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Olight Swivel Pro Max review
Olight Swivel Pro Max specifications
|Brand & Model||Olight Swivel Pro Max|
|Flashlight category||Utility/Work Light|
|Max. output||1600 lumens|
|Max. beam distance||50 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||? cd|
|Battery config.||Built-in 10,400 mAh|
|Onboard charging||USB-C port|
|Modes||6 + red mode|
|Blinkies||Beacon (red light only)|
|Review publication date||December 2022|
Olight. All you need to do is jog Reddit or Facebook for Olight fan pages/spaces and you get an idea of the following they’ve garnered over the years, and rightfully so! It’s easy to make a flashlight and slap 10,000 Lumens on the side or 3000 meters of throw, but something else when it’s quantified and proven over and over, and Olight has done this with countless lights we’ve tested. Today I’ll be taking a look at another portable illumination tool from our friends at Olight, the Olight Swivel Pro Max.
The original Swivel was a unique 180 degree pivoting head work/utility light that offered a lot of versatility with mounting positions. It was good for 400 Lumens and had a 2600 mAh integrated battery with some neat features (like a glow in the dark bezel). Well, we all know progress demands improvements, and bigger is better, right? Well, not always, but Olight thought so, so now we have a new Swivel, the Pro Max.
This one also accompanies the Swivel Pro, and bumps the output a bit to 1600 Lumens, and more than quadruples the onboard battery to 10.4 Ah. It also adds a rotating base with a quick release clamp and some stout magnets to compliment the pivoting head for even more versatility. It’s Olight, so I know it will be good.
No surprises here. Olight’s packaging is legendary and never disappointed me. It’s really premium and eye-catching. However, the Pro Max packaging was a bit spartan and utilitarian, which is still fine with me. It’s all laid out really nicely. Inside:
- Olight Swivel Max Pro
- USB A to C charging cable
- User manual
Again, I like Olight’s attention to detail and thoughtful packaging. Everything is here, so you don’t need to buy anything else.
Flashlight in use
This is the first worklight/utility light I’ve reviewed, so bear with me. The Swivel Pro Max is a work/utility light so it isn’t a flashlight per-se, but you could use it like one. You can go hand-held or affix it to something, either by attaching it to something magnetic with the magnetic base, or hang it off something with the quick release clip. The Swivel is going to be happiest illuminating your closet, a work area or jobsite, under your car’s hood or interior, as an emergency light, or lantern, so basically the sky’s the limit here. There’s 3 large rectangular magnets on the back of the swiveling base for sticking on magnetic things (like a car hood, body, appliances, etc.), or you can hang it up from a hook or bungee cord.
The swivel in swivel comes from the design of the base. The head containing the light source (the COB LED) is attached to the base which can open 180 degrees. The ‘Pro’ designation also adds a swivel that can rotate 150 degrees left to right for better light coverage. I found the movements of each to be well detented with 7 distinct ‘stops’ for the pivoting base, and 18 nicely defined stops for the rotating part. With the full weight of the light there’s more than enough resistance to hold the light in the fully extended position, and the magnets are plenty strong to hold it up as well. This thing clings to metal surfaces like Spider Man! The swivel base also has a ¼-20 UNC brass threaded insert that can be attached to a tripod. It works great, and I’m glad to see it’s a metal threaded insert since they are less prone to stripping out than plastic threads.
There’s a single e-switch for controlling the light on the side of the housing. It doesn’t have a backlight or aux LED, so it’s not illuminated, but the lens has a glow in the dark gasket underneath that glows after the light has been on for a few seconds. I would like to see some kind of standby light or at the least a nub or nobble of some kind since finding the switch in the dark by feel is tough with so many projections and similar-feeling textures on the side of the housing. On the flip side, the switch is well protected!. The clicks are pretty snappy and had very good feedback, and gloves shouldn’t be an issue with manipulating the switch.
