NanoLite Stick-on Key Light Review



If you’ve ever found yourself fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a keyhole with a key, I have a tiny gadget just for you. It’s the NanoLite from January Innovations. It actually claims to be the world’s smallest adhesive light. I’ve tried one for the past week. Let’s see if it has managed to stay stuck and still lights my way.


The NanoLite is an individually packaged plastic stick-on light that requires no assembly or tools to ‘install’. It was invented by special education teacher and mother Madeline Canfield of Scottsdale, Arizona.


They claim that it is the world’s smallest stick-on light… As you can see, it’s pretty dang small. The physical dimensions are 0.56″ x 0.7″ x 0.2″ thick.

nanolite-2 nanolite-3

It is made of Black plastic with a recessed button on top and a Red LED on one corner. On the back is a peel and stick patch of 3M VHB (Very High Bond) tape adhesive.


The LED is activated by pressing and holding the button on the top of the NanoLite. It has a lithium battery inside, with a shelf life of up to 10yrs and an operating life up to three years.


To install it, you just peel off the sticker from the back of the NanoLite and press it on to your key. It is suggested that you allow the adhesive set for 2hrs before using the light.


I’ve been using the NanoLite on one of my keys for the past week or so. I keep my keys in my coat pocket and I wasn’t sure that the NanoLite would stay stuck to the key due to rubbing against the other keys in my pocket. But after a week, it’s still there… I even tried to pull it off, but gave up because I didn’t want to destroy it. The adhesive is very strong and I don’t think that little light is coming off any time soon.


You might be wondering why the NanoLite’s LED is Red instead of a more typical bright White. It’s because Red is supposed to be better for night vision. The beam is bright and Red or not, I doubt you’ll have any trouble finding the keyhole when using it. The best thing about the NanoLite is that it doesn’t require an extra hand to hold it like a more typical flashlight. You use the same hand holding the key to press the button as you insert it in the lock to open it.

The only thing I would like to see improved is the thickness of the NanoLite. As is, I wouldn’t want to install them on all of my keys because it would make things pretty bulky.

All in all, the NanoLite is one of those simple products that causes a person to say “Why didn’t I think of that?”


Product Information

Price:$3.99 each or $9.99 for 4pk
  • Thick
Posted in: Car Gear, Gear
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Jenny February 10, 2009, 2:20 pm

    What an interesting product! The review does a great job showing how the light works, and I love how the light is small enough to take anywhere.

  • Geakz February 10, 2009, 2:45 pm

    If they can get the thickness down to that of a watch battery, then they’ll have something. Back-lit door locks would really be the answer to all of this.

  • thsu February 10, 2009, 3:54 pm

    It’s been ages since I’ve posted here, but one of the best things I’ve ever did was to replace my door knob with an electronic one from Schlage.

    The buttons light up when you press on them, so there’s no need for a flashlight, and better yet, since it’s electronic, there’s no need for a key either.

    It’s hard to describe how liberating it is to not have to worry about your house key, but once you’ve gotten used to it, you’ll never go back to a regular lock again.

    I bought mine from Home Depot, not Amazon, but more people seem to have written reviews for Amazon….

    • Julie February 10, 2009, 4:09 pm

      @thsu: I assume that the electronic locks run on a battery. If the battery dies, there’s a regular key lock that you can use right? Is there any warning to let you know that the battery is failing?

  • thsu February 10, 2009, 5:51 pm

    @Julie: yes and yes.

    I have never actually used the key to unlock the door, but the option is there (I just took out my key fob to see if I even have the key).

    As for a warning, the top button which will flash and beep at you when the 9v battery is low (not all the time – just when you are using it).

  • Paul February 10, 2009, 6:34 pm

    The Nano-Light is such a great product. I have used them on Keys, tools, Electrical panels, and many other items. I have them on my keys for Deadbolts, padlocks, RV, and many other places that I needed quick convenient light. Once you have one, you will realize how convenient this product is. Take my advice, buy this product, you will be clad that you did!

  • TimeDoctor February 11, 2009, 4:43 am

    At my local Orchard Supply Hardware they have blank keys which already have lights embedded in them, they’re smaller than this product too, since the light is embedded into the key itself.

  • toyandme February 15, 2009, 4:00 pm

    Years ago I used something similar but a lot thinner even though it was made of two parts that sandwiched the large part of the key. It worked for a while and then stopped. It’s been so long I can’t remember if the battery was replaceable.

Leave a Comment