Last Updated on 06/03/2022
Photon Freedom LED Keychain Microlight Review
The Photon Freedom LED keychain microlight is a tiny flashlight you can keep in your pocket, on your backpack, bike, tent, or even attach to your dog’s collar on nighttime walks. The Photon Freedom has a simple but effective single button operation with multiple functions and is so small you don’t even notice you have it.
- PRODUCT – LRI Photon Freedom
- WEIGHT – 7 g
- SIZE – 40 x 24 x 7 mm
- BRIGHTNESS – 4.5 lm +
- RUN TIME – 18 hours +
- BATTERIES – 2 x Energizer ZR2016 lithium batteries
- TOUGHNESS – IPX-7 rated and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
- Lightweight and tiny
- Super bright – visible for over 1 mile
- Easy single button operation, even with gloves on
- Instant full beam or gradual brightness increase/decrease
- 4 flashing modes – slow | medium | fast | SOS
- Signal mode | morse code
- Lumen output could be as high as 10 – 15 lm
- Waterproof | shockproof | dustproof
- Replaceable batteries
- Quick-release key ring
- Hands-free clip with magnets and necklace clip
Why I got the Photon Freedom Micro Light
As I continually update all of my outdoor gear, I find myself shopping for smaller and smaller options for everyday items. My EDC keychain consists of 2 main tools – a pocket multi-tool and LED keychain microlight. Along with my wallet and primitive smartphone, I feel I have everything I need to make it through the day with these basic items. More on my other EDC tools in another post but let’s get back to the Photon Freedom LED Keychain Microlight Review.
The reason I got the Photon Freedom pocket torch is that I have been using a mini Maglite for a while now and it is just too big to keep on my keychain in relation to the quality of light output. I fancied a change and Photon lights are tiny in comparison to most other pocket torches.
I had the red Photon Micro-Light as a teenager many years ago and remember it being a really cool gadget for camping as well stealthily moving through the house at 3 am in the morning after a late night.
As I unboxed the Photon Freedom I was pleasantly surprised to see that I received a free handsfree clip and necklace clip which I wasn’t expecting. The light arrives in a demo mode which only allows the light to stay on for I think 3 seconds. This is overwritten by holding down the button for 20 seconds but as far as I have seen, cannot be switched back. This is ok though because there are more than enough other settings to keep me happy and it really is amazing how much can be done with a single button operation.
So once you exit the demo mode, the single button makes using the Photon Freedom Micro Light foolproof. You can turn it on and off with a single push of the button, push and hold to start off dim and get brighter, or press then press again and hold to start bright and get dimmer. You can also hold down the button for 5 second periods to rotate through the other lighting modes, which is automatically reset each time you turn it off.
The suggested lumen output of the Photon Freedom LED Keychain Microlight is 4.5+ however LRI, the manufacturers, have not performed any official ANSI testing. Some people suggest it might be as bright as 15 lumens however I think it could be even brighter than that. With the hands-free clip, you can attach it to the peak of your cap for an improvised headlamp or fashion your own device for aiming the light where you need it. The brightness is certainly at its best at close proximity but is powerful enough to act as an emergency trail finding light.
Bright and Dim
As mentioned before, you operate the brightness function by pressing and holding the button down until you reach your desired light output. The brightness starts at a tiny flicker of light which is far easier on the eyes in close quarters and better for staying stealthy. On the highest setting, which can be reached with a single click, the beam of light is very bright and surprisingly focused. To adjust and set the brightness you release the button when you are happy and that’s it – this function is automatically reset each time the light is turned off.
Other Light Modes
Holding down the button for 5 second periods will rotate through 4 other flashing light modes and pressing the button 5 times quickly will give you a signal and morse code setting. The flashing light modes range from slow flashing to an almost strobe rotation of on and off. While this is not a setting I use very often with a white LED light, it comes in very hand with the Photon Freedom red LED light when riding a bike on the road at night.
Size and Weight
Portability is often the deciding factor when it comes to choosing your tactical keychain tools / EDC pocket tools, and the Photon Freedom is about as portable as it gets. At just 7 grams and just 40 x 24 x 7 mm in diameter, it really is the ideal tiny flashlight you can keep on your EDC keychain. So small you don’t notice it and so lightweight that you could carry 5 in your bag without making any noticeable difference. About the size of your average coin, these little LED torches are great for attaching to things when you are out at night and need to see or be seen.
With a suggested run time of 18 hours +, I have yet to see or notice any drop in beam strength or clarity even after keeping it on my EDC keychain for over 6 months now. I will be getting another one in the near future as well as a red LED headlight which will give me a better scale of comparison.
Unless you do end up using the keychain flashlight as an emergency torch for extended periods the that 18 hours + is going to last well over a year and perhaps more than a couple of years. I will update this post over time so subscribe and stay tuned if long-term data floats your boat. (update 2018 – I have broken it in my pocket somehow)
The Photon Freedom pocket flashlight is a tough little thing. Rated IPX-7 means that it has been tested to remain waterproof up to 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes. Made from an ultra-tough, glass-filled polyurethane body, unbreakable LED bulb, and 24k gold plated wires and circuit boards for reliable and long-lasting functionality. Because it is such a small and lightweight pocket torch, it doesn’t swing and bang around when attached to things and seems almost indestructible as of yet – and I am well known for being heavy-handed in my tests.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, I would. Not only would I recommend it for yourself but it also makes a great gift for friends and family at such an affordable price. Everyone will need some illumination in the dark at some point or other, whether it is to find the keyhole in a door or look for something you dropped – a keychain microlight is going to come in handy. So far I have been nothing but impressed and have indeed bought a couple as gifts and plan on buying more this year both for myself and others.
Click Here for our Top 12 Headlamps for Backpacking
The Photon Freedom is the best keychain flashlight I have ever owned and is ideal for everyday carry on your keys or pocket tools. While it is no substitute for a full-on headlamp, if you were keen to stay as lightweight as possible then you could certainly make this work as one.
A couple of spares or spare batteries and you have got multiple light sources for less weight and available in more colors than any headlamp going. Even if you only buy 1 of these for yourself, you are going to love your new gizmo and never go without light when you need it again.
How Much is it?
Thanks for reading this Photon Freedom LED Keychain Microlight Review and stay tuned for more small and portable EDC tools and reviews.
Photon Freedom LED Keychain Microlight Review - Looking at some of the features and specifications of the one of the world's most reliable and affordable keychain micro lights.