Olight SR Mini (3xXM-L2, 3x18650/6xCR123A) Flood light review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIMES+

selfbuilt

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Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:

SR-Mini009.jpg

SR-Mini007.jpg


The SR Mini is the latest member of the SR "Intimidator" series from Olight. Unlike previous members of this class though, this light is not meant for throw. Instead, it has a frosted lens to provide high-output diffused light from its three XM-L2 emitters. It is also a lot more compact that many of the SR-series lights.

Let's see how it compares to other "floody" lights out there … :whistle:

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

  • LED: 3 x Cree XM-L2 CW
  • Light output / runtime: Turbo : 2,800 lumens / 2 hrs - Hi: 1,200 lumens / 3.5 hrs – Med: 600 lumens / 7 hrs - Lo: 200 lumens / 16 hrs - Strobe: 2,800 lumens / 4 hrs
  • Max beam distance: 224 meters
  • Peak beam intensity: cd: 12,600
  • VOLTAGE: 5V to 18V
  • BATTERY SOURCE: 3 x 18650, 6 x CR123A
  • A highly diffused acrylic lens emits a smooth floodlight for soft area lighting
  • Side switch cycles through three brightness levels, activates strobe and momentary turbo mode
  • From the off position, automatically return to your last brightness level with the built in memory function
  • The side switch illuminates to notify a user when the flashlight is on to avoid over-heating and save battery life if the head is down
  • From the off position, automatically return to your last brightness level with the built-in memory function
  • Waterproof up to 2 meters
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body with anti-scratch type III hard anodizing
  • DIMENSIONS: Length: 5.0in / 127mm, Bezel Diameter: 1.9 in / 48mm, Weight: 10.1 oz/286 g (excluding battery)
  • WARRANTY: Olight’s 5 Year warranty. Visit olightworld.com/warranty
  • ACCESSORIES: Spare O-rings x 2 (included), Holster (included), Battery magazine x 3 (included), Pronged Bezel (optional)
  • MSRP: $150
SR-Mini001.jpg

SR-Mini002.jpg

SR-Mini003.jpg

SR-Mini004.jpg

SR-Mini006.jpg


Retail packaging is the new style from Olight, which is virtually identical to Foursevens (not surprising, given the close connection between the two companies). Printed on the sides and back are the key characteristics of the light. Inside, included with the light are spare O-rings, good quality lanyard, holster, three CR123A battery magazines, raised profile steel bezel, warranty card and manual.

SR-Mini037.jpg

SR-Mini032.jpg

SR-Mini025.jpg

From left to right: AW Protected 18650 2200mAh; Niwalker MiniMax Nova MM15 shipping, prototype #1; Foursevens MMU-X3; Eagletac SX25L3; Niwalker BK-FA01.

All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated), and without the handle:

Olight SR Mini: Weight: 285.5g, Length: 126.9mm, Width (bezel): 48.1mm
Olight S80: Weight 162.5g, Length: 151mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
Eagletac SX25L3: Weight: 315.9g, Length: 150.2mm, Weight (bezel): 47.0mm
Foursevens MMU-X3: Weight: 172.0g (264.2g with 26650), Length: 135.8mm, Width (bezel): 46.0mm
Nitecore TM11: Weight: 342.6g (476g with 8xCR123A), Length 135.3mm, Width (bezel): 59.5mm
Niwalker MiniMax Nova MM15: Weight: 333.7g (without handle), 355.9g (with handle), (539g with 4x18650 and handle), Length: 114.6mm, Weight (bezel): 63.7mm
Sunwayman T60CS: Weight: 338.9g (est 477g with 3x18650), Length: 145.0mm, Width (bezel): 60.0mm

SR-Mini008.jpg

SR-Mini023.jpg

SR-Mini010.jpg

SR-Mini021.jpg

SR-Mini013.jpg

SR-Mini014.jpg


Build is quite compact for the 3x18650 class, thanks for the relative lack of reflector wells. It is a solid feeling light, due to the built-in wells for the batteries (i.e., no carrier is used). Anodizing is matte black finish. There is no real knurling to speak of, but there is a large checkered grid pattern all over the handle. Grip is ok, but I do think some actual ridge detail on the body segments would have helped further.

