Reviewer's Note: I am very backlogged with lights, so expect less detail than typical in my upcoming reviews. I will prioritize analyses over text descriptions.
The R50 is the latest member of the rechargeable R-series lights from Olight, featuring the XHP50 emitter and a custom 26650 Li-ion battery (standard 26550 will also work in the light).
Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).
- LED: CREE XHP-50
- Output / Runtime: Turbo: 2500 Lumens / 2 Minute Burst, High: 1200 Lumens / 12 Minute Burst, Medium: 300 Lumens / 6 Hours, Low: 50 Lumens / 50 Hours
- Peak Beam Distance: 297 Meters
- Peak Beam Intensity: 22,000cd
- Lens: Double-sided anti-reflective tempered glass
- Runtime up to 50 hours in lowest mode
- 3 Unique brightness settings
- Powerful defensive strobe mode
- Multi-function side switch
- Battery indicator glows red when battery is low
- Remembers last used mode via memory function
- Rechargeable via included USB cable
- Aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Anti-scratch type III hard anodized
- Chamfered edges are ergonomic and easy to hold
- Lock-out function prevents accidental activation
- Waterproof up to 2 meters
- Included Accessories: Micro-USB Cable (1 Meter), User Manual, 4500mAh 26650 Battery, Lanyard
- Dimensions: Length: 5.24", Head Diameter: 1.65", Body Diameter: 1.26", Weight: 8.99 oz (Including Battery)
- Runs on 1 x 26650 Li-ion battery (Included)
- MSRP: ~$120
The display packaging is good quality, with detailed info and specs across the box. The light comes with a micro USB charging cable, AC adapter (with appropriate country plug), manual, spare o-rings, and basic wrist strap. A 4500mAh protected 26650 from Olight is also included. No holster is included.
All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:
Olight R50: Weight 158.3g (255.4g with 26650 battery), Length: 133.0mm, Width (bezel): 42.0mm
Foursevens MMU-X3: Weight: 172.0g (264.2g with 26650), Length: 135.8mm, Width (bezel): 46.0mm
Foursevens X10: Weight: 156.9g, Length: 135.5mm, Width (bezel): 46.0mm
Lumintop SD10: Weight: 117.6g, Length: 120.3mm, Width (bezel): 40.1mm
Manker U21: Weight 294.4g (391.5g with 26650 battery), Length: 149.1mm, Width (bezel): 59.1mm
Olight S80: Weight 162.5g, Length: 151mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
Skilhunt K26: Weight: 188.2g (301.9g with 26650 battery), Length: 163mm, Width (bezel): 44.1mm
The R50 is reasonably compact for a 26650 light.
Anodizing is black, with no blemishes or flaws on my sample. Labels are clear against the dark background. Knurling is not very aggressive, but overall grip is still decent. Note that the light can roll fairly easily.
There is a single electronic switch in the head, with typical feel. There is a red LED that serves as a low-voltage warning feature under the switch. Starts as solid red (below ~30% or so), and then flashes as near the end.
Charging is done in the tailcap, and uses a custom 26650 cell with both positive and negative terminals in the tail region. The light will work just fine with a regular 26650 Li-ion, but only this special cell can be recharged inside the light (i.e., in-light recharging isn't possible with a standard 26650). There is a good quality rubber dust plug for the micro-USB charging port in the tail (and green/red LEDs around the port, to indicate charging status).
Screw threads are square-cut, and anodized for tailcap lockout. A quick turn of the tailcap is all you need to lock out the light. The light can tailstand stably.
The XHP50 emitter is well centered, at the base of a heavily textured reflector. This should help reduce the hotspot dark spot/donut hole effect common to many multi-die emitters (like the XHP50). Scroll down for beamshots.
Click the electronic switch to the turn the light on/off.
When On, press and hold the switch to cycle through the three main output modes as follows: Lo > Med > Hi, in a repeating loop. Release the switch to select the mode.
Light has mode memory for the regular output modes, and returns upon re-activation. A press-and-hold from Off will always turn the light on in Lo, however.
Turbo is accessed by a double-click of the switch (from On or Off).
Strobe is access by a triple-click of the switch (from On or Off).
There is no memory for the Turbo/Strobe modes.
The light has an electronic lock-out feature to prevent accidental activation. Press and hold the switch for >3 secs from Off. The light will first activate in Lo mode after ~1sec. After another ~2 secs, the light will shut off and lock-out the switch. To unlock, hold the switch down for about ~3 secs again, the light will now active in Lo.
