Olight Warrior 3S Review – Phenomenal EDC/Tactical Hybrid


Pricing & Availability

Olight sent me this light in exchange for making an honest review of it and including some information about their upcoming 16th-anniversary sale. Here is the official product page where you can see current pricing and here’s a bundle page that will be available during the sale. That’s an affiliate link that lets them know I sent you, but I do not earn any commission. Code “tgreviews” is 10% off most items that aren’t otherwise on sale. Existing customers will also get a free i16 and new customers will get a free i3E.

What comes in the box?

Warrior 3S comes in Olight’s fancier packaging. It’s a high-quality box made of thick cardboard with a smooth white wrap. There’s a magnetic closure on one side that hinges open to reveal the quick start guide and then that hinges open to reveal the contents of the box. This is the kind of box you keep around because it’s so nice. The following items are included in the box:

  • The light itself (inside a belt holster)
  • Battery (inside the light)
  • Belt holster
  • User manual
  • Magnetic USB charging cable

Design & Construction

Warrior 3S is a very nice-looking light. It looks similar to its predecessors M2R and M2R Pro, but looks a little more cutting-edge. I really like the black/red/silver color scheme on this limited edition version. I’ve got a thing for that color combo and it fits in nicely with the rest of the gang.

Build quality is excellent. There’s no rattling and the light feels dense. The anodizing feels great and there are no sharp edges. The tail threads are smooth, anodized, lubricated, and square-cut. As usual, top-notch build quality from Olight.

Size & Measurements

Emisar D4K | Convoy S12 | Olight Warrior 3S | Cyansky K3 V2 | Mini Maglite

MeasurementMeasured (mm)
Bezel Diameter26.7
Maximum Head Diameter30.9
Side Switch Diameter9.7
Side Switch Proudness0
Tail Switch Diameter~14
Body Tube Diameter (mode)25.6
Ride Height (sticking out of pocket)7
Pocket Clip Space (for pants material)3.3
Pocket Clip Space (at mouth)4
Pocket Clip Width7.0
Pocket Clip Thickness1.0
Pocket Clip Slot Width4.2
Pocket Clip Slot Diameter24.2
Tailcap Diameter26.3
Tailcap Length29.6
Included Battery Length75.3
Included Battery Diameter21.4

Weight with included battery: 173g

User Interface

This is an excellent user interface for a light that can flex into both EDC and tactical/duty roles.

OffHalf press and holdmomentary Medium | momentary Turbo
OffHalf press and releaseconstant Medium | momentary Turbo
OffFull press and holdmomentary Turbo | momentary strobe
OffFull press and releaseconstant Turbo | momentary strobe
On (constant)Press and releaseOff
Tail Switch UI

The entire tailswitch UI is excellent and I wouldn’t change anything about it. Having access to constant or momentary, Medium or Turbo all from the same switch with ONE press is awesome for daily use. It’s also great that you can switch it over to the more tactical mode group to get momentary-only Turbo and Strobe.

The following 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.

Off1COn (mode memory, mostly*)
Off1H (short)Moonlight (memorized)
Off1H (long)Lockout
Lockout1CBattery indicator glows red
Lockout1H (long)Unlock (to Moonlight)
Any2CTurbo (not memorized)
Turbo2CReturn to previous mode (mostly*
On1HCycle mode (low-med-high)
On2HEnable timer (and cycle between 3/9 minutes)
Side Switch UI

What they got right (side switch UI):

  • 1C on/off and 1H to cycle modes (this is the basis of most good UIs)
  • Dedicated shortcuts for Moonlight, Turbo, and Strobe that provide quick access. It’s great that they are shared with most other manufacturers so there’s no learning curve when switching lights.
  • 5 brightness levels (having more is cumbersome)
  • Turbo isn’t memorized. It has a dedicated shortcut so it doesn’t need to be memorized and using it won’t override your memorized mode.
  • 2C from Turbo returns to the previously used mode*.

What they got wrong (side switch UI, all minor nitpicks):

  • High Mode Memory: If you turn it off High mode 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. Medium & Low modes are memorized normally.
  • Moonlight is memorized and it should not be. There’s a dedicated shortcut for Moonlight so you can always access it when needed without relying on memory. As it is, accessing moonlight will override your memorized mode.
  • Lockout: 1H to escape lockout is too easily done by accident when a light is in a bag or pocket. Lockout should require multiple clicks to unlock. A few other manufacturers are using 4 clicks to unlock and that works well. It’s worth noting that mechanical lockout (loosening the tailcap a bit) does not work.
  • No timer function: this isn’t critical, but I find the timer function useful on other models from Olight and other makers. I wish it was included on Warrior 3S.

