Olight R50 Seeker XHP50 Rechargeable Flashlight

Olight R50 Seeker  XHP50 Rechargeable Flashlight

*Olight R50 Seeker graciously provided for review by SkyBen.Trade

MANUFACTURER’S DESCRIPTION:

“The R50 Seeker is a USB rechargeable flashlight that delivers a maximum of 2500 lumens in a hand sized form factor. The R50 seeker features a Cree XLamp XHP50 LED with an orange peel reflector for the perfect light combination of distance and width. The R50 has over twice the light output of the previous R40 Seeker that featured the Cree XM-L2 LED. A 4500mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery is included to provide a run time of almost 4 days of light on a single charge. The light is charged through a standard Micro-USB charging port located on the tail cap of the flashlight. It also features a completely new tactile and translucent side switch for quick user response and mode switching. The R50 seeker is a powerful and versatile flashlight ideal for police, security, industrial, and home applications alike.”

KEY FEATURES:

• Features a Cree XLamp XHP50 LED, maximum output of 2500 lumens, and runtime up to 50 hours.
• Side switch cycles through three brightness levels. double click access to Turbo while triple click access to Strobe.
• Multi-function side switch featuring a battery power indicator which glows red when battery runs low.
• automatically returns to your last brightness level from the off position with the built in memory function.
• Built-in rechargeable 26650 4500mAh lithium battery with charging cable included.
• Aircraft-grade aluminum body with anti-scratch type III hard anodizing
• Ergonomic design with chamfered edges for a comfortable feel in the hand.
• Lock-out function to prevent accident activation.
• Waterproof up to 2 meters.

INCLUDED ACCESSORIES:
• Micro-USB cable
• User Manual
• 4500mAh 26650 battery (proprietary)
• Lanyard
• Power Supply
• Traffic Wand (optional)
Additional Accessories from SkyBen.Trade
• SkyBen Nylon Holster
• SkyBen USB light

SPECIFICATIONS

This product has the following specifications (ANSI/NEMA FL1-2009 Standards):

Max Output (lumens) 2500
Low (lumens) 50
Max Run Time (hours) 50
Beam Distance 297 m
Peak Beam Intensity (candela units) 22,000 cd
Water Resistance IPX8 (up to 2 meters)
Impact Resistance 1 m
Head Diameter 1.65 in. / 42 mm
Length 5.24 in. / 133 mm
Battery Type 26650
Weight (oz) 8.9900
Pocket Clip No
User Manual Yes
Selling Price $121.45

PERFORMANCE & OUTPUT 

 The Olight R50 Seeker has really nice performance.  Not as bright as some of the other new lights in this class but still tons of lumens for such a small, compact light.  I measured 2262 OTF lumens while Olight claims 2500 lumens.  Only a 10% difference and with natural variations in LED and driver components, that small difference is acceptable to me.  With the naked eye it’s not really anything one would notice either.  The tint is definitely not CW and is more NW with an almost yellowish center spot.  I would guess it to be around the 5000k range for tint.  The Cree XHP50 gives a wide but focused center spot with over 300m of throw.  I tested it to 315 ANSI meters.  Pretty nice for light like this!  Below is result of my testing figures.

With only a drop of 22 lumens after 30 seconds in Turbo, there isn’t much thermal sag from the big LED.  Oddly, it takes quite a bit longer for the head of the light to heat up when in Turbo mode for the 2 minutes before it steps down to 800 lumens. I’m never sure how to feel about the heat sinking in Olight torches.  They never get as hot as other lights in their category and getting heat from the LED to the outside is a sign of good heat sinking.  Oddly they still sag very little and it doesn’t seem to effect them.

One of my biggest complaints (there aren’t really many) of the R50 is the lack of a Moon low like the other Olight torches I own.  This light needs one. For me, 40-50 lumens is too bright as a lowest mode.

USER INTERFACE 

The UI is the Olight UI I’ve come to love and compare others to.  Super easy to start in lowest, highest, or last used mode.

