Olight SR90 Intimidator (Phlatlight SST-90) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIMES and more!

MDJAK

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Another great review of an excellent light. I happen to like the battery pack, not to revive that ridiculous tet-a-tet. :lol:
Here's mine in good company:
p259792616-5.jpg
 

dwminer

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I hope your Olight SR90 lasts longer than mine did. Turn it on and it goes dim in about 10 seconds, with a big hole in the center of the beam. Both batteries checked our OK on another light. This light was one of the early ones. Called Battery Junction and they gave me an RMA. BJ said that after they check it out, it will have to go back to China. Could take 3 to 4 months or longer. Lucky I have a TK 70 to hold me over.
Dave
 

MDJAK

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Well I only got mine less than two months ago and used it a few times. So far so good. Can't say the same for my TM11 which has died. But since getting the polarion abyss, I don't use the plight much
 

901-Memphis

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I could afford one if someone sold me a used one at a discounted price, but at retail i would just be wasting money.
 

coffeenuts

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Must admit I just received mine 2 days ago and its great all i have to do is keep my sons hands of it..
 

Oztorchfreak

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I hope your Olight SR90 lasts longer than mine did. Turn it on and it goes dim in about 10 seconds, with a big hole in the center of the beam. Both batteries checked our OK on another light. This light was one of the early ones. Called Battery Junction and they gave me an RMA. BJ said that after they check it out, it will have to go back to China. Could take 3 to 4 months or longer. Lucky I have a TK 70 to hold me over.
Dave

How can I you tell whether the model I have is "old" or a "new" version of the SR90?

I have the Fenix TK70 as well to keep me going and now use it more than the SR90 anyhow (more versatile and powerful).

I also love my "stubbie" Thrunite TN31 thrower at 1147 lumens single LED, 3 x 18650 Li-Ions, 6 light levels plus strobe including moonlight mode and fits in my back pocket but you know it is there!!

I am just interested in how much difference there would be in using the earlier SR90 and a newer manufactured one, mine is less than 12 months old.

Cheers
 

selfbuilt

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How can I you tell whether the model I have is "old" or a "new" version of the SR90?
Short answer is that you can't - the lights look the same (externally)

There has been a lot of discussion here on CPF of how variable the SR90 can be in overall output. I've tried to address this in my newer SR95 review, but it bears repeating in this thread as well.

First off, here is a table showing how my estimate lumens stack up against manufacturer specs. You will note my SR90 (which was an early review sample) is something of an outlier:

HiOutput-LumenTable.gif


I believe this can be easily explained by the wide output range used for SST-90 emitter binning by Luminus. We are all used to Cree bins that typically only differ by a consistent ~7% over each bin range. In constrast, Luminus uses a variable bin range, sometimes exceeding a 20% difference within a given bin. That's a lot more variability, and means two lights with emitters from the same bin could be as much as 20% different in output. Moreover, the availability of a specific bin is never guaranteed by the light manufacturer - it is quite possible that they have had to use more than one defined output bin over the production run of the SR90. If so, that would translate into potentially up ~40% difference between samples.

You will note that my SR95 is at least 40% brighter overall than my early model SR90. Given that runtime on a common battery is not all that different, that would suggest the output gain has come from use of a higher output bin and not by driving the emitter harder. Given the variability reported for SR90 output, I strongly suspect that two different output bins were used over time. You could thus expect anywhere between ~1-40% difference between any two SR90 samples. My SR90 is likely just a lower performing member of the lower (inital) output bin used.

See the discussion thread from my SR95 review for more info. :wave:
 

Oztorchfreak

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Thanks Selfbuilt for the information.

Not an easy thing to find out it seems.

It is not like looking somewhere on the SR90 for a number or batch no or otherwise.

Another one of "Lifes Mysteries".

Keep up the good work as one of our main lighting teachers out there.



Cheers
 

cujet

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Florida
It's been 2 years since my SR-90 purchase. It's still as bright as ever.

