The Olight M Series has been around for almost a decade (since the venerable Olight M20 Warrior) with the intention of being full fledged tactical models.
Does their latest M2T qualify to be properly labelled as a “tactical” model or is it just a marketing gimmick?
Packaging & First Impressions
This is what the light will come with as shown below.
- Newly redesigned Olight packaging style is minimalist (looks a little like Apple’s packaging style).
- The threads and o-rings were lightly lubricated. Threads were smooth and clean (no gritty feeling).
- The tail rubber switch boot and clip attachment point are even lubricated!
- The tail switch can be easily accessed to activate the light and require little force to activate.
- The side electronic switch requires a firm and deliberate press to activate and helps in preventing any unwanted activation of the light.
- The deep carry pocket clip has sufficient tension to ensure that the light will stay clipped to any material to prevent the light from falling out.
- Attachment of the light to a baseball cap for hands-free usage is possible as it is a 2 way reversible clip.
- Anodizing of the light is uniform without any missing specs, as expected from Olight.
- The provided lanyard is able to support the full weight of the light and should hold up to the test of time.
- Holster provided is of decent quality and should withstand day-to-day abuse without issue.
- Battery compartment is able to take a KeepPower 18650 3400mAh battery with barely much room to take a slightly thicker battery width. Fatter protected 18650 3500mAh batteries should still be able to fit.
Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)
- Body Material: Black Aluminium
- LED: XHP35 HD
- LED Specification: 5500 – 7000K
- Battery Format: 1 x 18650 or 2 x CR123A ONLY
- Output & Runtime (with Olight 18650 3500mAh battery):
- Moonlight (1 lumens / 50days)
- Low (15 lumens / 70h)
- Mid 2 (60 lumens / 20h)
- Mid 1 (250 lumens / 6h 15min)
- High (600 lumens / 2h 20min)
- Turbo (1200 lumens / 3min) -> (600 lumens / 2h 10min)
- Output & Runtime (with 2 x Olight CR123A 1600mAh battery):
- Moonlight (1 lumens / 30days)
- Low (15 lumens / 42h)
- Mid (60 lumens / 14h)
- High (400 lumens / 3h)
- Turbo (900 lumens / 3min) -> (600 lumens / 1h 25min)
- Max Beam Distance: 195m  / 165m [CR123A]
- Beam intensity: 9,500cd  / 6,800cd [CR123A]
- Waterproofness: IPX-8 Standard
- Impact Resistance: 1.5m
- Dimension: 130mm (length) x 25.4mm (head diameter) / 24.4mm (body diameter)
- Weight: 100g (excluding batteries)
- Accessories Included:
- 2*Olight CR123A 1600mAh battery
- 1*Battery Magazine
- MSRP: ~$70
UI (User Interface)
UI for this light is suitable for both Every Day Carry (EDC) and tactical usage as it is simple and straightforward to use after the initial learning curve.
TAIL SWITCH – “3-in-1” operation (MOMENTARY TURBO, TURBO & MOMENTARY STROBE)
- 1/2 Press – Direct access to MOMENTARY TURBO; releasing the tail button will switch the light OFF.
- 1 Click – Direct access to TURBO; 1/2 Press/1 Click to switch OFF or 1 Click & HOLD down for MOMENTARY STROBE.
- 1 Click & HOLD – Direct access to MOMENTARY STROBE; releasing the tail button will switch the light OFF.
- 1/2 Press or 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
- 1 Click & HOLD – Direct access to MOMENTARY STROBE.
SIDE SWITCH – Similar UI to Olight S Series flashlights
- 1 Click – Last brightness level (all modes except TURBO and STROBE are memorized) is activated.
- 2 Click – Direct access to TURBO; 1 Click to switch OFF or HOLD down to switch modes.
- 3 (or more) Click – Direct access to STROBE; 1 Click to switch OFF or HOLD down to switch modes.
- HOLD (~3 sec) – Direct access to MOONLIGHT.
- HOLD (till MOONLIGHT is activated & deactivated) – LOCKOUT mode is enabled; HOLD (till MOONLIGHT is activated) – LOCKOUT is disabled OR unscrewing (anti-clockwise) & then screwing (clockwise) back the tailcap a quarter turn will disable LOCKOUT.
- 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
- 2 Click – Direct access to TURBO; 1 Click to switch OFF or hold down to switch modes.
