Olight S1 Mini Baton CW+HCRI review with measurements (XM-L2/XP-G3, 16340)

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Olight S1 Mini Baton CW+HCRI review with measurements (XM-L2/XP-G3, 16340)

Disclaimer: The Olight S1 Mini Baton was provided for testing by the manufacturer free of charge

The S1 Mini is currently the smallest 16340/RCR123 flashlight in Olight’s Baton S series of compact EDC lights. It is very similar to the special edition S Mini being only slightly smaller than its copper/titanium brethren.

What sets the S1 Mini apart from the model lineup is the new usb chargeable battery. The light omits Olight’s magnetic tailcap with usb charging contacts and replaces it with the battery charging circuit. This offers the benefit of being able to charge the depleted cell while the light is in use.

The S1 Mini is only available in aluminum, but there’s a choice of a cool white CRI70 and a neutral white CRI90 version with a more accurate color rendering. The CRI70 utilizes a Cree XM-L2 emitter just like the majority of the S Batons, but the CRI90 model has a Cree XP-G3 with a frosted TIR optic.

The HCRI version as Olight calls it was designed flashlight enthusiasts in mind. But most of us have already experienced the mediocrity that is the XP-G3 so it was interesting to see if Olight has been able to make it work.

Manufacturer’s specifications
Battery: 16340/RCR123 (only button tops work), comes with a usb rechargeable battery
LED: Cree XM-L2 in cool white (6500K), Cree XP-G3 in neutral high CRI (5500K)
Waterproof: IPX8
Mode memory: yes, except turbo and strobe
Low voltage protection: side switch led indicator when battery voltage low, LVP in the battery
Thermal regulation: no, timed stepdown

Output specs
Maximum output
Cool white: 600 lumens for 1 minute + 300 lumens for 55 minutes
HCRI: 450 lumens for 1 minute + 250 lumens for 55 minutes
Other output levels
Cool white: 300/60/15/0.5 lumens
HCRI: 250/50/12/0.5 lumens
Light intensity
Cool white: 2500 candela
HCRI: 1220 candela
Beam distance
Cool white: 100 meters
HCRI: 70 meters
Special modes: strobe

Measured dimensions and weight
Length: 54.2mm
Head width: 21.2mm
Handle width: 20.0mm
Maximum width with clip: 29.6mm
Weight: light 26g, battery 18g for a total of 44g

Box and contents

All the statements on the box are not accurate. The Jaxman E2 was the first cool white high CRI flashlight on the market.

Bundled in the box with the light:
Olight ORBC-163C06 650mAh 16340/RCR123A battery
50cm micro usb cable
Lanyard
User manual

Battery and charging

The light comes with a special usb rechargeable 16340/RCR123A battery. You just insert a micro usb cable to the battery and the other end to a usb power supply like the one that came with your phone.

Olight ORBC-163C06 battery measurements
Length: 34.6mm
Width: 16.7mm
Capacity: 633mAh at 1A, 712mAh at 100mA
Energy: 2.2Wh at 1A, 2.6Wh at 100mA
Maximum current (OCP): 5.3A
Minimum voltage (LVP): 2.49V
Internal resistance (Ri): 173mOhm (measured at 2A DC)

Tested batteries track each other well with very little difference (1.3%) in actual capacity. Above numbers are the average of the two tested batteries.

The internal resistance is a bit lower than on Olight’s previous protected 16340s, which I have measured at 210mOhm (550mAh version) and 240-270mOhm (650mAh version). I wasn’t able to use a flat top battery + magnet in the S1 Mini. The magnet in the tailcap makes the battery magnet slide to the side.

Charging using the integrated micro usb input takes a bit under 2.5 hours with a maximum input current of 0.35A measured from the usb power supply. The charger terminates at 30mA. I measured 4.21 volts from the battery right after charging. It takes around 3200-3600mWh to fully charge the battery via the micro usb port so you can expect slightly under three complete charges out of a good 18650 power bank.

Standby drain

There’s insignificant parasitic drain on the battery when the light is switched off.

26µA for the CW
24µA for the HCRI

It will take about 3 years to drain a battery which was forgotten inside the light. Still, if you’re not going to use the S1 Mini for a while, just open the tailcap a quarter turn to break the electrical circuit.

Physical appearance

The cool white and high CRI versions can be distinguished from each other by bezel on the head. The HCRI tailcap is also a dead giveaway.

The tailcap magnet isn’t as strong as say on the H1R Nova, but it will keep the light S1 Mini attached well enough.


