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Olight i5T Plus review: 2AA penlight
Olight i5T Plus pebble specifications
|Brand/model||Olight i5T Plus|
|Max. Lumens||550 lm|
|Max. Beam intensity / distance||1,900 cd|
|Review date||May 2022|
Olight makes many great products, and most (if not all) of their products are high quality, and well thought through. The i5T Plus is a new model, using 2 AA batteries.
It’s also available in multiple colors, including green, blue, and black. But there’s an even more unique i5T Plus, and that’s the one we are reviewing. It’s the i5T Plus Pebbles. And to be honest, I like the deisng of the Pebbles much more than the regular version. Both version sport the same emitters, and user interface. It’s just different aesthetics. Nothing more nothing less.
Still, if I had to choose between the standard one, and the pebbles version, I’d choose the pebbles version all day.
I’d say the packaging is adequate for the price you pay for the light. It’s the same kind of packaging as the i3T Plus and the Open lights. There’s not many accessories included, and I think that’s acceptable for this type of light.
- The flashlight: Olight i5T PLUS Pebble
- Pocket clip (attached)
- 2AA Alkaline batteries (disposable)
Flashlight in use
I think most people who get into flashlights start with AA-powered flashlights because they are safer. There aren’t many people that never used lithium-ion batteries for devices that buy lithium-ion-powered flashlights as their first.
The flashlight doesn’t feel slippery, despite the lack of conventional knurling. The Pebble edition I am reviewing uses a unique style of machining that looks like pebbles. Hence the name.
You can carry it multiple ways with the 2-way pocket clip. This means that you can stick it straight into your pocket with the light pointing downward, but also reversed (like clipped to the bill of your baseball cap). Unlike some Olight models with side switches, the clip can be rotated around the body, but that doesn’t have any specific benefits. And if you want, you still attach a lanyard (not included) to the clip.
There is only a tail switch and no side switch. It’s is a forward-clicky switch, with a black rubber boot.
The front of the flashlight is glued, and the only removable part is the tailcap which has grooves in line with the body to easily unscrew. The body of the flashlight is aluminum, but the part that screws in the flashlight is made of brass and is protected with a single o-ring.
This type of light is great to lend to older kids, because it’s bright enough, while still using safe Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH batteries. It’s great for things around the house, working on the car, camping, or just as an every day carry.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The blue model I am reviewing doesn’t look just good, it seems to be made of good quality materials as well. The blue coating is matte, and I love this color. I’d had wished to have certain parts (maybe bezel? or switch boot?) be made of shiny stainless steel.
The machining also looks very good, with an okay quality pocket clip. Not sure how strong it is, but it clips very easily on my pockets in both directions. This type of clip is really great, made with the right angles, to clip it onto something without difficulty.
If your Olight product has any defect as the result of the materials or workmanship we want to make it right! Within 30 days of purchase: Return the product to the retailer you purchased it from and they will replace or repair it. Period. Within 5 years of purchase: Return the product to Olight and we will repair or replace it as long as the light is not working because of factory defects. This does not include obvious user wear or extreme damage. After 5 years of purchase: Return the product to Olight and we will repair or replace it. We will assess the fees involved and will let you know once we receive it.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
It seems that Olight has shifted their approach a bit, because the i5T Plus Pebble is available with 3 LED options. You can choose between CW (cool white), NW (neutral white), and even WW (warm white), probably to satisfy more users.
One of the things that flashoholics complained about the most was Olight’s choice of emitters. And I must say, that many of their complaints aren’t very important to 99% of people who ever use a flashlight. There are even many kinds of insider jokes going around about their ‘green emitters’ etc. But having reviewed quite a few Olights, I think those complaints can be taken with a grain of salt. Same goes for High CRI emitters, but that’s a whole different story.
Talking about high CRI, the 3 different LEDs I tested are all low CRI, even the warm white. And I rather have a low CRI neutral white emitter (around 4500-5000K) than a high CRI warm white matter that makes every white object look yellow…
Anyway, the i5T doesn’t have a bezel and uses a unique TIR optic, that shows the LED in the center and a reflector-look-alike around it.
The beam has a hotspot with a sharp but butter smooth transition to spill. It does have a nice beam.. hopefully I can show you how it looks in the beamshots.
CW version: 5439K
NW version: 4544K
WW version: 3045K
Dimensions and size comparison
|Head+tailcap diameter||17.8 mm||0.7|
|Body diameter||16.6 mm||0.65|
|With 2 Eneloop batteries||96.6||3.41|
Fun fact: the tailcap weighs 0.58oz/16.5gra which is a 3rd of the flashlight.