Emitter & Beam

Warrior 3S uses a Luminus SFT70 LED. That’s a great emitter choice for high efficiency, high brightness, and good throw. It’s a 5050 footprint with a 6V/12V pad setup so if you want to do an emitter swap, options will be limited.

The beam is fairly nice. There’s a well-defined hotspot in the center with wide spill that doesn’t have a hard cutoff. There are a few artifacts you can see when white wall hunting though. There are a couple of dark lines in the hotspot radiating out from the center that are difficult to capture in a photo, and the spill isn’t perfectly smooth. There are some rings/steps in the spill as you go further from the hotspot. Overall I find the beam to suit this light well and I find it enjoyable to use.

In the beamshots below, the basketball goal to the right of the hotspot is 39M away and the pole in the power pole in the center is 185M away.

Olight Warrior 3S | Emisar D4K 519A 4500K 10621
Olight Warrior 3S | Cyansky K3 V2
Olight Warrior 3S | Olight Baton 3

Mode Chart

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 were 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 included 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.

LevelLumensCandelaThrow (Meters)CRI (Ra)Color Temp. (K)DUV (Tint)

Moonlight: I find anything between 0.1lm and 1.0lm acceptable. Outside of that it’s too dim or too bright for some situations.

Mode Spacing: is good. There are no weirdly small or large jumps.


Performance: is great. Turbo lasts for one minute before stepping down to high, which is good for this light’s power-to-size ratio. High mode is a stable 800 lumens for over two hours and that’s excellent. The 200lm Medium mode lasts a whopping 11 hours!

Thermal regulation: Warrior 3S only has timed step-downs. The “Turbo” and “Turbo Cooled” (fan blowing directly on the light) runtime graphs are identical. There is no active thermal regulation whatsoever. That means the light will perform very consistently but may also over-heat in hot weather or leave some performance on the table in cold weather.

LVP (Low Voltage Protection): The light will shut off when the battery is depleted. You can re-activate it in an emergency but you must remove and reinstall the battery first.

Driver & Regulation

Warrior 3S has a 3.6V battery and a 6V/12V LED so it must be using a boost driver. Those are generally the best type of driver you can get. They’re usually more efficient and better regulated than the linear or FET drivers you find in cheaper lights.

Regulation is average. I had hoped for above-average but this is not bad regulation. Turbo is affected by battery voltage but the other modes generally aren’t.

Note: All regulation measurements are taken at turn-on so they do not reflect any thermal or low voltage step-downs that may occur. A value of 0 indicates low voltage shutoff immediately upon activation.

PWM: No PWM is visible to my eyes nor audible to my ears, but my phone camera can see flickering on every mode except Turbo.

Parasitic Drain: unable to measure due to proprietary battery


Warrior 3S has two switches; one on the side and one on the tail.

The side switch has a flat rubber boot that sits inside a retaining ring. The retaining ring has two sets of four LED indicators on it. The left side indicates mode and the right side indicates battery level. It’s a very clicky switch and it takes more force to actuate than you might expect, so accidental activations should not be an issue. It’s a good switch and I like it. The LED indicators around it are particularly cool.

Those LED indicators are a small detail that makes a big difference. The battery indicator is particularly nice because it’s intuitive and glanceable. Many of my other lights require you to click a certain number of times and then watch the LED blink out a number to tell you the battery voltage. Others just blink out an arbitrary number of blinks and you have to remember what the total blink number for “fully charged” is on that light. The simple set of 4 LEDs here is so much better. Anyone can see it and immediately know what it means at a glance. The mode indicator is nice too so you know what mode you’re using without having to cycle through to check.

The tail switch is possibly Warrior 3S’ best feature. It’s a two-stage electronic switch. If you press it in halfway, that’s the first stage. If you press it in all the way it will click and that’s the second stage, but it’s not a latch like you find on most tail switches. This switch provides you with momentary or constant, Medium & Turbo modes with one press. Alternatively, you can configure it for momentary-only Turbo & Strobe modes. For more on how it works, see the User Interface section above. I love this switch.

Carry & Ergonomics

Warrior 3S has excellent ergonomics. There are no sharp edges but all the machining provides great grip. It fits really well in my larger hands in a forward grip, reverse grip, pencil grip, or cigar grip. This is one of the few lights you can hold however you want and still have control.