Olight S1R, Olight S1 Mini, Olight S1 Copper. The S1 Mini is the smallest S series Olight yet. Missing from the picture is the S Mini, which is just a tiny bit bigger.


The two way pocket clip enables bezel up and down carry. The clip can only be installed to the head on the grooves beside the switch. I would have liked a bit smaller clip.

User interface

The light is operated via an electronic side switch. The user interface is similar to other S series Batons. There’s a dim red LED behind the switch to indicate low battery charge and lockout mode.

Electronic and physical lockout are both possible. Electronic lockout also affects the tailcap switch.

Operation is as follows
From off:
Single click turns the light on on previously used mode (high is memorized for 10 minutes, turbo and strobe are not memorized)
Double click turns the light on on turbo
Triple (or more) click turns the light on on strobe
Press and hold to access moonlight
Keep pressing for electronic lockout, repeat to unlock (side switch backlight glows red when pressed if lockout is on)

From on:
Single click turns the light off
Long press and hold cycles low, mid, high
Double click activates turbo
Triple click for strobe
Double click and hold for a 3 minute shutdown timer, do it again for a 9 minute shutdown timer

Only thing I would critizise is that you can’t go back to the previously selected mode by double clicking on turbo unlike on some other Olights.

Beam and tint

The cool white version has the familiar Olight TIR beam, large and well defined. I noticed some blemishes in the middle of the beam. The HCRI version is closer to a reflector light with a bad tint shift from the center to the corona caused by the XP-G3.

Tint in different brightness modes

I have a new setup for more accurate characterization of the beam. The beam properties were measured by controlling a small servo with a computer (Pololu Micro Maestro + Futaba S3151). The flashlight under test was attached to the servo with a rubber holder and a velcro strap. The servo was turned one degree at a time and a measurement was taken with the i1Pro spectrophotometer between the turns. The process takes about 15 minutes and it was repeated twice. The results are the average of these two cycles.

Even with my personal prejudice against XP-G3 I really wanted the first high CRI Olight to be pretty and all, but it just isn’t. The beam has a very nice pure white hotspot, but it turns green and ugly very fast. This XP-G3 rainbow isn’t anything new though and Olight must have known about it. They even went and installed a heavily diffused TIR optics, but it wasn’t enough.

The normal cool white version on the other hand is okay. Even though it’s objectively speaking a bit greenish in tint, that doesn’t really matter, since the large hotspot is consistent. There’s hardly any change in the beam color within the brighter area of the beam. Outside of that the intensity drops off very quickly and the cooler temperature isn’t an issue.

On the following measurements, you should look at the shift during the first 20 degrees. That’s the area where the output drops down to 10%. Beyond that the shift isn’t really visible. On the HCRI version the shift is very strong right from the start while the normal cool white version stays very consistent. The little squiggles on the graphs is barely visible in the beam as small variations in brightness.

The rainbow manifests itself as the hook in the HCRI measurements. You can see the tint changing rapidly to warmer and greener and then reversing its direction when the readings are taken towards the edge of the beam. This is much more visible than a linear and gradual change towards either direction like on the normal S1 Mini.

Spectral data and color rendering

For spectral information and CRI calculations I use an X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometer with HCFR, Babelcolor CT&A and ArgyllCMS spotread for the graphs and data. For runtime tests I use spotread with a custom script and an i1Display Pro because it doesn’t require calibration every 30 minutes like the i1Pro.

Explanation of abbreviations

CCT = correlated color temperature, higher temperature means cooler (bluish)
CRI (Ra) = color rendering index consisting of 8 different colors (R1-R8), max value 100
CRI (R9) = color rendering index with deep red, usually difficult for led based light sources, max value 100
TLCI = television lighting consistency index, max value 100
CQS (Qa) = Proposed replacement for CRI, RMS average of 15 color samples
CRI2012 (Ra,2012) = Another proposed replacement for CRI, consists of 17 color samples
MCRI = Color rendering index based on the memory of colors or 9 familiar objects
NEW Read more about the IES TM-30-15 method
TM-30 = The newest color rendering method using 99 samples. Preferred for comparing LEDs.
TM-30 (Rf) = Accuracy of colors, fidelity index. Replaces CRI(Ra).
TM-30 (Rg) = Gamut of colors, saturation index. Higher number means more saturated colors.
Tint dev. (“Duv” in the CTA screenshots) is the tint’s distance to the black body radiator line in the CIE graphs. The higher the number, the greener the tint. 0,0000 means absolutely neutral white and negative numbers mean rosy/magenta tint. Anything over 0,0100 can be described as visibly green.