I give it quite a workout at the local uncontrolled airport. As we drive around on the golf cart and look for animals once or twice a week. The light seems to last a full hour on bright without any problems. I've never run it out.

I have noticed that the charge indicator only shows 3 LED's when fully charged. So, I suspect my battery is getting weak. However, performance remains perfect. Since the batteries are relatively inexpensive now ($75 is the cheapest I've seen) , I'll probably replace the battery soon.

I'm still very satisfied, and I expect many more years of excellent performance.
 

TEEJ

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MY SR90 keeps takin a lickin and keeps on tickin too.

We just finished a search and rescue last night, and it was about the only light that still had a charge on it when we got back after ~ 2 hours of searching. I bought it used, dedeomed it, and use it regularly....and it still charges to 4 lights pretty quickly...and lasts a long time on a charge.

The VPT2 Turbo on the same search petered out after maybe an hr. The Fenix TK70 cells were down to a trickle, but it still lit at least. The HIDs die off in minutes not hours typically, and so forth. The SR90 has been a very useful search and rescue light.
 

Oztorchfreak

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MY SR90 keeps takin a lickin and keeps on tickin too.

We just finished a search and rescue last night, and it was about the only light that still had a charge on it when we got back after ~ 2 hours of searching. I bought it used, dedeomed it, and use it regularly....and it still charges to 4 lights pretty quickly...and lasts a long time on a charge.

The VPT2 Turbo on the same search petered out after maybe an hr. The Fenix TK70 cells were down to a trickle, but it still lit at least. The HIDs die off in minutes not hours typically, and so forth. The SR90 has been a very useful search and rescue light.

I have all three lights.

The Varapower is a bit fragile I think to be used in rough conditions and does only run for about 1hr and it gets hot very quickly as well.

The TK70 is the one I would grab at home to go looking around outside.

The TK70 runs on Turbo with my good Imedion 9500mah LSD batteries for 1hr 20mins and then it steps down to high for another 1/2 hr and so on until it runs on LOW.

The TK70 runs in total on good batteries for about 3 1/2 hrs and has a good combination of flood and throw.

At least on the TK70 I can drop down to high and still have a fair amount of light when Turbo is not needed as the TK70 has 4 brightness levels against the Olight SR90s two levels.

The Varapower can be turned down occasionally to save on battery usage as well.

The SR90 is a good thrower and does not heat up like the Varapower but on long searches a spare battery pack is a neccesity as runtime on High is only about 1hr 10mins.

If you have the spare SR90 battery pack with you it will last you 2hrs 20mins and is quick to changeover battery packs.

As for sturdiness, I would not like to drop any of these lights onto hard rocks or let it roll down a rugged pathway as they are not built for that kind of abuse.

Another good light is the Thrunite TN31 as it keeps up with my Olight SR90 quite nicely.



Cheers
 
Last edited:

TEEJ

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The TN31 looks really nice, and I was considering giving one a try. I HAVE dropped the SR90 though, and it can take it. All the large heavy lights, like the TK70, SSR90, etc, which also survived some abuse of its own, of course are more easily damaged in a fall due to the simple physics of a heavier and longer form factor flashlight...so I'm OK with that given the performance gains. I have not dropped the VPT Turbo yet...I do worry about the rotary switch in that context though. I have dropped/whacked its little brother, the Lambda Light 3C many times w/o damage though. (I am not holding all of the lights...I might have one and a spare, and distribute one and a spare to several others in the party, so a dozen of my lights might be out in the search/field, etc...but I might only be personally holding 1-2 of them. Damage reports are therefore sometimes second hand)

For searches, depending upon the context, you tend to either be on high the entire time, like searching river banks during a flood, etc, or, throttling up/down to conserve power like a foot search of woods and fields. The last night was a wood and field type search, so all the lights were going up/down depending upon the range needed (Looking for an 87 yr old guy who wandered off from a senior housing facility, long enough to be called in as a missing person...and the call came in from the dispatcher a bit after midnight...).

