[Group Buy Interest Poll] Tiny EDC keychain light done right - BLF/Sofirn-style!

Nope. There are dedicated chargers that screw into flashlight body, like dqg.
There are somewhat more universal chargers that just take 10180 and charge it. (Valeno?)
There are even more universal ones - I use my Cottonpickers charger on anything from 10440 down. And BLF UC4 is meant to support 10180.


Try to get past manufacturer specs, instead, rely on real world tests:
(from this original post)

the above test shows about 30 minutes, not the factory spec

here is another runtime test

from this review

that shows 36 minutes, at which point the light is down to 10 lumens

both those tests use AAA NiMh of about 850mAh starting at about 100 lumens.

like I said, AAA gives about 30 minutes @ 100 lumens

now a 10180 is 100mAh, so reduce the runtime by 100/850
the result is 3.5 minutes of 100 lumens, from a 100mAh battery

there is no way in the world that a 10180 is going to give you an hour of 100 lumens… No Way!

looks like the light does come apart, and the LED could be changed:

(click pic to see the original review post)

and here is a runtime test of the I1R
pic links to original source:

That’s all fine, but you propose a twisty switching driver, even with groups.
But it’s the twisty head operation that is one of the things that make the 10180 lights kind of sucky in the first place.
With 10180 you’re also stuck with ambiguous low drain “100mAh” (is what they claim) cells.

There’s not much ‘novel’ about USB rechargeable pouch cell keychain lights though.
It’s not rocket science either.
They can be made cheap too, and reliable.

But is’t that a separate part then?

Okay, i hadn’t heard of those chargers before.
My point would be that you can’t charge them with the chargers most people own.
16340 being the shortest cells they can take, and often 500mA being the lowest charging current they can provide.
Sometimes 200 or 300mA, but that’s still way too much.

By the way, those 10180 cells are usually pretty crappy. I don’t even think they’re 100mAh.
I recently lost one.
It seemed to have leaked something inside one of my Astrolux M01 lights and wouldn’t take nor hold a significant charge anymore.
Only a few years old, never discharged to the bone, maybe 4 or 6 cycles of charge.
There are much better pouch cells available.

Made some scribbles:

Should be able to fit a 601235 LiPo pouch, which is a common size and usually rated 300mAh.

All intestines enter from the front and are held in place by the bezel.
There’s even a thermal path from LED board to the body.
300 Lumen (from a 70 CRI LED) should be doable i.m.o.

Seems to me like an interesting product for Sofirn.

jon_slider Nice finds. I didn’t realize or forgot that the C01S has a regulated output. Do they all? That changes the picture. I still wonder where the advertised runtime came from… after all, they mention ANSI NEMA FL1 standard which defines runtime as the time until it drops to 10% of original output.

For sure a 10180 cell won’t do 100+ lumens for long, and I don’t expect it to be regulated either, as the i1R plot shows. Btw, I see most 10180 cells rated for 70 mAh with some variations up to 100 mAh.

I find the runtime of the i1R 2 quite acceptable for typical keychain light use cases. The 5 lumen low mode is almost always used, and the high mode is used only rarely as a Turbo for short bursts of a few seconds at a time (typically no more than 30s). With such usage, I have recharged it maybe once or twice in the past month, and that was only pre-emptive, before it was “dead” or even noticeably reduced in brightness.

Would I want more battery capacity? Sure, if it came for “free.” Would I accept an increase in size or weight? No. Because 1) the current runtime is fine for keychain use, and 2) the weighted tradeoff doesn’t make sense for the target use case:

inconvenience of running out of juice * probability (low) < inconvenience of added weight/size for higher capacity * probability (100%)

Will I eventually find a time where the light dies on me? Probably. Is it worth constantly carrying extra weight and bulk to reduce that probability? No, not for me, and probably not for most. If the probabilities and inconveniences are different for a given individual, that is a clear indication to choose a different product class.

I hope this illustrates the (perhaps hard-headed) focus on a specific set of goals and priorities (and non-priorities). I do appreciate the information and arguments you bring, as it only helps and clarifies the discussion. I fully encourage more of it. :slight_smile:

Jerommel What are the issues with twisties? I have already mentioned my dissatisfaction with the C01S’s implementation which I would like addressed, but the i1R 2 and i3E have been flawless.

In particular, I like the natural mechanical lockout, without the parasitic drain of an e-switch which would be a bigger issue on a tiny battery, as well as the virtually impossible accidental activation. Both of those are matters of reliability.

Nice scribbles! I think that would make an interesting product in its own right. Weight estimate?

Do you think a 601235 LiPo pouch (6.0x12x35mm) could be made to fit in a 40-45mm twisty? An advantage of pouch batteries, in addition to the greater capacity, is that they are lighter (~2.6g ?) than 10180s (~5g ?) due to the lack of the steel cannister. Though I wonder if that brings reliability/safety concerns. Pulling that off in a tiny twisty could give it a significant competitive advantage.