I carried Warrior 3S in a bezel-down orientation with the clip attached closer to the tail. In that orientation, the light slides easily in and out of the pocket and it sits nice and deep so it’s not sticking up. You can adjust the clip in one of two positions and it’s a bidirectional clip, giving you a total of four different carry orientations to choose from. It’s a fairly large and heavy light so it doesn’t “disappear in the pocket” but I didn’t find it cumbersome.

Unfortunately, I did repeatedly have an issue where the clip snagged on my vehicle’s seatbelt while I was exiting. That happened three times in one week and the last time it bent the clip severely. Fortunately, if this happens, Olight will send you a replacement clip for free. If you’re concerned about this happening to you, it may be worth considering switching to a different pocket clip that doesn’t loop back around. Zebralight has one or two clips that should work.

I desperately wish one of Thyrm’s Switchback models would work with Warrior 3S. That would be incredible. I spoke to one Reddit user who was able to heat up a Switchback 2.0 and press the Warrior 3S tailcap into it, but I haven’t tried it myself (yet).

A nice belt pouch is also included in the box. It’s got a buckle closure that’s held in place by a strap so it’s very easy to open and close. There are drain holes on the top and bottom, plus a D-ring on the top. There are two straps on the back; one permanently attached for a more secure fit and one that opens/closes with a button snap for easy removal. I don’t really use belt holsters but this one seems unusually well designed.

Tailstand: works, but just barely. This is a long and heavy light and the tailcap just has three small contact points.

Magnet: is strong enough to hold the light up on a horizontal surface, but not strong enough to hold it up on a vertical surface reliably.

Batteries & Charging

Warrior 3S uses a proprietary 21700 battery with an extra negative terminal on the traditionally positive end of the light. A couple other companies (Thrunite and Acebeam) have begun to adopt the same style of battery in a few models, but I don’t know if they’re interchangeable. Warrior 3S will only accept this proprietary cell. No other 21700 batteries will work at all. Replacements are very expensive at $27 each (a basic unprotected flat top 21700 is usually around $5).

This proprietary cell may or may not work with other lights or chargers. Its proprietary positive end with a raised plastic ring between the contacts makes it picky. It’s also longer than a standard 21700 cell. I found that it worked fine with my Convoy S12 and XTAR PB2S (V2), but not with my Emisar D4K nor SkyRC MC3000.

Charging is facilitated by Olight’s proprietary magnetic tailcap charging system. A USB-A charging cable is included that magnetically snaps onto the tailcap of the light. The puck has an LED indicator that glows red while charging and glows green when not charging. It’s easy to see but it’s a little too bright to have on your nightstand at night.

This magnetic charging system is tremendously convenient if you have a designated spot where you always charge your light because you can just wave the light near the charger and it will connect. When you’re finished, just grab the light and pull. It’s not very convenient if you like to charge in different locations or on the go because you have to have that proprietary charging cable. The light is usable while charging.

Proximity Sensor

Warrior 3S includes a proximity sensor at the front of the light (the little black cutout). On Turbo or High modes, it will dim the light if it detects the light is close to an object. If that lasts for one minute, the light will turn itself off. This should prevent any damage from the light turning on by accident and potentially burning/melting whatever is in front of it.

I expected this sensor to be annoying, but it was only a significant problem while I was doing runtime/output testing. I shine the light right into a white PVC tube and that activates the sensor. During my normal use of the light for EDC, the sensor only activated once. I was trying to use Turbo to see outside through a window and the bounceback from the window activated the sensor.

The user can override the sensor by double-clicking the side switch while it’s stepped down. That’s good, but I wish there were an option to permanently disable it as well.


Here are some lights in the same class and how they compare.

Fenix PD36R Pro: similar size and price, standard 21700 battery, standard USB-C charging, a little higher output and throw, dual tail switches, no side switch, less-nice holster, no moonlight, one-direction clip that carries shallow, reflector instead of TIR

Acebeam P16: narrower body, wider heat, less expensive, more throw, fewer lumens, dual tail switches, standard 18650 battery with USB-C port built-in, no moonlight mode

Thrunite TN12 Pro: much less expensive, a little smaller, less bright, throws further, worse driver, takes standard 18650 batteries, standard USB-C charging, less-fancy tail switch, no magnet

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.


Olight has done a fantastic job merging an EDC light and a Tactical/Duty light into one. I love that both switches are completely independent. I can use the side switch and a forward grip for EDC tasks, and I can use the tail switch and a reverse grip for my tacticool needs. It carries extremely well for its size and the performance is excellent. If you’re OK with the proprietary battery and charger, this is a high-quality and versatile light that I highly recommend.

Thanks to Olight for sending me this light for review!

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