Olight R50 Seeker measurements (26650, XHP50)

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maukka
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Olight R50 Seeker measurements (26650, XHP50)

The influx of interesting 26650 lights continues with the Olight R50 Seeker. It features an XHP50 multi emitter led with in-light charging and a max output of 2500 lumens. Here’s my impressions and measurements of the R50.

Unboxing

The Olight R50 Seeker comes packaged in a very attractive box. Bundled with the light is:

  • A protected Olight 26650 battery
  • Lanyard
  • A mains usb charger
  • Micro-usb charging cable

I would have also liked a holster for a light this big. Please note that the wall socket prong adapter for the usb charger is region specific. Since I ordered mine from the UK I couldn’t use the adapter. Luckily the charger has a standard C8 connector, so I could use a separate C7 power cord.

General overview

The heavily textured reflector hides a potential donut hole effect from the multi emitter led. The shallow angle of the reflector provides a smooth and wide beam. This is not a thrower or all out flood but more of a great general purpose flashlight.


The R50 is comparable in size and weight to the Nitecore EC4SW (2× 18650) but significantly slimmer than the Klarus G30 (3× 18650). The latter two use a Cree MT-G2 led. I don’t have any other XHP50 lights to which to compare the R50.

In-light charging

The usb port is located at the tail and covered with a nice and sturdy rubber flap. Using the provided usb charger, it takes 7 hours to charge the bundled Olight 26650 battery fully. The charging current is only 0.80-0.95A even though the charger is capable of much higher currents. I measured 2.5A. The chargers D-lines are coded as Apple 1.0A.

Any standard 26650 cell will work in the light, but only the proprietary Olight battery can be charged in it. In addition to the bundled Olight 4500mAh battery I tested the R50 with a Keeppower 4500mAh and a Liitokala 5000mAh batteries. The Liitokala cells are too short and to work reliably and needed two 1.6mm thick magnets. With one magnet the contact was not good enough and the turbo mode didn’t work (low voltage warning). Flat top is fine as long as the cell is long enough.


In-light charging takes 7 hours at slightly under 1 amps. I would have liked to see at least 2A with a battery this big in capacity. The led in the tailcap turns from red to green correctly when the battery has been charged.


The charger itself is capable of higher currents, all the way up to 2.5 amps, but its full potential is sadly not utilized. A 26650 battery could easily take higher charge currents than your normal 18650.

I tested the charger at 2A for half an hour. It seems to function fine, even though it gets pretty hot

Beamshots

The usefulness of the R50 beam can be seen from these outdoor beamshots.

It offers a bit more throw than the Nitecore EC4SW while still lighting up the near foreground so you know where you’re stepping on. The Nitecore’s MT-G2 led is more of a smooth floody type while the Olight’s XHP50 has a more pronounced hotspot but a wider spill.

Beam, tint and color rendering

As per usual Olight fashion, the emitter has low color rendering index and a greenish tint. The tint is even greener on the lower modes. On a light over 100 euros, I would have expected a neutral tint and a CRI of at least 70. In an otherwise amazing light, this is a clear oversight that would be easy to remedy.


Tint in different parts of the beam.


Tint in different brightness modes.


Color rendering

For spectral information and CRI calculations I have an X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometer with HCFR for the plot and ArgyllCMS spotread.exe for the data. For runtime tests I use spotread.exe with a custom script and a 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
x,y = coordinates on a CIE 1931 chart

Runtimes and output


edit: beam intensity figures updated after remeasuring

Please note: lumen measurements are only rough estimates
My diy 40 cm integrating styrofoam sphere has been calibrated using a Fenix E05 on high with manufacturer’s claim of 85 lumens. Verified with an Olight S10 and Olight R50 Seeker that have been measured with a Labsphere FS2 integrating sphere by valostore.fi. Results may be more inaccurate with especially throwy or floody lights.

Approximate tailcap currents
Standby 57.3µA (negligible)
Low 69mA
Mid 0.75A
High 3A
I couldn’t realibly measure turbo, since I don’t have thick enough leads for my meter.


Runtime with different 26650 batteries.

With the Olight 26650 “4500 mAh” batter runtime on turbo is 1h 13min with 3 stepdowns at 3m20s, 48m and 56m. Total light output in lumen*hours is 1696 lm*h. With a Liitokala 5000 mAh battery expect about 7 minutes of more high level output.

As is evident from the runtime chart, the bundled Olight 4500mAh battery is actually higher in capacity. I measured it at 4940 mAh at 2.0A discharge with a SkyRC MC3000. For comparison the Keeppower 4500mAh clocked in at 4742mAh.

Battery voltage after turbo depletion was 2.89 V measured immediately afterwards. The R50 will squeeze out most of the juice in the battery. There’s only about 30 mAh capacity left after the light’s own low voltage protection kicks in. The integrated protection circuit in the Olight 26650 battery activates at 2.50V, but in normal circumstances it will never be relied on, since the light’s protection activates just a bit earlier.