For 10180 twisties you need 2 hands.

Pass. I have a Nitecore TIP2 CRI on my keychain, although I much prefer the UI of its TIP predecessor. The magnetic feature is very useful, but micro-USB needs to die in 2020, USB-C is clearly the way forwards.

Looks like the RovyVon Aurora and the recently launched Nitecore Tiki…

Interesting idea here. I’m almost always using my keys one handed, when I’m carrying something (groceries, mail, retractable dog leash handle, etc). I often find myself wanting a light in these situations. But my concern would be on the twisty. Much better if I could reliably activate the keychain light with 1 hand via an E-switch. If I’m not using my keys ( ie they’re in my pocket), I pull out my edc light, more commonly with two hands avail. If the goal is that this light would become an edc, I understand the twisty though. I don’t understand the cost concern about getting a good (tint) emitter. Wouldn’t any additional expense be trivial (like cents to a dollar)?

Agree. Really small lights are difficult to manipulate.

phouton, thanks for your well reasoned and specific comments, with supporting links

I appreciate your focus and specific attention to details

it is the same as a Fenix E01, which many people consider very reliable, yet I find it easy to make flicker and turn on accidentally…

twisties have accidental activation issues too:

discussion about accidental activation in regard to the Olight you find acceptable:

Yes, somewhat. I think that’s a good thing.

It’s basically the same concept, but with a magnetic tail you can attach / detach from the keychain thingy, like the TIP2.

I do believe in this drawing it uses more space for the battery though.

From what i’ve seen from the translucent Rovyvon and Tiki, the PCB sits in the middle.

The light in the picture is the older version. The newer version does not come apart. I’ve tried tugging on it and did as much as I thought was reasonable before breaking it.

That’s a shame.
So the light will last as long as the crappy 10180 cells it’s got…

As i mentioned earlier, one of my Astrolux M01 batteries died recently.
I have 2 spares with DQG on the tiny wrapper, and it claims to be only 70 mAh, which is probably more realistic than the 100mAh they usually print on the wrapper…

I use the i1R 2 and other twisties almost exclusively with one hand and find it comfortable. Maybe there’s a question of hand size/shape affecting this usability aspect? I have relatively large but slender hands.

As for accidental activation with lateral forces, I carefully inspected this on the C01S, i1R 2, and i3E to identify the “flicker zone” where this is possible. For the C01S and i1R 2 it is within ~3mm of rotational travel along the circumference, or 1/16 of a turn, after it first turns off. For the i3E it takes about 1/4 of a turn to be totally safe due to its much looser threads. Generally, turning 1/8 of a turn past off ensures no accidental activation.

While holding the body, I also tried rubbing and dragging the head against clothing or carpeting, but I cannot get the head to rotate this way, even deliberately. I don’t have concerns about it screwing or unscrewing on its own. Maybe extreme over-lubrication of the O-ring would make it possible? I did not try that (yet).

Unless some people are landing in that 3mm or 1/16 turn “flicker zone” I’m genuinely puzzled about accidental activations. I find 1/8 of a turn a very natural amount to rotate after turning off. And again, that is with one-handed operation.

Perhaps others can report the flicker zone on their twisties to see if there are variations.

The knurling on the head sure helps.
But i assume it only works with 1 hand when it’s on your key ring?

Accidental activation usually occurs when it’s in your trouser pocket, along with other stuff (keys?) and you lean forward while sitting.
I agree it will not happen when you turn it OFF half a turn (180°).

I agree, Olight designed the light in a way that is not intended for a consumer to replace the 10180…


Yes, as PBWilson mentioned, I have not managed to take the i1R 2’s head off. After unscrewing to reveal the charging port, the head tends to point at an angle and not stay straight. I would guess there is another set of threads to get the head off, but I haven’t managed to engage any threading.

The inability to eventually replace the cell is one of the biggest shortcomings of the i1R 2. Personally I don’t like disposable products.

Jerommel Yes it is on a keychain, but my hand is in contact only with the light. I usually have my middle finger wrapped around the body and my thumb and index finger rotate the head.

It’s anodized Aluminium, isn’t it?
That’s also a bit silly for a key chain light i.m.h.o.
So this light will either be trash when the battery fails or when it actually looks like trash…

I’ve had one of my M01’s on my key ring for quite a while, and it still looks good.
Yes, some minor scratches, but nothing serious.
Even the tiny TIR optic, which is not recessed, is not scratched.

But i did have a lot of flickering issues with it, because of the little e-switch triangle thingy in the head, which switches it to high mode.
I replaced it with a tiny piece of sheet metal, which basically solved the problem.
It’s still 2 modes.