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Reader Reviews

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Photon Freedom Micro (White)

in Lights - Flashlights & Headlamps

Average Rating
4.78 / 5 (18 reviews)

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Nikolas Andersen
( nsandersen )
Photon Micro Light Freedom Spy White on 08/09/2005 15:38:35 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

LED light, up to 10h continuous burn time, splash proof, less than 10 grammes with batteries. Very bright for it's size - suitable for cooking / tent lighting, but not really for walking at night if you must.
Clip available for attaching it to your hat so your hands are free. Only downside is the black colour and minute size - it is easy to loose.

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Daniel Goldenberg
( DanG - M )
Awsome light - get the clip on 08/09/2005 20:58:06 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This latest version is just awsome, it puts out a lot of light for it's size.

The light currently seems to be packaged with the optional clip (a $4.95 value). The clip really is a de-rigour item. It adds great utility to the little light. Clip it to a hat brim and you have a headlamp. Attach it to a tent/trekking pole for a tent light. The little clip has a universal joint which allows the light to be aimed where you want. It even has some small magnetic inserts that allow it to be attached to metal.

I'll give it a 4.9 out of 5, only because as another reviewer noted, it's so small it's easy to loose. I already lost mine and immediately bought another.

Harry Dodge
( )
tiny, bright. a great option on 08/10/2005 10:30:42 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

i love mine. i wear it on a lanyard most of the time. lost one too quickly the first go round. try red too at night to preserve night vision.

kevin davidson
( kdesign )

Mythical State of Jefferson
The official Uberlite Light on 08/14/2005 12:31:53 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

2 of these either on me or in a pack pocket handle
all my backpacking lighting needs. Great backup for
my EOS for alpine pursuits. Clip attachment or velcro dot turn this to a quite serviceable headlamp.

paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Photon Freedom Micro - Nice, but NOT perfect on 08/14/2005 12:59:02 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

at ~0.2 oz, a true UL delight. great light output for a small, coin cell powered, single LED.

The PT Impulse and older PT Eclipse are perhaps its closest competitors. These are slightly larger and ~2x or ~2.5x heavier. They, while also being fine "microlights", don't seem to offer any brighter light output. These are perhaps more similar to the Photon 3 than the Photon Freedom, since they have 3 discrete brightness levels (like the Photon 3), rather than a "finer" digitally stepped output. Only the first few "steps" of the Photon Freedom are distinguishable as discrete steps since each increase represents a large percentage of the overall light output. After those initial steps, each additional "step" is a much smaller percentage increase and so appears to the human eye as a continuum (or analog adjustment) rather than a discrete step or jump in intensity which it still really is - it's just that the "steps" are too small to be individually distinguished as such.

i carry at least two. a white, for better viewing, and a red, for longer duration light output. sometimes, i substitue a yellow for the red - both powered by the same single CR2032 3V Li coin cell, having similar batt life. The yellow gives a little better "distance" (i use this term relative to the Red LED Photon MicroLight) viewing than the red color LED.

i've also tried the green for better light output than the "single cell" colors, and up to 2x the batt life of the white - even though both green & white are powered by 2 CR2016 Li coin cells. my guess is that the green LED is not "driven" as hard due to a higher internal resistance of the green LED perhaps related to the higher forward bias voltage generally req'd by Green LEDs as compared to White and other color LEDs (or, in the case of the Photon 3 and Freedom, it's possible that electronics could get involved in reducing driving current???). Our eyes are particularly sensitive to light of this wavelength so even with less driving current, the light still appears very bright.

The other colors, IMHO, really don't offer any advantages over the four colors mentioned - even the beautiful turquoise color. It is no brighter than the white or green and has shorter batt life than the green (its batt life is similar to that of the white) & it has some color distortion when cp. to the white. hence, while i've "experimented" with it, i don't bother to carry it.

i also carry one clip to facilitate hands free operation. i either clip it to my hat/cap brim or to my glasses' frame ("I am Locutus of Borg..."???)

