Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight Review

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight Review

The Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight is a new design that offers cool white for high output and warm white for “lantern-style” usage. Very neat! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a referral link to the Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight product page.

Versions

I see just this one version of the Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight right now.

Price

The Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight retails for $139.99 and is available now through my referral link.


What’s Included

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight what's included

I forgot to get the holster in the photo above. It’s included in the regular package, too!

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight what's included 2

  • Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight
  • Olight 5000mAh 21700 (customized, proprietary)
  • Charging cable
  • Holster
  • Wall mount for holster (with screws, stickers, etc)
  • USB-C charging base
  • Manual etc

Package and Manual

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight package

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight lens cover

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight

The Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight has a fairly standard “flashlight” look. But it’s hiding a neat trick! Under the head (or on the rear of the head, however you want to say it) is an array of warm white emitters!

The build quality here is great – no surprises. More on the switches later but I do find the mechanical switch that selects front/rear output to be very stiff!

I appreciate this diamond body milling pattern. It really reminds me of the FidgetHQ Aonic flashlight.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight showing springs

There’s not much disassembly of the Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight that can be done (at least non-destructively). Above you can see the tailcap button (which has some side-to-side movement but is not really springy) and also the dual springy contacts in the head.

Size and Comps

Weight 9.49 oz (269 g) (Including Battery)
Length 5.63 in (143 mm)
Head Diameter 1.93 in (49 mm)

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll also show that (usually in the fourth photo).

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. The version you see below is a custom Convoy S2+ host that’s been laser engraved by GadgetConnections.com. I did a full post on an engraved orange host right here! Or just go straight to GadgetConnections.com to buy your Convoy S2+ now!

[pic upcoming!]

Also above is the light beside a TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats. I also reviewed that specific edition, the “Oveready BOSS FT Collector Vintage Brass” 35. I love it!

Retention and Carry

Olight intends for the Prowess bidirectional flashlight to be carried in the holster. There’s really no other way. The holster is a plastic affair, and very solid.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight carry holster

There’s no pocket clip on the light but the holster of course has a belt attachment. This is not movable.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight carry holster

The charging port is accessible through the bottom, if you use the older style. It doesn’t allow use of the USB-C charging base.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight carry holster

You’ll need to put the light into the holster with the switches out this way. It’ll fit another way but it won’t be comfortable.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight carry holster in use

An accessory to the holster is this wall-mount bracket. This has a sticky back as well as screws for secure mounting on a wall.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight wall mount for carry holster

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight wall mount for carry holster

That’s it! No other carry options are included.

Power and Runtime

The Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight is powered by a proprietary 21700 cell. It’s proprietary in that both positive and negative terminals are exposed on the positive end of the cell. It will not be charged in a bay-type charger. Also, traditional 21700 cells will not work in the light, and can’t be charged by the light.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight with 21700 cell

The cell goes into the light in the “normal” way – the positive end toward the head.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight with 21700 cell in place

Here are runtime tests on the three highest outputs. Turbo steps down completely in under 2 minutes, but it takes over 1 minute to begin the dramatic decline. Once it’s stepped down, the output is exceptionally stable at around 600 or so lumens. A final stepdown to around 130 lumens happens at ~150 minutes.

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight runtime graph

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight runtime graph

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight runtime graph

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight runtime graph

And here’s a runtime on the highest mode of the rear lights. I am not calibrated for such an emitter setup, so I just (maybe naively?) set the output to what Olight claims. It’s bright – I can easily believe it’s 800 lumens!

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight runtime graph

Charging

The Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight does have Olight’s normal charging connections on the end. That’s not the intended way or the best way to charge this light though. The best way is through this charging base.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight charging base

It’s a completely separate piece and has a USB-C connector.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight charging base USB-C

The light rests in this base very securely through a magnetic connection. In fact, you could safely carry the light in this setup if you wished (just not in the plastic holster!)

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight charging base in use

This charging base can also be mounted to things by means of the tripod threaded hole (and/) or the grippy base. There’s also a sticky sticker for this circle, too!

I still need to confirm but superficially the base of this light is different from the base of other Olights with built-in charging. I do not think this charger will work for previous-generation Olights.