From Off:
* Long press (<1s) to start in lowest mode
* Quick-click to start in last mode used
* Double-click to start in Turbo
* Long press (<2s) to enter electronic lockout.  Light will come on then flash briefly then go out.
* To exit electronic lockout press and hold again for <2s and light will turn back on in Low.

From On:
* Press and hold to cycle through regular modes (Low > Medium > High).  Release switch when in the mode you desire.
* Double-click for Turbo
* Long-press to exit Turbo and return to last used regular mode.
* Triple-click to enter Strobe mode.
* Long-press to exit Strobe and return to last used regular mode.
* Quick-click to turn Off

PHOTOS & DETAILS

SkyBen.Trade is an Amazon seller which is great if you have a Prime account for quick shipping and for the no hassle returns should you have an issue with the product.  My R50 combo arrived quickly and well packaged in a sturdy box.  Everything was protected with foam sheet packing.

Inside was the Olight R50 retail box along with a SkyBen holster and USB light.

Olight packages the R50 Seeker in a nice cardboard box with hinged lid and magnetic closure.

I’ll take a couple shots to show the extras that they ship with the R50, the holster and USB light.

The holster would almost be nice if not for the horrible belt loop for it.  The holster itself is very sturdy but the belt loop is a too soft flap with only a single snap closure that simply doesn’t feel secure.  I like a quick detach loop on holsters but only if there is a stitched loop on it as well for extra secure mounting.  I simply don’t find this one secure and wouldn’t trust a $100+ flashlight in it.

The fit with the light is good and the flap covers and secures well.

The USB light is a nice 3 LED jobber that makes a nice little night light.  Actually too bright to plug into a laptop port as it would be too bright in your eyes when typing.  Great for extra lighting if you have an extra wall wart laying about.

Back to the R50…

Inside the box is a hard, fitted foam insert for the light and accessory box. A nice touch is the anchored ribbons to make pulling them out easy.  They fit very tightly.

The R50 and accessory box.

Inside the box you will find the wall charger, US plug connection that snaps onto the charger, a sturdy Micro-USB cable, and the usual Olight lanyard.   There is also a User Manual not pictured above.

Here is everything all together.

The charger is a very nice one.  Feels really well made and puts out 2.1A for fast recharging to get you back out in the dark.

When power is going out to the light a blue LED lets you know.

When plugged into the tail of the R50, the charging port glows red when charging.  Once the battery (included 26650 sell) is fully charged the port lighting changes to green.

The reflector is surprisingly shallow considering how well the R50 throws with a nice bright hot spot.  The heavy orange peel makes for a nice smooth spill and clean spot with no visible crosshair from the XHP50 emitter.

The lens has a nice double-sided AR coating.

Olight carries on with it’s latest trend of blue anodized stainless steel lens and switch bezels.  The laser etching on the logos is clean and very bright.

One of the few complaints I have about the light is the smooth, nearly flat, silicone switch cover.  It barely sticks up from of the six flats that surround the driver section of the light.  This makes it very hard for me to find the switch by feel without looking at the light which can be tough when it’s too dark to see it.  I wish they had added some sort of texture or brail to it.

The switch actually lights up red depending on what is happening.  It also looks pretty cool when lit as well.  When battery voltage drops to around 30% capacity the switch will light up red to let you know it will need recharging soon.  Continue to ignore the warning it will begin to flash somewhere around 10% of capacity remaining.  The LED will also light if you click the button while it is electronically locked out.  This is great because you can check out the cool jewel effect pretty much whenever the mood strikes you.

The two flat sections milled into the head of the light look like anti-roll flats but they do nothing to stop the light from rolling away on a smooth, angled surface.  The flat opposite the switch has clean engraving with the model and serial number.

Clean, well machined fins surround the head of the light to help dissipate heat from the R50 that is generated when in the two highest output modes. In addition to being smooth and lacking any sharp edges, they look pretty damned nice too.

The overall finish and anodizing on it is typical Olight fare – excellent!  The usual Olight square knurling offers good grip and good looks.

