Olight S30, S30R-II Rechargeable (XM-L2 - 1x18650, 2xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, MORE+


May 27, 2006
Reviewer's Note: This is a two-in-one review, and so is more pic-heavy than usual. :sweat:

I reviewed the Olight S30R earlier this year – a heavier-duty rechargeable version of the S20R. More recently, Olight has come out with a standard non-rechargeable version S30, and a new revised S30R-II. I will run them both through their paces, to see how they compare to other lights in this 1x18650, 2xCR123A class.





Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

Common Specs:
  • Multi-function low profile side switch
  • 5 Unique brightness levels and strobe mode
  • Hardened tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating
  • Flat tail cap with integrated magnet for hands-free work
  • Removable scratch resistant pocket clip
  • Thermal management safety programming
  • IPX-8 Waterproof
  • 1.5 Meter impact resistant
S30 Specs:
  • Runs on 2 x CR123A or 1 x 18650 (not included)
  • Output / Runtime: Turbo: 1000 Lumens / 1 Hour, High: 600 Lumens / 2 Hours, Medium: 100 Lumens / 10 hours, Low: 20 Lumens / 26 Hours, Lowest: 1 Lumen / 720 Hours
  • Note: Light drops down to 60% after 5 minutes of continuous use in turbo mode
  • Beam Distance: 160 Meters
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 6400cd
  • Battery power indicator on side switch
  • Glow in the dark o-ring in bezel
  • Built-in memory function
  • Crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
  • Type III hard anodized
  • Shock proof battery contact springs
  • Includes: Replacement O-ring (x2), Battery magazine, Removable pocket clip
    User's manual,
  • Dimensions: Length: 119mm, Diameter: 25mm, Weight: 2.6 oz (73.4g) (excluding batteries)
  • MSRP: ~$48
S30R-II Specs:
  • LED: CREE XM-L2 U3
  • Runs On: 2 x CR123A or 1 x 18650 (Included)
  • Output / Runtime: Turbo: 1020 / 1.88 Hours ** Note: After 3 minutes, output will go down to 600 Lumens and last an additional 1 hours and 50 minutes
  • High: 450 Lumens / 3 Hours, Medium: 100 Lumens / 14 Hours, Low: 20 Lumens / 68 Hours, Minimum: 1 Lumen / 50 Days
  • Throw Distance: 196 Meters
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 9600cd
  • Fast and easy charging
  • Additional USB input allows charging of other devices
  • Wide range current circuit
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Low standby current below 15uA
  • Includes: 3200mAh / 3600mAh / 3400mAh 3.6V 18650, Charging Dock,
    1/2 Meter Micro-USB cable, 2 x Replacement O-Rings, User's Manual
  • Dimensions: Flashlight: 4.65 x 1.02 Inches, Charging Dock: 2.17 x 1.97 x 0.63 Inches, Weight: 4.52 oz (Including Battery), Dock Weight: 0.85 oz
  • MSRP: ~$77






The packaging is similar to the S30R, with a clear plastic container with extra o-rings, split ring, product insert, and manual. The S30R-II comes with the charging dock base, micro-USB cable for dock, adhesive gel-pad for dock, gel-pad installation manual – and an Olight 18650 battery (3600mAh in this case). As before, there is also an overview of specs on the bottom and back of the packaging.




From left to right: Keeppower protected 3100mAh 18650; Olight S30, S10, S30R, S20R; Zebralight SC600; Sunwayman C22C.




From left to right: Olight 3600mAh protected 3100mAh 18650, S30, S30R-II, M1X, R20, S10.

All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:

Olight S30R-II: Weight: 81.1g (131.1g with Olight 18650 3600mAh), Length: 117.6mm, Width (bezel): 25.0mm
Olight S30: Weight: 73.2g, Length: 116.6mm, Width (bezel): 25.0mm

Olight S30R: Weight: 74.4g (121.8g with Olight 18650 3400mAh), Length: 118.4mm, Width (bezel): 25.0mm
Olight S20R: Weight: 52.2g (98.5g with Olight 18650 2600mAh), Length: 108.5mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Olight S20 (2013, XM-L2): Weight: 52.4g, Length: 106.5mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm

Nitecore EC20: Weight: 77.1g, Length: 129.2mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Nitecore P10: Weight 82.0g, Length: 135.1mm, Width (bezel): 25.5mm
Nitecore P12: Weight: 89.7g, Length: 139.4mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Eagletac D25LC2: Weight: 50.0g, Length: 116.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm
Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
Fenix PD35: Weight: 82.7g, Length: 138.1mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Nitecore MH10: Weight: 73.6g, Length: 129.5mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Nitecore MH12: Weight: 87.3g, Length: 139.5mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Nitecore MH20: Weight: 85.4g, Length: 105.5mm, Width (bezel): 31.8mm
Skilhunt DS20: Weight: 53.8g, Length: 110.0mm, Width (bezel): 24.0mm
Thrunite TN12-2014: Weight: 80.0g, Length: 140.5mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Zebralight SC600 II: Weight 79.3g, Length: 101.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm

Overall size is similar with the new lights, but weight has gone up slightly on the S30R-II.

















