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Narrow Rechargable Keychain Light?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by thegrouch314, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. thegrouch314

    thegrouch314 Loaded Pockets

    Dec 10, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1) Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?

    I'm after a small, narrow flashlight for a keychain. Diameter is my main limit, ideally under 10mm. Length matters less so I can go up to 100mm. Aside from that, I'm not too bothered by anything else. I'd preferred a bright/dim setting but it's not super important.

    2) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?
    [ X] I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
    [ ] I am in _______(country) and __________(state/providence).

    3) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :broke:
    [ X] $1-15
    [ X] $15-30

    [ ] $40-60
    [ ] $80-$120
    [ ] I have no limit!

    4) Format:
    PART A
    [ X] I want a flashlight.
    [ ] I want a headlamp.
    [ ] I want a lantern.
    [ ] I want a portable spotlight.

    PART B
    [ X] 1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
    [ ] 2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    [ ] 4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

    PART C
    [ X] I prefer a long narrow light.
    [ ] I prefer a short wide light.
    [ ] Doesn't matter.

    PART D
    Lights of a similar size can be very different in weight and may turn the perfect sized light into a paper weight. In general a lights of the same size will stack up like this; plastic and aluminum will be your lighter choices brass, stainless steel, bronze will be heavier. I won't put numbers here because everyone has a different weight sensitivity. For the purposes of EDC specifically I'll limit the choices here to the more easily carried sizes pick 2 sizes to represent a range of weight.
    [ ] Very light, can't tell it's there.
    [X ] Light, no heavier than a few keys or a small car remote.
    [ X] Medium light, about the weight of a AAA MiniMag

    [ ] Medium, slightly heavier than a AA MiniMag
    [ ] Heavy Medium, can of Coke
    [ ] Heavy, PDA or small digital camera

    5) What kind of "bulb".
    [ ] LED - more rugged, unlikely to burn out in your lifetime, less accurate color rendition, in general less output but more efficient (longer runtimes)
    [ ] Incandescent - can be very bright, more accurate color rendition, burn out or can be damaged more easily, shorter runtimes, very noticeable dimming as batteries deplete
    [ ] HID - like new car headlights in color, very, very bright, can be had in lights as small as a Mag 2 D cell but generally larger spotlight sized lights, no dimming turns off when battery depletes
    [X ] Don't care, just want the best fit for my needs.

    6) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.
    [ ] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [ ] I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
    [ X] I want a rechargeable system. (an investment, but best for everyday use)

    7) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
    [ ] I want to read a map, find a light switch/keyhole, or get around the house at w/o disturbing anyone. (5-10 lumens)
    [ X] I want to walk around a generally paved area. (15-20 lumens)
    [ ] I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
    [ ] I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
    [ ] I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

    8) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an “X” on the line below. Sometimes a flood is better particularly closer up or indoors. You won't have to "sweep" the light back and forth to see what you need to see. You can also just set it down pointing the general direction rather having to point it right at that which you are working.

    Throw (distance)----------------------|---------X-------------Flood/close-up

    9) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries. Understand that runtime is a function of brightness and capacity of your batteries. If you want 6 hours you'll either have big batteries or dimmer light, they haven't made a setup yet that lights up like the sun, runs all night, and fits in your watch pocket. ;)
    [ ] 20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
    [ ] 60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
    [ X] 240-360 min. (4-6 hours)
    [ ] 360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

    10) Durability: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
    [ ] Not Important (A “night-stand” light.)
    [ ] Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood.)
    [X ] Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
    [ ] Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

    11) Switch Type:
    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] sliding switch (Stays on until slid back.)
    [ X] clickie switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
    [ ] momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)
    [ ] rotating switch

    12) Switch Location:
    [ X] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a push or sliding switch on the body near the head.
    [ ] I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
    [ ] I want a rotating head switch.
    [ ] I want a rotating end-cap switch.
    [ ] I want a remote control.

    13) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.
    [ ] A simple on-off is fine for me.
    [ X] I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    [ ] I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    [ ] I want a strobe mode. (blinks to show location.)
    [ ] I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)
    [ ] I want S.O.S. flashing

    14) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite? In this case "plastic" and it's variants does not mean "cheap" or poorly made. In many applications a plastic bodied light is preferable, hard use and water resistance comes to mind; think caving or lights that get dropped or abused.
    [ X] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a metal-bodied light.
    [ ] I want a plastic/composite light.

    15) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).
    [ ] Red (night vision preserving) filter
    [ ] Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
    [ ] Waterproof – how deep: _____________
    [ ] Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    [ ] Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
    [ ] Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
    [ ] “Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    [ ] Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
    [ ] Belt/Jacket clip
    [ ] Holster
    [ ] Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    [ ] Kuboton/self defense features
    [ ] Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

    (edited for clarity 1/11/18)
    #1 thegrouch314, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  2. steeps

    steeps Loaded Pockets

    Jul 3, 2013
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  3. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

    Feb 12, 2016
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    I’m not sure you are going to find a rechargeable at less than 10mm diameter. Both 10180 and AAA batteries by themselves are 10mm. My favorite keychain light and one of the smallest I’ve seen that is rechargeable is the DQG Hobi+, but that is still 12.8mmin diameter. Other companies make similar but all of them I know are about 12-14mm (Fenix UC02, Maratac Peanut LED, MecArmy X2S).

    To get below 10mm, I think you would have to go with a light like the Streamlight Nano, Pelican Progear 1810C, or something similar that runs LR41 or similar coin cell. Those tend to be low lumen single output and non-rechargeable.

    Someone else may be able to come up with something else.
    #3 SOS24, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    smokingfish likes this.
  4. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

    Jun 30, 2015
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    Nitecore Tube or one of its design descendants maybe? Definitely rechargeable, lightweight, and compact.


    Moshe ben David
    Blackbeagle likes this.
  5. assassin10000

    assassin10000 Loaded Pockets

    Oct 12, 2016
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    DItto, probably not going to find a rechargeable at or near 10mm and under.

    I carry a DQG Hobi+ on my keychain as it was the smallest (dia) rechargeable I could find. It has 3 levels. It's a backup as I carry flashlights in my vehicles as well.



    If 2 levels are all you need you could also get a Jetbeam Mini-1. I like the older version with no clip (key or neck chain). It uses a simple 2 level switch that engages the 2nd level when further tightened. I had one but decided to go with the Hobi+ as it IS the smaller of the two.



    Last edited by assassin10000, Nov 2, 2018
    #5 assassin10000, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    smokingfish likes this.
  6. thegrouch314

    thegrouch314 Loaded Pockets

    Dec 10, 2015
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    Thanks for the advice everyone

    I doubted there was a rechargeable light that narrow so I'm probably going to go with the streamlight nano