I think that it is safe to assume that a lot people reading this have that one item that not only becomes another item among your supplies, but an obsession to collect. For me, that item is flashlights. I love flashlights. I have had an assortment of survival flashlights over the years, ranging from cheap to rather expensive (rather expensive for me.) Thirty to thirty-five dollars is the top of my range when purchasing lights. However, this last Christmas I had the opportunity to spend more on a flashlight and I jumped at the chance.
Let me give you a little background on my flashlight usage. I am employed in building maintenance. Every company that I have worked for has always bought the absolute cheapest flashlights imaginable for their employees. After being stuck in a few unfamiliar rooms during power outages, I decided it was time for me to start carrying my own flashlight and stop depending on the lights that were provided for me. I started off carrying some lights by Energizer and Rayovac. The Energizers didn’t hold up to my abusive lifestyle and while the Rayovacs did hold up, their lumens quickly diminished. I then started using an UltraFire Mini CREE LED which was great…when it worked.
I have had issues with the UltraFire not wanting to turn on or off and the battery contacts were always rather loose. When it came to the UltraFire, the only place I was able to order them from shipped from Japan so it took forever to arrive. So after a lot of frustration with the UltraFire I was happy for the opportunity to obtain a different light.
The Olight S15 Baton
I always heard good things about the Olight brand but had never used one of their products. After reading a lot of good reviews, I decided to order the S15 Baton for $45 through Amazon. I chose this model because I wanted a small pocket flashlight. The S15 Baton measures in at a mere 3.5 inches and fits extremely well in a pants or shirt pocket. With the pocket clip and stainless steel head ring this flashlight has not fallen out of my pocket once. The pocket clips on other lights that I have owned have always been cheap and loose. The clip on the S15 appears to be very solid and there are no screws that I have to worry about loosening over time. I barely notice when I am carrying this light as it only weighs 1.62 ounces. It almost feels as though I am just carrying a Sharpie marker in my pocket.
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The lockout function is a great feature. It allows me to not have to worry about the light turning on in my pocket and wasting battery time when I am not using it. This was always an issue for me in the past and caused me to waste a lot of batteries. For me, the best feature of this light is the battery type that it uses. The battery type is always my primary concern, as I use my lights so much that I don’t want to have to spend the money on expensive batteries. When possible, I only want to rely on AA and AAA batteries as they are abundant and affordable. The S15 is not limited to using only one kind of battery. It can run on one AA, NimH or 14500 lithium ion which gives me more power options over other flashlights. I change the batteries a few times a week in my EDC (every day carry) flashlight, so being able to use one AA battery is a huge bonus in my book.
On the end cap of the light, there is a strong magnet that allows you to attach the light to any ferrous surface. For those that like to fix things for themselves this is a great feature. I have used the magnet on many appliances in tight spaces and this just makes for a much easier hands-free job. The magnet has also served the purpose of picking up the loose driver bits I put in my pocket, so that I don’t lose them. The magnet does not interfere with battery life and if you are one that does not like the magnet feature, there are easy instructions to remove it.
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The Olight S15 Baton has four light modes and a strobe mode. Mode 1 is 280 lumens. Mode 2 is 70 lumens. Mode 3 is 7 lumens. Mode 4 is .5 lumens. Even though the beam distance is rated at 276 feet, I was shocked when I took this light out into the dark night and turned it on for the first time. It really lit up the dark alley behind my house as though a floodlight had been turned on. It is kind of funny as it is almost too bright to use in some of the dark areas in which I work. The S15 Baton is rated to be water proof up to three meters. I don’t plan on fully testing this out but seeing that I work in all kinds of weather, I am glad that it has this feature. Some accessories that come with the baton are two extra O-rings, a lanyard and an extra magnet.
Finally, A Light For Everyone
An additional accessory that I chose to purchase was an extension tube that doubles the battery capacity and lumen run time. I highly recommend the extension tube as it really does not make the light much bulkier to handle and does in fact double the run time of the light. I have used the Olight S15 Baton every day since I have purchased it and it has made a lot of jobs at work a lot easier. I also feel that I have finally found an EDC flashlight that I should buy for every member of my family.