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Olight Seeker 3 Pro review: High Power EDC Flashlight
Olight Seeker 3 Pro specifications
|Brand/model||Olight Seeker 3 Pro|
|Beam intensity||250 meters (15,625 cd|
|Modes||Many (stepless dimming)|
|Review date||September 2021|
Don’t confuse the Olight Seeker 3 Pro with any of the earlier seekers, like the Olight R20 Seeker, R40 Seeker, R50 Seeker etc. The Seeker 3 Pro is a high-power flashlight with a max output of 4,200 lumens. And Olight claims it’s a 31% step up from the Seeker 2 Pro. And most of the time, Olight is pretty conservative with these numbers, so you can expect a bit more output. But, let us not get ahead of ourselves, because we should just test it, and that’s what this review is about. .
And that’s what we are doing here.
Ever owned an Olight? Then you know that they take care of every little details, even when it comes to packaging. Olight packages are always great to see and feel. They do a tremendous job giving you the ‘best experience’ for the price. There’s probably no other brand taking the time and effort with packaging as Olight do. Okay, so what do you get:
- The flashlight: Olight Seeker 3 PRO
- Olight 21700 battery (5000mAh)
- MCC3 magnetic charging cable
Flashlight in use
If I remember correctly, the Olight Marauder 2, I reviewed earlier was the first flashlight that I personally owned with a rubber cover instead of knurling. And fair enough, this type of rubber really helps to increase your grip. But having said that, not all Seeker 3 Pros have this rubber cover. There’s (at this point) 4 different colors/versions; Orange, Desert Tan, Midnight Blue, and Black. All of them, except the Midnight Blue version, have the rubber. The Midnight Blue is the only one that has no rubber, but a picture engraved with wolves.
The Midnight Blue version is a special, limited, edition with ‘only’ 6,000 pieces available, worldwide. If you want one, you better get one fast, before they are gone and the price on the used market goes through the roof.
You have 1 switch to operate, but this is not your typical switch. It’s a rotary knob that you have to rotate to have a stepped output increase/decrease. Olight says it’s stepless dimming, but there are definitely small visible incremental steps. Rotate clockwise to increase output, and counter-clockwise to reduce output.
On a side note: you can’t rotate the knob quickly, because it won’t register. This is a con. You have to rotate relatively slow to increase/reduce the output.
By default, the flashlight is locked out, so you first need to rotate the knob at least 90 degrees before you can use the switch. This is a safety feature, together with the proximity sensor. I know this can be a little annoying at times. This lock-out feature will automatically be activated when the light is turned off for 30 seconds. Another safety feature.
There’s no lanyard included in the box, but there’s a lanyard attachment point at the tail cap. You should be able to use most kinds of lanyards.
Tailstanding: Yes, that is possible.
Build Quality, and Warranty
If you look at images of the Seeker 3 Pro, you’ll notice the lack of normal knurling. Instead, Olight chose to use some kind of rubber for 3 of the 4 versions.
Like all Olight flashlights, build quality is top-notch. This includes the different flashlight parts, but also machining and anodization. There are no visible color mismatches, chipped anodization, scuffs, or marks. In 1 word: perfect.
There’s only 1 part of the flashlight that can be opened/moved, and that’s the tail cap.
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, and Reflector
Olight is one of the few companies that don’t show the exact type of emitters used in their flashlights. When you’re new to flashlights and just want a good looking, high-quality flashlight, you probably don’t even think about this. But for quite a few people who are into flashlights, the type of LED is one of the reasons why they buy/don’t buy a flashlight. Sometimes we refer to them as tint snobs… just a funny word for people who really care about the color tint (duv).
There’s 4 LEDs behind/inside a hybrid optic. It looks like 4 normal reflectors, but at the same time, it looks like TIR optics. So, therefore I’m calling it a hybrid optic.
And to protect these optics, Olight added a crenelated bezel, which is black on all versions except for the black Seeker 3 Pro, which has a blue bezel.
The beam has a clear hotspot without an extremely sharp edge. The transition between hotspot and spill is relatively smooth although clearly existent.
I tested the beam with the Opple Light Master 3, and got the following:
- (CRI) Ra: 63.8
- CCT: 5322
Keep in mind that the Opple is not a spectrophotometer, so the numbers may not be as accurate. There is a chance it can be 5-10% from the actual measurement. These are not laboratory devices.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 131.7 mm / 5.19 ”
- Head diameter: 35 mm / 1.37 ”
- tailcap diameter: 29.6 mm / 1.17 ”
- Empty: 127.6 g / 4.5 oz
- With battery: 200 g / 7.06 oz
Size compared to other 21700 EDC flashlights
Driver & User Interface:
Before you use the flashlight, you have to rotate the knob for at least 90 degrees before you can use the light. This is a lock-out (safety) feature. So when you haven’t used the flashlight for at least 30 seconds, you have to rotate the knob to unlock the light.
The Seeker 3 PRO uses a dial instead of a normal button to change modes. To change the brightness you either rotate the knob, or press-and-hold the switch. With the latter option, you go from Low, to Medium, and High.
Olight also included a proximity sensor as a safety feature. This is to prevent your pockets/car/house from burning down. Whenever it detects an object close to the front of the light, the output will decrease.