If you have an hour to spare, I recommend watching this presentation on IES TM-30-15 which also shines light into color rendering in general.

Output and runtimes

The supplied 16340 battery has a significantly higher capacity at lower discharge currents, which explains the comparatively larger lumen-hours figures. The actual efficiency also increases a bit (8%) on mid, but not as drastically as you would expect from the 28% increase in integrated output over time.

The output drops very gradually during the first minute after which it steps down a bit faster and reaches the high level at three minutes.

Here I try to run the light on as high a mode as possible by resetting the turbo with a double click after it has tapered down to the high level. After 20 minutes of this the light wouldn’t go to turbo anymore unless I shut it off first and then it only stayed on turbo for 10-15 seconds. All in all, the turbo will function properly with cells discharged down to 25% of their capacity.

Flicker

I measure the flicker with a Thorlabs DET36A/M photodetector and an oscilloscope. I transfer the scope’s sample memory via LAN to the computer where a script (thanks parametrek!) parses, performs an fft and other calculations to spit out a bunch of metrics. Then another script draws a graph which represents the output of the light source relative to time. This graph also has the metrics calculated previously. Here’s a link to a previous thread on the subject.

Here are the metrics:

Frequency – the rate of flicker in hertz. If this is over 10kHz, there’s usually no reason to worry about visible flickering
Modulation – also known as percent flicker which is calculated by (max level – min level) / (max level + min level). 100% modulation means that the light is turning completely off during the cycles like on PWM controlled output
Duty cycle: the relative time the light spends above the mid level during one cycle. 50% means that the light is above mid (“on”) 50% and below mid (“off”) 50% of the time. Lower duty cycle results in more visible flickering or strobe effect
Index: flicker index is calculated using the area under the curve (link is external). This integral is separated into area above and below the average output. The index is the area above that average divided by the total area. A pwm light with a duty cycle of 50% will have a flicker index of 0.5, but it is more useful with more complicated periodic waveforms, especially those whose modulation is less than 100%.

Snob index: a rating, which tries to convey a single number of flicker visibility
0% – No flicker, completely stable output
1-5% - Probably not visible to the naked eye (high frequency PWM, >10kHz or low modulation at lower frequencies)
5-10% – Might be visible to the most sensitive people who know what to look for and try hard enough (incandescent)
10-20% – Sensitive people will see it at least on bright reflections, probably not a dealbreaker yet in general use
20-50% – YMMV area. If you can usually spot mid frequency PWM, you’ll easily see the flicker
>50% – Visible to most people at least on some occasions (low frequency PWM, <200 Hz)

There’s some possibly visible flickering on moonlight mode. Low and mid modes also have significant ripple, but its frequency is too high to see with a naked eye. Click here for all of the flicker measurements.

Temperature

The S1 Mini never gets uncomfortable to hold, thanks to its quick stepdown. Unless of course you keep resetting the turbo…

Verdict

So far the smallest 16340 Olight has a great mechanical and electrical engineering behind it. Too bad the emitter choice lets the high CRI version down. While it does reach the advertised CRI of 90 on low modes, the beam is very uneven in color which makes the CRI unimportant. Some previous lights like the H1R Nova and S Mini in neutral white are much more pleasing. If you like cool white, then the normal CW version of the S1 Mini will not disappoint. Still waiting for Olight to embrace the beauty that is Nichia.

+ Very good efficacy (long runtimes with high output for a 16340 light)
+ Holds up turbo well even with a mostly depleted battery
+ Nice actuation and feel on the switch
+ Very small, can’t get much smaller with a 16340
+ Comes with a high quality usb rechargeable battery
- The HCRI model has a very uneven and greenish tint (rainbowy)
- Small artifacts (blemishes) on the CW beam
- Possibly visible flicker on moonlight mode
- Pocket clip is a bit too big for a light this small
- Difficult to try different emitters

Edited by: maukka on 12/04/2017 - 10:35
vwpieces
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Sadly, as predicted on the HCRI.
Thank you for the awesome review.

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After noticing that the S1 Mini worked quite well in freezing temps being able to activate turbo when some other lights didn’t, I conducted some discharge tests on 16340 batteries. First I charged them fully and placed them outside in 1-3°C temperature for an hour and brought back inside for discharging. The results would be even worse if I would have done the discharging outside or if the batteries would not have been fully charged before the test.

