Rating: 5 / 5
The Liteflux LF2 is a AAA powered CREE flashlight. It weighs 19g/0.67oz + battery (a lithium AAA is 7.6g/0.269oz).
In short, because of it's custom output mode, small size & weight, this light is two lights in one for me: a great handheld for walking with superb runtimes on just a single AAA, which on max can absolutely blast the trail - but also clipped to my cap brim and on ultra-low output, a great camp + reading lamp which doesn't waste my batteries.
Detailed reviews by flash-heads with runtimes, beam patterns etc can be found elsewhere, but the light shares essentially the same runtimes as other CREE AAA based lights like the Fenix L0D. If you haven't used one of the newer generation of CREE or similar LED based lights, they really are remarkable - at under 27 grams this flashlight can put out an incredible amount of light, significantly outshining my old Priceton Tec EOS which is four times the weight, and achieving huge runtimes on lower levels on a single AAA battery.
The key feature of the Liteflux over other AAA lights in it's class is it's extra programmable output level. Other lights like the L0D have a fixed set of 3 outputs, some like the Arc AAA/E0D have a single fixed level. On all these lights, the lowest or fixed setting is good for easy hiking but wastefully bright for long use when stationary in camp, and simply unusably bright when when reading. If you think that 8-10 lumens (roughly the brightness of the low of an Arc AAA Premium, or the low setting on the L0D - about 15% of max) is enough to navigate an easy trail at night, then firing all that light into white paper less than a foot from your eyes is just too bright.
The LF2 however, in addition to the default low/high settings (default 15%,50%) has a third user selectable mode which can go as low as 0.2% - I can still read with this, but it's nearing the margin! This gives you the option of an ultra-low setting perfect for reading, and which drains very little from the battery. (I don't have figures for the 0.2% runtime, but others have suggested 200+ hours. The default 15%, 50% settings can be adjusted too, although I've left them as is so far. I don't think I'll ever say the words 'too much light', but I really haven't used the 100% setting except to impress people).
Alternatively you can use the provided diffuser and crank up the level to make it function as a lantern.
The removable pocket clip supplied connects well to the body of the light, but it's not reversible to allow clipping onto a cap brim. However, reversible clips for other AAA lights fit ok - I use the pocket clip from my Arc AAA, others have reported the Fenix AAA pocket clips fits fine too.
The light is supplied with metal chain style lanyard which isn't any use to me, but the light provides some good options for attaching other lanyards - for awhile I used the lanyard from my Canon IXUS, before making up my own stretch lanyard from some bungee cord which would stretch over my hand to sit loosely around my wrist.
A few criticisms:
- When customising the brightness, the steps are very fine grained so it's difficult to work out what you're adjusting the light levels to (eg, how bright is 6%?), only the min/max levels are obvious.
- Since this is designed as a handheld, there are a few compromises versus having a dedicated head lamp - to be angled sharply down I really need to pull my cap down low (when reading on my back for example).
- The light is a twisty rather than clicky, which I find harder to adjust, and particularly hard when clipped to my cap. Compounding this are the extra twists required to change modes.
However, despite these limitations, I still give this flashlight a 5. It has a waterproof aircraft aluminum body (versus my plastic EOS whose case cracked) with top notch construction. It weighs less than an ounce while still providing massive brightness for night time navigation, and enough runtime to walk all night on a single AAA - compare this to 'emergency' button powered lights. It's user adjustable mode provides an ultra-low option for a reading light or just more efficient camp lighting which other AAA lights aren't good for. Not having to carry a headband or an extra camp light gives me an ultralight flash without compromising on brightness, runtime or durability.