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GEAR WE RECOMMEND
Titanium Innovations Diminutive “IlluminaTi”
The Titanium Innovations IlluminaTi is the smallest and brightest flashlight that I’ve yet had the pleasure of using.
Machined from titanium and utilizing a high quality LED, this is a flashlight that will blaze and amaze. It takes a standard AAA battery, the kind you can buy in just about any store. Mine came with an standard Energizer L92 AAA lithium battery pre-installed.
The 90-lumen model I tested uses the Cree XP-E Q5 LED, good for 3/23/90 lumens (3 brightness levels). Its power cycle is medium/low/high.
There is also a 115-lumen version using the Cree XP-E Q5 LED offering 3/30/115 lumens. Its power cycle is low/medium/high to preserve night vision, and therefore this is the model that I had thought to tentatively recommend for photographers using it to peek at camera settings without losing night vision. However, I tested the 115-lumen model, and found that it was less bright than the 90-lumen model and I also prefer the color rendition of the 90-lumen model. So I’m sticking with the 90-lumen model.
Brightness and beam quality
There are three beam settings: very low, medium, and darn bright. Beam quality is superb, with no black spots or bubbles, just symmetric circular wide coverage with a brighter central core, as it should be.
Even the medium setting is quite sufficient for a night-time jog or hiking. With night-adjusted vision, the low setting is still enough for walking.
The bright setting is impressively bright. Seriously.
Biking at night with this tiny light
I took my mountain bike out for a ride, and the high setting gave me ample illumination for riding at up to 20mph (30kph) on clear roads lacking streetlights.
Not only that, I found I could control the beam easily and precisely by slipping a finger through a 3/4" ring I had attached to it (and without any loss of grip on the bike handlebar).
In a city with street lights and cars headlamps the IlluminaTi would perhaps be insufficient, but it would serve the crucial function of being seen— being far too bright to comfortably look at. Nor would I pound down my favorite singletrack with it. The point is that the beam is impressively bright, better than common flashlights 10 times its size.
Turn the barrel counter-clockwise, then clockwise to select one of three brightness levels, cycling between them.
This approach to the brightness level means that if the IlluminaTi is left in a purse or pocket, it will not turn itself on by accident.
The IlluminaTi stands on its end, so it can be used as an “up light” to illuminate a small space, like a tent, or cabin or bathroom or shower.
There is an included pocket clip that can be attached in either direction (not shown in picture on this page). So it go on a hat or whatever.
The diminutive size means that the IlluminaTi is a light you never have to leave behind. Some suggestions on why you might want more than one:
- In your camera bag, or even attached to your camera strap;
- In the under-seat pack on a bicycle as an emergency light (keep the ring attached so you can slip it over a finger). Tape one to your bike helmet for a more than adequate headlamp for street riding.
- On your keychain, in your pants or jacket pocket;
- In the glove box of your car;
- A home emergency kit for power outages;
- Perfect for backpacking!
- A woman’s purse or around the neck for those dark parking lots.
- For reading maps or books while traveling.
Junk the dinosaur
Do you have one of those dinosaur MagLite flashlights taking “D” cells and weighing a couple of pounds? The IlluminaTi will easily outshine them, and with a much higher quality beam, along with three brightness levels.
I would like to see a model with an instant on/off tailcap (perhaps recessed slightly to avoid incidental activation). The instant on/off would operate at whatever the last setting had been. I’ve found that style of functionality very useful for just a quick “peek” and with only the thumb needed to activate. For example, checking camera settings at night.
Check out the weight— under an ounce with the battery, just a few grams over an ounce even with the included clip-ring and chain. I removed that clip, and the pocket clip, and just use the small ring to attach it to my keychain, so it’s only 23.4 grams with the battery (as actually weighed on a scientific scale).
Weight with AAA Lithium battery: 23.4g, 31.3g with included clip-ring and chain Machined Titanium Body (Grade 2), polished finish Cree XP-E Q5 WC LED OP reflector 3 Output Levels; Reliable Twist Switch Output (emitter spec) / Runtime (L92): 23 Lumens, 4+ hours 3 Lumens, 24+ hours 90 Lumens, 1+ hours Power sequence: Medium > Low > High gives instant access to a frequently used level Intuitive interface: no strobe, sos or memory means predictable operation!
Extensively knurled for maximum grip
Pocket clip can be reversed for bezel up OR down per user preference (user installed)
Rounded ends limit 'pocket wear'
Dimensions: Length: 67.6mm / 2.66”, Diameter: 13.7mm / .54”, Weight: 14g / .49oz
Where to get it
I don’t often come across a light this small, this lightweight, this good. Well, actually it’s the best small light I’ve yet found. I’m planning on buying several more of them, it’s that good.
Get one for your keyring, one for your glove box, one for your camera pack, and one for your wife (or husband). It’s so small and light, and the beam quality is so good, that it will prove its worth quickly.