Tag Archives: olight

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight i1R Keychain Flashlight Review & Giveaway

I have reviewed several keychain style flashlights and due to size, I end up taking many of them off. This is where the Olight i1R is different. It’s seriously tiny yet is a completely functional bright light for brief uses offering 5 and 130 lumen modes. Thanks to Olight for providing this to me to take a look at. I am also doing a giveaway over on my Youtube channel an Olight i1R to a lucky viewer in North America.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/QvnqSTC
YouTube Version of this Review + Giveaway:

Packaging
With such a small light it also has a small packaging. The i1R packaging follows the recent several Olights of being a white heavy cardboard box with a plastic tray inside. It contains the light itself with its built in battery and split ring already attached, a olight branded micro USB cable and the manual.



Construction
This light is built from nicely machined black anodized aluminum. The light has a little bit of straight knurling on the head that provides good grip to twist the light on and off. Twist off the head completely and you get the microUSB connector for recharging. The light weights 0.42 ounces and is only 41mm in length. It’s also IPX-8 rated and I can attest it will survive a few drops from waist height onto ceramic flooring.




Compare to a few other small lights and objects.

https://i.imgur.com/naJ06cR.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/IS4qEgw.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/kHePoYY.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/5TAXPm5.jpg

On the back there is a simple diagram showing you which way to turn the light to make it work. From off, turn it clockwise and first you will get low, keep twisting and you get high. Turn to the light left until it turns off.

LED + Runtime + Charging
The LED in use is a Philips Luxeon TX in a pleasant cool white. The beam pattern is smooth with no artifacts or hot spot.

The battery is an internal and sealed lithium ion 10180. This is unfortunate. It’s also been mentioned that it doesn’t have low voltage protection over on Budget Light Forums. At this price point I can live with a sealed battery but I think it really needs LVP for protection. Overly discharging the cell once isn’t that dangerous but charging it again can be more dangerous. For a light that’s aimed at the mainstream consumer it’s something that it should really have.

In Low mode of 5 lumens, Olight rates it as being able to produce light for 7 hours, and on high 130 lumens, it’s rated for 20 minutes. I made one discharge graph from high and it lasts a bit longer than 20 minutes. It creates a S curve as it discharges losing lumens slowly the entire time. I stopped my test at 30 minute mark and the battery measured 2.82V.


Charging is accomplished via the built in microUSB port that can be found if you completely unscrew the head. There is a fairly bright red LED under the white plastic positive end that stays on until the light is charged when it turns green. Charging happens fairly slowly as you would expect from a small battery like this. In my test it took 65 minutes at 0.08A maximum speed.

Giveaway
Olight has provided me a brand new i1R in the box that I will be giving away to a viewer on June 12th 2018 to my North American audience. I will be using Glem.io and have a link in the description below. To enter you will need to make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel. I will have a few other ways you can increase your chances at winning in the description over on YouTube.

<a class=“e-widget no-button” href=“https://gleam.io/i2Cnr/olight-i1r-giveaway” rel=“nofollow”>Olight i1R Giveaway</a> <script type=“text/javascript” src=“https://js.gleam.io/e.js” async=“true”></script>

Conclusion
The Olight i1R is simple but effective keychain light that is really small and lightweight. It’s not exactly what enthusiasts would want since it lacks a removable battery and Low voltage protection, however at this price point of under $20 I think this will be a hit. My girlfriend wants it to replace the Nitecore Tiny she had had on her keys because it’s smaller and won’t activate as easily. I think for what it is this is a perfectly adequate light and plan to put it on my keychain for a backup light to use for short periods of time. I do think it should have LVP added and hopefully they are able to do that. Overall I like the Olight i1R because of it’s small size, relatively high output and affordable price. Check it out at the Olight Store. or on Amazon.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight H16 Wave, Hands Free Operation

The Olight H16 wave headlight, looks and shares many components with the HS2 that was released last year. The HS2 was a light designed for running, and the H16 Wave is designed more for every day normal use and features a no touch on/off ability. Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to review, let’s take a further look at the H16 Wave.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/hc07d(link is external)
YouTube Version of this Review:

Construction
The construction of the H16 is pretty similar to the HS2 but with a few changes. It appears the battery packs being used are the same in terms of design and capacity. They are encased in black plastic, have the 4 LED battery indicators and charge via microUSB with a silicone cover for the USB port. The straps are stretchy black elastic material with Olight printed on them and silver reflective aarrows. The cable the runs from the battery to the headlamp is one piece which differs from the HS2 where it was two pieces with a connection in the middle. It has a coil that’s allows the cable to stretch to adjust for different size heads.


The Head of the light is made mostly of plastic except for a metal heatsync behind the LED’s. I believe it’s anodized aluminum and it has cooling fins. The front side is plastic and houses the two LED,s and the lenses. Below it is the single blue button covered with a silicon cover. The wave feature I believe is either side of this. The blue button does illuminate when the wave feature is turned on.The light is removable from the strap but the battery is not. There is a bit of foam on the back of the light housing that combined with the strap is plenty of padding. Overall I find this to be adjustable and comfortable as a headlamp to use for several hours due to it’s low weight and padding.



Size/Weight
Weight including strap and battery is 120 grams. Size of the headlamp portion is nearly square at 40mm by 39mm and 25mm in maximum thickness.

LED/Runtime
The H16 Wave uses two Cree XP-G3 LED’s in cool white and places two different optics in front of them. The LED’s work together and you can’t use one at a time like you could on the HS2. For the optics you have a traditional TIR style optic for a beam that throws a bit and has a large hotspot. Mine does exhibit some oddities that I can pick out on a white surface. The other optic is checkered diffuser which creates a flood beam.

TIR Optic Beam Shot

Flood Reflector Beam Shot

Together (How it operates)

Runtimes on this light were good on the included 2000mAh battery pack. It was able to run starting out in High mode at 500 lumens for the 5 timed minutes and stepping down as the timer kicked in down to 350 lumens for another 130 minutes, and then down to medium at 100 lumens for about 15 minutes and then it went low at 5 Lumens for the remaining time. Total run time in my test was right at 140 minutes which is good in my opinion.

The light does have 4 small LED on the battery pack that when battery check button is pressed alert you to the charge status. It also has an audible beeper that will beep when the battery hits 10% and it will continue beeping for 10 minutes. You can stop the beeping by pressing the battery check button.

Charging
Charging the non removable battery is accomplished via microUSB. The light charges at a maximum of 1A and takes quite a while. From empty to 100% in my test it took just under 3 hours. The light will run while it’s charging but not on Turbo.

UI/Wave
The UI on the H16 Wave is simple, like most Olights. From off click the switch and you get High, click again and you get medium, click again and you get low. Starting in high is unfortunate, and I wish it started in low instead.

The wave feature allows you to turn the light on and off via a wave of your hand in front of the light. You need to be reasonably close to the light for this to work. Closer then 2 inches. The wave feature only turns the light on or off, and doesn’t change the mode. I would love to see a mode of the light where you could configure Wave to change modes instead of just on or off. To enable the wave feature when the light is on you long press on the single button and the light will very briefly flicker. You do the same to turn it off. The wave feature will reset to a default of off if it isn’t used within 1 hour.

Packaging
The packaging is similar to Olight’s other 2018 products. It came in a white retail box that was narrow and long. The sides have a few bits of information and the back has most of it. Inside the light is housed in plastic tray with a clear lid. Included in this was the headlamp itself already attached to the strap, the manual, and a nice long microUSB cable.





MSRP at the time of review is $59.99 with a 2 year warranty.

Conclusion
If you have read my previous headlamp reviews, or watched my videos you know I like headlamps and think everyone should have one. The H16 is a slight rethink on the HS2 and I think it makes it better for general users. The wave feature works better than I expected it to and I can see some situations where your hands might be dirty and you want to turn on the headlamp. This would require thinking ahead though and having it already in that mode. Instead of using the wave for on and off I think it might be more useful as a way to go from one mode to another. Like other Olight headlamps I have reviewed this one is built well and I don’t expect problems. I would have preferred a neutral white or warm white option but Olight seems to prefer cool white on most all their products instead. This would be a good headlamp to add to a hiking pack, to use around the house or for all you home mechanics as I showed earlier. Pick it up on Amazon or Olight Store.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight M2T Warrior (1200 Lumens, 18650,18350,XHP35 HD CW)

The Olight M2T is a brand new tactical model introduced in late January 2018 at Shotshow 2018. It shares many things with it’s more expensive brother the Olight M2R. I reviewed it a few months ago and if you have not watched or read that review I recommend doing so. Thanks to Olight for sending the M2T to me to look at.

Full Image Gallery for this review: https://imgur.com/a/LaFOs
Video version of this review:

The Olight M2T shares a lot in common with the M2R. During this review I am going to compare the two alot. The easiest way for me to summarize this is to use some car analogies. Hypothetically let’s say the following. The M2T and M2R are the same model at their heart. The M2R is the fully loaded model, it has all the optional features, extras, and costs the most. The M2T is a mid range trim level model. Its performance is very similar but it has a few differences to reduce costs, such as the removal of the recharging system, and different tail switch, only one choice in emitter, etc. This is going to be a longer review, so grab your popcorn and let’s get at it.

Construction
Olight has excellent fit and finish for production lights in my opinion and this one is no different. Apart from the new tail cap on the M2T, the light is very similar in aesthetics and build quality to the M2R. The anodizing is a smooth high quality gloss black Starting at the top you have a signature blue Olight bezel with some mild crenelation in it. Below that you have the aluminum head and body. There are tier drop cuts in the head for heat dissipation and design. It has a nice hex edges to help it keep from rolling away on a flat surface. It’s a slightly different style then the M2R has, with fewer cuts. It does still have a completely milled flat edge opposite the button to serve as a locator. On the front side you have an electronic switch surrounded by a nice blue bezel with an LED in the center that is used for Low battery notification, lockout notification. Below that you have large square cut grip panels on the body of the light giving added grip and something a little different from traditional knurling. You can attach the two way clip at either end of this main body tube for head up or down carry.

 M2T on Left



At the tail end you have a new version of the switch that’s in the M2R. On the M2T this tail switch loses its recharging and magnetic features as well as its ability to tail stand. It’s replaced with a proud black rubber boot that has a dot pattern on it for texture. It still has the half press for momentary turbo and full press for lock and is silent. To full lock it does take some definite pressure. This switch operates and programs the same as the M2R. More on that in a minute. The tail cap of the M2T will fit on the body of the M2R and operate normally but not the other way around. Labeling is kept to a minimum, with branding near the head is always done so it can be read from left to light not as you rotate the light. The branding is at 2 and 10 positions when looking head on. The CE mark is opposite the button.

This light is rated IPX8 for moisture and dust and rated for 1.5M drops. I measured it’s length is 130mm it’s with at its narrowest point is 24.5mm and 27mm at its widest point. Weight was measured with an 18650 battery at 146.2G.

