Photon Freedom micro as emergency torch instead of a petzl e-lite?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech' started by Autumn Flower, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer

  2. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer

  3. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer

    I bought one... tempted to buy two or three... but first check out how it fares up. At that weight one could even take two. clip one onto my front backpack straps and another one somewhere else convenient.
  4. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Photons are great lights.
    Very well made, and good for summer camp use and EDC.

    Won't last as long as an ELite due to lower battery capacity, and not as bright as the current ELite, but good enough.

    The eBay one will be fake . But probably adequate as backup. Until it's not.
    I was given 5x even cheaper coin LEDs and some still work work for years, whilst others failed quickly.
    Autumn Flower likes this.
  5. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer


    Yes. I did think it quite likely is fake. bought one to test it out and if it performs well I will buy more maybe.
  6. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Can't see the point

    The output is too low that it's useless for hiking with, so no good as a backup torch

    The beam quality is soooooooooo poor with so many artefacts (dark circles) that it's pretty much useless for close work like reading

    Not good for far distance + not good for close work = Useless in my opinion

    But then i think the beam quality, output and tint on Petzl's is terrible as well
    Autumn Flower likes this.
  7. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    They're good on a keyring for power cuts etc, but you probably don't have those problems in the UK.
    I've just ordered one of these to try.
    JKM likes this.
  8. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I had the original Ti, good little torch and a fraction of the cost of my maratac AAA for virtually the same form factor.
    I think you can reverse the pocket clip which is very handy if you wear a peaked cap as you can attach it like a head torch.
    WilliamC likes this.
  9. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    But Gixer. Whilst I respect you have great experience of torches, and use them for running/biking etc, but that's different than camp use.
    You live south so darkness comes sooner and harder than in the UK. And, you freely admit you don't do much backpacking at all in comparison to a lot on this site. (One trip a year to the Lakes?)

    But nowhere does the OP mention it's for backpacking at night . Mostly backpacking outwith winter, folk just use torches for camp (site) use. And if one fails, a light backup is useful. Just like a spare lighter.

    For camp use between the equinoxes,a torch is hardly necessary at all. In a 7 days trip last week I used a cheap coin cell torch for 30seconds once. We walked into dusk/near dark(as it gets) torchless on 4 nights before setting up camp too.

    An Elite is perfectly adequate as a second torch for most peoples purposes.
    It's better than any of the torches I used for the first 20 years of backpacking!
    kiltedpict and cathyjc like this.
  10. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Photons are good as chunky zipper-pulls.
    My back-up light is a massive 19g, but it does pump out a floody 100 lumens,
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you fancy a few more lumen, a Nitecore TIP, pushes out 360 lumen,
    [​IMG]
    or nightcore TUBE, 45 lumen,
    [​IMG]

    My main flashy is an Olight S15, 55g (I find 280 lumen enough),
    [​IMG]
    and it's nice that it will take AA's as well as 14500's
    (and comes with two extension tubes, if I wanna go big)
  11. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Thank you :thumbsup:

    I disagree
    If i use a torch for the same sort of duties as i do when camping i don't really see how the label used to describe them really matter
    I have used of of these for reading, sorting through kit, fixing a puncture, repairing kit

    In every case it did the job, but the dark rings in the beam made the tasks more difficult than if i'd used a torch with a better quality beam

    Old age is really starting to advance (49) my eyesight takes a beating as a result :bag:
    But i'm still not in a position to need a torch as it's getting dark (or light in the mornings), so the speed that the light fades is of no significance.

    Likewise although i'm not camping in the tent much, i'm at the caravan a LOT, which oddly means i do a lot of nights in my hammock (cooler at night with the sea breeze)

    Be the first to put my hand up and admit to being a bit of a torch snob :bag:
    I've got a few to choose from so can be a bit picky

    As i say, you can't hike with this torch
    So if you're like me and prefer to carry a torch for bailing at night if the need arises, i'd still need to carry a torch in addition to this.

    As the dark rings makes reading or doing fine duties like fixing kit or tying knots hard on the eyes, i don't think it's much use for close work either.

    So although i agree it's only 7g, for me it's 7g with no real gain or use

    Each to their own though, just my opinion :thumbsup:
    Mole likes this.
  12. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Ultralighter

    While not one of these Photon lights I quit carrying my heavier (although still light) headlamp and bought a cheap light that clips to the brim of my ball cap from Walmart. Since I never night hike and rarely need any form of light at night (sleeping) I got to wondering why I was carrying something that I rarely used. I still wanted something for emergencies so I compromised. I have had no issues with it so far and I like that I can use it as hands free, just like a head lamp.
    Mole and Autumn Flower like this.
  13. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Sounds like a good idea to me.
    Im with mole on this.
    I night hike most times I'm overnighting. Gave up using the e lite, its doable but 100lm is soooo much nicer. I often carry an e lite all the time hanging round my neck for camp stuff, for that you only need ~20 - 30lm and the lighter, cheaper the better IMHO.
    Autumn Flower likes this.
  14. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    For the majority, I would think that the primary function of the 'illumination system' is to fulfil a safety role in circumstances where things have not gone quite according to plan. This means enabling navigation across the terrain in question in pitch dark, and bailing out of a camp in pitch dark. The device carried should therefore be equal to those tasks, and should be of a quality that negates the need for 'backup'. I'm with @gixer in being unconvinced that a Photon will meet that brief. I take the eLite for summer, and a Tikka XP at other times. Most mobile phones have an incorporated flashlight which is better than nothing if 'backup' is (exceptionally) called for.

