- Pricing & Availability
- What comes in the box?
- Design & Construction
- Size & Measurements
- User Interface
- Emitter & Beam
- Mode Chart
- Driver & Regulation
- Carry & Ergonomics
- Batteries & Charging
Pricing & Availability
Olight sent me this light in exchange for an honest review. Here’s the official product page where it and other products will be on sale for a couple of days following the posting of this review. That’s a tracked link so they know I sent you, but I’ve chosen not to earn any commission. You can also use discount code “tgreviews” for 10% off most products that aren’t otherwise on sale.
What comes in the box?
The box is small and made of white cardboard. It’s opened by tearing a piece of it off the top, so it cannot be re-sealed. It’s a nice retail-looking box with a glossy photo of the light and plenty of descriptive details written on the back. Inside, the light is secured in a thin plastic holder. The following items are included in the box:
- The light itself
- Charging cable
- User manual
Design & Construction
The design is unlike any other flashlight I’ve seen before. It actually reminds me of older apple TV remotes. It’s a small rounded slab with a flare toward the tail where the clip attaches.
Build quality is excellent. The finish on this pinwheel grey model feels high-end, much nicer than your typical black anodizing. There’s no rattling or sharp edges.
Size & Measurements
Emisar DW4 | Lumintop FW3A | Olight Arkfeld | Convoy M1 | Mini Maglite
|Ride Height (sticking out of pocket)||13.7|
|Pocket Clip Space (for pants material)||3.2|
|Pocket Clip Space (at mouth)||2.1|
|Pocket Clip Width||Varies|
This is a great user interface that’s super simple and easy to use. There are a few quirks that may bug you if you’re picky about UI’s like I am, but overall I think Olight has done a fantastic job here.
The actions are # of presses followed by a hold (H) or a release (C). So, “1C” is one click and release. “2H” is two clicks but you hold down the last one.
|Off||1C||On (mode memory, mostly*)|
|Off||1H (short)||Moonlight (memorized)|
|Lockout||1C||Battery indicator glows red|
|Lockout||1H (long)||Unlock (to Moonlight)|
|Any||2C||Turbo (not memorized)|
|Turbo||2C||Return to previous mode (mostly*|
|On||1H||Cycle mode (low-med-high)|
|On||2H||Enable timer (and cycle between 3/9 minutes)|
What they got right:
- 1C on/off and 1H to cycle modes (this is the basis of most good UI’s)
- Dedicated (and common) shortcuts for Moonlight, Turbo, and Strobe’
- 5 brightness levels (having more is cumbersome in a small light like this)
- Turbo isn’t memorized (it has a dedicated shortcut so it shouldn’t be memorized)
* Mode Memory: If you turn it off on Turbo or High and then wait a few minutes it will forget the mode memory and go to Medium the next time you turn it on. I really don’t like this because I want High mode to be memorized but it forgets and turns on in Medium. This is also the case after 2C from Turbo, which returns to the previous mode unless the previous mode was High, in which case it will go to Medium instead.
I suspect Olight added this function as a damage-control measure after Warrior 3 and Warrior Mini had problems with accidental activation and burning people’s pockets and had to be recalled. I wish they had just solved the issue on those lights rather than adding this frustrating UI quirk.
Also, moonlight is memorized but it should not be. There’s a dedicated shortcut for Moonlight so you can always access it when needed without relying on memory.
Lockout: 1H to escape lockout is not ideal. It’s better than nothing, but it’s fairly easy for the button to get squished and held down while in a bag or something and for the light to exit lockout mode. Since the battery is built in, there’s no mechanical lockout to fall back on either. I would have preferred
The Laser UI is just 1C for on/off. If you switch from laser to flashlight while it’s on, it will return to the previously used LED mode (mostly*). It would have been cool for 1H from off to do momentary on while using the laser.
Emitter & Beam
I don’t know what emitter Olight uses in Arkfeld. I suspect it’s a 3V with a 3535 footprint but I’m not certain. It sits behind an angled lens, which is interesting. There are two color temperatures offered at the time of writing: cool white and neutral white. I got neutral white.
The beam is floody with a wide hotspot with soft edges. There’s also square-ish spill at the very edges, but you don’t notice the square-ish-ness unless you’re white-wall-hunting. It’s a good general purpose EDC beam.
In the beamshots above, the trees where I’m aiming the hotspot are ~120M away. In the beamshots below, the trees where I’m aiming the hotspot are 80M away. These are a bit under-exposed so these lights all look a bit brighter in real life.
Laser: It’s hard to take “beamshots” of a laser like this. It’s not nearly bright enough to actually see the beam even in pitch darkness. It’s marginally brighter than a typical handheld laser pointer, which is relatively safe but not very impressive. It’s totally sufficient for pointing at things indoors (and that’s what it’s designed for), but it’s not powerful enough to be visible outdoors during the day.
Disclaimer: All of my measurements are taken at turn-on. Lumen measurements were taken on a Texas Ace 3.5″ Lumen Tube. A candela measurement was taken at 10 meters with an Opple Light Master III on the highest brightness, and other candela figures were calculated relative to that. CRI, CCT, & DUV data was taken for each mode from a few feet away at the center of the hotspot with the Opple Light Master and Waveform DUV Calculator. Runtime tests were performed with the Ceilingbounce app on my smartphone. All of these tests were performed with a fully charged battery unless otherwise specified. I cannot measure moonlight directly, so moonlight readings are calculated based on the brightness relative to the next-lowest mode. None of this is professional equipment, so take all of these measurements with a grain of salt.
