Author Topic: Review: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)  (Read 10797 times)

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Offline _the_

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Review: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« on: January 12, 2014, 08:06:25 PM »
Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)

This flashlight was provided for review by

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 Battery:   1-2 x AA or 1 x 14500 (3 x AA with optional extension tube) 
 Switch:   Side switch, electronic 
 Modes:   14500 / 2xAA: 4+1: Moon, Low, Med, High (+hidden  strobe)
 AA: 3+1: Moon, Low, High (+ hidden strobe)   
 LED Type:   XM-L2 (NW, bin not specified)   
 Lens:   Glass, AR coated 
 Tailstands:   Yes (also tailhangs with magnet) 
 Price Payed:   Review sample (current retail price $76.66) 
 From:   Banggood 
 Date Ordered:   November 2013 

  • Bling-bling! Looks simply great!
  • Great UI
    • Side switch
    • Hidden strobe
    • Shortcuts to Moonlight & High modes
  • Near perfect regulation
  • Good runtime, especially with single AA
  • Low modes are low enough!
  • No PWM
  • NW emitter
  • Great design & build quality
    • Square threads
    • Flat bezel
    • AR coated lens
    • Tailstands perfectly (also tailhangs with magnet)
    • Magnet is removable
    • Good clip
  • Extension tube included for 2xAA usage
  • Works also in 3xAA configuration with optional extension tube
  • Available in polished or bead blasted versions (I chose polished for maximum bling!)
  • Comes in a classy box, very good for gifting!
  • Good operating instructions included (Not only in Chinese, but in English too!)
  • A bit greenish tint (especially in lower modes, as usual for current controlled lights)
  • No low voltage warning (or protection when used with 14500 -> make sure to use this only with protected Li-ions!)
  • No option for hard lock-out in this Ti version (soft lock is available)
  • [No lanyard]

Features / Value: ★★★★★

The light comes in a two-part box:

The white box is just a protection cover, and contains a very classy leather box for the light itself:

Inside the classy box, the light lies on black velvet. Very unusual for a flashlight box, but makes the light look even more expensive than what it is.. Just think about the expression on recipient's face when opening this gift you gave him!

The other box contains a matching polished Titanium extension tube.

Looks quite lonely in this extra box. Just think of the difference.. If the light would be delivered in this kind of box, it wouldn't look nearly as classy.

Here's everything found from those two boxes: Leather box with black velvet, light itself, extension tube, good manual, and some spare parts (two O-rings, round piece of black rubber to replace the magnet, and a split ring)

..and here's the light in 2xAA configuration:

Features are very good: Four well spaced, current regulated modes. Hidden strobe mode is there if needed, but doesn't bother the user in normal usage.

UI is the best I have seen in lights with electronic switch:
- click on, click off (with mode memory)
- double click when off for High mode
- long click when off for Moonlight mode (Note that Moonlight mode can be accessed only like this, it's not part of normal mode cycle)
- long click when on for next mode (in order: Low, Med, High, Low, Med, High, ..) [Note: medium mode not available with 1xAA config]
- double click when on for Hidden Strobe

=> If you don't remember what mode you used, you can always long-click to start in Moonlight mode (No surprises!) or double-click for High mode.

High mode has an automatic step-down feature: When using Li-Ion cell, if the high mode is used over 10 minutes, the light gradually steps down to 150lm to prevent overheating. This happens over a long period of time (about 5min), so it isn't annoying at all.

The light has soft lock-out function, which can be activated by keeping the switch pressed over 2s: at 1s the light turns on in moonlight mode and at 2s it turns off and locks. To unlock, press switch over 1s and the light turns on in moonlight mode.

Value for money: Pretty good! (Remember that we are paying some extra of the Titanium..)

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

Design is very nice. Short, thin, good (reversible) clip, and non-aggressive knurling to top it.

Polished Titanium color suits this light very well, and the bezel is flat. Just like I like'em!

Glass lens is AR coated and the red silicone ring is wrapped around the lens (to both sides) for maximum water proofing. (There's a photo of this later in this review)

Let's see some details..

The model & serial numbers are there, but they are laser etched with light color, so they don't ruin the great looks:

The knurling suits the classy look, and is not aggressive at all. Looks like a jewel:

The smooth reflector is flawless and XM-L2 emitter well centered:

Here's the light on in moonlight mode:

Three basic parts of the light: Head-body combination, extension tube, and tailcap. Note that the head and body are really a single part without any seams!

All threads are square cut, but not anodized, as this is a titanium light. Note that non-anodized threads mean that this light can't be hard-locked-out like the normal aluminum version. Well.. Small price to be paid of the bling-factor provided by Titanium, right? :)

O-rings are thick enough to make this light water proof.

Same applies to the extension tube: Really nice knurling & threads:

Inside the tailcap is a spring and the magnet under it. Magnet is strong enough to tail-hang the light, and it can be removed (replaced with a rubber piece) if you are afraid that it would cause problems in the same pocket with credit cards or magnetic keys.

There's no ordinary O-ring on the lens, but the silicone ring wraps over, and covers the whole edge of the lens. This protects the lens and makes the light well water proof. Good job!

