- Dimensions: 4.7 inches long and 1.6 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 30 lumens for 31 hours
- Highest Setting: 550 lumens for 1.7 hours
There are many other AA flashlights on the market but these are the ones that I feel are the best AA flashlights. If you want a flashlight with higher Lumens or one that is bigger you should just go for a flashlight with CR123a batteries for a smaller flashlight look for one with a single AAA battery. Thank you for reading this “Best Of” article please take a look at our other Best Flashlight articles. Please also take a look at our GIANT Flashlight Comparison Guide where you can filter flashlights down to the specifications that you want. If you are new to flashlights and are not sure about some of the vocabulary here please read our tactical flashlight buyers guide. Also, if you liked the content here please follow one of the links where the flashlights are on sale on Amazon. Our site is funded by a small commission that we receive from Amazon when you purchase something after going through one of our links, all of this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.