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Olight S1 Baton Review

Posted by Best Light on

Olight's S1 Baton is a CR123A/RCR123A powered light that has become the go-to EDC light of many for a good reason. The S1 Baton has a thoughtful UI, a premium build quality, and an output of 500 lumens in a package that is so incredibly tiny; literally the size of a thumb!

Olight S1 Baton

Physical Traits:

The light doesn’t look quite that small in online images, but when you first pick this light up, you’ll be amazed at just how very tiny it is. I thought the Nitecore EC11 was small, but wow is the Olight S1 Baton so much smaller! It’s also very lightweight, and is hardly noticeable in a pocket.

Olight S1 Baton battery instructions

The head and side-switch both have rings with blue accents that compliment the light very well and help give the light an elegant appearance. The switch is within a hexagonal ring that helps prevent the light from rolling around if the clip is removed. The clip itself is a deep-carry clip that makes the light sit in your pocket head up. Because of that, you are able to attach the S1 Baton to the bill of a hat to create a makeshift headlamp. The body is covered in block knurl and has three flats: one says OLIGHT, another says S1 BATON/the serial number, and the third has the battery insertion orientation. Interestingly, the battery orientation engraving is there because the battery has to be inserted “backwards.” The positive end faces down, and the negative end faces up. All engravings are white, sharp, and defined. The bottom of the tailcap is flat, allowing you to tail stand the S1 Baton.

Olight's S1 Baton is a great looking light with a very thoughtful, simple design.

Build Quality:

Olight's S1 Baton has the standard type-III anodizing seen in a lot of lights. I have no complaints whatsoever about it, as it has proven to be tough and true to its spec. When taking the pictures for this review, I had the S1 rolling and falling onto the sharpest, most uneven rocks and stones. I’ve had the light in the same pocket as my keys and have repeatedly taken the clip on/off with no damage to show for. The S1 is also IPX8 waterproof, and has held up fine when its gotten wet. When taking the pictures of the S1 Baton by a pond, the light fell countless times into the water with no water seeping in.

Olight S1 Baton front

Instead of the standard lens and reflector that’s found in other lights, the S1 Baton contains a PMMA TIR optic that’s slightly recessed into the head. The TIR optic was spotless out of the box, and has remained spotless throughout my carry and use of the S1 Baton. The acrylic that the optic is made out of has been very scratch resistant after normal use. Scratches haven’t appeared, but something the optic does do is catch dust and pocket lint. The optic is a dust magnet.
Inside, the optic houses a Cree XM-L2 CW LED which is the same LED that some of the bigger 18650 lights use.
The blue stainless-steel bezel that surrounds the optic and switch has held up fine.

There’s no sign of discoloration, dings or scratches.
The side-switch protrudes about a millimeter from the body, and is big, wide and flat. It’s a bit tough to find the button just by touch since it feels pretty flat, but a simple remedy to easily locate it is to align the clip to the opposite side of the switch. The side-switch needs a bit of pressure click, and it was designed that way to prevent any accidental activation of the S1 Baton. It’s not at all impossibly hard to press it and there’s a satisfying *click* with each press. The rubber that covers the switch feels tough, and just by pressing the switch you can feel that the rubber is thick and dense. I think the switch is as best as can be on a light in this category.

The clip included is great! It has great retention that tightly holds-on to the thinnest fabric, and its design easily slides in and out of any material your pockets could be made of. If you’re a fan of clips, you'll love the clip on the S1 Baton.Olight S1 Baton clip
The body is covered in block style knurl that feels great, and that I found to be surprisingly grippy as I’ve never felt this kind of knurl before the S1 Baton. In a light this small, it definitely does the job. The knurl is even and clean throughout the light, and not a single block has a deformity.

On the tailcap, there’s two more rows of the same block knurl and there’s also a hole for attaching a lanyard. A neat feature of the S1 Baton’s tailcap is that it has a magnet on the inside that lets you stick the S1 Baton to many metallic surfaces. The magnet is pretty strong, and can be removed from the S1 Baton if you wished. The threads the tailcap screws into are square cut, and anodized which means that locking out the light is possible.

