LEDTronics KeyLED

LEDTronics KeyLED Light, retail $12.00 (http://www.theledlight.com)
Manufactured by LEDTronics (http://www.ledtronics.com)
Last updated August 13, 2000

LEDTronics KeyLED Light

The KeyLED Flashlight (from here on referred to as "the Bullet") is a tiny, keychain-mounted LED light. Packaged in a stylish all-aluminum bullet-style case, this light can easily be mistaken for one of those $3 laser pointers. But the case style is where the similarity ends.
Give the end a twist, and a brilliiant amber light shoots out of the end.

The Bullet is equipped with "O" rings, which should help give it some resistance to rain and moisture.

The Bullet comes with three batteries and a keyring & spring-loaded clasp.
Both the batteries and keychain attachment are packaged seperately, and must be installed yourself.


When you receive this light, the batteries for it are included on the retail card. Open the battery compartment by unscrewing the bottom of the light until the end comes off. Then simply drop in the included batteries, negative (button) side first, and screw the base back on.

To attach the keyring, you will probably need a small screwdriver, pocket knife, steak knife, or other sharply pointed instrument to pry open the small ring enough to get it started in the flashlight's keychain hole. Once it's started, it goes on easily and stays on securely. Despite the minor hassle, remember you only have to do this once.

To turn the light on, you simply grasp the body of the light in one hand, and give the head (the "bullet" portion) a counterclockwise twist, and presto, you've got light.
To turn it off, give the head a little twist in the opposite direction (clockwise, in this case) and it goes off.

This light produces a brilliant amber-yellow colored beam, which spreads out a moderate amount but is still focused enough to light up something across a large room at night.
If you remove the cap (as if changing the LED bulb) the beam will brighten and widen a little; however you will lose water resistance and the ability to turn the light off until you screw it back on. If you need just that little extra light for a specific task, this is handy to know.

Although this light isn't as bright as many other lights available today, it is more than adequate to light your way through a dark room or to hunt something down in a dark purse or bag. If you're stranded in the dark, it should easily be bright enough to change a tire or get a campsite set up with.
This light isn't intended to be your primary trail or camping light; it seems more well-suited to close-up tasks, for household emergencies, or for daily use like looking through personal carrying bags or purses.

One thing I really like about this light is that the LED bulb can be CHANGED without a whole lot of trouble. All it takes is a pair of wire nips; even scissors will do in a pinch, so that you can snip the wire leads on the new LED to the same length as the leads on the original LED that comes with the light. All you need to do is unscrew the top (as if you're turning the light on) until it comes off. The LED will easily come out by gently pulling it straight out. A new LED will then slip right into the socket. Within ten minutes of opening my test sample, I had discovered this capability and changed its yellow LED to red, then to green, then to turquoise, then to blue, then back to yellow. A white LED will fit in there (and work fine) just as easily.
A word of caution here though: some kinds of LEDs don't appreciate being hooked up backwards; so you should look at the LED you are pulling and put the new one in the same way.
When you look at the LED from the side, one part will be fat, and the other will be thinner. Put the new LED in so the fat and skinny parts of its insides are pointed the same way as the old one, and you shouldn't have any problems.

For this light, that shouldn't have to cost a lot.
The LR44 batteries this light uses are very common, and are used in calculators, watches, laser pointers, and other common devices. If you have to pay more than fifty cents apiece, you're paying way too much. (A good price is 10 for three bucks.)
To change the batteries in this light, you unscrew the bottom cap until it comes off. Dump the old batteries in the toilet (no, wait... dump them in the garbage instead), and get out three new ones.
To make battery installation a little easier, hold the barrel of the light horizontally in one hand, and slip the new batteries in, one at a time, with the other hand. Insert the batteries button-end (-) first. Once all three cells are inside, you can turn the light base-up if you wish, and screw the end cap back on.
If you hold the light open-end up right from the start, you may find the batteries have a tendency to go in crooked or get stuck halfway inside. Tip them back out and try it horizontally and you'll probably have a much easier time at it.

