Opinions needed: "keychain light" size?

troutpool

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Lots of good options here. Back when I first got interested in flashlights, there was just one that you saw on peoples' key chains: the Arc AAA. I like the original 4Sevens Quark Mini CR2 and have had one on the keys for years.
 
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Hooked on Fenix

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Smallest keychain light would be something like an LRI Photon II or Freedom. Largest would be 1aaa like an Olight i3e Eos or Fenix E01 v.2, or even a Nitecore Tip 2. Any larger and you’re getting into regular pocket edc size (usually 1AA, 1 123A, or slim 2 123A)
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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One further thing to consider is that a heavy light could damage the ignition cylinder on key start vehicles over time by dangling from the chain attached to the ignition key.
Precisely why I don't consider anything bigger than 1xAAA a proper keychain light. Jumping even as little as to 1xAA means a substantial increase in weight.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Precisely why I don't consider anything bigger than 1xAAA a proper keychain light. Jumping even as little as to 1xAA means a substantial increase in weight.
I used a stainless steel 1AAA (Fenix LD01SS) that I lost awhile back and while not sure if it was totally the source of having to replace my ignition switch it was quite heavy while I used a duraloop in it. I now have a considerably lighter Lumintop Tool AAA light that is considerably lighter as it is aluminum but don't care for the switch but as I had the twisty version that sadly the head kept coming apart finally losing it when I pulled it out of my pocket.

I strongly recommend rechargeables in pocket lights if you find yourself replacing the battery often but if rarely replacing it an L92 Energizer may be better.
 

jmoore

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I’ve had a few. Now I use the Rovyvon Aurora A4 Pro Titanium.
 

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Timothybil

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One further thing to consider is that a heavy light could damage the ignition cylinder on key start vehicles over time by dangling from the chain attached to the ignition key.
I was just going to post that. We had it happen on my wife's car. She had a seriously heavy keychain, and on a winter trip to Illinois/Iowa the heater fan wouldn't come on. We found that the switch was not returning completely form START to RUN, and needed a little help to get fully back to RUN. Rather than replace the switch, we just made sure we helped it all the way back to run. If it hadn't been leased I might have had it replaced. :cool:
 

Lynx_Arc

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I was just going to post that. We had it happen on my wife's car. She had a seriously heavy keychain, and on a winter trip to Illinois/Iowa the heater fan wouldn't come on. We found that the switch was not returning completely form START to RUN, and needed a little help to get fully back to RUN. Rather than replace the switch, we just made sure we helped it all the way back to run. If it hadn't been leased I might have had it replaced. :cool:
I had to replace my ignition switch and it wasn't easy to do it without having a locksmith rekey everything so the doors and glove box didn't need a separate key. I had to make a tool to get the old cylinder out and take both apart and swap pull the pins from the old to the new switch. Luckily I found a youtube video how to do it.
 

3oni

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I set my keychain up with TEC Python Clips so I can unclip my truck key, set the other stuff in the console, and clip it back together when I arrive. Zero weight dangling from the ignition. :)
 

woodsmith

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I haven't gone seeking a keychain light I don't think ever, mostly because I almost never carry my keys, but I just got a Manker E02ii as a freebie with my latest CPF acquisition and I really like it. It's now always in my pocket, and I think it would probably make a fine keychain light (though if I did carry my keys I'd still probably keep it separate). I'm now aaa-curious and if/when this one dies will be exploring the options.

I was once given a Photon and used it a bit but it went missing and I wasn't impressed enough with the design to bother replacing. I think it would somehow come on in my pocket and drain the battery. Recently saw that watch band strap and was curious how well it works...
 

Lynx_Arc

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I haven't gone seeking a keychain light I don't think ever, mostly because I almost never carry my keys, but I just got a Manker E02ii as a freebie with my latest CPF acquisition and I really like it. It's now always in my pocket, and I think it would probably make a fine keychain light (though if I did carry my keys I'd still probably keep it separate). I'm now aaa-curious and if/when this one dies will be exploring the options.

I was once given a Photon and used it a bit but it went missing and I wasn't impressed enough with the design to bother replacing. I think it would somehow come on in my pocket and drain the battery. Recently saw that watch band strap and was curious how well it works...
I've tried the coin cell keychain lights and didn't like them enough to EDC them. Likely one reason I didn't like them is one brand I got that was nice had a severe problem in that static electricity turned it on and I often found it dead in my pocket when I needed it. A cheap generic one was better in a way but was often hard to keep on as it used the leads of the LED instead of polished coated contact versions do. The main drawback is the cost of coin cells was more than the price of a single AAA and not rechargeable at all. Ability to use rechargeables in lights is a must for me even if you use alkaleaks in cheap lights I want a format that accepts rechargeables in case I start using it more often.
IMO the AAA format is the cheapest best rechargeable format once you get a nimh charger and some eneloops for other things. If I wasn't invested in AA/AAA nimh and chargers I would consider a lithium ion version although I do have a combo charger that does both chemistries. I think the main draw for AAAs is the wide range of products out there for that format at dirt cheap prices. A keychain light can get a beating even lost such that putting a lot more money in one for some of us may not be a good choice when a $10-$20 AAA would do nicely a $50 light using that small of a battery with severely limited runtime at higher outputs than 1.5V chemistries can manage is often disappointing.

In other words a pocket light and keycnain light may be one and the same for some of us as both can serve the same purpose if the size is kept down and always carried like keychains would be.
 