The S30 looks like the original S30R, minus the charging dock tailcap (i.e., flat tailcap). The S30R-II has a revised tailcap, and a new switch cover (slightly raised and grippier, in solid black). Note that the low-voltage warning feature is still present under the switch – it just glows through the switch cover. I haven't measured the voltage at which this occurs, but it starts with a slow flash, eventually becoming solid red.

:caution: Also note that the S30R-II now takes the battery in the reverse orientation, with positive terminal to the tail. The S30R-II comes with either a 3200mAh or a 3600mAh custom battery (for the revised tail re-charging feature). Note the secondary negative contact ring in the head of the custom battery above – matching a corresponding ring the tailcap now. Charging thus takes places exclusively within the tailcap region now.

Note that you can still use a standard 18650 battery in the S30R-II – you just won't be able to recharge it inside the light. :shrug: And the custom Olight battery can still be charged in an external stand-alone charger, due to the raised positive center contact.

Both lights remain quite compact for the class, and come with black anodizing (matte finish) and bright white labels. Although still without typical knurling, the standard raised checkered patterns on the body helps with grip. With the pocket clip attached, I'd say grip is good. The pocket clip is the same as the S30R, and is not reversible.

Both lights use square-cut screw threads, anodized for tail lock-out. Lights can tailstand as before. Note there is no split-ring/lanyard attachment hole on the side of the tailcap on any of the S30-series lights. As always, the tailcaps have a strong magnet, to allow the lights to stand horizontally off any vertical metal surface.

As before on the S30R, the S30R-II connects magnetically to the charging dock. There is still no open voltage at the tailcap, so there is no risk of accidentally shorting the 18650 battery inside the light. Scroll down for discussions of the dock and charging process.

There is the now-standard GITD blue o-ring present in the head, along with a smooth reflector.





The S30R-II apparently uses the upgraded U3 output bin of the XM-L2 Cool White. The emitters were well centered on my samples. Please scroll down for beamshots.

S30R-II Charging Dock





The charging dock is similar to the S30R – except it uses a higher charging current of 1000mA. This will be useful for the higher capacity cell provided by Olight on the S30R-II. See a charging analysis later in this review.

As before, the desktop dock connects by a supplied micro-USB 2.0 cable for a standard USB port (no AC adapter supplied, but you can easily find an after-market one). Note that you will need to be sure that any USB port or adapter is capable of providing 1A of charge (i.e., many are limited to the USB 2.0 spec of 0.5A, in my experience). There is an adhesive gel pad supplied with the dock, in case you want to semi-permanently mount the dock on your desk.

Charging contact is made through those two metal areas on the base of the light's tailcap. Thanks to the magnetic attraction, this firmly holds the light in place, and allows charging to commence. There is a white ring on the top of the charging dock, likely to differentiate it from the older model.

As before, a LED on the dock illuminates constant red during charging (slowly flashing red when no light is present, or if an error is detected). The dock terminates the charge and goes green once the battery is fully charged (~4.2V).

The "Extended" USB port on the dock is a secondary output port. Basically, with the dock plugged into a power source, this provides a pass-through to charge other USB-based devices (e.g., cell phone, tablet, etc.), up to a reported 2A charging current. Of course, for that kind of charging, you are better off using an AC adapter for the input source, with good quality cables (i.e., I wouldn't want to push a standard USB port too hard).

Scroll down for an overview of specifics of the charging process, along with other performance characteristics of the light.

Olight Battery

Finally, Olight also sent along a couple of their standard high-output 18650 batteries for me to test. These can be used in any light.







Scroll down for actual testing results.

User Interface

The basic interface is unchanged from the S30R. On either the S30 or S30R-II, a quick press and release (i.e., click) of the electronic switch turns the light on or off.

Regular mode switching is controlled by holding down the electronic switch, as before. The lights will cycle between Lo – Med – Hi, in repeating sequence. As before, simply release the switch to select your desired mode.

To access Turbo mode, double-click the switch (from on or from off).