The internal resistance of a lithium ion battery rises significantly when the cell is cool, which shows as a big voltage drop when a high current is applied. This is why a partly discharged 16340 has often trouble activating turbo on the powerful Olights if you only use the lights outside only intermittently or mostly on the lower levels where the battery doesn’t stay warm.

The new usb rechargeable Olight 16340 fares quite well in the test and doesn’t sag too much at 1.3A discharge. I chose 1.3A as it’s what the S1 Mini draws on turbo. An unprotected Windyfire 600mAh IMR is clearly the best in this test. My old 650mAh Keeppower is pretty much useless during the winter. The Olight 550mAh is the battery that came with the S1R and the Olight 650mAh with the H1R.

joechina
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Nice review Maukka!

This lamp with a Nichia LED and Toykeeper’s firmware.

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Thanks for the detailed info maukka, and for the new Flicker Index..

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somnambulism
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Thanks for the review. And I very much like the idea of a PWM “snob index”!

maukka
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somnambulism wrote:
Thanks for the review. And I very much like the idea of a PWM “snob index”!

Thanks for the snob index calculation goes to parametrek and the idea of the process to derlichtpeter.de on whose CFD index it’s based but modified to be a bit more snobby.

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somnambulism wrote:
Thanks for the review. And I very much like the idea of a PWM “snob index”!

this thread talks about an app for that , but I have not figured out how to use it.

Im glad maukka has figured it out, now I just have to learn what it means compared to some lights I have experience with, and have tested for PWM by other methods.

For example, I use a Maratac AAA as EDC. I would be very curious to learn how it scores on maukka’s snob index. Same with the Lumintop Tool… since 2016, those drivers have NoPWM according to my waving and photo tests..

fwiw, constant current lights also have flicker, not just PWM lights.. for example the Olight that is the topic of this thread uses a constant current driver, so does Zebralight. (Im inclined to call them constant flicker drivers)

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Now since they made new optic that works with smaller leds the light becomes a perfect candidate for high cri 219b/219c led.

Who is going to be first to try this out? Big Smile

Sadly i cant afford it at the moment but i know i will try it out if i had the light.

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BobbyMK wrote:
Now since they made new optic that works with smaller leds the light becomes a perfect candidate for high cri 219b/219c led.

Who is going to be first to try this out? Big Smile

Sadly i cant afford it at the moment but i know i will try it out if i had the light.


I’ll try my best to offer once again a video to show how to open it… when I’ll have it figured of coruse.
Just got my two samples today, HCRI and normal CW…
Ugly tint shift and cold white on the “HCRI” one, as already seen by Maukka and others Oops
The CW is, well, a classic TIR beam like we see on every S baton lights. Though this one has a strange artifact in the center of the beam.

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I haven’t realized until now that the bezel sits flush with the body. This one might be very hard to open without doing some damage, i thought that the body is the same as the older s mini.

Let us know if you succeed to open the light.

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Sure, this flush bezel is a concern…
I already managed to scratch the body and button bezel trying to pry it with a blade… well, having two I guess I can make a sacrifice to figure it out for the community Big Smile

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Knowing you, you wont use that ugly tint shifting xp-g3 so i guess a little sacrifice would not hurt Big Smile

Jokes aside, i am thinking 219b sw45 r9080 for this one. To bad that Olight decided to give us a hard time.

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BobbyMK wrote:
Now since they made new optic that works with smaller leds

I do not think they actually made an XP compatible TIR.. based on the terrible beam, it appears they tried just frosting the XM compatible TIR, and it did not work.

I would Pass on trying to mod a High CRI SMini to Nichia, until some brave and enterprising soul proves it works better than the XP-G3, which is a FAIL!

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jon_slider wrote:
BobbyMK wrote:
Now since they made new optic that works with smaller leds

I do not think they actually made an XP compatible TIR.. based on the terrible beam, it appears they tried just frosting the XM compatible TIR, and it did not work.

I would Pass on trying to mod a High CRI SMini to Nichia, until some brave and enterprising soul proves it works better than the XP-G3, which is a FAIL!


The HCRI TIR is definitely not a frosted XM-L one.
It has a slightly concave surface, while the XM-L2 version is more deep with a bubble in the middle :

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X3 wrote:
The HCRI TIR is definitely not a frosted XM-L one.

thank you for educating me better.. I look forward to your success with the beam from an N219 Smile
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Fixed.
I’ve succeeded in opening this lil’ fella…
That’s the hardest Olight I had to open…
Thread is coming

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