If there is one thing you are likely to carry with you besides your cell phone and your wallet all the time, it is most probably the keychain. Thus if anything gets associated or linked to your keychain, it is an all-time companion which is with you for as long as you are on the move. Traditionally flashlights had been an everyday carry for professionals who needed them for work or otherwise but now with keychain flashlights, you can be sure that you would not lurk in the dark ever, even if you wander into the darkness by mistake. Finding the balance between power and weight and size is what really makes the best keychain flashlight! These are a little bit different than normal tactical lights because these are designed to be much much smaller and often are less powerful.
What is a Keychain flashlight?
A flashlight small enough to be powered by a watch battery or an AAA battery cell can be classified as a keychain flashlight. The ones that require AA or another type of batteries like CR123A are a little bigger and would not really fit the description. The range of lumens (a luminosity measure) value for a keychain flashlight would generally be around 1-20 lumens due to its limited size and limited power. However, these flashlights are good enough to walk around in the dark, or to find and locate objects in the dark at close range e.g. keyholes, something that you have dropped on the floor, or even something that has slipped under or behind the furniture.
What Makes the Best Keychain Flashlight?
There are quite a few characteristics that you would want to have in your flashlight to make it the best keychain flashlight possible. There has to be an optimal mix of luminosity, run time, battery size, and the size of the light. First of all, it should be operable with one hand only as it is small and you would not want to use both of your hands for something so small. The size and shape should be comparable to a standard keychain otherwise, it would be hard to carry along with it. The shape can be cylindrical round or even flat, it really does not matter as long as the size is of the order of a key chain. It would be preferable that it runs on coin cells (watch batteries) like 2016, 2032 or LR1 types. However, for a more powerful one having a higher luminosity and run time, even AAA batteries are okay as they are pretty small as well. Longer run times are just great as you can use it for longer hours. Another important feature to check is whether the flashlight LED is hidden inside the flashlight or if is it exposed? An exposed one would be susceptible to damage and would also throw light on your face distracting you when you are trying to locate something in the dark. Water resistance is another requirement that might be important in the case of rain or if the keychain is subjected to water at a certain depth. Of course, last but not the least, you would like to have the keychain flashlight usable in the low light, medium light, and the high light modes. That said, flashing is another extra feature which might be useful for signaling.
Different types of keychain flashlights
There are many types of keychain flashlights available in the market. Some are push button switchable i.e. they change modes as you press the button for a few seconds otherwise they keep running in the same mode. There are others that have a twist on/off mechanisms. Another one that is liked a lot by many users is the magnetic selector ring which allows you to immediately go to the mode you want instead of going through all of them one by one which consumes time and might make you impatient while you are searching for something and are hard pressed for time.
Finally, it is suggested that when you choose a keychain flashlight you might want to consider at least some or all of the following features: Runtime, luminosity, switching type, size, no. of light modes, build material, power source, and water resistance (in case water depth is important, check on till what depth it is water resistance). It is also possible that besides all these criteria mentioned, you might have some special needs or requirement for the flashlight and you might want to check if those are fulfilled or not by a particular keychain flashlight. Overall I hope thinking about some of these things helps you pick the best keychain flashlight possible!