I recently received the Klarus ST15R and was quite impressed with this handheld flashlight. Klarus has named it the Night Guardian which immediately made me think that it must be an ultra bright flashlight. I was disappointed to read that it was not as bright as many of the other flashlights that I have reviewed, but after playing around with it over the last few days, I can safely say that it’s definitely impressive and the power that it delivers goes far. I was also interested when I saw the included accessories. It comes with a bike mount, a white diffuser, and a few other things that you would expect. However, the bike mount and the white diffuser really caught my eye and I was very interested in them. So today I’m going to review the Klarus ST15R rechargeable flashlight and I’ll cover the features, the pros and cons, and my general opinion of the flashlight.
Look and Feel of the ST15R
I want to start with the overall aesthetics of the ST15R. It’s a very clean looking flashlight and it’s compact size makes it easy to carry with you. I clipped it onto my pocket for most of the time and was satisfied with it there. It’s very lightweight so I often forgot that it was on my pocket to begin with. This is the perfect size for carrying with you on the job. I used it mostly outdoors especially since the weather is getting nicer.
The ST15R is constructed out of aerospace aluminum alloy and does have that hard anodized finish that you’ll see with a lot of high quality flashlights. The ST15R feels really comfortable and good in your hands. It has this grooved body making it really easy to grip the flashlight. All in all, the ST15R has a really clean look about it that I really like.
Features of the Klarus ST15R LED Flashlight
Now it’s time to get into the features of this rechargeable flashlight. Unlike the last several flashlights I reviewed, this flashlight has a more straightforward and easy user interface which is a really nice change. It has a lot of features that make the ST15R really convenient to use and a great flashlight to own. Let’s dive in.
1200 Lumen LED Flashlight
The Klarus ST15R delivers a maximum output of 1200 lumens. I reviewed tactical flashlights such as the Klarus XT11GT and the Klarus XT11X that have incredible outputs. However, you don’t always need incredible power with a flashlight. The ST15R delivers its 1200 lumens magnificently. When you are using the flashlight, it’s still is incredibly bright and the beam has a very focused hot spot with a lot of spill to it. It really has this great balance between hot spot and spill so that you can see far into the distance and see the area around you. The ST15R has a maximum beam distance of 260 meters so it can shoot out pretty far with its 1200 lumens. It’s a great flashlight to have around the house because it’s output and beam pattern are excellent whether inside or outside. It has a Cree XP-L HD V6 LED and features a rather deep and smooth reflector which gives it that hot spot.
Compact Flashlight with Multiple Outputs
I mentioned before that the ST15R LED flashlight has an easy user interface. You have two switches – a side switch and a tail switch. The tail switch turns the flashlight on and off and the side switch cycles through the outputs. Speaking of which, the ST15R features 7 total outputs and that does include 3 flashing modes. You have the turbo mode at 1200 lumens, the high mode at 400 lumens, the medium mode at 100 lumens, and the low mode at 10 lumens. As for the flashing mode, you have strobe, beacon, and SOS. Talk about being prepared. With all the outputs, the ST15R is ready for anything. Also, the ST15R has a built-in memory function which is really great for an outdoor flashlight. I like keeping ST15R on in the high brightness level, but I like that I can keep it on in the turbo or low. All in all, that built-in memory function is pretty nifty.
I love rechargeable flashlights. They are incredibly convenient and you don’t need to worry about replacing the batteries or looking for a good battery charger. The ST15R is a USB rechargeable flashlight. You can see the mini USB charging port located right on the side of the light and it’s covered with a little silicone flap that protect it from water and dust and more. When you charge the flashlight you can see a charging indicator which will glow red while it’s charging and green when it’s finished. It also acts as a battery capacity indicator that will glow for a few seconds when you first turn on the flashlight. It’ll glow green to indicate that the battery has 70 to 100% of its charge, yellow to indicate that it has 30 to 70% of its charge, red to indicate that it has 10 to 30% of its charge, and finally it will flash red to let you know that the battery has less than 10% of its charge and it’s time to recharge the flashlight or change out the batteries. I really appreciate battery capacity indicators on any flashlight, but especially in an outdoor flashlight. The ST15R would make the perfect outdoor flashlight. That battery capacity indicator can really help you determine how much you want to use your flashlight to conserve the battery.
The Klarus ST15R comes with an 18650 battery with a 2600 mAh capacity. You can equip it with other 18650 batteries or you have the option to equip it with a pair of CR123A batteries or a pair of Klarus 16340 batteries. The battery capacity indicator will only work with an 18650 battery though so keep that in mind if you do choose to use 16340 batteries or CR123A batteries. So with this flashlight you’ve got three different power supply options. I’m always partial to 18650 batteries but I do like using CR123A batteries as backup. I also like that you are able to use 16340 batteries if you’d like to. Although, to be honest, I don’t see myself using them that often if at all.
Also, the ST15R does have some impressive run times. With a fully charged battery and on the lowest brightness level it has a maximum run time of 200 hours. I have also been using this flashlight quite a bit and it’s lasting a while before I need to charge it again. Even the max run time on the turbo mode is an hour and a half which is a good amount of time. The ST15R really would make the perfect outdoor flashlight.
Summary of the Klarus ST15R LED Flashlight
Pros: So my favorite aspects of the Klarus ST15R would definitely be the beam pattern on the flashlight along with its charging function, it’s compact design, and it’s easy user interface. It’s a really great flashlight to just pick up and use. You don’t really need to worry about fumbling around trying to find the exact setting you want or the exact output you want. The ST15R just takes a few minutes to learn the entire user interface and I think that it’s important to have at least one of those kinds of flashlights in your house. You don’t only want to have a tactical flashlight that you have to pull out the manual for every few times you use it.
Another great aspect of this flashlight is that it is very inexpensive for what it is. You get so much out of this flashlight for so little money including accessories and a really high quality flashlight that’s reliable. Klarus is a very reputable brand and I’ve greatly enjoyed many flashlights that they’ve manufactured.
Cons: I have a pretty minor complaint about the ST15R. I find that the USB port cover is a little too finicky. I’ve fumbled around trying to open it and close it and that can be a little annoying. That’s pretty much my only complaint though.
Conclusion: To sum it up, the Klarus ST15R LED flashlight is really just a great flashlight whether you want to keep it around the house or you want to take it whenever you are going outdoors, camping, hiking, or what have you. I tested out the bike mount and the white diffuser on the flashlight and they are both excellent accessories. I haven’t gone bike riding with it yet, but I think it would make a pretty cool little bike light. I could also see it being great for engineers, house inspectors, plumbers, and other professions which require flashlights. It’s not exactly tactical but this is one of the best rechargeable flashlights I’ve seen today. Check out the Klarus ST15R.