A chopper with search light had just exhausted itself sweeping the area w/o finding the guy...and the less exposed/harder to resolve potentially supine, etc, figures down in areas, such as the wooded/canopied areas, had to be searched by foot. There were trails, but with drop offs and gulleys, etc, an old guy could trip and roll down into for example.

The VPT Turbo2 is great for this type of search with the rotary power option, as it can be dialed up/down as needed, seriously useful for this varied range search procedure...but it does get seriously hot and have limited run time in this context. The SR90 runs longer/cooler in practice, but only has high/low...but the low is very economical. The SR90's beam pattern, overall, is better for longer range, given how focused the beam is. The TK70 is also super useful in this context, also due to the floody nature of the beam combined with its long run time/variable outputs, etc....but its less useful when the range gets too far to see well with it. The range it has though is perfect for this type of search though.

The SR90 is dedomed to increase the range for longer range searches that the TK70 is short on. I only just added the VPT to the rotation recently, so the past few weeks are its only field use, but performance wise, its promising.
 

easilyled

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@TEEJ, Thanks, its great to have that kind of insight for the purposes that an S&R light are intended.

My SR90 sadly sits on a shelf gaining dust as I purchased it out of curiosity at the time and have never found a need for it other than to show off.

I'm very curious to know, however, if you have ever used HID lights for S&R and how you compare them for usefulness to the SR90 in this regard.
 

Oztorchfreak

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The TN31 looks really nice, and I was considering giving one a try. I HAVE dropped the SR90 though, and it can take it. All the large heavy lights, like the TK70, SSR90, etc, which also survived some abuse of its own, of course are more easily damaged in a fall due to the simple physics of a heavier and longer form factor flashlight...so I'm OK with that given the performance gains. I have not dropped the VPT Turbo yet...I do worry about the rotary switch in that context though. I have dropped/whacked its little brother, the Lambda Light 3C many times w/o damage though. (I am not holding all of the lights...I might have one and a spare, and distribute one and a spare to several others in the party, so a dozen of my lights might be out in the search/field, etc...but I might only be personally holding 1-2 of them. Damage reports are therefore sometimes second hand)

For searches, depending upon the context, you tend to either be on high the entire time, like searching river banks during a flood, etc, or, throttling up/down to conserve power like a foot search of woods and fields. The last night was a wood and field type search, so all the lights were going up/down depending upon the range needed (Looking for an 87 yr old guy who wandered off from a senior housing facility, long enough to be called in as a missing person...and the call came in from the dispatcher a bit after midnight...).

A chopper with search light had just exhausted itself sweeping the area w/o finding the guy...and the less exposed/harder to resolve potentially supine, etc, figures down in areas, such as the wooded/canopied areas, had to be searched by foot. There were trails, but with drop offs and gulleys, etc, an old guy could trip and roll down into for example.

The VPT Turbo2 is great for this type of search with the rotary power option, as it can be dialed up/down as needed, seriously useful for this varied range search procedure...but it does get seriously hot and have limited run time in this context. The SR90 runs longer/cooler in practice, but only has high/low...but the low is very economical. The SR90's beam pattern, overall, is better for longer range, given how focused the beam is. The TK70 is also super useful in this context, also due to the floody nature of the beam combined with its long run time/variable outputs, etc....but its less useful when the range gets too far to see well with it. The range it has though is perfect for this type of search though.

The SR90 is dedomed to increase the range for longer range searches that the TK70 is short on. I only just added the VPT to the rotation recently, so the past few weeks are its only field use, but performance wise, its promising.


I love that explanation of how an actual S & R person uses his big lights first hand.

A lot of us just collect these big monsters for a hobby.

In reality I have an ITP A3 EOS hanging on a lanyard from my neck except at bedtime.

My main light I carry with me is either the Zebralight SC600 in a holster or the Klarus XT11 running two RCR123s in my bag and the two RCR123s really gives the XT11 a boost in output over an 18650 for those that don't know yet.