Size compared to other Olight flashlights
Image 1, from left to right: Olight i5T Plus pebbles, Olight i5T
Image 2, from left to right: Olight i3T Plus, Olight i5T Plus Pebbles, Olight i5T
Driver & User Interface:
The i5T Plus uses a very simple UI, with only 2 modes. Since it has a forward clicky switch, you have to tap the switch to change modes, while the light is turned off. And fully click the switch when you selected the desired mode.
- Low, High
- Half-press and hold: momentary on (tapping the switch, without fully clicking it)
- Multiple half-presses: toggling between low and high
- Single-click: turns on in Low by default
- Double click: N/A
- Half-press: nothing (it’s a forward clicky switch, so you have to turn it off to use another mode)
- Single-click: it turns the light off
- To Low: just a single click from off (always starts in Low)
- To High: 1 quick tap followed by 1 full click
- Always starts in Low (when the light is turned off for long than 2 seconds)
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- Yes, the light starts blinking.. Time to replace batteries.
- Nope, not visible
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
It’s a very easy to understand UI, especially if you are used to forward clicky switches.
Batteries & Charging
Olight includes 2 AA Alkaline batteries, so you are RTG (ready to go). Well, you need to first remove the insulating film.
if you’re planning on storing the flashlight for a longer period, make sure to remove the Alkaline batteries. If you do a quick Google search for batteries leaked.. you can find thousands upon thousands of people experiencing this problem.
Therefore, I’d recommend using rechargeable NiMH batteries. They have several benefits. First of all, you can recharge them hundreds of times, and therefore save money, and save the environment.
Olight even mentions you can use 2*1.8 lithium (none rechargeable) batteries. They are referring to batteries like the Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA. They are about $2 a piece, and can’t be recharged. They are more powerful than Alkaline, or NiMH batteries and probably increase the brightness of the i5T Plus even more.
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.
Alkaline batteries can only be used once. So you can only do 1 test… So I decided to test the runtime test directly, and use the runtime numbers for Lumen numbers. Unfortunately, that resulted in the wrong position of the flashlight in the sphere, making the measure for the CW flashlight off.
So in the following sections you might not see all the possible batteries. And because all brands of Alkaline batteries perform different, the only Alkalines I wanted to test were the included ones.
|Flashlight + Eneloop||Specs||@ turn on||@ 30 sec||@ 10 minutes|
|Olight i5T plus CW||15||17 lm||17 lm||–|
|550||525 lm||522 lm||311 lm|
|Olight i5T plus NW||15||17 lm||17.59 lm||17 lm|
|550||529 lm||525 lm||312 lm|
|Olight i5T plus WW||15||16.41 lm||16.41 lm||–|
|550||505 lm||501 lm||298 lm|
Low modes were close to specs. High modes weren’t.
|Flashlight + Alkaline||Mode||Specs||@ start||@ 30 sec|
|Olight i5T Plus CW||High||550||515 lm||511 lm|
|Olight i5T Plus NW||High||550||531 lm||528 lm|
I did the Alkaline tests together with the runtime test, so these are not 100% perfect, because I only got 1 chance.
- There should be 0, because it’s using a 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.
|Model (Alkaline)||Specified runtime High mode||Measured runtime (ANSI)|
ANSI runtime is till the output reached 10% of the initial output (output measured 30 seconds after turn on). The flashlight starts blinking when the batteries run really low.
And now with Eneloop. I only did 1 Low test, because it would be able to run for 50 hours according to the manual. Mine stopped after 44 hours.. which is still very long.
The differences in runtime could be due to the age of the batteries.
|Model (Eneloop)||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI)|
I do not recommend to keep the light running unnecessarily long, because they get discharged pretty deeply. If you notice a large output drop.. turn it off. Alkaline batteries run longer at lower voltage.
And last but not least, a comparison between Alkaline and Eneloop High mode NW
Measurements were taken indoors at 5 meters with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
Measured with 2 Eneloops, 30 seconds after turn on
|CW||1900 cd||1575 cd||79||86.80|
|NW||1900 cd||1775 cd||84||92.15|
|WW||1900 cd||1475 cd||77||84.00|
I’m a little bit surprised, that my measurements are quite a bit lower than specifications. Usually, Olight is pretty conservative with their specs.
For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec , F4, 5000K
The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away.
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.
- Feels good in hand
- Plenty bright for a 2AA flashilght
- No PWM
- Beautiful blue anodization
- Simple UI with 2 modes
- The switch almost feels a bit unusual, and feels like a 2-stage switch, but isn’t
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
5 stars: ★★★★★
If you love AA powered flashlights, you probably like the Olight i5T Plus. I don’t think there is any difference in performance between the regular Plus, and the Pebble version. That’s only aesthetics. There’s a difference between the performance of the CW, NW, and WW, but it’s small. It really depends on whether you prefer CW, NW or WW.
Interestingly enough, the NW version performed better in max output and max beam distance. And keep in mind, they can even reach over 500 lumens with Alkaline batteries.