Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Starpower Mightystar [Keychain Flashlight]

StarPower MightyStar Keychain Flashlight - Front View
Well made and it even looks cool
The Mightystar is a fairly new keychain flashlight that I've recently become aware of. This is in the same class as the well regarded Streamlight Nano, which uses the same emitter.

Product Description


This is a button cell keychain flashlight. It uses the standard Nichia 5mm emitter, used by lots of other AAA and keychain lights. It has a textured and anodized Aluminum body. The reason I bought this one over the Nano is that the head of the flashlight has a hexagonal shape, which in addition to looking cool, gives the flashlight an anti-roll feature.

My review sample was purchased from Amazon and arrived in only a couple of days. Gotta love Prime. It doesn't seem to be currently available anywhere, though, which is a shame. But I'm still going to write the review because it's a cool little keychain light. Maybe it will come back in stock with the vendor I ordered it from.

Official Specs (From Amazon)

  • Nano LED Keychain Flashight
  • Machined aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finish.
  • Powered by 4 alkaline button cells (included).
  • 100,000 Hour Lifetime featuring Nichia Hhigh-Intensity LED.
  • Water Reistant and 18 Lumen Measured Output

Nichia 5mm Class


This light is part of a whole class of lights that use the same Nichia 5mm LED emitter. Other lights in this class include the Streamlight Nano, Fenix E01, Nitecore T0, Sunwayman R01A, just to name a few.

The tint with this emitter is always the same hideous purple, and the output is usually around 10 lumens for any lights in this class. Lights that use this emitter have two things going for them:

First, it's a very efficient emitter, and 10 lumens is plenty of usable light for most tasks. AAA lights in this class for example usually get around 12 hours of light, and can "vampire" every last bit of charge out of your batteries.

StarPower MightyStar Keychain Flashlight - Shown With Sanrenmu GB-763 Folding KnifeSecond, lights in this class are varying degrees of indestructible. The Fenix E01 for example is widely accepted as being literally bomb-proof. There's youtube videos of people freezing, smashing, running over, and dropping E01's out of tall buildings, trying to kill them.

Fit and Finish


Overall, very good on my sample. The machining and anodizing are first rate, and the included attached lobster claw is above average. The twist action has a smooth feel, but it's a little too smooth, and probably risks the head working its way loose and falling off.

I don't know where it's made-I assume China- but it's well designed and well made.

Conclusions


This is a well made light, but I have a concern that the head will have the tendency to unscrew while jostling around on my keychain, never to be seen again. I thought about putting some teflon tape on the threads to keep it more secure, but I think I'm going to just attach this light to a zipper on my EDC electronics backpack, where it will make a great backup light.

I really only use lights of this class on keychains and as last-resort backups, which I feel they are ideal for. And this one has a well-made lobster claw for easy attachment to pretty much anything. In my opinion it will probably do better in an environment which won't work the head loose, like a backpack or keys kept inside a purse. Other than that, it looks to be a very durable and reliable light. It doesn't seem to be any brighter than an E01 so I would say that the 18 lumen output is overstated.

StarPower MightyStar Keychain Flashlight - Front of Package StarPower MightyStar Keychain Flashlight - Back of Package

StarPower MightyStar Keychain Flashlight - Clipped to SwissGear Backpack
I think I'll keep it on the backpack


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