There are 4 blue LEDs on the back of the housing for on, charge, and battery state. The USB charge port cover is located at the front of the light. It’s pretty long and took some effort to reseat after pulling it open. Underneath is a USB type C charging input, and a USB type A power bank output. You can use a type C to type C cable for charging/power bank functionality, but there’s not really any advantage to using it. More on that later. It goes without saying that no, the Pro Max is going to roll off a table.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Every Olight I’ve evaluated has been very high quality, with great attention to detail and great quality control. This carries over to the Swivel Pro Max as well. The light goes on sale soon, and while the street price may vary, expect it to be competitive with other higher-end work lights.
My first impression was that the Swivel Pro Max seems built like a tank. The housing is made from a mix of plastic and cast aluminum. The bezel, back, and the swivel/rotation parts are made from tough ABS plastic. It seems that some parts (the swivel arm mount) could possibly be glass fiber reinforced (something like PA6-GF30)? That would make sense here since it’s a lot more durable and tough than non-reinforced plastic.
The outer casing the bezel and back mounts to is the aluminum bit. That’s a good thing since LEDs need cooling to maintain output and longevity. I wasn’t expecting one iota of aluminum, and to see a bunch of it is super nice. The light didn’t feel cheaply made or chincy and it passed the creak test and maracas tests nicely as well. In fact, it’s downright sturdy and it seems like it could take some abuse. The weak link would be the base, but you’d really have to intentionally abuse it to get it to break. I think this would be one that I’d actually use outdoors or for camping and auto repair. I generally don’t subject my ‘utility’ lights to auto repair duty since they inevitably get dunked in used motor oil or covered with grease and crud then cleaned with high energy solvents (brake parts cleaner dissolves certain plastics…ask me how I know that), dropped, banged around, and generally treated poorly.
My automotive work lights generally cost around $5 for a reason, but I wouldn’t spare the Pro Max special treatment if used as a drop light. The Pro Max is fully sealed up, and although there are hex screws all over the bezel, I didn’t try to remove any of them. Olight gives it an IPX4 rating, which is good for splashes of water, but not immersion.
Olight’s warranty is exemplary and as good as other higher-end brands. The Swivel Pro Max is covered under the non-removable battery 2-year limited lifetime warranty. Defective lights can be returned for repair within the warranty period, but the buyer pays for shipping. Olight covers the cost of repairs and parts. Even after-warranty support is generous with a 30% discount for a replacement item. Accessories such as pocket clips, holsters, filters, and lanyards etc. are not included under the warranty.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
Work lights these days are usually COB-based, and the Swivel Pro Max is no exception. Like the other Swivels, the Pro Max just has a bigger one. No manufacturer is specified for this COB, so use your imagination. For those who aren’t privy, COB stands for chip-on-board, and this type of LED is made up of many smaller LEDs embedded in a phosphor layer. The tiny LEDs can be wired in series or parallel, or series/parallel based on the input voltage, so they’ve very versatile and can be small with low output, or huge with crazy high output. The Swivel Pro Max, however, has a pretty tame COB that works great without producing huge amounts of heat (wasted energy and output). It measures 54 mm wide by 24 mm wide, and contains both the white and red LEDs in the same substrate. No tint is specified or the white LEDs, but these COBs are mostly cool white. At 2 meters from the sensor on Turbo, my Opple Lightmaster Pro has the COB coming in at 6443 K and CRI Ra 70.4. Duv is 0.0029, so not green and not pink.
The bezel is made from sturdy plastic that extends about 10 mm over the polycarbonate lens, and has a glow in the dark gasket underneath so you can locate the light in the dark. However it has to be ‘charged up’ for about 5 seconds before it glows on its own. The COB is positioned at the bottom of a silvery matte finished reflector that really spreads the light out in a very wide, even pattern. This is great for area illumination where a hotspot or focused point of light wouldn’t be that useful. The beam is expectedly floody, and very useful with a decent amount of distance. There’s a bit of corona around the edges of the spill, but otherwise it’s artifact and anomaly-free. It’s very effective for close-in and area lighting and would be an excellent general purpose work light.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Length (with mount fully extended)||264||10.4|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Flashlight size comparison with its competition
I compared the Swivel Pro Max to some other utility/work lights (including some I use a lot for auto repair. Guess which ones)
Group 1 left to right: Cheaper multi LED worklight, cheap multi-LED work light, slim COB work light, Olight Swivel Pro Max
Group 2 left to right: Fireflies PL09MU, Fireflies PL42G2 MU, Olight Swivel Pro Max
Driver & User Interface:
The driver is anyone’s guess here, but it’s probably a constant-current driver for linear output, but I could be wrong. The runtimes will tell all.
