Today I have a little keychain light from Armytek. This is the Zippy, and I have the “Extended Kit” – see what that means later. It’s a tiny thing! Great for keychains but probably better as a reading headlamp. Read on for some testing!
Official Specs and Features
There’s the Zippy, and also the Zippy Extended Kit (seen here). Both are available in multiple colors: Blue Sapphire (seen here), Green Jade, Grey Onyx, and Yellow Amber. There aren’t any emitter choices.
Price and Coupon
These go for $19 right now at armytek.com.
I liked this light much better after I opened it – it’s well built. As for usage, it’s good enough. Probably best for reading and not a whole lot more due to that it’s basically a mule. The headband and all that are good, too.
The Big Table
|Price in USD at publication time:||$19.00|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||–|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||(Not possible.)|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||160|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||-^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||15|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||16lux @ 2.079m = 69cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||16.6 (110.7% of claim)*|
|All my Armytek reviews!|
- Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
^ In the case of this light, I didn’t perform calibrated runtimes. Basically I accepted their 160 lumen value, and adjusted my graphs to that. My calibrated setup won’t work well with a light that produces maybe 180 degrees of output.
- Armytek Zippy Kechain Flashlight
- Armytek headband
- Headband mount that includes a magnet
After this first picture I’ll go ahead and address the watermark you’ll see on these photos. In the past I’ve had photos used in a way I didn’t consent to. Not much more to it than that, and so I’ll leave it at that.
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
Build quality on the Zippy is surprisingly good. It’s a fully plastic body but actually quite rigid. There are some accessories attached – more on that later.
Two attachments you see here actually detach fairly easily – the black magnet part, and the pocket clip.
The magnet part (which attaches on a ball to the headband) slips out easily, and “locks” into the light magnetically.
This isn’t the magnet you’ll use to stick the light to things. But the magnet is strong.
With all the external parts removed, it’s a nice tiny slim pocket light.
Just four screws hold the body halves together. These unscrew easily but hold the body very snugly together.
The little metal loop is held in place by friction here – it is easy to remove once the body is separated. It’s not held in place by anything.
Size and Comps
59mm x 25mm x 9mm in size, and 12g in weight.
Retention and Carry
Below is the headstrap mount. This attaches to the light on a ball type clip in system. This clip also offers another belt loop connection option.
The ball allows the light to be oriented quite freely. There’s also a magnet in this base, so it can be used without the headband altogether. Thus, the light can be mounted easily, and then oriented in just about any direction.
The black plastic mount also has slip in headband connectors.
The headband is as below. It’s slim and stretchy, and very branded.
The light doesn’t attach to the headband except on the black plastic piece.
There’s also a metal loop, mentioned above. Good for keyrings and the like.
Also included is a metal pocket clip, which is removable. It only attaches in one spot and one orientation (otherwise it’d block something).
This could be a hatlight, but the output would end up pretty close to your eyes, and generally probably not be all that ideal.
Power and Runtime
The Zippy is powered by an internal lipo battery, which is soldered to the contacts. These are fairly accessible, so technically the battery is replaceable. (But not really).
Here are a couple of runtimes. Again these aren’t calibrated, so the 30 second value of “160” and “50” are just taking Armytek’s word for it.
Output on Medium is fairly respectable, holding mostly steady (but still unregulated) for over an hour.
The Zippy also has on-board charging. There’s a micro-USB port in the side. A charge cable is not included.
Charging is around 1C, which is good enough. This takes just one and a third hour.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
^ Runtimes were uncalibrated
Pulse Width Modulation
No PWM on any mode (LMH order).
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
There’s just one switch on the Zippy. It’s an e-switch, right near the middle of the front.
The switch is very close to the body, and not all that easy to feel without looking.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Hold||Lockout (Confirmation by one blink)|
|On||Hold||Mode Cycle (LMH)|
|Lockout||Hold||Unlock (Confirmation by one blink)|
LED and Beam
The emitter is not specified in the Zippy. That said, it looks very much like a Samsung
LH351d LH351b, which has been very popular in the enthusiast community. This sample isn’t the best tint/temp of that emitter, but it’s still pretty good.
I’m not sure what the pad under there is like, but it’s probably not any harder to emitter swap this than any other light.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Good build quality
- Pretty good choice of emitter
- Good for book reading
- Very simple UI
What I don’t like
- Short runtimes
- Sort of weird beam profile
- Switch is hard to find without looking
- This light was provided by Armytek for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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