By Matt Hecker
Simplicity, convenience, and quality are the three attributes of the R40 Seeker flashlight by Olight that I appreciate the most. The Seeker starts with all the modern features that are so common today on high-end flashlights. To take it beyond the ordinary, Olight has added a newer feature – a rechargeable battery that utilizes a micro-USB port and cable to attach to the adapter. Along with this, you get excellent quality and a well-built flashlight that has many uses for all different types of people.
What You See
The R40 Seeker exudes quality, just like all the other Olight models. I have two other Olight flashlights, and they have been great since day one. The Seeker is no different, being made of aircraft grade aluminum with a scratch-resistant Type III hard-anodized finish. This type of construction can withstand drops and various types of hard use. According to Olight documentation, the Seeker can withstand a drop of about 3.2 feet.
Grabbing the light and holding it in my hand made me smile. It’s a solid, thick light with an overall length of 5.6 inches. It has a width of 1.25 inches at the handle and 1.5 inches wide at the bezel. It’s a great size that can be conveniently stored in most places. Also, the light weighs 5.5 oz. minus any battery. With the battery, it weighs 8.6 oz.
The main part of the handle has a knurled pattern that provides enough grip to help with retention, but it’s not rough enough to hurt or damage your skin. There’s also a simple nylon wrist strap that attaches at the end of the tail cap. There is a six-sided, nut-shaped ring between the head and the main handle that is supposed to act as an additional anti-roll bezel.
The front striking bezel is made of stainless steel that surrounds a clear, tempered glass lens with an anti-reflective coating and a mirror-finish aluminum reflector. Nested down inside the head of the flashlight is a Cree XM-L2 LED.
Many of the more tactical lights utilize a push button located in the tail cap. The R40 Seeker departs from this trend and uses the more classic button switch right on the main handle. It’s simple to use, and almost anyone will be familiar with this type of setup.
On the end of the handle, the tail cap provides a slot for the wrist lanyard, a micro-USB charging port with a rubber cap to keep water out, and an O-ring sealed entry to the inside of the flashlight. The plastic area surrounding the micro-USB charging port lights up to act as an indicator during charging. To get to the 4000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery, just gently unscrew the tail cap.
The light is packaged with a wrist lanyard, two spare O-rings, a micro-USB cord, a power adaptor, and a set of instructions.
How It Works
To turn the light on, press the round power button on the side of the handle. There are four modes on this model – low, medium, high, and strobe. The low setting provides 12 lumens for up to 100 hours of output. The medium setting provides 250 lumens for 7 hours, and the high setting provides 1100 lumens for up to 2 hours. The maximum throw is 280 meters, or 918 feet. That is an excellent output for a light of this size and price. I had no problem lighting up my basement when I was down there inspecting my ever-troublesome furnace. 1100 lumens are almost too bright for indoor use, but it is still neat to have that much power available. Please note that as with many flashlights of this nature, regardless of brand, you don’t get the highest output for the entire time defined. When fully charged, you’ll get the 1100 lumens for a part of the 2 hours, but usually the output drops within the first 30 minutes, and then continues to drop slowly as you reach the 2 hour mark. According to the chart that is included in the instruction manual, at the 2 hour mark in the highest mode, you’ll be getting less than 600 lumens. Quite frankly, that’s still really good.
Tests done in my backyard on a cloudy night showed that the lowest setting of 12 lumens was useful out to about 15 yards. Bumping it up to the medium setting of 250 lumens provided a useful light out to about 50 yards. I could easily make out my shed and trees all the way in the back. Bumping up to 1100 lumens provided useful light out to about 100 yards. Now, when I say “useful”, I mean that I could clearly make out details of objects at that distance. There certainly was more distance viewable, but the details remain somewhat obscured, not to mention that clarity at that distance is dependent upon your own eyesight. The beam that the R40 emits is smooth and wide, with the center being a little brighter than the outer areas.
Getting to the different brightness levels of the flashlight is easy. Press the switch once to turn it on. The R40 is equipped with a memory feature that takes you to the last setting the flashlight was on when it was shut off. Press and hold the switch to cycle through the levels. If you are on low, pressing and holding the button cycles you to medium, then high, then low again, and so on. Just let go of the button at the desired level. If you double click the button, the light goes into strobe mode. This can be used to attract attention in an emergency, or to disorient someone.
The R40 is equipped with a lockout feature to prevent the user from accidentally turning on the light and wasting the battery. To enter the lock-out state, press and hold the switch from the off status and the light will turn on for 2 seconds, and then turn off. Any subsequent presses of the switch will cause a small LED under the button to light up red, indicating you are in lock-out mode. To exit this mode, just press and hold the power button for 1 second.
As part of the overall sturdiness and quality, the flashlight is IPX-8 rated, which means that it is waterproof to 2 meters, or 6.6 feet. Since the charging port is covered by a small, rubber cap, be sure to close it securely. The light is also impact resistant to drops from 1 meter, or about 3.3 feet.
It’s also important to note that Olight has chosen to adhere to the ANSI/NEMA FL1-2009 Standards when it defines light output runtime, beam distance, peak beam intensity, enclosure protection against water penetration, and impact resistance.
Charging the Seeker is quite simple and convenient. You can use the micro-USB cord to connect it to a device that has female USB connections, or you can simply connect the cord to the included adaptor and use a regular electrical outlet. While I wrote this review, I charged the light while it was connected to my desktop PC. Concerned about longevity, I searched around the Internet and found that you can buy replacement 4000 mAh 26650 lithium batteries if for some reason the included one wears out. It’s good to know that these are available.
The R40 Seeker is a great-looking flashlight that is made of high-quality materials. Combine the excellent fit and finish with the sturdy uni-body design, throw in the 5 year warranty, and you get an exceptional flashlight for your money. I was able to find prices on the web in the $100 – $120 range. Check out this light at http://goinggear.com/olight-r40-seeker-1-x-26650-cree-xm-l2-1100-lumen-led-flashlight.html