Comparison between high and turbo modes. Both cooled with a desktop usb fan.

*Temperature regulation tests
*
Because the Olight R50 has temperature regulation, the stepdown levels will vary depending on the cooling used. With more effective fans the stepdown after turbo will be higher. The same holds true in the high mode, which doesn’t step down at all when cooled with a powerful enough fan. The first turbo stepdown is also affected by cooling, but I’m not sure if the initial high output can be sustained in even colder conditions.


Runtime on turbo with the fan on and off.


Runtime on high with the fan on and off.

High output mode is superbly regulated at 1180 lumens for 1 hr 35 minutes. After this the output drops down to 410 lumens for an additional 14 minutes. If no cooling is available, the first stepdown occurs at 13 minutes and the R50 outputs just shy of 800 lumens until the 2 hour 35 minute mark.


Output test on turbo with various methods. Here I have turned the fan on in the beginning, but will switch it off and on several times during the test.

With my small usb powered desk fan, the R50 stepped down to 1670 lumens on turbo at 3 minutes 20 seconds. When the fan was turned off after the initial sptedown, the output dropped further down to 780 lumens. Close enough to the manufacturer’s spec of 800 lm. After the fan was turned back on, the output slowly climbed back up to 1300 lumens but never to the previous level. After switching the light off and on again, the output returned to the higher level again. Testing was done indoors at a 24°C ambient temperature.

The total output in lumen*hours is comparable (1729 vs. 1766 lm*h) so there is no significant difference in the efficiency between a cooled and uncooled light.

Temperature during turbo runtime without a cooling fan got up to 58 °C just after the initial stepdown. After prolonged use, the handle gets up to 50°C, which I think is on the verge of being too hot to hold with bare hands. With a fan on I measured 42°C on the hottest spot at the head on turbo.

PWM

There is no PWM.

Low mode.

Strobe

Strobe has a frequency of 10 hertz and a duty cycle of 50 %. Output during the on phase is similar to the high mode.

Verdict

The Olight R50 Seeker feels like a premium quality flashlight. For a non flashlight enthusiast it will be the perfect choice when good output and ease of use are required. The UI is very simple and intuitive: click to turn on and off, long press to change modes, double click for turbo, triple click for strobe. It has several protection features such as temperature regulation and low voltage protection, and as such is a great light even for the non-enthusiast. The greenish light isn’t going to impress tint freaks, but in practice, when used on something else than a white wall, it’s not that bad.

+ Great fit and finish and nice retail packaging
+ Constant brightness high mode with 1180 lumens if properly cooled
+ High turbo output for couple of minutes
+ Useful beam shape
+ Temperature regulation (max 58°C)
+ No PWM
+ Low battery voltage protection
+ Easy to use UI with last mode memory
+ Direct access to turbo from off and from any mode (double click)
+ Direct access to low from off (long press)
+ Short click to turn on and off
+ Simple lockout mode (click and hold for 2 sec)
+ Can also be locked out by opening the tailcap a tiny amount
+ Negligible standby current (57µA)
+ A standard 26650 battery can also be used

- Greenish tint
- Low color rendering index
- No sub lumen moonlight
- Doesn’t work with short batteries
- Only the proprietary 26650 battery can be charged in the light
- Charging the bundled battery in an external charger is difficult and easy to short
- In-light charging is slow, even though the supplied usb charger is high power (2.5A but coded as Apple 1.0A)
- Temperature regulation does not fully reset when cooled down again, needs to be switched off and on
- No holster included

Edited by: maukka on 09/28/2016 - 11:08
mattlward
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This is one of the most comprehensive reviews I have seen yet. I wish I had ways to measure everything you measure. How do you determine the color temp of the led?

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

akhyar
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Thank you for the excellent and comprehensive review.
Considering that some 26650-based lights that offer built-in charging like Klarus G20, Acebeam EC50 Gen2, Manker U21 have maximum charging rate of 2A, I wonder why Olight designed the charging current to be 1A only

maukka
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mattlward wrote:
This is one of the most comprehensive reviews I have seen yet. I wish I had ways to measure everything you measure. How do you determine the color temp of the led?

I’m using an i1Pro spectrophotometer, but approximating the CCT can be done with cheaper tools too.

maukka
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Here’s also a comparison between runtimes and levels on turbo with and without cooling. The uncooled one matches Olight’s specification of 2h 30min at 800 lm after the initial stepdown.

mhanlen
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Just popping in to say… great review!

sidecross
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akhyar wrote:
Thank you for the excellent and comprehensive review.
Considering that some 26650-based lights that offer built-in charging like Klarus G20, Acebeam EC50 Gen2, Manker U21 have maximum charging rate of 2A, I wonder why Olight designed the charging current to be 1A only

My appreciation as well for this report, and I agree that 1 amp internal charge is not to my liking.

