Pocket flashlights are convenient everyday carry tools, but sometimes you need your own spotlight. That’s the niche the Olight R50 fills, using a rechargeable 26650 lithium ion battery to deliver up to 2500 lumens.
The R50 is heftier than Olight’s other baton lights, but still considerably smaller than big D-cell Maglites and larger offerings. For the amount of power the R50 puts out, even on its medium mode, it’s an impressive balance of size and illumination.
View my video review below for an extended introduction and to see it perform outside at night.
Impressions of the Beam
As you’ll see in the video, the Turbo Mode’s 2500 lumens is a real “wow” to turn on in a dark place. You go from seeing virtually nothing to the entire area in front of you within 100 meters being fully lit up.
For illuminating fields, parking lots, or the entirety of your back yard, this mode is ideal for home as well as law enforcement and tactical applications. The one shame of it is that even with a big 26650 battery the light can only sustain this brightness for 2 minutes. After which it will automatically step down into the High Mode.
The trade off here is that you need to be on a pretty fresh battery charge to use Turbo, but you get the light volume of a larger light in a relatively small size.
The R50’s High Mode has an 800-1200 lumen range. On a fresh charge it’ll output the higher end of that range, settling to 800 lumens as the light is used for awhile. 800 lumens is nothing to sneeze at, still throwing a solid beam for a good range with a wide flood. With a run time of just over 2 hours in this mode, there’s a great balance of power and usable longevity.
Even if you don’t use the Turbo mode, the High mode is plenty bright for all sorts of outdoor uses (or even indoors for wide spaces). The light can easily illuminate a wide space within 60-100 meters, and the 800 lumens makes for a devastating strobe.
The hotspot is a little larger than you’d probably want for a truly long distance thrower, which is to say that this light is a bit floodier than a dedicated thrower. This produces a more balanced beam, but I’m not sure how well the light would actually illuminate at the box-listed 297 meters.
Compared to big lights, the Medium Mode’s 300 lumens may not seem like a lot. However, there are plenty of flashlights with higher modes that don’t even output at that level. 300 lumens for ranges under 50 feet (~15 meters) is still potent, and with a 6 hour run time makes for a wonderful EDC mode.
For nighttime walks, hiking, or exploration the Medium mode provides a useful balance of light, with the wide bezel still able to throw at a decent range with a solid volume of light. You could probably use the R50 for a camping weekend consistently using this mode without running out of power for on-demand function.
When you need long run time, the Low Mode provides 50 hours of light. At 50 lumens, the R50 shines enough light to see where you’re going in the dark and not trip on things. Throw distance is lessened as you’d expect, but it’d be fine for minor indoor tasks, quick outdoor activities done close up, or even providing light (in candle mode) in a dark room or for reading while camping.
And that 50 hour run time lends itself well to emergency scenarios.
You can enter Turbo mode directly with a double tap of the power button, and strobe with a triple tap. The memory function, like most flashlights these days, means that the next time you turn the flashlight on it’ll be in the same mode you left it. With the exception of Turbo and Strobe, which revert to High.
The beam is slightly warm color, just a touch the yellow side of white (versus the blue tone some lights have).
Weighing in at 8.9 ounces (254 grams), the R50 is a hefty baton light compared to typical 18650 pocket lights. However, the ability to cast an 800 lumen beam from something easily held in one hand is a plus.
The IPX-8 water resistance and tight construction are nice, and what Olight users have probably come to expect.
The R50 doesn’t have a magnetic snap-on charger or charging dock like the S2R or S30R, but it does have a standard micro USB slot that can be charged with the included charger or most phone chargers.
The indicator light near the plug glows red when charging, and green when complete.
If you’d like to purchase it, you can find it on Amazon here.