In my pocket I carry an Olight I1 running an RCR123 battery that really boosts the brightness, again for those that don't know about that fact.

If I hear a noise in the street I race out with my Fenix TK70 which is stationed at the front door.

Most of the other lights are just for fun really.

We need more true life stories like yours to give us feedback on these lights.





CHEERS
 

TEEJ

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@TEEJ, Thanks, its great to have that kind of insight for the purposes that an S&R light are intended.

My SR90 sadly sits on a shelf gaining dust as I purchased it out of curiosity at the time and have never found a need for it other than to show off.

I'm very curious to know, however, if you have ever used HID lights for S&R and how you compare them for usefulness to the SR90 in this regard.

The HID's are great for some types of searches, albeit the run times are pretty limited for most of the handhelds.

I use HH HIDs as well, but really just for long range/small spot scenarios where I need a short burst of long range light. For a sweep of a wooded area, the beams typically don't have a good pattern when you need to look close and far in the same location.

Where the HIDs work best in searches are when they are used from a rig with a power supply. This solves the run time issue, and when searching from a rig of some type, typically, you are looking at greater distances anyway.

There are of course some amazing HID torches that might have some incredible range, over a mile in cases, etc...I just don't happen to have any. A natural issue when searching is that you need to be able to resolve your target. At over ~ 500 yards or so, your EYES become a limiting factor as well. Think of it this way...if there's a guy laying in the grass a quarter to half mile mile away, in broad daylight...with your eyes, would you notice him, and, if you could, could you tell if he was hurt, or armed?

How about in moonlight? Most of the listed ranges assume that you have 0.25 lux on your target as the definition of "in range"...that's about like moonlight.

The other eye related issue is that if your eyes are night adjusted, you are MOSTLY using black and white vision....you see almost no color. Add to that that you can't see straight ahead as well...the central ~ 2º of your cone of vision can hardly see in the dark at all compared to the other 98% to the periphery. So, normally, in bright day light, looking at a guy a half mile away provides a target that you can focus on with your sharpest 2º vision (Fovea), and with color information. With night adjusted vision, a half mile away in essentially moonlight scenarios...you are limited to peripheral vision and very little color info to resolve that target.

IE: When searching in the dark...you look to the SIDE of a suspected target to see it better, where your eye essentially gathers light better. (Rods working better than cones in the dark....).


In search and rescue for example, one issue that really catches newbs is the POSITION a person might be in when you shine on them. Most people expect to see a man standing, sitting or laying down....and our eyes are looking for patterns that are associated with that. In reality, the body might be wrapped around a tree limb, half under a rock, and/or twisted into a more pretzel-like shape. When you sweep a light across them, the brain doesn't register what its looking at...the arms, legs, head are not where they "Should be" to register as "a man". The smaller the spot of light, the harder it is to get the CONTEXT of what you are looking at....and the harder it is to realize "HEY, that's a man!"

Of course, for HH lights...the lumens can only travel out there so far w/o dissipating...so, you are compromising between range and context. If you have amazing range (Aspherical lensed lights for example), you typically have a teeny spot of light. If you take the same lumens and spread them out to give more context...you don't have much range left. So, the compromise tends towards proportionally larger heavier HH lights with large reflectors...to get as much context downrange as feasible.

This is a long suit for the SR90. Its hot spot is pretty large considering the range, and the form factor can be carried for hrs on a long search. The TK70 and the VPT I mentioned have similar characteristics, but with a context bias over range, while still having great range. This is WHY I dedomed the SR90, to concentrate its smaller amount of total lumens to work with, stealing from its generous spill into a tighter, longer range pattern...into its hot spot....putting more lux on target at range.



Add it all up, and a night search is not easy....having to look near you can glare on nearby objects, reducing your night vision, so that when your light sweeps out to further distances, you see less, and the reduced amount you CAN see is further compromised by not being able to focus as well on distant dim targets.

This is one reason we tend to divide searchers into near/far roles...so one group is primarily beating the bushes so to speak, and the other group is sweeping distant targets....and together they overlap a search area.
 

