Jason Hui has been making swanky custom flashlights for a few years now. Swanky in the senses that: they look cool; they cost a lot; and they burn up to 200% brighter than typical Maglites using fractionally-sized AAA batteries. His latest release, the Beta-QR adds further dimensions of superiority by way of its keychain size, quick-release functionality, high-quality LED light source, and maintained ability to outshine its D-cell predecessors by 50% using only a single AAA.
To Hui's knowledge, he has created the world's first quick-release AAA keychain flashlight (patent: pending). The quick-release attribute basically renders the flashlight useful--instead of remaining shackled to your keys during use, the Beta-QR smoothly pops off to perform your desired function, and snaps back on, returning to its default state of unnoticeable until you need it again.
Beta-QR flashlight LEDs are Nichia 219s, which Hui calls "a bit of semiconductor magic that turns the idea of 'bad quality LED light' on its head" by providing a rich and bright output that is actually pleasant to look at. He notes that LEDs have changed, improved in operation, and are calling us to "stop living in the dark ages. Yes, that was a flashlight pun." Oh boy, I flove flashlight puns.
Since Hui is meticulous--and also appears to be an epically skilled and admirable geek--he took one final step to elevate his Beta-QR to Boss status: he scoured the world of LEDs and selected the Nichia 219 because it has a 90+ Color Rendering Index (CRI). In terms of what the hell that is, imagine how different light sources intermingle with your visual system--some, such as daylight, provide color accuracy of a perfect 100. Others, such as probably my portable balls night lights , clock in at 50 or less. Hui's tiny newborn Prometheus will typically provide 90+ CRI, currently the highest per lumen in the industry. I probably won't care about this when I'm just trying to find the $20 I dropped while trying to pay the cab driver, but I might when I'm camping in the black of night and have been invited to the tent next door and need to rifle through my pack to determine which is my last clean pair of underwear. Yeah, as a matter of fact, that does happen all the time.
The Prometheus Beta-QR wraps up its fatly funded Kickstarter campaign on October 21, 2013. Pledge levels start at $45 for a flashlight finished with electroless nickel or Type III hard anodizing, and increase to $65 for solid copper with a 3-mode driver.
June 2014 Update: The Prometheus Beta-QR exceeded its crowdfunding goal and is now available for direct purchase through the Prometheus Lights website--follow the link below.