Review: Olight S1A - XM-L2 TIR AA-14500

I received the Olight S1A for the review, curtesy of Sean from

Olight specs for the S1A

Cree XM-L2 LED
Powered by one AA battery.
Conventional output: 0.5 lumens, 5 lumens, 50 lumens, 220 lumens, strobe mode at 10Hz.
Special output: turbo mode at 600 lumens (only available when 14500 rechargeable lithium battery is used)
High light transmission rate TIR lens resulting in a balanced and useful beam
Eco-friendly AL6061-T6 aluminium alloy body with anti-scratch Milspec type-III hard anodized finish and a blue PVD stainless steel ring on the switch and bezel
Controlled by a thermal protection program, the turbo mode is limited to 1 minute and then the brightness gradually steps down to 50% of the initial brightness (only available when 14500 rechargeable lithium battery is used)
Built-in timer: Short timer (3 minutes) or Long timer (9 minutes)

The S1A comes in this nice modern box where you can see the light and the specs.

You can tell someone spent a lot of time organizing the many things inside the box to show: light, manual (for once in Italian also), lanyard.

The S1A comes with the clip mounted, and with a Lithium primary (not rechargeable) AA sized battery inside. Remember to remove the plastic spacer before using the light.

Some pics of the light.

The Olight bezels with distinctive blue PVD coating.

The switch protrudes slightly, and the rubber cover makes it grippy.

The clip is fine, and allows to carry the light only with the led facing up. There’s room for a thick belt or a thick cloth. The shape allows a deep carry, and can be mounted on the visor of baseball hat, in order to work as an headlamp.

The tailcap is the only part you can remove from the light.
It is flat and inside there is a removable magnet inside, under a golden spring.

On the side a small lanyard hole

The short squared threads are anodized, allowing physical lockout

The positive pole requires button top cells to work (AA are fine, 14500 with slightly protruding pole needs a magnet to work; this worked fine with Efest 14500 IMR).

Size comparison: AA battery, Olight S1A, Olight S1R, Manker E11, Klarus Mi7

The switch has a short run, and I would describe the force needed to push it as medium.
A short click turns the light on and off.
A long click will cycle the levels: low, mid, hi, low, mid, hi, in loop. If you run the S1A with 14500 batteries, after hi mode there will be also turbo mode.
From off, a long click will turn the light on at moonlight (when cycling the levels with a prolonged push of the switch it is not available).
From off a double click will make the light go into turbo mode (with 14500 battery, while with other battery the output will be high), and a triple click will activate strobe mode.
There is also a timer: when the light is on make a double press to set a timer for the current level: a further single click will set the timer at 9 minutes, while a double click will set the timer at 3 minutes. The light will turn off automatically when timer is finished.

Output and runtime
Batteries used: Efest IMR 14500 purple 650mAh, Eneloop PRO, Energeizer Ultimate Lithium AA (for output plot and runtime plot at high mode), Olight Lithium AA (for runtime plot at medium mode).

Values are consistent with Olight specs.

Beamshots at 0.5 meters from the wall

The optic on the S1A with the XM-L2 emitter will concentrate most of the output in the spot, and the spill will be very wide and homogeneous but with less brightness.
To my eyes I can see the spot as it is composed by 2 close concentric circles.
On the camera these 2 circles appear as a square. Don’t know why.

The beam of the S1A is identical to the one of the S1R, here there are other beamshot featuring the S1R.

My thoughts:
The S1A is a well built and regulated light. It supports all kind of batteries, but remember that if you use unprotected IMR cells to turn the light off when see the output drop, because it doesn’t have over discharge protection.

The light is well built and easy to use. The 3 (4, with li ion) modes are well spaced and easy to access.
The magnet in the tailcap is useful to attach the light to metallic surfaces, and is removable.
I believe this light is a good EDC, and also a gift: multi-language manual, is easy to use (“hey grandpa, it’s like your old light: one click turns it on and another turns it off”).
I’d like to see an upgraded version of this S1A, featuring XP-L/XP-L Hi/XP-G3 emitter, with NW tint option.

Thanks to AntoLed for the camera and the luxmeter.
Thanks for reading.

Thanks for the very thorough review!


Thanks for your graphs Budda! are always highly appreciated!!
If you must choose only one light for use with 1xaa NiMH… you will choose Manker E11, Klarus Mi7 or Olight S1A? (only for use with NimH)


I believe you can divide the characteristics

the E11 is the one with most throw, the other 2 are for close distances.

I prefer the Klarus and the Olight on the Manker.

Ouptput on nimh
Manker for better output.

Manker is at pair with Olight for number modes.

Manker is superior because allows you to choose the tint (and I’m not counting that my Manker has been modded).

Manker and Olight have clip, Klarus has not. I prefer the Manker clip pecause it carries head down.
But the Olight also has a magnet.

That’s why I tent to change lights depending on the day and the task :slight_smile:

Thank you, it was a very complete description !! :+1:

One thing is clear, none of them is perfect, I would like 3 but … as you say
three flashlights need some small change !!!

Go to Search for the Olight S1A. Use MAP code. Thank me.

Thanks for the review!

Just one small thing

Shouldn’t it have 4 modes with nimh (moon - low - mid - high) and 5 with li ion?

And can you please tell me the weight?

yes, you are right. the weight is 38 g without battery, 68g with an eneloop (measured right now).