The tail cap of the R50 is pretty well thought out as well.  The surround lip allows for solid tail standing and has no sharp edges.  Large, chamfered lanyard holes are big enough to accommodate 550 Paracord lanyards and have no sharp edges that could wear and cut the lanyard.  The silicone charging port cover is attached with a nice, wide stainless steel button.  That button, coupled with the half circle that attaches to it, should ensure long life of the cover without tearing.

The nice, large tab on the cover makes it the easiest to grab port cover I’ve ever used on a rechargeable light.  Even the fattest fingers should have no issues opening or closing this cover.  Well done, Olight.  The cover fits tight, securely, and seals well.

The tail cap mates to the main, one-piece body with smooth, square threads.  The O-ring is thick and seals tightly.  The threads arrived prelubed from the factory.  Being anodized, a 1/4 turn of the tail allows for mechanical lockout of the light for no parasitic drain when stored for extended time with the battery installed.

The R50 comes complete with a proprietary Olight 26650 Li-Ion cell with 4500mAh capacity.  Notice the unique connection rings in the base of the cell.  The inner center is the negative contact and the outer ring is the positive connection.  This allows the cell to be charged from the tail of the light unlike other rechargeable lights which have the charging port near the head of the light by the driver.  While a really nice feature, having the charging port in the tail, it carries a negative by limiting in-light charging to only this proprietary cell.

On the tail cap, the larger center button is the negative contact and is spring loaded but with very little travel distance.  The smaller offset button is the connection for the positive ring.  The circuit to that is only closed when the charging port is active.  When using a standard 26650 cell it is inactive and doesn’t effect anything.

 

While only being able to charge the proprietary Olight cell that comes with the light, you can still use some standard 26650 cells to run the light.  You simply won’t be able to charge a standard cell inside the light.  Due to the very short range of travel with the negative post and the lack of any travel in the positive contact on the driver, not all cell lengths work with this.  The Olight cell is 67.7mm long.  An unprotected King Kong cell barely makes contact and the slightest bump breaks connection.  While it needs a longer cell for proper contact, only some protected cells will be long enough to work if not using the proprietary cell the R50 comes with.  I don’t own any protected 26650 cells to test for fitment but I’ve heard that some protected cells will not allow the tail switch to be fully screwed down.  This kind of limits you to the included cell unless you have a cell that is the same length of the Olight cell.  My guess is you can reliably use any cell between 66.5mm-68.5mm. Don’t take those numbers as Gospel as I don’t have a good selection of 26650 cells to test with.

Looking inside the one-piece body of the R50 you can see a simple raised button made from stamped brass for the battery positive connection.  This means that flat-topped cells can be used in the R50 as well as button topped cells.

The cool looking blue anodized bezel has only a couple of threads but mates up securely without any risk of cross-threading.

With the bezel removed we can remove the lens and reflector to see the Cree XHP50 LED and copper MCPCB.  The silicone “C”-ring  fits securely around the lens and seals out the elements securely while protecting the lens from impact on both sides.

The reflector is very thick and solid but very shallow.  The large LED opening allows the XHP50 to sit deep inside it for a surprisingly focused beam.  A thick paper (thin cardboard?) insulator is glued to the back of the reflector base.

The large, copper MCPCB is held tight to the solid LED shelf with two screws.  Thermal compound ensures no air pockets between the MCPCB and shelf.  The wiring to the LED is thick and soldering is done well. The XHP50 LED has a lightly textured/frosted dome to help blend the “cross-hair” effect that is sometimes seen due to the small space between the 4 substrate squares in the LED.

COMPARISONS & BEAMSHOTS 

The R50 is really compact for it’s output and battery size.  It’s as short or shorter than many 18650 lights and not a lot wider.

It fits great in the hand and the switch falls right under the thumb (once the right flat that has the switch is found).

Alongside it’s competitor, the Acebeam EC50 Gen II, you will see the similarities as well as some differences.  The head and battery tube of the R50 are a little wider than those of the EC50 but lengths are nearly identical.