KITROBASKIN

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The reason a Yuji equipped Photon resides on my keychain is that weight is important to keep down. Rarely is it used, but a brief flash here-and-there is useful. For primary EDC, a Hi CRI Nitecore TIP on an ITW Grimloc attached to a belt loop is what gets used during the day and as a backup at night. For charging, the ability to simply plug a USB directly into the Flashlight is super handy for regularly used illumination tools that do not have much battery capacity.
 

sambob223

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Sorry I'm gonna pee In the pool here...I belt holster carry my light, I'm not a fan of lose the key's lose a light and It's less junk on my key ring or In my pocket but, that's been my preference for years now.
If I had to..I'd use a Mag solitaire LED more than enough useful light with about an hour and a half runtime and their still pretty cheap.....and so am I:geek:
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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Sorry I'm gonna pee In the pool here...I belt holster carry my light, I'm not a fan of lose the key's lose a light and It's less junk on my key ring or In my pocket but, that's been my preference for years now.
[snip]
That's kinda like me. My "keychain" lights are never to be found in my keychains – rather I want them in a clothing pocket or clipped to said clothes, usually the collar of my shirts. But I do keep in mind their use as the name implies: as keychains.
 

nollij

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The most annoying thing about the nano, was its runtime and the batteries.
It runs on 4 little button batteries, which combined only give 8 hours of diminishing light. It starts at only 10 lumens, and pretty rapidly goes down from that. Because of the short run-time, I almost never used the light. I'd go get another light so that I wouldn't run down the batteries in the nano. Heaven forbid that I should actually NEED that light, and already have half depleted batteries. Perhaps I'd have four hours of one or two lumens.

That's not enough reserve for this boy scout.

In contrast, here is a review of the cooyoo quantum.
The light has 2 modes: 8 lumen (6h) and 130 lumen (30 minutes) with 910 Cd. with its rechargeable 10180 battery.


Note: I don't know if the quantum is still available, but there are a number of manufacturers who copied the design.
Others may have "copied" the Veleno Designs Quantum D2 but none executed it as well (AFAIK). I have other lights that run on the 10180 battery platform (acquired from countycomm.com) but they all have serious deficiencies compared to the Quantum D2. The QT pads provide the best modulation of light of any mechanism I've found in this size of a light. A rotary would of course be a comparable mechanism but AFAIK, no one's been able to put one on a light as small as the D2. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

The main problem with the small 10180 lights I've seen is that their "low" setting isn't low enough for me and the heads tend to unscrew and get lost (had it happen to me so now they stay in a zippered pouch... not exactly a "handy" light anymore that way.). The threading on the D2 is extremely fine and coupled with the o-ring, mine has never unscrewed at ALL during body wear (which I've done every single day for the last 10+ years) I'd buy a second one in a heartbeat (at almost ANY cost) just so if I ever DO lose it (I pray the day never comes) that I'll have a backup.
 

nollij

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I haven't gone seeking a keychain light I don't think ever, mostly because I almost never carry my keys, but I just got a Manker E02ii as a freebie with my latest CPF acquisition and I really like it. It's now always in my pocket, and I think it would probably make a fine keychain light (though if I did carry my keys I'd still probably keep it separate). I'm now aaa-curious and if/when this one dies will be exploring the options.

I was once given a Photon and used it a bit but it went missing and I wasn't impressed enough with the design to bother replacing. I think it would somehow come on in my pocket and drain the battery. Recently saw that watch band strap and was curious how well it works...
The watch band strap is good (from gearward.com), but honestly, I improved it (for myself) by just looping a small ranger band through the rear lanyard hole on the LRI Photon and stretching it around the watch band and looping it over the front of the light. Size is important on the ranger band (the ones from Gearward are perfect and more durable the standard "ranger" bands) so YMMV. I prefer not having the mount as I don't like the extra height of it because it makes the light stand more proud from the watch band. If I NEEDED to remove the light and use it that way, I'd go back to using the mount.
 

Poppy

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Others may have "copied" the Veleno Designs Quantum D2 but none executed it as well (AFAIK). I have other lights that run on the 10180 battery platform (acquired from countycomm.com) but they all have serious deficiencies compared to the Quantum D2. The QT pads provide the best modulation of light of any mechanism I've found in this size of a light. A rotary would of course be a comparable mechanism but AFAIK, no one's been able to put one on a light as small as the D2. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

The main problem with the small 10180 lights I've seen is that their "low" setting isn't low enough for me and the heads tend to unscrew and get lost (had it happen to me so now they stay in a zippered pouch... not exactly a "handy" light anymore that way.). The threading on the D2 is extremely fine and coupled with the o-ring, mine has never unscrewed at ALL during body wear (which I've done every single day for the last 10+ years) I'd buy a second one in a heartbeat (at almost ANY cost) just so if I ever DO lose it (I pray the day never comes) that I'll have a backup.
I have been carrying the cooyoo Quantum for about 6 years, and once, or maybe twice, the head came off in my pocket. Rarely, but sometimes, I discover that the light is ON in my pocket. That happens occasionally if I don't screw the head out far enough, and it gets a little depressed, or maybe screwed in while juggling around in my pocket.
 

skid00skid00

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I've been playing with a Rovyvon A1x, and I'm starting to like it a lot. It nestles with keys better than my TINI2, and is 1/3 shorter than my Ultratak K18. With a Nichia 219C LED (my first) it's a beautiful 2 to 450 lumen light.
 

nollij

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They a
Recently bought one for my wife and daughter for Xmas... now I just hope they arrive before Xmas 🤦‍♂️
they arrived on time (about a week ago) and wrapped for giving, yay! Wife will probably roll eyes, daughter will be thrilled! 😂
 

kreisl

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ultratac k18 SS all life long.

also love the size and weight of it. got multiple units as spares. accepts all batteries, and has good tight beam and very good regulation.
a timeless beauty in SS.
 
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