Review: Olight S30R III. Perfect for Urban Explorers

The S30R III is my second flashlight from Olight. The first one I bought was the S1R, which is smaller than this one and thus a perfect everyday carry flashlight. I've also posted a Olight S1R Baton review in the blog.

But for exploring dark and abandoned places, I needed something a bit different. So here are my requirements for an urban exploration flashlight.

  • Long battery life (2-3 hours) plus as bright as possible
  • Easy to charge by offering a “no disassembly required” and “no fiddling” charging mechanism.
  • Can be used while charging.
  • Water proof (rain, etc.).
  • A form factor suitable for carry on luggage.
  • Turbo mode („very bright mode“) for light painting to photograph in totally dark environments.

And the S30R III perfectly meets those requirements.

How long does the Olight S30R III last?

This flashlight emits a powerful 1050 lumen for approx. 3 minutes. I use this mode mainly for “light painting” in dark rooms. Here’s an example of a dentist's chair I photographed this way inside a lost place.

Dentist’s Chair light painted with an Olight S30R III

Dentist’s Chair light painted with an Olight S30R III

After 3 minutes in 1050 lumen mode, the Olight S30R III switches to 500 lumen which is still very bright and enough for exploring lost places.

In this mode (1050 for 3 minutes followed by 500 lumen), the battery provides light for more than 3 hours. If you don’t use the turbo mode with 1050 lumen, you get 3.5 hours at 500 lumen from a fully charged battery.

Here are two screenshots from a video I recorded inside an abandoned bunker. It gives you a good idea how bright the Olight S30R III is even after it switched to 500 lumens.

Olight S30R III in an abandoned bunker (1)

Olight S30R III in an abandoned bunker (1)

Olight S30R III in an abandoned bunker (2)

Olight S30R III in an abandoned bunker (2)

The beam range is up to 600 feet and that has proven to be really valuable in the long hallways of abandoned factories and hospitals.

But the Olight S30R III has more than just those two modes. I rarely use the other modes but here they are for the sake of completeness:

  • 1050 lumen for 3 minutes as mentioned above followed by 500 lumen for 3 hours
  • 500 lumen for up to 3.5 hours
  • 120 lumen for up to 15 hours
  • 12 lumen for 130 hours
  • 0.5 lumen („candle light“) for 100 days.

How to use the Olight S30R III

Operating and using the Olight S30R III is simple. It has a side switch that you use to toggle between the different modes:

  • Single click the switch to turn the flashlight on and off.
  • Click and hold the switch to toggle between different modes and brightness settings. Release the switch if you've found the perfect mode
  • Double click the switch fast to turn on turbo mode (1050 lumen)
  • Triple Click to enable the defence strobe mode (Don’t know if this will help during a Zombie Apocalypse, we’ll have to wait and see)
  • Tap and hold switch for 2+ seconds to activate transport mode. The flashlight is now protected against accidental operation e.g. if you carry it in your pocket or backpack. Tap and hold the switch for 1 second to disable transport lock.

If it seems that you can’t turn on your flashlight, you may have (accidentally) enabled transport lock. Press and hold the switch for 1 second to disable it.

Portability and suitable for carry on luggage

Weighing just 3.88 oz, with a length of just 4.48 inches and a diameter of 0.99 inches, the Olight S30R III is perfect for carry on luggage.

It comes with a handy clip that you can use to safely attach and find it in any pocket in your carry on bag.

Easy and convenient charging without disassembly

What I like most about Olight flashlights is the charging mechanism.

  • You don’t have to disassemble the flashlight
  • You don’t have to fiddle a small USB like plug into some inconveniently located socket.
  • You don't have to carry a bulky charger
  • You can charge it from a power bank.

Instead, you use a magnetic charger that you can connect to any USB port from a wall charger or even a power bank. A LED indicator right on the magnetic charger indicates if the battery is currently being charged (red) or is fully charged (green)

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To charge it, use the magnetic charging cable and attach it to the back of the flashlight. Done. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. As the back of the Olight S30R III is magnetic you can use that magnet to attach the flashlight to any metal structure (and there are a number of those in abandoned places).

And finally, you can charge the flashlight using a power bank and even use it while it charges. I just love that.

The Olight S30R III is water proof

And finally, the flashlight will still work if you use it in a humod environment or accidentally drop it into a wet spot. It’s IPX8 water proof, which means it is protected in water up to 3 feet.

What’s in the box?

Olight itself and retailers sometimes sell special editions with e.g. a second battery, a second charging cable and so on.

So it’s really difficult to tell what’s in the box. My box came with the flashlight (of course), a wrist strap, battery and a desk charger.

As my Olight S1R Baton came with a portable, magnetic charging cable that I could use on the go instead of the desk charger, I didn't have to order one extra but you may need to buy one extra if you plan to charge the Olight S30RIII with a power bank.

Summary

With 3.5 hours on 500 lumen and a beam range of more than 600 feet, the Olight S30R III is perfect if you need a powerful and long lasting flashlight for urban exploration, camping and any other outdoor activity.

Additionally, it's light and just ideal for people, who like me, prefer to travel light.

The in-case charging of the S30R III is very convenient and the ability to charge it using a power bank ensures you'll always have light when you need it.

You can get the Olight S30R III from Amazon.

Don't forget to order the portable magnetic charging cable (unless you already have it from another Olight flashlight. The Olight magnetic charging cable is also available from Amazon.