Olight S15 (XM-L2, 1xAA/2xAA/3xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO + more!

selfbuilt

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My s15 just arrived today. Overall, I really like the light with one major exception. My Keeppower 14500's will not work in this light. It appears the button on the battery is not quite long enough. This is a shame since I have more coming for this particular light!
That is possible, given the protective disc around the spring. But it is also possible that your 14500 is too long to allow the tail cap to screw down fully. That can happen with some protected cells.

EDIT: It seems like the issue is the top - the plastic disc in the head does serve as reverse-polarity protection.
 
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reppans

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Well, mine came in today, and just on initial impressions, I'm really disappointed :-( I think this will be my first return.

Appears as if mine's subject to some serious sample variation from what I've read of other user reports, and I can usually reconcile pretty well with Selfbuilt's results, although I choose to use the much conservative lumen scale employed by 47 Quarks and ET D25s.

This light was made for the T.I. crAA 14505.

CRAAs don't work, button tops are too flat for the physical polarity protection on this light, although maybe a small disk magnet would fix it.

Am i the only one who have a high buzzing sound on LOW mode at my S15? :(

Mine also buzzes (inducer whine?) on low, but it's not too bad - you have to put your ear up to it to notice.

Mine has some weird behavior when activating memory (most noticeable on the lower modes), but only after its been sitting for a couple of minutes - there's millisecond where it's like it can't decide which mode to start in and flickers before settling on the memorized mode. Not really noticeable on 1xNiMh, or on the higher modes, but it becomes a low output pre-flash with a 14500 on moonlight.

Mine's a little greener than my other Gen 2 XPGs and XMLs, but not as green as my SC52.

What really bugs me though is that the low modes are so far off spec (ML and low tend to be my often use modes on my lights) - I thought my SC52 was bad being off 2-4x.... this S15 is off by 3-10x. Can't break out my light meter now, but I'm guessing my moonlight and low are ~ 0.05 and 2 lms respectively. The medium and high modes seem about right by eyeball, though. Anyone else notice this?

Here's a cellphone side by side with a couple other lights and their (Spec) vs Meter readings - L to R (shown B&W):

Top
QAAX (0.3) 0.3.... (Meter calibrations done from QAAX 115 lm mode)
T10 (0.09) 0.13
SC52 (0.34) 0.08
S15 (0.5) ?0.05?

Bottom
QAAX (2.7) 3.0
T10 (9) 13.0
SC52 (2.7) 1.5
S15 (7) ?2.0?

9468357916_dc969cf52c_z.jpg
 
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TronPlayer

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That is unlikely to be it, given the spring on the head of the S15. More likely is that your 14500 is too long to allow the tail cap to screw down fully. That can happen with some protected cells.

If you look closely, there isn't really a spring in the head of the s15. It's simply flat wire in a spiral. Also, mine has a black washer in the head most likely for polarity protection so a button top cell is required. I also bypassed the tailcap so the length of the button is definitely the issue.
 

selfbuilt

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If you look closely, there isn't really a spring in the head of the s15. It's simply flat wire in a spiral. Also, mine has a black washer in the head most likely for polarity protection so a button top cell is required. I also bypassed the tailcap so the length of the button is definitely the issue.
Interesting, it is hard to gauge the height of the spring, since the head doesn't open. But I have just tried a TI CRAA 14505, and it is unable to activate without a magnet on the positive contact. So it does seem like that disc provides reverse polarity protection.
 
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ragnarok164

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My S15 have a horrible whine in either moonlight or low mode with either 1x NiMH or 2x NiMH. No noise at all when I use a 14500. Weird...
 

selfbuilt

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My S15 have a horrible whine in either moonlight or low mode with either 1x NiMH or 2x NiMH. No noise at all when I use a 14500. Weird...
Not really - inductor whine tends to be highly specific to a given drive level and voltage source. It's basically believed to be a resonance effect, and it's hard to guard against in multi-level lights that support a wide voltage source. Often you will find it only on specific levels on specific batteries.

On my shipping S15 sample, I can hear very faint hum at the Lo level only, on 1x or 2xNiMH - but only if I hold it right up to my ear in quiet room, and even then it is very subtle. On my pre-release S15, I can detect it on Lo and Hi (but not Med or Moonlight), and its louder on the Hi mode. On neither sample was it noticeable to me in actual use. But it does sound like this is variable, given the other reports here.
 

shelm

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Thanks for the S15 review. (...) Is it true that your Armytek Partner XP-G light on Eneloop is brighter than SC52 XM-L U3 on Eneloop? 300 lumens woot!

Isn't that sensational?

Erh. Thanks again ;)
 

NorthernStar

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Great review!

Selfbuilt,a little off topic but are you having reviews of the upgraded Olight S20-L2 and Olight S10-L2 coming soon?
 

selfbuilt

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Awesome review!! The competition is closing down on the legendary sc52!
Yes, it's good to see others in that category. FYI, my ArmyTek Partner review is imminent ...

Edit: here it is - http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?368175

Selfbuilt,a little off topic but are you having reviews of the upgraded Olight S20-L2 and Olight S10-L2 coming soon?
Yes, I'll be getting to those soon. Olight had sent me pre-release samples to evaluate, but the final shipping versions are now on their way.
 
