Olight S15 Review
For those of you who are looking for a high quality flashlight that is small enough to carry around with you every day, this Olight S15 Review will help you. The Olight S15 is bright enough to be used for tactical purposes the Olight S15 should be on the top of your list. The Olight S15 uses a single AA battery to power its CREE XM-L2 LED. What makes the Olight S15 so popular among flashlight enthusiasts is its small size, which coming in at just over 3 inches, you can easily bring this light with you wherever you need to go. Don’t let its small size fool you though, as this light also features a very powerful LED that is sure to light up just about any space.
- Weight: 1.68 oz without battery
- Dimensions: 3.4 inches long and 0.9 inch diameter
- Lowest Setting 0.5 lumens for 360 hours
- Highest Setting: 280 lumens for 0.75 hours
Olight has not been around as long as other flashlight manufacturers, but since they entered the industry in 2006 they have worked hard to make a great name for themselves. Olight first entered the scene in Europe with ordinary flashlight and outdoor equipment. Once they made a name for themselves with ordinary flashlights, they decided to try their talents in the tactical arena. They wanted to put their talent for developing high quality lights for more than just outdoor enthusiast – they wanted to reach out to law enforcement, as well as government agencies too.
This venture proved quite successful, as Olight makes some of the best small flashlights on the market today. They are constantly improving and developing their tactical line to ensure they are delivering nothing but the best lights with the most useful features.
The Olight S15 is a small, yet powerful light that is ideal for an everyday carry type of light, but its baton style also allows it to be used as a tactical light by law enforcement and government officials. Coming in at just over 3 inches the S15 is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but if you need or want something smaller you should look into the Olight S10. Made from aircraft grade aluminum and coated with a Type II hard anodized anti-scratch coating the S15 is extremely durable, it has a waterproof rating of IPX-8 and is impact resistant up to 6.6 feet. To provide you with a better grip, the head diameter is a bit bigger than the body of the flashlight plus the body has some knurling and square threads separate the head from the body.
- Memory Function allows you to easily access the last setting that you used with the Olight S15.
- Tail cap is flat which allows you to easily stand the light on its end. Another bonus with the tail cap is it comes with a magnet inside. The magnet is strong enough to hold the flashlight up right, so you won’t have to worry about the light not being securely placed. If you do not wish to use the magnet the S15 comes with a “coin” that can be used to replace the magnet in the tail cap.
- Reverse polarity protection is an important feature to have on small flashlights because you cannot always tell what direction the battery is supposed to go in. The reverse polarity protection protects the light from any damage due to improper installation of the battery.
- Thermal management because all flashlights tend to get warm to the touch, but it is worse with smaller flashlights. The powerful CREE XM-L2 Led is strong enough to emit 280 lumens, which also means it is powerful enough to cause the light to heat up and potentially overheat. To prevent the light from overheating Olight uses thermal management.
- Side switch provides access to four brightness levels that range from 0.5 lumens to 280 lumens, as well as a strobe mode. Side switch also activates the memory mode, moonlight mode, and the lock out feature.
How It Works
Like with many other flashlights in order for the Olight S15 to work you are going to need batteries. The batteries are also where the Olight S15 stands out from other similar flashlights. The S15 was specifically designed to be powered by a single AA battery. This was done because ordinary AA are easy to find, plus they are quite affordable. And while the light was designed to take a single AA battery, Olight also knew that some people would have other preferences, so they gave the flashlight the ability to be used with several other battery types.
With the Olight S15 you can use ordinary alkaline batteries, NiMh batteries, and a 14500 lithium ion battery. With a single battery you can run the light at full power for around 50 minutes. Once those 50 minutes are up the light switches to a lower mode where it will last for quite awhile before the battery completely dies.
The S15 was designed to be run off a single AA battery, which is more than enough to allow the light to emit a full 280 lumens, but Olight decided to deliver more than that. If you are using ordinary AA batteries to power your light you must always be prepared for the battery to die, if you are using rechargeable ones you must think about the battery running out of juice. And let’s face it; this usually happens at the worst possible times. Most users solve this issue by carrying around a spare battery, but what happens if you lose that battery or simply forget it? Olight has addressed that concern by offering a special extension tube that allows users to run the light off of 2 or 3 AA batteries rather than just one, which increase the runtime of the light itself. However, if you are using a 14500 lithium ion battery you can only use 1, the extender tube will not work with that style of battery.
One of the most important aspects of the best flashlights are the UI and as you probably already know some UIs are better than others. The Olight S15 is not the best UI on the market, but it is not the worst one around either. In all honesty, when you first use it you will probably dislike it, but as you use it more and more you will being to tolerate it as it becomes easier to use.
The Olight S15 comes with four different brightness levels that range from 0.5 lumens to a maximum of 280 lumens, as well as a strobe mode. All 4 brightness levels are accessed via the side switch, as well as the ability to power the flashlight on and off. From the off position you have the option of using one of three different shortcuts, which is 1 click allows you to access the last used mode thanks to the memory function, hold button for 1 second to access the moonlight mode, and 2 fast clicks will take you to high mode.
The strobe mode can be accessed via any of the four main modes by simply clicking the switch 2 times quickly. To end strobe mode hold the switch for 2 seconds, which will take you back to the 3 main modes. In addition to strobe and memory the Olight S15 also features a lock out mode, which can be engaged by pressing and holding the side switch for 2 seconds when the light is already turned off. The light will first enter moonlight mode, but will turn off immediately. Once it turns off, release the side switch and lock out mode will be engaged. You can also loosen the tail cap switch to engage a full lock out, as well as prevent battery drain.
As with any flashlight on the market the Olight S15 is far from perfect. If you look around at the various reviews available on various websites you will see that some consumers find it to be the best light around, while others think it is a total waste of money. Sometimes these reviews cannot be trusted; if you want to get a real feel for the Olight S15 you have to look at the mid-grade reviews. The ones that list the pros and cons of the light because we all know nothing out there is perfect.
One thing that many consumers agree on in terms of improvements is the side switch. If you are like many others who enjoy carrying the light in a pocket the light can be accidentally activated via the side switch even with the lockout mode engaged. And we all know that accidental activation leads to battery drain. The only way to prevent the accidental activation and battery drain is through loosen the tail cap to break the circuit for a full lock out.
Another improvement that can be made with the S15 is the magnet located on the tail cap. The magnet works great to hold in the light in place as long as you are not using the battery extension tube. The weight of the extension tube cannot be sustained with the magnet that comes with the light. This isn’t that big of a problem for most users though because if they use the magnet they can simply not use the extension tube.
Overall, we must say that the Olight S15 is an ideal flashlight to use for an everyday carry flashlight, as well as a small tactical flashlight. The bezel of the flashlight fits easily in the palm of your hand, while the hard anodized finish allows it to be used as a weapon without causing damage to the light. The 280 lumens that the light is capable of producing is enough to light up the darkest corners, while the 0.5 lumens available in moonlight mode is soft enough to allow you to see in the dark without ruining your night vision. The Olight S15 isn’t perfect, but the few flaws it does have are minor enough to be overlooked. If you’re looking for more than just this type of flashlight, please read through our other flashlight reviews.
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