Oztorchfreak

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The HID's are great for some types of searches, albeit the run times are pretty limited for most of the handhelds.

I use HH HIDs as well, but really just for long range/small spot scenarios where I need a short burst of long range light. For a sweep of a wooded area, the beams typically don't have a good pattern when you need to look close and far in the same location.

Where the HIDs work best in searches are when they are used from a rig with a power supply. This solves the run time issue, and when searching from a rig of some type, typically, you are looking at greater distances anyway.

There are of course some amazing HID torches that might have some incredible range, over a mile in cases, etc...I just don't happen to have any. A natural issue when searching is that you need to be able to resolve your target. At over ~ 500 yards or so, your EYES become a limiting factor as well. Think of it this way...if there's a guy laying in the grass a quarter to half mile mile away, in broad daylight...with your eyes, would you notice him, and, if you could, could you tell if he was hurt, or armed?

How about in moonlight? Most of the listed ranges assume that you have 0.25 lux on your target as the definition of "in range"...that's about like moonlight.

The other eye related issue is that if your eyes are night adjusted, you are MOSTLY using black and white vision....you see almost no color. Add to that that you can't see straight ahead as well...the central ~ 2º of your cone of vision can hardly see in the dark at all compared to the other 98% to the periphery. So, normally, in bright day light, looking at a guy a half mile away provides a target that you can focus on with your sharpest 2º vision (Fovea), and with color information. With night adjusted vision, a half mile away in essentially moonlight scenarios...you are limited to peripheral vision and very little color info to resolve that target.

IE: When searching in the dark...you look to the SIDE of a suspected target to see it better, where your eye essentially gathers light better. (Rods working better than cones in the dark....).


In search and rescue for example, one issue that really catches newbs is the POSITION a person might be in when you shine on them. Most people expect to see a man standing, sitting or laying down....and our eyes are looking for patterns that are associated with that. In reality, the body might be wrapped around a tree limb, half under a rock, and/or twisted into a more pretzel-like shape. When you sweep a light across them, the brain doesn't register what its looking at...the arms, legs, head are not where they "Should be" to register as "a man". The smaller the spot of light, the harder it is to get the CONTEXT of what you are looking at....and the harder it is to realize "HEY, that's a man!"

Of course, for HH lights...the lumens can only travel out there so far w/o dissipating...so, you are compromising between range and context. If you have amazing range (Aspherical lensed lights for example), you typically have a teeny spot of light. If you take the same lumens and spread them out to give more context...you don't have much range left. So, the compromise tends towards proportionally larger heavier HH lights with large reflectors...to get as much context downrange as feasible.

This is a long suit for the SR90. Its hot spot is pretty large considering the range, and the form factor can be carried for hrs on a long search. The TK70 and the VPT I mentioned have similar characteristics, but with a context bias over range, while still having great range. This is WHY I dedomed the SR90, to concentrate its smaller amount of total lumens to work with, stealing from its generous spill into a tighter, longer range pattern...into its hot spot....putting more lux on target at range.



Add it all up, and a night search is not easy....having to look near you can glare on nearby objects, reducing your night vision, so that when your light sweeps out to further distances, you see less, and the reduced amount you CAN see is further compromised by not being able to focus as well on distant dim targets.

This is one reason we tend to divide searchers into near/far roles...so one group is primarily beating the bushes so to speak, and the other group is sweeping distant targets....and together they overlap a search area.



That is really interesting information.

The Varapower Turbo 2 I have has a de-domed SST90 and the LED sits on a Nustar copper bedding to dissipate the heat away from the LED.

I guess from that post of yours that you take your S&R work very seriously.

There was some serious detailed information in that post, where did you acquire it?

I often wonder about using binoculars at night when using long range lights.

Do you ever use extra optical help?


