I don't often use AA lights, but this one really surprised me. Although it's rare that these lights are significantly smaller than 18650 lights, the M150 is an exception. The UI is good, it supports both AA and 14500 cells, has built in charging, and an indicating switch. It's a great little light if you find 18650 lights too bulky to carry.
Since I received my sample Skilhunt has also launched a version of this light with a high CRI LED, which is just the icing on the cake - if you're looking for a compact pocket carry, I think that version would be a fantastic option.
The M150 measures 84.2 mm long, 21.8 mm at the widest portion (where the switch is housed), and 17.9 mm along the body. It weighs 35 grams without a cell and 55 grams with the included one.
This is a fairly compact AA light - a bit larger than the twisty Nitecore LA10 CRI, but much shorter than the Sofirn SF14.
- The light itself
- Two spare O-rings
- Pocket clip
- Charging cable
Ergonomics and Retention
The light is small and the ribbing along the body provides plenty of grip. The wider tail also keeps it securely in your hand, but does add a bit of bulk. The switch is easy to find. Although it can be confused with the charging connector, I usually just pinch the head to ensure I'm activating it.
Modes and Interface
In mode group A:
- Press from off for the last used mode
- Double press from off for turbo
- Triple press from on or off for strobe
- Long press from off for low
- Press from on to toggle through low > mid > high > turbo > high > mid > low
- Double press when on to toggle between sub-modes (turbo 1 and turbo 2, high 1 and high 2, etc.)
- Hold from on to turn off
This is a fairly standard UI, but I'm not a huge fan of submodes and I dislike long press for off. In mode group B:
- Press from off for last used mode
- double press from off for turbo
- Long press from off for low 2
- Press from on for off
- Hold from on to cycle through modes low 1 > mid 1 > high 2 > high 1 > turbo 1 > high 1 > high 2 etc.
This second group gives a bit less configuration, with no way to access mid 2 or turbo 2, but I much prefer it overall. It's a great UI with all the features I like, though I wish it cycled from turbo to low instead of stepping back down.
The light has an electronic lockout you can activate in either mode by holding the switch for 1.5 seconds from off. While locked out, single press to enable or disable a locator beacon that will flash the switch LED every second. When you first turn on the flashlight in any mode, the indicating LED turns on to show the state of charge - a nice feature.
Claimed output on Turbo 1 is 750 lumens on a 14500 cell or 240 using NiMH. The lowest mode is a claimed 0.2 lumens with either chemistry.
Light Quality and Beam
Power and Runtime
The light can be powered with either a single 14500 cell, or an AA cell. Runtimes were tested with both the included 14500 and an Ikea 2450 mAh AA.
The highest turbo mode has a fairly aggressive step down, but the other modes are relatively steady. The light meets or exceeds the published runtimes for all tested levels.
Thanks to a tip off from @daisyhollydoodoo, I measured the standby drain on this light. There's negligible drain when the light is off, but it gets much higher when locked out. On either chemistry, the standby drain in lockout mode will drain the cell in over a year, which is negligible, unless the indicating LED is on. When that is activated, the current drain using the included cell goes between 5-8 mA (5 at rest, 8 while the LED is on). With an AA cell used instead, the current goes from 13-22 mA. In both cases, this means lockout with the indicating LED on will drain the cell in about a week. This is likely due to a poor driver design keeping the chip on the flashlight "awake" in this mode, and there's no reason for it to be this innefficient.
Two tests were done with the stock cell and had very similar results. It took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to fully recharge, with a peak current of 0.9A over USB and a cut off below 0.2A.
- Complete kit - a light, a battery, and a way to charge it
- Great UI covers all the basics - shortcut to moonlight, single press for off, shortcut to turbo, lock-out, and voltage indication
- Magnetic tail is handy
- Dual chemistry
- High CRI option is available
- Head and tail are a bit thick compared to the body
- Version I received has drastic tint shift (but the high CRI model should resolve this)
- Modes go up and back down instead of jumping to the lowest from the highest mode (personal preference)
- High standby drain when locked out with the indicating LED on.