LED Flashlights

When you think of LED flashlights, you may think of those poor, dim lights, usually red, used to fumble around searching for keyholes in the dark.

While you can still get one for old times sake, LED flashlights have advanced enormously since those early days.

Utilizing the latest advances in solid state technology, flashlights using LEDS and LED arrays are fast approaching the time where they will actually be able to replace regular bulb type flashlights in most light duty applications.

The increase in just battery life is worthwhile, but with these lights, you will never again have to change the bulb, either.

Our son, Paul, recently received a small light, a Photon Micro-Light 3 for his 19th birthday (blue LED version). When I asked him how he liked it, he replied, "It's tight, I play with it all the time."


The flashlight comes with 7 different modes, high, medium and low brightness, fast, medium and slow strobe, and auto-off. He says that his favorite modes are high brightness, and fast strobe. He likes flashing his buddies in the eyes.

Several of his friends have lights by various manufacturers but, he says, "Mine is extremely bright, the brightest I've seen."

His favorite colors? "Blue, turquoise, green is OK". He doesn't care for the orange or yellow lights.

I've watched him, he will sit and strobe it and just watch it flash away.

For years, I have carried either a Mini-Maglite or a Maglite Solitaire around with me on my keyring. Now, a small LED flashlight, only slightly larger than 4 stacked quarters, has replaced this bulky item for general utility use. The coin type battery has lasted longer than 2 AA type batteries (the Mini-Maglight), or 1 AAA (the Solitaire), and it fits the pocket much better, also.

The ultra-durable CMG Infinity Ultra Task Light, about the size of the Mag-Lite Solitaire, has proven to outlast the battery performance of the Solitaire, or the Mini-Maglite, and the brightness is about on a par with the Solitaire.

CMG Infinity

I am currently testing the Photon Micro-Light 3, with a white light, for durability and longevity in the pocket environment. So far, it is proving to be an outstanding performer.

These lights are becoming favorite pieces of equipment for Outdoorspersons, Cavers, hikers, mountaineers, providing excellent lightweight backup lighting, task lights, providing adequate lighting for camp tasks, with minimal battery draw.

While I like the LED lights for general use, and always have one handy, I do keep a 4D-cell Maglite beside the bedside, for when I need to really light up the area.

For further research, how they work, tests and comparasons, where to get 'em, here are some links:

Allan Lauchlan
July 2, 2003
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