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Thread: Why are HDS (RA) lights so popular?

  1. #61
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    SNIP...
    You're absolutely right there. Since I don't rate it very highly my opinion is off topic if his question is taken literally.

    I wonder why Ra doesn't use an XP-G R5? Perhaps then I'd be extolling its virtues as well? Anyway I meant no disrespect. I've often wondered the same thing as the OP.
    Before the XP-G came out, we were asking Henry why he doesn't use the Cree XR-E (at that point, as popular as the XP-G is now).

    He basically said it hadn't been around long enough for them to ensure its durability and longevity. His concerns were raised with the domes falling off, as they aren't really held in place through a fool proof mechanical bond.

    Yes, they were more efficient than the Osram GD's and SSC P4's, but their durability was a big factor. That and, IIRC, purchasing large enough quantities at a time.

    Using the XP-G now would require a driver with more and different drive levels... If levels were added to increase maximum output (ie: 200 and 240 replacing 140 and 170) then you would need a driver of even lower, efficient drive levels.

    For example, lets say that the Osram GD needs an average of 1mA to produce .07 lumens, then replacing it with an XP-G would mean an output increase to say, .13 lumens at the same drive levels. Meaning to maintain the same outputs currently, and the visually even spacing difference between outputs, the driver would need to efficiently deliver a fraction of the current now needed. (These numbers are all purely theoretical)
    This would possibly necessitate a new driver design... Very expensive, especially if he continued to offer the 120's, 140's and 170's, as well as the 100 high CRI's.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    I got mine for the High CRI emitter. It is a tough light, thoughtfully developed, and the programming is nice,
    but the real reason I bought it was for the High CRI. Probably won't buy another one until they come out with
    an improved Hi CRI emitter.

    If you appreciate quality flash lights, as in fit and finish, and you're not expecting it to
    be a mini HID, you will not regret buying one.
    the harder I work, the luckier I get.

  3. #63
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    I do own 2 Ra Clickys, so I think it's fair to comment. I thought the car analogy would make it easier to understand the appeal, price not-withstanding.

    I do like the Ra's myself, but I find them a bit big and bulky for my tastes. Nonetheless, I have two!

    After I finish the XP-G mod on the second one, I will be a happy camper.


  4. #64
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyril View Post
    Also, as a lurker, this post made my day. I had always wondered why you didn't already have one.
    Henry and I have extremely different opinions on the ideal flashlight UI. I accept less flexibility to gain the feature of instantly accessible high and low modes (I don't have to toggle modes, I just get high or low depending on how hard I press the button), whereas Henry feels that more flexibility (and more output levels) justify lacking instant access to multiple output levels.

    BUT, I have admired the design and capabilities and robustness of the HDS Clicky for years, and today seems as good as any a day to order one to try out.
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  5. #65
    Flashaholic Gaffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    I just wish Henry made a AA version. For some reason I personally cannot commit to a 123 battery.

    Because of CPF I have had a few different lights. Unfortunately I have not jumped into the real high-end side of the spectrum. Because of hanging in the low section I have had light failure. I would love something hella reliable like a HDS light, but I still personally hate 123s.

    The problem is that even as I write this I have a tab open with a customized HDS Clicky 170lm, sapphire lens, and (as of right now) flush switch (although raised button sounds pretty good).

    ARGH!!!
    "When Armageddon comes, it would be good to be an Olympic athlete, because running real fast and jumping over stuff could come in handy." -Jack Handey

  6. #66
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaffle View Post
    I just wish Henry made a AA version. For some reason I personally cannot commit to a 123 battery.

    Because of CPF I have had a few different lights. Unfortunately I have not jumped into the real high-end side of the spectrum. Because of hanging in the low section I have had light failure. I would love something hella reliable like a HDS light, but I still personally hate 123s.

    The problem is that even as I write this I have a tab open with a customized HDS Clicky 170lm, sapphire lens, and (as of right now) flush switch (although raised button sounds pretty good).

