Foxfury Breakthrough
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 58

Thread: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

  1. #1

    Default ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Like my reviews on facebook!


    Olight has been a well respected flashlight company for quite some time now, with lights of all sizes and purposes. Now that Cree has updated thier emitters to newer, more powerful and efficient versions, Olight has been quick to update their lights with the new top-of-the-line emitters, and I've been sent a batch of these for testing. In this review I'll cover the i3S E0S, a AAA keychain light updated with the new Cree XP-G2 emitter from the i3 E0S.


    Thanks to Olight and GoingGear for providing the i3S for review.


    I’ll be reviewing the i3S in two sections: first, I’ll discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I’ll discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

    2-Minute Overview

    Below is a video "quick review" you can watch in just a few minutes, if you're not up for reading the full review right now:


    This video is available in 720p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


    Objective

    Manufacturer's Specifications

    Price: 25 USD




    Packaging




    The i3S comes in a small black plastic case with the Olight logo on the top. Inside, the light and an alkaline battery sit in a foam cutout.

    Construction



    The i3S uses a single AAA battery, and is barely larger than the battery it uses. The head is only slightly wider than the body. The i3S comes in several different colors; my review sample is a sort of "burnt orange". It looks like it's also available in blue, purple, red, and black. On the official photos, I think the color matching my sample looks more yellow-gold, but this photo above is pretty much exactly how the color looks to my eyes, a burnt orange.



    This light uses the new Cree XP-G2, a brighter and more efficient upgrade from the old XP-G. Other than this, it seems the i3S is the same as the older i3 model. The emitter sits in the center of a small textured reflector, protected by a glass lens.



    The head and body are mostly covered by long grooves for grip, except a smooth section bearing the Olight logo on one side and what seems to be a small flame on the other. The grip grooves are very important here, because this light is operated by rotating the head back and forth.



    The tail has a clip-on-clip and a lobster-claw keychain attachment.

    Now, let's take the light apart!



    The i3S comes apart into two pieces: head and body/tail.



    Inside the head, a small metal pad makes contact with the battery, so only button-top cells can be used in the i3S. The threads are thick, square-cut and anodized, so they should hold up to wear very nicely. Because they are anodized, the light is off when the head is loose. At the rear of the battery tube is a small spring to make contact with the negative battery terminal.



    Dimensions




    Accessories



    The i3S comes with a lobster-claw on a short chain, a clip-on-clip, and a single Duracell AAA battery.



    User Interface

    The i3S has three brightness modes (Medium, High, and Moonlight) plus a Strobe mode. The mode is controlled by twisting the head back and forth.

    When the head is loose, the light is off. When the head is tight, the light is on. When you first tighten the head, the light turns on in Medium mode. Loosening then re-tightening the head within a second advances to the next mode in the sequence Medium -> High -> Moonlight. There is no mode memory, so after leaving the light off for a second it will always come back on in Medium mode. When you cycle through all three modes within three seconds, the Strobe mode is activated.

    Action Shots

    You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

    Light in Hand



    BeamSlice


    MugShot


    White Wall (Low, Medium, High)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 1/20"


    Indoor Shots (Low, Medium, High)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 1"



    Performance

    Submersion: I submersed the i3S under a foot of water for an hour, twisting the head just enough to change modes a few times. I could find no evidence of water entering or damaging the light.

    Heat: I could feel no heat buildup on any mode of the i3S.

    PWM: I could detect no pulse-width modulation on any mode of the i3S.

    Drop: I dropped the i3S from a height of about a meter onto various surfaces, including grass, carpet, packed dirt, and wood. There was no functional or cosmetic damage to the light.

    Reverse Polarity Protection: I can find no claim by Olight for reverse polarity protection on the i3S, so I recommend only inserting the battery in the proper direction. However, with the flat contact for the positive terminal, you *might* be spared misfortune if you insert your battery backwards when the negative battery terminal fails to make contact with the head.

    Over-Discharge Protection: Over-discharge protection is only an issue when using lithium ion batteries, and I have not yet heard back from Olight if they approve the i3S for use with lions.


