Olight S1A and S2A Review

oh no, not another S1A… LOL!!! yes, I know there are a dozen S1A reviews on this site, well, I like to join in the fun too. so here goes…

Thanks to Olight and through a local Olight distributor, I received a unit of S1A and 4 units of S2A for testing and review. I was very surprise to receive all 4 colors of S2A for testing as they are the same and only different in the silicone grip color.

Among the S2A, 3 of them, Blue, Yellow and Gray silicone grip are coated with Glow in The Dark material.

more on that in a just a bit.

Knowing that S1A supports 14500 LiIon Rechargeable battery, I bought a few Olight branded 14500 along with couple of Olight branded Lithium Primary batteries for testing.

Let’s have a look at the packaging. First up, the S1A.

Contents of S1A package, user manual, lanyard with threading pin (seriously, it’s very kind of Olight to do this, human-touch), Olight S1A flashlight and a Primary Lithium battery.

so, can’t find the battery?

here! A Lithium Iron Disulfide (LiFeS2) Primary battery is pre-installed in the flashlight unit.

remember to remove the insulating film before using, or if you are like me, you will put away that Primary Lithium battery for safe-keeping and reserve them for TEOTWAWKI (in the unlikely event that I somehow survived) or any potential Zombie Apocalypse (again, in the unlikely chance that I don’t become one of them).

I’m in the opinion that Olight should re-word where-ever and whenever they reference Lithium Iron Disulfide (LiFeS2) battery, instead of using Lithium Iron, they should just say Primary Lithium battery.

I’m glad that Olight chooses to include a Primary Lithium battery instead of Alkaline battery. I’ve seen other flashlight manufacturers that include Alkaline battery in the package, and after being on the shelf for some time, the Alkaline battery leaks. Yuck!

The TIR optics and magnetic tailcap. You can remove the magnet if you want, and you should if you see yourself EDC-ing the S1A along with diskettes and/or cassette tape.

ok, here is the positive contact nipple located inside the flashlight body towards the head, looks kind-a sexy doesn’t it?!

The switch-side of Olight S1A

Tailcap, flat, sturdy flat, tail-stand sturdy flat.

The clip, removable, pocket friendly, as long as your pocket is not made of thick fabrics, I mean those really, really thick, thicker than 0.5cm fabrics. it’s reversible too, for head-down carry or if you fancy getting poke in your pocket.

Here we have 3 lights for length comparisons, from top, S1, S1A and S2A.

and comparing the length of S1A to various battery sizes.

about battery fitment, I only have a few 14500, namely just Olight and AW IMR, so YMMV. here are a few pictures showing the tail end after different battery inserted into the S1A flashlight.

Using Olight 14500 LiIon Rechargeable

Using Olight Primary Lithium battery

Using AW IMR 14500 battery

Next, let’s move on to Olight S2A.

Like the S1A, what’s included is user manual, lanyard with threading pin, Olight S2A flashlight and 2 Primary Lithium batteries.

Some claim that the rubber o-ring that is holding the flashlight securely in the package is actually the spare o-ring, well, I know I ain’t gonna use that as my replacement o-ring. Just saying.

see below the 2 Primary Lithium batteries that’s included inside the flashlight. Remember to remove the insulating film before use, or put the batteries away for safe-keeping… you know, just in case…

this is the tailcap of Olight S2A, the first thing you’ll notice missing from S2A is the magnet, S1-series, S2-series, and S1A all have magnetic tailcap, but not S2A. Manufacturer gives reason that the head of S2A is heavier, hmmm…

Spring contact for battery positive terminal. both S1A and S2A have the battery positive terminal pointing to head compare to S1 and S2 model where battery positive terminal is pointing to tailcap.

Let’s see some colors of S2A.

Closing up on the silicone grip.

Compare the grip to Fenix TK20.

The switch on Olight S2A.

The switch boot on S2A is translucent, lights get to pass through the switch boot

The brighter the level you choose, the more lights get passed through. I don’t see any light on the switch boot when using moon mode, must be too dim to shine through.

Comparing the bezel of S1A and S1.

Comparing the bezel of S1A and S2A.

The diameter of S2A is slightly bigger than S1A.

Now, let’s go back to those GiTD silicone body grip on the Olight S2A, only available with the Blue, Gray and Yellow model. Olight says these are fluorescence material, that they are not. These silicone body grip is quite dull, and when a UV light is directed to them, it doesn’t give the “fluorescent glow”. These are actually “phosphorescence”, what we commonly referred to as Glow-in-The-Dark (GiTD).

Immediately after being activated by a UV light source.

the square piece is a GiTD sticker paper bought at Daiso, you know, those dollar stores.

After a minute.

After 5 minutes.

After an hour.

well, you could probably still pick up a very very faint glow with your night adapted eyes, but not me.

Now, let’s get on with the mode switching, I’ve created a few horizontal cross functional flowcharts, hopefully it explains some subtle differences between the UI of new S1A, S2A and the older S1 and S2-series.

first, let’s look at the S1A.

