Tag: Flashlight

Need a Little Light?

Light is something we all need.  Whether naturally or artificially generated light is necessary for humans to discern distance, color and motion.  For years I’ve carried some form of light or another, normally in the form of a small flashlight on my key chain.

My key chain light of choice for the past 10 years was a Photon light.  Small, inexpensive and very durable the Photon has been useful in countless situations throughout the years.  Recently while reading the Every Day Carry blog I stumbled upon a new light that I just had to try.

The Streamlight Nano has some pretty impressive specs:

  • Up to 8 hrs. run time
  • Machined aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finish
  • Powered by 4 alkaline button cells (included)
  • 100,000 hr. lifetime high-intensity LED
  • LED available in white (10 lumens)
  • 1.47″ x .51″
  • .36 oz.

But I think the most impressive spec is the price!  This light can be purchased for less than $10 on Amazon and it’s worth every penny.

Now 10 lumens does not seem like a lot of light, especially when compared to other lights like the $40 Quark Mini 123 which can pump out 180 lumens, but it’s perfect for everyday tasks like looking under a desk, or simple task lighting.  I’ve used it for lighting up a dark hallway and changing the air filter on my car at night.  The tiny size all but guarantees it’s going to be with me at all times.

Top – Surefire 6Z
Middle – Quark MiNi 123
Bottom – Streamlight Nano

Operation is simple.  Twist on, twist off.  That’s all there is to it.  No special functions or flashing patterns with this one.  Compared to the Surefire 6Z and Quark Mini the Streamlight is practically non-existent.

The unit comes with button cell batteries (4 of them) as well as a split ring and spring-loaded clip.  Once installed on a key chain it’s not even noticeable.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive key chain light that really performs I recommend you check out the Streamlight Nano.  If you do, leave a comment below and let me know how you like it!



Daily Carry – Quark MiNi 123 Flashlight

4Sevens Quark MiniX 123

Every once in a while a product exceeds my expectations so much I have to tell the world about it.  This is the case with my latest Every Day Carry (EDC) item the “4Sevens Quark Mini 123” flashlight ($39 retail price).

Not only is this one of the smallest flashlights I have ever used it far surpasses my old standby the Surefire 6Z that I reviewed back in January 2009.  I first learned about the Quark Mini 123 while looking around on the Every Day Carry site.

The EDC site is a place for people to submit photographs of the items they carry with them every day (tactical and otherwise).  A common theme of these user submitted photos was the Quark Mini 123.

With my curiosity piqued I did some searching on the web and found several reviews on YouTube, all of which were very favorable regarding this flashlight.  That was enough for me to order one to see for myself.

123 Size Lithium Battery

I’ve included the specifications of this flashlight at the end of this review but here’s one spec you need to know.  This little light can produce 180 Lumens of light, and it only uses a single 123 sized lithium battery!  The Surefire with LED head produces 80 Lumens (and uses two 123 batteries) and I thought that was bright enough!

How bright is 180 Lumens?  Remember those AA MagLights we all had at one point or another (or still have)?  That light produces 15.2 average Lumens and a run time of 5.5 hours on alkaline batteries.  A three D cell MagLight model produces on average 76.8 Lumens with a run time of about 9 hours.

Something to note about the above comparison is that the MagLights are using incandescent light bulbs (filament inside of a vacuum).  Most “modern” flashlights are now using LED bulbs that produce an incredible amount of light given their size and power input.  I upgraded the Surefire to an LED head to get the 80 Lumens of output (it produced 65 with its incandescent bulb from the factory)

Size Comparison (AA & 123 batteries)

LED bulbs also generate a lot of heat to prolonged use can cause the light to get a little warm (hot in the case of the Surefire 6Z)  LED bulbs are not easily replaceable in the field either.  The good thing is they last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs.

To activate the Quark MiNi 123, tighten the bezel clockwise. The light will turn on when the bezel is fully tightened, and turn off when the bezel is loosened.  Turning the light on/off quickly will activate the 3 output settings (Low/Med/High).  Cycle through the output settings twice (within about 5 seconds) and you will activate the “special” settings (Strobe, SOS, High/Low Beacon).

I can’t say enough about this little light.  It’s about the size of an average thumb and easily fits in any pocket.  The included lanyard is a good way to keep track of the light because it’s easily misplaced.

I still keep my Surefire in my EDC bag but the Quark Mini 123 is my preferred light just about every time.

4Sevens Q Mini X 123 Specifications (from the 4Sevens.com site):

  •     LED: CREE XP-G R5
  •     Max Output: 180 Out-the-front (OTF) lumens
  •     Material: Type-III Hard-anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum
  •     Lens: Optical-grade glass lens with anti-reflective coating on both sides
  •     Reflector: Light orange-peel textured
  •     Water resistance: IPX-8
  •     Battery: One lithium CR123A (3V) – do not use rechargeable RCR123As

  Seven Output Modes:

  •         Low: 3 OTF lumens, 150 hours
  •         Medium: 40 OTF lumens, 8 hours
  •         High: 180 OTF lumens, 1.2 hours
  •         Special (hidden) modes:
  •         Strobe 2.4 hours
  •         SOS 7.2 hours
  •         Beacon (Hi) 12 hours
  •         Beacon (Lo) 60 hours


  •         Length: 2.3 inches
  •         Diameter: 0.80 inches
  •         Weight: 0.62 ounces (w/o battery)

Included accessories: Lanyard, split ring for keychain attachment, spare o-ring.