    Those whose plans include the performance of various night-time activities in their tents which require lighting, or who just like having a light on in their sleeping quarters, will of course have different requirements and equipment options, where the lesser/lighter devices come into their own.

    Those who actively seek the pleasures(?) of darkness hiking will presumably opt for a more rufty-tufty military-grade turn-night-into-day piece of uberkit.
    Autumn Flower likes this.
  15. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I have a couple of photon knockoffs attached to various bits of kit, my first Ali express purchases about ten years ago, I’m still trying to get through them despite giving most of them away.
    They’re quite handy if I can’t find my headlamp but also adequate for summer camping when the nights are short.
    Mole likes this.
  16. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Maybe I'm missing something

    For those that use these, do you use only these?

    Or do you use these plus another light?
  17. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Depends on what I'm planning on doing. As I said, that's all I had for a 7night/100mile trip the other day, but it is a South of England Moors and countryside trail. though I have a phone too. Also all I took for this summers trips - 3 Dartmoor weekends and several local beach and commons bivis. If I was going up mountains, I'd have my Fenix HL50 headlamp,(plus spare batt) and e-lite as backup. In winter it would be same unless planning on multidays. I managed to night hike ok for years with the original Petzl zipka (50lm?)

    oh, for tent use I sometimes have one of those flimsy LED chains that run on a coin battery, but I expect that to break at some point..
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    gixer likes this.
  18. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Mine are attached to my zpacks phone case and the wee loop inside my pack main compartment. Similar to Mole I carry a H51 and e-lite in winter, in summer I take what I think I can get away with, I try and not use a head torch around camp and save the night vision (until Pete dissolves my retinas with his 600lm jobby)
    Mole likes this.
  19. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    One advantage of the Photons and similar is that they're so small and light that you can sleep with them looped on to your wrist ready for a night time comfort break, fight with wolves etc.
    edh and Mole like this.
  20. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    I use a my old Zebra H51 as a spare now if a spare is needed. 30g, 180 lumens, uses one of the lithium AA's out of my Spot beacon or GPS and fits in the head band for my main user Zebra H600.

    If I need a spare, it has to work for night nav.....a piddly little key ring fob isn't going to cut it if my main user fails in the dark on the top of Liatach in a gale, or a tie out gives way in a storm.


    @Shewie ...only 600 lumens? damn, must have had it set on low power. I'll show you 1300 next time..... :woot: :biggrin:
    gixer, Shewie and Mole like this.
  21. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    It really is 'horses for courses'

    Nobody claims a key fob torch is any good for night nav here (despite the posts of those protesting it isn't - really- who knew?;)) - Though I've happily got myself home 4 miles cross country through trails on commons and woods in darkness with similar several times.

    But as a backup to a better torch for much use in non critical situations it's potentially an OK choice IMO.
    It really does depend where/what/how many in the group etc.

    If I was planning to be late out on Liathach with gales potential it would be a different thing.
    If I thought I might get caught by darkness on any hill it would be a different thing.

    If I thought I was on a nice non technical trail and possibly near to civilisation or with a group of others who also (like me) all had decent torches as their primary lighting then it would be acceptable to me.

    If you plan to be in a position where there is potential to be walking off the hill in the dark you'll carry appropriate illumination and backup?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  22. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    I'm now firmly in the Gixer/ Tim The Tool Man Taylor/light snob camp.....if it can't light my stogie , it's no good.....:cigar:
    Mole, edh, gixer and 1 other person like this.
  23. lentenrose

    lentenrose Trail Blazer

    i bought a few photons from the USA when we were 2$ to the £----the white ones last 15 hours----used them as zip pullers on clothing and and as clothes line lights in the tent ----unfortunately all now lost----also-bought 3 red ones apparently 150 hours runtime----used as clothes line lights in the tent----not a great light but just a quick switch on to orientate myself-----still running on original batteries----would like some more white ones but not at this exchange rate
  24. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Good thing about using the red around camp is it doesn't kill your night vision
  25. lentenrose

    lentenrose Trail Blazer

    bought red ones for the long runtime but don t give enough light for anything more than poor basic vision-----wouldn t buy again

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