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Thread: Good light to carry on key ring

  1. #1
    Flashaholic LiteBrite's Avatar
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    Default Good light to carry on key ring

    I tried doing a search for EDC, but no results are pulling up. I currently have a Garritty keychain light I bought at Wal-Mart for about $4. Are the better lights out there for about the same price?
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
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  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    $4 is a bit skimpy for many CPFers' keychains...

    A lot have something along the lines of an Arc-AAA ($30-40), and others have a Photonlight or Inova Microlight ($8-20). I prefer a Photonlight for its small size... And even still, others prefer the "Photon clones" that KevinL, Lighthound.com, and QualityChinaGoods.com sell for $1 each, which are very good, though they feel a little too cheap to me.

    I highly recommend the Photon Freedom Micro, which can be had from Brightguy for $12 not including shipping, or Photonlight.com for $21 shipped. But a set of 10 Photon clones for $9 shipped from Dae at QualityChinaGoods.com is a good deal... and then you can put a few everywhere.
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I like the Photons, either the II or Freedom, both work well, anything much longer than that tends to swing to much and whack the steering column of my vehicles.

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    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Like what's been mentioned regarding the Photon Freedoms and there's also the "clip-on" ASPs that come in a variety of colors. The Princeton Tecs have a small offering too!

    Hope you find what you're looking for and Enjoy!
    LUX'Ottica

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    lebox97 is sellling an single AAA cell clone for $4 each (in lots of 5), including shipping. $5 each in lots of 2. It's smaller than the Arc AAA and works pretty good. I think it can make an inexpensive, functional keychain light if you find a way to tighten its threads. Some say a washer inside will do it.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    - Arc AAA (personal favorite keychain light)
    - Photon Freedom

    If you want to move up the food chain, try a JIL 1.3W for around $60 - $70(?).

    I like the Inova Microlight too, but its not good as a keychain or pocket light IMO because you will accidentally turn it on in your pocket and deplete the battery. Its a good deal at Target stores for $7 though.

    Edited to add: didn't see your $4 or so price point; that sorta narrows things down.

    peace

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    Flashaholic edakoppo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdgineer
    lebox97 is sellling an single AAA cell clone for $4 each (in lots of 5), including shipping. $5 each in lots of 2. It's smaller than the Arc AAA and works pretty good. I think it can make an inexpensive, functional keychain light if you find a way to tighten its threads. Some say a washer inside will do it.
    The washer is to stop the battery rattling when the light's off (I used some scotch tape and got the same benefit). Teflon pipefitter's tape is recommended to tighten the threads. Hadn't known about this problem until yesterday when leaving the house to find a bright white light in my pocket. Off to Ace tomorrow...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    ARC AAA Premium or a Fenix L0P. the ARC is a time-proven winner. The Fenix is a relatively new manufacturer so there is no long-term track record.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic LiteBrite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I found a thread that has picolights advertised. How do they compare to Photons or Photon clones?
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I love my Streamlight KeyMate and got it for a little under $8.50 shipped (but I bought other items at the same time to save on shipping). If you look around for a good deal, I think the Keymate is a great buy. The build quality is very nice, has a great warranty to back it and it's very bright for it's teeny size. Even brigther with a Nichia CS LED in it (and that was only $1 more).
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Not $4 but I carry a black CR2 Ion by CPF member Endeavour on my key chain (paid $152.50 with shipping, can probably get it cheaper on BST.)

    I like the flood beam, seems other prefer throw. If I needed throw, I'll reach for something else. I just hate needing some light to light up my path and need to pan around to see what I'm looking for vs. having a flood beam to light up everything.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    For a keychain light, I like my Photon Freedom. It's very small, and bright for its size.

    Since buying the Freedom, I have received a few Photon knockoffs that seem to work just as well, but without the dimming feature of the Freedom.

    I agree with Lee1959, a longer light tends to swing annoyingly against my car's steering column.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I have a Princeton Tec Pulsar that my daughter bought for me. I have no complaints about it except that it takes a lot of pinching force to turn it on. I used to carry a Solitaire modded with a Lux/sandwich, but it was not totally reliable so I'm not carrying it now. I have a couple of Keymates and a couple of MJLED's left for when I get energetic.

    My daughter and my wife both have Streamlight Keymates that they took away from me. Actually my wife and I gave away almost 20 of them for Christmas presents this past holliday.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    For $4? nothing brand-name.

    I hear

    http://www.qualitychinagoods.com has some cheap stuff.

    but you get what you pay for...

  15. #15
    Flashaholic LiteBrite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I'm not really concerned with a brand name. I have narrowed it to either a Photon clone for $1 or the picolights KevinL carries that have the 35K LED. These are $2.75 a piece.

    I can't justify spending $5+ for a keychain flashlight. All you need is sufficient light to find something dropped at night, your key hole, etc. Sorry if I offend any hardcore CPFers.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by LiteBrite
    I'm not really concerned with a brand name. I have narrowed it to either a Photon clone for $1 or the picolights KevinL carries that have the 35K LED. These are $2.75 a piece.

    I can't justify spending $5+ for a keychain flashlight. All you need is sufficient light to find something dropped at night, your key hole, etc. Sorry if I offend any hardcore CPFers.

    You say that now hehe......

  17. #17
    Flashaholic lightcacher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I like the look and feel of these Gerber lights:

    http://www.pocketlights.com/gerber_o4_high_beam.asp

    About $4.50 each sold in pairs.

    I carried these for quite a while but I've since changed over to a Peak Matterhorn. Nice but quite a bit more expensive.

