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Olight i3T plus Review: penlight
Olight i3T plus specifications
|Brand/model||Olight i3T plus|
|Beam intensity||1,240 cd|
|Review date||January 2022|
Olight has many flashlights in their current lineup, but they don’t have many 2*AAA flashlights: only 1 to be exact. And that’s the Olight i3T Plus. If you’re a little bit familiar with Olight, you know that they also have the Olight i3T, which looks similar but is a 1*AAA flashlight. They’ve had a few single AAA flashlights over the years, but the only other 2*AAA Olight I found was the O’pen (Please shouldn’t confuse this with the O’pen 2, O’pen Pro, O’pen mini, which are pens with lights, and not penlights). So the i3T Plus is currently their only 2AAA flashlight they offer!
The smaller Olights come in a thin carton box, with the following accessories (or lack of)
- The flashlight: Olight i3T Plus
- 2*AAA batteries
So, the packaging isn’t anything special, but keep in mind this flashlight goes for about $29.
Flashlight in use
The i3T Plus is thin and long… yeah, you guessed that right!
All parts, including the head and tailcap have the same diameter. And besides the unique Olight knurling, the tailcap is the only place that is reeded, which makes it easier to unscrew it.
Other than that, the switch is located at the rear, it’s protruding and is a forward clicky. This means that you have momentary on, and the UI will always start in Low mode. Another great choice in my opinion, especially if you consider certain work environments where you could blind somebody by accident if it was in High mode. If you keep the light switched off for more than 2 seconds, it will always return to Low mode.
You can carry it straight in your pocket, but you can also use the 2-way pocket clip. This means that you can use the pocket clip to point the flashlight in 2 directions. You could clip it to the bill of a baseball clip for headlamp use, but also clip it to your belt to point it downward.
Anyway, that’s all I need to say about this.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The build quality of this light is pretty good. And although the body is aluminum, the part of the tailcap that screws into the body, is made of brass (or copper). I’m not 100% sure why this is done, but I think it’s a good choice. There is a rubber o-ring near the threads to keep water and dirt out
According to Olight’s specs, it should be able to keep water out without too much trouble. It’s rated at IPX8, which means; Can be submerged deeper than 1 meter. So you shouldn’t worry too much to use it in a wet environment.
If I compare the anodization of the i3T Plus to other flashlights, it’s a little on the ‘shiny’ side. I’d prefer a more matte finish to be honest, as shiny coatings can look a little cheap. Most cheap flashlights have a shiny black coating, so it’s not that a shiny coating is bad, it just reminds me of low-quality flashlights on eBay.
The pocket clip has a nice tension, not too stiff, and not too weak.
Olight’s warranty: https://www.olightstore.com/warranty
Orders can be returned for any reason within 30 days from the date the order was received. Returned items must be in the same condition, unworn, and in the original packaging. Once you apply for a refund or replacement, we will send you a return label to return the item to us, no need to pay for the shipping cost. Free or promotional items must be returned along with the original item when being fully refunded.
Once your return is received, a refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your original payment method. Please note that it might take 2-5 working days for a refund to show up on any bank statements. For your replacement, we will re-send a new item to you as soon as possible (within two weeks.)
For items purchased from third-party platforms within 30 days, we recommend you contact the original seller first, so they may take care of you. If you have any issues with them, please contact us.
Within 2 or 5 years of purchase: please contact our customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://www.olightstore.com/contacts/warranty.html, to apply for the warranty work. We may need your serial number, the date of purchase and a simple description about your issue. If your item needs to be returned for repair or replacement, we will provide you an RMA case number and application form to return the defective light together. You will need to cover the shipping cost, no need to pay for the repair.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
Okay, it’s no surprise, but Olight doesn’t specify the LED in this light. Usually you can see whether the beam is warm white or cool white by just looking at the LED. LEDs with warmer light tend to be more orange, while cool white emitters are usually more yellow. So by merely looking at the LED I can tell it’s not warm. BTW. warm is like 3000K or lower.
The TIR optic makes the beam quite pleasant to look at. The beam is cool white, with a distinct hotspot, and a nice and smooth transition between hotspot and spill.
I used the Opple Lightmaster for testing the CCT, and CRI. This is a cheap spectrometer (kind of). Please keep in mind that the results depend on where you measure in the hotspot, so I took an average of my measurements, and this is what I got:
- CCT: 5430K-5443K
- Ra (CRI): 66.9-67.9
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 133 mm / 5.24 ”
- Head+body diameter: 15.2 mm / 0.6 ”
- Empty: 40.2 g / 1.42 oz
- With 2* eneloop batteries: 64.0 g / 2.26oz
Penlight competition & comparison
Size compared to other Olight penlights, and other penlights
Driver & User Interface:
The UI is very simple, and straightforward. Since it has a forward-clicky switch, you can use the light momentarily (momentary-on). And it will always start in low.
- Low, High
- Half-press: mometary-on (release and the light will turn off
- Half-press multiple times: switching between the 2 modes
- Single-click: on
- Half-press: N/A
- Single-click: turns off
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- Output will decrease and the light wills tart to flicker
- No, unneccessary
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The UI is very easy. And having a UI always starting in low can be a pro, especially when used by nurses.
Batteries & Charging
Olight included 2*AAA Alkaline batteries, that I haven’t used for testing. The reason: you can only test 1 mode, and you won’t know how they perform in other modes. Also, you can’t replicate it with other Alkaline batteries, because you also don’t know how much capacity they have.
For the runtime tests, I used 2 Panasonic Eneloop batteries with a capacity of 750mAh each. This doesn’t mean that 2 batteries equals 1500mAh, but 2 batteries in series means double the voltage, not double the capacity.
Batteries in parallel would mean: double the capacity, but the voltage remains the same.
There is no onboard charging on this flashlight.
All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.
For Amp readings, I use a Fluke 77III DMM. For higher amps I now use a Fluke 325 True RMS clamp meter. For microamps, I use a cheap DMM with an easy-to-use micro amp setting.
All of my readings were taken from fully-charged Panasonic Eneloop AAA batteries (750mAh).
They were taken manually at turn on and after 30 seconds. The number at the 10-minute mark is taken from the runtime data.
|Mode||Amps||Specs||@ turn on||@ 30sec||@ 10 min|
|High||0.67A||250 lm||263 lm||261 lm|
- Shouldn’t have any parasitic drain because of the mechanical switch.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
High mode: starts around 263 lumens, and after 1min it drops to 110 lumens. It continues dropping till it reaches 30 lumens at 7h3min, and then drops really quick. At 7h44min it drops from 3 lumens to turn off. (Specs: 8h)
Low mode: Pretty stable at around 18 lumens for 16h57min, and then drops quickly to 3 lumens, and continues running till it drops off to 0 lumen at17h17min. It then turns on and turns off for a while
Measurements were taken indoors at 2 meters with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
Measured with 2*AAA Eneloop batteries.
|High||1,240 cd||1,416 cd||75||82|
For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/30sec , F4, 5000K
The wall is about 5 meters
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Olight. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Very easy UI
- Soft start when changing to high mode
- No memory mode, always start in Low mode
- No PWM
- I’d liked to see a lower Low mode (if you consider people using it, like medical staff)
- Included alkaline batteries are of unknown quality (please use rechargeable NiMH batteries instead)
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
Like all flashlights, the use case differs from person to person. What I like is the 2 modes, with no mode-memory. So, the i3T Plus will always start in low mode. The lowest mode, however, is still a little bright for certain scenarios. So, depending on what you are using it for, this could be a pro/con.
Besides those points, the i3T Plus is a great penlight.