CR123A performance in 1xAA form
December 5, 2014
There are only certain lights in which this battery will work... they need to be capable of handling the voltage. But in the right light, you get the same output as 2xAA in the 1xAA form factor. I use it in my Olight S15-L2 and my Fenix LD10, and my Xeno E03.
The Olight S15-L2 is designed to work as a 2xAA (with extender), and its circuit is actually optimized for the higher voltage -- so this is the perfect application for using this battery in the 1xAA configuration. (Don't use 2xCR14505, or you will fry the light!)
The Fenix LD10 (1xAA) uses the same head, circuit, etc. as the LD20 (2xAA) version, so again it's a good application. The only caveat is that the LD10's sensitive (but efficient) boost circuit will go into direct drive when the battery voltage is even slightly higher than alkaline AA outputs, -- and so briefly when running a fresh CR14505 the low & medium & high modes are all the same brightness. After about 5 minutes of runtime (on my sample anyway) with a fresh cell, the battery voltage dropped enough that the low & med modes returned to normal. So in my experience the ~3V output of this battery is right on the cusp of of exceeding the circuit's intended input, but it resolves quickly. This behavior has been well documented when running Energizer Ultimate Lithium (L91) cells in the LD20, so I'm confident that no damage is occurring to the light.
The Xeno E03 reacts slightly differently, and all the modes just get brighter :) The low mode (which wasn't especially low to begin with on this light) gets up to about medium level, and the other modes follow suit. I've read of folks running even higher voltage 14500 Li-ion chemistry cells in the Xeno without incident, so again I'm confident no damage is occurring.
To my knowledge Battery Junction is the only USA distributor of these 14505/CRAA cells... and the price is very good given the specialty/limited market.
Pros:Same voltage, shelf life, capacity, performance in cold, light weight, etc. as regular CR123A cells, but in the shape of a AA battery. These cells are less expensive than an L91. ONE (1) of these cells works wonderfully in lights that are designed to run in both 1xAA and 2xAA configurations.
Cons:They don't have the same capacity as an L91 cell... but the higher voltage partially makes up for that. Just be careful what light you put them in, and don't double them up!