Olight S1 Baton
As TeenTactics’ Yoda shirt says, “Judge me by my size, do you?”…but we will come back to that.
You all know I’m a Flashaholic. I just can’t stop. No, I won’t admit to how many lights I own. I will say, I own several models from Olight and I love all of them. They each serve a purpose but I do have some overlap. I have a WONDERFUL search/spotlight (M2X UT Javelot ). I have a very nice weapon light (M20SX Javelot ). Now, here is where it gets less clear in function… I have an S10 , an M10, an S15 an S20, and an i3S. These are all EDC type lights. I’ve carried each for several months. I liked different things about each. I had different reasons for carrying each. What was I carrying the day the S1 Baton arrived? A modified FOURSevens QP2L-X. Yeah, my addiction runs deep.
First, the numbers and a couple observations…
It is tiny. Really tiny. I barely weighs an ounce. It’s hard to describe it, other than the specifications and pictures, so I’ll let those do the work:
Dimensions: 2.4″ x 0.83″ (61mm x 21mm)
Weight (without Battery): 1.06 oz. (30g)
It’s not just about being small for the sake of being small. This minuscule mighty mite has some serious gusto. Remember the movie, “Men in Black”? Well, Tommy Lee Jones hands Will Smith a tiny little alien gun named the, “Noisy Cricket”.
The Noisy Cricket -YouTube
Yeah, this isn’t quite like that but everyone has been FLOORED (ok, not like in the movie) by the output of the S1. So, like Yoda said… Don’t judge this little guy by his size. It’s quite impressive.
For this review, I picked up the new MagLight MiniMag Pro LED (AMAZON LINK) , as a comparison piece. I chose this for 3 reasons. First, it’s ubiquitous. Virtually everyone has seen a MiniMag. Second, this thing was supposed to be, “bad to the bone” as my buddy described his. Lastly, I wanted to give the old school favorite a chance.
It’s big, blah, blue, and, well, very blue. Don’t get me wrong, for a MagLight, it’s pretty impressive. I have a soft spot in my heart for them. They are like the AK-47 of flashlights. They’re affordable. They’re everywhere. They’re indestructible. They’re also old. I realize this is a brand new model from them but it’s old technology. That MiniMag is getting the same 3 volts of power that the Olight S1 is, in this pic (for this comparison, I used a standard 3 volt cr123a in the Olight rather than the 3.7 volt rechargeable http://amzn.to/1ioE2Vd ).
The emitter output on the MiniMag is, decidedly, blue. Everything the light shines on just looks wrong. The S1 is considered a “Cool White” color. Meaning that it is whiter than normal sunlight. For comparison my Xeno 03, which has a “Neutral White” LED, looks a lot like the mid-day sun.
Like the rest of the S Series, the Olight S1 Baton features a flat tailcap, which allows users to easily position the light upright on any flat surface. This is ideally meant for illuminating a small room. We do this during power outages. Just stand it on the kitchen counter and it will light up the kitchen, dining room, and living room with enough brightness for most tasks. This is also great while camping! We have a canopy we set up over our picnic table and bounce the light off the bottom. Now the cool part, the base is also magnetic! This gives users the ability to securely place the light on any steel surface, like on the underside of a car hood.
That’s a pretty decent magnet!
The S1 comes with a very stout pocket clip that is removable/reversible. The tailcap is predrilled to take the included lanyard. One very nice addition to the lanyard is a threading needle, of sorts. It’s the first one I’ve seen. It is definitely easier than using a string, as I have in the past. Needless to say, it’s that attention to detail that keeps bringing Olights into my house.
It is the only light I own that takes the battery backwards. That is, with the + side of the battery towards the tailcap. I have installed the battery wrong on 3 occasions already. The battery polarity is clearly marked on the body of the light. I’m just dense. I’ll get used to it, eventually.
While the S1 is, essentially, a shrunk down S10. The major upgrade here is the inclusion of a total internal reflector (TIR) optic. This is kinda hard to describe. Basically, there is no traditional reflector. There is a center diffuser (sort of a frosted section to spread the light evenly. Picture the plastic cover on a fluorescent kitchen fixture. Similar function) and a shaped plastic reflector body. It works like water. I know that sounds strange but it does. When you look down on a body of water, it is transparent. But, as you back away from the water, to look across it, you reach a point where the surface becomes reflective. Almost perfectly reflective. That’s how a TIR lens works. They shape it so the outside wall is at the perfect angle to reflect that light forward. It’s not a new concept but Olight’s method is a little different than others on the market.
