[Review] OLIGHT O'PEN (XP-G2, 2x AAA)

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UPz's picture
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Location: Barcelona
[Review] OLIGHT O'PEN (XP-G2, 2x AAA)

Battery: 2x AAA
Modes: 3 (High- Mid-Low) with mode memory.
Switch: Reverse clicky in the tailcap.
Date: May 2014
DX.com / RdL / ForoLinternas

One of the latest developments by the known brand Olight launched some time ago that I was struck by its peculiar shape is this Olight O’Pen, a pen-shaped flashlight that uses two common AAA batteries and uses a tail mechanical clicky as switch. Olight offers this model in four different anodizing colors in blue, red, brown and black. I personally opted for the common black color because I understand this is the only one of four that has an HA III anodizing, so it is assumed it will stand better with the daily hard work I have planned for this flashlight.

The flashlight comes in an exquisite translucent plastic box nicely presented, in addition to the flashlight (very ornately placed inside) we find two Duracell AAA alkaline batteries packaged, a set of replacement seals and several brochures with information on other brand models, as well as a fairly detailed user manual.


The appearance of O’Pen is very distinctive and quirky, with some very elegant shapes. Machined in anodized aluminum, has a smooth exterior finish machined with various lines along its body, giving it a very distinctive look.

The anodizing finish is very good, no different shades in multiple parts that make up the light, with a pretty good matte tone.

There are several details in steel, as the bezel, a ring together with the tailcap union or the pocket clip installed on the clicky.

O’Pen optics is really small and has a tiny OP reflector in which we find quite well centered the XP -G2 of bin unspecified. The glass lens looks AR treatment. The bezel that holds the lens appears to be made of polished steel. Inside the head we see the tiny driver of the penlight, with a slight bulge in its center to contact with the positive pole of the battery.

The threads are square (actually trapezoidal shaped) in all joints of the different parts of the flashlight, in raw aluminum finish for the head and clicky, and anodized in union with the tailcap. All threads are provided with o- rings, and arrive clean and dry, except for the anodized tailcap which features a light coat of grease.

The pocket clip has a great finish, with a brand logo in negative relief on the metal surface. Clip tension is good enough so attaches securely to shirt pocket. The clip appears to be removable, as is secured by screwing, and has a small notch that once tightened prevented it from rotating.

The reverse switch is located in the tailcap and has a plastic button. Touch is quite good with a precise feel and very little lateral play between the different parts, so it seems hard to run aground as usual in the typical cheap flashlights ( ie. Tank007 for example) with small switches on the tail clicky .

The switch is recessed within the tail interior of the flashlight, and only shows a small spring jutting from its housing.

The O’Pen has a pretty basic and simple user interface, free of strobe and blinky modes, very appropriated in my opinion for the use of which designed the penlight.
Mode sequence is simple, with only three selectable intensities from the reverse switch:

  • On and off: The flashlight turns on and off using the reverse switch located on the tailcap. Since this is a reverse switch, the flashlight cannot be turned on in momentary mode, and requires a full press (press to the bottom and release) to activate.
  • Change modes operation: With the O’Pen on, slightly press the switch to break momentarily the circuit and let the flashlight switch modes in ascending order.
  • Mode Memory: The Olight penlight electronics is able to memorize the last used mode, turning on directly on this in its next activation (requiring full 2 seconds off for memory storage, otherwise the light follows the mode sequence).
  • Mechanical block-out: Thanks to the anodized threads, we can block-out the flashlight through a partially unscrewing of said thread, thus avoiding inadvertent on. By incorporating a mechanical switch there is of course no parasitic battery drain.

_(All measurements are taken following the ANSI NEMA FL1 procedure using peak value of the highest reading of between 30 and 120 seconds after activation. More details here

As you can see here, the O’Pen suffers from slight discrepancies between what Olight specified and what the integrating sphere dictates. Specifically, the real 200LM High mode yields compared to only 180 specified, although this is compensated by actual 36LM versus 50LM theoretical for the Med mode, and measured 3.5LM against the 5LM specified for the Low. In general, the distribution of intensities seems well spaced for the type of use to which this flashlight is intended.

The runtime of the High mode O’Pen is short, but with a really high output for the type of batteries used. We can see how the output appears to be well regulated, and after the typical initial slump caused by temperature increase and voltage drop of the battery, the flashlight provides an impressive linear 180LM for about 35 minutes, at which the penlight falls out regulation and after a big drop begins a gradual decline of light, without turning off suddenly.

To get an idea of its efficiency, the only 2x AAA flashlight which I can compare with is the long-standing Nextorch alternative, the K3 penlight that we saw quite a while ago. As you can see, even with the great power of the High mode Olight is clear that efficiency is a step ahead than the former Nextorch penlight.

Finally, we will compare the O’Pen against her keychain sister, the well-known and popular Olight i3S that works with just one AAA battery. It is interesting how with the double input voltage, the O’Pen shows a similar curve to the i3S. To check the efficiency roughly, imagine that we can measure the area of each flashlight line delineates between the X and Y axis. The O’Pen by its difference in power should have an area twice the size to match the efficiency with i3S. However, at first glance it seems that not only doubles, but well above the area enclosed by the i3S. The driver designed for O’Pen is able to extract more from two AAA batteries than what the driver of the I3S shows with a single AAA, from an objective point of view.

