Photon Rainbow X-Light

Photon Rainbow X-Light, retail $10 (
Last update: 09-09-02

Photon X-Light

The Rainbow X-Light is probably like nothing you've come across before. It's a transparent keychain light that automatically displays a pattern of 7 different colors! You give it a simple squeeze, and it does the driving. In addition to flashing in colored patterns, the case glows somewhat, so you can see various colors emanating from the case itself. The Rainbow X-Light is powered by a replaceable pair of CR2016 lithium coin cells.


The X-Light Rainbow comes ready to use. Slowly pull out the special "Try Me" strip (this prevents the light from "going off" in shipment) and it's all yours. Squeezing the light once turns it on; squeezing it again turns it off.

The special "Try Me" strip has metal contacts strategically placed inside that allows a prospective buyer to try the light in the store without any risk of leaving it on and running the batteries down. Only when the ends of this strip are squeezed hard will the unit light up in the store. You'll want to pull this strip out and throw it away when you take your X-Light home with you.

Changing batteries in the X-Light is pretty much a tool-free process. Unless you consider a penny or a dime as a "tool". Take your "tool" (this can also be a butterknife or a flat-head screwdriver if you couldn't find any change in the couch), stick it in the slot provided on the rear, and twist. The bottom cover (where the shiny red "X-Light" logo appears) should pop open at the rear. Now, slide the cover towards the rear, and it should pop off. You should *not* need to remove the keyring attachment. The batteries are held in place within a shallow molded tray with a metal strap much like the Photon 3. Push the batteries out from under the strap, and slide two new ones in the tray, positive (flat) side facing up. Place the first battery all the way in the tray, and slide the second battery on top of it, being sure it goes under the gold colored retainer. The light will turn itself on if you have done this correctly. Slide the cover back on, lifting the back end as high as it will go without removing the ring, and slide it forward until it stops. Snap the rear back together, and you're finished.

It's actually a lot easier than this description makes it sound, and it will become second nature to you quite rapidly.

Like its monochromatic brothers, it's not made of glass-filled polyurethane, and its LED isn't a Nichia. But its LED can do tricks that no other light can do short of designing a large circuit for it, because its bag of tricks is inside the LED itself!. So if you somehow manage break your X-Light, you can salvage the LED out of it, stick it in your computer case, hook it up to the +5V line, and have the most unique power-on indicator on your block!

The X-Light features a digital switching system. You push a button, and a small IC inside turns the LED on and off. No need to keep squeezing. This is definitely the Cadillac of economy priced keychain LED lights.

Despite its appearance, it does seem to be reasonably durable. Dropping it doesn't seem to phase it, and stepping on it (on low-pile carpeting with no pad) simply turns it on and off. However, I wouldn't want to throw this one in the street and practise running over it with your motorcycle. The poor thing wouldn't be very happy with that, and would sit there looking up at you with its beady little LED and wonder why you're murdering it. :p

Three beams from one light! Cool! (or should that be "Kewl!")?

This isn't a light you work with, it's a light you play with. However, if it's the only light you have on you and you have to get down the blacked out stairway of a burning house, it is bright enough to use for that. Set a few of these around the house, and voila! Instant mood lighting.

UPDATE 09-01-02:
Sample received approximately 08-28-02.

Digital switching
No need to keep squeezing to keep lit
Tool-free battery change
Unusual, self-flashing RGB LED

Batteries can be expensive & hard to find in an emergency
Maybe not as useful as a real flashlight, but that's not what it's for anyway.
I don't believe it's quite as durable as a regular Photon Microlight. But the price is lower.

    PRODUCT TYPE: Mini keychain novelty light
    LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, RGB with integral controller IC
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Tri-beam configuration. See photo.
    SWITCH TYPE: "Computer dome switch" with digital signal processing.
    BEZEL: LED slightly recessed in a channel.
    BATTERY: 2 CR2016 lithium coin cells
    WATER RESISTANT: Light weather/spash resistance only
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, split ring
    WARRANTY: 30 days


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