Battery life testing is currently in progress. Since I just received this light, these results are not yet available.
The packaging states battery life can exceed 48 hours; probably with very intermittent use. When burned continuously or for extended periods, this will likely decrease somewhat.

This little light seems to be built like a Trident missile. Fabricated out of aircraft aluminum, it is hightly doubtful that this light can be easily damaged or destroyed.
The lens-end does seem a little vulnerable to scratching, but the light will continue to work just fine if this part ever gets broken or becomes lost. Water resistance will be lost if the lens is broken however.

Rubber "O" rings seal both the bottom (where the batteries go) and the top (where you twist it to turn it on and off). The lens is also completely sealed, effectively rendering this light 100% waterproof. Not water-resistant, but waterproof. The only possible opening that is not sealed by a ring (the lens-end) was vacuum-tested, and held a vacuum. No leaks there.
Meaning, if it falls into a creek, pond, tub, ditch, sink or well, the insides will remain dry and the light will continue to function as good as new.
Although the instructions don't specify water-resistance, its construction does. Another well-respected reviewer of LED lights shows it to be waterproof to 20 meters (approximately 55-60 feet).

A limited lifetime warranty covers the flashlight against failure or defects; however, breakage caused by accident or abuse isn't covered.
If for some reason the light quits working after an accident, try checking to see that the LED simply didn't wiggle loose. Pushing it straight down into its socket should almost certainly restore proper operation. There aren't too many parts in this light that can become broken.

Throwing the light across the room (as if I were teed off at it) did not phase it one bit.

The Bullet is stylish to look at, with it brushed silver and black case. You need not be ashamed to display it out in the open, dangling from your keys or belt loop.
Convenience is another positive point with this light. It hangs unobtrusively from your keys until you need it. Despite its diminutive size, it's remarkably easy to grasp and turn on & off.

Upper left: Original Yellow LED. Upper right: Quickly replaced with a green one.
Lower left: Then replaced with turquoise. Lower right: Replaced again with a blue one.

Note, the camera tends to distort LED colors. These pictures were not retouched in any manner.

A white LED was later tried, and worked satisfactorily. Not as bright as most other single-LED lights, but adequate for most any close-up tasks or for emergency lighting in the dark.

The LEDs used in the above photographs are:
Yellow: Originally supplied with the light. Manufacture not known.
Green: Nichia NSPG515BS, newer model.
Turquoise: Nichia NSPE590S, older model.
Blue: Nichia NSPB500S, older model.
The three Nichia LED models can be purchased from B.G. Micro (http://www.bgmicro.com) for about three dollars apiece.

The purpose of this site is not to break flashlights, but to place them in conditions a flashlight might actually encounter during common use. So sorry, no sandpaper to the lens or other needless torture will be going on here.

Battery life testing is also being conducted, but so far (4 weeks? later) it's still burning as good as new on the same set.

Very small and discreet, waterproof, stylish, reasonably bright for close-up tasks (even more so with replacement LED), lamp can be replaced by the user, inexpensive batteries if you know where to look, easy to carry & use anywhere, comes with keychain & hook.
Yellow model as tested was not as bright as many other lights (see description above).

          MANUFACTURER: LEDTronics
          PRODUCT TYPE: Keychain
          LAMP TYPE: LED, all visible colors, 5mm
          No. OF LAMPS: 1
          BEAM TYPE: Circular, quality varies with LED color
          SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on bezel
          BEZEL: Small magnifying lens-end.
          BATTERY: 3 LR-44 button cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: Said to withstand 60 feet, unconfirmed
          ACCESSORIES: Key ring with spring-loaded clasp, batteries
          WARRANTY: Lifetime, except for abuse or accident

                PRODUCT RATING:

                DURABILITY: 10
                BRIGHTNESS: 7
                USEABILITY: 7
                BATTERY LIFE: 9
                BATTERY AVAILABILITY: 6

                OVERALL SCORE: 39


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WHITE 5500-6500K InGaN+phosphor 
ULTRAVIOLET 370-390nm GaN 
BLUE 430nm GaN+SiC
BLUE 450 and 473nm InGaN
BLUE Silicon Carbide
TURQUOISE 495-505nm InGaN
GREEN 525nm InGaN 
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