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.