- Incremental steps (from Low to Turbo)
- Moon, Low, Medium, High and Turbo
From OFF when unlocked (turn dial 90degrees or more):
- Single-click: to last used mode, including Moon, but no Turbo
- Double click: Turbo (and double click to return to previous used mode)
- Triple-click: Strobe
- Press and hold: Moon
- Single-click: Off
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Strobe
- Turn dial clockwise: increase brightness in incremental steps
- Turn dial counter-clockwise: decrease brightness
- Press and hold switch: Run through 3 modes: Low, Medium, High
Special mode: Sleep timer
- There’s a sleep timer available with a 3 minutes timer and 9 minutes timer.
- To activate the sleep timer, do the following: 2 clicks, and the second click hold the switch. So it goes like this, click, click-hold.
It’s not 2 clicks and then click and hold, but at the second click you continue pressing that switch for a few seconds. The light will shortly blink 1 or 2 times. If you see it blinking once the 3-minute timer is activated. If it blink 2 times, the 9-minute timer is activated. Just repeat the 2 clicks-hold to switch between the short and long timer.
- To Turbo: double click from on and off
- To Moon: long-press from off
- To Strobe: triple click from on and off
- Yes, but no strobe or Turbo
Blinky modes menu:
- Only strobe. Triple click for Strobe, (and a double click to go back to normal modes, or single click to turn the light off).
Low battery warning:
- On the right side of the switch are 4 battery indicator LEDs that show the battery status.
- 4 lights =75%+
- 3 lights = 50-75%
- 2 lights = 25-50%
- 1 red light = 10-25% (This is the only one out of 4 that will turn red)
- There is a auto-lock feature that will lock it 30 seconds after the light is turned off. You have to turn the dial at least 90 degrees to get to use the light again.
- Not visible to the eye
- The small battery indicator LEDs next to the switch have severe PWM, but that’s not a problem.
- When you look at the close-up pictures of the LEDs you can see a tiny black circle. That’s where the proximity sensor is located. I’ve been playing with it a lot, and I’m not 100% sure if I accidentally turned the proximity sensor off in Turbo mode. At 1 point it wouldn’t detect anything, but after playing with it for a little longer, it worked again.
When I say ‘playing’, I mean hitting that switch in different modes multiple times, to see if that turns off the proximity sensor, or activate a hidden mode.
The sensor doesn’t turn off the light, like it does with the Marauder 2.
Batteries & Charging
Note: the battery needs to be inserted in the reversed way. The negative terminal towards the head/LEDs, and the positive terminal towards the tail.
Many times, Olight uses a proprietary battery and charge system. That means you can’t replace the Olight 21700 battery with a regular 21700 battery, because it simply won’t work.
The 21700 battery included is an Olight ORB-217C50, Lithium-Ion battery with 5000mAh. That is a lot more capacity than a regular 18650 battery, but only just slightly larger. The maximum mAh for a 18650 cell is currently around 3600mAh. So the 21700’s 5000mAh is a nice increase in capacity at the cost of a few millimeters here and there.
Olight included an MCC3 cable (magnetic charging cable). I personally don’t like to rely on one charging cable (although I have about 5 now). Charging takes almost 5 hours from start to finish.
If you lose the charging cable you’d have to have a normal lithium charger to charge the battery, and only a few chargers accept these long batteries.
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.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Olight 21700, 5000mAh. I tested it manually at the start, and at 30 seconds. The 10 minutes measurement was taken from the runtime test. Keep in mind that I put some black tape in front of the proximity sensor in order to do these runtime tests and measurements.
|Mode||Specs||@ start||@ 30sec||@ 10min|
|Highest/Turbo||4200 lm||4107 lm||3965 lm||1162 lm|
I only measured Moon, Low, Medium, High, and Turbo because those are set modes. Low Medium and High are accessible by press-and-hold when the light is on. Other incremental steps I haven’t measured because those are too many. I haven’t done the Low or Moon mode test, so those numbers are missing.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
I tested Turbo, High, and Medium. Low will take 55 hours according to their specs, while Moon can run for 15 days.
Measurements were taken both indoors and outdoors with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
|Mode||Measured Candela||Olight specs||measured||Yards|
|Low||175 cd||25 m||26 m||29|
|Med||1,150 cd||65 m||68 m||74|
|High||4,650 cd||130 m||136 m||149|
|Turbo||16,950 cd||250 m||260 meters||285|
Olight was a little conservative with these numbers as well.
Here a comparison with other lights… it’s performance is really, really good.
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, and the fence about 200.
Modes from Low to Turbo. (Turbo isn’t added because the same pictures is used with other reviews, so it doesn’t get confusing)
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.
- Safety features (auto lockout, proximity sensor)
- Very bright
- Ready-to-go with a battery and charging cable
- 2 ways of changing output.
- Short cuts to Moon Turbo, and strobe
- 30 seconds auto lockout can be a bit bothersome
- Rotating the knob too quickly doesn’t register, you have to turn the dial slowly to change output (or just press and hold for the 3 main modes)
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues, much better options available at the same price – 3: Average: some defects or issues – 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
There’s a lot to like about the Olight Seeker 3 Pro. It looks, and feels great in hand. It has several safety features so you have to worry less about getting burnt. The only real con is the insensitivity of the rotary switch. You have to turn it slowly to change brightness.
All in all, yet another great Olight flashlight, with great features and excellent build quality.
Also, make sure to check out our review of its successor, the Olight Seeker 4 Pro.