Olight M3X XM-L2

March 18th, 2013
by Dave Wise

Pressing forward, following the inexorable march of technology, Olight continues to add the latest and greatest advances to their lineup of outstanding products.

Olight M3X XM-L2

Olight M3X XM-L2

Meat and Potatoes

Olight has recently released their latest throwy megalight the M3X Trition. Designed primarily as a long distance illuminator/searchlight, this monster headed light has proven itself worth its mettle. Housing Cree’s current brightest star, the XM-L2 inside the disproportionately huge head, nestled snugly in the center of a beautifully polished smooth reflector, the M3X is a true throw based light. This tightly focused beam is simply incredible at distance illumination. It beats every other light in my current arsenal quite handily, even lights with more than 3 times the total output.

Cree XM-L2

Cree XM-L2

The M3X is capable of being powered by either 3 CR123A cells, or with the use of the included extender, it can be run with 2 18650’s (my personal preference). This abundance of energy, when channeled out the business end of the Triton creates as much as 1,000 lumens of brilliant illumination. This is pretty short term however, since once the light heats up a bit, or the batteries run down a touch, it seems to settle into output more in the 700 lumen range according to the runtime graphs I’ve seen. I haven’t really noticed much of a stepdown in actual use however so apparently this is gradual enough to not be noticeable. Eventually you may realize you’re not running full power, but it’s not an in-your-face sudden drop. If you’re requiring a more protracted usage session, there is always the option of the 300 lumen “low” mode. Surprisingly, despite the smooth reflector, there are very few distracting artifacts present in the beam to draw your attention away from the subject of your illumination.

Olight M3X XM-L2

Olight M3X XM-L2

Fit and finish is everything you have come to expect from Olight. The machinework doesn’t include any incredible flashiness that makes it really stand out or wow you. It does however have a well finished exterior that is completely coated with thick black anodizing. The barrel is covered with Olight’s signature rectangular knurling, solidifying its place as Olight’s genetic progeny.

Olight M3X XM-L2

Olight M3X XM-L2

Constructive Criticism

The more the high-end flashlight market matures, the less tolerant I find myself becoming to ungainly, oddball shaped lights. The M3X might not seem like it is very far out of the norm at first, but its incredibly long, thin body paired with the huge bell shaped head makes the inclusion of strictly a tailcap switch seem rather questionable. This results in a rather insecure grip causing the light that could be well balanced to be somewhat ungainly. I think once lights start getting into this mega-light category, more care needs to be taken looking at the mechanics of the user interface, rather than just adding length and girth. I don’t know if changing to a side by side 18650 layout or simply adding a side switch just beneath the head would be best, but I’d like to see some options.

I actually am starting to get tired of saying this, but I really continue to question the logic behind the supposed tailstanding scalloped switch ring. I know the intent is to bridge the gap and provide both the ease of access of an exposed switch, and the usefulness of tailstanding, but I really don’t like how lights like this perform either task. This particular setup is horribly unstable while tailstanding thanks to its shape, but at least the scallops dig painfully into your thumb when trying to quickly activate the light. I will continue to request that manufacturers please pick one or the other! Dedicated lights that know what they’re trying to be are far more useful than those trying to fit into all camps at once.

Scalloped Tailcap

Scalloped Tailcap

Conclusions

An incredible thrower. It doesn’t have the plethora of options and modes that we’ve often come to expect lately, but I have come to prefer that with my lights that are designed to be dedicated to one type of illumination. Not a perfect light, but one of the brightest I’ve seen and fantastic at what it does.

Olight M3X XM-L2

Olight M3X XM-L2

Provided for review by the kind folks at Battery Junction.
This review’s power supplied by PTS-Flashlights.

Tags:
Posted in 18650, CR123A, Cree XM-L2, LED, Rechargeable | Comments (1)

One Response to “Olight M3X XM-L2”

  1. Bob Damon Says:

    The M3x is part of the weapon light series, which is why it has a tail switch. Designed for a long gun, much too big for a handgun. Olight makes other throwers that are side by side design.

    I agree with you, can’t be a reason to tail stand this light.

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