Battery life, as with nearly all Li coin cell powered LED lights, is poor. The first 30min, at FULL-POWER/MAX-BRIGHTNESS setting is quite bright, then it rapidly drops off in brightness.

Suggestion for improvement:
I'd like to see the light output adjustment feature become a "toggle", so that if the desired intensity is "over-shot", releasing the control, waiting 1sec, and then pressing and holding it again would cause the light intensity to change in the opposite direction from the prev. adjustment direction. This would permit, what is termed, "hunting" and would make obtaining the desired intensity a bit more user friendly and efficient. Right now, the light would need to be turned off & then back on if the desired intensity is "over-shot". I've made this suggestion, a very simple programming change, to Photon-Microlight and they have passed it on to LRI. Hopefully, we'll see it in the next generation of PhotonMicroLights.

The 4 rating is due to the poor battery life and poor design of the dimming programming which does not take into account "overshooting".

However, when compared to its true peers (single LED Li coin cell operated MICROLIGHTS lights), it's a 5.

Edited by pj on 02/03/2007 04:48:49 MST.

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Mike Storesund
( mikes )
Photon Freedom Micro on 08/29/2005 15:58:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

These are great little lights! I have the White, Red and Blue with 2 clips.
I wear the White and Red on my lanyard and keep the Blue on a hat clip.
The Blue was bought as a joke with the Scouts... Hat clip both the red and blue on a hat and have the 'camp police' lights flashing.
But seriously, keeping the light held down as walking, you can use to light the trail at night, just need to adjust your vision for shadows.
The only thing I dislike is that they use different batteries between the color lights (2x2016) and the white light (1x2032).

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Jaime Ondrusek
( jondru )

Puget Sound
Photon Freedom Doug Ritter Special Edition on 08/30/2005 14:34:47 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I carry a Doug Ritter edition (see of this light everywhere. This version addresses one common complaint: its body is bright yellow so it's much harder to lose!


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Elizabeth Barry
( ElizabethBarry )
Easy to Loose? on 09/14/2005 09:30:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I attached my whistle or something bigger, and lighter (weight and colorful) to find. I put whistle in my folded warm hat or just under it for the light to just hang in from of me. They are so light I normally carry two of these small and very poweful lights - I just love them.

Stephan Guyenet
( Guyenet )
Dope on 09/29/2005 22:35:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

It's so light, you can clip it to anything, and the joint allows it to be swiveled in any direction. The light intensity is sufficient for most backcountry uses.

Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
Excellent light, good price, virtual -0- weight on 11/16/2006 18:59:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

There's a reason why this light rates so high, it puts out a lot of light in a very small package at a reasonable price. It is rugged, easily clips or velcro's onto hats or other clothing, bushes, etc. The beam is bright, homogeneous in white color (some give you blue or yellow spots near the middle), has an easy to use switch, and last a long time on 2 small batteries. I keep one clipped onto my hiking hat, and it comes in handy. I've never used it as my primary light, but it could easily do that in an ultralight scenario.
My only nit with this is that replacing the battery can be a little bit difficult if you don't have a very small "+" screwdriver, and the eyesight of a recent graduate.

b d
( bdavis )

Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Great light, no weight, clip is the best on 12/01/2006 22:04:53 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

It is not just the light it puts out that makes this so great. Or the weight. It is the fact I can clip it to my hat and walk around hands free from the flashlight.

I read with it at night. I have not had to change the battery, so that is going to be an experience.

My partner lost hers the first trip out with them. I had tied a lanyard of white, thin line to mine and put the light in its clip, wrapping it around the clip. Thus it is easy to find and see. If not for that I would have lost it ages ago. I am thinking of putting a light reflective line on it for a lanyard ... but if I lost it where do I get the light to find it?

