I have always carried a flashlight in some form or another and over the years I have gone though quite a few of them. My last light was a Fenix PD32 which I liked, but still felt like I was having to settle on the features. So when I lost my PD32 a week before SHOT back in January I set out to find a better light while I was there as my side mission. When I stopped into the Olight booth I was greeting with well made lights that all had a similar UI (user interface) and felt solid.
I am by no means a “flashaholic” like some guys out there. I just like to have a light to see with in the dark, see inside something or look at something small in detail. I also carry a light because I am a firm believer in carrying a light when you carry a firearm. One never knows when a situation might get dicey so in the dark being able to see detail is a must. Having the light separate from your sidearm means you can use it to identify things without pointing a firearm at them.
So why did the Olight win over everything else? Well first the UI is friendly. If there is one thing that I will throw away is a light with a complicated UI. I want my light to come of to the brightness that I left it at. I do not want to cycle through different clicks to get to my bight setting every time I turn it on. The Olight features a forward button that cycles through the different settings which are 5, 100 and 500 lumen. Holding it down gives you a strobe at 500 lumen.
The other feature in the UI that was perfect was the ability to use the rear button to change the settings in a temporary manner. I tend leave my light on the 100 lumen and a quick double press will give me my bight 500 lumen setting and a triple press will me the strobe. When you get to the setting that you want, press the button in to click and you will lock what you have the light set at. When you turn the light off and back on it will revert to the setting that it is left at.
There is also one cool feature that is mentioned nowhere on their site or in the literature. I think, personally anyway, it is about the best feature of the light. I was out one night walking the dog in the field by my house and using my M18. At one point I turned off my light and was holding it in my hand when I dropped it in some tall grass. Before it even hit the ground I figured the light was lost and I would be lucky to find it the next day in the light. When I looked down behold, there was a glowing ring inside the bezel of the light that I could see. I have to say that particular feature has come in handy several times.
Without going into a full scale voltage and discharge analysis of the battery life, I will say this, I use a single 18650 rechargeable battery in my light, instead of two CR123’s. Two CR123’s started to wear out in the light in about two weeks time. My single 18650 battery has been recharged 3 times since February, and I use my light at the very least of twice a day. I do not find there to a parasitic drain on the battery and when the battery does finally get low, the white button to select the mode will blink red indicating it time to throw the battery on the charger.
So how much abuse can the light take? It has been in my pocket every single day for the last 7 months. I have dropped it, kicked it across a floor by mistake and even run it over with my car twice. It has sat out in the driveway in the rain three times now, one of those time being covered over by the small lake that forms in my driveway. It is by far my favorite light and one that I will keep in my pocket until it is lost or stolen and then I will buy a new one to replace it. I like the light that much for my everyday carry.