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Thread: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    How does the Streamlight Stylus compare to the CMG Infinity light and the Arc-light I see referenced in this forum?

    I have a Photon light and 2 cell Stylus for comparison. I really like the Photon because of its small size (which means I always have it with me when I need light) and itís relatively good light output (lights up the bed of a pickup enough to find stuff and keeps me from stepping on snakes or in potholes at night). What I don't like is its susceptibility to water induced problems. Since I don't wear shirts with pockets, I rarely have the Stylus around when I needed. Sitting by the bed at night, I might as well grab a real flashlight.

    It seems like the CMG Infinity and Arclight are too big to be practical for key chain attachment at about 3 inches in length and 1/2 inch in diameter. How much do they weigh (do they make the key chain too heavy)? Do they take abuse well (is the led recessed where it won't get damaged if dropped)? As a total off topic issue, is their construction tough enough so that they could be used as an impact weapon in a dark parking lot?

    Thanks,
    Sid

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* TrevorNasko's Avatar
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    the arc blows everything out of the waterwhile being the most economic and easiest to carry trust me get one

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    As impact weapons go, neither the Arc nor the CMG would be worthwhile, even thrown. Take a look at the Batonlight for that.

    Weight? Either is light enough, the Arc is surprisingly lightweight and small. On a keyring, it pretty much disappears.

    It makes a handy lanyard on a Chris Reeves Umfaan knife, by the way. (Of course, so does the Photon -- my second favorite behind the Arclight).

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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Marc Veeneman:
    As impact weapons go, neither the Arc nor the CMG would be worthwhile, even thrown. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, for personal protection, I agree. But ask my dog what an Arc to the noggin feels like. Ouch.
    [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
    - Darell

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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sid Post:

    It seems like the CMG Infinity and Arclight are too big to be practical for key chain attachment at about 3 inches in length and 1/2 inch in diameter.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    You're aware that the Infinity and the Arc are very different in size and weight, right? The Infinity uses an AA cell, while the Arc uses an AAA. The Arc is much smaller (Useful on a keyring) and much brighter. The only scarifice is in battery life - but that's still five hours. The infinity gives you 41 hours of dimmer light.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Do they take abuse well (is the led recessed where it won't get damaged if dropped)?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    They are both tremendously strong and have recessed LEDs. I'll point once again to my recent torture of my Arc AAA.Arc Torture

    I have them both, but only carry the Arc(s)regularly

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Quickbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    I now have/reviewed the Photon 2, Arc-AAA, Inova Microlight, and Lightwave PocketBright. Each has their pros and cons.

    Photon 2 - By far the smallest, susceptible to water contamination and possible broken LED if dropped (coat internals with dielectric grease and protect LED with 5mm clear tubing to fix), very tough case, 12 hours of light.

    Arc AAA - Cheap batteries, protected LED, tough aluminum case, near constant brightness, nail-file like checkering can damage other things in your pocket, waterproof, 5 hours of light.

    Inova Microlight - protected LED, "water resistant", as bright as a Photon, easy battery change, not as small as the Photon, easy to use constant on switch, 12 hours of light.

    Lightwave PocketBright - as thick as 2 photons stacked, protected LED, waterproof, could turn on in your pocket fairly easily, dimmer than the others due to voltage regulation circuitry - 50 hours of light.

    It all depends on what you prefer.....

  7. #7

    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    Keychain choices:

    Photon II white for casual use where color is important (wiring, medical, etc.)
    Photon II red for signaling, keyholes or reading programs in a theater (I carry this)
    --(at 120 hrs of light the 10 yr shelf life may expire before the battery is dead!)
    Photon II turqoise for amazingly bright small light

    If you use your keychain light a lot (more than one hour every month)...there's no doubt, get the ARC AAA; white (if you need color distinction) or turquoise (for a REALLY bright light).

    The Infinity is really too big for the keychain. But for your pocket or the night stand...a very useful light in the blue-green.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sid Post:
    (lights up the bed of a pickup enough to find stuff and keeps me from stepping on snakes or in potholes at night).
    Thanks,
    Sid
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I've been in the Arizona desert before. Being a paranoid Easterner, I recommend at least a Surefire E2 for snake alerts and save the keychain light for lighting up keyholes. The Arc and Infinity would only make suitable weapons if perhaps expelled from a slingshot.