    ARGH!!!
    Just go for it! Once you think about it the total cost of ownership for a 123-powered light is not significantly higher than owning an AA-powered light. If you run through batteries at a rate that would cost you a LOT, then you can just switch to rechargables (at least for some lights). I use my lights every day and very few rechargables and I use on average about 40 cells per year, less than the price of an Xbox Live or Netflix subscription.
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  7. #67

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    We all like flashlights for different uses so I guess it isn't surprising that what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander! You guys have been good sports not to get angry at me for having a different opinion about the value of these VERY popular flashlights.
    Because your points are valid and the OP needs to hear the good and the bad. I gushed earlier about why I love my clicky, but to your point: when I need Lumens, it's my Oveready/Nailbender SST-50 that gets the nod, or my Modded SST-50 DBV3.

    The clicky will never trump my Peak Eiger as my prowl around the house light, or beat the ReVo when I need super small and versitile. I also hold the newer generation Surefire L1 in as high regard as the Clicky.

    Sometimes, you just need a AA light....

    The why is just as valid as the why not.

  8. #68
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    Just go for it! Once you think about it the total cost of ownership for a 123-powered light is not significantly higher than owning an AA-powered light. If you run through batteries at a rate that would cost you a LOT, then you can just switch to rechargables (at least for some lights). I use my lights every day and very few rechargables and I use on average about 40 cells per year, less than the price of an Xbox Live or Netflix subscription.

    The HDS is also set up to recognize and protect Li-ion cells from over-discharge. You can also get it with the 17670 battery tube, if you want to run only 17670's. Once you've invested in the light, a 17670 battery compartment, a decent smart charger and a few cells, you basically have a light that will last you for the rest of your life, a few cells that will need replacing in 3 or 4 years, and a charger that will hopefully work for a decade or more. In a few months/years, you've paid for it in battery savings alone.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  9. #69
    Flashaholic Belstaff1464's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Very dismissive & totalitarian stand point there, his opinion is every bit as valued as your own PERIOD, the titles asks "Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?" thus liking is not the equivalent of ownership, it's purely subjective as are opinions.

    Personally, whilst the specifications look impeccable, the design/construction are over engineered & the UI impressively configurable I don't "like" it's aesthetics and that's the deal breaker for me, many will disagree but once again all opinions are subjective aren't they?

    The best suggestion I've seen in this tread is simply buy it and try it, you'll either love OR won't
    I admit that recDNA has valid arguments and his opinion has merit.........just not in this thread. That's why I suggested that he starts a new thread. Even recDNA admits that he has taken it off topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    I was joking. A lumen is a measureable unit so all lumens ARE equal get it? ha - ha.

    Whether a manufacturer misrepresents lumen output is a different issue. Many do. Many are clear that they are stating max emitter lumens and base their estimates solely by using Cree's published output values per amp without any consideration for all the reasons those theoretical values are never achieved.

    I said this light might be worth the money to someone who cares more about UI, waterproofing, etc. than output. Where do we disagree?



    .
    When I said I disagreed I was referring to the first part of your statement where you were joking about the definition of lumens. I totally agree with you when you say that the Clicky does not meet you needs. I get that. It won't suit everybody.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    ^^^^I believe I read that Henry said somewhere the Cree LED's did not fare well on his strict testing procedures. I don't remember if he was including the then new XP-G R5 or not, but certainly the XR-E and XP-E series could not cut the mustard.

    Like many of you here, I also buy----try----sell many different lights. I started with DX, moved on to 4sevens, all the way up to the Cool Fall Tri-V. I've purchased $5 lights, all the way up to $2000 lights. recDNA makes some good arguments for his opinions, and you can't knock the guy for his honesty. He gets that there are compromises with any light. His overdriven R5 has compromises in quality, stability and warranty.........as compared to an RA light. But, I bet his light is bright as hell! I respect that he knows what's important to him, and he doesn't falter.

    Still, I am thoroughly happy with my Clicky 140 (wide), Clicky Hi Cri, and Ti RA Clicky 170. I take extra pride in knowing that the Ti Ra can be upgraded to the newest LED .......uh....well.....for the life of Henry's business. If, five years from now, we can get 400 lumens from a single die emitter @ .8A, I'll only have to pay the upgrade cost.

