The Baldr lineup from Olight has received mixed reviews. When they told me they were announcing a new Baldr model, I was hoping they fixed some of the shortcomings of the previous versions. A week later the package arrived and opening it revealed the new Baldr-S green laser/light combo pistol light.
At first glance it looks identical to the Baldr Mini that was released last year, but there are some major upgrades put into the Baldr-S that makes it a top contender for pistol lights. Overall light output is 33% brighter than the previous Baldr-Mini with a max brightness of 800 lumens and 4,400 candela. The Baldr-S now has a low setting of only 100 lumens which has an impressive run time of 140 minutes. The light is paired with a highly visible green laser that has a crisp outline. They are offered in black, desert tan, blue, and sniper gray. MSRP is $129.95 but you can buy them during the introductory sale on 7/26 for $83. So far it looks like they got it right with this one.
The previous Baldr-Mini received criticism for having play or “wiggle” after being mounted. Upon further inspection of the Baldr-RL Mini and the Baldr-S I noticed two set screws on the top mounting bracket. These new set screws eliminated the wiggle in both my Baldr-RL Mini and Baldr-S. I was able to achieve repeatable zero after removing and installing the lights multiple times. I can’t believe I missed it before, but it wasn’t clear that’s what those screws were for.
Now the light feels like it’s part of the gun, it doesn’t move. They did a fantastic job of making the mount rock solid. The one thing I’d like to see improved on the next version is a better quick release lever. There’s just a tiny bit of up and down movement that I don’t like but it has zero affect on the performance of the light.
If you have ever handled an Olight, you know the build quality is outstanding and the Balrd-S is no different. The logos are cleanly etched into the hard anodized aluminum and the controls feel precise. There are no blemishes on the optic or lenses.
Light Output – 800 lumens High, 100 lumens Low
Light Intensity – 4,400 candela
Max. throw distance – 130 meters
Weight – 3.35 oz with battery
Length – 2.48 in.
Bezel Diameter – 1.28 in.
Body Diameter – 1.42 in.
Max. run time – 40 minutes on High, 140 minutes on Low
Battery – Integrated 3.7V 380mAh rechargeable Li-Po
IPX4 rating – water-resistant, or resistant to water splashed from all directions
The Baldr-S comes with extra set screws for both the top mount and laser adjustment. A Glock rail insert comes pre-installed, but a standard picatinny rail insert is also included. Make sure you switch out the rail insert for a proper fit. Like most Olight pistol lights, the Baldr-S uses the “special” magnetic charging cable.
Charging the light is simple and intuitive. Hold the magnetic charger near the base of the light and it will snap in place. The charger will go from red to green when charging is complete. It took just under 2.5 hours to charge the first time. There is a low battery indicator on the side of the light that will start glowing red when the battery is low.
I prefer having the rechargeable internal battery because it eliminates a failure point with no battery door, and I don’t have to buy new batteries. My PL-Mini 2 from Olight has been running strong for over 2.5 years and performs as it did on day 1. Regardless, if anything goes wrong within 5 years – Olight has you covered.
Installing the Baldr-S is quick and easy but requires one additional step to make it rock solid. Open the quick release lever, pop it on the rail, adjust the light backwards or forwards to your liking and lock it in place. If you feel any movement, remove the light and tighten and two set screws on the top mounting plate. Place it back on the pistol and you’re ready to go. The set screws on top will prohibit the sliding adjustment of the light. If you move it to another pistol, you’ll have to loosen and readjust it to the new pistol.
To activate the light, push down on the rear toggle switches. A quick press and release turns on continuous mode. Press and hold the switch for momentary on. Double tap the switch to cycle between high and low brightness settings. The location of the switches and the downward press feels instinctive and natural. On the bottom of the light is a slider switch for the laser, light and laser, or light only setting. Both the rear activation and bottom slider switch have good tactile feedback and seat well. They are both serrated for added grip.
Compared to the Baldr-Mini, the S is significantly brighter. 800 lumens paired with the extra floody optic illuminates large rooms and the spill makes it easy to see almost everything in sight. Even at the low setting of 100 lumens, I still had no problems clearly identifying everything in the room and would feel confident using it in the low setting at nighttime. The green laser is crisp and bright. I prefer the green color as it’s easier for me to acquire. Personally, I think having a laser is almost a necessity for self-defense. The laser let’s you know you’re on target without having to look down the sights of the gun, keeping your head up and able to identify other threats.
Before heading to the range, I sighted in the laser with my iron sights at 15 feet. At the range I had to make a few minor adjustments to get where I wanted. The Baldr-S had no issues handling recoil from my .45 or 9mm pistols. So far, I’ve put around 300 rounds down range and had no flickering or performance issues. The two set screws on the top plate do an impressive job at stabilizing the light and it really is rock solid. I removed and replaced the light multiple times throughout my range trip with no zero shift.
With the upgraded light output, brightness modes, and mounting set screws, I really can’t find a reason to hate on the new Baldr-S. The optic produces a nice hot spot with adequate spill and is a nice white temperature. It fits on almost all my pistols except the P365. The optional low mode is bright enough to be functional indoors and the run time is more than I’ll ever need. You can find holsters for Olight pistols lights from Werkz, and Vedder holsters. MSRP on the Baldr-S is $129.95, but you can get them for just $83.52 on during their flash sale.