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Review of the Olight i3

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I first started getting into flashlights in 2010 as a part of some firearms training I did.  Since then, I’ve really begun to value having a flashlight as a part of my “every day carry” list of items I always have with me.

There are several different types of flashlights designed for a variety of uses, but the most popular fall into the every day carry (EDC) utility category.  Olight recently sent me a selection of three different color samples of their new i3 – a great choice for EDC duty:

The Olight i3 is a very small (not much bigger than the single AAA sized battery used to power it) but extremely powerful little light.  It’s also pretty straight forward to use with a “twisty” user interface (UI) – twist the head tight to the right to turn on, loosen to the left to turn off, and a quick left-right twist cycles to the next mode.  The i3 always starts in its 2.5 lumen low mode from the off position, medium mode is 20 lumens, and a high mode of 70 lumens.  Run times in the low-medium-high modes are 20 hours, 1.5 hours, and 40 minutes respectively.

Don’t let this light’s small size and price tag ($27.95 retail) fool you – it’s no toy.  I carried it fairly regularly for a two month period and found the quality of construction as well as the performance to be excellent.  70 lumens may not sound like much of a max setting compared to the several hundred lumen output capabilities of larger flashlights, but in day-to-day usage, it’s rare for me to need more than the medium 20 lumen setting.  While it’s a great little utility light for every day needs, in an emergency situation, I’d use the i3 to get me to a larger, more capable light (higher output, longer run time, etc.).  The fact that it can tail stand makes the light particularly useful – it’s like a portable candle.  If I’m going through the house at night, I can set the light down, and it does a really nice job of filling my immediate area with light.

The i3 offers a couple of different options for carrying it – either via the circular key ring attachment, or the pocket clip.  For me, the pocket clip works best, and I’m very impressed with the one on the i3 – if you’ve ever lost a flashlight due to a less than adequate pocket clip as I have, then you’ll appreciate one done right as is the case with the i3.

Given that we’re dealing with a relatively small head, and the power limitations associated with a AAA battery, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the i3 doesn’t have a tremendous amount of throw.  But in my mind, that’s really not the intended use for this light.  For what it is, the orange peel reflector provides adequate amounts of throw:

In addition to my written photo review, I’ve prepared some video footage of the Olight i3:

The Olight i3 is a great little light and would certainly make a great gift – who couldn’t use a little extra light on the subject?

About John B. Holbrook, II

John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com.

*All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

  1. I think this tiny light is a must in any pocket!!!

  2. I don’t disagree Carlos – I’m going to try and compare it to the 4Sevens Preon 1 very soon.

  3. Excellent little flashlights and nice review! These should make great Christmas presents for key chain or zipper pull duty.

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