    However, I should point out that I really hate when I read a post by someone who empahatically states that a light is not worth $XXXX. Worth is a relative term, and is subject to personal interpretation. Is the Ti RA worth $600 to recDNA? Clearly not. But you can't say that it's not worth $600 period. That would be a false statement, since there are about 100 people who DID think it was worth the money. To me, $150 is nothing for a light that could last for generations. That's 2 golf outings. That's one pair of running shoes that will only last 3 months in heavy use. If my wife is drinking too, that's 2 hours at the Tapas & Martinis bar.

    For all the guys that refuse to spend more than $25 on a light...I don't knock you one bit. You can get some great lights for that. For example, I just received a Maratac AAA in the mail. It's not mine, but it looked really well built, so I read all the threads I could find on it. Turns out that a new one only costs $21.75, and if I buy a $6 AW unprotected 10440 I can get about 150 lumens out of it. That's rediculous for such a small light! That XR-E Q5 is impressive coming from a light smaller than my pinky. We live in exciting times for flashaholics right now. No matter your disposable income, there are many choices for each of us.

  11. #71
    Flashaholic* JWRitchie76's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    I don't see the big problem here, buy one secondhand on the Marketplace. If you you don't like it.....just flip it. One persons opinion of something, may certainly not be the same as yours in the end. The only way to find out if it is truly for you, is to own one.....plain and simple.
    +1! I was a skeptic myself but personally for me once I had one in hand and played around with the functions this is without a doubt the best light going. Now aside from the full out custom lights or the occasional Muyshondt when I come to the forums all I see is "blah, blah, blah. HDS. blah, blah, blah. Ra"....Well you get the point! And my point is you should get one and if it's not your cup of tea there are plenty here that will gladly take it off your hands for little to no loss.
    Lux Ex Tenebris

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  12. #72
    Flashaholic* Brasso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote: If that thing had a momentary tailcap as well it would be the perfect light and I could sell most of what else I have.


    It does. It does dang near anything you want it to UI wise. You can program it to work as a momentary and a clicky. At the same time. Press once for constant on. Or, press and hold for momentary. When you release it turns off. All at the same time!

  13. #73

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    I still EDC one of my HDS b42's (ssc modded) and love it. I use the ultra low often in the mornings, and use the primary setting (have forgotten what level I set it at ) for most everything else.
    When I need a little more light, I just press and hold the button and when I let up the light goes back to primary. Its so easy and convenient to pocket carry and will clip on a cap bill for a head light, a manner in which I have used for hours at a time. I use only primary cells and they seem to last a month or two, depending on usage of course. Its proven totally waterproof and absolutely dependable. It comes down to this for me, If (God forbid) I could only keep one light, Of the surefire, fenix, nitecore, muyshondt, 47s, It would be the HDS!

  14. #74

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    The ONLY thing that I dont like about my Ra clicky is the two little screws. they seem superfulous and take anyway for the nice lines of the light, but that might be just me. Other than that is it is a winner.

  15. #75
    Flashaholic Belstaff1464's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by CodeRed View Post
    The ONLY thing that I dont like about my Ra clicky is the two little screws. they seem superfulous and take anyway for the nice lines of the light, but that might be just me. Other than that is it is a winner.
    I've heard from a reliable source that the next batch of Clickies will be sans holes. Since the ugly MOLLE clip is no longer the stock standard clip, there is no need for the holes and once this batch of lights have been sold, the new ones will be hole-free.

    This is another reason why I like HDS lights: HDS listens to their customers and improve their product accordingly, e.g. the clip was replaced due to the huge outcry, a 2 x AA is being developed due to customer demand, the UI (I believe) is going to be changed to allow the burst feature to be programmable, etc
    Last edited by Belstaff1464; 10-21-2010 at 09:26 PM.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Basically what you're paying for is the level of quality you get. After having modded a few dozen Ra lights, I've come to notice that they are some of the most heavy-duty lights I've seen. I wouldn't say that they're more bombproof than a Surefire, but they offer a great balance of reliability and convenience of multiple levels.