Body labels are minimal, with most of the info is on the tail cap. Lettering is bright white and clear against the black background.

The light opens at the tailcap only. Tail threads are square-cut, and anodized for lock out. Tailcap design is interesting – like with many lights with built-in battery wells, there a locking column that holds the tailcap internals in place as you screw down the tail. But the setup here is more complicated than most: despite how it looks, the three batteries are in series, not parallel. The positive terminals of the cells all go toward the head. However, the circuit connection is made by going through those two raised posts on the body (spring loaded). The tailcap is wired to the two contact points for those posts, connecting the three cells in series when fully tight against the body.

The built-in wells take all widths of 18650s in my collection. However, only button-top cells work in the light (i.e., the positive contact points in the head are not raised).

There is a raised hard plastic switch with a green LED underneath. Switch display is bright enough during operation to be noticeable without being distracting. Switch traverse is about typical, but there is a bit of "wiggle" in the switch feel itself given its size (i.e., if you go too far toward the edge, you may not activate). Scroll down for an interface discussion.

SR-Mini011.jpg

SR-Mini026.jpg

SR-Mini027.jpg


The three XM-L2 emitters appear to be in very shallow wells, directly below a flat diffusing optic. Beam pattern should thus be largely flood.

There is a flat stainless steel bezel included with the light by default, held in place by four hex screws (Allen key included). An optional raised crenelated bezel is included, but it only has two points (not three), so headstanding isn't feasible. Note sure of the purpose of this other bezel, honestly. :thinking: If it were to serve as strike weapon, I would have expected longer and sharper crenelations.

Scroll down for beamshot comparisons.

User Interface

Turn the light on/off by the electronic switch.

The highest output level (Turbo) is only available in momentary mode (i.e., press and hold the switch). Momentary can be activated from off or on.

Turn the light on in a locked-on state by a click of the switch (i.e., press-release). Turn the light off by a click.

Change output modes by double-clicking the switch while on. Mode sequence is Lo > Med > Hi, in a repeating loop. Note again that Turbo is not available on the main sequence, but by a press-and-hold only. The light has mode memory for the non-Turbo modes, and returns to the last level used after off-on.

Triple-clicking the switch from on or off gives strobe mode.

There is no lock-out mode that I can see. There is also no standby indicator for when cells are connected but the light is off.

Video:

For more information on the overall build and user interface, please see my video overview:



As with 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.

PWM/Strobe

Reviewer's note: I have recently updated my oscilloscope software, so the traces below may look a little different from my earlier reviews.

There is no sign of flicker or PWM that I can see, at any output level – I believe the light is current-controlled. :)

Strobe:
SRMini-Strobe.gif


The strobe mode was a fairly typical ~10Hz fast strobe.

Standby Drain

A standby current drain is inevitable on this light, due to the electronic switch. Despite how the carrier looks, the batteries are actually all in series (i.e. 3s1p arrangement).

I had difficulty getting a reliable connection with my DMM, as each cell had to be connected in series to the corresponding pins (which in turn had to be depressed to make contact). If I can figure out a way to get a more stable reading, I will pass it along.

Fortunately, you can lock out the light by a simple turn of the tailcap.

Beamshots:

And now, what you have all been waiting for. ;) All lights are on their standard battery, or AW protected 18650 2200mAh for the multi-18650 lights. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance is to minimize tint differences.

Let's start with a comparison of the locked-on max mode (Hi), and the momentary max mode (Turbo):

SRMini-Turbo-001.jpg
SRMini-Hi-001.jpg


SRMini-Turbo-002.jpg
SRMini-Hi-002.jpg


SRMini-Turbo-003.jpg
SRMini-Hi-003.jpg


SRMini-Turbo-004.jpg
SRMini-Hi-004.jpg


It is always hard to try and show floody lights at this ridiculously close distance. :rolleyes: The point is that there is no real center beam "hotspot" in actual use – but the brightness difference above is a good way to judge overall beam intensity differences. In that sense, as I hope you can see, there is a lot more light produced on Turbo – but you have to hold down the switch for it. :shrug:

For the rest of the comparisons below, I will use the momentary Turbo mode, as it is the highest the light produces.

