Photon "Freedom to the Max" Micro Light, retail $19.95 (
Manufactured by LRI (
Last updated 03-20-12

The gold "Freedom to the Max" labelling on the bottom of the unit will NOT appear on units you can purchase. It was only present on evaluation samples and sales samples. So please stop calling and emailing LRI about this.

The Photon "Freedom to the Max" Micro Light is the latest offshoot from the Photon Micro Lights I, II, 3, and Freedom Micro. It comes housed in a glass filled resin case, runs from 1 CR2032 or 2 CR2016 cells (depending on the LED color), and is advertised to be 100% brighter than other micro lights on the market today.

The "Freedom to the Max" Micro has a microcontroller buried inside that allows it to have dimming, strobe, and SOS functions you cannot get just with an LED and battery alone.


The "Freedom to the Max" Micro is almost ready to use right out of the package.
First thing you'll want to do is hold the "Freedom to the Max" Micro's button down for 20 seconds (until the "Freedom to the Max" Micro turns off) to remove it from "demonstration mode". Then you'll have full use of all the "Freedom to the Max" Micro's features.

To turn the "Freedom to the Max" Micro on, just press and release the button on the top of the flashlight. To turn the "Freedom to the Max" Micro back off, press and release the button again.

Note: Some of the text below is from the LRI website.

To dim the light once it is turned on, simply press and hold the button to dim the light to the desired level.

Pressing and holding the button when the light is already off will turn it on at the lowest level and allow you to gradually increase the brightness to give you just the amount of light you need.

When needed, the four safety strobe functions (fast, medium, slow, & SOS) can be accessed by continuing to hold the button down. Once the light has dimmed or brightened fully, it will proceed to cycle through the various strobe functions. Simply release the button when you reach the desired beacon mode.

Momentary or "signaling" mode can be accessed by tapping the button several times in rapid succession. In this mode, you can send morse code messages to somebody, or just squeeze it to get a shot of light whenever you need it. To exit this and return the "Freedom to the Max" Micro to normal operation, simply press and hold the button for several seconds until the light turns off.

End theft mode.

Changing the battery or batteries in your "Freedom to the Max" Micro is easy. Just turn the light upside down, and carefully pry the battery cap off by inserting the tip of a knife blade or the tip of a nail file under the recess for it right in front of the keychain hole at the tail end; then pull the cap off once it is lifted far enough for you to grasp.

Remove the one or two dead batteries and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Lay in one or two new ones (remember, this varies depending on LED color; 1 CR2032 cell for infrared, red, orange, and yellow; 2 CR2016 cells for green, blue-green, blue, violet, and white) flat side (+) facing you; being sure the edge of the top battery fits under the brass strap or bridge you see in the battery compartment.

Now, lay the battery cap or door over the opening, and simply press the cap into place like you would the lid on a Tupperware bowl. You'll feel that satisfying "Tupperware snap" as the cap is fitted in place. :) This cap has a tighter fit than the cap on the original Freedom Micro, so you may need to press down on it more firmly when closing up the flashlight after a battery change.

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 microcontroller something nasty might happen if you put the batteries in backward.

Like its predecessors, the Photon "Freedom to the Max" Micro is one tough cookie. The housing is made of a glass reinforced polyurethane resin compound, and is, for all intents and purposes, indestructible.

The "Freedom to the Max" Micro seems built to take any punishment or misfortune you may bestow upon it.

The instruction booklet doesn't specify the degree of water resistance, but does provide instructions for resurrecting a flooded light (disassemble it and let the pieces dry).

The "Freedom to the Max" Micro comes with a spring-loaded quick-release keyring attachment, already affixed to the light with a small split ring. This allows you to "snap" the "Freedom to the Max" Micro onto your keyring with just a flick of the wrist, and allows you to quickly remove it by depressing the flat "gate" on its ring. So you don't have to fumble with jingling keys and try to get a split ring aligned correctly in order to get the "Freedom to the Max" Micro off your keychain. It goes on and comes off easily.