    If you're really concerned about the output, the emitter can be swapped for an XP-G. That will give you about 1/3 more output (entirely subjective to my eyes) and a cooler-running light.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

  17. #77
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belstaff1464 View Post
    I've heard from a reliable source that the next batch of Clickies will be sans holes. Since the ugly MOLLE clip is no longer the stock standard clip, there is no need for the holes and once this batch of lights have been sold, the new ones will be hole-free.

    This is another reason why I like HDS lights: HDS listens to their customers and improve their product accordingly, e.g. the clip was replaced due to the huge outcry, a 2 x AA is being developed due to customer demand, the UI (I believe) is going to be changed to allow the burst feature to be programmable, etc


    I like the big ugly clips. They sit deep in the pocket. The slide on bezel down clips leave the whole tailcap dangling out of your pocket. I have a ti moddoo clip like the new HDS clips and I put it on a twisty since they don't have screws. Maybe moddoo or wvaltakis or somebody can make a deepcarry slide-on clip.

  18. #78
    Flashaholic* tre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Wow! I started this thread and then had to go to a clients. I'm back and this thread has taken on a life of its own. I just read the 3 pages of info but I do have a question. What is the tint like on the 170? I am really becomming a tint snob. The older Zebralights are too pink for me and the new SC60 is too blue. Quarks are too green. Cool Fenix lights and Dereelights are WAY to blue/purple to me. I need a neutral tint but noticed that tint is only specifed for the "140 guaranteed tint" model which is 5700k - 6300k and that sounds too cool for me. On the other hand the high CRI is 3700k which may be a little warm and it is only 100 lumens. Does HDS offer a Neutral (~4500k) 170?
    Last edited by tre; 10-22-2010 at 12:10 AM.

  19. #79

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    I agree with most of the comments by the other owners but I'll add a couple of my specific thoughts. I purchased a High CRI clicky a few months ago after researching things on this forum. I realize there are other high CRI lights but I don't think there are many and that uniqueness was one factor for me. When using it outdoors the advantage of high CRI is quickly apparent. I've gotten into digital photography the last few years (having kids leads to much more picture taking) and dealing with White Balance (WB) has made me much more aware of color temperature and the like. The difference between the flat, greyish, washed out look of a tree lit by a high powered, high CCT LED vs. that same tree with the high CRI is surprising. I realize high CRI and CCT are 2 different (but related) things but the point remains.

    Regarding style, feel, design, fit and finish, etc, I think my view is little different from a few others here. I don't actually view the HDS Clicky as a particularly ascetically appealing light as far as shear beauty. I have Peaks that I think look better and my Mac's EDC in brass is much prettier (to me at least). I do think the HDS EDC's design is beautifully functional. The thick wall aluminum tubing is tough and light. The knurling and anodizing are very functional and I don't worry about scratching this light like one of my brass lights. The stainless bezel (in my case) is extra tough (compared to Al, brass, etc) and protects the vulnerable parts. The crenelations are great for seeing if the light is still on (I know many other lights have this). I use the beacon option that dimly flashes each 3 seconds. I do this just so I know the light is still working and is ready to go. I know it sounds cheesy but i think of this as a "heartbeat" and it is reassuring to see it when I open my bag.

    With all that said I think the biggest thing to me is the "dynamic range" and the UI. I didn't think the range would be that big of deal to me but the more I use the low modes the more impressive it is. After reading a thread on how people have their Clickies setup I changed a few settings and now have the following setup:
    • 1 click - ~.1 lumens (forced to start on the triple click setting)
    • double click ~1 lumen
    • double click again ~10 lumen (double clicks toggle between 1 and 10)
    • hold or click press hold - max 100 lumens
    • a slow double click (off then on) gets me back to .1 lumens any time. The .1 lumen setting is actually the triple click setting but I don't have to do a triple click to access it this way.

    The only thing I would change would be for a constant press from off to go straight to the max setting as a momentary. The momentary works but it goes to the forced super low triple click setting. It's not that big of a deal for me since I would rather the light came on super low to preserve night vision than have instant access to max high.