Tim Garner
( slowhike )

South East U.S.
reflective tape on 12/02/2006 17:25:03 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

i cut small pices of white reflective tape (auto dept) & stuck it on differant surfaces, both on the top, bottom, & sides of the light.
the shapes were oval, wedges, etc, to fit well in the differant surfaces on the light.
this would help the most of course at night, using another light, but the white tape is pretty eye catching on the forest by day.
i put the same tape on mini bics, tent stakes, etc. ..tim

Ken Bennett
( ken_bennett )

southeastern usa
Now even brighter on 01/17/2007 18:10:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The newest version is the Photon Freedom To The Max, which uses some sort of new technology in the LED that doubles brightness while not using any more battery power. Nice.

The Doug Ritter edition is cast in solid yellow resin, so it's much easier to find when dropped. The price is the same at $20. The Doug Ritter edition also uses a short tube around the LED, which cuts the side scatter and keeps it from blinding me while wearing it on my hat brim.

The hat clip is great, as is the lanyard clip. I carry mine on my keychain 24/7, and around my neck while hiking. This rates a solid 5.

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Stephen Nelson
( stephenn6289 )

Sunshine State
amazing little guy on 01/25/2007 12:14:59 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the best light I have used. It is small, light (.4 oz), and more useful than a headlamp. Its handly clip attaches to any hat brim or shirt. It also has some amazing microprocessor features which allow one to dim it. It is incredable and I would recommend it to anyone.

Mark Verber
( verber )

San Francisco Bay Area
Amazing little light on 02/03/2007 02:07:34 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Originally I rated this as a 5. I still think it's the best of the button lights that use small watch batteries for power. That said, I have concluded that the rapid falloff of light output once you start using it suggests there are better solutions such as the small, regulated, AAA flashlights.

Amazingly small and light weight given the amount of light it throws. I have found that it produces enough light for all my tasks except cross country navigation when the batteries are fresh.

The user interface is well thought out, letting you select either dim or bright light when you turn it on. The Freedom is more resistant to accident turn-on that most button lights, especially it you put it in the push-to-light mode, or the automatic off after 2 minutes mode.

The Freedom comes with nifty stand that can be clipped to just about anything for hand's free use. Some people place a velcro dot onto the battery compartment which can provide an even lighter hand's free experience. The Freedom is moderately water resistant. If you hold it in your month for extend periods of time, moisture will get in. If you don't take the time to drive it out time-to-time, it will corrode on the inside and then fail. The standard model is black which is easy to lose, but there is a bright yellow model sold by Doug Ritter which addresses that issue.

Edited by verber on 01/01/2011 10:12:34 MST.

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Pamela Wyant
( RiverRunner - M )
Love this little light on 02/05/2007 01:35:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Santa brought me one of these for Christmas, and it has quickly become my favorite light. For it's weight it's amazingly bright. I used it to night hike a half mile or so last weekend.

The clip and lanyard are both nice - well designed and well thought out in how they hold the light. I've found if I insert the light in the clip backwards there is no chance it will accidentally turn on, and it's easy to reverse when I want to use it.

Kenneth Reppart
( kreppart )

Pacific Northwest
Best light ever on 05/22/2008 18:32:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought one with a white LED after reading about it on this site and put it on my keychain. I use it constantly, I'm amazed that I made do without for so long. On the trail I was suprised how well it worked, I thought it might be one of those areas where UL was kind of a pain. I carried one on a lanyard around my neck and a 2nd with the clip attached for use on my hat brim. For a couple of nights out it was more than enough with fresh batteries and you can't beat the weight and size.

Richard DeLong
( Legkohod )

Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Overrated on 02/13/2009 23:40:13 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've used the Photon Freedom for nearly 80 days backpacking and am ready to switch to something else. Yes, it is small, light, and relatively convenient. However, the battery life is 30-60 minutes of full power with very noticeable dimming after that. That's a poor deal considering the price of this kind of batteries (and difficulty of changing them, btw). This is not the kind of light to have on more than a minute at a time. If that's all you'll ever need, then it's a fair deal.

I am switching to a 1 AAA lamp that weighs 15 grams more, lasts at least 5 times as long, uses a cheaper battery that can be inserted more easily, and doesn't get lost so easily.

Edited by Legkohod on 02/13/2009 23:40:58 MST.

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