Olight S1 Baton Review

Wurkkos

thburns

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Jun 25, 2015
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Delaware, USA
For submission to the flashlight reviews forum.

The S1 Baton is the newest entry to Olight's Baton series. I don't own an S10 Baton, but the S1 seems like it's meant to be the successor to that light as the smallest non-rechargeable 1xCR123/RCR123 light in the Baton lineup. In my review, I'll compare the S1 to the slightly larger and rechargeable S10R Baton so that you can get a good picture of the differences between the two.



Manufacturer specifications

Features:

  • Thumb sized form factor. diameter: 21mm length: 61mm
  • Stainless steel flashlight head and switch binder ring processed by PVD technology
  • Recessed silicon switch to prevent accidental operation
  • TIR lens to create a balanced beam
  • Positive polarity on the battery faces the tail of the flashlight for enhanced reliability and a more compact size
  • Built-in timer: 3 minutes or 9 minutes
  • Lanyard with perforating tool
  • Flat tail cap design contains a strong magnet providing the ability to place it upside down and use it as a hands-free work light
  • Removable pocket clip that is scratch resistant
  • Thermal management safety program with overheat protection by dropping high output by 50% within 1 minute of constant on. Turbo mode has a limit of 1.5 minutes.
  • The S1 features a wide range current circuit and can be powered by 1 x CR123A (built-in protected board)
  • Reverse polarity protection to prevent improper battery installation

Specifications:


  • Cree XM-L2 LED. Maximum light output up to 500 lumens.
  • 3 standard modes: 8 lumens, 80 lumens and 500 lumens.
  • 2 special modes: 0.5 lumen moonlight mode and a 10Hz strobe mode.
  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy body with anti-scratch Type-III hard anodizing
  • PMMA TIR lens with a 90% light transmittance rate
  • Low standby current below 10uA
  • Body material: 6061-T6 aluminum alloy structure, Type III hard anodizing
  • Stainless steel pocket clip, stainless steel flashlight bezel, stainless steel binder ring
  • Dimensions: Length: 61mm, Diameter: 21mm
  • Weight : 30g (excluding batteries)
  • Color (body + clip)black,(BEZEL+ side switch binder ring)blue
  • Operating voltage: 2.5 to 4.2V
  • Luminous Intensity: 3000 cd
  • Max beam distance: 110 meters
  • Waterproof: IPX8

Operation:


  • Single click --- Turn ON / Turn OFF
  • Click and hold --- High brightness, select timer, or activate moon light mode
  • Quick double click --- Turbo brightness, or enter setting
  • Quick triple click --- strobe mode

Included Items:


  • 1 × Flashlight
  • 1 × lanyard
  • User manual

Unboxing

The S1 came in a transparent plastic retail package that seems to be the standard for the Baton series. The package had some summary specifications on the front, and a description of the light with a feature list on the back. Inside the package, the light was held to a cardboard insert that also enclosed the lanyard below, with the manual behind the insert.

There were what appeared to be two o-rings holding the light in place to the cardboard insert. Unfortunately, the o-rings were threaded through slits in the cardboard and I ended up cutting them to free the light. I only realized after the fact and upon closer inspection that they might have been spare o-rings for the light itself :shrug:

After inserting an Olight 650 mAh 16340 cell into the light, the S1 weighed 1.7 oz (48.19 g) on my postal scale.










Build

0E685W8.gif





















Like the other lights in the Baton series, most of the S1's battery tube has fine squared knurling, which is also present on the tailcap. The switch portion of the light has a hexagonal shape which does a good job of preventing the light from rolling when layed on its side. There are no protrusions on the tailcap, and the lanyard hole is embedded in the side of the tailcap so the S1 has no issue tailstanding even with the lanyard attached.

LED



Unlike the other lights in the Baton series, the S1 uses a TIR optic instead of a reflector. As you'll see in the beam shots below, the TIR gives the S1 a beam with a large spot compared to the S10R, which can certainly help when using the light where a wider beam angle is required.

Power

The S1 can be powered by either a CR123 primary cell or a 3.7 V 16340 Li-ion battery (RCR123). _TODO: Describe output/runtime differences between CR123 and RCR123._

Somewhat oddly and worth noting is that the cell powering the S1 must be inserted with the anode (negative) end of the battery toward the head of the light. I'm not quite sure what the reasoning is behind this, but it may have something to do with whatever reason there is for the light being anodized on the inside as well. The only conductive part of the body once the tailcap is taken off is a thin ring of unanodized material at the end of the tailcap :shrug:

I'm told by several others that the reasoning for this might be in preparation for a rechargeable version of the light, which has not been confirmed yet.

User interface

The S1 is operated with a side switch. It has moonlight, low, medium, and high output levels, and a 10 Hz strobe. It also has two timer functions that allow you to set the light to automatically turn off after either 3 minutes or 9 minutes. Let's take a look at how to use the side switch to access the various functions that the S1 has to offer.

