Review of the Olight i3
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?