Olight M21 (Luminus SST-50) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

selfbuilt

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Selfbuilt, as noted above has only stayed with the 2200's to lend his review runtimes consistency so it's not fair to fault the factory for that.
Quite true ... and quite daunting from my end to go back and re-test all those older lights with 2600mAh cells. :ohgeez: I have enough on my hands with all the new lights everyone keeps sending me. ;)

Also, manufacturer's rarely use time to 50%, most use a relative "useable" light measure. If you pick the time my 18650s were almost dead, then by a simple calculation based on my results, a 2800mAh cell should give you a good 7 hours runtime on Med, and a 3000mAh cell would give you 7.5 hours (assuming everyone is calculating the mAh rating the same way - a big assumption). Taking into account emitter and battery variation, 8 hours is not such a stretch.

But I suggest it might also be possible that Olight has slightly changed the output from initial spec (i.e. 80 lumens seems a little low to me, I'm thinking it's more like 110-120 lumens, based on other lights I've tested). If the output of the final shipping version is indeed a bit higher than what they originally tested, than could also easily explain the rest of the variance.

Note that I'm not "defending" anyone's runtimes estimates - I actually believe manufacturer's estimates should be largely ignored, and the average of what individual users report be taken as the best indicator. In the real world, n=1 is not very reliable. :whistle:
 

selfbuilt

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FYI, Mrs Selfbuilt has given the M21 a :thumbsup: in a little inpromptu field testing this evening (group walk). I gave her the option of the M21 or the D-mini VX Ultra on 18650, and she choose the M21 because she preferred the interface (doesn't like switching modes at the tailcap, prefers a head twist - she's a die-hard Fenix L2T fan ;))

Of course, she didn't need Hi - Lo and Med were fine. But I liked the thought that she had it there as a backup. Only thing she'd change is removing the strobe mode.
 

MattK

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Perhaps but the only factory i know that ever does that is LumaPower.

Not one other factory that I can think of, in the whole world, tells you what battery they're using.

So, it's probably not a realistic expectation.
 
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wapkil

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Perhaps but the only factory i know that ever does that is LumaPower.

Not one other factory that I can think of, in the whole world, tells you what battery they're using.

It's off topic in this thread but ZebraLight also publishes what battery they use for the runtime data. JetBeam does not but they answered when I asked.
 

SRB

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Awesome review! I love the beamwidth and spill. Looks like a suitable replacement for my TK11-r2 that ended up living in the wife's truck. Many thanks.
 

MaximusOrilius

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Just got my m21, the only other flashlight i have is an old LumaM1Hunter. My old LumaM1Hunter throws a little better but the m21 beats it everywhere else. Most of my work is up close and the farthest would be 100ft, so the m21 beats the LumaM1Hunter here for my use.

At work I use it when i am under desks, walking into dark rooms and working in the ceiling. At home i use it for walks and when i get up in the morning looking for my clothes (dont want to turn on the lights and wake up my wife).
 

HIDblue

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Great review selfbuilt :thumbsup: Meticulous yet understandable by the not-so-technically inclined, like myself.

I bought my first high-end flashlight (a JETBeam Jet-III M) primarily based upon your review, but am now getting the itch to buy the Olight M21 also based upon your review. You're killin me man! I swear to god, flashlights are like crack...one little taste and you're hooked (hypothetically speaking).

Anyways, keep up the great work.
 

Disintergrator66

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Great review selfbuilt :thumbsup: Meticulous yet understandable by the not-so-technically inclined, like myself.

I bought my first high-end flashlight (a JETBeam Jet-III M) primarily based upon your review, but am now getting the itch to buy the Olight M21 also based upon your review. You're killin me man! I swear to god, flashlights are like crack...one little taste and you're hooked (hypothetically speaking).

Anyways, keep up the great work.

+1
 

klorsey

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So I'm no expert,but every time I've considered an Olight M-20/M-20s,I've been turned off by cpf stories about their their Li-ion 18650 (Hopeless) usage stat's.Do these problems continue with the M-21 torch model or not?
 
