We found the most thorough ratings and tests of the Photon Micro-Light Freedom flashlight in reviews at two technical sites, FlashlightReviews.com and Imago Metrics. Backpacking Light also tests battery life, while BackpackGearTest.org covers practical uses and limitations in useful detail. For everyday use, Daniel Rutter at DansData.com compares the Photon Micro-Light Freedom flashlight with other tiny flashlights, evaluating ease of use, quality and durability.
Reviews say the Photon Micro-Light Freedom is the best keyring flashlight - much more durable than most, with a top-quality LED. It's tiny and lightweight, yet throws usable light about 20 feet. A microprocessor provides full-range brightness adjustment, and you can even summon rescuers with a strobe mode that's visible a mile away. The main drawback is that the battery can be hard to pry out when it's time to insert a fresh one. Also, you can only have one color - a white LED for reading or a red LED for night vision. If you need brighter light, reviews recommend the pocket-size Fenix P2D-CE flashlight (*est. $55), which has a voltage regulator to keep light bright as batteries fade.
Flashlight enthusiast Doug Pribis reviews and rates hundreds of flashlights based on detailed technical tests, recommending the Photon Freedom Max as one of the top three single-LED flashlights for pocket use, partly because of its top-notch LED. (The more expensive voltage-regulated Arc AAA Premium (*est. $45) is the top pick.
Review: Photon Freedom "To The Max", Doug Pribis, Dec. 2005
Based on technical and practical tests, this review calls the Photon Freedom Micro flashlight the "best in its class," giving it top ratings for exceptional quality and performance. The only drawback noted is it can be hard to pry the old battery out to change it.
Review: Photon Freedom Micro Review, Editors of Imago Metrics, 2005
Aimed at ultralight backpackers, this review tests the Photo Freedom LED flashlight for battery life and ease of use, finding that despite the microprocessor, brightness drops off sharply 30 minutes after a fresh battery is inserted. However, the light remains useful for reading and campsite tasks.
Review: Photon Freedom LED Microlight Spotlite Review, Will Rietveld and Rick Dreher, Apr. 2006
4. Backpack Gear Test
An experienced backpacker and gear tester provides a detailed review of the Photon Freedom Max flashlight for hiking and campsite use, with photos showing where he clips or hangs it for various purposes. It survives accidental laundering and provides enough light for hiking uphill on a rough trail, but not downhill.
Review: LRI Photon Freedom Micro Flashlight Review, Hugh Teegan, Feb. 2008
5. Dan's Data
Written by an independent reviewer of PC hardware and gadgets, this detailed and well-illustrated review compares the Photon Freedom Max with other tiny flashlights. The Freedom Max is highly recommended for its ease of use, adjustable brightness and excellent LED.
Review: Photon Freedom Micro and Micro-Light II, Daniel Rutter, Nov. 2007