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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    ASP Mirage LED keychain light ---

    I just ran across this at Target. Looks like it is bigger/bulkier than Photons. White color kinda bluish. Transparent body. Large snap/latch instead of a keyCHAIN.
    Do these have about the same brightness/color as Photons and other keychains that use coin cell batteries?
    Anybody with Mirage experiences?
    Thanks!

    Pat

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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    My keychain is equipped with a red and green photon and a white arc, along with a glowring and half-a-dozen grocery store discount cards.

    Jeeze I have hardly any room for keys.

    Day to day the arc is the most handy. Although there was a night when my dashboard lights went out and the photons came to my rescue. I think anyone having experience with a solitare on their keyring would appreciate the size and the amount of light offered by either the photon or the arc.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by patg:
    [QB]ASP Mirage LED keychain light ---

    I just ran across this at Target. Looks like it is bigger/bulkier than Photons. White color kinda bluish. Transparent body. Large snap/latch instead of a keyCHAIN.
    Do these have about the same brightness/color as Photons and other keychains that use coin cell batteries?
    Anybody with Mirage experiences?
    Thanks!

    They're available from several dealers on the web, such as
    Mirage Lights
    They have a rather unique guarantee. If that battery ever runs down you can send it in for a replacement. I don't know if this means it's very difficult, or requires special tools to replace the batteries. But, I think I'd rather be able to replace them myself.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    I carry a white Arc on one keyring and a white Photon II on the other. I've had the Arc about a month now. I was a little leery about spending that much on a keyring flashlight but I seem to use it almost everyday now. I no longer need to reach for the bigger light in my vehicle or look around the house for a light. Both lights are highly recommended.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    With regards to the ASP LED lights, I have found them to make handy zipper pulls on backpacks and such but, the ones I have are so blue that the light output isn't very useful. Also, I like the ability to have a steady "ON" like my photon's not, just the momentary push on. The large rubber switch is easy to use though when I have gloves on or other stuff in my hand. Battery replacement? I don't think so considering how they are sealed. Mail it in to ASP for a "battery replacement".

    With regards to my original post, I don't often run across snakes and, I am probably a little paranoid but, a light I have me with me all them time sure is reassuring. If I am at home or already at my car, I have a nice 4D mag-lite with hi-cap ni-cads and a carley lamp that really lights the world up. A little light is better then none at all. What really brings this to my attention is the number of times I have stepped in a pot hole in a parking lot or tripped on a side walk that was uneven at the joints. If I can't see a pot hole or, distiguish an uneven sidewalk joint, I am much more apt to get too close to a snake at night in the grass or bushes waiting for dinner to come buy. A stray cat at night that sprints away making a noise from a lightless loading dock will sure get your attention. There are also a great number of wild rabbits which attract other predators. I'm not overly concerned with being attacked by a coyote or large cat (paw prints about the size of my hand) but, a threat you can't (or don't) see is much more dangerous then one you see and can avoid.

    With regards to an imact weapon, almost any self defense instructor will encourage you to use your car keys if you can't avoid trouble. Car keys are better then nothing but, really aren't very effective because they are so hard to grip. A Kubotan would be more effective in this scenario. Again, the important part here is not that this is a very good self defense item but, it may be the only one available at the time of need. My place of work suffers a great deal paranoia at times so, carrying a pocket knife, hammer or hatchet, etc. isn't an option. My 4D Mag-lite attracts a lot of attention.

    These little LED key chain lights seem like a good "stealthy" option that would be a good step forward in personal safety and convenience. I will always have something better at home or in the car but, what counts is what I have at the time I need it.

    Something I stubled into looking for these lights was a Streamlight "Kubotan" 3-led light. Streamlight "Batonlite" Does anyone have experience with these? I recognize they are probably in a totally different class then the lights previously mentioned. Are they too big to be practical? How about light output and performance in general?

    Thanks!
    Sid

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>

    Something I stubled into looking for these lights was a Streamlight "Kubotan" 3-led light.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I referred to that light earlier in this thread. It has the look and feel of my 'real' kubotan and uses 3 leds for light. Thus it is better than the Arc for lighting, just as nasty as a typical kubotan for inflicting pain.

    If you already carry a kubotan on your keyring, then I heartily recommend you switch to that batonlight.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The keychain LED lights? Practical use and choices?

    Thanks Marc. I missed that from your original post. Sounds like it is certainly worth the money and, worth a try at work.

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