Review: Olight S30R III. Perfect for urban explorers

The S30R III is my second flashlight from Olight. I bought it because I looked for a more powerful and longer lasting flashlight for my urban exploration trips. Compared to the my everyday carry flashlight, the Olight S1R, it's brighter and lasts longer but it's also a little bit bigger while it still perfect for carry on luggage

So here are all my requirements that made me buy the Olight S30R baton III:

  • Long battery life (2-3 hours)
  • As bright as possible
  • In-case charging. Neither do I want to disassemble the flashlight nor do I want to carry an additional charger
  • Can be used while charging
  • Water proof for use in wet (rain) or humid environments.
  • 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 battery last?

The Olight S30R III comes with a total of 6 modes and the runtime depends on which mode you use. In the brightest mode, it will last for 3 hours and 20 minutes and you'll get 1050 lumen for 3 minutes (turbo mode) followed by 500 lumens for the rest of the time. In candle light mode, you get 100 days.

Looks like a perfect match for extended candle light dinners.

So, here are all the modes the Olight S30R baton III supports including the battery runtime:

  • 1050 lumen for 3 minutes and 500 lumen afterwards. Olight calls this Turbo Mode. In this mode you get 3 hours, 20 minutes.
  • 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 S30R is simple. You control it all by using the conveniently located click switch:

  • Single click the switch turns the flashlight on and off.
  • Click and hold the switch to toggle between different modes
  • Double click the switch fast to turn on turbo mode (1050 lumen for 3 minutes)
  • Triple Click to enable the defense strobe mode (Don’t know if this will help during Zombie Apocalypse)
  • Tap and hold switch for 2+ seconds to activate transport lock. The flashlight is now protected against accidental operation e.g. if you carry it in your pocket. Tap and hold the switch for 1 second to disable transport lock and use it again.

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.

Is Olight S30R II is portable 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 baton III is perfect for carry on luggage.

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

Also, so far I never had any problems taking the flashlight on a plane in my carry on luggage.

How to charge the Olight S30R III

What I like most about Olight flashlights is the charging mechanism. You don’t have to disassemble the flashlight, you don't have to carry a separate charger and you don’t have to fiddle a small USB like plug into some inconveniently located socket.

To charge this flashlight, 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 baton III is magnetic, you can use that magnet to attach the flashlight to any metal structure. A and there are a number of those in abandoned places.

An LED indicator right on the magnetic charger indicates if the battery is currently being charged (red) or is fully charged (green)

Olight magnetic charger LED

Olight magnetic charger LED

And finally, you can charge the flashlight by using a power bank and even use it while it charges.

The Olight S30R III is water proof

And finally, the flashlight will still work if you use it in a humid 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 some 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.

I had to order the portable magnetic charging cable extra. So [check Amazon for different offers of the Olight S30R baton III][5].

Light Painting withe the Olight S30R III

Aside from using the S30R to explore lost places, I use it for my iPhone photography in completely dark rooms. I use a technique called light painting

For such photos, I use Slow Shutter Cam App with a manual exposure of up to 1 minute and slowly “paint” the room or the subject with beam from the flashlight. Here’s an example of a dentist chair I photographed this way inside the abandoned Beelitz Heilstätten.

Dentists Chair at Beelitz Heilstätten

Dentists Chair at Beelitz Heilstätten

A dentists chair at the Beelitz Heilstätten. I made the light around the chair by taking a long exposure and “painting” some light from the Olight S30R III over and around it.

Dark Cellar

Dark Cellar

A completely dark cellar at Beelitz Heilstätten illuminated using light painting technique in combination with a long exposure.

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

Summary

The is a perfect addition to the small S1R every day carry flashlight.

With 3.5 hours on 500 lumen and a beam range of more than 600 feet, it’s a perfect flashlight for me for exploring lost places. It's still small so it does not add any bulk to my carry on luggage and it's easy to carry around on site. I'd buy it again.

You can get the Olight S30R III from Amazon or buy it from the Olight Online Store.

And if you're looking for a smaller, but still powerful, everyday carry flashlight, head over to my review of the Olight S1R baton, to see if this one is right for you.