Purple Photon III Mod

User Modification: Photon 3 plus violet LED, -$25-
Manufactured by "Aragorn" (Trevor Nasko,
Last updated 05-14-02

Aragorn my friend, so funny and smart. But can you tell, these brothers apart?

One of these two is *not* the newly-released purple Photon 3. The other is. Can you tell them apart? Maybe not, unless you know exactly what you're looking for. This is the Purple P3 mod that's been discussed on Candlepower Forums lately. It started life as an ordinary Photon 3 (a blue-green model, in this case) and was modified by a CPF member to become the world's first purple Photon 3. Of course, not long after that, LRI started cranking out purple P3s.

Functionally, the modified light is much like the original. This Photon 3 comes with batteries already installed and ready to go. Part of testing the mod of course involves removing the insulator, so you won't have to do that when you receive it.

To get a quick shot of purple light anytime, just squeeze the button towards the front of the light's casing. The real magic is in the rear button. When you press and hold down the rear button, the Photon 3 cycles through all of its modes: Auto Off, High Brightness, Medium Brightness, Low Brightness, Fast Strobe, Medium Strobe, and Low Strobe.
The strobe modes aren't true strobes because the "on" time is relatively long, so you can probably forget about trying to do true stop-action effects - however you can stop or reverse an electric fan or other fast-moving object with the light's Low mode.

While the rear button is being held, the light will keep each mode on for just under 4 seconds, then move on to the next. To stop at a mode you want, just release the button. The next time you press it, the light turns off, but it "remembers" the last mode that was on, and activates it the next time you use the light by pressing the rear button.

To get the maximum brightness on demand, just press the top button anytime; it immediately overrides the microcontroller and gives full power regardless of the light's previous setting. This button is momentary only, so you have to hold it down for as long as you need the full brightness; once you release it the light returns to the mode you used last, or turns off if it was already off to begin with.

The light comes equipped with a small tail ring & large sturdy chrome keyring for quick & easy attachment to your keys; you may also remove the keyring and affix the Photon 3 to to lanyards, clips, or other attachment accessories of your choice.

Unlike the Photon 2, changing the batteries in the Photon 3 is a tool-free and screw-free process. Just turn the light upside down, and carefully pry the battery cap off by inserting a ballpoint pen or the tip of a nail file under the tab; then pulling the cap off once the tab is lifted far enough for you to grasp.

Remove the two dead batteries and toss in the nearest bidet... no wait, better make that the nearest garbage can instead. :) Lay in two new ones, flat side (+) facing you; being sure the edge of the top battery fits under the small metal tab on the inside edge of the case.
(Newer models: slide the batteries into the case so that they go under the large metal retaining strap - this strap or bridge replaces the much smaller and more easily damaged tab found in earlier models).
Now, lay the battery cap over the opening, being sure to align the little tab with the slot it fits into at the tail end of the light, and simply press the cap into place like you would the lid from a Tupperware bowl. You'll feel that satisfying "Tupperware snap" as the cap is fitted in place. :)

More than ever, it is important that you get the batteries in correctly. With just an LED, you can sometimes get away with it, but with the new microcontroller something nasty might happen if you put the batteries in backwards.

This modification appears very professional, and it looks like the flashlight was supposed to come this way. Though this light is not submersible, it should hold up fine in bad weather.

This is a comparison of the modified light and the newer stock purple P3. Aragorn chose an LED with a slightly longer wavelength and a narrower beam, so his appears brighter to the eye than the factory-built purple P3 does.

Comparison between Aragorn's mod and the "real thing".
His light is on the left, LRI's stock purple P3 on the right.

Aragorn at CPF is modifying & selling these for approximately $25.00. This is an "old new style" Photon 3 with the newer microswitches, newer battery retainer, but older (prior to April 2002) logic. See his website at

UPDATE: 00-00-00

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