The lights have mode memory – if you turn off/on, the lights return to your previous level (including Turbo).

The lights continue to features the ultra-low "Moonlight" level. You access this mode directly from off by a sustained (>1 sec) press-and-hold of the switch from off. This is a nice feature, as it means you can always turn the light on in the lowest possible mode if you want (i.e., no matter where you memorized it before). Mode cycling and memory works as before, once on.

You can physically lock out the light by a twist of the tailcap, as before. The "soft lock-out" is still present on the S30, but is missing from the S30R-II. On the S30, hold the switch down from off for >2 secs, the light shuts itself off (i.e., after one second of the Moonlight mode). You will not be able to use the light until you unlock it (by pressing-and-holding the switch for >2secs again).

There is still a "hidden" strobe mode, accessible by triple-click of the switch (from on or off). Double click or press-and-hold the switch to return to constant on (or turn off and on).


For information on the light, including the build, user interface and dock charging, please see my video overview:

For 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 an aside, if you want to get an instant notification for every new review that I post, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. The vids go public at the same time as the reviews here on CPF. :whistle:


As always, there is no sign of PWM at any output level – the S30/S30R-II appears to be current-controlled, just like its predecessors. :)

S30 Strobe

S30R-II Strobe

The S30/S30R-II strobe is a fairly typical fast "tactical" strobe, of ~9.9Hz frequency (same as the original S30R).

Standby Drain

As the switch is an electronic one, a standby current drain is always present when a battery is installed.

I had previously measured this standby drain at 15.0uA on my S30R. My S30 has an identical 15.0uA drain, and my S30R-II has a similar 14.1uA.

For the supplied 3600mAh 18650, that would translate into over 29 years before a battery would be fully drained. :rolleyes: Hardly a concern – although I do recommend you lock out the switch at the tailcap to prevent accidental activation.

In-Light Charging

Because the AC charger uses a USB connector for charging, 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 early model was favorably reviewed by HKJ here.

For charging tests, I started with a discharged Olight 18650 battery (~3.0V at rest). The USB detector was left in place in place for all readings. Note that the voltage reading on this device refers to the input voltage (i.e., from the USB port).

Note that due to rated 1A charge rate, you will need to use a USB port or AC-adapter that is capable of supplying this sort of current (i.e., beyond the typical USB 2.0 spec of 0.5A).

Initial charging current and input voltage, which was 0.83A with ~4.5V (input voltage on the detector).



Over the next ~1.5 hours, the input voltage continued to rise, with no change in the charging current (i.e., constant current = CC). Here is an example after 20 mins:



By 2.5 hours, the current had started to drop with voltage leveling off around ~5V (input). This suggests we are entering the constant voltage (CV) phase.



By 3.5 hours,



By 4.5 hours,



By 5.5 hours,



By 6.5 hours, the charging dock started to flash green periodically, indicating that charging was almost done



By 7 hours, the 3600mAh cell was fully charged - at which point the led on the charging dock was green (with some occasional red flashes),



Note that the resting voltage of the 18650 battery was ~4.20V at this point – indicating a full charge.

As before, all the Olight R-series lights seem to be using a good CC/CV algorithm. This pattern and time is reasonable for a 1A max charger. :thumbsup:


For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an 3.7V Li-ion (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.












Beam pattern is generally similar to the other members of the R-series lights. Scroll down for detailed beam output and throw measures.

Testing Method:

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).



And here is a detailed output comparison between the lights, starting with the numbers from my earlier S30R review.




Basically, the S30 is identical to the original S30R in terms of output levels and step-down. It's a little more complicated with the S30R-II - you really need to check out the runtime graphs below to understand what is going on.

Output/Runtime Graphs:

For the runtimes, I will look at both my standard 3100mAh protected 18650, as well as the supplied custom Olight 3600mAh battery ("stock" below) – and the two standard 3200mAh and 3600mAh cells supplied by Olight.



Again, the S30 is basically identical to earlier S30R. But the first thing to note for the S30R-II is that it is actually not quite as bright initially on Turbo as the original S30R – but it also steps down to a higher level (i.e., doesn't drop as much). Step-down occurs at a later time, however (5 mins on the S30R-II, vs. 3 mins on the original S30R and S30).

Actually, initial output of the S30R-II was very dependent on the individual battery it was tested with. I'm not sure why, but I actually found a noticeable range of initial outputs across these difference batteries. :thinking: The step-down level is common across batteries.