  18. #18
    * The Arctic Moderator * Sigman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    More wood on the fire for an ARC AAA with a Berkeley Point mini clip! Handiest little torch you'll ever have with you - because you will have it with you and don't even notice it until you need it!
    -"Must control self"-
    ....

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* CroMAGnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by LiteBrite
    I'm not really concerned with a brand name. I have narrowed it to either a Photon clone for $1 or the picolights KevinL carries that have the 35K LED. These are $2.75 a piece.

    I can't justify spending $5+ for a keychain flashlight. All you need is sufficient light to find something dropped at night, your key hole, etc. Sorry if I offend any hardcore CPFers.
    Necessity is the mother of invention. The 35k mcd Photon type lights from KevinL are your best bang for the buck. The pico lights don't put out enough light for many tasks IMO.

    The Photon Freedom Micro is the best basic EDC IMO.

    The Jil DD UP is my favorite.

    The Fire Fli is tiny and has decent output. Here's a [LINK

    I attach it to my RAW Ubin for EDC.

    The Arc AAA P and Peak Ncell lights are very nice EDC lights.

    There are plenty more but you're pro'ly set on the 35k

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    New here; howzit. I like having a Photon Freedom on my keychain, an Arc AAA-P in my pocket. Those always are on me, since here in Hawaii our electric companies are Third World-grade in reliability. Much of the time I'm carrying a shoulder bag, and it always has a hopped-up MiniMag in it. Three increasingly large form factors, three degrees of portability to ensure I always have something handy. Have tried various Photon clones over the years. Liked them except that most require too little pressure to turn on, and that makes pocket carry problematic. My Photon Freedom was worth the extra cost because it needs a pretty strong squeeze. If I need a more serious light, ElektroLumens Blaster 3's are in vehicle and at home. No expensive lights for me. I lose 'em.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Arc AAA-P ... quality remains long after price is forgotten

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by CroMAGnet
    Necessity is the mother of invention. The 35k mcd Photon type lights from KevinL are your best bang for the buck. The pico lights don't put out enough light for many tasks IMO.

    The Photon Freedom Micro is the best basic EDC IMO.
    ....just picked up several Photon Freedoms. Nice little lights...so I thought until I clipped one onto my key chain. NO lockout feature.......it keeps coming on when in my pocket. Back on to the key chain has gone my old CMG Infinity Ultra with a fresh lithium. What good is a key chain light in an emergency if one is not certain it will work. The IU may be a bit on the large side....but it doesn't keep "activating" itself unnecessarily ! Photon ought to do something about the issue. I personallly think KevinL's/Lighthound's/QCG's offering are sounder choices .

    -Regards

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* voodoogreg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    OT, but didn't want to start a new thread. has anyone tried the quailty china good's 1xAAA light #108? just wondering if it's worth 4 bucks? never had heard of this place till now. VDG
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Omega Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I thoguht I was satisfied with a photon clone, until for xmas my friend gave me the new yellow Photon Freedom Survivalist Doug Ritter edition. It's really cool, with the LED enclosed in a plastic collar, the dimness modes, and strobes. I think I saw it for only $7 or $8 at an REI.
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  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by phosphor
    ....just picked up several Photon Freedoms. Nice little lights...so I thought until I clipped one onto my key chain. NO lockout feature.......it keeps coming on when in my pocket.
    Funny, mine has never turned itself on, but maybe because I put it on a separate carabiner. You could always put it into "momentary" mode... on the Photonlight forums they have some good tips and tricks for preventing it from turning itself on -- putting the necklace attachment on it backwards works too.
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    Flashaholic LiteBrite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man
    I thoguht I was satisfied with a photon clone, until for xmas my friend gave me the new yellow Photon Freedom Survivalist Doug Ritter edition. It's really cool, with the LED enclosed in a plastic collar, the dimness modes, and strobes. I think I saw it for only $7 or $8 at an REI.
    What's an REI?
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot
    Funny, mine has never turned itself on, but maybe because I put it on a separate carabiner. You could always put it into "momentary" mode... on the Photonlight forums they have some good tips and tricks for preventing it from turning itself on -- putting the necklace attachment on it backwards works too.
    ....Thanks carrot !....I can't have the darn thing activating unnecessarily .I had one of the older Photons with the "slider" activation......only one function.....on/off.....but it worked like a charm. I'm not sure about all the features on this Freedom though....I think KISS rule is best applied when to an emergency/key chain light. I might have preferred it if Photon had just made the old model waterproof and left it alone....YMMV..........The AAA Arc looks nice.

    -Regards

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    I love my Photon Freedom. The strobe is mostly useless to me, but the dimming feature is useful. Don't use it much though, I usually just use the Fenix L1P or Surefire A2. The Photon is my backup.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by LiteBrite
    I'm not really concerned with a brand name. I have narrowed it to either a Photon clone for $1 or the picolights KevinL carries that have the 35K LED. These are $2.75 a piece.

    I can't justify spending $5+ for a keychain flashlight. All you need is sufficient light to find something dropped at night, your key hole, etc. Sorry if I offend any hardcore CPFers.
    I'm a total n00b, with a single nice light. It hurt at first, at $40+ for a keychain light (Arc P), but it really is worth it. I can't speak against the ~$20 competition, like Photon (it might be the light you're looking for!) and Gerber, but you will become a believer, if you take the chance. "Sufficient light" changes its meaning entirely .

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Omega Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good light to carry on key ring

    Quote Originally Posted by LiteBrite
    What's an REI?
    It's a camping/outdoor superstore chain, in the US.
    www.rei.com
    RIP Don and Mike Show. Long Live The Mike O'Meara Show!

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