Reflector diameters are slightly different as well.  Both have similar orange peel but the R50 reflector is a few mm wider.  The smaller XHP50 LED in the R50 combined with the wider reflector are responsible for the more focused center spot of the R50 compared to the EC50.  The EC50 Gen II has an XHP70 LED casts a broader, but less bright center spot but with brighter overall spill.

It’s the depth of the reflectors that really sets the two apart.   You can see how much deeper the EC50 reflector is compared to the R50.  Surprisingly, to me at least, the R50 throws much farther with a smaller, brighter hotspot.  While the EC50 with its XHP70 is a few hundred lumens brighter than the R50, the larger LED surface area combined with the smaller reflector makes for a floodier beam than the R50.

Here is the R50 in Turbo mode during broad daylight outdoors.  Smooth, ringless spill and a nice center spot.  The tint is on the yellowish side and even more obvious outdoors.  Compared to the EC50 Gen II it is definitely more of a NW tint.

Another daylight shot outside from about 10ft away form the wall.  The center spot lights up the sun perfectly.  😉

Now for a few beam shots.  I wasn’t able to get to a good location this time so I took some shots in the back yard.  It still gives a good idea of the output and beam profile.

Here are shots of the R50 and each of its modes.   You will see the distances of some objects labeled out to 66m.  My testing from 8.9m converted back to 1m shows my sample hitting 315m of throw.

Fortunately for me, my Acebeam EC50 Gen II review sample arrived a couple days prior to taking these beam shots. This allowed me to show the difference in beam profile between it and the Olight R50 Seeker.

CONCLUSION

The Olight R50 Seeker really is a great light but with a few minor flaws.  Whether you can live with those flaws will determine if it’s a light for you.  To recap briefly…

  • Switch is so flat and smooth it’s hard to find by feel.  This is something I could live with.  The more you use it the easier it will be to find the switch by feel.
  • Proprietary cell and limited charging.  This could be a non-issue or a complete deal breaker depending on the buyer.  If you are ok with using only the Olight proprietary cell then it’s a non issue.  Under heavy use you could easily find yourself with a drained battery and still need light.  You can plug it in if you have access to a wall outlet or, in a pinch, a cell phone charger, but you will still have to wait for the battery to charge.  This is no bueno when you need light.  You could swap the cell for a standard 26650 cell but you will have to do some research to find one the correct length that will fit properly.  This light was designed around this exact cells length of 67.7mm.  You will need a protected spare but be aware that certain brands will be too long to work and unprotected cells will be too short.  On the other hand, while ordering the light, order an Olight spare cell designed specifically for this light.  That way you can pack a fully charged spare.
  • No Moon low mode.  A compact light like this means EDC especially in the cooler months when a jacket is worn but, for me at least, EDC means it HAS to have a Moon low it it wants to make my daily rotation.  Olight is known for having great moon modes in their EDC lights and 50 lumens for the lowest mode just doesn’t cut it.  It’s far too bright for making your way through a campsite to take a leak without disturbing others or for navigating the house in the dark when locking up for the evening.

I can live with the switch and the proprietary cell but the lack of a real low mode means that, for me at least, there are better choices in this class of light.

That said, there is also a lot to love about this light.  The charging port and cover is the best I’ve seen in a USB rechargeable light.  The Olight UI has always been aces and the R50 is no different aside from the lack of Moon low.  Build quality and finish is superb and the output is great.  Turbo mode is about 10% shy of the rated 2500 but still very bright and the tint in my sample is really nice.  If lack of Moon low is cool with you and you don’t mind the proprietary cell then I can say I highly recommend the R50 Seeker.  If a Moon low is important to you then there are better options you might want to consider.  Keep your eyes peeled for a future review.  😉

Advertisements

One thought on “Olight R50 Seeker XHP50 Rechargeable Flashlight

  1. Pingback: Olight R50 Seeker XHP50 Rechargeable Flashlight | Johnny Mac Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s