How it compares to other lights:




Although 2xRCR is not officially supported, the rated 3.0V~8.4V suggests they should work. I did one quick test:


Potential Issues

All Baton lights use an electronic switch, and therefore require a small stand-by current when fully connected. However, the standby drain on the S30/S30R-II remains negligible at ~14-15uA, which would theoretically translate into decades before the supplied 18650 would be drained.

Accidental activation is always a potential concern, so I recommend you physically lock out the switch at the tailcap when not in use. The electronic "soft lockout" is still present on the S30, but missing from the S30R.

As before, both lights have a timed step down on Turbo - although the S30R-II now steps down later (5 mins instead of 3 mins).

With the re-design of the tailcap charging feature on the S30R-II, only the supplied custom Olight battery can be charged inside the light. You can still use standard 18650 batteries, but they will need to be charged separately.

There is no wrist lanyard supplied with the S30/S30R-II, nor an obvious attachment point for one.

Preliminary Observations

Ok, this has been a long review. :sweat: You can see my earlier S30R review for some general comments about the class, but I'll jump right to the top-line results here.

First off, the S30 is identical in build, features and performance to the original S30R – minus the rechargeable feature, of course. While I think it's worth spending a bit more on the rechargeable model, the S30 is a good option if you like the build and are trying to save a few bucks.

The S30R-II is definitely a revised version. The obvious example is the reversed battery orientation now (i.e., positive 18650 terminal to the tail) - and the use of a custom Olight cell with charging through the tailcap.

What this means of course is that you can now only use the supplied custom Olight cell for the recharging feature to work. :shrug: On the plus side, they are providing high-quality cells (3200mAh or 3600mAh), and a faster charging dock (1A max charge rate). And you can still run your own standard cells in the light - you will just need to charge them elsewhere. I am not sure why this switch has occurred, but I notice the new S1 series lights are also using a reversed battery orientation. :thinking:

In terms of performance, step-down on the S30R-II on Turbo has been extended to 5 mins from the previous 3 mins. The step-down level is also higher than it was previously (~720 lumens, up from ~570 lumens on the S30R/S30). However, the initial max output is less now on the S30R-II (~840 lumens, down from ~950 mins on the S30R/S30). :shrug: You would only notice this with a lightbox though – the difference is really too small to see by eye.

I like the slightly raised (and grippier) switch on the S30R-II now. Nice to see they have maintained the low-voltage warning feature (illuminates beneath the switch. :)

All-in-all, the S30R-II seems like a fine light, and overall performance is pretty similar to the original S30R/S30. Some may prefer the Turbo/Hi/step-down level spacings of the original S30R model – although in practice, you won't be able to see the difference. Also, some may miss the ability to recharge all 18650 batteries in the S30R-II – but this is offset by the fact that it comes with a good quality, high-capacity battery (and faster charger now).

That was a lot of testing to show relatively little difference. :laughing: Still, I hope you found the detailed comparisons helpful!


S30R-II was supplied by GoingGear.com for review, on behalf of Olight.
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May 27, 2006
Hi guys, I know it's been awhile since my last review - sorry about that! Been crazy busy in my professional life these last few months. So lots of backlog to put up here (and on my second hobby, http://whiskyanalysis.com/).

Hopefully I can push through some more reviews over the holidays this year - may need to be shorter than usual though, just to get everything out! :wave:


Flashlight Enthusiast
Jan 23, 2010
Bear Delaware
Following up on a question on my YouTube feed: Yes, the new S30R-II is backwards compatible with the old charger - but you are of course limited to the old max charge rate.


I wish you could review Saabs new Deft x edc and Rev Vector Enthusiast... 400+ kcd and 1.3 million kcd respectively. i bought the edc. i cant even fathom 1.3 million kcd


Newly Enlightened
May 11, 2014
Welcome back, great review as per usual. I'm looking forward to your upcoming reviews :party:


Newly Enlightened
Aug 21, 2015
I think there's a bug in the chart for Med High modes... time scale is double of the data you had reported:rolleyes:


Newly Enlightened
Jan 11, 2007
Las Vegas
My S30R II got a low battery indicated flashing red, So I took the battery and measure the voltage is 3.68 Volt, and I insert the battery back to the light and turn it on, but the flashing red is gone, It's normal?

FYI I just go my Thrunite TH 10 from my mail box. What a nice head light :) I have to give a try for a real world test outside.


May 27, 2006
My S30R II got a low battery indicated flashing red, So I took the battery and measure the voltage is 3.68 Volt, and I insert the battery back to the light and turn it on, but the flashing red is gone, It's normal?
The battery voltage likely recovered a little once the load was removed. I suspect the red flashing will start again soon, when re-running the light.