The UI is a bit busy for a worklight, but serviceable. It’s 4 modes with the white light, and two modes with the red light and overall it works fine, but for a worklight UI, it has a couple quirks that I could do without.
Modes: Low, Medium, High, Turbo, Red Light, Flashing Red
- Single click switch: Turns on in last mode
- Long press switch: N/A
- Single click switch: From turn-on, clicking the switch right away will change modes. Waiting for three seconds after turn on and clicking the switch will turn off the light
- Long press switch: In white modes, long-pressing the switch for more than 3 seconds will switch to the red mode. Single clicking in red mode switches to the red mode beacon function.
- Yes, last mode memory. Note that Low is not memorized.
Low voltage warning:
- The 4 LED indicators show battery state:
- 4 solid blue lights 100% to 75%,
- 3 solid blue lights 75% to 50%,
- 2 solid blue lights 50% to 25%,
- 1 solid blue light 25% to 5%,
- 1 blinking blue light <5%.
- I didn’t notice any visual LVP from the COB LED during the test.
- Red mode has a beacon mode
- Fast PWM in lower modes not visible with the naked eye. Turbo and red modes have no PWM
Additional info: While I usually applaud Olight for their simple, intuitive UIs, the Swivel Pro Max kind of threw me for a loop. I’m used to work lights with a single mode: On or off, with maybe a second lower mode. The Swivel Pro Max gives you a good selection of modes with good mode spacing, but it has a couple quirks that I think should be worked out.
First, the mode switch sequence goes like this: Medium-High-Turbo-Low-off-Medium. I don’t like that the light turns off if you click the switch after 3 seconds in a particular mode. If you want a different (brighter, dimmer) mode, you should be able to select it without turning the light off.
Also, after cycling past Low, the next click turns the light off. That could be bad if you’re in a dark place. Also, when cycling through the modes, once you get past Turbo to Low mode, if you click the light off in Low, the next click turns the light on in Medium mode, which is strange and sort of like a next-mode memory thing where Low isn’t memorized. Weird. My flashlight-attuned brain tells me that some of this is counterintuitive, and it took me a bit to get used to waiting 3 seconds before I could turn the light off. The red mode works just fine, and it’s a bit like how Cyansky did it with the HS3R headlamp. I did like having the ultra-bright red light, but a second lower red mode would be very, very welcome here. Thermal throttling isn’t needed as there’s adequate heat sinking, even for Turbo mode.
Batteries & Charging
The Swivel Pro Max features a built-in li-ion battery pack. Per Olight, it’s made up of four 18650-size lithium-ion batteries arranged in parallel, so each cell is 2600 mAh. This battery has grown from the standard Swivel’s 1000 mAh battery, so yep, quite a growth spurt. Since it’s a built-in battery, you don’t have to fuss with an external charger, but the downside is once it goes flat (and it will), the light goes back to Olight for replacement.
For charging, you get USB type C quick charging, which you really need with a large battery. No MCC to fiddle with here, just a standard USB type C cable input that plugs into any wall charger. No worries if your MCC gets lost with the Swivel Pro Max, just grab another USB type C cable from your junk drawer. The charge protocol is set to QC2.0 and QC3.0 on both the input and output charging, with the input handling 5V 3A and 9V 2A, and the output (power bank) spitting out 5V 3A, 9V 2A, 12V 1A per the spec sheet. However, when I tested it, I was getting 12V 1.5A on USB type C to C and the USB type A to C on input and power bank output when plugged into some QC power banks I had. This should charge the battery in about 4 hours. The power bank should be able to top off any mobile device and supply up to 20 watts. The 4 LED indicator lights on the back blink to show charge state:
- 4 solid lights 100%,
- 3 solid, one blinking light 75% to 100%,
- 2 solid, one blinking light 75% to 50%,
- 1 solid, one blinking light 50% to 25%,
- one blinking light <25%.
Lumens are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. The internal battery was fully charged for the test. No amp readings due to the integrated battery. I tested Turbo, High, and Medium.
|Mode||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 minutes|
|Red||50||88 lm||88 lm||–|
|Low||45||43.5 lm||43.5 lm||–|
|Medium||320||339 lm||338 lm||332 lm|
|High||650||652 lm||638 lm||609 lm|
|Turbo||1600||1,595 lm||1,551 lm||1000 lm|
Battery Life: Runtime graphs
Runtimes are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. The internal battery pack was fully charged for the test.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI)||Time till shut off|
|Medium||18h||19h 25min||19h 29min|
|High||8h 30m||9h 23min||9h 25min|
|Turbo||4h 40m||5h 6min||5h 10min|
Runtimes are coming in over the spec, so that’s always a good thing. The output isn’t regulated and decreases as the battery drains. I’d prefer a constant current regulated driver for linear output. Although there’s no detriment here since the runtimes are nice and long with fairly consistent output. At the 4h 40m mark for Turbo, the output is 552 Lumens, which is pretty good and bright enough tor just about any general purpose task.
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements
Beam distances are measured using a Uni-T UT383S luxmeter measured indoors at 5 meters with the fully charged internal battery. Measurements taken at 30 seconds.
Olight doesn’t list candela figures for the beam distance, just the distance in meters. Turbo is listed as 50 meters, High 30 meters, Medium 20 meters, Low (and red) 9 meters. Low and red didn’t return any readings at 5 meters.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). Columns Meters and Yards show rounded numbers.
I compared the Swivel Pro Max to some other work lights and some specialty flashlights. Photos taken with my Samsung Note 8 set to 1/15 s ISO 100 and 5000K WB. You can easily see the difference between a cheap (around $6) worklight and an expensive (Olight Swivel Pro Max) worklight. The Wuben F5 is a multipurpose tent light, but works great as a worklight also. The Fireflies are ultra high CRI flooders posing as multipurpose lights. The Wuben D1 is here because it’s an exceptionally floody light with a magnetic tailcap.
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- Cheap multi-LED worklight #1
- Cheap multi-LED worklight #2
- Cheap COB slim LED worklight
- Olight Swivel Pro Max
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.
- High quality
- Seems well built and sturdy
- Effective pivoting and rotating magnetic base
- Meets factory spec
- High versatile
- Large battery
- QC power bank
- Light turns off after cycling past Low
- Have to wait for a mode to set to switch off
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: a match 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: ★★★★★⋆
There are certain things in life that can be pretty much guaranteed as perpetual: Death taxes, and the fact that Olight consistently makes great flashlights with useful features. As the flagship of the Swivel lineup, the Pro Max is probably one of the most useful work/general purpose illumination devices I’ve come across.
All the usual Olight stuff is present here like the great build quality, honest performance specs, and sturdy construction. It’s bright and has a red mode, which while red light isn’t a must-have feature, it’s nice to have when you absolutely positively need a ton of red light. The swiveling and rotating base is also useful, and I appreciated the stout magnets and detents that held the somewhat-chunky Pro Max in position at odd angles.
The addition of a power bank to tap into that 10.4 Ah of batteries is also nice, and the fact it can run at QC is even nicer, so you can charge your phone and continue watching YouTube while you’re supposed to be fixing that leaky fixture.The UI issues are sort of a biggie for me, and I think those need to be worked out since it detracts from the overall usefulness.
Lastly, although I doubt the base would break under ‘normal’ use, if abused, the swiveling/rotating base may be a potential failure point, but I suspect it wouldn’t be an issue unless you were out to nacker your Swivel Pro Max. The UI quirks aside, this is a great work light that I wouldn’t hesitate to, well, put to work under my car, under the sink, or in the closet. 4.5 stars for the Swivel Pro Max.