Above are the official specs, followed by my own measurements below.
|Level||Lumens||Candela||Throw (Meters)||CRI (Ra)||Color Temp. (K)||DUV (Tint)|
Mode Spacing: is good. There are no weirdly small or large jumps.
Performance: is great overall. Three minutes before stepdown on Turbo is particularly excellent in this size range.
Thermal regulation: The “Turbo” and “Turbo Cooled” lines are identical, which means this light has no active thermal regulations. All the stepdowns are timed, which is typical for Olight. I’d like to see them move to active thermal regulation to maximize brightness and better protect against overheating.
LVP (Low Voltage Protection): Unable to measure due to built in battery.
Driver & Regulation
I think this light uses a 3V emitter and I’m fairly certain it’s using a li-po battery. Based on that and it’s performance I’m guessing it’s using a high efficiency buck driver. That’s just a guess though as I was unable to disassemble the light and have no knowledge of its specific internals parts.
Regulation is average. Turbo is affected significantly by battery voltage and is inaccessible with less than 3 bars left (it just goes to High mode instead). High mode works until the battery is critically low and the other modes all work regardless of battery status.
Note: All regulation measurements are taken at turn-on so they do not reflect any thermal or low voltage stepdowns that may occur. A value of 0 indicates low voltage shutoff immediately upon activation.
PWM: No PWM is visible to my eyes or camera, nor audible to my ears.
Parasitic Drain: Unable to measure due to built in battery.
Arkfeld has two switches: a button and a rotary toggle. The button controls on/off and mode selection. The rotary toggle controls whether the LED or Laser is selected. The button it quiet, but tactile enough to tell when it actuates. It’s fine but nothing special. The rotary toggle is a delight. It’s got a snappy and audible action that’s fun to flip back and forth. It’s possible to feel what position it’s in without looking at it, which is nice. I’m delighted that Olight added a separate switch for selecting the LED instead of putting an extra click-hold combo into the UI. That’s gotten old on my dual-channel lights running Anduril 2.
Carry & Ergonomics
Arkfeld’s ergonomics are excellent. It fits nicely in the hand just like a small TV remote control. My thumb lands naturally on the button in a forward grip. I can also hold and use it in a pencil-ish grip with my index finger on the button.
Carry is fairly good. It’s not deep carry but it’s not bad either. The clip works well and the light slides in and out of my pocket easily enough but doesn’t feel like it’ll fall out by accident. It’s bezel-down oriented which is perfect because the light is already in a forward grip when I pull it out of my pocket and my thumb lands right on the button. No need to flip it around.
My gripe with the clip is not the clip itself, but the fact that Olight chose to use red loctite on the screws. This is a significant issue because pocket clips are one of the most common failure points on flashlights. They can snag on objects and bend or break, so clips need to be user-replaceable. I discovered this the hard way when I tried to remove the clip from my light to adjust the tension and the head broke off the screw due to the red loctite. I reached out to Olight about this and they said this (paraphrased):
If you accidentally break the pocket clip on your Arkfeld within 30 days of purchase, Olight will exchange your light for a new one at no charge. If you accidentally break the pocket clip on your Arkfeld past 30 days from purchase, Olight will exchange your light for a new one but you must pay return shipping on your broken light.
That’s a good policy, but Olight should be using blue Loctite on these screws instead of Red and they should offer replacement clips.
Tailstand: works great and is stable, even while charging.
Batteries & Charging
The battery is built-in and is not user accessible. There are four battery indicator LED’s below the switch that light up to show battery status for a short time after the button is pressed.
Charging is facilitated by an included magnetic charging cable. It’s proprietary and it’s the only way to charge the light since the battery is built in. It’s tremendously convenient if you leave it in one place though, because you can just wave the tail of the light near the charging puck and it will connect. While charging the LED indicator on the puck glows red. When charging is complete, it glows green. The light will work while charging.
I have not found any worthwhile competition in the Light+Laser market. This is literally the only handheld Light+Laser device I know of that’s worth buying. With that said, it also fits into the emerging “flat EDC light” market so here are some competitive options in that space that don’t have lasers:
Surefire Stilletto: Profoundly unattractive design, very expensive, standard USB charging, dedicated turbo tail switch, no magnetic tailcap
Streamlight Wedge: narrower and longer, even more sleek than Arkfeld, looks like an OTF knife, does not flare at the tail, has standard USB-C charging port but it’s exposed so debris can get in, unique lever switch, only two modes, no magnetic tailcap, similar price point, carries deeper, supports common aftermarket pocket knife clips
This section is not comprehensive. If I didn’t include a particular light here, it doesn’t mean it’s bad or doesn’t deserve to be here. I simply cannot list every possible competitor.
The vast majority of handheld Light+Laser combination devices start out as a cheap, poorly made laser pointer with an extra diode shoehorned in to make it a “flashlight”. They stink. Olight took a completely different approach with Arkfeld. They designed a genuinely excellent EDC flashlight from the ground up in a new flat-ish shape. They also integrated a quality laser pointer into it in a way that’s intuitive and easy to use. If you’re in the market for a Light+Laser combo, this is the product to buy without hesitation.
Thanks to Olight for sending me this light for review!