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NorthernStar

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Yes, I'll be getting to those soon. Olight had sent me pre-release samples to evaluate, but the final shipping versions are now on their way.

Great to hear!:) So your reviews will be based on the final shipping versions,not the pre-released samples?
 

selfbuilt

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Can't break out my light meter now, but I'm guessing my moonlight and low are ~ 0.05 and 2 lms respectively. The medium and high modes seem about right by eyeball, though. Anyone else notice this?
I just a received another S15, that I personally purchased from an online vendor. The output levels on Moon/Lo are much lower than my original sample, and pretty consistent with your estimates. Here's a direct comparison:

S15-Lumens-1.gif


As you can see, there's little difference on Med/Hi. But it is interesting that Lower modes are that variable. I will update the main review with this table and additional commentary.
 

reppans

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I just a received another S15, that I personally purchased from an online vendor. The output levels on Moon/Lo are much lower than my original sample, and pretty consistent with your estimates. Here's a direct comparison:

S15-Lumens-1.gif


As you can see, there's little difference on Med/Hi. But it is interesting that Lower modes are that variable. I will update the main review with this table and additional commentary.

Thanks for posting the update Selfbuilt. On one hand, I'm glad it was you that received an "equally defective" unit (can't ask for better verification than from you) but on the other hand, I'm sorry to hear that this was purchased with your own funds. Wondering if you also notice the weird behavior I mentioned above when you activate memory mode with a quick press following a few minute rest - I think my light whipped through all 4 modes in a millisecond before settling on the correct memory mode. I returned mine... my first dissatisfaction return.

This is off topic, so either disregard or continue in the PMs if interested, but I was wondering if you use a different methodology for measuring your sub-lumen modes. As mentioned, I can usually reconcile with your whole number measurements (adjusted for our different calibration scales), but I'm usually off from you by a multiple factor on the fractional lumens.... and interestingly in the other direction. I don't know if its just sample variation, or something else.
 

selfbuilt

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Thanks for posting the update Selfbuilt. On one hand, I'm glad it was you that received an "equally defective" unit (can't ask for better verification than from you) but on the other hand, I'm sorry to hear that this was purchased with your own funds.
Well, the output levels are definitely lower than spec. Whether or not that is "defective" is question of perspective - Olight specs are generally pretty good, but I can think of quite a few other makers where my testing results do not commonly match their specs.

I did notice that the pre-release S15 sample I handled (before the shipping sample tested here) seemed brighter on Moonlight and Lo (i.e., closer to spec). It may just be that Olight has adjusted the levels downward over time, but haven't updated the specs yet. :shrug:

Wondering if you also notice the weird behavior I mentioned above when you activate memory mode with a quick press following a few minute rest - I think my light whipped through all 4 modes in a millisecond before settling on the correct memory mode.
Can't say I've noticed anything unusual, aside from perhaps the occasional pre-flash on Lo. Pre-flash is common on all Foursevens, Olight and Fenix lights. Of course, it is possible to have one sample more affected by pre-flash than another (and its presentation does seem to be a bit random, depending on specific sets of conditions). I have not seen any kind of pre-flash on Moonlight though, on any sample (which would be more of an issue).

This is off topic, so either disregard or continue in the PMs if interested, but I was wondering if you use a different methodology for measuring your sub-lumen modes. As mentioned, I can usually reconcile with your whole number measurements (adjusted for our different calibration scales), but I'm usually off from you by a multiple factor on the fractional lumens.... and interestingly in the other direction. I don't know if its just sample variation, or something else.
Same methodology was used, but the reference set was much more limited at the time the calibration standard was developed (i.e., I had relatively few <1 lumen lights). This calibration was heavily biased by the Novatac 120P, which has clearly defined fractional lumens (although the precise measurement timing is an issue, as regulation patterns are little unusual on that light). Again, it comes down to only being as good as what you are comparing to - so my fractional lumen estimates are consistent amongst themselves (and consistent to the 120P), but hard to know how well they relate to a true NIST-certified, calibrated integrating sphere.
 

reppans

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Gotchya - thanks. The different(?) reference set you use for sub-lumen could explain it. I'm calibrating from a single point (ie 100 lms) and then my meter is just giving me fractions from there - 1/10th is 10 lms, 1/100th is 1 lm and 1/1000ths is 0.10 lms.

Would it be possible for you to post a pix of the "brighter" S15, side by side with your SC52 and Quark AA2-X all on moonlight mode (0.3-0.5 lms levels)? Just curious how these three compare having about the brightest, longest runtime sub-lumen mode on a AA(14500) capable light. (Completely understand if it is not worth your time to do special requests though.)
 
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selfbuilt

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Would it be possible for you to post a pix of the "brighter" S15, side by side with your SC52 and Quark AA2-X all on moonlight mode (0.3-0.5 lms levels)? Just curious how these three compare having about the brightest, longest runtime sub-lumen mode on a AA(14500) capable light. (Completely understand if it is not worth your time to do special requests though.)
Sorry, a bit swamped with too many other lights right now.
 
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