Olight S1A review and my first Olight!

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mattlward
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Olight S1A review and my first Olight!

Today I am going to take a look at the Olight S1A! But first let me get some business out of the way.

This sample is provided by Olight US office. It is available at Olight Direct: https://olightworld.com/store/specialty/every-day-carry/s1a-baton.html. It is not listed yet, but should show up in Olight’s Amazon store soon!

My sample arrived in a typical clear plastic box adorned with the Olight name and a clear window so you can see the light. Inside of the box is the Olight S1A and a decent looking lanyard. The one surprise so far is that inside of the light is an Olight lithium battery. This battery is a primary cell, so no recharging it! You must remove a small plastic tab from the battery to allow the light to turn on, it is a little tough to get out with the sleeve in place. I will save this battery for winter use, it should stand up to our cold weather well.

P1070784

Below are the specs provided by Olight. Please keep in mind that turbo only works if you are using a lithium ion 14500 cell.

Lumens: 600 220 50 5 0.5
Runtime (Hours): 0.016 1.86 10.5 80 600
Output Modes: 3+ Brightness Levels, Strobe
Compatible Batteries: 1 × 14500, 1 x AA
Batteries Included: Yes
Included Accessories: Batteries, Lanyard, Pocket Clip
Flashlight Usage: Every Day Carry, Tactical
Throw Distance (Max): 118m
Switch Location: Body
Product Certifications: IPX-8
Primary Material: Anodized Aluminum
Product Weight: 1.29oz
Product Dimensions: 3.13” (L) x 0.83” (Head Diameter)0.73” (Body Diameter)

General notes.
This light feels very small to me. I have been using an Over The Road M3 16340 light for my EDC lately, this light is thinner and a tiny bit taller. The hand feel is good on this one. The threads appear to be trapizoidal and very smooth, they also came well lubricated. The light has a magnet in the tailcap that can be removed, not sure why one would… It is strong enough to hold the light vertical and at a 90 degree angle. The knurling on this light is a fairly tame flat top square cut. It will not place undue wear on clothes and is still fairly grippy. The tactile feel of the switch is pretty good for an electronic switch. I am concerned that it will turn on in the pocket, so I would suggest loosening the tailcap 1/4 turns for safety. I have a couple of nits to pick with the pocket clip. First think I do not like is that the transition from clip carry to deep carry is not smooth and may damage your pocket edge. The second is that the light can only be carried head up, I really prefer head down. The first issue would be easy to address, the clip could have an arc formed in it next to the body of the light to give a smooth transition to deep carry.

Here you can see the very abrupt transition from carry to deep carry. It take two hands to get it over the edge of my jeans pocket and I think it will create wear. I wish the clip was rounded over, at least some!

!P1070784!

This light uses a TIR optic, I still am not sure I am a fan of them. But I have built a couple of S2+‘s that use them. This one seems very effective at creating a very nice central hot spot with some spill. Beam shots below…
P1070786

Tailcap with magnet.
P1070792

This light will run on all AA batteries, lithium primaries and lithium ion cells. It fits my longest protected cell with ease. The S1A uses Cree’s XM-L2 led and appears to either be on the extreme low end of neutral white or the very high end of cool white. I would guess it to be a 2 tint bin. The driver in this light appears to draw 1.49 amps with a 14500 on turbo. I do not see PWM in any of the modes!

UI experience.
I am new to the Olight line. The first thing I have found out is that it will take some time to adjust to the UI. I come from a background of tail switched lights that can switch up or down based on the amount of time the tail switch is held before being released. From off 1 short click gets you the last mode you used, a 1 second press from off always get moonlight. I really like the access to moonlight from off. From off a double click get high or turbo, depending on battery type. When the light is on, changing modes means holding the button down and cycling through the modes to the desired mode. Once moonlight mode is exited, it appears to me the only way to get it back is to turn off the light and then hold the power switch for 1 second. The strobe mode is accessed by 3 short presses at any time. The light also has a 3 minute and 9 minute timer built in. To activate the 3 minute timer, turn the light on a select your desired mode and double click the switch. The light will blink once indicating the 3 minute timer is selected, repeat for 2 blinks to enable the 9 minute timer.

This light has LVP, I have not tested it yet. But, I am sure that Olight will have that working properly. I will update with the cutoff voltage when I reach it.

I love lights with moonlight mode and this one has a good one! I tend to think that the .5 lumen rating is pretty close. The first step up to 5 lumens feels much larger, but I have no way to measure it. To me the modes are not very linear, but they seem fine in everyday use.

All beam shots are shot at f/3.5, 1 second and white balance of 4500k. These were shot with the light at 7 feet from the door and a 20mm lens on a Panasonic G5.

Turbo from Olight and my OTR M3 5A.
S1A
S1AT
M3
M3T

High
S1A
S1AH
M3
M3H

Medium
S1A
S1AM
M3
M3M

Low
S1A
S1AL
M3
M3L

Moonlight – Only the S1A is used here, the M3 does not have a moonlight mode. I love that this has such a low moonlight mode, I have used it every night since it arrived! Smile
S1A
S1AML

Conclusion
I am very pleased with this light, it will end up in my EDC rotation. What company will it reside in??? Convoy S2+ – 6*7135, XM-L2 3D, 10 degree TIR and OTR M3 5A. I did note that it will take a little getting used to since the UI is a little different, but that is just time. I do wish that the tint was a little warmer, or at least that I could get it apart and change the LED. I also think that the pocket clip needs some attention, it is going to eat the edge of pockets on thicker jeans. Overall, I am very happy with my first Olight!

Thanks Matt

EDC rotation:
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
Zebralight SC62w

DavidEF
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Thanks for the beam shots. It appears that the Olight S1A has a slightly larger hot-spot than your OTR M3, but there is a lot more spill with the OTR M3 than the Olight S1A. Did you notice the squarish shape of the corona/spill area of the S1A?

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mattlward
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David, I did notice the minor oddity. I am not sure why that TIR produces the squared off spill. It is only visible when wall hunting. I will avoid wall hunting with this light, mainly because I think the output is to cold and I really do not like cold tints. But, outside it looks ok… maybe a little washed out due to the tint.

I really like the little M3, would love to see it in a 14500 package! I am still very undecided on an EDC with a side switch, I find that I am always hunting for the switch.

Gave you all a great look at my spider webs as well, wonder how many spiders go their portraits taken???

EDC rotation:
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
Zebralight SC62w

mattlward
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One other thing to note, these are 7 foot beam shots, the M3 is a reflector based light. At greater distances it is much more apparent.

EDC rotation:
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
Zebralight SC62w

The Miller
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Nice review thanks!

M4D M4X
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thanks for the nice review Smile

 

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atbglenn
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I will be getting one in the near future. I love Olight flashlights. Thanks for the review!

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ReManG
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Great review!

You can get the head open with a PVC cutter (blade on one side, plastic anvil on the other) or a tubing cutter (used both methods myself). PM member X3 here on BLF, he has a lot more experience than I.

Fasttech has 5D XM-L2’S HERE

Or 5B1 (my favorite cheap XM-L2) HERE

You will either have to reflow onto the stock board, or file the 16mm down to the 14mm size of the stock board IIRC. Either way, the board thickness should be the same, otherwise the TIR and bezel will not seat down all the way.

Edit: The XM-L2 is a 5B1

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MG
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Thanks for the review. Looks like a worthy light.