Mr.Lite BLF AA-Y4E

When I first started learning about flashlights last year, I went to CandlePower Forums (CPF). It is a very active discussion area and there is a wealth of information there and members who know crazy amounts about flashlights. But they kind of look down their noses at people like me who buy cheap Chinese lights from DealExtreme, sometimes even showing outright hostility and intolerance towards even discussing cheap lights (for instance if you provide a link to a light you see at DealExtreme, the moderators will delete it). And if there is one thing I can’t tolerate, it is intolerance. So early this year one guy got fed up and started his own discussion forum dedicated to cheap lights, called Budget Light Forum (BLF). It has been nice to have a place like that and I have posted reviews of some of the different lights I have bought. There are people from all over the world on that forum.

blf-aa-y4e.jpg


Lately I haven’t been as into flashlights as I was for a while because really I have everything I need and at this point I’m just buying stuff to try out or compare to my other lights. But I got the bug again last week when I bought a nice light, then had to return it to the store in Smyrna. Meanwhile, the company that made that light introduced special editions of its lights using higher performance LED that nobody has been able to buy yet (very exciting). And they were using the new ANSI/NEMA FL-1 criteria to say how much light it produced with the result being the claimed lumens (light output) are actually lower than their older lights even though the new lights are 7% brighter. So I wound up researching the FL-1 standard and writing a Wiki article about it on the CPF Wiki. With all of that going on plus writing a review of the Quark light and visiting the flashlight superstore, it was a pretty much a flashlight weekend.

Then this morning I was reading that the guys at BLF finally got a new Chinese flashlight maker (Mr.Lite) who had been trying to sell them lights for a long time to make a special edition light just like they wanted. The result is the Mr.Lite BLF AA-Y4E. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but the “AA” means it uses an AA battery, the 4 means it is 4 brightness levels (no flashy modes! that was a must), and the E refers to the Cree XR-E LED it uses. It comes in black or silver. It is almost exactly the same as the Mr.Lite J4 (reviewed here) except that it is pretty easy for them to reprogram the chip that controls the brightness levels and strobes, so whereas the J4 comes on in High, the reprogrammed “BLF” comes on in Low. The light is being sold by a Chinese mail order place called Manafont that competes with DealExtreme but sells most of the same stuff. Some of the Manafont people have been marketing their site at BLF (amazing because there are only 184 members on the forum and only a fraction of them are active), and in fact I didn’t even realize the BLF light was in the works until I saw Manafont’s ad on the website today.

I think it’s neat that all of this came together and so, while I probably wouldn’t buy this particular light on its own, I figured I should support the cause and reward the two companies involved for listening to their customers. Here is Manafont’s product page and here is the BLF thread talking about the release of the new light. I should get mine in a couple of weeks.

10 thoughts on “Mr.Lite BLF AA-Y4E

  1. Awesome!

    I didn’t expect anyone to buy one. I just thought it was a neat story. If you do buy from one of these places (too late now), the way to do it is register an account first and then buy what you want. That way you can track the status of your order through your account. I did it in the wrong order at one place and I have no record of having bought that item (though I still got it).

  2. People who ordered the light today started getting a message that there will be a delay of a week because they sold out of their stock of this light (at least in black). That’s pretty good!

    Mine was “dispatched” to the Hong Kong Post Office yesterday.

  3. Hi there Ted, thanks for the nice writeup! I hope this will be the first of many BLF custom builds. This first one was really a lot fun to coordinate. Thanks also to Mrlite and Manafont for being so cooperative and entrepreneurial.

  4. My silver BLF AA-Y4E arrived today! Works great. I like all 4 levels. I had hoped it would remember the last level, but it always turns on super low. No big deal. Thought the lens was adjustable at first, but it just turns out it just screws open on either end. Got a “first order bonus” free package of “color clay” which are just some small colorful beads that can be used for planting… but there are only a small number, so I really have no idea what I’m supposed to do with them. Like my light though!

  5. I got mine today too! Mine is black and it had a bad connection so I had to do some soldering to make it work. Another guy got a black one and said his didn’t work either. The light had good “throw” with a small hotspot that will light things up a longer distance than the iTP light which is more flood. It seems pretty well made except for the soldering they forgot to do on mine. The threads are smooth and it looks good. I’ll work up a full review later on. I’m glad you like yours.

  6. Just an update, this light quit being dependable after about a year. I did not use it a lot, keeping it in a drawer in the family room. It often will not come on. Ted worked with it some, but it just never has been dependable. I’m going to throw it away so I quit worrying about it.

  7. Don’t throw it away! I might be able to use it for spare parts or completely revamp it with a new LED and driver.

    It’s not one of my favorites either, and I think it started working sporadically like yours, too. I don’t hear anything about Mr. Lite anymore, so I think the whole venture failed.

  8. I had it over the trashcan a few days ago and thought, no… Ted *might* want it for parts. So I still have it. Since you tried to fix it before, I don’t think it is fixable. However, I could make it work properly with just the light, an AA battery, and a wire probe. So it could be the clicky or that solder pill thing problem.

  9. I made two copper “washers” using twisted wire, put one each end, and solved my spotty connection problems. I think this gives a compression contact between the thick-wall body and the metal rings in the pill and the clicky. It took me a while to realize the ends are not conducting, so you can’t count on the body conducting electricity through the threads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *