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It’s always interesting and exciting when an Olight package shows up on my doorstep. It’s double-plus-good when that Olight package contains a product that’s completely new to me. You may be thinking, “Oh great, here’s another Olight flashlight article”, but stick with me here; the subject of this review – the Olight Odin Turbo – is a different animal altogether than what you might expect.
LEP Technology in Your Hand – But What Is LEP?
You see, the Odin Turbo is Olight’s first foray into the world of LEP – Laser Excited Plasma – rapidly emerging technology that is said will eventually replace LED (Light Emitting Diode – common on modern flashlights) and HID (High Intensity Discharge – used on car headlights and other applications) applications. Where LED lights use a diode as a light source and reflective surfaces to focus the beam, an LEP light is a solid-state affair that (in the case of an Olight) uses a blue laser discharging through a lens, which is then essentially bounced off a layer of yellow phosphate. This reflection of the yellow substrate mixed with a blue beam creates a whitish-yellow, incredibly narrow, focused beam of light out of the business end of an Olight Odin Turbo.
Where an LEP light uses a laser as its light-generating element, power use is drastically lowered over even an LED light. There is no bulb, filament, or diode to burn out, so an LEP light source will last an incredibly long time. Durability is increased, and many facets of the light’s capabilities are improved. Also, fear not – though the light originates as a laser, the light produced is technically eye-safe…however, let’s be honest: a light of this intensity shone into your eyes won’t be doing you any favors.
The Olight Odin Turbo is marketed and packaged as a WML – Weapon Mounted Light. How does this snazzy LEP technology translate to weapon force projection? And is it the right tool for its intended job? Well, let’s dig into that deeper.
Introducing (and Comparing) The Olight Odin Turbo
Before we check out the WML application, we need to review the Odin Turbo’s platform overall. The very first thing you notice when extracting the Odin Turbo out of its exquisite packaging is its size – it’s not a Streamlight TLR. The overall length of just over six inches is borderline excessive in this day and age – and comparisons with Olight’s own Odin Mini (Previously reviewed by this author here) are bound to be drawn. Where the Odin Mini – a comfortable, useful WML that shares several features with the Odin Turbo – is just four and a half inches long and an ounce and half lighter than the Odin Turbo’s 8.78 ounce weight, the slight differences on paper seem drastic indeed when slung out on the end of your rifle. Balance, bezel projection past the muzzle on short barrels, control mounting locations and input – these are all quite different between the two Odin lights.
The differences diverge noticeably further when you punch the tailcap buttons on the back of the lights to get these happy bundles of machined aluminum to do their jobs. Looking at a spec sheet, the Odin Turbo dishes out a “mere” 330 lumens of power at full throttle, whereas the Odin Mini blows your hair back with 1,250 lumens of output. However, the plot thickens when you look at the candela numbers: 14,400 candela for the Odin Mini…and…sit down for this one: 275,675 candela for the Odin Turbo. For those not in the know, lumens refers to the total output of a light; candela measures the amount of light focused in a direction. So we can safely infer from glancing at a spec sheet that the Odin Turbo blasts a lot of power in one direction. More on that later.
Aside from physical and output attributes, the bullet points you need to know about the Olight Odin Turbo are as follows:
- The Olight Odin Turbo uses a sleek magnetic charging interface that doubles as a tailcap. Included with the Odin Turbo is a proprietary USB MCC (Magnetic Charging Cable) that snaps on the rear of the Odin Turbo to charge the removable 5,000 mAh 21700 Lithium battery.
- Also using this magnetic interface at the tailcap of the Odin Turbo is a super-slick locking picatinny pressure pad that allows you to have a large, easy to use remote switch mounted on your long gun’s rail real estate. This switch negates the need to try to find then punch a ¾” wide button on the back of a light under a high-stress environment. A simple push of a collar locks the switch tailcap in place, yet it can be quickly released for charging or use off the gun.
- The body of the Olight Odin Turbo sports a removable lug that locks into a provided locking picatinny mount. (So you can breathe better at night, you should know that M-LOK variants are available through Olight. Deep breaths, kids.) Incredibly simple and effective, this low-profile mount allows the user to keep the light on the gun, yet with a turn and push of a knurled knob the light can be removed for use off the gun. I love this feature, and hope a similar system becomes more commonplace on WMLs. Also of note: the gun-mounted mounting lugs for the Odin Mini and Odin Turbo are identical and interchangeable, so you could buy both lights and swap them out on the long gun as missions and requirements change.
- The battery life is significant: At the full-bore 330 lumen setting, the light throttles down twice: after 30 minutes and after another 150 minutes, to 180 then 90 lumens respectively. This brings us to 3.5 hours total run time if you gotta keep the heat on. However, a lower constant 90 lumen output will provide you 7.5 hours of continuous on.
- The Olight Odin Turbo is gloriously lacking useless features: no strobes, no SOS beacons – just two settings of light intensity and off. It’s all you need in a light. Revel in the simplicity.
- Spare parts are included! Olight generously provides extra allen screws, an allen wrench, and zip ties for the tailcap tire.
All in all, the Olight Odin Turbo package is incredibly well thought out, and I wholeheartedly applaud Olight’s forethought into the end operator’s needs and intended use.
Speaking of Intended Use…
So we’ve determined that the Olight Odin Turbo is a novel piece of gear – but what does it do differently that sets it apart from any other worth WML offering?
One answer: the beam.
The projected beam on the Olight Odin Turbo is unlike anything I’ve experienced before in my travels through the great illumination landscape. Where most tactical and weapon mounted lights are meant for relatively general-purpose, versatile applications, with a nice useful hotspot to penetrate the atmosphere further, and a spill radius of diffused light around the hotspot to illuminate the general area, the Odin Turbo eschews such silly, time-honored notions and gives you a positively ridiculous amount of light blasted out into an incredibly small area. This light is focused intensely (there have been more than one references to lightsabers that I’ve seen when talking about the Odin Turbo), with almost zero spill. Just one bright spot that carries a very, very long way.
Also read: Olight Odin Mini Review
The effect of this glowing, tight beam is rattling at first power-up. And the second. And the third. And for some time afterwards. To be completely honest, using this light around my house left me with the opinion that this beast of a light was far too specialized for general weapon duty – almost useless. I was right on the first count of being too specialized, but wrong on the second count of being useless. This light has an envelope in which it excels, but sadly it’s not the envelope in which the light is generally marketed.
One Trick Pony
Where the Olight Odin Turbo excels most is where its beastly little laser beam of a photon stream isn’t confined and held back by four walls and a ceiling. Rather, take the Odin Turbo into the Great Outdoors and bask in its splendor as it finally finds its footing in the lighting field. The advertised beam throw of almost 3,500 feet is positively glorious: predator hunters, nuisance game cullers, nighttime ice fishermen, cattle farmers, and (probably even) poachers will find this light an essential tool to gather information at night from a distance.
My son playing with this light on a cloudy night, shining it up into the sky onto low-hanging cloud cover invoked visions of Batman signals and old movies of World War 2 spotlights desperately piercing the night, looking for intruder bombers that wreaked havoc under the cover of darkness. The narrow, intense beam picks up every dust particle and rain drop in its path, creating a very visible light column that blasts out away from the Odin Turbo. It’s a neat effect.
While this particular light will probably never find its way onto a self-defense rifle, meant to clear dark rooms or find fast-moving targets in shadow, it will live on a coyote hunting rifle, where its ability to illuminate a surprised coyote 200 yards away immediately before its demise via .223 bullet will be most welcome. The Olight Odin Turbo is a one-trick pony for sure, but it’s a darned good trick under specific circumstances.
Wrapping It Up
Yes, the Olight Odin Turbo uses state-of-the-art LEP technology to create an intense, specific-need light that is magnificent when used properly. However, I believe its advertised use as a tactical weapon light is reaching substantially. Fortunately, Olight offers products (such as the awesome Odin Mini previously mentioned) that are a better match for a bedside shotgun or tactical carbine that might need to be used indoors when things go bump in the night. I can’t recommend the Olight Odin Turbo for that application; however, if you’re looking for a light that can illuminate a nuisance predator at startling distances, the Olight Odin Turbo is the light for you. I must say, the LEP technology is terrifically exciting and I am thrilled to see it develop into wide-ranging, more useful products – but for me and my uses, if I could only have one light for the immediate future, I’d still be looking at the versatility of the tried and true LED lights…for now. However, if you have a need for a light that can throw a narrow beam of light stupendous distances, the Olight Odin Turbo is a dynamite candidate.