- 3 (or more) Click – Direct access to STROBE; 1 Click to switch OFF or hold down to switch modes.
- HOLD – Mode change (light cycles through LOW to HIGH only; MOONLIGHT & TURBO is not part of the sequence).
There is 1 blinky mode for this light (STROBE only) and no SOS modes.
The TAIL and SIDE switches do not exactly complement each other. The TAIL switch is mainly to be used for Tactical purposes and the SIDE switch for more everyday general usage.
One thing to note – if the light is activated using the SIDE switch, any 1/2 press on the TAIL switch will activate the MOMENTARY TURBO mode and letting go of the TAIL switch will switch the light OFF. In general usage, this would seem like a UI flaw but seeing this is marketed as a tactical light; it is a understandable decision made by Olight to make it more tactical-orientated.
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 in a medium sized hand (not head/tail-heavy). Switching between overhand and underhand holding method is easy with its form factor. The 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 true tactical-orientated light.
The light fits in the holster snugly even with the lanyard attached and if tail-standing is still absolutely required, slotting the light into the side of the holster would help.
For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is somewhat predictable due to the fairly deep Orange Peel Reflector. But due to the LED used, the beam is still sufficiently “throwy” for recognising items in the near to mid-range distance.
The above beam profile is a rough interpretation of what is seen when white wall hunting. The beam has a distinct hotspot with some slight corona and a fairly wide usable (perfectly round) spill. It also helps that the XHP35 LED is perfectly centred in this sample. There are some slight rings (no dark “donut”) 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 (MOONLIGHT: 6, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB, LOW/MID: 1/2, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB and HIGH/TURBO: 1/4, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight 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.
MOONLIGHT (1 lumens):
LOW (15 lumens):
MID 2 (60 lumens):
MID 1 (250 lumens):
HIGH (600 lumens):
TURBO (1200 lumens):
2 * CR123A BATTERY
MOONLIGHT (1 lumens):
LOW (15 lumens):
MID (60 lumens):
HIGH (400 lumens):
TURBO (900 lumens):
Mode (Output) Spacing
Mode spacing appears to be progressively brighter to the eye 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).
Even though this is a tactical-orientated light, TLR is very happy to report that the MOONLIGHT mode is excellent for those bedtime night snack runs or with night-adjusted eyes, especially since there is a Direct Access option from OFF.
Tint & CRI
The tint is said to be 5000~7000K but the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LED used in the light is unknown. A guesstimate would be that it is in the 75CRI ballpark.
However, due to the emitter used, 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.
The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on Turbo.
No signs of water intrusion in the head, switch or body was seen.
Electronic lockout and mechanical lockout are possible when needed, like during transportation in a bag.
Since a 1/2 Press of the tail switch can activate MOMENTARY TURBO, it is recommended to lockout the light when not in use.
A quarter turn (anti-clockwise) of the tail portion of the light will enable mechanical lockout.
For electronic lockout, see above “UI (User Interface)”, on how to activate and deactivate LOCKOUT.
When LOCKOUT mode is activated, any button presses will cause the red LED on the side switch button to activate for about 5 sec. The red LED indicator also doubles as a low battery indicator.
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 a definite YES; especially if you are looking for a tactical EDC.
Olight has one of the best flashlight UI for EDC in their S Series line-up (incorporated to this light) and with the addition of a protruding easy-to-activate tactical tail switch makes this light into an almost perfect tactical EDC.
This light is an almost perfect tactical EDC because the emitter chosen is mostly known for having tint shifts in the beam and while this isn’t a priority on a true tactical flashlight; getting the most “throw” out of a light is. A XHP35 HI LED with Smooth Reflector would have been a much better choice instead.
While the inclusion of battery magazine (prevents battery rattle or loss of connection) and CR123A batteries are a nice touch, it would have been a much sweeter deal if a 18650 battery is included as well to ensure that the light is able to hit the 1200 lumens Turbo output.
Since this light would most probably be the main EDC, it is recommended to carry a backup keychain light as well.
May we suggest the Prometheus Lights Beta QRv2 we recently reviewed – high CRI and excellent low modes.
As with all gears, two is one and one is none.
The Lite Review
Disclaimer: Light & battery was provided for by Olight (manufacturer) for this review. No other compensation was provided.
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