Olight S1R and S2R Flashlights

Boxed

About 7 ½ years ago while living in Northern Virginia, I began searching for a good flashlight to light my way when walking my dogs early in the morning.   After much research I decided on a brand I’d never heard of – Olight. I was amazed – 120 lumen! It was incredible. Of course, I had to learn about batteries, etc., and spent the unimaginable sum of just over $100 for that light. And today that light is still in use – riding in the console of my daughter’s SUV.

7 years later, Olight is still going strong and technology has definitely advanced as evidenced by the 2 samples that we’ll look at in this review – the Olight S1R and S2R. In the interest of brevity and due to the similarities between the 2 lights we’ll look at them together.

Specifications:
Screenshot 2016-10-29 14.58.42

 

 

 

 

 
In all honesty, the thought of reviewing these lights bored me. I owned a couple of similar Olights and, while I liked them overall, I ended up selling them.   The ones I owned did not have the built-in charging. But after a week of regular use/carry and enjoying the ease of charging the lights, I’m a fan.

The lights both come packaged in plastic boxes.
Boxed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Both lights include a rechargeable battery, removable pocket clip, lanyard, felt pouch and charging cable/base.
S2R with accessories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
In a thoughtful touch, the lanyard comes pre-threaded into a ‘threader’ to help you work the lanyard through the tiny lanyard hole.
Threader

The charger base utilizes a STRONG magnet – it basically jumps onto the base when you are ready to charge.
Side shot S2R

The based of the light is flat to allow tail standing and, of course, attachment to the charger base.
Tail of S2R

Both lights utilize a TIR optic that focuses the beam into a nice, round spot with no discernible “hot” spot, plus a decent amount of spill. More photos further into the review will show the beam profile.
TiR2

The lights look essentially the same with the obvious exception of the extra length of the S2R versus the S1R.
Side by side

As mentioned, the charging base is nice. When the battery is charging the LED indicator is red – when charging is complete it changes to green.
Charger red

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Charger green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The S1R includes and is powered by an Olight branded 550mAh RCR123 customized battery of five times discharging rate, giving a maximum output up to 900 lumens.
The S2R includes an Olight branded 3200mAh 18650 battery and the light is rated up to 1020 lumen. Both batteries are stated as having high discharge rates.
The side-mounted buttons, like so many others, are sometimes a pain. They are small and don’t fall easily under the finger or thumb. Here are a couple of photos comparing the Olights to similar Zebralights – the Zebralights have large, textured buttons and deeper sockets for the buttons. Granted, the Zebralights are a bit larger, but personally I can tolerate a little bit larger size to make it easier to find the buttons.
SC62S2R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
SC32S1R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Control interfaces are very similar between the 2 lights.

S1R:
Click the side switch to turn the light on at the last used level (it has mode memory and will return to the last used level.)

From “off”, press and hold the side switch and the light will come on in moonlight mode.

With the light on, press and hold the switch and it will cycle through low/med/high. Double click from on and access turbo – another double click accesses “turbo S”, the highest level.

A quick triple click accesses strobe

From off, press and hold the switch for 2 seconds to lock the light “off”.

The S1R also has a long (9 minutes) and short (3 minutes) timer…with the light on, double click and hold the side switch and it will blink to indicate timer mode (9 minutes). Double click again to toggle between long and short timers. The light will turn off when the time expires.

S2R:
Operation is essentially the same except there’s no Turbo S…when you double click the light goes to maximum.

Here are a few photos to help illustrate the beam profile.

These photos were taken with the S2R out waking “Heidi the wonder dog.”
Heidi2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Heidi1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Heidi distance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos offer a comparison to a few popular lights (including 1 Lego) light.
We have the Zebralight SC600 MKIII HI, with a maximum rated output of 1126 lumen and a very defined hotspot; the HDS Rotary with a 200 lumen high CRI Nichia 219B emitter; the venerable old Surefire 6P, only this one with a custom 200 lumen high CRI emitter with a nice smooth spot to spill; the S1R then the S2R, both using a cool XM-L2 emitter behind the aforementioned TiR optic.

The shed is about 75 feet – here’s a photo in the daytime.
Shed Daylight

 

The Zebralight
ZL

The Surefire
HDSThe HDS

6P

The S1R
S1R

The S2R
S2R

The differences in tint are obvious. I prefer the warmer or more neutral tints as they tend to reveal better color rendition and more depth, but the tint of the Olight’s XM-L2 emitters is fine.

Verdict? After a week I came to really appreciate these lights. The S1R is a perfect little EDC – fits in the watch pocket of your favorite jeans or drops into the pocket of your dress slacks and you barely know it’s there. If you prefer to clip it to your pocket or waist, the clip is plenty strong enough. The S2R is larger than I want to EDC, but your mileage may vary. It’s still small enough to be unobtrusive.