    So at any time using a combination of fast/slow/holding double clicks I can get a range of 1000 (.1 to 100) broken down in meaningful 10X increments. I suppose there might be other lights out there that can do this but I haven't seen it. Sure my Mac's EDC puts out much more on high (1.4A >300 lumens?) but the lowest of the 3 levels is still so bright that it barely qualifies as a low compared to the HDS.

    Since the original questions was "Why do you guys like HDS (Ra) lights so much?" I'll add my last personal point. They are very much an American product. They do source some components from overseas but the vast majority of the engineering, fabrication, assembly, and testing is performed in the US. That is issue for me. I essentially get paid by the American tax payers and feel it is appropriate to buy American where possible. This is obviously a personal point and wouldn't really apply to the many non-US citizens on this board. I have to admit that I don't even really look at the many non-US made lights regardless of their reputation. I can't keep the various brands, models, etc. straight but I do understand that some of them have significant followings. If there is something that does all the things the HDS Clicky then that might be an option for others. For me the price difference isn't that big of a deal. As someone pointed out earlier, I just spent $140 for a pair of high quality (US made) running shoes that will last 3-6 months of actual use. The HDS Clicky will obviously last much longer than that.

    I think my best summary would be that the HDS Clicky is the one light that I have closest to me most of time and I never hesitate to grab it wondering if it has enough power, too much power, worry about scratching, etc.

    Hope this was helpful.
    -Rich

  20. #80
    Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote302 View Post
    The only thing I would change would be for a constant press from off to go straight to the max setting as a momentary. The momentary works but it goes to the forced super low triple click setting. It's not that big of a deal for me since I would rather the light came on super low to preserve night vision than have instant access to max high.
    The way I set up my Clicky is to have instant access to my main setting from off - momentary if I hold the button down and on if I simply click it. For max I just do a quick double click and there it is, every last available lumen in an instant.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  21. #81
    Flashaholic Belstaff1464's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post


    I like the big ugly clips. They sit deep in the pocket. The slide on bezel down clips leave the whole tailcap dangling out of your pocket. I have a ti moddoo clip like the new HDS clips and I put it on a twisty since they don't have screws. Maybe moddoo or wvaltakis or somebody can make a deepcarry slide-on clip.


    I didn't mean to offend the MOLLE HDS clip fraternity

    BTW, Chip will be doing a Ti clip run very soon that will fulfill your deep carry needs. Check out the Customs B/S/T section.

  22. #82
    Flashaholic Belstaff1464's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote302 View Post
    I agree with most of the comments by the other owners but I'll add a couple of my specific thoughts. I purchased a High CRI clicky a few months ago after researching things on this forum. I realize there are other high CRI lights but I don't think there are many and that uniqueness was one factor for me. When using it outdoors the advantage of high CRI is quickly apparent. I've gotten into digital photography the last few years (having kids leads to much more picture taking) and dealing with White Balance (WB) has made me much more aware of color temperature and the like. The difference between the flat, greyish, washed out look of a tree lit by a high powered, high CCT LED vs. that same tree with the high CRI is surprising. I realize high CRI and CCT are 2 different (but related) things but the point remains.

    Regarding style, feel, design, fit and finish, etc, I think my view is little different from a few others here. I don't actually view the HDS Clicky as a particularly ascetically appealing light as far as shear beauty. I have Peaks that I think look better and my Mac's EDC in brass is much prettier (to me at least). I do think the HDS EDC's design is beautifully functional. The thick wall aluminum tubing is tough and light. The knurling and anodizing are very functional and I don't worry about scratching this light like one of my brass lights. The stainless bezel (in my case) is extra tough (compared to Al, brass, etc) and protects the vulnerable parts. The crenelations are great for seeing if the light is still on (I know many other lights have this). I use the beacon option that dimly flashes each 3 seconds. I do this just so I know the light is still working and is ready to go. I know it sounds cheesy but i think of this as a "heartbeat" and it is reassuring to see it when I open my bag.

