choosing a mini light

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If I were to buy one mini LED flashlight, which one should it be? The Photon II is a bit *too* small, and it appears changing its batteries is a bit annoying.
Right now I'm picking between the Scepter, Ledtronics KeyLED, and CMG Infinity. Each seems to have its advantages and disadvantages.
I like the Infinity, but I've read a lot of people saying it is dim. Is it just dim compared to other lights which happen to be super bright, or is it really too dim to be useful?
So which one do people like the most, just sort of for general use, nothing special? I would most likely get white light.
Thanks.
 

hmmwv

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I have the cmg infinity and the streamlight stylus (both in red and white) - I only have the CMG in red. The red from the CMG lasts a long time - about 100 mA from the 2900 mAH battery translates into over 30 hours of use on one battery - a cheap light to run.

It is true that the CMG is not as bright as the stylus or the photons - the reason is that the cmg is using a dc/dc converter to run the 3.6 V LED from a 1.2 V battery - the current delivered to the led appears to be less than 40 mA, while the other lights are running 50mA or more to get the ultimate brightness. The manufacturers generally frown on this - anything more than 25 - 30 mA is potentially hazardous to the led - but I've run several of mine at 50 without any problems.

The cmg is also very well made - but the streamlight has a momentary feature that I do miss on the cmg - I usually use the CMG as a turn it on and leave it light since it costs almost nothing to run, and use the stylus as a conventional penlight - to peek inside PCs and read dipswitches, etc.

Also - streamlight is about (1-2 wks) to introduce their 3-white led keychain light that uses 3 N cells for compact length - I have one of these on order and plan to put it on my keychain when it arrives. It will likely replace my white stylus-3.

In general, I prefer the metal cased lights over the plastic stuff out there these days. Since you're buying a light with a very robust lamp - it seems reasonable to get a metal case that will protect it for the 100,000 hour life expectancy!
 

Doug

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My 2 cents: Photon II in white, don't leave home without it! It's very durable, I don't really think battery life is an issue, since it DOES get 12-14 hours. And it is always with you... I forget I have it on my keyring! And everyone says "what's that?", one co-worker said, after quickly shining the light into his eyes, unaware of it's brightness, said "I see spots!". Really, it is soo tiny, bright, weights nothing, feels very durable (I might just get one of theses just for durability testing... park my car on it, and see if it survives
wink.gif
! Muahaha). But if you want something you can keep on for a long time for REALLY cheap ... the Infinity is good... but NO WHERE near as bright as the Photon II's....

Doug
 

Brock

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I would also suggest the Photon 2 white, but if not I would choose the Stylus then the infinity. The other two lights don't have "on" switches, just push to light, that has awlways bugged be. The Stylus is brighter, but quite a bit longer than the infinity. I really like my infinity for battery changes and how cheap it is to run, and it is a durable little thing.

Brock
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

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Thanks for all your input everyone.
The new streamlight keychain light sounds interesting. Where can I find one?
And I think the new version of the Ledtronics KeyLED does have a permanent on, and is also aluminum. Its weight is much more on the photon side of things than the infinity (.6 oz) too. I think the strangest thing about it is the extreme sharp focus of its lens, which does weird things to the beam pattern at long distances.

<FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE="1" FACE="Verdana, Arial">This message has been edited by bezzzz on 01-11-2001 at 10:06 AM</font>
 

hmmwv

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you can pre-order the new streamlight from brightguy.com - he will charge you when they arrive and ship out to you. Avoid botach.com who charges you before they order the product. I am anxiously waiting to get mine in since it will replace my tattered AAA solitare (with 3 1/3AAA NiCDs and 2 SMT HDSP LEDs in the lens)
 

The_LED_Museum

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Brock:
I would also suggest the Photon 2 white, but if not I would choose the Stylus then the infinity. The other two lights don't have "on" switches, just push to light, that has awlways bugged be<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, the Stylus has both options: push to light (for signalling or momentary use), and twist to turn it on and stay on.
smile.gif


The only beef I have with the Stylus is the weird batteries.

http://ledmuseum.home.att.net


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Brock

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Craig what the heck was I typing? For some reason I was thinking of the photon 1 type lights, but didn't post that part when I wrote that. I am going to have to start reading those before I post them to make sure they make since.

Yes, the infinity and stylus both have constant on modes. I was thinking (but not typing) about the pulsar, photon 1 or similar lights. I just really can't find a use for the lights that don't have a constant on mode. I would much rather have the Photon 2 style with the switch. I am still waiting for the covert Photon 2's, they will replace all my photon 2's I carry now.

Sorry for the confusion, that's for catching it Craig.

