Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:

i1008.jpg

i1007.jpg


The i-series lights by Olight replace the earlier A-series lights by ITP (which were always made by Olight, but are now produced under their own name). In this review, I will be comparing the i1 (1xCR123A/RCR) and i3 (1xAAA). Let's see how they perform relative to the earlier models … :whistle:

Common Manufacturer Specifications:
  • Keychain hole design, easy for every day carry
  • Removable clip with removal tool in the package so you can easily install or remove pocket clip based on need
  • Stable tail stand to serve as a candle
  • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • Impact Resistant: 1.2m
  • Water resistant to IXP-8 Standard
i3 Specs:
  • Output/Runtime:
  • High: 70 lumens / 0.7 hours
  • Medium: 20 lumens / 1.5 hours
  • Low: 2.5 lumens / 20 hours
  • LED: Cree XP-G R5
  • Battery: 1 x AAA (included)
  • Max Beam Distance: 37m
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 350cd
  • Length: 70.8mm
  • Diameter: 14mm
  • Weight: 13.2g (excluding battery)
  • MSRP: ~$22
i1 Specs:
  • LED: Cree XM-L
  • Output/Runtime:
  • High: 180 lumens / 1.7 hours
  • Medium: 40 lumens / 5.2 hours
  • Low: 4 lumens / 72 hours
  • Battery: 1 x CR123A (included)
  • Max Beam Distance: 68m
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 1150cd
  • Length: 63.2mm
  • Diameter: 20.3mm
  • Weight: 22.5g (excluding battery) for aluminum version
  • Includes 1xCR123A battery
  • MSRP: ~$35 (aluminum), ~$45 (stainless steel)
Packaging and extras are unknown, as I received only the bare lights for review.

i3014.jpg

i3001.jpg

From left to right: Duracell AAA, Olight i3, ITP A3, Maratac 1xAAA, 4Sevens Preon 1, Titanium Innovations Illuminati Al, Lumintop Worm, Klarus Mi X6

Olight i3: Weight 13.2g, Length: 71.9mm, Width (bezel): 14.0mm
ITP EOS A3: Weight: 11.6g, Length: 69.7, Width 14.1mm (bezel)
Illuminati Aluminum: Weight 13.9g (with keychain clip), Length 68.8mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)
Klarus Mi X6: Weight 16.2g, Length 72.9mm (battery installed), Width 12.8mm
4Sevens Preon 1: Weight 15.3g (with keychain clip), Length 75.6mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)

i1019.jpg

i1002.jpg

From left to right: Energizer CR123A,Olight i1, 4Sevens Q Mini 123 Titanium, Nitecore EZ123, Zebralight SC30, Nitecore EX1, Sunwayman M10R

Olight i1: Weight 48.1g, Length: 63.9mm, Width (bezel): 20.4mm
Jetbeam BC10: Weight: 46.6g, Length: 90.3mm, Width (bezel): 23.2mm
Thrunite 1C: Weight: 45.2g, Length: 91.5mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm

The stainless steel adds extra weight – I would expect the aluminum version to be in the range of other lights this size.

i3011.jpg

i3008.jpg


i1011.jpg

i1014.jpg

i1010.jpg


Build is very similar to the earlier ITP A1 and A3, reviewed previously.

The ITP lights had a built-in split-ring attachment point on the tail of the light, which prevented tailstanding. The new attachment point causes a split-ring to stick out from the side. While this now allows tailstanding, it prevents the lights from hanging freely. It also makes the lights slightly taller.

The other major change is the addition of a sturdy clip, firmly attached by screws. This is a definite improvement over the earlier models. :)

Otherwise, little has changed in external styling or choice of materials/anodizing colors. Like the earlier ITP lights, there is no knurling to speak of – the newer Olight i-series lights have the same length-wise ridge detail. Grip is ok, but not as "grippy" as actual knurling. I found the stainless steel i1 difficult to twist one-handed. Finish was good on both my samples – no chips or blemishes.

User Interface

The ITP versions of these lights changed over time from their original mode sequence (Med > Lo > Hi) to Lo > Med > Hi. The new Olight i-series lights maintain this "newer" Lo > Med > Hi sequence.

To use the lights, simply fully tighten the head and it comes on in Lo. Do a rapid twist off-on and the light advances to Medium. Do another rapid off-on twist and the light advances to Hi. This cycle continues indefinitely. Wait a few seconds before re-activating the light after turning off, and it returns to default Lo.

As before, there is no memory mode with this series, and there is also no strobe or SOS mode.

For a more detailed examination of the build and user interface, please see my video overview: :wave:



Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the 360p icon in the lower right-hand corner, and select the higher 480p to 720p options, or even run full-screen. Sorry for the somewhat choppy video – these were filmed in lower light conditions. :sssh:

PWM/Strobe

i3-PWM.gif

i1-PWM.gif


The new i-series lights maintain the same high-frequency PWM on Lo/Med as the later generations of the ITP A-series lights (i.e. about 2.4 kHz). This is not visually detectable – the lights are flicker free in practice. :)

i1-Noise1.gif

i1-Noise2.gif


I detected some high frequency noise on my i1 sample on Lo/Med, separate from the reoccurring PWM signal. But again, this was not visually detectable.