A USB to USB-C cable is included. Olight’s old-style charger base is not included.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight charging cable

Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight charging graph

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 5000-1200 3m+140m 4404 (0s)
4372 (30s)
9.24
High 1200-300 150m+30m 1074 (0s)
1071 (30s)
1.43
Med 300 10h 299 0.37
Low 50 50h 55 0.06
Moon 5 20d 6.4 [low]
Turbo “Reverse Light” 800-600-400 20m+135m+55m 1.71
Low “Reverse Light” 2 20d 0.02

Pulse Width Modulation

None of the modes use PWM! The order below is lowest to highest first from the front (5) and then from the rear (2).

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, which is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

The user interface of this Prowess is solid. First, there’s a toggle to select front or rear output – the front has five lines (seen below) that go “more forward (and also point outward from the front of the light) and the rear light has three lights that appear to be more floody (they are!) (and also point toward the rear of the light).

After that is the clicky e-switch.

top down views

e-switch profile

e-switch actuation

switch to flip between front and rear lights

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off (Selector forward) Click Front on (Memory)
Off (Selector forward) Hold Front Moon
Off Long Hold (>2s) Moon of selected output then Lockout
Locked Long Hold (>1s) Unlock to Moon of selected output
Any (Selector forward) Double click Turbo
Any (Selector forward) Triple click Strobe
On Click Off
On Hold LMH advance
On (Selector rearward) Hold Stepless ramping (Rear light)
Rear ≥ 70% brightness Double Click Direct to Moon^
Rear < 70% brightness Double Click Direct to Turbo^

^ This is really a weird implementation to “direct to” for the rear light.

The switch also indicates how much power is left. There’s a little dot right in the center that can indicate in red, orange, and green. It doesn’t seem to indicate while in Moonlight, though. The colors are as follows:

Green: ≥60% power
Orange: 10-60% power
Red: 5-10% power
Red blinking: <5% power

LED and Beam

Olight doesn’t say what any of the emitters are. You can get a good look at the front ones below, though. The optic used is shallow and provides a clear view. They’re probably Osram P9 emitters.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight front emitter array

I think these front emitters are ripe for an emitter swap. The bezel is not glued so access should be reasonably easy.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight front emitter array on

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight front emitter array on

The other array of emitters is warm white, at around 3000K. This seems to be a COB-style array and is very floody.

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight lantern emitter array on

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight lantern emitter array on

Olight Prowess Bidirectional Flashlight lantern emitter array on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

The order below is lowest to highest first from the front (5) and then from the rear (2). CCT for the front emitter array starts neutral with low CRI and ends (on Turbo, that is) as a little cooler (but still “neutral” at around 5600K) and low CRI.

The rear emitter array also has surprisingly low CRI but has a very pleasant CCT of around 3000K. I do appreciate that the Duv is negative, so there’s no green at all in the rear emitter output!

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure. These photos are taken at floor level and the beam hits the ceiling around 9 feet away. The order below is lowest to highest first from the front (5) and then from the rear (2).

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right. These photos are taken around 18 inches from the door. The order below is lowest to highest first from the front (5) and then from the rear (2).

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Summary and Conclusion

I find the Olight Prowess bidirectional flashlight to be very novel, and I love novel things. The warm white emitters are great for lantern-style use and also have very nice (if low CRI) output. Those front six emitters provide incredibly high output (on Turbo) and a good range of other modes. I like the user interface (it’s new but familiar) and the selector switch is firm enough that you will definitely not flip it accidentally. This is a great new style of light by Olight!

The Big Table

Olight Prowess
Emitter: Unstated Cool white (6)
Price in USD at publication time: $139.99
Cell: 1×21700
Runtime Graphs
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C (charging base)
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port “With cell: all modes
without cell: no modes”
Claimed Lumens (lm) 5000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 4372 (87.4% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 3.75
Claimed Throw (m) 245
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 645lux @ 5.451m = 19165cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 276.9 (113% of claim)^
Claimed CCT
Measured CCT Range (K) 5400-5600 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Olight
All my Olight reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  Testing flashlights is my hobby. I use hobbyist-level equipment for testing, including some I made myself. Try not to get buried in the details of manufacturer specifications versus measurements recorded here; A certain amount of difference (say, 10 or 15%) is perfectly reasonable.

What I like

  • Neat lantern setup
  • Warm white lantern
  • User interface is familiar
  • Bezel is not glued (emitter swaps should be possible)
  • Uses USB-C charging

What I don’t like

  • Low CRI for both emitter arrays
  • Seems to only be able to charge from the charging base (and not the old style chargers)

Notes

Liked it? Take a second to support zeroair on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply