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In case you weren't aware, there have been reports of olights exploding recently. 

 

 

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One guy got killed by an Olight flashlight that exploded in his mouth.  "

 

Wait, what!?

 

Do we know what the issue is? I'm not up on the specifics of olights but i'm guessing they use a standard 18650 style battery?

 

 

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apparently he had the torch in his mouth and a bit of salvia short circuited it and boom. Not sure on the specs either but imagine it must be the olight batteries themselves 

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1 minute ago, Hamisakim said:

apparently he had the torch in his mouth and a bit of salvia short circuited it and boom. Not sure on the specs either but imagine it must be the olight batteries themselves 

 

Sounds kind of sketchy, cant say i've met a torch (even non waterproof) that would be that susceptible to moisture.

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It's not an Olight-specific issue but an issue with lithum batteries in general. I think a lot of people just don't understand or underestimate the risks of lithium batteries if they aren't used properly/aren't used with sufficient caution or they use cheap or counterfeit cells. Also in addition to the explosion risk, some lithium cells have the potential to produce hydrofluoric acid if they go up in flames, which is something you *really* do not want to breathe in (or have any contact with at all really).

 

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?107-Smoke-and-Fire-Hot-Cells-and-Close-Calls-The-dangerous-side-of-batteries&s=&pp=50&daysprune=-1&sort=lastpost&order=desc

 

59 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

One guy got killed by an Olight flashlight that exploded in his mouth.  "

 

Wait, what!?

 

Do we know what the issue is? I'm not up on the specifics of olights but i'm guessing they use a standard 18650 style battery?

 

I heard about this incident a few years ago. IIRC the light had 2xCR123A cells, and from the sounds of things the most likely scenario is one cell ended up slightly more discharged than the other and then subsequently started to be reverse-charged. That, or the cells used simply could not cope with the current draw of the light.

 

Either way, it resulted in at least one of the cells going into thermal runaway & venting. The light is effectively a sealed tube so pressure would have built up very quickly; the front and tailcap button are the weakest spots so one or both those would have blown out with considerable force as a result. Unfortunately, he had it in his mouth at the time...

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I'm still not convinced that saliva can cause a short with 3.7v

 

I am aware of plenty of instances of stuff going up in the vaping world, pretty much all of it attributable to cheap gear or mishandling (read: users being idiots)

 

Personally i've never seen a battery go badly, and that includes literally sawing brand new 2032 cells in half with liquid coolant and nothing more than sparks and a bad smell.

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2 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

I'm still not convinced that saliva can cause a short with 3.7v

 

It couldn't as the light would have been sealed, but even if it did somehow get into the light it's unlikely that it would have low enough resistance to cause major problems.

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7 minutes ago, Ad_ said:

 

It couldn't as the light would have been sealed, but even if it did somehow get into the light it's unlikely that it would have low enough resistance to cause major problems.

 

Yeah, i should caveat my last post by pointing out i'm not saying batteries shouldnt be treated with caution using proper equipment for charging, storing and using.

 

it just feels like there's got to be something more to this story. I can certainly beleive the explosion of a sealed unit if it had an internal short/design flaw but that's at odds with it being so unsealed as to be damaged by holding it in your mouth.

 

Feels a bit like the ol' mythbusters .22lr as a car fuse story.

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11 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

it just feels like there's got to be something more to this story. I can certainly beleive the explosion of a sealed unit if it had an internal short/design flaw but that's at odds with it being so unsealed as to be damaged by holding it in your mouth.

 

As I said, the most likely scenarios are:

 

- One battery discharged more rapidly than the other and subsequently became reverse charged (maybe they weren't balanced in the first place due to manufacturing issues, maybe heat from the light caused the first to discharge more rapidly, or maybe he mixed used cells or different brands?)

- Too much current was being drawn from the cells and caused them to get angry

 

Once they go up, they're in a sealed tube so you effectively have a pipe bomb at that point.

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Yeah there are myriad ways it could happen.

 

I'm wondering if it was being usb charged got the cells out of whack? Again drawing from the vaping side of things it's pretty much standard practice not to use the internal usb charger for long term use (often even specified in the manual that the internal balance circuit is sub-par)

 

And thats before even venturing into the concept of an internal issue with the light (design flaw, bad qc etc).

 

Think i'll stick with disposables for all the use my torches get.

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43 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

I'm wondering if it was being usb charged got the cells out of whack? Again drawing from the vaping side of things it's pretty much standard practice not to use the internal usb charger for long term use (often even specified in the manual that the internal balance circuit is sub-par)

 

The cells mentioned are non-rechargeables so it's unlikely to be anything to do with USB charging. Plus CR123As would be much more likely to just explode mid-charge if you were to try recharging them anyway.

 

I'd guess design flaw is also unlikely, as the light exploded in his mouth it was probably working normally (or at least appearing to) up to that point. Modern lights tend to draw a lot of current on high output modes though so it's quite possible the batteries were being overloaded.

 

43 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

Think i'll stick with disposables for all the use my torches get.

 

I'd recommend avoiding anything that uses multiple cells in series as that's where most the risk is, and only use cells made in Japan or the US (and watch out for counterfeit cells). Also make sure that you're not going to be drawing too much current from the cells...

 

Personally, I've been avoiding non-rechargeable lithium batteries for years & only use protected li-ion cells in single-cell configurations or low self-discharge NiMH cells. Here's a particularly bad incident from a few years ago of someone getting hydrofluoric acid poisoning from some non-rechargeable CR123A batteries: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?340028-Flashlight-Explosion (although it should be noted that this risk exists with li-ion batteries and other types of lithium cell too, including lipo batteries...)

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Hi all so I just briefly read the reddit page and most replies to the Threads.

 

I own several OLight torches which are as follows:

Olight Perun 2

3 x Warrior M2R

OPEN

i5T EOS

 

All except the OPEN and i5T EOS use the 18650 battery which are 3.7v Lithium Ion batteries.

 

I carry a Warrior M2R on my Police duty belt for work and have found it to be very good and very bright. For those of you that don't know OLights have an in torch charging feature where there is a metal magnetic pad on the back of the torch that snaps to a charging cable. That charging pad also acts as an on/off switch.

 

Having seen the fact that the man had the OLight Torch in his mouth and can definitely state with certainty that saliva DOES cause a short circuit with the torch.

 

Having placed this torch in my mouth whilst at work I noted a very strong stinging sensation on my tongue as the saliva and tongue were bridging the magnetic pad on the back of the torch.

 

How much current goes through i don't know but it does feel stronger than a 9v battery if only because these 18650 batteries most likely have a higher "C" rating.

 

It is quite possible that the bridging of the gaps via saliva and tongue for long enough led to a short circuit and we all know what happens when a lithium battery short circuits. And in this case its a battery in cased in a short aluminium tube so when it pops, it POPS!

 

Just to help clarify with pics:

20210115_032543.thumb.jpg.7c27323089c2a7b59d78140b1655c29c.jpg

Above is the OLight torch charger supplied with most torches from OLight, its plugged into USB with a centre dimple and outer ring, you can see where the cable goes in that it is Green. It is only green when it is not charging or the torch is fully charged.

 

20210115_032609.thumb.jpg.0c4c98dbe6cde4134fa0e523b90cb34d.jpg

 

Above is the charger attached to the torch and charging it, the part that was green is now red to indicate that it is charging.

 

20210115_032527.thumb.jpg.937aabf8ea218e973a46aaa62d27e25a.jpg

 

Lastly, above is where the torch is charged from. The centre disc and ring are essentially the contact points for the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Shorting the two does cause a short circuit and sticking your tongue between them, you do notice it.

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if that's the cause then surely this is a design fault? people holding torches in their mouths while working on something that requires to hands isn't exactly a new or obscure concept.

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10 hours ago, Shizbazki said:

I carry a Warrior M2R on my Police duty belt for work and have found it to be very good and very bright. For those of you that don't know OLights have an in torch charging feature where there is a metal magnetic pad on the back of the torch that snaps to a charging cable. That charging pad also acts as an on/off switch.

 

Having seen the fact that the man had the OLight Torch in his mouth and can definitely state with certainty that saliva DOES cause a short circuit with the torch.

 

Having placed this torch in my mouth whilst at work I noted a very strong stinging sensation on my tongue as the saliva and tongue were bridging the magnetic pad on the back of the torch.

 

How much current goes through i don't know but it does feel stronger than a 9v battery if only because these 18650 batteries most likely have a higher "C" rating.

 

Looks like the Olight M2R Warrior is poorly designed in that respect at least... still, the maximum current that 18650s are rated for is typically in the 3-5A range, and I doubt it would be pushing that much current through saliva (you'd definitely feel a lot more than a mere stinging if it did).

 

Anyway, the light the man had was an Olight T20 which does not have any kind of built-in charging functionality, the back of it has a standard forward clicky switch with a rubber boot covering it so there are no exposed contacts & it's rated waterproof to IPX-8, so it's unlikely that a short caused by saliva was a factor.

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