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selfbuilt

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So I'm no expert,but every time I've considered an Olight M-20/M-20s,I've been turned off by cpf stories about their their Li-ion 18650 (Hopeless) usage stat's.Do these problems continue with the M-21 torch model or not?
Sorry, I have no idea what you mean. My reviews of the M20 and M21 show my experience on 2200mAh 18650, which I believe are about typical. Performance is certainly consistent with other current-controlled light.
 

picrthis

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Nice review, they list the light as 500 lumens, but does anybody know what the OTF rating really is?

Thanks
 

Golfer2000

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can you remove the clip and the lanyard attachment/grip thing to reduce the profile?
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by jcalvert on 12-22-2010 10:28 AM GMT

Hello Eric,

First off, thank you for all the hard work you put into your reviews. I have a couple of questions I hope you don't mind answering.

First, although I know you do not endorse any products and I won't ask you to do that. However, I'm in search of a predominantly floody, mid-size (5"-7"), general purpose light such as I believe the M21 may be, within a $120 budget, that also offers enough useful throw (at least 50 yards+) to make it an ideal trail walking light in heavy woodslands. Would you be able to offer any other products to suggest that I could look further into that are predominantly flood-based lights of the type previously described that I may also consider, so that I can make a fully informed choice?

Second, is there a way to translate lux to feet or yards. For example, if you have measured the M21 SST-50 to have a lux measurement of 6,700, how can I translate that to feet or yards so that I know how far the light throws its beam and to also make accurate comparisons with other lights?

Thank you in advance for your feedback!

All the best,

John Calvert


Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by selfbuilt on 12-22-2010 12:02 PM GMT

jcalvert said:
However, I'm in search of a predominantly floody, mid-size (5"-7"), general purpose light such as I believe the M21 may be, within a $120 budget, that also offers enough useful throw (at least 50 yards+) to make it an ideal trail walking light in heavy woodslands. Would you be able to offer any other products to suggest that I could look further into that are predominantly flood-based lights of the type previously described that I may also consider, so that I can make a fully informed choice?
The The M21 is a good walking light in my opinion, due to the broad hotspot and good spill (i.e. I don't like playing "follow the bouncing ball" of a tight hotspot when walking at night). The Lumapower D-mini VX Ultra (SST-50) with 18650-tube is another good option for this type of beam (with optional TurboForce head if you want more throw).

But there are now a number of XP-G R5 lights you might also want to consider, like the Eagletac T20C2-II or Fenix TK12. These are not overly throwy, but do have a tighter hotspot than those above.

Whatever light you go for, see if you can get a properly fitting diffuser for it. That way, you can have pure flood whenever you want.

Second, is there a way to translate lux to feet or yards. For example, if you have measured the M21 SST-50 to have a lux measurement of 6,700, how can I translate that to feet or yards so that I know how far the light throws its beam and to also make accurate comparisons with other lights?
Yes, you can do this easily - but you have to decide what is a minimally acceptable lux level first. Yes, you can do this easily - but you have to decide what is a minimally acceptable lux level first.

The ANSI FL-1 standard "beam distance" is based on distance calculated to yield 0.25 lux. This is considered the ground level illumination of a full moon. The calculation is simple: divide lux at 1m by 0.25 (i.e. 6,700/0.25 in this case) and take the square root (to give you 163m in this case).

Personally, I find 0.25 lux to be rather low. More realistic might be to go with something between 1-5 lux as the minimum output need to make out what you are looking. 1 lux is simple - it is just the square root of lux at 1m (i.e. sqr-rt of 6700 = 82m). 5 lux would be the sqr-rt of (6700/5) = 37m.

Again, it doesn't really matter which one you go with - as long as you are consistent in comparing lights.



Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by jcalvert on 12-23-2010 05:03 AM GMT

selfbuilt said:
The M21 is a good walking light in my opinion, due to the broad hotspot and good spill (i.e. I don't like playing "follow the bouncing ball" of a tight hotspot when walking at night). The Lumapower D-mini VX Ultra (SST-50) with 18650-tube is another good option for this type of beam (with optional TurboForce head if you want more throw). Thank you so much for your help, I really like the quality and features of my M20S, so the M21 is next for me and I will give the M20S to my wife and teach her how to use the instant-on strobe for defensive purposes.