CHEERS
 

TEEJ

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"Optical Help" can be useful when its able to work in low light scenarios. The compromise, again, is range vs context. Most scopes/binoculars that magnify your image do so by reducing your field of view (fov). This is analogous to using a spot light vs a flood light....you gain range by concentrating your sight upon a smaller area.

Binoculars that are good in low light can be brought to bear upon a suspected target, to help narrow down what it might be for example. Some twisted boughs in a muddy river can look like twisted human limbs for example, and so forth, and once spotted, optical help can be useful to help resolve more detail. Its a lot harder to FIND things looking through optics though...but once found, then optics can be a large help. For foot sweeps, optics typically don't help until you are trying to see across a valley/to the opposite side of a cliff, etc....as the ranges involved are more typically close enough for your eyes to have a chance.

I have pretty good night vision, albeit as I age, it is declining. I have comparatively poor color vision during the day, another compromise.

Most of what I use for search and rescue I learned on the job, trial and error and the vicarious experiences of colleagues. I tend to approach things from a scientific standpoint. I listen to what others say, and then test to see if it works. Sometimes, things work, but for a different reason than stated, or even don't work at all...or turn out to be reliable and useful. I like KNOWING which scenario I am dealing with though. I like to experiment, and will try things out just to see if anything pans out from it. Add it all up, and over the years, I seem to learn something pretty regularly. Sometimes its unrelated to to topic, but, there's always SOMETHING to be learned.

My VPT 2 is also dedomed, and equipped with massive Cu heat sinking, large cooling fins, etc. I forget the LED's kº but it was what was recommended if dedoming to compensate for tint shifts, etc. I love it, and its only downside to me in rough terrain is worry about that rotary switch. On the other hand, I love the way that switch works, so its a trade off. I used the VPT myself, and gave known sturdier lights to colleagues. :D
 

Oztorchfreak

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Messages
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Hi Teej.


You have a wealth of information up in your head.

Have you ever thought about writing safety manuals or S&R training manuals etc?

I was a Professional Photographer with my own Photolab for many years whilst being a Licensed Electrician and IT specialist, so I know where you are coming from with your technical explanations of optics and so forth.

Are you a volunteer S&R or Full Time S&R guy?

What other background trades, work or hobbies have you dabbled in?

And also you must be near my age to gain such a vast amount of knowledge as I am pushing 59 now.



CHEERS
 

TEEJ

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Hi Teej.


You have a wealth of information up in your head.

Have you ever thought about writing safety manuals or S&R training manuals etc?

I was a Professional Photographer with my own Photolab for many years whilst being a Licensed Electrician and IT specialist, so I know where you are coming from with your technical explanations of optics and so forth.

Are you a volunteer S&R or Full Time S&R guy?

What other background trades, work or hobbies have you dabbled in?

And also you must be near my age to gain such a vast amount of knowledge as I am pushing 59 now.



CHEERS


I am a jack of many trades...I do primarily consulting in forensic investigations now, but am still involved in Red Cross and other capacities. (Yeah, we're both children of the '50's...)

So, for example, the other night the police dispatcher called me at home a little after midnight, told me about the missing person, that the search helicopter had just spent a long time covering the area w/o finding him....and I scrambled a team to look for the poor guy from the ground....15 minutes later, we were onsite and 20 minutes later we had a search pattern running with team members fanned out to cover where the guy might have gone, rendezvous points, etc.

After roughly 2 hrs of searching, about when we'd started wondering what hwys the old guy might have crossed to get further off....the same dispatcher called me to say the guy showed up in Maryland....and the search was called off :D

Apparently he said he was going to walk around the block (Senior housing community, he's ~ 87), and never came back...and eventually, the staff started to wonder WTF he was....and so forth.

Seems he like to take impromptu bus rides.

:D
 

jhovan

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May 9, 2011
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I have an SR90 and I'm curious if I should be taking the battery pack off the light when not in use? I've left the battery pack connected for nearly 2 years now. I haven't any issues, but have read that this maybe dangerous. I like to have the light ready to go when I need it. Putting everything together is too McGiver like for me.
 
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