SRMini-Turbo-001.jpg
MM15-ship-Beam001.jpg
OlightX6-Beam001.jpg
SX25L3-Beam001.jpg


SRMini-Turbo-002.jpg
MM15-ship-Beam002.jpg

OlightX6-Beam002.jpg
SX25L3-Beam002.jpg


SRMini-Turbo-003.jpg
MM15-ship-Beam003.jpg

OlightX6-Beam003.jpg
SX25L3-Beam003.jpg


SRMini-Turbo-004.jpg
MM15-ship-Beam004.jpg

OlightX6-Beam004.jpg
SX25L3-Beam004.jpg


The SX25L3 and MM15 both use Neutral white MT-G2 emitters, so you need to keep that in mind when comparing tint differences above.

The most immediate observation above is that the SR Mini is not as bright as the MM15 or X6 (as expected). Instead, it has similar overall output to the 1xMT-G2 Eagletac SX25L3 – just with less throw (i.e., more flood) on the SR Mini. To see more, we will need to take these lights outdoors.

For outdoor shots, these are done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography. In order to compare the various tints of different lights, I have locked the camera to Daylight (~5200K) white balance.

FYI, any squiggly trails you see in the light beams are due to flying insects (and the long shutter time). :wave:

Let's start with the "big guns", the >5K lumens Niwalker MM15 and Olight X6

SRMini-MM15-X6.gif


SRMini-MM15-X6z.gif


The X6 is a completely different beast, as it is relatively "throwy". The SR Mini is in a similar category as the Niwalker MM15 – albeit with less max output, and a cool white beam tint.

FYI, here is a comparison with the Thrunite Catapult V5 with diffuser in the mix.

SRMini-CatV5Diff-MM15.gif


SRMini-CatV5Diff-MM15z.gif


An actual full diffuser (like the Cat V5) tends further reduce the center beam throw even more than the the frosted lens on the SR Mini.

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).

SR-Mini-FL1-Summary.gif


Max output (for the momentary Turbo mode) is consistent with the specs. As you can see, this light is not a great thrower (although my beam distance measures are a bit higher than spec).

Let's see how the rest of the output levels compare:

SR-Mini-Lumens.gif


As you can see, the light is brighter on Lo than the specs indicate (i.e., almost twice as bright). This means that the light really lacks a true Lo mode. Also, the spacing is not ideal in my view - you don't really see a lot of relative perceptual difference between each level step as you go up in output.

Output/Runtime Graphs:

As always, my standard runtimes are done on AW protected 18650 2200mAh cells, under a cooling fan.

SR-Mini-Hi18650.gif

SR-Mini-Med18650.gif


Note that I had not done a runtime on Turbo, since this is a momentary mode that requires you to hold the switch down.

As expected for Olight, the SR Mini has perfectly flat stabilization at all levels tested. Overall efficiency is consistent with an excellent current-controlled circuit. Keep in mind that there are only 3x18650 in the SR Mini, compared to some of the other lights up there.

Potential Issues

The SR Mini is basically a full flood light – do not expect typical flashlight beam throw.

Turbo is only available as a momentary mode (i.e., you have to hold the switch down).

There is not a great visual difference in output between neighboring output modes. Low is not as low other lights in this class.

User interface may not be intuitive, given need to double-click to advance mode (i.e., press and hold gives you Turbo).

Flat-top cells cannot be used in the light, given the flat contacts in the head.

The rolls extremely easily.

There is a standby drain when the tailcap is fully connected, but this can be broken by turning the tailcap a quarter turn.

There SR Mini is fully regulated on all modes, with no advance warning before the built-in battery protection feature engages (i.e., no reduced output, no change in the illuminated switch, etc.).

Preliminary Observations

The SR Mini is a departure for the SR-series from the Olight – this model is exclusively a full-flood light. Not sure how useful that would be for "search and rescue", ;) but it is nice to have a range of offerings for different purposes. In this sense, you could think of the SR Mini as similar to the recently released Niwalker MM15 (albeit with a cool white tint, and a reduced output range).

