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Photon ReX Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Photon ReX Review on 11/11/2008 18:26:28 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Photon ReX Review

Sebastian Ventris
(sabme) - F - M

Locale: SW UK
Failures on 11/12/2008 02:41:44 MST Print View

I bought one of these earlier this year and initial brightness was very impressive but then it wouldn't re-charge. Since then Photon / LRI have replaced it twice and none of those would re-charge either. I'm now waiting for my 4th ReX to turn up.

Anyone else had similar issues?

I still like Photon as a company and their customer service is good but maybe they've been a bit over ambitious with the ReX.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Failures on 11/12/2008 03:07:31 MST Print View

Hi Sebastian

> but then it wouldn't re-charge. Since then Photon / LRI have replaced it twice and none of those would re-charge either.

I would be interested in more details about this. In particular:
* Did each Rex work when you first got it?
* How much use did you give it before it refused to recharge?
* How were you trying to recharge it?
* How long did you leave it each time before giving up?
* Did you ever get it to recharge at all?

Lithium rechargable batteries are actually rather complex beasties, especially when run right down. And the connector thing is not as straight-forward as one might like either. But I have got every one I have (3) to recharge successfully.

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Photon ReX on 11/12/2008 07:02:59 MST Print View

Looks like too much fiddle factor for me. If your going to carry a battery anyway why not just change it in the field. And shouldn't you check your lights,batteries before you leave the house? I have rarely if ever needed to change headlamp batteries on trips of a week or less.I just do not see a real advantage. Nice try, but no.

Thomas Tait
(Islandlite) - F

Locale: Colorado
Auto off on 11/12/2008 10:26:52 MST Print View

I found this is the review section of the REI site:

1) press the button rapidly 6 times, which puts the light into "signal mode."
2) Then press and hold the button for about 5 seconds until the light goes out (this takes the light back out of "signal mode").
3) Continue holding the button for another 5 seconds until there is a brief flash of light.

Now the light is in "auto off" mode.

To return the light to normal operation without auto-off, Repeat steps 1 and 2 above without doing step 3.

This procedure was for the Photon X-light Micro. Maybe the same chip and firmware?

Brandon Wright
(bcwright) - F
Photon ReX Durability on 11/12/2008 11:14:35 MST Print View

I have had a ReX for about ten months, and I can speak to its durability and water resistance. One day I left it in my pocket through a wash and drying cycle, and found it hanging by the recharging yoke magnets on the inside of the dryer. It turned right on, and I assume it was submerged for a least a time in the washer.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Photon ReX on 11/12/2008 16:35:22 MST Print View

Hi Ken

> shouldn't you check your lights,batteries before you leave the house?
Too right! I check through all my batteries the day before.

> I have rarely if ever needed to change headlamp batteries on trips of a week or less.
Same here - for headlamps using AA batteries.

But the ReX is a shade smaller and **lighter**. The small size and weight is its advantage. On a trip of a a few days you wouldn't need to recharge it at all - save that for home.

Cheers

Christopher Williams
(clwilla) - F

Locale: The Bluegrass
I like on 11/14/2008 20:06:05 MST Print View

the idea of being able to carry something smaller and lighter than the headlamp that I current use, but I can't get around the hands-free operation of headlamps. It's simply much nicer to use it without hands than to have something lighter.

Even if this were the lightest light known to man, had unlimited battery life, and produced enough light to hike by night, I would still prefer a headlamp.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Photon ReX on 11/15/2008 13:12:18 MST Print View

Surprise! I just spent more then 2 hour researching on LED headlamps with built in rechargeable li-ion batteries in vain. I assume Photon is first to come out with this tech even though it is a keychain....kudos.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Photon ReX on 11/15/2008 13:19:43 MST Print View

> I just spent more then 2 hour researching on LED headlamps with built in rechargeable li-ion batteries in vain

Likely. The ReX is not really a 'headlight' and probably would not appear in such a search. Any similar competitors would not appear either. A Google for 'keychain light lithium' gave the ReX for the first four hits.

Just what do we call something the size of a ReX? "Keychain' is possible, but who carries a keychain when walking?

Cheers

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Poor charger connection on 11/15/2008 15:03:24 MST Print View

I own one of these from the first batch, and have also had slight problems getting the charger to connect properly.
I have attributed this to dirt/trash/gunk on the contacts on the light. A quick cleaning of the contact with something (even a tiny stick or the like) gets it going. Sometimes just a little "jiggle". I've been reluctant to squeeze it too much when I saw the rather flimsy polarity scheme, just in case I had it backwards.

That is the only (very slight) issue I have with it.
I love this light!

Meant to add this:
Another undocumented "feature":
If the button is continuously pressed (like if something was shoved against it) it will cycle through all of its settings several times and then just shut off, so the battery is less likely to be exhausted by accident.

