SHOT Show included roughly 43,567 individual booths full of everything you could ever imagine. We couldn’t make it to all of them. At one point, late Thursday I believe, I walked past Black Rain, deftly avoiding the drool puddle, and saw a booth that seemed to be full of key-chain lights. I intended to ignore them totally. I am glad that I didn’t
At first, I assumed they were like any other gimmick pusher. (And there were plenty, let me tell you.) But two words caught my attention. “Lifetime Warranty”. Then I heard two more that were absolute magic. “Replaceable Battery”. Now we have potential value, and now you have my attention. Hopefully, that has grabbed yours as well.
I had picked up a couple of cheapo key-chain lights on the show floor already. They’re fairly popular giveaways due to being a generally handy item that lets your brand go home with people. When we spoke to the folks at Photon/LaughingRabbitInc they gave us the full detailed pitch, answered every question and showed us every little detail. Warranty, battery life and replacement, waterproof, bright, but not too bright. Adjustable brightness. Beacon and S.O.S. modes, and even switching modes between on/off and momentary switch.
Then the lovely lady behind the display case just handed them to us like we were trick or treating and had the best costumes ever. So, I already loved their little lights, and had plans to ask for a sample later on. And maybe try to work out getting some made with our NBO logo on them. Which I totally still plan on. But for now, lets take a look at the samples she gave us and what can be done with them, just off the top of my head.
The light itself comes has multiple functions. The default function is an on/off switch with very bright, very clear light. This is handy, as most lights of this type are squeeze or momentary only. On/Off can let you drain the battery by accident, however, so there is also a function that lets you switch it to momentary mode, which also lets you use it as a signal for morse code. I mentioned that it is very bright, and it is, for a key-light. The claim is 4.5 lumens, and this is totally believable. I have no way to measure lumens, but it looks pretty good to me. But if that is too bright, you can start the light out dimmer by simply holding the button when you turn it on, and it will cycle up from off, to the brightest setting. If the light is on, you can dim it the same way, yet in reverse.
The light also has a beacon mode. This mode has four setting. Three are speeds, and the fourth is S-O-S. The slower the beacon speed, the longer the batter will last. The beacon mode uses the brightest setting, and can be seen from a mile away under the right circumstances and conditions. And if you have a lanyard around your neck, it works hands free. A lanyard also comes in handy for trail walks or later returns to camp or home, as you can turn it on and have your immediate foot path illuminated.
The cost is a little high than I expected at retail. They go for about 10$ apiece. But then, I thought about it a bit more and it’s very reasonable. The functionality alone is worth a bit more than the standard key-light. When you add in the long shelf-life, the long battery life, the lifetime warranty (from a company with 23 years in the business, no less) replaceable batteries… well, the value really starts to jump up there. And the possible uses, the possible kits and packs and survival pouches… This little light is equally at home on an explorer’s backpack as it is on a nurse’s ID badge. The light beam can pierce smoke, and draw attention. It can light up a patient’s ears, nose or throat. The beacon can be used to signal aircraft in the mountains, or rescue ships in the water.
Or maybe it can just light up where you’re fixin to pee, in case of rattlers.
For more information, and to learn more about this great American company, Click here.
If you’re already convinced that you need this light. (And you do.) Click here to go to Amazon.
(Editor’s note: This product was given freely at SHOT 2017. I did not even tell the nice folks at the Photon booth that they were getting a review. All they knew, was that I was impressed with the product. The link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you buy the Photon X-Light after following this link, we get a cool fifty cents that goes towards keeping the power on here at NBO. If you want to get the light, but not help us out that’s cool too. I suppose. Just go to Amazon and search.)