In this post I searched out the brightest AA tactical flashlight 2016 using two AA batteries. There are some distinct advantages to AA powered tactical flashlights over flashlights using CR123A’s or 18650 rechargeables. AA batteries are always going to be easier to find then CR123A’s. In fact, I’d bet just about every house has some AA batteries sitting in a drawer. Another advantage is that you don’t need to have a charger and electricity.
So what are some disadvantages of AA powered tactical flashlights? The biggest difference is sheer light output. AA batteries can only drive an LED so much. In most cases the brightest AA tactical flashlight will be 300 to 400 lumens. If you do decide to use AA rechargeable batteries you can bump up output by up to an additional 100 lumens in most models.
Regardless of the model you choose to buy, just about every major flashlight manufacturer has a bright AA tactical flashlight that would be suitable for general use.
The Fenix LD22 has a maximum output of 300 lumens from 2 AA batteries. The flashlight has two user interfaces – standard and tactical modes. The LD22 has six lighting modes:
- 5 lumens
- 30 lumens
- 100 lumens
- 300 lumens
At 300 lumens the Fenix LD22 2015 will run about 40 minutes. The LD22 is IPX-8 rated and impact resistant to 1 meter. The side switch on the LD22 controls the output modes and the tail switch turns the flashlight on and off. The LD22 also has a “tactical” mode which deactivates the side switch and allows the tail switch to activate the turbo, strobe and some lighting modes. The tail switch can also be depressed slightly to activate the light for momentary on/off capability. Features reverse polarity protection. In the “tactical” mode the Fenix LD22 always starts in turbo mode.
The Nitecore EA21 has a maximum output of 360 lumens from 2 AA batteries. The Nitecore EA21 uses the Cree XP-G2 LED and also has a red LED as well. The red LED is used to preserve night vision as well as flashing once every three seconds in standby mode so you can easily locate the flashlight. The EA21 has a dual interface switch. One button to turn the flashlight on and off and the second switch to cycle through the modes. You can get direct access to the Turbo mode (360 lumens) by holding the mode button down for over one second. The ultra-low (1 lumen) mode is accessed by holding the on/off switch down for over a second.
The Nitecore EA21 features 5 lighting modes (360, 220, 110, 35, 1 lumens) plus SOS, Strobe and Beacon. If you store the flashlight it can be placed in lockout mode to eliminate accidental battery draining illumination. It also features an anti-roll design and has tail stand capability. It is water resistant (IPX-8 2 meter submersible).
Olight ST25 Baton
The next brightest AA tactical flashlight in this list is the Olight ST25 Baton. The Olight ST25 Baton has a maximum output of 550 lumens for 30 minutes on a set of AA batteries. I really like Olight and have a couple of their other flashlights (Olight S10R and the Olight M18 Striker. Out of all of the flashlights in this list, this would be the one I would purchase first. Although the 30 minute runtime at 550 lumens isn’t long, the fact that you can achieve this output if needed makes this flashlight a top contender in the brightest AA tactical flashlight list. The ST25 lighting modes are 550, 300, 100, 10 and 1 lumens.
Other features of the Olight ST25 Baton include a water resistance rating of IPX-7 and a drop rating of 1.5 meters. The side switch and tail switch can turn the ST25 on and off. It also has a strobe mode as well.
Eagletac D25A2 Tactical
The Eagletac D25A2 has a maximum output of 470 lumens and will run in this mode for 1.5 hours. The D25A2 has four output modes that are accessed via a twisty-head interface. In the 4 lumen mode you’ll get up to 100 hours of runtime. The flashlight features a deep reflector and a 125 yard beam distance. It’s rated at IPX-8 water resistance, tailcap on/off switch, and features a strobe mode.
Zebralight SC52 L2
The Zebralight SC52 L2 features a maximum output of 300 lumens and uses a Cree XM-L2 LED. The SC52 L2 offers a variety of user-selectable levels based on your specific application. The flashlight also features a strobe mode as well. Some of the other features of the Zebralight include:
- Low battery alert
- Stepped down output to match lower battery levels
- IPX-7 water resistance
- Side switch
- Tail stand capability
Foursevens Quark Click QK2A-X
The Foursevens Quark Click QK2A-X features a maximum output of 336 lumens. The QK2A-X features seven lighting modes:
- Moonlight (.3 lumens for up to 15 days)
- Low (3 lumens for 3 days)
- Medium (28 lumens for 20 hours)
- Maximum (336 lumens for .8 hrs)
- Strobe, SOS, Beacon (336 lumens)
Other features include a textured reflector, type III hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum bezel and body, and a CREE XM-L2 LED.
Brightest AA tactical flashlight 2016 conclusion
This concludes the brightest AA tactical flashlight overview. The Olight ST25 leads the field with a maximum output of 550 lumens. The Fenix LD22 might be the most “tactical” of the bunch with a tactical mode that gives you easy access to its turbo mode. The great thing about any of these flashlights is you can feel confident that you can walk into any store and find batteries for them… which is the greatest feature of every flashlight in this list.