There is no strobe mode on either light.

Beamshots:

Olight i3

i3009.jpg

i3006.jpg


All lights are on Sanyo Eneloop 1xAAA NiMH, 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.

i3-Beam001.jpg
IlluminaTi-Al-Beam001.jpg

X6-Beam001.jpg
EOSA3-XPG-Beam001.jpg


i3-Beam002.jpg
IlluminaTi-Al-Beam002.jpg

X6-Beam002.jpg
EOSA3-XPG-Beam002.jpg


i3-Beam003.jpg
IlluminaTi-Al-Beam003.jpg

X6-Beam003.jpg
EOSA3-XPG-Beam003.jpg


Olight i1

i1009.jpg

i1006.jpg


All lights are on AW protected RCR, 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.

i1-Beam001.jpg
BC10001.jpg

1C001.jpg
Mini123001.jpg


i1-Beam002.jpg
BC10002.jpg

1C002.jpg
Mini123002.jpg


i1-Beam003.jpg
BC10003.jpg

1C003.jpg
Mini123003.jpg


i1-Beam004.jpg
BC10004.jpg

1C004.jpg
Mini123004.jpg


Testing Method:

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 recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.

Olight i3

i1-FL1-Summary.gif


i3-HiEne.gif

i3-MedEne.gif


i3-HiAlka.gif

i3-MedAlka.gif


Olight i1

i3-FL1-Summary.gif


i3-FL1-Summary-2.gif


i1-HiRCR.gif

i1-MedRCR.gif


i1-HiCR123A.gif


Potential Issues

Overall external build of the lights remains fairly smooth. Although the fluted ridges lengthwise along the lights help with grip, they are not as grippy as actual knurling. I found the stainless steel i1 very hard to use single-handed.

Keychain split-ring attachment point prevents the lights from hanging straight down. However, the lights can now tailstand.

1x3.7V Li-ion sources are not recommended on Hi in either light, due to the excessive drive levels and heat produced. There is particularly a concern for 10440.

Preliminary Observations

The Olight i-series are more an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, step up from the popular ITP A-series lights.

The main build differences are the placement of the split-ring attachment clip (now on the side, allowing tailstanding), and a reasonably sturdy pocket clip held on by screws. Although this placement for the split-ring is better, I personally prefer the 4Sevens' design (also made by Olight :rolleyes:) that supports both tailstanding and straight-hanging. I also prefer actual knurling (again, as seen on the 4Sevens' versions of these lights), but the length-wise ridges do help somewhat with grip.

Circuit/emitter-wise, not much has changed – although the i1 now comes with a XM-L emitter. Performance was very similar to my XM-L-equipped Thrunite Neutron 1C on 1xRCR, but my i1 was a definite stand-out over-achiever on 1xCR123A. :thumbsup:

On my i3, Hi output seemed a little lower than my earlier ITP A3 sample - but still in the range of other lights with comparable circuits and XP-G R5 emitters (e.g. Illuminati). Performance on Med-mode was unchanged from the earlier version of this light.

All in all, a nice incremental upgrade to the ITP A-series. :)

----

Olight i1 and i3 supplied by 4Sevens for review.
 
Last edited:
don.gwapo

don.gwapo

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Nice review selfbuilt. I have the i3 as well as my keychain light. About the light not hanging straight down, I put two rings on mine which solves the problem. Mine is now hanging straight down. And the tailstanding is a nice touch.
 
kreisler

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

thanks for the great review and graphs (measurements) selfbuilt!
let's evaluate the graphs.

from what i can see, the i3 performs worst of all (even worse than the A3). in comparison, the worm and 4Sevens have the best graphs.
 
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Sloughy

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Thanks for the great review ! I'm undecided if iTP 3 or i3 is the better choice. At last it's purely a matter of taste. I really like tailstanding, but for my keychain I prefer the iTP A3.
 
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jerrysimons

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Thanks selfbuilt!
So even though it is not recommended for some of these lights, they do safely operate on 1x LI-ion?
I would also be curious to see the Quark MiNiX 123 with the Olight i1 :)
 
selfbuilt

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

About the light not hanging straight down, I put two rings on mine which solves the problem. Mine is now hanging straight down.
That's a good point - a second small split-ring, or a small clip, would do nicely to restore hanging. But I prefer to avoid using too many extra rings on my keychain, as I find keys and other items sometimes get tangled up. Still, a workable solution.

from what i can see, the i3 performs worst of all (even worse than the A3). in comparison, the worm and 4Sevens have the best graphs.
I wouldn't make too much of that - it could just be an issue with this i3 sample. I would expect performance to be generally unchanged from the later-model versions of the A3.