Physically, the SR Mini is a sturdy and compact light. Hand feel is very good, and the switch is easy to find by touch alone. Personally, I don't find the user interface to be the most friendly (e.g., you need to rapidly double-click to change modes). Mode spacing also lacks distinction between levels, and I would really like to see a lower Lo.

I suspect many will be unhappy to see that Turbo is only available as a momentary mode. :shrug: However, I can understand this decision – the light gets hot quickly on Turbo, and you really should be hand-holding it the whole time on this level (and manually dropping down in output when too hot). In a sense, you could argue that this is what a "Turbo" mode should be (i.e., something above and beyond the standard modes).

It is nice to see the highly efficient circuit, at all levels. And the fully flat-stabilized regulation pattern is always popular here. But keep in mind, there is no low voltage indicator on the SR Mini (i.e., no change in the illuminated switch, no advance drop-off in output, etc.). Personally, I would prefer some sort of advance warning before being left in the dark. :candle:

The output beam is indeed full flood, with relatively little hotspot. But it is different from a traditional diffuser on a reflector-based light, with tends to more greatly scatter the beam (and reduce overall output). The SR Mini is more like a cool white version of the MM15, as there is still some center beam light getting through.

The SR Mini is a small, well-made, floody-style light with a cool white tint. It is comfortable to hold and use, although the interface could use some tweaks in my view. Certainly another contender in the newly-popular high-output flood class of lights. :wave:

----

SR Mini provided by GoingGear on behalf of Olight for review.
 

ven

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Thanks for the fantastic detailed review selfbuilt:thumbsup: i noticed the same with the modes,although they are noticeable, there should have been bigger gaps and a lower mode.Maybe 10lm/100lm/ then 400lm etc and have another couple of modes in the choice instead of the 3(excluding turbo).

Its a solid ,nice feel in the hand light,comfortable to hold and use............Imo its a great light overall but could have been better,instead of the bezel option(or at least a different styled one to the one given) maybe a reflector option,smooth/clear to change beam profile and could be swapped around.......just a thought.

It could have been a superb all round camping light except for no lower mode ,so close up or tail stand in tent etc are out unless its a circus tent :laughing: . But for a hiking or general dog walking in the woods light, imo its a good alternative to other lights in a small easy to carry package.

One thing it can not be beaten by.........and that is over any light out right now!...............speed rolling :laughing: there is no stopping in the SR mini !!!

ven with the silly bezel fitted:thumbsup:
 

selfbuilt

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But for a hiking or general dog walking in the woods light, imo its a good alternative to other lights in a small easy to carry package.
Yes, that would be a good use for it. I still use my Eagletac G25C2 for all evening dog walks, thanks to its excellent flip-down diffuser. The advantage there is that I can always flip it up if needed to see at a distance. But in practice, I almost never do. A flood light is really a lot more useful for dog-walking.

One thing it can not be beaten by.........and that is over any light out right now!...............speed rolling :laughing:
Yes, this is one of the easiest lights to roll in my collection.
 

jonwkng

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Thanks for yet another great review, selfbuilt!:thumbsup:

Thanks for sharing your opinion on the light, ven.

Can't figure out that raised crenulated bezel design :shrug:... Looks like one could scoop gelato with it.
I think the clean unibody design with the flat bezel is pretty unique, though.
 

Capolini

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Thanks for the review. I learned some things I did not know.

I had a few issues w/ mine and traded it in for the SR52. I am very happy w/ my SR52!
 

viperxp

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Thanks for the review, another great lesson for all how a great review should look like.
A correction/note - it's not first floody Intimidator, the SR96 has very similar "floody" character, only in a larger body.
 

selfbuilt

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Thanks for the review, another great lesson for all how a great review should look like.
A correction/note - it's not first floody Intimidator, the SR96 has very similar "floody" character, only in a larger body.
Thanks. And it's true that the SR96 (and earlier SR92) were indeed intended for a wide beam of light. But those lights still had a lot of center beam throw, so are still a different class from the SR Mini. Hard to find good names to describe everything, I guess.
 

