Warning: even more pic heavy than usual!
Welcome to my review of the new Olight "Ultimate Thrower" – the Luminus SBT-70-equipped SR95S-UT.
The new SR95S-UT superficially looks like the standard SR95 and earlier SR95-UT (except for the body labels). But what really differentiates the lights is the choice of emitter. The base model SR95 uses the same emitter as the inaugural SR90, the Luminus SST-90 (albeit with a higher output bin). The original limited-edition "Ultimate Thrower" SR95-UT used the Luminus SBT-90, which was capable of greater throw (although with lower overall output than the SST-90).
Olight has now taken that further with the SBT-70-equipped SR95S-UT. The SBT-70 is distinctive, as it is the first round LED emitter I've seen. It also seems to be the new standard for the UT model of this line. Let's see how it compares to its predecessors …
Manufacturer's Specifications for the SR95S-UT: (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).
- LED: Luminus SBT-70 LED
- Output/Run Time: High: 1250 Lumens/3 Hours; Medium: 500 Lumens/8 Hours; Low: 150 Lumens/48 Hours
- Beam intensity in center: 250000 candela
- Maximum throw: 1000 meters
- A large capacity 7800mAh 7.4V rechargeable lithium battery pack
- 18mm diameter power button ensures ease of use even using thick gloves or in adverse conditions.
- Material: Aluminum body with anti-scratching type III Hard Anodizing
- Dimensions: Length: 12.8" (325mm), Head Diameter: 3.5" (90mm), Body Diameter: 2" (48.4mm)
- Weight: 2.7 lbs (1230.5g)
- Color: Black
- Charger: AC 100～220V 50~60HZ input. Recharge under constant current and voltage 3A/8.4V
- Reflector: High-efficiency, large diameter smooth reflector
- Lens: Tough ultra-clear tempering glass, with anti-reflective coating
- Striking bezel: Aluminum body with anti-scratching type III Hard Anodizing
- Switch: Side switch
- 2 Gold plated, metal O rings
- Waterproof rating: IPX6
- Impact resistance: 1.5 (meters)
- Integrated power input socket on the tailcap, with four indicators on the tail for indicating the batteries condition
- Included accessories: Carrying strap, AC charger, power cable for charger, user manual, warranty card
- MSRP: $450
Manufacturer's Specifications for the previous SR95-UT (where different from above)
- Luminus SBT-90 LED
- Output/Runtime: High: 1050lm(1h55min); Medium: 300lm (10h); Low: 60lm (48h),
- Peam Beam Intensity: 168,100 cd
- Maximum throw of 820 meters
Manufacturer's Specifications for the base model SR95 (where different from above)
- Luminus SST-90 LED (P bin)
- Output and Run Time: High: 2000 lumens/ 110minutes；Medium: 600 lumens/9.5 hours；Low: 120 lumens/46 hours
- Beam intensity in center: 129,600 candela
- Maximum throw: 720 meters
As you can see in the specs above, the SR95S-UT differs solely in the choice of emitter used (with corresponding differences in output, throw, and runtime - which I will directly measure and report on below).
I am actually showing the case from my original SR95-UT, but the SR95S-UT is exactly the same. The presentation case has an identification badge on the top, showing the make and model. Inside, you find the light with battery handle attached in cut-out foam, along with a charging power cord and transformer, shoulder carrying strap, spare o-rings, warranty card and manual.
All my build comments below refer jointly to all the SR95 models, as they are physically the same. I will discuss the specific differences in emitters and runtime performance later in this review.
From left to right: Redilast Protected 18650; Olight SR95, SR90, SR92; Thrunite TN31.
Olight SR95S-UT: Weight: 1,208g (with battery pack), Length: 323mm, Width (bezel): 87mm
Olight SR95-UT: Weight: 1,221g (with battery pack), Length: 323mm, Width (bezel): 87mm
Olight SR95: Weight: 1,224g (with battery pack), Length: 323mm, Width (bezel): 87mm
Olight SR90: Weight: 1.6kg (with battery pack), Length: 335mm, Width (bezel): 97mm
Olight SR92: Weight: 1,148g (with battery pack), Length: 271mm, Width (bezel): 98mm
Thrunite TN31: Weight: 725g (with 3x 18650 protected cells), Length: 203mm, Width (bezel): 79.0mm.
The SR95 series is lighter than its SR90 predecessor – with most of reduction coming from the newly designed head. The new higher-capacity battery pack handle is also slightly lighter than the original model.
Let's start with the case (from my SR95-UT review, as it basically identical):
Here's the badge from the new SR95S-UT:
As before, the model number is clearly identified on the label badge.
All the SR95-series lights use a common battery pack handle, and interchangeable heads. Fit and finish has always been are excellent across the SR-series line, and the SR95 versions are no exception. The glossy black anodizing of my SR95S-UT was flawless – there are no chips or scratches.
Lettering is sharp and clear as always, in bright white against the dark black background.
Note that the previous SR95-UT has a unique serial number, reflecting its limited edition status. The new SR95S-UT (like the standard SR95 version) lacks a serial number. This leads me to suspect that this SBT-70 version will remain the standard "UT" model for some time.
The rest of the physical build is the same as the other SR95-models. There is a large bright blue on/off button now, and stylish cut-outs in the head to reduce the weight and show you the heatsink assembly. Note that the anchor rings for the shoulder strap (positioned at the head and tail of the light) are made more consistently flat now, so they tend to spin more easily on the SR95-series lights than the earlier models.
Battery handle ridge detail is higher on the SR95 lights compared to the earlier models (although the new higher capacity pack is still fully compatible with the older lights). The light can tailstand as before.
As always, the charger attaches at the tail-end of the light (just under that rubber protective cover). The battery read-out gauge works as before (press the bottom button, and up to 4 green LEDs light up to let you know the relative charge status of the battery). Note that you need to have the light off for at least a few seconds, and not plugged into the charger, for an accurate charge reading.
The charger is unchanged from the earlier SR-series lights, and still has the same model number.
Now, let's see how the new SR95S-UT differs from the other models of this line.
SR95UT on the left, SR95 on the right:
Overall, the heads don't look that different. The lights all have the same external dimensions, and seem to use the same reflector. What differs are the choice of emitters, so let's take a closer look.
SR95S-UT (SBT-70 emitter):
SR95-UT (SBT-90 emitter):
And here are some up-close comparisons of the emitters:
SR95S-UT (SBT-70 emitter):
SR95-UT (SBT-90 emitter):
SR95 (SST-90 emitter):
To put what you are looking at into context, the standard SR95 shows you the base SST-90 emitter – which has a relatively large footprint, and a typical big round emitter dome. Note that this dome is distorting the true size of the emitter somewhat – it isn't really that big.
The original limited-edition SR95-UT used the SBT-90 – which is based off the same SST-90 die, but lacks the large dome. In actual fact, the SBT-90 does have a covering, but it is very thin over the emitter die. This results in improved light transmission for focusing, but winds up reducing the maximum luminous flux possible with this emitter class. Note that despite how it looks, the actual die size is the same as the SST-90 (i.e., 3mm x 3mm).
The SBT-70 is basically a "rounded off" version of the SBT-90. By making the die round, you can again focus it better for throw. It is obviously not a simple task to produce a round die, as you can tell from all the bond wire positioning on the SBT-70. Also, logically, you would expect some loss of output for this maneuver (i.e., since you are in essence removing parts of the die). Since the specs report increased output on the SR95S-UT, this would lead me to conclude that Olight is either using a higher output bin for SBT-70 than they did with the SBT-90, or they are driving the SBT-70 emitter harder (or both). More on this later in the review …
The UI in unchanged from the earlier SR95 lights. Turn the light on/off by pressing and releasing the big blue button near the head. The electronic switch acts like a reverse clicky.
To change modes, press and hold the switch for more than 1-2 secs. The light cycles between its three output modes, in repeating order (i.e., Lo > Med > Hi). Release the switch to select the mode you want. This is a slight departure from the earlier SR-series lights, which only had two modes (basically, Med and Hi, compared to the SR95's Lo/Med/Hi).
Press and release the electronic mode switch again to turn off (actually a Standby mode).
There is a "hidden" strobe mode, accessed by double-clicking the electronic switch.
Light has mode memory, and will return to the last constant output mode you set it to after turning off-on.
Light has a "lock-out function" to prevent accidental activation. Cycle through Lo > Med > Hi three time to temporarily deactivate the on/off switch. To unlock, click the switch three times or disconnect and re-attach the battery pack.
To charge the battery pack, connect the cable from the included AC charger/transformer to the port under the rubber cover on the tailcap. There is an LED status indicator on the transformer brick – red means the battery pack is charging, green means it fully charged (or not connected).
For more information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview of the SR95S-UT:
For extra context, here are my older videos comparing the SR95 to the SR90, and the SR95 to the first limited-edition SR95-UT:
As always, videos were recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.
As before, there is no sign of PWM on any level – I believe the light is current-controlled as before.
I had detected some imperceptible high-frequency noise with my oscilloscope on my original SR95, but there was no sign of it on my SR95S-UT.
SR95S-UT strobe is a typical tactical strobe, consistent with the other SR95 models at ~9.7Hz in my testing.
Due to the electronic switch, there is always a standby drain when the battery is fully connected. I measured this as 38uA on my SR95S-UT sample. I don't know for sure how the battery pack is configured, but the 7.4V and 7800mAh spec suggests a 2s3p arrangement (i.e. two series of three 2600mAh 18650 batteries in parallel). That would translate into 23.4 years before the pack were fully drained - definitely not a problem. Note that my original SR95 was 53uA in comparison (which is similarly negligible).
Olight's "lock-out function" presumably uses an even lower level standby drain, but measuring it isn't possible with my limited setup.
To break these currents, you need to twist the battery pack typically at least one full turn (to break the double spring contact in the head).
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on their respective battery pack, on Max, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.
Obviously, this distance is insanely close, and isn't meant to be representative of the beam at a working distance. But it does allow you to draw some general comparisons between the models.
First off, the new SR95 models have a narrower spillbeam width than the original SR90, due to the new reflector and head design. The base SR95 puts out more light overall than the SR95 UT models, but the UT models are more focused for throw.
But it is really hard to make any meaningful sense of the peak throw of the UT versions at this limited range. For that, we need to turn to my trusty outdoor location.
For outdoor beamshots, these are all done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground).
Ok, the new SR95S-UT is definitely even more focused for throw than the previous limited-edition SR95-UT. It also seems to be putting out slightly more light overall.
As expected, SR95 puts out the most light overall, but isn't as focused for throw.
Here is a blow-up of the center of the images, to allow you to better compare the peak throw:
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).
My ANSI FL-1 beam intensity measures confirm Olight's specs – I get 260,000 cd with my NIST-certified lux meter, which translates into a beam distance of just over 1km! These numbers also match what you can see in the outdoor 100-yard beamshots above.
It terms of overall output, my ceiling bounce measures indicate that the SR95S-UT is indeed brighter than the original SR95-UT. Note in both cases however, my estimates are slightly higher than the Olight specs. But the overall concordance is good – my results confirm the reported output and beam distances specs from Olight.
On a related note, my original SR90 was from one of the first batches of this model, and relative output is likely to have increased since then. Olight currently cites 1750 lumens for the late-model SR90s, which is believable.
When you combine the greater output and the smaller round die of the SBT-70 in the SR95S-UT, it isn't surprising that it throws further than the original SR95-UT. The question is how did they manage to get more output out of the smaller footprint SBT-70 … let's check out the runtimes to find out more.
Note: all my standard runtimes are done under a small cooling fan.
To start, I previously noted in my SR95/SR95-UT review that the SBT-90 of the SR95-UT is either not as efficient, or is a lower output bin than the SST-90 of my SR95. As you can see, the runtimes for those two lights are very comparable, but with greater output on the SR95. This led me to suspect that those two lights were being run at comparable drive levels, but the SST-90 was a higher output bin (consistent with the specs reported by Olight).
First thing to notice for the SBT-70-equipped SR95S-UT is that output is higher than the SBT-90-equipped SR95-UT. Given the smaller die, this suggests it is either a higher output bin, or it is being driven harder than the SBT-90 in the SR95-UT (or both). The runtimes are certainly consistent with the later idea – i.e., runtimes are definitely reduced on the SR95S-UT, using the same battery pack. This is particularly noticeable on the Med level.