Olight spared no expense when building the S1. The S1 Baton is wonderfully put together.

Battery:

The S1 Baton runs on a CR123A, or its rechargeable counterpart, the RCR123A. Runtimes on a CR123A are a bit higher than with a RCR123A since the CR123A has more capacity, but I think the rechargeability of the RCR123A makes up for that. As mentioned earlier, batteries are inserted negative end first. If you leave the light alone, the battery will slowly drain due to the switch it has. The parasitic drain is tiny, but days will add up and the battery could be depleted when you need light. It’s a good idea to lockout the light (slightly unscrew the tailcap) to prevent the battery from slowly draining.

User Interface:

One of the biggest aspects of the S1 Baton that I love is how well Olight made a single button interface work.

A single click of the side switch to turns the light on, and holding the button cycles through 3 modes: Low (8 lumens) Medium (80 lumens) High (500 lumens).
Another single click turns the light back off. The light turns on in the last mode used, not including moonlight or strobe mode.

Since the light is so tiny and has little thermal mass, the light has a 1 minute timer on the highest mode. After 1 minute, the light goes from 500 lumens, to 250 lumens to protect the internals from overheating.

While off, holding the side-switch goes to Moonlight mode (0.5 lumens), and quickly double pressing the side switch goes directly to the highest mode.
Olight S1 Baton button
While on, quickly triple clicking the side-switch activates strobe mode, and clicking the switch once takes you back to the last used mode.

The S1 Baton has neat timer modes. The light will turn itself off automatically after being on for 3 or 9 minutes, depending on what you set it to be. The brightness that is used with a timer depends on the which mode you enable timer mode on.

While on, double-clicking the switch enables the 3 minute timer mode. Double clicking again will switch to the 9 minute timer mode. The S1 Baton will remain lit for 9 or 3 minutes and turn itself off.


The interface on the S1 Baton is incredibly well made and easy to use.

Beam:

Now for what matter most in a flashlight: the light!

I don't have to tell you that 500 lumens is bright, but I do have to tell you that 500 lumens coming out of a light as small as the S1 Baton is pretty unreal. It never fails to impress people that see the S1 Baton for the first time.

Olight S1 Baton beam

The beam itself is very interesting. The optic creates a wide spot. There’s barely any spill, and there’s a smooth transition from spot to spill. No artifacts or rings are present in the cool white tinted beam; it’s a perfectly round circle. It’s definitely floody, but I wouldn’t say that it’s full flood light as the beam has some reach. The beam reaches a distance of 110 meters which is not bad at all. The beam is great for indoor use, and looking around an average city sized backyard.

Pros:

Incredibly small.
Very bright for its size.
Awesome build quality.
Handy clip that’s well designed.
Intuitive interface with great shortcuts to moon mode and high mode.
Ability to lock out the tailcap to prevent drain.

Cons:

Electronic switch slowly drains battery.
TIR optic gets very dusty.

Who’s this light for?

The S1 Baton makes a great portable general use light, which is why I love it as an EDC light. In the times when using a big light isn’t necessary, the Olight S1 Baton is ideal. The even wide beam makes working up close very easy. If you need to go hands free, just put it on a hat and make a headlamp out of it. The magnet makes it even handier when working around metal like on a car. The S1 Baton sticks to the top of the hood giving you an even overhead light.

Whenever you find yourself in those odd situations where a light would really come in handy, the S1 Baton is the light to have on you.

Rating:

I really enjoy using the S1 Baton. It doesn’t weigh me down, and it takes up almost no space in my pocket. If I'm going to be indoors, the S1 Baton is the light I go for. The balanced brightness levels make it usable in every situation I would generally need light in, and the small size means that it'll never be a burden to carry it around. $50 is a steal for the quality you get with the S1 Baton.

Olight S1 Baton

This light gets a solid 5/5.


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