Danielsan

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the light is advertised with a red battery low voltage indicator, i orderd it because of this. Its a pitty that it lacks this function. But you said there is an internal protection function, at how much volt it kicks in?

Features:
  • Stainless steel bezel provides protection from drops
  • Easily accessible lock-out feature with a half turn of the tailcap
  • Side switch cycles through three brightness levels and activates strobe
  • Side switch serves as a low battery indicator
  • Built in memory function allows for returning to the last brightness setting
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body with anti-scratch type III hard anodizing
  • Waterproof to IPX-8 standards (submersible up to 2 meters for 30 minutes)
  • Includes: Spare O-rings, holster, lanyard
 
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selfbuilt

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tut you said there is an internal protection function, at how much volt it kicks in?
Sorry, I was referring to the battery built-in protection feature (of my protected cells). I have no information as to whether the light has any such internal circuit cut-off (and haven't tried unprotected cells to test).

I suppose it's possible that there is a low voltage indicator under the switch for unprotected cells ... but I never saw any evidence of it with my protected cells.
 

ven

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Still my favourite go to flood light:),i liked it from the start,aadmittedly maybe a 7/10 as initial impression were good/great,not fantastic,over time it has grown on me(still mini :laughing: ) and happy to say an 8.5/10 light for me,the 1.5 missing is for a lower mode..............so fantastic it is:) imo of course . This is after some longer use,perimeter checks around awnings,just superb..................and can slip in pockets too(dont recommend tying it in "drain pipe" pants :laughing: )
 

Tapis

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Thanks for the review! I really love the beam pattern of this flashlight. I'm getting tired of all these throw lights with their hot spot that dazzle at close range and make something as easy as walking in a dark street not such a pleasant experience. I want to see comfortably what surrounds me and this light is perfect, except that with 3x18650 it's quite heavy for my taste. Is there any other alternative to the Eagletac G25C2 (I don't like removable diffusers) or the floody Zebralights?
 

ven

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Great pic,i too have both and think excellent lights,complement each other perfectly Danielsan:thumbsup:



Both mine are vinh lights,modded,3500ish lm on the minivn and de-domed+boost on the sr52vn
 

Danielsan

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i forgot to say the front bezel is still removable. I read somewhere that the new version with the new button has a fixed bezel which is not true, at least i got the 2nd bezel as well and the two extra screws. I like the new button, it feels like quality. I always thought the old version had a battery indicator LED under the illuminated button but that wasnt the case, so im happy with the new one. If the old would have the indicator i would prefer the old one because of this very useful function. I dont see the illuminated button has an advantage because when i got that right its only illuminated with the light is already switched on, so thats not very useful in my mind. It need to be illuminated when its off to find the button better in the dark, not when its already on. But i have to say its very easy to find the button in the dark with this small light
 
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Jleeg

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I just picked up one of these lights and have found an advantage to the crenulated bezel (other than scooping ice cream as suggested). With the light off, in the dark, and wearing thick insulated gloves, finding the on button can be tricky (not really, but work with me here). Once on, the button glows green (until you are drained and in the dark without warning). But that first click.....the one in the dark...gloves, etc. is easier with the crenulated bezel serving as a guide. The raised parts of the bezel are 90 degrees to either side of the button. Feel for the gap between the crenulations and voila....you are 180 degrees from button, or you actually hit it. With practice, you'll get it every time. Must now go empty my drool bucket.
 

Travelmate

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Hi

Anyone knows how long you can hold the light in your bare hand (without cooling) in MODE 2 (1200 lumens) before it gets too hot to hold?

Thanks
 

zs&tas

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I dont have one but have a similar light, I think you will be fine with it, extended in hand use 1200 lumens .
 

selfbuilt

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Anyone knows how long you can hold the light in your bare hand (without cooling) in MODE 2 (1200 lumens) before it gets too hot to hold?
Yes, I think you will probably be fine for extended periods at this level. I didn't specifically test it, but my subjective impression during handling is that it never got too hot to hold at this level.
 

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