    Spectral Analysis


    All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

    Output and Runtime


    ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

    The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

    Mode Comparison



    High



    Medium

    (The title of this chart reads "Low", but it's actually the medium mode)


    Throwing Distance

    ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.

    Peak Beam Intensity: 399cd
    Throw Distance: 40m

    Subjective Review

    Quick break down:

    + Great body color!
    + New XP-G2 emitter
    + Clip goes either way
    + Clip attaches firmly
    + Impressive regulation
    + Smooth beam
    + Can tailstand, even with chain attached

    - Head must be very tight to turn on
    - Hard to grip when hands are wet or cold
    - "Moonlight" mode could be a bit lower

    The old iTP A3 was a classic choice for a low-cost and high performance AAA light. Through the years it's received a few upgrades, and it's most recent upgrade to the i3S EOS is to use the new XP-G2 emitter, reportedly brighter and more efficient than the old XP-Gs. The XP-G is smaller emitter and thus easier to focus, but a reflector this size doesn't do much more than keep the light from going backwards, so the i3S is a pretty floody light, intended mainly for use in short-range applications.

    The i3S is about average length for a AAA light. It's top output of 80 lumens isn't the brightest available in this class, but with the new XP-G2 you'll see significantly improved run times (I got over an hour on High using an 800mAh Eneloop). The "Moonlight" mode is a bit brighter than what I would label moonlight, but still low enough that it won't hurt your night vision too drastically when you turn it on. The Medium mode is just about right for average use in dark, short-range applications, especially indoors, and it stays well regulated for about 7.5 hours, which would work just fine to leave on throughout the dark hours of a summer night. So, it's understandable that they put the Medium mode first.

    For most flashlight enthusiasts, the mode order of the i3S will be it's only significant downfall. With the sequence of Medium -> High -> Moonlight, that means you have to go through 80 lumens to get to the 0.5, and if you don't remember to cover it you'll ruin your night vision. This does give quicker access to High if you need a lot of light quickly, but I usually don't go for the i3S in an emergency if I have a choice, I grab something bigger (which I always have with me ). As many have said before, the M - H - L output sequence seems specifically targeted at the non-initiate to inner circles of flashlight culture, many of whom many never realize the light has any mode other than the first. Ideally, I'd like to see the i3S upgraded to a model with a L - M - H sequence, but with as many upgrades as this has already been through, it seems unlikely that they'll change it now.

    One of the upgrades from previous versions that I do really appreciate is the change from a keychain post to a cutout design that allows the light to do a stable tail stand, This adds a bit of extra length, and it doesn't hang quite so straight on your keychain, but I think it's a very good tradeoff.

    The only two other complaints I have is that on my sample, the "Moonlight" mode seems like a bit lower would be nice, and that the head has to be pretty tight for the light to activate.

    Overall, the i3S is an excellent light in it's class, still a great choice for a AAA key-chain style light if you're looking for multiple output levels and a great price.


    Long Term Impressions
    I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
    Last edited by Bigmac_79; 06-19-2013 at 02:57 AM.

  2. #2
    yoyoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Switzerland/Scarsdale
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Don't forget to highlight the square threads.

  3. #3

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    Don't forget to highlight the square threads.
    Of course! They are very nice threads...



    Would you consider that well highlighted?

  4. #4

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Seems that ~8 hrs runtime at 20 lumens is true. That is incredible indeed. Consider an AA light of this level of efficiency would give over 20 hours at 20 lumens. Is there such a light?

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* rayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,093

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Nice flashlight and especially nice review . Had the i1 SS for quite some time and liked it so much im considering to buying the i3s.

    rayman
    My Lights (current favourite: Maglite 2D XM-L2 mod; current EDC: Olight i1 SS)

  6. #6
    yoyoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Switzerland/Scarsdale
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    The only thing not to love about this light is the UI. M>H>L is for the masses. Most people will twist it on and say, That's nice." They will never even know there are more modes. I prefer L>M>H so I don't blind myself when my eyes are adjusted to the dark. And 3 twists is not too much to get to high.