The S1R typically retails for under $65 and the S2R for under $75. Seems reasonable considering all you get for the price.   The S1R can be purchased HERE and the S2R HERE.  The S1R is available in cool or neutral tint – obviously we reviewed the cool tint.



Dan M

Love firearms and flashlights – and they go well together. I’ve been admiring and writing about quality flashlights for about 8 years…built my own integrating sphere….done a few mods. Proof positive that a 58 year old can still love toys!


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  • Swarf

    I’m a fan of Olight in much the same was as I’m a fan of Ruger firearms, Timberland boots and Milwaukee cordless tools. The cost-quality-value ratio works well for me.

    • Dougscamo

      Swarf, when I read the article, I encountered a LOT of blank spaces….et tu? Or is it my cranky laptop again?
      One thing I would like to ask this group….what technology has changed to make LED flashlights so much greater in lumens now than before? I’m a noob in LED flashlights…..I have purchased a couple lately and have been amazed at the output….compared to the output from just a couple of years….maybe more….ago…

      • Swarf

        I did encounter the blank spaces, Dougscamo, and I am going to let some one else answer the LED question, as there are people around here way, way… way more in to the minutiae of the technology than I am. They’ll be along shortly, if they haven’t already beaten me to the comments.

        • Dougscamo

          Thanks….at least I won’t have to haul this artifact to the shop again…

          • Dan M

            I’ll take responsibility for the blank spaces. I probably need some additional training in the editing tool. I’m going to try and edit some of the spaces out.

          • Dougscamo

            Dan M, don’t worry about it! No blood, no foul…..

      • Dan M

        Drivers, batteries and LEDs (among other things.) That old Olight I mentioned couldn’t handle the amount of amperage that these new lights (and batteries) handle/produce. It’s getting tougher to produce any perceived additional brightness though, as ostensibly the human eye requires twice the brightness to perceive any real change. Having said that, the bar keeps inching upward….

        • Dougscamo

          Drivers? Please elaborate….

          • Dan M

            I apologize. Basically the circuitry that controls all the functions. All the amperage from the battery has to flow through that circuitry and just a few years ago the output of some of these modern batteries would fry that circuitry. Providing all the different levels, modes, etc.

          • Dougscamo

            NP….you answered my question….

  • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

    Click, double click, pause. This modern flashlights is Morse code all over again

  • Sasquatch

    I think I know what santa has for me.

    • Dougscamo

      If you are like me….you will buy it and then have Santa wrap it….you darn sure don’t hear Larry Potterfield’s wife saying “How many shirts and pants does a man need?”….

  • rob in katy

    I have 6, got tired of always having dead batteries, maybe 7 counting the one on the ar.

  • SpartacusKhan

    FWIW, there are better lights for less money. The Manker E14 / Astrolux S41 is probably the best EDC light there is on a sane person’s budget, and up
    there with the best at any price. Four Nichia 219 emitters at CRI 93
    give an amazing quality of light, professional-level color matching
    quality really, and 1400 lumens on turbo powered by either an 18350 or an 18650 (with optional longer tube) rechargeable battery. The glass-protected TIR lens puts out a near-perfect beam
    with even transition from the almost indiscernible hotspot to wide,
    even flood, and a long throw past 100yds. 7 levels of
    output, from a true moonlight up to 1400 lumen turbo, plus strobe,
    bike-flasher and battery check (among other hidden modes). One piece
    exposed solid copper milled pill and heatsink, replaceable parts, water-proof, shock-resistant, black anodized aluminum version for less
    than $50 (I’ve seen it as low as $37) with an Astrolux stainless-steel knurled
    version available as well (plus a heat-treated version of even that
    one) for around $75. I have all three versions – a black anodized aluminum Manker E14 from amazon that is now my weapon light (because it’s lighter) in a quick-release picatinny mount with the short tube, and the knurled SS Astolux S41 that I carry (from banggood) all the time. The flame-colored SS Astrolux is a xmas present for my wife. The longer 18650 tubes are only about $7 and worth it – though the lumen output is about the same in turbo with either battery type, the 18650’s last WAY longer. I use mine all the time, and only change batteries about every 2-3 weeks.

    • Dan M

      Yessir – I have 2 of those Manker E14s….I with the 18650 tube and 1 with the standard 123 tube. They are awesome lights. But they are HEAVY, need high drain capability batteries to perform at their best (not included in the price) and battery run time is pretty darn short when running at higher levels. They have a solid copper head and they get HOT (which is a good thing since all that heat is being moved away from the 4 LEDs.) I use 20A max drain AW18650 IMR chemistry batteries with my long tube…12A 18350 cells with the short tube. These run around $9-12 each plus you’ll need a charger. Remember, the Olight includes the charger and high drain batteries so it’s a fair comparison on price. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the Manker lights (that’s why I bought 2) but it really isn’t apples to apples. Thanks for weighing in with the Manker/Astrolux lights.