I have the Manker U21 and it charges at 2 amps even with my Anker 10,050mAh power-bank.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

maukka
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The usefulness of the R50 beam can be seen from these outdoor beamshots.

It offers a bit more throw than the Nitecore while still lighting up the near foreground so you know where you’re stepping on. The Nitecore’s MT-G2 led is more of a smooth floody type while the Olight’s XHP50 has a more pronounced hotspot but a wider spill.

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great review with tons of info - THX!

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ask MARTIN@M4DM4X.COM - i will save you money!

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Good visual example between XHP50 and MT-G2!

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Very in-depth review. Thanks for the time you have put into the review!

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What the others said. Thanks. Thumbs Up

 

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sidecross wrote:
Good visual example between XHP50 and MT-G2!

Indeed! Both emitters have low CRI (approximately 70 (Ra)), but the MT-G2 reveals browns, yellows, and even the greens much better than the XHP50.

With this review, maukka moves to the front of the pack. No other reviewer provides such a wealth of measurements.

Thanks!

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KeepingItLight wrote:
Both emitters have low CRI (approximately 70 (Ra)), but the MT-G2 reveals browns, yellows, and even the greens much better than the XHP50.

With this review, maukka moves to the front of the pack. No other reviewer provides such a wealth of measurements.


Thanks!


+1

I am surprised that few manufacturers are taking advantage of the Cree MT-G2 LED. It is my favorite flood LED with good color rendition.

I use the Fenix PD40 for now, but I would like to see what other’s can do with the MT-G2 in a single cell 26650 flashlight.

And yes, maukka does very good reviews.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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wow, crazy detailed review..nice work!
would it be possible to check if turbo mode can be memorized? my olight s30r javelot has a turbo memory.
same double click for turbo. but if i turn it off in turbo, it will turn on in turbo with a single click.

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Thanks for the lengthy review +pics!

maukka
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blueb8llz wrote:
would it be possible to check if turbo mode can be memorized? my olight s30r javelot has a turbo memory. same double click for turbo. but if i turn it off in turbo, it will turn on in turbo with a single click.

No turbo memory on the R50. It is considered a hidden mode like the strobe on the light.

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Runtime graph comparing the Olight R50 Seeker and the Nitecore EC4SW.

When looking at the lumen-hour results, it’s clear that there’s pretty much no difference in efficiency between the XHP50 and the MT-G2.

I measured the Olight 26650 battery at 4940mAh at 2A discharge, while the two Keeppowers used in the Nitecore total 6300mAh. This is very close to the ratio that can be observed in the lumen-hours: 6300mAh/4940mAh=1.275 vs. 2123lm*h/1696lm*h=1.252. I didn’t record the energy in watt-hours for the batteries, which would have been more accurate though.

maukka
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maukka wrote:
When looking at the lumen-hour results, it’s clear that there’s pretty much no difference in efficiency between the XHP50 and the MT-G2.

I measured the Olight 26650 battery at 4940mAh at 2A discharge, while the two Keeppowers used in the Nitecore total 6300mAh. This is very close to the ratio that can be observed in the lumen-hours: 6300mAh/4940mAh=1.275 vs. 2123lm*h/1696lm*h=1.252. I didn’t record the energy in watt-hours for the batteries, which would have been more accurate though.

Got the Wh data for the batteries at 2A discharge with the SkyRC MC3000: Olight 26650 4500mAh 18.01Wh, 2x Keeppower 18650 3500mAh 21.77Wh. So the Keeppowers offer only 20.9% more energy, but produce 25.2% more total light energy over the test period. The difference is so small that I wouldn’t conclude that the MT-G2 or the Nitecore is more efficient. Could be the measurement setup.

ren
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Please send also if still available

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Olight also sent me the R50 Seeker in raw copper. Other than the body material and hence the massive(!) weight, it’s absolutely identical to the aluminum version. However, if not cooled with a fan there’s a slight difference in time it takes to step down on turbo because of the higher mass and better thermal properties of copper. With cooling the stepdown is delayed for a bit more than minute on turbo. No significant difference in output.

Here’s the Al-Cu pair.

And the runtimes.

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Holster recommendations would be appreciated.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

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maukka
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The Olight R50/R50 Pro holster is very well made. I also tried a couple Convoy holsters, but the better quality S2+ one is too small and the cheaper C8 holster is too big.

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Doh! They make a holster for it, but you got to buy it seperate. Facepalm

Thanks for the info.

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maukka
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Yeah, for some reason the holster is included with the R50 Pro but not the R50.

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+1 on the R50 Pro holster, really well made and practical !

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Are you sure driver is not improved also? I doubt it.
I mean just improving certain aspects like total voltage drop driver could run more time
in regulation. After all current now goes through a thick copper boy rather through the 6061 T6 alloy (which is only 40% of
copper which is 100%)
Not that is making then final difference, but that also is making a difference.
Certainly the copper will cool faster, but the current path is quite significantly much better now.

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Both flashlights look very nice.