Inside this light uses a dual tube design which allows for the use of the two electronic buttons and the non proprietary battery. Do not remove this inner tube, it’s held in with an O ring and is hard to impossible to put back in place. Threads on the tail are a nice stout square cut.

LED & Runtimes
The Olight M2T uses a Cree XHP35 HD LED in cool white, this is the only LED and tint offered at this time. While I prefer a neutral white this isn’t so cold in tint that I dislike it. I did notice a little tint shift in the outer edges, but I think that blue bezel of the light also might be a factor in that. Depending on your power source maximum output (depending on your mode) is 1200 lumens compared with the 1500 lumens on the M2R. My M2R is neutral white so it doesn’t reach that full 1500 lumens and to me the two lights look the same brightness and the biggest difference is the tint. The beam is pretty even in shape. It has a smaller hot center and the spill is bright. At a distance it’s more like a flood then thrower, however for it’s narrow size it goes a good distance. It’s a very useful beam I find out to 100 yards.


Runtimes
I ran my tests with an Olight HDC battery that had a 3500mah capacity and a maximum continuous discharge of 10A. The M2T only ships with 2 CR123A batteries in a spacer tube instead of the high drain non proprietary Olight 18650 battery that was in the M2R. This is disappointing to me as to receive the best performance and longest runtimes, an 18650 is required. The light is also compatible with Flat top batteries, I had no issues with a Sony VTC6. Runtimes were good and what Olight is advertising. The light still has a timed Tubro mode which is 3 minutes. It then runs on high for 127 minutes before stepping down and running on moonlight mode. The graph tells the story. This light will also run safely on 2× 18350 batteries. I confirmed this with Olight that 8.4V is safe for the driver and that the batteries physically fit. I was unable to get a full working voltage for the driver though.


UI
Like the M2R the M2T has a rear button that provides momentary and full lock operation as well as a button up front for the full range of modes with shortcuts. One of the complaints I had about the M2R was that in normal mode you were limited to Turbo1 and not the brightest turbo which was only available in Tactical mode. The M2T fixes that by only having one turbo mode which is how it should be. The rear momentary switch was also slightly reprogrammed for an improvement. Now you have momentary on with a soft press, release and it will turn off. A firm press on this button will lock the light on in turbo for 3 minutes before it timed step down kicks in. You also have access to momentary strobe if you press in and keep holding the light goes into strobe at it’s new 13 cycles per second rate. The button up front has a total of 5 modes from Moon to Turbo with shortcuts to Moon (From off Press and hold) to Turbo (Fast double click), or Strobe (Triple click from off). Press and hold to advance in modes and there is memory. Pretty standard for recent lights from Olight. It’s an interface I like. Lockout is available but personally I just unscrew the tail cap ever so slightly to achieve the same thing. I thought the mode spacing is pretty good on this light.

As a Tactical and EDC
This is designed with tactical use in mind and it certainly could be used for that but I think it makes a good EDC option too. The proud tail button is easy to turn on if it gets any pressure. Given that the light comes on in Turbo when this happens I don’t recommend taking any chances, and I use mechanical lockout with just a quarter turn of the tail cap. It also offers an electronic lockout if you want to use that. The new clip is the same that is on the M2R and I like this dual clip. It can go on either end of the light and can be used either way. It allows for ultra deep head down carry which is what I like. For tactical use the strobe mode has been adjusted to 13hz and is now more easily accessed if you want it but not accidentally by holding the tail button down in the locked position for about 1.5 seconds. You can also get to it by triple clicking the front button. The bezel isn’t aggressive which is the way I would prefer it personally as it makes a better EDC and is less threatening in most situations.

Packaging & Accessories
Packaging on the M2T is now a bit smaller and less intensive to the M2R. I suspect this is to reduce overall costs and also make it easier to open. It is still very high quality but is now a white box with a pull through design. Inside the light sits in a nice tray, underneath it is a read before first use card, manual, lanyard, and holster . The holster design is different on the M2T. It’s less premium holster then the M2R. Gone is the latching clip, and extra padding, and metal grommet drain holes. Instead a heavy duty weaved nylon, with a velcro flap is the main holster. It still has a plastic D Ring and nylon belt loop. This is a more standard quality holster you see from other brands.







Conclusion
The Olight M2T is a still nice but lower cost version of the M2R. While it doesn’t have all the features of the M2R like magnetic recharging, it does have a few improvements in my opinion like only one Turbo mode, the melding of Tactical mode into normal operation. The new tail switch in the M2T is good, it’s a bit too easy to activate in the pocket so lockout is necessary. I do wish Olight would have shipped the light with an 18650 battery even though it doesn’t come with built in recharging. I guess that’s against what they do with their R series but it’s how the light gets the best performance in both output and runtimes I think it’s sub-optimal shipping it with CR123 batteries instead.

So which one do you pick? If you want Neutral white, recharging or a magnetic tail cap the M2R is the clear choice. If those are not important features or you want to save a little money the M2T is a good choice then. I do recommend running the M2T with a higher drain 18650 battery so make sure you have one of those too. I think the M2T will make a good choice of rifle light as well. I plan to test this when I get a mount that works for the light. Until then I think this might be the light that goes in my go/Tornado bag along with a few spare 18650 batteries. Let me know how you would use you your M2T. You can pick up the M2T on OlightStore.com.

Cool Videos EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight S1 Mini Baton Review (Great EDC)

For a full written review you can see my post over on Reddit.

Buy it at https://www.olightstore.com/olight-s1-mini-baton-rechargeable

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight M2R Warrior (NW) Review

The Olilght M2R Warrior is the newest light from Olight and one of the most highly anticipated of the year. The first time we saw it was at Shotshow. The M2R Warrior is designed as a tactical light and includes several features Olight is known for and a few new ones. Thanks to Olight for sending this out to me to take a look at.

Full Photo Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/adoWB
Video version of this review:  

Construction
Olight has put a lot into the physical design of this light. https://i.imgur.com/lUB0yaD.jpg The anodizing is a high quality gloss black. Starting at the top you have a signature blue Olight bezel with some non deep crenelations https://i.imgur.com/BU09nQn.jpg in it. Below that you have the aluminum head and body. There are tier drop cuts in the head https://i.imgur.com/CMIfmPU.jpg for heat dissipation and further down you have more traditional heat syncing . It has a nice polygonal edges to help it 

keep from rolling away. Inside this you have an electronic switch surrounded by a nice blue bezel with an LED in the center that is used for Low battery notification, lockout notification https://i.imgur.com/CMIfmPU.jpgt. Below that you have raised bumps https://i.imgur.com/DE6I2sr.jpg on the body of the light giving added grip and something a little different from traditional knurling. At the end you have the new stainless steel tail switch https://i.imgur.com/GX6Mfdf.jpgwhich has magnetic recharging, as well a second electronic switch which offers a silent momentary mode, and then a full press to lock in power. More on modes in a bit. Labeling is kept to a minimum, with branding near the head is alway done so it can be read from left to light not as you rotate the light https://i.imgur.com/3rpqvWs.jpg . The branding is at 2 and 10 positions when looking head on. The CE mark is opposite the button and the tail clip has a bit on instruction on how the new tail switch works.

Inside this light uses a dual tube design https://i.imgur.com/51p8ddx.jpg which allows for the use of the two electronic buttons and the non proprietary battery. Do not remove this inner tube, it’s held in with an O ring https://i.imgur.com/xP9ObVC.jpgand is hard to impossible to put back in place. The light will still work but lack of it could affect it’s IPX-8 water rating.

Measured weights and sizes with my caliper and scale are below.
Weight with Included Olight battery = 5.43 oz
Length = 129.9mm
Diameter at its widest = 28.53mm
Diameter at its narrowest = 25.48mm

LED
My M2R Warrior uses a Cree XHP35 LED in Neutral White. https://i.imgur.com/BU09nQn.jpg Cool White is also available.

The Lens itself is made of glass and anti reflective coated. The reflector itself is highly polished with a heavy orange peel. https://i.imgur.com/BU09nQn.jpg When combining this with the LED you get a light pattern that’s a little hard to describe. It has a hot center but with quite a bit of flood on the spill. The transition is very smooth. The result is a light the is kind of a do it all. It’s not a true thrower but throws decently, and it’s not pure flood but does that pretty well too.

Heat
High output lights put out heat, this is nothing new and the M2R isn’t an exception. During my 3 hour runtime test I measured the light at the 2 hour mark with an infrared thermometer and the body where you hold your hand was a warm 122F. This radiated through out the light. This is fairly warm for the 2 hour mark. During my standard 1 minute test during turbo it reached 91F.

Runtime chart 

Modes
This light has 2 main modes of operation, a Standard and an Enhanced Tactical mode. I did most of my testing in standard mode because I prefer to have turbo available at the rear switch instead of strobe like in tactical mode. See the manual for how to switch between modes.

In standard mode the light goes up to 1000 lumens in turbo and bumps to 700 lumens after about 3 minutes. From there it has medium 1 at 250 lumens, and medium 2 at 60 lumens, low at 15 lumens and then moon at 1 lumen. In Enhanced Tactical mode all is the same except Turbo is 1500 lumens no matter if you use the rear momentary switch or the side switch to lock in. To me it would be much easier to just have turbo mode be the same level in both modes.

Mode Specs

UI is similar to other Olights but with some differences. Long press from Off to go to moon light mode, Double click to go to burbo, and Triple click to go to strobe.

There the front eswitch is mostly used as a mode switch but can be used to turn the light on and off from off as well.

The rear tail cap is multi purpose. It’s the charging base and a dual mode switch. It’s a silent switch in both modes but you can feel what’s happening. When in Standard mode the tail switch is a momentary turbo (1000 lumens) or you can lock in turbo. In Enhanced Tactical mode the rear tail switch is momentary tubeo (1500 lumens) or if you lock in you get strobe. It’s a bit of an odd design. Memory mode is available except for turbo and strobe.

Table and Outdoor Shots https://youtu.be/zZF66iL4jEQ?t=9m5s

Charging
Olight has taken a bit of criticism recently with their magnetic charging system. However the M2R improves by making a safer charging system. While the tail cap still has exposed voltage that matches the batteries nominal voltage its amperage is greatly reduced. I measured the amperage at 0.02aH on the new switch.

The biggest improvement in my opinion on the charging system is that this light no longer needs the proprietary Olight batteries https://i.imgur.com/Ee1sVVf.jpg. Now the light will use standard button top or flat top high drain 18650 batteries and charge them. This light is compatible with the included magnetic doc or the Micro-Dok II system. Operation is just the same, as on other Olights, the LED on the charger is red when charging and it goes green when charged.

Packaging and Accessories
The packaging of the Olight M2R is extensive, a lot of work went into the design and execution here. The outside is pretty typical of Olight with the rear having pretty extensive information about the light. Inside https://i.imgur.com/VO32jx0.jpg there is a nice box that’s covered by a plastic cover with directions on how to switch between switch between tactical and normal modes. Inside you get the light, with the battery preinstalled. Below and to the side you have the accessories which include The charging cable, holster, and lanyard. https://i.imgur.com/SkwZxOv.jpg The M2R Warrior comes with a new holster https://i.imgur.com/hCWaXle.jpg for Olight. This holster has a clip in the front that’s protected, in the back it has a snap and velcro. Inside its slightly padded https://i.imgur.com/OqxHv0I.jpg too. This is a pretty nice holster for daily use.

Pro’s
* No proprietary battery needed for the magnetic charging system to work! Flat tops or button tops are accepted and charged. You need a 6A+ continuous discharge for turbo to work.
* The tail switch has a fantastic feel, is quiet/silent and manages magnetic charging too.
* Great beam pattern from the heavy orange peel reflector. Less spotty and more practical.
* Good carry pocket clip.
* Neutral and Cool White LED options

Con’s
* It’s a little longer then I want to EDC in a front pocket in the office, but shorter than other “tactical” style lights.
* Magnet isn’t quite strong enough to hold the light on some slicker magnetic surfaces in a vertical position, but the light will hang just fine.
* A little slower charging system than standard USB through this new tail cap.
* Two different “turbo” modes is confusing. I would prefer one instead.
* No extra orings were included in the package.

The Olight M2R Warrior is a pretty impressive light in my opinion. I like the direction Olight is trending with this light by using a safer charging system and stepping away from the use of expensive proprietary batteries. For me it’s a little larger then I want as an in pocket EDC when sitting at a desk job. However, if I was standing more I think it would work well. The included holster is high quality and another good option for carry. The beam pattern https://i.imgur.com/fujFV5V.jpg makes this a very versatile light for many use cases. I think it’s slightly less Tactical and more EDC Tactical.

I didn’t have any trouble with the two electronic switches. I thought in standard mode the UI was easy enough to use but you’re never going to make everyone happy. I have seen some reviews wishing the light did more, but if so that would further complicate the UI. Right now the UI is similar to other Olights with a few small changes. What I don’t get is why Olight didn’t just include one Turbo mode instead of two for the two different modes. The construction is what I expect from Olight and they have done a nice job on this one. I can definitely see why it was delayed a few times as the engineering really shows through https://i.imgur.com/JCp6syb.jpg . I don’t think there will be any trouble with this light holding up. I am looking forward to seeing if they come up with a weapon mount for it.

You can purchase it at your favorite Olight retailer or on the offical ebay store http://bit.ly/M2ReBayUS

Flashlight Reviews

Olight PL-Mini Review

Olight adds to it’s growing family of weapon mountable lights with the new Olight PL-Mini.  Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to try out. Weapon lights are one of my favorite things to test as it gives me an excuse to head to the range for some target practice and testing. The PL-Mini is designed to be very small, and rechargeable. This breaks tradition from most weapon lights that use lithium primary cells like CR123s or CR2032s.


Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/MhnJR
Video Review:

 

Build Quality
This light has a machined aluminum housing, with a built in non replaceable battery. The light housing is mostly pinned together. It has a tool free quick release with a spring loaded side. https://i.imgur.com/3TG5pq2.jpg https://i.imgur.com/glNkKvA.jpg My side was slightly stuck but it freed up easily and has not been a problem. The comes preinstalled with the Glock sized rail piece, but a 1913 rail piece is included in the packaging along with an allen key to change if that’s what you need. I really like the quick release system that’s tooless.

The toggles/buttons are made of plastic with some texture on top. https://i.imgur.com/xNG7Nrh.jpg They have a small amount of rubber between the switch surface and the surface of the light that squishes when depressed. It’s not a mechanical feeling switch like on some of the Surefire weapon lights. The buttons only are able to be pressed down, not from the side or not towards the muzzle. I do like that at least on my G19 here they are much closer to the trigger guard making it not much of a reach to turn on or off. https://i.imgur.com/NkVE9PQ.jpg I shot about 200 rounds with this light attached and had no problems with the light turning off or malfunctioning. Water resistance is rated at IPC6. I had no problems out in the rain with the light.

Size and Weight
This is one of the smallest and lightest weapon lights on the market that I am aware of. It’s a perfect fit on my Glock 19 adding very light weight and no extra length. Weight came in at 2.32oz. I measured the length at 61.3mm, Width at 26.1mm, and height at 27.1mm.

This light uses a Cree XP-L HI LED in cool white. It’s very centered in the light. Lumens is quoted at 400 lumens on high with step down to 60 lumens. That doesn’t sound like a lot but as you will see from my night shots It’s enough in my opinion, especially considering the small weight and size. This is a great self defense or home defense option. It throws more than I expected. The reflector is smooth and the lens is anti reflective coated.

In my testing with the Ceiling Bounce App the gradual step down from 400 lumens to 60 happened after just a few minutes and then slowly over the course of the next 6 minutes the light was down to 60 lumens.  It remained here for a about 45 minutes. At the 62 minute mark it took a rapid decline to zero and shut off due to low voltage protection.

Still beam shot

https://i.imgur.com/nE5jX6j.jpg

Hallway beam shots https://i.imgur.com/eoe6oVq.jpg

Heat really isn’t an issue with this light. I didn’t bother to test this because after 10 minutes of run time it was barely warm to the touch.

Charging
The PL-Mini uses the familiar magnetic charging system Olight uses on other lights but with a twist. This charger is labeled on the bottom as “Special” and the magnet is installed in reverse to other chargers they have on the S30R iii, S2R, etc. I asked Olight what the difference was and they said it’s designed for faster charging, especially for use in the field. From a completely low battery I charged it to full in one hour. The charging numbers are pretty low, but given the size of the battery it’s decently fast. The charging speeds I was was 5.07V at 1.86W with 0.37A. Battery capacity is listed at 260mAh. The light also will turn on during recharging, so thats’ a great way to extend runtime if you needed and it opens up other use cases like using it as a bike light.

I do wish Olight would have explained this in the manual or on the website. I feel like it would have been a smarter choice to make the charger a bit of a different design or anodize the aluminum differently, or a different color cable/USB end so it stood out more from their standard charger.

Is it Safe?
It looks like Olight has taken steps to make the charging port on this light safer the previous magnetic charging designs they use. It will not start a fire with steel wool was placed on the charging contacts. I didn’t measure any live voltage on the charging contacts.

Packaging is typical of other modern Olight lights. https://i.imgur.com/b5o3frT.jpg It has a retail cardboard box, with graphics on the outside and relevant information. Inside is a plastic try containing the light, 1913 rail, alan key, and recharging cable. The directions are brief and complete.

Since this is a new light there isn’t any Holster support yet from established manufacturers. This has been a problem with other Olight weapon lights. I am surprised they don’t establish a relationship with a few manufactures so that holsters are available during launch instead of months later. I feel like this would be a quick way to boost sales of a new light quickly.

I think this will be a popular weapon light from Olight. It provides more than enough light to use in a self defense situation while being in a very small package. I like the ergonomics of the light with the buttons being for left or right handed shooters, and the buttons being closer to the trigger guard. Being rechargeable means it’s less expensive and more convenient to use while on a patrol or during training. It’s simple to operate with only one mode. I think the price is pretty attractive for its offering given others on the market for a rail mounted light.

Pro’s
* Perfect size and weight for a compact pistol like a G19, CZ P10C, etc
* Impressive throw for the size and amount of lumens.
* Decent runtime for most situations, and good recharge time.

Con’s
* No holsters commercially available yet.
* I wish the PL-Mini charger was more distinctive in its look, since it’s not compatible with older Olight rechargeable lights.
* Timed step down. Since this light doesn’t get very hot I wish it would run on high until the battery gave out.
* No Strobe or mode options. Just turn it on.
* Only a 2 year warranty, usually most Olight products have a 5 year warranty.

Olight official store: https://www.olightstore.com/olight-pl-mini
Olight official eBay store: http://bit.ly/PLMINIeBayUS

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Anker HS2 Runners Headlamp Review

2017 has seems to have been the year of the headlamp. Today I have the Olight HS2 which is a bit of a break from the usual design of using a right angle light found in many headlamps. Thanks to Olight for sending me the HS2 so that I could take a look and review it.

Full Photo Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/URvhR

Youtube Review:

For more details and purchase check out the links below.
http://bit.ly/HS2eBayUS
https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/headlamps/headlamp-olight-hs2

The HS2 is primarily designed to be used for runners. Olight’s CEO is an avid runner and wanted something small and lightweight but with runtime to use for early morning or late evening runs. While it should work good for that it also will work for other headlight tasks decently well. However it’s lack of a very low (Moon light mode) does limit very up close work or hiking where you want to preserve your night vision.

 

Physical appearance

The HS2 takes a different approach to their other headlamps by using 2 drivers and two different optics to give you both flood and a bit of throw at the same time. Each emitter can be used independently or together and I will go over UI in a bit. The small emitter up front is removable from the strap but not the plastic holder. This detached piece allows you to power the light via microUSB if you want. When on the headband it’s attached via a coiled wire to the head strap. The battery pack is a small rectangle that when worn goes on the back of your head. The switch is a large blue button on the left hand side of the headstrap. The connector between the two pieces was very stiff to plug in the first time. You really need to force it until there is no gap. If you purchase an HS2 and it’s not working make sure you check this out.

 

The head of the light is removeable from the band. It looks like the nut would allow you to do this but instead it disassembles the light itself. To get it off, you can slip it off the strap itself but not off it’s holder. Similarly the battery is sewn into the strap making removal or replacement not possible. The biggest problem I see with this is if I wear this out running and get it all sweaty I would like to wash the headband. With this setup and the IPX4 water rating you can’t just throw it in a machine. You can rinse it in the sink but that’s about it. IPX4 means it’s water resistant to splashes and light rain and normal dirt. That’s a little disappointing because it limits washing, but from a practical use for runners it should be ok. Weight is right at 4 ounces ready to run. Overall build quality is good and what I have come to expect from Olight.  

 

Since this was designed as a runner’s light to be worn on the head, I think at a minimum it would have been nice to include a piece of reflective tape on the battery pack, and if you took it a step further maybe 1 LED on the battery pack itself to act as a “tail light” for other runners, bikers, cars while out running.

 

Performance

This light uses a Cree XP-G2 LED in cool white. One LED is behind a lens to focus the beam and the other is behind a frosted piece of plastic to diffuse it. The result is one floody light and one more spot. I didn’t notice any abnormal tint shift in the output of the cool white but would like it more if they offered a neutral white version. All modes have PWM but it’s not something that I noticed.

 

Olights runtimes have been proven to be accurately published and the HS2 is no different.

