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Home » Budget Kit: Poundland COB LED Keyring Reviewed

Budget Kit: Poundland COB LED Keyring Reviewed

Browsing the shelves of the best-known UK pound retailer I spotted this little keyring light with a 35mm long Chip-On-Board LED panel. Kit at this low price level can always be a gamble when it hasn’t been reviewed and I’m often wary of purchasing yet more plastic that will be destined for landfill almost immediately after purchase. So – is it a useful little torch or a waste of money? Let’s find out with a Poundland COB LED Torch Review

Found amongst the tools and hardware, this little light isn’t marketed toward the outdoors market and that’s a good thing. A good torch is an essential item for any walker and something more robust and of better build quality is important, so it’s good to see that the branding isn’t presenting itself as an outdoor leisure torch.

Poundland LED Torch Review

Poundland COB LED Torch in its blister packaging
Poundland COB LED Keyring Light in Blister Pack

However, a torch and spare batteries are such key items for every walker’s kit bag that also raises a need for a third essential – something to see with if you need to change the batteries in your torch after dark! Groping around trying to feel battery terminals and springs, whilst not dropping things whilst in woods when your torch fades – especially if using rechargeable batteries and high-power LED lamps which together have a much shorter period between power fading and the torch switching off completely.

This is where this Poundland unit comes in. Supplied on a quite sturdy keyring loop, and measuring approximately 6.5cm long x 2.5cm wide (similarly sized to a disposable gas lighter in fact) it’s a good size to attach to a rucksack zipper or similar, to keep it handy if needed.

Unpacking the Torch

Taking the light out of the package I had a few questions. Firstly, did it work? At this price point not a ridiculous first question. Happily, yes it did – the first test passed! Upon pulling the tab from the battery compartment to connect the batteries, the torch switched on. The beam is fairly bright too – the packaging claims 30 lumens. I don’t possess the equipment to verify that claim, it’s certainly bright enough to avoid looking straight at. In fact, the brightness is something to be aware of. On first press the LED instantly switches on to high mode. It is best to have the torch facing away from you when switching it on.

A second press of the power button switches the LED to low beam. Low beam mode is ideal for using to look in a bag, change batteries in a head torch etc. A third press switches the light to a flashing mode which seems to flash quite quickly. As the product carries CE approval the flash rate should be below a rate which could trigger epilepsy. The flashing mode is fast enough to be unpleasant and seems to be a little bit pointless.

Bonus SOS Feature

One little bonus with this keyring torch is a fourth mode – SOS mode. You cannot send out the hillwalking/mountain distress signal of six flashes, a pause and repeat. The torch uses the also recognised morse code SOS: 3 short flashes, 3 long flashes, 3 short flashes, repeated after a pause.

To switch on the SOS flashing mode, press and hold the power button. This avoids triggering the mode unintentionally. It’s important to remember that this torch is not a powerful emergency beacon – however it could be a useful backup aid. If you found yourself in a situation needing rescue, this SOS light mode could assist nearby rescuers searching for you.

Another question I had was if it was a disposable unit? Some budget lights can come with batteries that you cannot replace. Torches made in this way generate more waste and disposal issues with mixed content, with batteries going to landfill sites. I found that the unit was opened quite easily by squeezing the 2 tabs on the edges of the torch at the keyring end and pulling the metal ring. The battery holder slides out allowing the replacement of the two CR2032 button cells that power the light.

Durability & Build Quality

As one might expect at this price point, there’s no waterproof seal on the battery terminal. The body is cheap plastic. I would not imagine this torch to be particularly waterproof nor to stand up to rough handling. As an emergency backup torch for short periods, to attach to a zipper on an inner rucksack compartment or in a jacket inner pocket this should not be a cause for concern.

Certainly, this LED light is something that will be going in my walking essentials pack. Whilst it is not a torch one would wish to rely upon as the main light source, it’s surprisingly useful. The SOS feature is an added bonus one hopes never to need

The subject of the Poundland COB LED Torch Review
COB Key Light

The branding on the blister pack states “Produced by PLDZ” in Walsall. You can search Google to see this to be a brand name registered by Poundland. The product may well be available under other brands too and this Poundland COB LED Torch Review would apply equally.