For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.
As with other Olight lights, there is no sign of pulse width modulation (PWM) at any level. The light appears to be current-controlled, and is flicker-free at all output modes.
Strobe is a fairly typical 9.8 Hz.
Since the switch is electronic, there needs to be a standby current when the tailcap is connected. I measured this as 56uA. For the included 4500mAh battery, that would translate into over 9 years before the cell would be fully discharged – and so, is not a concern.
Note that you can lock out the light by a simple twist of the tailcap.
Because the light uses a USB charging cable, I was able to take direct measures of the charging parameters using my Xtar VI01 "USB Detector" (basically a specialized USB current/voltage meter). There are many of these on the market now, and this model was favorably reviewed by HKJ here.
For charging tests, I left the USB detector in place for all readings. Note that the voltage reading on this device refers to the input voltage (i.e., from the USB port).
Initial charging current was 0.86A, at 4.88V input voltage.
At one hour into the charge, current was 0.97A, at 4.84V.
At two hours, current was 1.01A, 4.82V
At four hours, current was 1.02A, 4.81V.
After this point, current began to drop slowly for next several hours. At five hours, current was 0.30A, 4.88V.
A complete charge cycle took a little over 6.5 hours, with LED showing green for termination.
For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an AW protected 18650 battery. Lights are 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.
Note: that is not a defect in the hotspot of the R50 - it is a scratch on the wall I'm using.
The light has a broad hotspot and very wide spillbeam (i.e., wider than the camera frame). The reflector does a good job of smoothing out the hotspot of the beam.
My sample has a slight greenish tint (most noticeable on Lo), but that is likely variable between samples.
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. 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).
Max output and throw for the R50 are consistent with Olight specs. This is a reasonably high output light for such a small size.
The R50 output levels are pretty consistent with Olight specs across the board, although the step-down levels on Hi and Turbo are a different. See runtimes below for more info.
All my current runtimes are done under a cooling fan.
The R50 shows a multiple-step-down pattern on Hi/Turbo (that is a bit different than the report step-down in the specs). The first step-down on Turbo is at 3 mins.
Overall efficiency seems good for the class, and the light is very flat-stabilized.
Note that there is a red LED low voltage warning feature under the switch, so you are never left in the dark without warning.
The light uses an electronic switch, and therefore requires a stand-by current when fully connected. However, this drain is negligible (59uA), and likely below the self-discharge rate for Li-ion. You can physically lock-out the switch with a simply tailcap twist, breaking this current and preventing accidental activation.
While the R50 can run on standard 26650, only the included custom battery can be recharged inside the light. The bundled Li-ion shows good performance.
Although the bundled AC adapter is capable of charging at up to 2A, the light's built-in charging feature is limited to 1A (taking ~6.5 hours to fully charge the bundled 4500mAh cell)
Turbo is not on the main sequence (accessed by a double-click of the switch). There is no Moonlight mode.
Light can roll easily.
The R50 is a nice light from Olight – compact, simple interface, high-output, long runtime, and a broad and useful beam.
Interface is fairly basic, but serviceable and easy to remember. The only thing missing for me is a Moonlight mode (and maybe a slower signaling strobe), but these things are not common on high output lights like this. Mode spacing is decent overall.
The R50 comes with a custom 26650 Li-ion, with good 4500mAh capacity. The R50 even features in-light charging, with a decent 1A charger (AC). While standard 26650s with work in the light, you need to use the bundled custom battery for the in-light charging feature to work. As an aside, this is one of the most substantial rubber dust plugs I've seen for a micro-USB port.
The beam profile is well done, with a big hotspot and decent spillbeam (broad and bright). The textured reflector does a great job smoothing out the hotspot (without the "donut effect" you can see on some other more focused XHP50 lights).
Performance-wise, you get good current-controlled efficiency and output regulation, as usual for Olight. The step-down levels on Hi/Turbo are reasonable, and well implemented.
There really isn't much to criticize here – this is a well-designed and implemented little torch. It's great to see this much output for a relatively small hand-held model. Of course, those looking for throw or more sophisticated programming modes will need to look elsewhere. But for those looking for a general purpose, hand-held light with a lot of floody output "oomph", the R50 may fit the bill nicely.
R50 provided by GoingGear.com on behalf of Olight for review.