Pete wrote in about an Awesome Sauce LED flashlight that he wanted to recommend. Awesome Sauce? Yup. Must be a heck of a good flashlight!
I haven’t tried any of Olight’s flashlights yet, but hear good things about them from time to time. Olight is based in China, like some of the other popular brands in the LED flashlight market, such as Fenix.
Here’s what Pete said about his Olight S30R rechargeable flashlight:
Like most gear junkies I love flashlights. Who doesn’t; LOL check out this awesome light-
My favorite things about it:
1- I can charge it without needing to plug it in OR take out the rechargeable batteries.
2- If I’m using this in the field and the battery dies, I can pop out the rechargeable battery and pop in some factory batteries as a backup. You can’t do this with most rechargeable lights that must be charged with the batteries IN the light.
3- It used rechargeable batteries! At night you can pop this on your bedside charger and it will always be charged for the next day or if something goes bump in the night. I cant tell you enough how much it sucks to whip out a nice light to only have dead batteries in it.
Features & Specs
- 5 brightness modes
- 1000 lumens, 1 hr runtime
- 600 lumens, 2 hrs runtime
- 100 lumens, 10 hrs runtime
- 20 lumens, 26 hrs runtime
- 1 lumen, 720 hrs runtime
- Strobe mode: 1000 lumens, 2 hr runtime
- IPX-7 waterproof rating
- 1.5 meter (~5 foot) drop rating
- CREE XM-L2 LED emitter
- Powered by 2x CR123A Li batteries or 1x 18650 rechargeable battery, both are included
- Measures 119 mm (4.7″) long, 25 mm (1″) in diameter
- Housing is type III anodized aircraft-grade aluminum
- Removable pocket clip
- Glow in the dark bezel O-ring
- Side switch with low battery indicator
- Magnetic tailcap and charging port
What I find to be well thought out is how the microUSB charging dock can also charge your electronics devices when not being used to charge your flashlight. That way it earns a spot on your desk even if you don’t recharge your flashlight battery too often.
Note: Do NOT attempt to place the flashlight on the charger if it’s equipped with CR123A Li batteries. The charger can only be used when the flashlight is loaded with the included 18650 battery.
One thing I was worried about is that users would have to cycle through all of the settings every time the flashlight is powered on. Olight says that this isn’t the case, and that the light’s memory function will automatically return the flashlight to the last-used brightness level each time you turn it on.
Given all of the S30R’s features, I think I would agree that it is an Awesome Sauce flashlight. Thanks Pete, for the recommendation!
Price: $80 including batteries
Buy Now(via Amazon)
I recently had rechargeable flashlights on my mind, since Maglite came out with a rechargeable version of their excellent Mag-Tac LED flashlight. The plain bezel version is ~$100 via Amazon, and the crowned bezel version is ~$120 via Amazon.
If I went through batteries frequently, such as on a daily or weekly basis, I might be compelled into choosing between the Mag-Tac and Olight S30R, or another flashlight of similar size and design.
But for as infrequently as I got through CR123A Lithium batteries, even with multiple flashlights that take this battery size, the box of Surefire batteries I bought back in November ($20 via Amazon) will surely last me at least through the next few years.
I honestly don’t see any good reason to buy any flashlight from Mag nowadays, especially the overpriced rechargeable ones. The price per lumen is much worse compared to alternatives from Fenix, Nitecore (all of which also have rechargeable models) or this Olight model, and the build quality is basically the same (judging by my first-hand experience with few Fenix and Nitecore models). Even if you go for non-rechargeable model from Fenix/Nitecore which still accepts 18650 battery and add an external charger for that battery with extra spare 18650 battery, it would still be cheaper than similar Mag-Tac system. Sure, Mag might have a longer warranty but what good is it for if CREE or some other LED manufacturer might come up with better LED emitter in a couple of years which could potentially be 2x more efficient and 2x more bright compared to any current LED emitters? I highly doubt Mag will ever release an “upgraded” head assembly with better LED emitter for their Mag-Tac system, at least not for a reasonable price…
only reason I know of is the last maglite I bought was still made in america – granted the LED emitter might not have been – but the rest of the light was.
Otherwise I agree there are plenty of better values for the money in terms of brightness or capability
That is why any instance I need a new flashlight, I only buy Mag Light brand. Sure the bulbs might be imported, but the rest of the unit is proudly made in the United States of America. I wish the bulbs were American made or even assembled/packaged here, but some American jobs are better than nothing at all.
So needless to say this unit doesn’t really interest me, but cool concept I suppose.
This kit is on amazon for $23.
It comes with
-6 RCR123 (the first ‘R’ means rechargeable)
-a 2 bay battery charger that can charge each battery separate
-a 110v wall plug
-and a 12v car charger
I’ve been using these batteries pretty hard in my EDC olight s10 baton and fenix pd10 and pd20 for 3-4 years and they all work great.
I see no point in using factory cr123’s in a EDC, because the rcr123’s can be always full. Sure I keep factory cr123’s in my go bag and all vehicles but those are backups to my rcr123’s.
Maybe one day I’ll give rechargeable CR123s a try, but I tend to only prefer brand-name batteries. I also like the 10-year shelf lives of the lithiums.
I do use Eneloop rechargeables in my AA and even some AAA flashlights, so my hesitation to do the same in CR123-sized ones is a little irrational.
The way i see it- yes the rcr123’s dont have the same capacity as a brand name cr123 but how often is your cr123 brand new and completely full? Like most people you use it occasionally then the night you really need it you whip it out and it only has 10% battery left. Meaning you should always carry a spare cr123 which is more pocket space.
Where as the rcr- i can know that the battery is to full capacity albeit a slightly smaller capacity i can ensure it is always at 100% at 100% of the time before i need it. And with the cost of the batteries being a known and preset cost regardless of my regular use of my light im more likely to use it more often and at a brighter setting.
To me a factory cr123 is like driving a car with a broken gas gauge and no tachometer. You never quite know when it’s gonna come to a sputtering stop. You might have and idea but never really know.
CR123 don’t seem uncommon, but I know it is no where near as common as AA or AAA. I know I won’t ever get a AAA again, as the performance of a AA light seems to be well beyond even when only using 1 AA. I know the CR123 would be better, but I could never justify the extra cost (unless I get a job in life & death situations).
Lithium has advantages over alkaline, such as for cold weather performance. https://toolguyd.com/flashlight-tool-batteries-cold-weather.
Li CR123 = ~$1.70 each when you buy a pack of 12.
Li AA = ~$2 each if you buy a pack of 8
There’s also a power difference. CR123 cells are 3V batteries. Based on the voltage and current draw potential for CR123 batteries, you can squeeze a LOT more energy out of them, which means brighter flashlights. There are some very bright AA and AAA flashlights that work well with Lithium and rechargeable NiMH cells. CR123 flashlights are often larger, with typical 1″ diameters for the more compact ones.
I am still partial to my Fenix UC40 UE. I rather be able to use a universal micro usb port for charging vs this dock station. I think the 1 and 20 lumen settings are a waste and such a big gap between the 100 and 600 settings. I like how the settings are split more evenly on the uc40 and it gives you longer run time for example on the 400 vs 600 settings:
Turbo: 960 Lumens (1 hour 30 minutes)
High: 400 Lumens (3 hours 45 minutes)
Mid: 110 Lumens (16 hours)
Low: 10 Lumens (150 hours)
If you like this design check out the Foursevens MMR-X. Very similar design that is very versatile, similar price only I generally find Foursevens products to be better quality than Olight-not to say Olight is bad of course!
I bought one of these about a month ago and, while it’s a good light – possibly a great light, it still suffers from the “one switch does all” problem. It can really drive you nuts trying to get this thing into the mode you want just by manipulating a single button.
It also suffers from self discharge – it needs to be on its charging stand when not in use.
For traveling, I’d prefer the Nitecore MH10 because it doesn’t require the special charging stand which is one more thing to carry and one more thing to lose. If you’re going to use it in a fixed place it’s fine but in fixed location a bigger flashlight would be fine too.
I have a few Coast LED flashlights, and a set of Eneloops.
That combo makes this seem overpriced.
I have this flashlight and am mostly happy with it. My first gripe is that it is quite small, and it is easy to drop or misplace. I used to use a 2x AA Mag Lite LED, which I quite liked other than the flaky LED, the need for two hand twist on, and it disliked rechargeable batteries.
My 2nd gripe is that the belt click is easily detached, which means easily losing a $80 flashlight.
No zoom function to adjust the beam? Or are the lens good enough that it aint needed?