From the small size of the reflector, it is clear that we have a very floody flashlight that sacrifices the throw to offer a wide and fairly even lighting that will be useful for short distances or interior, although not entirely disregard the reflector achieves a beam with a huge hotspot so the throw is somewhat ahead of other full-flood completely without reflector flashlights.
The XP -G2 tint is, as in i3S, cool white with a marked tendency to greenish.

The beam profile seems very accurate for a professional use, in a controlled environment such as maintenance or machinery inspection. Thanks to the big hotspot there is not the need to be orientating the hotspot, and the modes become very useful, being the Med mode the more I’ve used for all kinds of work situations.

As a curiosity, I’m including this funny comparison between the maximum performance offered by the O’Pen versus the well-known incandescent AAA MiniMaglite, flashlight I was using on daily basis before the high power LEDs arrived. Amazing, isn’t it?

Finally a penlight in which I can trust. Those who for professional reasons need a small flashlight for mechanical inspection within production lines have always dreamed of a tool capable of offering an all-in -one in which inside a portable and unobtrusive format, we can bring in our front overalls pocket a flashlight able to meet our most basic needs of lighting in controlled areas.

AAA • Bronte RA02 • AAA MiniMag • Olight O’Pen •Nextorch K3 • Fenix E21 (2x AA) • MiniMag Pro+ (2x AA)

Until some years ago, in my overalls there was always an incandescent AAA MiniMag with reverse installed clip and flashlight inserted into the typical pocket pen, with the oversized head out.

The O’Pen fits perfectly as if it were a pen, and thanks to its rear switch is much more comfortable to use, so forget about the cumbersome process of focusing the small maglite and, of course its limited power.

Bronte RA02 •Olight O’Pen • Nextorch K3

I dislike: The only complaint I put on the penlight Olight is perhaps the too powerful High mode, where we have an amazing light output but in return we sacrifice much the runtime. Maybe I would have chosen a less powerful maximum mode, towards a somewhat higher runtime, or a time-controlled stepdown reducing output to, let’s say, 120LM, which would prompt an acceptable power and runtime.

I Like: The stylish appearance of Olight penlight is one of its most attractive from my point of view. Without inspecting it carefully, it is difficult to see that this is a flashlight. Its mechanical construction is quite good, so it looks like a very well hold the careless use and labor abuse. Its modes are in concordance with the typical use to which these lights are intended, a really useful low, a versatile medium and powerful high for those specific moments where you need that extra lighting. Although its runtime in High mode is not spectacular, keep in mind the type of batteries it uses. I really like the absence of strobe modes, little or nothing useful in this style lights.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:07
Woody's picture
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Great review – thanks. I picked one of these up last year and am quite happy with it, even though it’s been stored in a daysac I rarely use. I seem to recall that it isn’t particularly efficient on alkaline AAA’s, but who uses anything but eneloop? Wink

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Nice review, I’d buy one at under $30.

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ezarc wrote:
Nice review, I'd buy one at under $30.

+ 1

Thank you for the great review. Me too i'd pick one up at 30$ or less Smile

Group buy maybe?

DB Custom
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I got my wife the same pen light but 4Seven’s branded. She’s a CNA and has impressed some Dr.s with it on numerous occasions. I got her a blue one, since that’s her favorite color, and run Imedion NiMH cells in it. Better than Eneloops. Smile

Nice write up, great little sleeper of a light. Wink

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Nice Pen light. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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Wow impressive review. Such a penlight would be great for dentists/doctors if it came with a high CRI emitter Smile

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I have the Foursevens variation of this and really do enjoy it. I keep it in my pants front pocket.

I do find I accidentally turn it on with getting on and off of my bicycle, or crouching very far down. I would like to have the option of a less protruding button. Although wearing gloves the button is very nice, but still can probably be reduced a bit.

I use energizer lithium’s in mine, the weight reduction is very nice and it makes this feel like any other pen. I’m sure the constant run-time on high will be quite a bit better, although I have not tested this.

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Very nice review, UPz, thank you.

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ezarc wrote:
Nice review, I’d buy one at under $30.

+1 Thanks for the review. They do seem a bit overpriced but I guess if the build quality and fit/finish are that good, then maybe they are worth $40. It sure looks nice in your photos. So who really makes this light? Is it really a foursevens or is it an Olight? It would definitely be a no-brainer at 30 bucks Smile

Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
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Fantastic review sir. And a high output at around 120 lumen would be definetly more suited, specially for its size, but that is just my opinion. Still the 200 lumens are quite impressive. I find 40$ a bit steep for the moment, but may give it a try, the construction as you mentioned seems really nice. And on a last note, I don’t think the reverse clicky is that much of a problem but I not a huge fan of its design. It sure could pass as a pen, I just seem to prefer a more straight cilindrical shape (?) over the tapered shape of this one. Thanks for the review!!
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for a pen that can’t be used to write i think i can live with that Big Smile

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Thank you very much for your comments!

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That is one sweet looking light. Thanks for the review.


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Still my favorite penlight. Keep mine filled with Eneloop batteries and they work great. I have red, black and blue versions. Any close equivalents currently made?

Rich Wood
Reno, NV

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Lumintop IYP365 is a good penlight

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