Brock
 

The_LED_Museum

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Brock:
Craig what the heck was I typing? For some reason I was thinking of the photon 1 type lights, but didn't post that part when I wrote that. I am going to have to start reading those before I post them to make sure they make since.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe you should move the coffeepot to your computer workstation. %-}

hmmm... I guess the smileys aren't working tonight...

smile.gif
wink.gif
:] :/ :\ :# :x
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:0 :<>
So how do you get the one where the eyes are bugging out and pulsating? What about the green one with the pursed lips??


http://ledmuseum.home.att.net

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<FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE="1" FACE="Verdana, Arial">This message has been edited by telephony on 01-15-2001 at 12:42 AM</font>
 
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I just got an Infinity and am overall happy with it. My biggest gripe is that I don't have too much faith in the battery contacts; as the top ring is turned the light *gradually* gets brighter, until it is supposedly fully "on". It is in fact possible to just turn the top a little bit and get an extremely dim light. But this makes me wonder if the brightness could be noticably improved just by improving the contacts. I think they should add a thin metal plate between the bottom of the circuit board and the top of the battery, with a spring on it connected to the contact on the board with a short soldered wire. That, and a switching mechanism that relies on something other than pressure.
The light excells in the materials used, the exterior design, and the circuitry within but it seems everything in between is missing.
 

Badbeams3

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My infinity does the same thing. What I do is wipe the contact and batt, terminals with WD-40. I have to repeat every couple months or so. Works fine for me.
 

Wingerr

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My Infinity has the same soft-on characteristics; I think it may be a result of the carbon-like material used at the postive battery contact.
I had an intermittent problem with mine also, however, which was due to poor contact from the pc board perimeter to the case, which supplies the ground return. I fixed it by adding a circlip fashioned out of a small paper clip, inside the lip that's present in the head. After doing this, the intermittent was completely gone, so I didn't have to send it back for repair.
 
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John N

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bezzzz:
If I were to buy one mini LED flashlight, which one should it be? The Photon II is a bit *too* small, and it appears changing its batteries is a bit annoying.
Right now I'm picking between the Scepter, Ledtronics KeyLED, and CMG Infinity.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

While small, the Photon II is a nice light. The main disadvantage of it is that it is not waterproof. In most cases this does not prove to be an issue. I'd take it over a Photon III despite the water issue since it appears more reliable. Changing the batteries is a bit of work, certainly not something you would prefer to do outdoors in the dark. However, it depends on how you use it - I use mine a few seconds at a time and have maybe changed batteries once. They also have the advantage that they are so small and inexpensive that your "battery change" is just carrying a second one.

The Infinity is dim, too dim to outdoor use IMO. It's also a bit bulky, more than I think is comfortable for a "mini" light. However, it is about perfect for reading. The clip and lanyard it comes with are nice touches.

Any reason you are not looking at the Arc AAA? I'd say it is fairly optimal and after getting it, my Photon IIs have been fairly neglected.

Small, but not as small as the Photon. Very strong, waterproof, easy to change the battery, uses common, inexpensive battery, bright, voltage regulation.

-john
 

Wits' End

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What any choice in light boils down to is how are you going to use it. I walk in darkness with no lights for a mile, the Infinity is fine for that. A brighter light when there is some ambient light is a plus though. I'm saving my dimes for the Arc CPF though I almost gave in to getting an LE when I heard they were going to be a while. Also what do you want to cary? On my 300 pound frame the Infinity isn't noticable (I carry a Palight sometimes too). A photon is much easier to carry. But operating costs are a factor for me. If you haven't been to The LED Museum Led Museum I go there to see what the review is before I'd buy anything. Also a search on this Forum will give you real life experience (in a virtual way). Anyhow that's my 4 cents. Sorry it was so long.
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Don't rule out the Photon 3.It is a really good light.I originally bought some 3s to give as gifts,but I heard some bad things about reliability and gave out 2s instead just to be safe.I kept the Photon 3s for myself and have been very happy with reliability and performance.The ones I have are the newer micro switch model.I always carry one on a mil-spec ball chain around my neck and it is unaffected by showers,and I never even notice it is there until I need it.I have an Arc LE that I really like,but it shows under my shirt when carried like my Photon 3 so I carry it less.Both are good lights.Good construction and innovation.Both companies have a good rep and warranty.You can't go wrong with either product.Also,I purchased Photon batteries(2016)online and they can be found for around 50 cents apiece.
This narrows the cost difference of running the Arc aaa and the Photon a bit.
troy
 

ikendu

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Choosing a mini light (IMHO):

I love my Infinity...but only in the blue-green. Other colors are just too dim.

I have an ARC AAA (turqoise) which is great too, but too large for the keychain routinely and scratchy too (sharp knurling).

I carry the red Photon II on my keychain for those few seconds bursts of light when you need it... it's great for that!

But overall, I really love my Infinity.
Built great, feels great, uses 1 cheap AA that lasts a LONG time and fine for reading or walking around at night.

But I also agree with an earlier post. You can't really go wrong with any of these lights (Photon II, ARC AAA or Infinity Blue-Green)!
 

PhilAlex

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Everyone should have at least 1 Photon II.

I have Two in White, and one in Blue. Amazing.

I pick up batteries in "dollar stores" for 2 for a buck, or a buck at the most.


I've heard good things about the Arc AAA.

Cheap too.

I have an infinity. Cheap to run as well. I keep one in the car, glove comparment. A bit too think for everyday carry, tho.
 
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