Single-clicking the side switch of the S1 turns the light on to the last regular mode that was in use (including moonlight). Once the light is on, holding down the switch for about 1 second will begin to cycle through the other regular output levels (low, medium, and high), but will not cycle back to moonlight mode. Moonlight mode can be accessed by holding the switch for about 1 second while the light is off. High mode can be directly accessed from off by double clicking the switch.

Triple-clicking the switch while the light is on will activate the strobe mode, and holding the switch for about 1 second will return to the mode that the light was on before entering strobe. Single clicking the switch while in strobe mode will turn off the light.

The timer feature can be accessed by double clicking the switch while the light is on. When the timer is activated, the light will blink once for the 3 minute timer and twice for the 9 minute timer. Double clicking the switch again will cycle back and forth between the two timer lengths. I measured both timers with a stopwatch and both shut off the light after the correct amount of time.

While the S1 does not feature an electronic lockout ability like the S10R

Compared to the S10R, the user interface of the S1 is mostly the same, with the three notable exceptions being the lack of electronic lockout on the S1, the lack of the timer feature on the S10R, and double clicking to strobe on the S10R vs triple clicking on the S1.

Size








Grip

The rather fine knurling on the S1 gives it a pretty decent grip, and if the pocket clip is placed on the opposite side from the side switch provides a nice indent in the clip for your middle finger (at least for my hand size).



Carry

Being about the same size as a single 18650 Li-ion cell, the S1 practically disappears in your pocket until you're ready to use it. It fits perfectly in the fifth pocket, back pocket, and even inside the waistband. The pocket clip has a good amount of tension, and requires a little bit of a push to get it seated the last centimeter or so. The pocket clip is also detachable, and comes attached for bezel-up carry by default. It can be reversed for bezel-down carry, but in that configuration it will protrude slightly past the bezel.

From what I've seen in several other early reviews for the S1, the production version of the light might come with a small nylon holster for the light. My review sample did not include the holster.

The side switch on the S1 isn't as recessed as it is on the S10R, so this might pose an issue depending on how you carry the light.







Tailcap magnet

The tailcap of the S1 contains a little magnet that is fairly powerful for its size. On the various surfaces I tested it on, it attached the light firmly even sideways and upside-down. The magnet can be easily removed by squeezing the spring in the tailcap with a pair of needlenose pliers to pull it out. Due to the magnet wanting to move around, it's a little trickier getting it back in but not too difficult overall.















Beamshots

All of the beamshots were taken with a Sony Alpha a6000 camera, with a Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro lens and automatic white balance to minimize tint differences. These shots should be an indicator of the relative difference in tints between the S1 and S10R, not an accurate representation of the tint color.

High output with multiple exposures

These high output beamshots were taken about 1 m from a white door (I don't have a white wall in my apartment), with the camera at about 1.1 m.










Low/medium/high output indoor at ~6 m

The wall next to the door in these indoor beamshots is about 6 meters from the light.





Low/medium/high output outdoor at ~9 m

The terrace wall in these outdoor beamshots is about 9 meters from the light.





Output measurements

As measured from the data 30 seconds into the runtime test below with an Olight 650 mAh 16340 battery, I've estimated the peak intensity of the S1 at 3410 cd, with a beam distance of 117 m. This is compared to 3030 cd and 110 m for the S10R. Both of these measurements are slightly higher than the manufacturer-reported specifications for the S1 :twothumbs:

Runtime graphs





Real-world use

As part of my review, I used the S1 as my exclusive EDC light for a week to see how it would fare with some real-world use. I thought that the non-recessed button might become an issue with accidental activation, but I didn't experience that at all during my testing, in which I carried the light IWB, in my fifth pocket, and clipped into my back pocket. Due to its small size, I actually thought that I lost the light a couple times. I did find that the tension on the clip was a little too tight for my liking, and I often had to spend a little bit of extra effort to get the edge of my pants all the way into the clip. My purely subjective opinion at the end of the week though was that the S1 would make an excellent EDC for those who prefer the smaller size of a 1xCR123 light.

Conclusion

Overall I think that the S1 is a fantastic little light in the 1xCR123/RCR123 category, and a nice addition to Olight's Baton series. Despite its dimunitive size, the S1 still packs a punch with a nice beam profile thanks to the TIR optic. The tailcap magnet also makes the S1 a great utility light.

My main complaints about the light are the unintuitive battery orientation and the lack of low voltage indication. The tight regulation of the light at 50% and immediate power-off after sixty minutes on high mode might end up being an unfortunate surprise during real-world use.

Listed below are my pros and cons for the S1. Some of these might not apply to you, and some might just be my personal nitpicks, but I've tried to list things that I feel most people would agree on.

Pros
  • Great beam profile from the TIR
  • Moonlight mode
  • Excellent regulation
  • Lots of output for a light smaller than a single 18650 cell
  • Removable magnet in the tailcap

Cons

  • Side switch might not be recessed enough to prevent accidental discharge
  • No low voltage indication
  • No electronic lockout
  • Unintuitive battery orientation
  • No GITD o-ring
  • No spare o-rings included
  • If those rings holding the light to the packaging insert were supposed to be the spare o-rings, more people will probably make the same mistake I did and snap them in order to get the light out

The S1 was provided by GoingGear.com for review, on behalf of Olight.
 

