Olight I3T EOS Review

Preface

The Olight I3T (or i3T) EOS is the latest iteration of the I Series (keychain).

In keeping with the tradition of the previous EOS model (I3E), the I3T utilises the Philips LUXEON LED but ditches the keychain – in favor of a dual-direction pocket clip.

The majority of the AAA flashlights available currently have twisty-style switches. Hence, having the I3T with the clicky forward switch is definitely a nice welcome.

Packaging & First Impressions

This is what the light will come with as shown below.

  • The threads and o-rings were well lubricated.  Threads were smooth and clean (no gritty feeling).
  • The tail switch can be easily accessed to activate the light and require a rather firm force to activate.
  • Clip is not reversible. However, the dual-direction pocket clip enables for bezel up/down carries & allows for attachment of the light to a cap for hands-free usage.
  • The pocket clip has sufficient tension to ensure that the light will stay clipped to any material to prevent the light from falling out.
  • Anodizing of the light is uniform without any missing specs, as expected from Olight.
  • No holster and/or lanyard is provided.
  • Battery compartment holds Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloops, GP ReCyKo+, Energiser Ultimate Lithium (L92) and (Energiser and Duracell) alkaline batteries without any fitment issues.
  • Scanning the QR code with your phone/tablet on the box’s side would bring up the Olight I3T’s product page.

Note: Before using the flashlight for first time, remove the yellow insulating film from the battery’s terminal first (unscrew tailcap first).

Front:

Back:

Sides:

Top:

Bottom:

Box Contents:

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Body Material: Black HAIII Aluminium
  • LED: Philips LUXEON TX
  • Battery Format: AAA (1.2V NiMH rechargeable/1.5V lithium primary batteries/1.5V alkaline [not recommended]) ONLY
  • Output & Runtime (with AAA battery):
    • Low (5 lumens / 16h)
    • High (180 lumens / 21min)
  • Max Beam Distance: 60m
  • Beam intensity: 900cd
  • Waterproofness: IPX-8 Standard
  • Impact Resistance: 1.5m
  • Dimension: 89mm (length) x 15mm (diameter)
  • Weight: 41g (including battery)
  • Accessories Included:
    • 1*GMCELL AAA 1.5V Alkaline Battery
    • 1* Dual-direction (2 Way) Clip
  • MSRP: ~$20

UI (User Interface)

UI for this light is perfect for Every Day Carry (EDC) as it is extremely simple and straightforward to use.
In fact, this UI is almost identical to the Olight M1T‘s UI.

Switching ON and OFF is done by the main switch at the TAIL of the light. It is a forward clicky switch which also enables half press for momentary activation where necessary.

From OFF:

  • 1/2 Press – Direct access to MOMENTARY LOW; depress switch entirely (1 Click) to get LOW.
  • 2 * 1/2 Press – Direct access to MOMENTARY HIGH; depress switch entirely (1 Click) to get HIGH.
  • 1 Click – Direct access to LOW.

From ON:

  • 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
  • 2 Click (<~2 sec between the 2 Clicks) – Light will switch to the other MODE.

There is no mode memory for this flashlight, it will always switch on in LOW then HIGH – light will default to LOW after >2 sec of being switched OFF.

There is also no blinky modes (STROBE and/or SOS) available.

Form Factor

For flashlights that are intended to use on a daily basis (EDC)/tactical EDC and for possibly a long period of time, form factor is extremely important.

This light feels well balanced (not head/tail-heavy) and will almost disappear entirely in a clenched medium sized hand. Switching between overhand and underhand holding method is easy with its form factor.

Like the Olight M1T Raider, Olight has utilises a modified version of their new “dense double helix” knurling for the new I3T EOS. Aesthetically, the knurling is substantially less aggressive and helps give the light a rather unique appearance to differentiate it from most flashlights. This knurling on the light enables the light to be sufficiently “grippy”, even with wet hands/gloves.

It has a protruding tail switch, which unfortunately takes away the ability to tail-stand, but helps in being able to thumb-activate the light from any angle effortlessly. This easy-to-activate tail switch is definitely in-line with the requirements of a more tactical-orientated light, which we believe is the reason for the “T” in its I3T name.

With the included clip, a portion of the I3T would be protruding out from one’s pocket and thus enabling the user to “quick deploy/draw” from said pocket.

Beam Style/Beamshots

For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is somewhat predictable due to the TIR (Total Internal Reflection) optics. The LED is fully covered under the TIR optics. With the LED used, the beam is still sufficiently “throwy” for recognizing items in the up-close to near range distance.

The above beam profile is a rough interpretation of what is seen when white wall hunting. The beam has an almost circular hotspot with some slight corona and very little spill (almost all of the beam produced is focused into the hotspot). There are some beam artifacts in the beam when whitewall hunting but not visible in real world usage.

All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (LOW: 1.6 sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB and HIGH: 1/2 sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB).
Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.

Control shot:

LOW (5 lumens):

HIGH (180 lumens):

Mode (Output) Spacing

Mode spacing appears to be progressively brighter to the eyes and the modes are well spaced enough to be able to know which mode one is currently in. With that in mind, TLR tend to view mode spacing as battery life indicators (amount of runtime left) rather than the specific output (lumens).

For most tactical-orientated lights, users tend to prefer a simple HIGH/LOW interface, especially under duress. That said, with the UI starting with LOW of 5 lumens for up-close tasks and HIGH for other usage – it makes this flashlight one of the better tactical backup flashlights that is currently available.

Tint & CRI

Olight did not disclose the tint (color temperature) and/or the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LEDs used in their light. For this light, a guesstimate would be in the 6000K and 70CRI ballpark.

There are tint shifts throughout the beam profile. The hotspot is cool white whilst the corona possess a slight yellow-green tint; and the spill having a slight purple tint.
This is however, not as noticeable in real life.

Waterproofness

The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on High.

No signs of water intrusion in the head, switch or body was seen.

Lockout Capability

This is one of the items that differentiate it from the M1T Raider.

Both electronic lockout and mechanical lockout are not available when needed, like during transportation in a bag.

Although the I3T starts from LOW mode, it is not the best workaround for the lack of mechanical and electronic lockout. As such, we recommend removing the battery from the flashlight for transportation in a bag or in your Bug-Out Bag (BOB).

Scale Comparison (Ruler)

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own EDC or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For this light, it is an almost definite YES; especially if you are looking for a tactical backup EDC.

The straightforward 2 modes UI, great for up-close usage beam profile provided by the TIR optics and dual-direction (2 Way) clip are all plus points for the I3T EOS.

However, the lack of the mechanical and/or electronic lockout might be seen as a disadvantage for some. As mentioned earlier, the best way to use this flashlight would be for those looking for a tactical backup EDC (or EDC backup) and carried in a pocket. When carrying/transporting it in an enclosed area such as a bag, we definitely recommend removing the battery from the flashlight.

This I3T EOS flashlight is remarkably similar to the M1T Raider, with the exception that it takes AAA batteries with a correspondingly lower maximum output and has no mechanical and/or electronic lockout option.

Here is a bonus size comparison with some of the other somewhat similar smaller-sized EDC flashlights.
From Left to Right: Included GMCELL AAA Alkaline Battery, Olight I3T EOS, Fenix E01, Olight I1R EOS, Olight M1T Raider, Olight S1 Mini Baton.

As with all gears, two is one and one is none.

Stay safe,
The Lite Review


Disclaimer: Light was provided for by Olight (manufacturer) for this review. No other compensation was provided.


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Olight I3T EOS

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