    With all that said I think the biggest thing to me is the "dynamic range" and the UI. I didn't think the range would be that big of deal to me but the more I use the low modes the more impressive it is. After reading a thread on how people have their Clickies setup I changed a few settings and now have the following setup:
    • 1 click - ~.1 lumens (forced to start on the triple click setting)
    • double click ~1 lumen
    • double click again ~10 lumen (double clicks toggle between 1 and 10)
    • hold or click press hold - max 100 lumens
    • a slow double click (off then on) gets me back to .1 lumens any time. The .1 lumen setting is actually the triple click setting but I don't have to do a triple click to access it this way.

    The only thing I would change would be for a constant press from off to go straight to the max setting as a momentary. The momentary works but it goes to the forced super low triple click setting. It's not that big of a deal for me since I would rather the light came on super low to preserve night vision than have instant access to max high.

    So at any time using a combination of fast/slow/holding double clicks I can get a range of 1000 (.1 to 100) broken down in meaningful 10X increments. I suppose there might be other lights out there that can do this but I haven't seen it. Sure my Mac's EDC puts out much more on high (1.4A >300 lumens?) but the lowest of the 3 levels is still so bright that it barely qualifies as a low compared to the HDS.

    Since the original questions was "Why do you guys like HDS (Ra) lights so much?" I'll add my last personal point. They are very much an American product. They do source some components from overseas but the vast majority of the engineering, fabrication, assembly, and testing is performed in the US. That is issue for me. I essentially get paid by the American tax payers and feel it is appropriate to buy American where possible. This is obviously a personal point and wouldn't really apply to the many non-US citizens on this board. I have to admit that I don't even really look at the many non-US made lights regardless of their reputation. I can't keep the various brands, models, etc. straight but I do understand that some of them have significant followings. If there is something that does all the things the HDS Clicky then that might be an option for others. For me the price difference isn't that big of a deal. As someone pointed out earlier, I just spent $140 for a pair of high quality (US made) running shoes that will last 3-6 months of actual use. The HDS Clicky will obviously last much longer than that.

    I think my best summary would be that the HDS Clicky is the one light that I have closest to me most of time and I never hesitate to grab it wondering if it has enough power, too much power, worry about scratching, etc.

    Hope this was helpful.
    -Rich
    Bravo !! That's a well thought out and articulated post.

  23. #83

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Damn, now I'm really torn between my curiosity and my wallet... AGAIN!

  24. #84
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brasso View Post
    Quote: If that thing had a momentary tailcap as well it would be the perfect light and I could sell most of what else I have.


    It does. It does dang near anything you want it to UI wise. You can program it to work as a momentary and a clicky. At the same time. Press once for constant on. Or, press and hold for momentary. When you release it turns off. All at the same time!
    I realize the versatility, but I meant a momentary in conjunction with the twisty. So that it would work like a McGizmo PD with three levels.

    I guess what I'm really saying is that I want a proper PD light that I can buy. I'll stay out of this thread now..

  25. #85

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by tre View Post
    Wow! I started this thread and then had to go to a clients. I'm back and this thread has taken on a life of its own. I just read the 3 pages of info but I do have a question. What is the tint like on the 170? I am really becomming a tint snob. The older Zebralights are too pink for me and the new SC60 is too blue. Quarks are too green. Cool Fenix lights and Dereelights are WAY to blue/purple to me. I need a neutral tint but noticed that tint is only specifed for the "140 guaranteed tint" model which is 5700k - 6300k and that sounds too cool for me. On the other hand the high CRI is 3700k which may be a little warm and it is only 100 lumens. Does HDS offer a Neutral (~4500k) 170?
    The tint is greenish for me. Perhaps I was lucked out on the tint lottery.

  26. #86

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaichu dento View Post
    The way I set up my Clicky is to have instant access to my main setting from off - momentary if I hold the button down and on if I simply click it. For max I just do a quick double click and there it is, every last available lumen in an instant.
    One thing I want to caution anyone who may purchase this light for tactical/military usage is the 'momentary' is slow to come on. (2nd momentary mode, click, press-and-hold) By a few milliseconds, but I can feel it.

    Using it in any other situation doesn't bother me (eg, volunteer first aider and firefighter). But when bringing the light out for FIBUA (military reserves), I'd not take this light as a primary light.
    Last edited by chanjyj; 10-22-2010 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Added some information about momentary mode to clear up any confusion

  27. #87
    Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by chanjyj View Post
    One thing I want to caution anyone who may purchase this light for tactical/military usage is the 'momentary' is slow to come on. By a few milliseconds, but I can feel it.

    Using it in any other situation doesn't bother me (eg, volunteer first aider and firefighter). But when bringing the light out for FIBUA (military reserves), I'd not take this light as a primary light.
    I don't know if there are differences light to light, but mine have been instantaneous to momentary, taking a moment longer to the max mode. I would make a couple changes from my EDC programming, but considering that the Marines are carrying Henry's lights, I think they're already military approved.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  28. #88
    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by tre View Post
    Wow! I started this thread and then had to go to a clients. I'm back and this thread has taken on a life of its own. I just read the 3 pages of info but I do have a question. What is the tint like on the 170? I am really becomming a tint snob. The older Zebralights are too pink for me and the new SC60 is too blue. Quarks are too green. Cool Fenix lights and Dereelights are WAY to blue/purple to me. I need a neutral tint but noticed that tint is only specifed for the "140 guaranteed tint" model which is 5700k - 6300k and that sounds too cool for me. On the other hand the high CRI is 3700k which may be a little warm and it is only 100 lumens. Does HDS offer a Neutral (~4500k) 170?
    The Osram GDP is a bit special in tint, difficult to explain and there are variations of course. I have a 170Cn (currently getting a new emitter, my fault...) and a Ti Clicky. Both have the same emitter, but I guess those for the Titaniums underwent a severe selection process.

    So, my 170Cn was rather cool, white in the hotspot, changing to slightly yellowish in the corona to become purplish in the spill, on the edge of the beam. It is not that tinted as different Fenix lights, the light is still white! I see this phenomenon on other lights using the GPD as well.

    My Titanium on the other side is also white, but slightly yellowish tinted, you may say golden, as it is an expensive light... Side by side, the Titanium looks much nicer, it is a tick brighter as well, the hotspot is better defined, the one on my 170Cn was somewhat blurry, it was while trying to fix that, that I broke the ceramic (or whatever it is...) around the emitter.

    Let's also say that my 170Cn is from 6/2009 and I'm curious how the beam wil look like with the new emitter.

    There's actually no neutral white from HDS, perhaps it'll come? The P4 look slightly warmer to my eyes. My 140 GT looks nearly exactly as my 140C, which means that I was lucky with the 140C. Of course the light is white, to my eyes slightly yellowish tinted in the spill. The high CRI is yellow to orange and the corona is even brownish, going back to yellowish in the spill. I often say that the high CRI has like a brownish ring around the hotspot. This is white wall hunting, the high CRI is made to be used in nature, where it renders colors perfectly.

    All this is difficult to explain, you need to search for beamshots and those vary from screen to screen. To be honest, only seeing is believing!
    My way : From Maglite and drop-ins over Fenix & Co to the real things - Customs and Titaniums!

  29. #89

    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaichu dento View Post
    I don't know if there are differences light to light, but mine have been instantaneous to momentary, taking a moment longer to the max mode. I would make a couple changes from my EDC programming, but considering that the Marines are carrying Henry's lights, I think they're already military approved.
    No difference light to light.

    I'm referring to the 2nd momentary mode (click, press and hold, release).
    The 1st momentary mode doesn't have a delay (click, release)

    Of course, you could program it to come on at full brightness (press and hold).
    The delay is inevitable due to the UI interface itself. If you were to simplify the UI you would solve the problem - but then you wouldn't have so many modes also. An acceptable compromise.

    Military approved doesn't always mean it's the best. Eg, the classic anglehead torch. I've seen this firsthand.

  30. #90
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you guys like HDS (RA) lights so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by ma_sha1 View Post
    It has to have a "best something" to stand out. Bimmers are known for "best handling". I don't have a HDS, but from all the posts above, looks like the HDS have the "best compromise" i.e. the most # of desirable features by the most people.

    May be they "listen to the customers"?
    Actually...the new Mustang runs right with the M3 around the track now.

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    No, I think "buy one, to see what you're missing" is more effective. And it's why I'm ordering my first HDS Clicky today.
    Congrats! You won't be disappointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jellydonut View Post
    I like these threads, usually the owners are very outspoken and anyone reading will quickly know what's so great about x light.

    My wallet doesn't like them though, they've resulted in over half a dozen Surefire A2s and a Surefire M6 now.
    Yeah, these treads can definitely be dangerous for your wallet. But aren't you glad you bought the A2 and M6?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgators98 View Post
    As far as cost is concerned, yes it is expensive. However I have found that by owning these lights (I currently have the 170 and the CRI) I have actually spent less money. Prior to their purchase I was buying 2 or 3 $50 lights a month. Problem was that I was not really satisfied with anything I purchased. Once I bought these I was happy. I find the lights very similar to Chris Reeve Sebenzas. True top of the line production pieces that are as close to perfect design as you can get. Neither are the smallest, lightest, latest, greatest, etc but the sum of all the parts exceeds anything out there.

    As for which to buy first the 170 or the CRI. I would go with the 170 then the CRI.
    This reconfirms that I'm going to have to save up and eventually just buy a Sebenza. I hear nothing but great things. It's like the HDS EDC of knives.

    Quote Originally Posted by mefistofele86 View Post
    I was one of those who don't look at ra clicky. After reading "must have" list and many discussions i became very curious about this flashlight. On the other hand i was looking for high CRI.
    1+1=2 i just bought Ra clicky high CRI and now i can understand
    Don't worry about numbers.. this light is powerfull and i like it for its color rendition (but it's just my led), for its strenght feeling, for its perfect beam, for programmability and finally i find it very very ergonomic. I have a medium sized hand, i feel it as "my flashlight".
    It has only a great defect... i would like to see with eyes the 170...
    I too was never really that interested in the Clicky and didn't understand what all the fuss was about. But, I had desired a high CRI, non-homemade/modified flashlight for quite a while. Once the high-CRI P4 became available, I had to get one. Not only do I love the emitter, but now I completely understand why everyone loves these lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    Then it can't be an XP-G R5. What is it? XR-E R2, XP-E R2?


    If drawing 1.5 amps it should get very hot.



    When they are I might be interested in one! I love overdriven lights. Max isn't meant for 20 minutes of straight use. Give me 280 lumens for 5 minutes of fun along with that 170 lumen mode for longer duration needs. Even then I wouldn't spend $180 but I would go around $95 for it.

    I know the titanium version goes for a fortune but that doesn't mean it is worth it. I'll take my titanium Quark with a 1.4 amp driver mod. Just as pretty - brighter - nowhere near the price. But as I said...for me it is a tool to light things up - not a work of art. That's why I don't get spending 10 grand for a watch when a $100 watch keeps time more accurately.
    You might be forgetting that when your power source has a lower voltage than what the emitter requires for maximum output, the batter will need to make up that deficit by supplying higher current (via the driver). Tailcap current does not necessarily equal current at the emitter.


    So, why do I love my HDS EDC High CRI:
    • High CRI LED - Color rendition, tint, and beam quality is a must for me.
    • Small - While not as small as some other lights, it fits perfectly fine in my left front pocket for EDC.
    • User Interface - While the program does take a few minutes to initially figure out, have the ability to customize it exactly how you want is great.
    • Build Quality
    • Warranty and Customer Service


    Also, after owning my HDS EDC, I've learning that it really takes A LOT of light to really make a noticeable difference. The brightness steps on the Clicky really demonstrate it well. I barely notice when it steps down from 100 to 70. When I click again to reengage the max mode, I am usually surprised by how little difference the ~42% increase in brightness is.
    With this being said, if a Clicky 170 had one more step up, it would put it at ~240 lumens. Honestly, I don't think it would be very noticeable based on what I've learned and seen. I think your perception of brightness would be more influenced by beam pattern when comparing to some other light than the true output difference.

    I love my High CRI Clicky, even with its measly 100 lumens. As carrot once pointed out, Brightness Isn't Everything.

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