So even though it is not recommended for some of these lights, they do safely operate on 1x LI-ion?
I would also be curious to see the Quark MiNiX 123 with the Olight i1 :)
Unfortunately I don't have the Quark Mini X 123 to compare, but I imagine it would be the same as the i1 (i.e. same basic circuit, just extra modes on the 4Sevens versions). While use of 1x Li-ion would potentially void your warranty, it should be safe enough for short periods of time on Hi in these lights. I note also that drive levels seem safe enough for use with protected RCRs (i.e. some other lights are driven so hard that discharge rates exceed standard Li-ion specs).

But I would not recommend 10440 on Hi on the i3 light (or any other 1xAAA light not speficially rated for them). Mass is just too small, and discharge rates too high for the lower capacity 10440.
 
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dannstrait

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Fantastic review Selfbuilt! I was really looking forward to this review.

I'm a little puzzled as to why Olight's lumen estimate for the i1 differs from your results so significantly. Olight rates it at 180 but you come up with 260. Yet Olight's estimate for the i3 at 70 lumens is very close to your results. Can you shed some light?
 
selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

I'm a little puzzled as to why Olight's lumen estimate for the i1 differs from your results so significantly. Olight rates it at 180 but you come up with 260. Yet Olight's estimate for the i3 at 70 lumens is very close to your results. Can you shed some light?
Not really, except to say I've seen a few Olights (and even more 4Sevens lights) where the official lumen specs on Hi are lower than my estimates. Don't know why, but the other non-max output modes tend to correlate fairly well. :shrug:
 
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Sno4Life

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What is the LED temperature on the i3? 5500k?
 
selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

What is the LED temperature on the i3? 5500k?
Something like that, but maybe a bit cooler on my sample. Olight (like most manufacturers) does not provide tint bin information. The i3 uses a "cool white" emitter, so you could get anything that falls into that part of the spectrum (just as you would on any light with a cool white emitter).
 
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zarnch

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

i want to ask you selfbuilt.
does the i1 operate good or it can run whitout any problems if use a rechargeable cr123 battery with 3.7V??
or its better to use a 3.2votls even a 3.0 Volst battery.

thanks
i want yo buy an I1 but wanted to use rechargeable batteries.
any way if any one of the other forum members can answer if ist safe to use rechargeable batteries with 3.7 V.
 
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eh123456

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

I use 3.7V RCR with my i1, it is very bright, but it gets hot very fast, can't run on high for more than a few minutes.
 
selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

i want to ask you selfbuilt.
does the i1 operate good or it can run whitout any problems if use a rechargeable cr123 battery with 3.7V??
or its better to use a 3.2votls even a 3.0 Volst battery.
It will run on 3.7V Li-ion, but it is better not to run it on Hi (or not run it very long, at any rate). The light will get very hot very quickly. You are best off using 3V batteries if you plan to use the Hi mode.
 
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SkyPup

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

I love the Olight I-1s, have four of them and use them every night!
 
GordoJones88

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

I've used my Olight i1 as EDC now for 6 months.

When people say don't use Hi mode for more than a few minutes, it's kind of a moot point.

When you put a freshly charged 4.2v AW RCR123, it will get very warm (not hot), but if you hold the light in your hand, it dissipates the heat quite well.

After that RCR123 has seen 5 minutes of use, turn it on Hi later or the next day, it does not get very warm, because the RCR123 is no longer 4.2v.

Observe the sharp decline of the curve after 5 minutes of use of a freshly charged 4.2v RCR123.

I've had similar results with AW IMR 16340s.

I've accidentally put my i1 through the washer and dryer twice now, each time it was still attached to the jean's coin pocket, nice and clean too.


i1-HiRCR.gif
 
shelm

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

The Olight i3 comes packaged with a black allen key.
Please could someone measure with a digital sliding caliper what the very exact measurement of the allen key is, 2 digits after the comma?

Maybe the allen key fits the pocket clip screws of my Eagletac D25 lights!!
 
WoodMan

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

I don't have an i3 but my i1 allen key measures .058"/1.47mm.

One of my personal favorite lights.
 
GordoJones88

GordoJones88

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

The Olight i3 comes packaged with a black allen key.
Maybe the allen key fits the pocket clip screws of my Eagletac D25 lights!

My Olight i1 allen key does not fit my Eagletac D25C.
 
shelm

shelm

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Hey you two guys, thanks for it!!

Okay i will try to order the original ET allen key from illumination gear dealers and then let you know the exact measurement. Was just a quick idea that the i3 allen key could fit our ET D25 lights :O

Silly me!
 
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hiljentaa

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Re: Olight i1 & i3 Review (1xCR123A, 1xAAA) - RUNTIMES, VIDEOS, BEAMSHOTS and more!

I know this thread is a bit old, but I just wanted to say thanks for this awesome review.

I ended up purchasing the same stainless i1 partly because of this thread. Was looking for a relatively inexpensive floody 1x CR123 platform light to try out, as I have never owned a CR123 light before.

Looks like this will do its job quite well. Cheers!
 
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