Ok, boring part over…
All of that is to set up the next awesome feature. This light has almost no beam artifacts. Those are the little rings that you see in the light when it hits a wall. You can see some in the beam shot of the MiniMag, above.
The benefit of this TIR lens is a nearly perfect spot of light. Well, “spot” isn’t quite right. This is more of a flood light than a spot light. Although it does have decent throw (usable beam distance) for a light that is smaller than my thumb. It’s rated to throw light about 120 yards. That’s pretty consistent with my findings.
Sorry for the pic quality on that one. We’ve still got a lot of smoke and ash in the air.
Output on High is GREAT! More than enough for 95% of flashlight tasks. Low and Medium do their jobs accordingly. The best reason for 3-4 modes in a flashlight is to increase battery life. Get used to using a flashlight on the lowest setting that works for what you’re doing. Personally, I don’t like a light that doesn’t have a Moonlight Mode. I use it all the time. When it is genuinely dark, moonlight mode is perfect for getting from A to B. It’s enough that you don’t trip over things in the dark but it won’t 1/2 blind you if you aim it at the wall or a mirror. Switching modes is as simple as pressing once to turn it on then press again and hold down the button until it switches to the mode you want and then release. With the light off, a long press enters moonlight mode and a double click enter high mode. With the light on, a triple click enters strobe but a double click enters a timer mode. The light will flash to confirm and then automatically shut off after a couple minutes.
Pic above is Moonlight Mode
All tests (except the MiniMag comparison) were done with the Olight RCR123a rechargeable battery. It was charged with the Olight OmniDok or a Nitecore D2 The Nitecore is my home charger and the Olight is the one I keep in the truck with a 12 volt car adapter. It’s a very handy setup.
First, the button sticks up a bit above the body. Three times, this week, I’ve found the light on in my pocket. My S15 has a lockout mode that this one doesn’t. The fix is easy but involves loosening the tailcap about 1 full turn. This will make it a tad harder to deploy the flashlight the next time you need it but it does solve the issue. Not sure if there is room in the, already compact, body to put the new switch from the S10R? That would be a great evolution. Next, the pocket clip is overly tight. It takes some work and two hands just to clip it to my pants. While that is better than some flimsy wire hoop made of softer metal, it is a little harder to put the light on a pocket, one handed. Not a huge issue, just more of an annoyance.
With just a couple small complaints that really don’t make a huge difference to most users, including me.
This might be my favorite EDC light. Most of the time, you’ll need more of a flood light for EDC tasks. This covers that very well. You’ll want an EDC light that is compact, lightweight, and easy to use.
Well, 2.4″, a bit over an ounce, and a single button…
It seems, at least, twice as bright as the light in my purse kit. It’s easy to use once you remember to hold down the button to change brightness. I really like the idea of the automatic timer mode. All in all, this is a great light. I want one. Wait, I HAVE one! Hehehe.
I really love this flashlight because of its compact but powerful design. Featuring a magnet, strobe, and timer setting, this flashlight has much to offer. Also, as it has a “moonlight” setting, medium, and high, it is very functional. Having a body length of such small size gives it great portability and doesn’t take up much room. Definitely a great product.
It’s awesome how bright it is and it’s still small! It’s tiny and powerful, like me! The magnet bottom is really cool too! You can stick it anywhere you need light!
Ok, here’s the geeky stuff.
Output Mode/Runtime: **Runtimes are when using a 1500mAh CR123A battery.
High: 500 to 300 lumens / 1.5 hours + 90 minutes
Medium: 80 lumens / 6 hours
Low: 8 lumens / 40 hours
Moonlight: 0.5 lumens / 600 hours
Output Mode/Runtime: **Runtimes are when using a 650mAh RCR123A battery.
High: 500 to 300 lumens / 1.5 hours + 60 minutes
Medium: 80 lumens / 4 hours
Low: 8 lumens / 25 hours
Moonlight: 0.5 lumens / 360 hours
Peak Beam Intensity: 3,000 cd
Maximum Beam Distance: 110 m
Dimensions: 2.4″ x 0.83″ (61mm x 21mm)
Weight (without Battery): 1.06 oz. (30g)