Flashlight Reviews

Photon III Micro-Light Flashlight Review

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Photon III

Photon II was my first LED light. I bought it when I was shopping for yet another knife, just another spiffy toy. However t prooved itself to be very useful in everyday life, and was permanently installed on my keychain for few years, until now, when I upgraded it to Photon III, which is a whole lot more entertainig. Photon III obviously is the next generation of this quite popular LED light, and I definitely like PIII more than PII. New model has several working modes, variable light output, improved switch and easier battery replacement. Definitely it is a step up.


 - PhotonLight is one of the pioneers of the LED flashlight manufacturers. I'm not sure if someone was producing anything like that before them. Later I've seen quite a few pocket lights definitely inspired by Photon design, but to be honest none of them were close.
    PIII looks almost exactly the same as PII. Except the missing switch on top side, and no screws on the other side. PII switch that was quite tough to operate, and in acordnance to Murphy's laws occasionally it would get turned on in your pocket to deplete the batteries. PIII has 2 switches, front one is emergency override, to be precise if you press it it'll always turn the light to max output, no matter what mode is currently set. Rear switch is for normal operation, press once, light will turn on using current setup, press again, it'll turn off. PIII switches are hidden under surface, so there is nothing protruding from the body, just squeeze the front or the back of the PIII. Very convenient, I really like this solution.
    One more improvement over PII is the simplification of the battery replacement procedure. On PII you'd have to unscrew 4 screws in order to get to the batteries. PIII has a small clip at the end, where the ring is, so it's a lot easier.
    Other than that there are no significant external changes. Obviously, interlally the circuitry was changed to provide all the advanced operating modes. As of the batteries, they all use CR2032 lithium ones. Operating time was 120 hours for PII, for PIII it may varry depending on your setup. Oh, also PIII body is water resistant.


 - Nothing too special about the beam, actually it's rather a micro floodlight, like any other LED light without a reflector. What matters is a color. PII was available in 8 colors, PIII is available in 10 - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Blue, White, Purple (for a black-light effect), plus special lights in Infrared and Ultraviolet. As you can see you have what to choose from. I've tried various colors before, all except white. Eventually I kept turqoise PII, because of its brightness. However, because very frequently I was using PII to light things behind my comp or TV or audio system I've run into coloring problem. In non white light it's hard to tell what's green and what's red :) They all look almost the same. So, when I bought PIII I got it in white color. Other colors have their advantages, AFAIK blue and red are better in fog, UV is a whole another story, but for most practical applications white is suffice.
    As far as the strength goes, PIII is amazingly bright for somethign that small. Photonlight claims it can be seen from up to a mile. Donno about that, never measured, but it's enough to lit totaly dark room.

Working Modes

 - There are seven(!) modes in PIII. First three are fixed light output modes at different levels. I guess you can call them low, medium, bright. Next three are different strobing modes. Fast, slow and SOS mode, I hope I'll never hat to really use it in that mode, but for fun all three work just great :) Last one is 1 minute auto shut off mode. Switching modes is simple, just press the rear switch and hold it for 4 seconds, PIII will cycle into the next mode. Currently I have it on low. Since the fromt switch can always turn the light into bright mode, and in movie theater, or some other place like that bright modes are strong enough to draw unwanted attention ;)

Last updated - 05/06/19