But there are now a number of XP-G R5 lights you might also want to consider, like the Eagletac T20C2-II or Fenix TK12. These are not overly throwy, but do have a tighter hotspot than those above. I little OT, but I purchased the ET T20C2 MKII last summer and absolutely loved the output and beam, but at that point it was only my first high-end light and I wanted to be able to use it as a bedside light as well. The one and problem I had with the ET was that you couldn't get to the low mode for use in the middle of the night w/o going through the high or medium mode first and then bezel turning it to get to the low mode. Beside the hassle of going through the mode switching when your dead tired, my wife wasn't real happy with being woken up with the higher modes coming on first. So I sold it awhile ago and I now have a Klarus NT20 as a dedicated bedside light...I appreciate the NT20 so much I have two (the other is a winter coat EDC) and I'm getting a third. My question finally is this, why do you think ET would not have placed the low mode in with the constant light group so that owners could set the memory to low? It just doesn't make sense to me and if they change the low mode to the constant light group one day allowing memory, if I didn't have the M21 that I'll be getting, I would buy another T20 in a second for its quality and wonderful beam.

Whatever light you go for, see if you can get a properly fitting diffuser for it. That way, you can have pure flood whenever you want. I wonder if Olight has one for the M21 or if there is another brand's diffuser that will fit.

Yes, you can do this easily - but you have to decide what is a minimally acceptable lux level first.

The ANSI FL-1 standard "beam distance" is based on distance calculated to yield 0.25 lux. This is considered the ground level illumination of a full moon. The calculation is simple: divide lux at 1m by 0.25 (i.e. 6,700/0.25 in this case) and take the square root (to give you 163m in this case).

Personally, I find 0.25 lux to be rather low. More realistic might be to go with something between 1-5 lux as the minimum output need to make out what you are looking. 1 lux is simple - it is just the square root of lux at 1m (i.e. sqr-rt of 6700 = 82m). 5 lux would be the sqr-rt of (6700/5) = 37m.

Again, it doesn't really matter which one you go with - as long as you are consistent in comparing lights. Thank you so much for your easily understandable explanation. Armed with this knowledge really helps me make better and more informed decisions. I will likely just use the simple 1 lux measurement initially and when I receive the M21, I'll measure out 82' and with my son's help, see how much detail I can make out on him at that distance to determine if using 1 lux is just right or if I need to adjust my basis lux number up or down based on the amount of detail I can make out with my eyesight.
Eric,

Thank you very much for taking the time to help me out and for all the wonderful information you provide in your reviews. As much time and effort you must put into these reviews, you must really enjoy doing it. If you ever need some volunteer help that can be done by tele-commuting between your location in Canada and myself in Michigan, please feel free to PM me and I'll provide you contact information.

Thanks again for everything and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy 2011!

All the best,
John

Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by selfbuilt on 12-23-2010 08:54 AM GMT

jcalvert said:
My question finally is this, why do you think ET would not have placed the low mode in with the constant light group so that owners could set the memory to low?
No interface is perfect - I guess they didn't attach as much weight to that option. No interface is perfect - I guess they didn't attach as much weight to that option. :shrug: Personally, I like a light that comes on in moonlight mode (for middle of the night). But I still find the T20C2-II an excellent dog-walking light (in General mode, with option for Turbo when you need it).

I will likely just use the simple 1 lux measurement initially and when I receive the M21, I'll measure out 82' and with my son's help, see how much detail I can make out on him at that distance to determine if using 1 lux is just right or if I need to adjust my basis lux number up or down based on the amount of detail I can make out with my eyesight.
Let us know how it works out for you! Curious to hear your findings. And happy holidays to you as well. Let us know how it works out for you! Curious to hear your findings. And happy holidays to you as well. :wave:


Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by jcalvert on 12-27-2010 07:11 PM GMT

selfbuilt said:
No interface is perfect - I guess they didn't attach as much weight to that option. :shrug: Personally, I like a light that comes on in moonlight mode (for middle of the night). But I still find the T20C2-II an excellent dog-walking light (in General mode, with option for Turbo when you need it).
HI again Eric, HI again Eric,

First, I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Like you, I really liked my ET T20C2 MKII when I still had it earlier this year and now ET dealers are offering 15% off until December 31st, so I'm tempted to replace the one I sold earlier with the XPG-R5 for now. However, another poster believes that the T20 is getting an XM-L drop-in here very shortly and suggested that this set-up would provide greater flood and throw than the M21. Also, rumor has it that the Maelstrom G5 may be coming out shortly with an XM-L version.