S1A and S2A now remembers both moon mode and turbo, even when turbo is access through double-click. The older S1 does not remember moon mode and if turbo (or max mode) is access via double-click, the older S1 does not remembers it unless turbo is activated via the normal mode switching (press and hold).

next, the S2A.

the UI is the same as S1A.

They have also shorten the time delay between mode changing when doing press-hold, it’s now much faster to change mode on S1A and S2A than the S1 and S2-series.

let’s take a look at the UI of the older S1 Baton.

as pictured, the moon mode and Max/Turbo mode (when activated via double-click) will not be remembered.

having trouble with the chart? no worries, just bring a bar of dark chocolate and a bottle of Sweet Madeira wine and we can indulge ourselves in the delicacies of the elusive Olight S1A and S2A UI.

now, on to some output test, but first, the way Olight specify their light output deserves some praise. it clearly states the output and the gradual step down brightness and runtime in the user manual.

first, charging my Olight 14500 battery in the Pila charger for the test.

So, just how the 1 minute step-down going to affect me as a user from a 600-lumen turbo output? I decided to run a test, and the following video is the results. Btw, you may wanna turn down your speaker volume before clicking that play button, I figure watching a 3 minutes tree top video is too boring, so I added a background music…


can you tell the difference? Maybe you can, but I can’t, well not until towards the end of the video I can’t and not unless I move the sliding bar going back and forth in the video and ah-ha! there is indeed a step down.

10 seconds into the video

1 minute 10 seconds into the video

2 minutes into the video

2 minutes 30 seconds into the video

time for some outdoor beam shots. here are the participants.

all pictures taken with manual mode on Sony RX-100, ISO-400, F/3.5, Exposure 1s, more lights are spill to the sides and is actually brighter in real life compare to the beam shots. But if the light pollution rate continue to rise, this might well be the true output captured in the near future.

remember the Olight Lithium Iron Disulfide (LiFeS2) Primary battery that we put away for safe keeping? well, I just have to know if they are as good as our beloved Energizer Ultimate Lithium. So I went back to the Olight distributor and bought another 2 units of S1A to perform the following test.

This is my test setup.

from left, Energizer Ultimate Lithium, Olight Primary Lithium, IKEA Ladda 2450 NiMH LSD

The following video were captured using LapseIt Pro on a Asus Zenphone 5 with locked exposure. Again, it might be a good idea to turn down your speaker volume…


note the running number on the lower right corner is not the runtime, but the timestamp of the recording. and yes, we flashaholics need no sleep, that’s how we qualify to be one in the first place.

following are the recorded events, in order:
Olight Primary Lithium: 1.807V
Energizer Ultimate Lithium: 1.801V
IKEA Ladda 2450 NiMH LSD: 1.399V

Test starts at 01:26am
03:00am (1 hour 34 minutes), NiMH starts to dim and flicker<br />03:04am (1 hour 38 minutes), Olight Primary Lithium starts to dim
03:25am (1 hour 59 minutes), Energizer Ultimate Lithium starts to dim<br />03:57am (2 hour 31 minutes), Energizer Ultimate Lithium dimmed further, dimmer than Olight Primary Lithium
@04:01am (2 hour 35 minutes), Olight Lithium flashes once and turn off, follow by Energizer Ultimate Lithium half a minute later

In conclusion, both S1A and S2A are good flashlight from quality manufacturer. These are flashlights (torches for some of you) that deliver very good runtime and performance. These are serious lumen for the money.

Well, of course it’s not without its fault… for one, if only Olight can gives us a flashlight that can be charge wirelessly with High CRI lumens at half the price? you know, like those in the Star Gate Universe? One can continue to wish… and dream… oh well…

Good pics, nice write up! I think the 2*AA would be a useful light. I have the old Fenix L2D premium and really need to update my lights in that class. I like a 2*AA in the winter for the truck, since we get really cold here.


Very complete review! Thanks for the UI chart.

It’s neat that they sen’t you all 4 colors of the S2A :open_mouth:

Nicely done! Thanks for all the hard work you put into this.

I like the beam produced by the TIR optic.I also like the Olight user interface. It has nice shortcuts to Moonlight and High. I am not sure, however, about the changes Olight made. I like the way the current S1 interface lets you use the shortcuts without changing the mode you have stored in mode memory.

I made a simple table that describes the full interface of the S1, including a couple of things not found in your flow charts. From Strobe mode, for instance, you can reenter the main sequence using a press-and-hold.

Now, if only Olight made high-CRI flashlights...

Nice review, fun to read and very complete. Thanks!

Very nice review! I just learned that Lithium Primaries start at ~1.8 volts! :smiley:

aww… you guys… thank you very much for all the kind words, appreciate it. :smiley:

Very in-depth review!

Just finish a runtime test of the 0.5 lumen moon-mode for S1A...

Starting Voltage: 1.83V

Ending Voltage (after rest): 1.03V

Runtime: ~24.8 days

Manufacturer's Claim: 25 days

Now that’s some dedication !
So Olight did lie to us, it’s still missing 0.2 day ! I want my 5 hours back ! ^:)