Dubois

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
660
Thanks for the review, and the warning about the O rings. What a strange way of packaging a light, if they are meant to be the spares. Wouldn't they be stretched a little too much, holding the light in place?
 

akhyar

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Mar 12, 2013
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Location
Malaysia
Great review.
Have this light for a few days and I do agree with your finding.
Luckily I read some reviews before I received the light and found out that the 2 spare O rings are used to hold the light in the box.
 

UnderPar

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Dec 16, 2013
Messages
878
Thanks for sharing this review. I just love everything about this light. This is a winner for Olight. Thanks once again.
 

Jiri

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Aug 30, 2015
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Great review! Thanks for it! I bought this beaufiful tiny but powerful light few days ago. But I still wonder and I am a bit confused, if the highest mode (500 lumen) is really only for 1,5 minutes of runtime from fresh charged battery, and after that you have only 300 lumen and you can not get those 500 lumens again with the same battery, or are those 1,5 minutes is just runtime for heat-protection of the light, but after a while in off mode, you can get those 500 lumen again?
 

thburns

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Jun 25, 2015
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Thanks for the kind words everyone, I'm glad my very first review was well-received! This has been a whirlwind over the last few months finding this new hobby **cough** obsession **cough** and really getting into it as much as I have. Looking forward to making more posts like this in the future.
 

Prepped

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Aug 16, 2015
Messages
325
Nice review, thanks for taking the time! I've been carrying my S1 since I received it, and haven't had a single pocket activation. It's very well designed.
 

WarRaven

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Oct 24, 2013
Messages
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Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Great review! Thanks for it! I bought this beaufiful tiny but powerful light few days ago. But I still wonder and I am a bit confused, if the highest mode (500 lumen) is really only for 1,5 minutes of runtime from fresh charged battery, and after that you have only 300 lumen and you can not get those 500 lumens again with the same battery, or are those 1,5 minutes is just runtime for heat-protection of the light, but after a while in off mode, you can get those 500 lumen again?
It's hard for me to read dark writing on Tapatalk.
But to answer your question.....
You should be able to get turbo after turning light off and restarting it, provided you don't overheat it by doing that repeatedly or in a hot environment to begin with.
It's stepping down to drop heat, not from voltage sag.

Hope that helps.
 

Jiri

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Thank you very much for your answer, WarRaven. I thought it should be like you say, but I wasn't sure. And I am sorry for the bad font.
 

WarRaven

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Thank you very much for your answer, WarRaven. I thought it should be like you say, but I wasn't sure. And I am sorry for the bad font.
Absolutely most welcome☺

No worries about the font color, I quote the post then it changes hue enough I can read print.
Just saying it's hard to read dark on dark.

Have a great one! ☺🔦
 

ponger

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Jan 23, 2009
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I've been running the light for a couple weeks now using a primary and I may have discovered a low voltage indication of sorts. Seems as though when the battery runs low you're no longer able to increment brightness above the low level. After replacing the battery, all three brightness levels are available.
 

WarRaven

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Oct 24, 2013
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I should probably clarify my earlier post a bit.
I meant that above, as long as a relatively new cell was being used in the light, turbo could be repeatedly re engaged.
Once cell is depleted by this or normal run levels it reaches a point where it can't deliver the amp/voltage for turbo.

If the cell has been repeatedly used on turbo to the point you can't get mid level, it's normal per state of charge left after usage as mentioned, that you will not be able to access turbo.

I hope that clears any confusion I've caused?


I'm silly and would use rechargeable,
and carry back up cells with this light, guilt free fun.
 

nd22121

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Aug 31, 2015
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Sorry if this question was answered in the previous post about Turbo mode runtime but I am wondering if my light is working properly or if something else is going on. I just got it in the mail yesterday and I love it. This happened last night to me though, after running Turbo mode for a few minutes (not more than 5) the light shut off and wouldn't turn back on in any mode. I unscrewed the cap and screwed it back on and then Turbo mode came back on. But it went out again so I did the same thing. This kept happening until Turbo wouldn't stay on for more than 10 seconds and after it went out the light would not turn on in any mode. But as soon as I unscrewed and screwed the tail cap back on the light worked again. Does this just sound like a battery problem? I thought I put in a fresh RCR123 but maybe not. I did replace the batter this morning and the light seem to be good. I ran Turbo for a minute or two and it didn't shut off.
Any insight?
Thanks!
 

WarRaven

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Check for dirty thread connection between tail cap an body, maybe losing full connection.
I'm sure this light is like others in S series, need to have tail pretty tightly screwed on.
 

nd22121

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Aug 31, 2015
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Check for dirty thread connection between tail cap an body, maybe losing full connection.
I'm sure this light is like others in S series, need to have tail pretty tightly screwed on.

okay thank you. I will check on it.
 
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