  7. #7

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    The only thing not to love about this light is the UI. M>H>L is for the masses. Most people will twist it on and say, That's nice." They will never even know there are more modes. I prefer L>M>H so I don't blind myself when my eyes are adjusted to the dark. And 3 twists is not too much to get to high.
    You can simply close your eyes or cover the front with your finger :-)

  8. #8

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ueno Otoko View Post
    Seems that ~8 hrs runtime at 20 lumens is true. That is incredible indeed. Consider an AA light of this level of efficiency would give over 20 hours at 20 lumens. Is there such a light?
    Yep, the medium mode run time stops just barely short of 8 hours. I actually just calibrated my light box this weekend, and it looks like this might be at slightly under 20 lumens, but it's still very impressive.

  9. #9

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by rayman View Post
    Nice flashlight and especially nice review . Had the i1 SS for quite some time and liked it so much im considering to buying the i3s.

    rayman
    Thanks for the compliments! And yes, if you like the i1, it's likely the i3s will be right up your alley.

  10. #10

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    The only thing not to love about this light is the UI. M>H>L is for the masses. Most people will twist it on and say, That's nice." They will never even know there are more modes. I prefer L>M>H so I don't blind myself when my eyes are adjusted to the dark. And 3 twists is not too much to get to high.
    I agree that having medium first is not my preference for my personal use. I don't like having to make my light brighter than I want for my situation. However, it is a nice UI for lending to others, and while doing keychain duty, it's the first one to come to hand when a friend needs to borrow a light. With medium first, and them not knowing any better, they get the most generally useful output level, and don't burn down the battery by running on high unnecessarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ueno Otoko View Post
    You can simply close your eyes or cover the front with your finger :-)
    Lol, yes, the finger can be a very useful tool for any flashaholic.

  11. #11
    yoyoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Switzerland/Scarsdale
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    I like the light. I love it. It is just that I don't love M first.
    And your review and charts are very useful. Thank you for taking the time for a comprehensive look at this great light.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    ...
    And your review and charts are very useful. Thank you for taking the time for a comprehensive look at this great light.
    Thanks!


    Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse brevity and typos.

  13. #13

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Hi Bigmac 79, your reviews are my favorite on CPF and pictures are superb!
    Thank you for great work.
    As far the I3S i like this little light so much i bought two

  14. #14

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmac_79 View Post
    Yep, the medium mode run time stops just barely short of 8 hours. I actually just calibrated my light box this weekend, and it looks like this might be at slightly under 20 lumens, but it's still very impressive.
    the runtime on medium is very immpressive on the i3s.. what ever the actual lumens are i dont know as i have no way of measuring it myself, but its a very usable amount of light . im happy with my i3s overall.
    fenix tk41..fenix tk35..nitecore ea4...olight s10 baton...xtar meteor...sipik 68...eagletac d25lc2...eagletac d25a...eagletac d25c ti 2013... a modded tn31..skyray king...nitecore dx.. sunwayman v11r.. + loads of other lights

  15. #15

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by staghater View Post
    Hi Bigmac 79, your reviews are my favorite on CPF and pictures are superb!
    Thank you for great work...
    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Halifax, NS
    Posts
    1,035

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    I picked up one of these for my gf and an O'pen for myself. I have to say, I'm very impressed with the gain in efficiency from the old PWM driver that i3 and Preon previously used to the new current regulated one. The gains in medium are just excellent on the new i3 and O'pen versus the old i3/Preon/Preon 2. It's too bad cause I totally love my Preon 2 Titanium but the much more usable medium of the O'pen means I won't be using it as much. The square threads are a good touch as well.

  17. #17

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Again, thank you for your independent runtime test on this one! I have a lot of respect for people who contributed their own time collecting data. BTW, just wondering when Olight will offer an i2s update. I'd like to see some stunning performance on runtime.