Without more information on the specific output bins used in these various lights, it is hard to draw any definite conclusions from these results. But I think it is reasonable to assume that the SBT-70 is certainly no more efficient than the SBT-90 (and perhaps somewhat less), and the SR95S-UT is driving the SBT-70 at least somewhat harder at all levels than the original SR95-UT did for its SBT-90 emitter.
As an interesting side note, the SR95S-UT is very close to my original SR90 in max output and runtime – but with a lot more throw.
But there is one thing peculiar here - there's a mis-match between my runtime results and Olight's specs for the SR95S-UT (i.e., they report 3 hours on Hi, whereas I only see 1hr 40mins). The explanation for this comes from the use of cooling fan on my standard runtimes. Let's see what happens if we run the SR95S-UT without active cooling:
What you are looking at above is the relative output (in estimated lumens) for the SR95S-UT with fan cooling (solid light blue), and with no cooling (solid orange). I've also plotted the surface temperature of the light on the right-hand axis, in degrees Celsius (dotted orange). Probe placement was just below the cut out fins, about an inch up from the blue control button (see my SR95 review for info on probe placement).
The SR95S-UT doesn't really get too hot, as the thermal step-down kicks in by the time the surface temp reaches the low 50s (degree Celsius). FYI, this step-down is novel feature of the SR95S-UT - my SR95 does not show this pattern:
In the above case, I have temperature data for the both the cooled and non-cooled SR95 runtimes. As you can see, without fan cooling, the SR95 gets very warm - nearly 65 degrees Celsius, over the course of the run (with fan cooling, it never reached even 40 degrees). The main thing to observe above is that the SR95 just slowly drops in output on Hi - but at an accelerated rate when no cooling is applied. It certainly doesn't step down, like the new SR95S-UT does.
This thermal step-down is an interesting new adaptation for the SR95S-UT, and one that I am glad to see. It's always safer to have thermal control on really high output lights like this. But you need to keep in mind that the 3hr runtime spec is assuming thermal step-down will occur. If you run the light for short periods of time only, you should expect total battery runtime to be closer to my 1hr 40min measurement.
Due to the electronic switch, all the SR-series lights have a stand-by current when the battery is fully connected – but it is negligible at 38uA on my SR95S-UT. The "lock-out" mode is likely even lower. You can break these currents by unscrewing the battery handle by a full-turn.
While the SR95-series is greatly reduced in weight from the original SR90 (and is better balanced), it is still a substantial light. I recommend use of the included should strap.
Recharge time for a depleted battery was about 5 hours in my testing (i.e. from the point when the protection circuit has been tripped, to when the green light comes on the charging transformer). This is not unreasonable, given the increased storage capacity of the pack.
Due to the cut-outs in the head of the SR95-series, cleaning may be an issue.
I am happy to report that Olight's beam output and beam intensity specs for the new SR95S "Ultimate Thrower" are accurate – this light does indeed have an ANSI FL-1 beam distance of over 1km.
The new SBT-70 is an interesting emitter, having been "trimmed" to a round shape (which helps with focusing for throw). Combined with a presumed higher drive level, there's no doubt the new SR95S-UT is a greater thrower than the original limited-edition SR95-UT.
Is it enough to make you run out and replace your existing SR95-UT (or base SR95, or original SR90 for that matter)? That's hard to say, as each individual step up in throw is just that – an incremental step. Personally, I doubt you'd appreciate the difference between the SR95-UT and SR95S-UT, unless you had the two side-by-side to compare. But it does bring enough of a difference from the standard SR90/SR95 that it may worth considering if throw really matters to you that much. Living in the suburbs as I do, I don't have much practical use these types of S&R lights, so I find the throw from my SR95 is more than sufficient for anything I may be up to after dark.
The new thermal step-down feature on Hi is interesting - I'm glad to see Olight has incorporated this feature onto the SR95S-UT. I had initially missed it in my first runtimes, as my standard cooling fan was sufficient to keep the temparature low enough not to set off the thermal step-down.
As I discussed in my earlier SR95/SR95-UT review, the build of this new SR95 line has improved appreciably over the SR90 in every measureable way (unless you like a larger and heavier head). Please see that review for more general comments on the SR95 series, and how it relates to other lights. Hopefully this review will allow you to meaningfully compare the new SR95S-UT to other members of the line.
SR95S-UT provided by Olight for review.