There are many things worth keeping in your range bag, lights among them. When it comes to a choice of a task light, two options to keep in mind are a good headlamp or a keychain light (or both, if you want redundancy). The first choice will leave your hands free, but the latter can often be staged and retained easily. Clip it to a cleaning kit, hook it to the range bag handle, tether it to your boo-boo kit…you get the idea. Today we’ll look at the Olight i1r EOS as a task light consideration.
This article is from May of 2018.
Dim Outlook on Lights
Keychain lights are dollar-store, throwaway, garbage-tier illuminators for the most part.
Most aren’t bright enough for serious use like lighting up a potential threat for positive ID. The ones that are relatively bright, are too bright for use inside a vehicle or to find your door’s keyhole in the dark, as it’s momentarily blinding.
Normally, these sorts of lights are considered disposable: you hook them on your keychain and use them for a few months before either the battery dies or corrodes enough to render the entire light useless. The really inexpensive models can’t even change their batteries.
With so many negative aspects about these things, I had just about given up on finding one that offered features that I actually wanted with good build-quality and a reasonable price. Until the folks at Olight send me one of their new i1R EOS units to test out.
Full disclosure, Olight sent me a pair of these mini lights without me requesting one as a, “Thank you” for my review on their mid-sized, Valkyrie tac light. In my review I attached the Valk to aGSG 1911, Glock 19x, AR-15and DSA FAL. The light ran without any issues, so I have high hopes for this mini light.
First, here are the details.
In the box, the i1R ships with a charging cable, flashlight, and manual. Yeah, you read that right, charging cable. Despite being not much bigger than a penny, the i1R features a Micro-USB-charged, rechargeable battery. And despite its small size, the unit has a respectable run time.
A Tale of Two Settings
The back of the box states that the run time on high is a brief 20 mins, but a substantially longer 7-hours on low. I’m a patient man, but I only tested the light’s run-time from a full charge on the high setting.
True to their word, the Olight ran for 22 mins, with noticeably decreased brightness in the final seconds of its battery’s life. The unit re-charged from empty in about an hour, when I noticed the red LED turned green, indicating it was good to go.
Quality or Questionable?
Overall, Olight’s iR1 EOS mini flashlight is the finest micro flashlight I’ve ever used. It’s bright, seemingly very durable, and the fact that I can charge the battery with my cars cigarette lighter while I drive to work means I’ll always have a decent light within arms reach. If you’re anything like me, you probably felt the same way about the performance and usefulness of keychain lights. But the performance of this little Olight might just change your mind.