Though I’ve shied from using a Photon II for my primary “headlamp” quite some time ago, I’ve been using it on my keychain kit for many years. When I did desktop support near the start of my IT career some time ago, I used the Photon II quite a bit. Mainly to shine into the recesses of an old desktop or server to see what ended up going on, sometimes I’d use it at home to shine on something quick that fell under a bookshelf (for example), or if I needed to look at a circuit breaker, etc. And for backpacking, just a handy light to keep around as quick light when I don’t want to fumble for my headlamp in the middle of the night. In short, I found the Photon II to be extremely useful for its weight.
But it finally went kaput on my road trip last year. Fortuitously when I jutted back into Colorado. So I went to a local outdoor store, asked about the keychain light, and they said no…but would I be interested in the Fenix UC02?
Somewhat more expensive at $25 vs the $10-$$15 for the Photon, but I found the compact size, weight (about a half ounce with battery) and the USB recharging to be intriguing. Add in the 130 lumens at its brightest, but a much more energy efficient and longer lasting 10 lumens at the lowest setting and this little gadget seemed a winner.
How did I find it a year later? Well, I mean, it is a flashlight. Not too much to write about overall. 🙂
It works, I’ve had no issues with it, it is more reliable than the Photon II, and the twist on/twist off mechanism works well. It does just what it should do in an emergency or if I need a quick light. And in a first aid class, checking pupil dilation with it impressed the instructor. 🙂 The brightest setting only lasts ~25 minutes per the specs, but the dimmer settings lasts about 3.5 hrs. The only thing I don’t like about it is you have to take apart the light in two pieces to charge it. You need to be careful not to lose a small part when changing up the light. Not a deal breaker, just an inconvenience.
At the end? Just a useful tool in my everyday kit and makes a better backup for winter backpacking or camping than a phone. I suspect I’ll use the Fenix UC02 for many years to come.
Disclosure: I purchased the light with my funds.