  • Mixed Beam High – 400lm – 2hr 12 min
  • Mixed Beam Low – 100lm – 9hr
  • Throw Beam High – 200lm – 4hr 30 min
  • Throw Beam Low – 50lm – 18hr
  • Flood Beam High – 200lm – 4 hr 30 min
  • Flood Beam Low 0 50lm – 18hr

 

There is no step down due to temperature or time and I really like this. In my testing the head of the light got up to 117F after 10 minutes of run time. That is HOT but it doesn’t touch your skin so I think this is acceptable. This light normally runs at the LiPo backs nominal voltage of 3.7V but if you choose to run if off a USB battery bank it will also run on 5V. This gives you a bit more performance because of the increased voltage. The UI and operation remains the same no matter what power source you use.

 

UI

The UI of this light is pretty easy. For startup, between modes, and at shutdown there is a nice fade in/out ramp. The light has two brightness modes on each LED and on both combined. You can run it on Flood, or Spot, or Both at the same time. To switch between them, just double click after the light is already on. Triple click to activate an SOS mode (Both LED’s at the same time). This light does not have a memory mode and always starts in high with both LED’s burning. I ended up running both LED’s at the same time during most of my testing. I think for most running applications people will use both as it lets you see what’s around you and directly in front the best. To turn off just long press and the light will gradually power down.

 

The lack of a mode lower than 50 lumens limit’s this lights use for some traditional headlamp activities as 50 lumens is more then you need in many cases at short range or while trying to preserve night vision.

 

Charging

Charging of the onboard 2000mah lithium polymer cell, is accomplished via micro USB on the battery pack itself. Using the included cable plug it into your favorite USB power source. The 4 small blue LED’s will come on to let you know it’s charging. When all 4 are lit and solid you know it’s ready to go. These also serve as a battery indicator just press the button to get an idea of the available charge. This setup allows you to run longer if by hooking up to a larger mobile powerbank via a wire if you would like. This light will work while charging too.

 

This light does have a low power indicator, while using it. When the battery reaches 10% those LED indicators will begin to blink. You will also get an audible tone for 10 minutes. If on high combined and you switch a lower mode you will get more runtime. To stop this just press the blue button. Since the battery is mounted on the back of your head hopefully you will be able to hear the beeping even with headphones in. I do wish they had a visual indicator at maybe 20% (Fast short strobe) that gave you a little extra time to get home before things went dark.

 

Packaging

Packaging is typical Olight. It’s high quality printed cardboard. Inside you got a micro USB cable to charge that’s olight branded but not proprietary. On the outside of the box you have the typical relevant information to learn about the light in a retail setting. I really like that Olight included a zippered carrying case to keep everything together. I wish more headlights on the market did this.

 

Pro

  • Nice light profile (Flood + Throw) with smooth ramping up and down.
  • Great runtimes on low and good on high, No stepdowns in output due to temp or time.
  • Really easy to use UI and charging system
  • Comfortable and balanced head band & light weight operation
  • Can run from a USB Powerbank at 5V to increase runtime and performance.
  • No assembly of the headband itself is required

 

Cons

  • I would like an additional low lumen mode which would make the light more versatile.
  • I wish the light started in Low mode not high.
  • The light and battery should come off the strap to allow you to wash the headband or improve the IPX rating.
  • Currently no high CRI or NW options

 

Summary

I was at my local runners shoe store over the weekend and they were selling headlamps for runners for nearly $40 that ran on AAA batteries. The Olight HS2 is clearly better than those for a price that matches its performance. This is a specialized headlamp for runners and it makes some design compromises that would make it a little better for hiking or camping uses like lack of a moon light mode. It’s arriving on the market at a good time as the days are getting shorter and the runners are still out in force. I think this would make a decent hiking or camping headlamp too given it’s nice mix of flood and throw though still. I have enjoyed using it around the house and in my yard because of it’s light weight and split beam characteristics and can recommend it, especially if you are a runner

For more details and purchase check out the links below.
http://bit.ly/HS2eBayUS
https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/headlamps/headlamp-olight-hs2

Review

Olight PL-2 Valkyrie Full Review

Today I have a review of the brand new Olight PL-2 Valkyrie weapon light. Olight provided me this light for testing and review and it has not influenced my opinions. Video is still my main thing and I would appreciate you take a look at that too.

Video Review:

Photo Album: http://imgur.com/a/v1Wha

I have the Olight PL-1 II Valkyrie and have it on my Glock 19 for use in home defense situations. I did a video review a few months ago and had zero problems since. The PL-2 improves on just about every aspect of the PL-1, and is the second weapon light made by Olight.

During this review I am going to compare other weapons lights to the Olight PL-2. I borrowed Streamlight TLR-1s from a friend to include. The Streamlight TLR-1s and Olight PL-2 are in direct competition since they both are similar sizes, weights, and both use 2x CR123A batteries.

The packaging is typical of Other Olight products, with a small but nice cardboard retail box with a hanging tag. Relevant information is found on the front and back. Inside is a plastic container that has the light, manual, extra mount, and allen wrench. Olight includes 2 batteries preinstalled but uses a small piece of plastic to prevent accidental discharge in the package. This must be removed before first use.

Size and Weights

Olight PL-2

  • Length – 3.25 Inches
  • Head Diameter – 1.28 Inches
  • Body Diameter – 1.44 Inches
  • Empty Weight – 3oz on my scale

 

  • TLR-1s Empty Weight – 2.95oz on my scale
  • Olight PL-1 ii Empty Weight – 3.32oz on my scale

 

Comparing the Olight Pl-2 to the TLR-1s the Head is smaller and crenelated. The light is shorter in height and length and the same in width.