The pill & reflector is just pressed to the light, but don't do the same mistake I did.. The switch must be taken away before pushing the pill out, otherwise the pill will slice part of the silicone away, making the switch not to work.. :(

Here's the whole light disassembled in a group shot. Note how the switch retaining ring is still in place (probably glued!). Under the blue switch cover, there was a well waterproof silicone part, which is now sliced to pieces and thrown to bin. R.I.P. :(

Some measurements:
Length in 1xAA config: 86.8mm
Length in 2xAA config: 137.6mm
Head diameter: 23mm
Body diameter: 18.5mm
Body wall thickness: 2.0mm
Tail diameter: 19.6mm
Lens diameter: 19.0mm
Lens thickness: 1.45mm
Reflector diameter: 19.0mm (~16mm effective)
Reflector depth: 9.0mm

- 63g without cell or extension tube
- 84g with a 14500 cell (= ready to use)
- 85g with extension tube, without cells
- 137g with extension tube & 2 x Eneloop (= ready to use)

And the bottom line in the quality: Nothing to complain! Very solid and well built light.

Battery Life: ★★★★★

Good! Near perfect mode arrangement with low enough low modes will allow very long runtimes.

Measured runtime with a mediocre TF Flame "900"mAh 14500 cell was 1h24min, and with Eneloop XX AA 2500mAh the light was still on at 3h mark. Very good for a single AA!

Manufacturer announces the following runtimes for different modes:
- 45min in High
- 4h on Medium
- 32h on low
- 15 days on Moonlight

All of these sound very underestimated to me. See the runtime graphs for proof.. ;)

Light Output: ★★★★☆

Runtime graphs:

This runtime test was done indoors, with ambient temperature of 25C, without any additional cooling. This light seems to be well regulated and handles the heat very well. I didn't get any temp measurements, as my IR thermometer didn't like the polished Titanium and did show a steady 30C all the time..

Almost 3.5h from a single AA is a respectable score, I need to say.

This light doesn't have any low voltage warning, which can be bad if you are planning to use unprotected 14500s. Combined with good regulation which makes it nearly impossible to notice battery voltage going too low.. Well.. Forget that and use only protected cells to be safe.

Manufacturer's runtime graph from manual is very identical to my measurements, so they must have done good job there, too:

Light output on different modes is (OTF, after 30s):
Li-Ion 14500:
- 260lm on High
- 70lm on Medium
- 2lm on Low
- <0.5lm on Moonlight

- 116lm on High
- 2lm on Low
- <0.5lm on Moonlight

2xNiMH AA:
- 260lm on High
- 70lm on Medium
- 2lm on Low
- >0.5lm on Moonlight 

Yes, that's right. The light is so well regulated that it can reach the same values with 2xAA than 1x14500. Well done!

White wall beamshots (1/20s, f/5, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

Beam angles  (1/50s, f/5, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

Summary: ★★★★

A "must have" for any real flashaholic. S15 is a great light, and titanium makes it even more desirable (and also a bit worse, see missing hard lock-out). 2xAA option makes this a good choice for a gift for someone who likes classy lights, but doesn't want to use Li-Ions.

Verdict: Highly recommended!

The End (pun intended):

Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!

And special thanks to for providing this light for review.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 05:23:40 PM by _the_ »

Offline MRsDNF

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Re: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 06:30:27 AM »
Thanks _the_ for the review. This seems to be an orsm little light running over a variety of voltages and battery set ups.
When the big picture is to big, look for a point you can start at and build from there.

Offline _the_

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Re: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 05:16:16 PM »
Thanks for your kind words! The light is really orsm. I wish I can find a suitable button from somewhere, so that I can start using this beauty again..

Ps. Neal gave us a coupon: Olight S15 Titanium for $66 (coupon code bgf146)

Offline Spasmod

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Re: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 05:24:06 PM »
Wow that light genuinely has me excited - that's the best looking production light I think I've seen to date, I just love everything about it!!

Thanks again _the_ for another fantastic review

Offline Spasmod

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Re: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 05:25:28 PM »
Quote from: _the_

Ps. Neal gave us a coupon: Olight S15 Titanium for $66 (coupon code bgf146)

Please thank Neal for us and thanks for posting it :)

Offline _the_

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Re: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 05:30:12 PM »
Quote from: _the_

Ps. Neal gave us a coupon: Olight S15 Titanium for $66 (coupon code bgf146)

Please thank Neal for us and thanks for posting it :)

I will. :)

And thank you for making a sub forum for my reviews!

Offline Spasmod

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Re: Review: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 05:31:22 PM »
You're welcome I was about to PM you but you already noticed :) thanks for your contributions, we sincerely appreciate it

Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: Review: Olight S15-Ti (XM-L2 | 1-2xAA / 1x14500)
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 03:06:27 PM »
Thanks for the awesome review, =the=!  That is a sweet light!  I love my Olight S series lights.  I have the S10 and S20 Batons and the S20 is clipped inside my front pocket at all times.  It's my all around favorite light and one of very few that I'd replace if I ever lost it or damaged it beyond functioning.  It's showing it's age a bit with my pocket stuff (coins, knives, etc...) scraping it all day long but it just gives it character.  This S15 Ti should work well and look great forever!