Edited by Thangfish on 11/16/2008 15:12:33 MST.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: I like on 11/15/2008 23:36:33 MST Print View

>the idea of being able to carry something smaller and lighter than the headlamp that I current use, but I can't get around the hands-free operation of headlamps. It's simply much nicer to use it without hands than to have something lighter.

Even if this were the lightest light known to man, had unlimited battery life, and produced enough light to hike by night, I would still prefer a headlamp.<

Just attached it to your hat/hood brim with a velcro dot and voila.. u have headlamp.

Roger, the only thing I dont like about it is that you cant use a >3v battery to recharge. Its sad.. mUV has been around for over a year and it can do that. I think it would be really nice if it could be recharged via UL 3.7v li-ion batteries, especially if I were carrying a cell phone anyways.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: I like on 11/16/2008 00:55:23 MST Print View

> you cant use a >3v battery to recharge
True.
Probably a limitation of the little microprocessor used to drive it. Next generation maybe?
(I have no knowledge of what the nexgen might bring.)

Cheers

Sebastian Ventris
(sabme) - F - M

Locale: SW UK
Re: Re: Failures on 11/19/2008 09:00:52 MST Print View

Hi Roger

1. Each ReX worked when 1st arrived - after initial confusion about getting out of demo mode. My last one wouldn't come out of demo mode not matter what I did.

2. I used it mostly at full charge until flat, possibly 30 minutes. I got either one or two full discharges before I couldn't recharge it.

3. The normal way, charger connected correctly to ReX and either one or 2 AA or AAA rechargeable NiMH batteries at max recharge themselves, also tried Alkaline equivalents. There was no dirt on any of the ReX's either.

4. Sometimes left it 6 hours or more to see if it would recharge.

5. I sometimes managed to recharge one once or twice & then maybe by tiny amounts not worth mentioning.

If I have trouble with my next one (still waiting) I'll try cutting some of the plastic sleeve off the small recharger contact (I have a lot of spares now :-)).

I personally think a micro LED lamp that used one AAA rechargeable battery with head attachment would be a lot easier. The magnetic recharger is fiddly and I'm concerned the strong magnets might interfere with some of my other electronic gadgets.

I once saw a micro LED light that had a mini solar panel built right into the back of it, can't find the original now but found these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014GEJ06

http://www.wildday.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?id=5972
Don't know how well they work.

I suggest to Photon / LRI before they even made their ReX that they could do something similar.

Edited by sabme on 11/19/2008 09:30:54 MST.

Ben Gardner
(tasben) - M

Locale: Tassie
Rex headtorch on 11/21/2008 01:10:12 MST Print View

moved to MYOG

Edited by tasben on 11/24/2008 22:02:15 MST.

Ben Gardner
(tasben) - M

Locale: Tassie
ReX headtorch on 11/21/2008 01:12:49 MST Print View

deleted

Edited by tasben on 11/24/2008 22:04:25 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Failures on 11/21/2008 03:44:37 MST Print View

Hi Sebastian

> My last one wouldn't come out of demo mode not matter what I did.
Return it for a refund.

> I used it mostly at full charge until flat, possibly 30 minutes. I got either one or two full discharges before I couldn't recharge it.
I do not know the exact characteristics of the Li battery they are using, but taking it to really flat may be your problem. Sometimes when they get really flat they are VERY hard to recharge. Don't let them go right down.

> If I have trouble with my next one (still waiting) I'll try cutting some of the plastic sleeve off the small recharger contact (I have a lot of spares now :-)).
I think they may be about to alter this connection...

My two good ones are still working fine. A pre-production one had a battery problem and seems to have died, but LRI suspect the batteries may have been shorted during production in that batch.

Cheers

Sebastian Ventris
(sabme) - F - M

Locale: SW UK
Re: Re: Re: Re: Failures on 11/21/2008 15:39:22 MST Print View

Hey Rog

Already returned.

Not letting it run to flat is too much of a limitation for me.

I like LRI but not impressed with the ReX, battery life too short & recharging too fidly & unreliable.

Ben Gardner
(tasben) - M

Locale: Tassie
battery life on 11/23/2008 15:55:29 MST Print View

my ReX 'died' too...I sent mine back (it seems others didn't..and still had theirs replaced?) and had it was replaced with an explanation that it couldn't be run to completely flat.

They have also informed me that they will send me the new model after they have resolved this problem.

Cheers..

Edited by tasben on 11/24/2008 22:03:00 MST.

Will Webster
(WillWeb) - M
Solar & USB chargers on 09/03/2010 19:02:49 MDT Print View

I'm resurrecting this old thread because Photon has -finally- released the solar and USB chargers for the Rex. Both chargers and a headstrap are bundled for $20. I've been holding off on buying the Rex because the battery connection sounded too fiddly, but I just ordered one with the chargers. Coupon code "laborday" saved me 15%. I have no connection with Photon except as a customer.

http://www.photonlight.com/products/Photon-ReX-Solar%7B47%7DUSB-Charger-Accessory-Kit.html