 

Mounted Pictures

Construction
The body itself is made from hard type anodized aluminum. The battery compartment is contoured to fit the batteries more tightly. I was critical of the PL-1 having plastic inserts to make it compatible with different guns rail systems. The PL-2 Improves this by making them from aluminium. Out of the box this came with the Glock sized rail preinstalled, but you get a 1913 rail piece in the box as well as an allen wrench to change it. The mounting system is very similar between the PL-1 and PL-2. The quick detach mount is very sturdy, and requires no tools to attach to the light. The attachment lever has some machined grip to it but does not include any rubber this time. It has spring tension on it when in the open position it should fall freely off the rail. I really like this easy to use quick detach with no tools required unlike the TLR1s that requires a screwdriver or coin to firmly attach and detach it to your weapon. Sometimes the best light is the one you have with you and you don’t always need to be pointing a gun at what you are needing to light up.

Performance
The PL-2 is advertised as producing 1200 lumens through a CREE XHP 35 HI LED in Cool White, however those are peak lumens. Like many high output flashlights the PL-2 will step down in brightness to 600 Lumens when it gets hot. This is still more than the PL-1 which didn’t have an overheating issue. At 600 lumens it has a claimed runtime of about 70 minutes. In my testing after 1 minute of use it got to 98F. I continued this test for 5 minutes to see if it would step down in output and it 108F. The lense is a plastic TIR style lense. It creates a very hot center, minimizing spill. The Olight PL-2 can use 2X CR123A or rechargeable RCR123A cells. If using the rechargeables runtime won’t be as long. This is one case where I would recommend using Primary batteries for longer shelf life, and because the runtimes will be longer due to the reduced capacity of the rechargeable batteries.

I went and shot about 350 rounds of 9mm and 40 S&W through a Glock 19 and a Glock 22 and had zero issues with this light. It attaches firmly and remains there. Unfortunately I was not the only one at the range this time and we couldn’t shut off the range lights. I didn’t have any trouble with the battery door coming open accidentally during shooting. The only problem I had was the lens got a little dirtyfrom gun powder residue. The RSO’s at my range were pretty interested in it too. After shooting with the light on it naturally gets coated in gun powder residue. It cleaned off fairly well with some Hoppies #9 but seems to have a rougher surface finish on the top of the bezel closest to the muzzle.

Beam Shots
Indoor https://youtu.be/mBR8ocRqxGs?t=8m16s
Outdoor https://youtu.be/mBR8ocRqxGs?t=8m37s

Water resistance is listed as IPX6 so that means it’s highly water and dust resistant but isn’t rating for continuous water immersion. For normal use cases, even in the rain or dropping it into a puddle this should be fine but don’t take it diving.

The quick detach allows you to use this like a normal flashlight if you wanted. It would also allow you to mount it on other things, with cheap 1913 rails available online. Bikes, scooters, etc

Olight has a new switch design and I really like it. It gives you a audible and tactile small click when you turn on and off the light. This is an improvement over the old more mushy switch on the PL1. It gives you more confidence to know what mode you are in. It works from both a front push or side push. If you click both sides of the light at the same time you get strobe. They retained the same interface though where you have to push both sides of the buttons to get strobe. This isn’t the easiest to do if you have smaller hands and impossible to do one handed without adjusting your grip each time. Streamlight with the toggle system on the TLR1 has Olight beat here.

The battery door is pretty quick access. To access the battery compartment it should be removed from your pistol first, you then pull the lever back all the way 90 degrees from the body of the light and the door will hinge open. There is a small tab at the top/bottom of the light that keeps the door attached. There is gasket material on the door itself for water and dust protection. Inside at the bottom there is markings for polarity as well as on the top of the door. The Streamlight TLR-1s system is a bit more complex and over engineered. It uses springs as contacts and a larger tab to keep the door in place. The release is a spring metal and primes the door for opening. It’s easy to use as well but takes and extra second.

Since this is a new light weapon light could not find any custom made holster options yet. This should get better as time goes on and the popularity improves.

When I compare the Olight PL-2 to the Streamlight TLR-1s my takeaways are, the Olight is well engineered and built. For 99% of people that buy it, it will meet their needs very well. To me the Streamlight feels a bit over engineered and uses a better switch system. However the Streamlight uses older technology and LED’s at this point so 300 lumens isn’t much in 2017. Both lights will meet their intended purposes well.

Olight has taken what they learned from the PL-1 II and incorporated user’s feedback into the PL-2. Boosting performance, reducing the height of the light, improving the mounting system, all while keeping the price under the competition. If you want a ton of light, from a small package and are ok with a 2x CR123A light, this is a great option with current technology from a company with a solid reputation.

Pros

  • New buttons with tactile and audible click
  • Quick open battery door
  • Tool free quick disconnect mounting system
  • High performance but it can’t be sustained due to heat

 

Cons

  • No holster options yet that I could find
  • Somewhat pricy batteries (CR123A)
  • Strobe interface isn’t ideal requiring pressing both buttons at the same time.
  •  I like the Streamlight toggle buttons better then the Olights push buttons.

Photo Album: http://imgur.com/a/v1Wha

If you are interested in purchasing you can do so at the links below.
Ebay: http://ebay.to/2rHQW9s
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tAkExd
Olight Store: https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/safety-and-self-defense/olight-pl-ii-valkyrie