This version of the "Freedom to the Max" Micro is the covert version, in that an opaque black hosel surrounds the LED, and prevents you or anybody else from seeing the LED light from the sides or from the rear.

Beam photograph at ~12".
Measures 51,600mcd on its highest setting.
Measures 36mcd on its lowest setting.

This is, by far, the brightest single LED coin cell flashlight I've seen.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this flashlight.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this flashlight; yet newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this flashlight; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 430nm and 480nm to pinpoint native emission peak wavelength, which is 460.184nm.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.

Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Dimming functions use a method called PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). This means the LED rapidly blinks on and off; faster than human vision can detect it. The LED receives high current during its "on" time, so current-based LED light output discolorations will not occur with the "Freedom to the Max" Micro, the Photon 3, the original Photon Freedom Micro, the Photon Fusion, and the Photon Fusion Freedom; lights that LRI makes that use PWM to dim their LEDs.

There are quite a few different brightnesses; more than I can readily discern.

Test unit was sent by N.S. of LRI (Laughing Rabbit Incorporated) and was received on the afternoon of 03-23-05. Product is in its initial stages of testing.

UPDATE: 04-10-05
I have it on good authority that the new Freedom to the Max Micro will be shipped in the standard Freedom Micro packaging. Within the next several weeks, a sticker reading "100% Brighter!" will be affixed to the fronts of these packages. If you order a Freedom Micro directly from LRI, you can be 100% assured of receiving this brighter model.

UPDATE: 05-21-05
I received an email from a website visitor last night regarding the Freedom to the Max Micro. Verbatim and in its entirety, here is what he wrote:

I recently contacted Laughing Rabbit Inc. regarding the new Freedom Photon Microlight. Evidently, the new version does not feature the “freedom to the Max” logo on the back of the light. Also, the first production batch does not have the “2X as bright” stickers on the box front. I understand the next batch will have the box stickers but not the logo.

UPDATE: 05-31-05
From an email I received early this afternoon from one of my contacts at LRI:

...we are expecting the "100% Brighter" labels today which we will be affixing to all Freedom "Max" packages that go out from this point forward. We will also send a number of these package labels out to our dealers that have received the new Freedom w/o labelling.

UPDATE: 11-25-05
I received an email today, with one solution to the reported problem of unwanted activation:

Hi Craig.
Just a note about my 'Doug Ritter' version of the Photon Freedom. I wasn't too happy when it turned on in my pocket twice in the first week I had it. The second time I got up in the night and it was flashing in my pants pocket, so I know the switch was pressed just long enough to go into flashing mode but not long enough to trigger the 'crush' feature that would have turned it off. Anyway, following advice I found on the photon forum I pried out the electronics (pry from the end opposite the led) and sanded off about half the 'nub' on the inside of the case that presses the switch. It's now harder to turn on and at least so far the problem is solved.

Super bright in HIGH mode
Easy to change modes
Durable construction
Good color rendition
Useably wide beam
Doesn't discolor when dimmed
Tiny in size
Easy to carry & store
Better water resistance than Photon II
Screw-free battery changing
No plastic switch to fumble with, leak, or break off.

Batteries can be expensive & hard to find in an emergency
Some users may dislike the one-button interface - will not figure into my rating

    PRODUCT TYPE: Mini keychain flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, all colors + IR + NUV
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Circular; beam quality varies with LED type
    SWITCH TYPE: Snap-action microswitch with digital signal processing.
    BEZEL: LED protected by opaque hosel (covert version), none (non-covert version)
    BATTERY: 1 CR2032 or 2 CR2016 lithium coin cells
    SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!! , but should be OK after accidental dunking
    ACCESSORIES: Battery(ies)
    WARRANTY: Full lifetime


    Star Rating

Photon "Freedom to the Max" Micro Light *

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