The question is, based on your expertise and knowledge of the T20 and the G5, do you think either or both of these XM-L upgrades, if they happen, will provide a broader flood hotspot and also more throw than the M21. Even though I assume that that the throw of the M21 will be sufficient for woods walking and room-filling, do you think that either the T20 and/or the G5 w/XM-Ls be even greater than the M21? The T20 at $85 minus 15% or $72.25 is very tempting versus $108 after 10% CPF discount for the M21. Even adding an XM-L drop-in would still be less in total for the T20 than the M21.

I apologize for all the questions as to whether the M21 will be the right choice or not, but I'm a bit of a recovering perfectionist and I hate making returns/exchanges and wasting return shipping charges.

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help. You are a treasure to this forum as I'm sure you are to your family. Take care!

John
Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by selfbuilt on 12-27-2010 09:14 PM GMT

jcalvert said:
The question is, based on your expertise and knowledge of the T20 and the G5, do you think either or both of these XM-L upgrades, if they happen, will provide a broader flood hotspot and also more throw than the M21.
Hard to say without seeing them. But in general terms, the XM-L has a smaller die size than the Hard to say without seeing them. But in general terms, the XM-L has a smaller die size than the SST-50, so it should throw further with a standard-size reflector (although that depends on the specific reflector design). The G5 is designed for throw, so I expect a XM-L version would be relatively throwy. But there are a lot of unknowns, until the lights are actually produced.



Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by jcalvert on 12-28-2010 05:11 PM GMT

selfbuilt said:
Hard to say without seeing them. But in general terms, the XM-L has a smaller die size than the SST-50, so it should throw further with a standard-size reflector (although that depends on the specific reflector design). The G5 is designed for throw, so I expect a XM-L version would be relatively throwy. But there are a lot of unknowns, until the lights are actually produced.
Thanks Eric, Thanks Eric,

Well I guess I have hopefully just one last question that may help me out. Since we have lumens to measure output and lux to measure throw, do we have some designation for flood that I can research and use to make apples-to apples comparisons between lights? Thank you!

John



Re: Olight M21 ( Luminus SST-50 ) Review : RUNTIMES , BEAMSHOTS and more !
Written by selfbuilt on 12-29-2010 09:26 AM GMT

jcalvert said:
Well I guess I have hopefully just one last question that may help me out. Since we have lumens to measure output and lux to measure throw, do we have some designation for flood that I can research and use to make apples-to apples comparisons between lights? Thank you!
The simplest measure is simply the ratio of throw (square-root lux) to output (lumens, or some such). The lower that ratio, the less the light is focused for throw (and hence, The simplest measure is simply the ratio of throw (square-root lux) to output (lumens, or some such). The lower that ratio, the less the light is focused for throw (and hence, more floody).

Of course, that tells you nothing about the overall spillbeam width - for that, you need to check comparative beamshots taken under the same conditions/distance. For most people, "flood" indicates how bright the spillbeam is relative to the center-beam hotspot. But hard to come up with an a simple measure - best is to look at the actual beamshots.
 

selfbuilt

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The thread discussions for the last few months have been fully restored from the search engine cache data (thank you tandem!).

Please carry on! :)
 

GreasySideDown

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I bought two of these flashlights, one for me, one for the wife, based upon this review. I am more than satisfied with both lights. She was a victim of assault a few years ago and now she carries a taser most places and this flashlight all places. I have owned a number of cheapo China lights and this thing is built to a much different standard. Strong, bright, and small. I run both lights on recycled laptop batteries so never have to pay for batteries.
 

DivineStrike

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Hey selfbuilt, quick question for ya as you've used a large variety of lights... Do you know, or have you tried using the M30 extension tube on the m20 sized lights and does the light still work?
 
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