  18. #18

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ueno Otoko View Post
    Again, thank you for your independent runtime test on this one! I have a lot of respect for people who contributed their own time collecting data. BTW, just wondering when Olight will offer an i2s update. I'd like to see some stunning performance on runtime.
    Thanks! I haven't heard any info about an i2S update, sorry.

  19. #19
    yoyoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Switzerland/Scarsdale
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    There are some other threads about the i3S and some users are experiencing reliability problems. Have you seen these and do you care to comment? I haven't had any issues with my i3S. Looking forward to you updating your long term impressions section.

  20. #20

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    There are some other threads about the i3S and some users are experiencing reliability problems. Have you seen these and do you care to comment? I haven't had any issues with my i3S. Looking forward to you updating your long term impressions section.

    I've had no trouble with reliability so far. I haven't seen the other threads where people are reporting problems, do you know what kind of problems they're having? I did use to have an old iTP A3 (the predecessor of the Olight i3), and the head fell off while it was on my keychain, but other than that it always worked fine. This one has no trouble, and it still has it's head

  21. #21
    yoyoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Switzerland/Scarsdale
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ght=Olight+i3s

    Starts around post 137. Some people report it gets stuck on a mode and is hard to switch modes. Never happened to me.

    There are also people reporting the little triangle attachment fails (i.e. opens). Again, I haven't had a problem.

    I like this light a lot. I would love it more if it was L>M>H.

  22. #22

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ght=Olight+i3s

    Starts around post 137. Some people report it gets stuck on a mode and is hard to switch modes. Never happened to me.

    There are also people reporting the little triangle attachment fails (i.e. opens). Again, I haven't had a problem.
    Haven't noticed anything like that. I have to be pretty firm with it for it to engage, but nothing ridiculous.


    I like this light a lot. I would love it more if it was L>M>H.
    Agreed

  23. #23
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Maybe Minneapolis, maybe near Nürnberg
    Posts
    1,173

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Ref i3S problems: I have an earlier model with a different interface - no problems. Based on success with that unit, I purchased a couple i3S copies of the latest edition:

    - no problems with the chain/triangle attachemnt.
    - one i3S does not switch out of the 20 lumen level when the temp is below ~10C for maybe a couple attempts. Once the electronics heat up a bit, no problem in switching levels. I do not consider this to be a rejectable problem although it is an anomaly.
    - the beam color is definitely different between my 2 recent copies. One has more of a neutral color. The other is paper white.
    - as for the M-H-L sequence, yes, that is for the masses. As stated previously, most people may never switch out of the 20 lumen mode. Nevertheless, the long run time at 20 lumens on an AAA is impressive!

    In my view, the i3S is a keeper and low enough in cost to be a giftable light.

  24. #24

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Alrighty, this review is complete!

  25. #25

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    The small crab claw closest to the light snapped on mine, and the light disappeared. I loved it until then.

  26. #26

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by dosquetzales View Post
    The small crab claw closest to the light snapped on mine, and the light disappeared. I loved it until then.
    Bummer! I'm sorry to hear that.

  27. #27

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by dosquetzales View Post
    The small crab claw closest to the light snapped on mine, and the light disappeared. I loved it until then.
    Mine's also broke, the flashlight was hooked in my pocket and when streched it broke.


  28. #28

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Great review... I really appreciate you taking the risk to do the underwater and drop tests. Personally I care more about that than if it really only puts out 18.3 lumens when it is claiming 20 but obviously it can be expensive to test water and drop resistance!

  29. #29

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    I read threw this review pretty good, but didn't see if it was waterproof or resistant at all. I dropped my zebra light into the river while fly fishing & was thankful it was waterproof. Will this light help me in that manner? Nice review by the way...

    I've got a recommendation thread going that has "waterproofing" as one of the semi important needs, feel free to visit it! Here it is! My Thread

    thanks, Kevin

  30. #30

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight i3S EOS

    Quote Originally Posted by F. Premens View Post
    Mine's also broke, the flashlight was hooked in my pocket and when streched it broke.
    One report is unfortunate, two means I have to keep my eye out for more... Sorry about your clip.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •