You should also consider surefire's minimus headlamp.
You should also consider surefire's minimus headlamp.
You should take a look at the latest black diamond icon. They are now made with an aluminum case. It has a 3watt 220 lumen spot, 2 small white leds and 2 small red leds. It has 3 levels of brightness for each. It is powered by 3 AA batteries or an optional rechargeable battery pack. The batteries are located in the back so you have a good balance. I always use lithium AAs in addition to the longer life the weigh much less. My favorite headlamp so far.
I have another suggestion. Instead of buying a light that has a battery pack on the back of your head, buy the Zebra H51w (for throw) and the H502w (for flood) and wear them both on the same headband (one in front & one in the back.) This would be more lightweight than almost all of the lights out there with headlamp up front & 3-cell battery pack in back. I have worn my H51w & H501w this way, and liked it. I just rotated the headband around depending on which one I wanted to use.
1. Dave H, the Black Diamon Icon weighs 220 grams which is very heavy for me. plus i don't think it introduces any advantages over the Zebralight models.
2. Benchiew, about the Surefire minimus, weighs 170 grams. also too heavy although looks like a really high end headlamp.
3. Outdoorsman5, 2 Headlamps are a total over kill for me. plus i don't really need the flood mode if the spot has a good spill. which i really hope it does.
Last edited by Lone; 06-22-2012 at 12:33 PM.
Another vote for going with lithium primary AA batteries. They're much lighter weight and will last you longer alkaline. AA batteries are easier to source. I'd hesitate to recommend 18650 unless you read up on precautions on using them. The chargers (and possibly DMM) are additional weight. you'll also need access to places where you can charge them overnight.
To be devils advocate, I don't think zebralight's build quality is that amazing. They are subject to failure just like any other light. Sometimes when electronics become more complex, there are more parts that can fail.
One thing that has not been fully addressed was you preference for a light that can do both flood and spot. I have a spark st5, which I assume would have a similar hotspot and beam to the zebralights (it's a similar sized reflector and xpg). While I can use it to read books, the beam isn't fully diffused and I do need to occasionally move my head/book so the hot spot is on the area I am reading. There is enough spill to light up most the book, so if you read using the spill + hotspot, it might not be an issue, but I prefer to have the hot spot focused on the area I am reading.
With the spark st5 you can change the front lens to a frosted one for more flood, however it's not as convienent as a flip up/down diffuser. I do prefer the spark headband over the zebralight headbands, as it has the additional vertical strap and provides more support. I do feel the zebralight UI is slightly better than the spark UI
All up, for your purposes I'd probably recommend:
If you can carry two torches - zebralight sc51w and zebralight 502/h51f (one spot flashlight, one floody headlamp)
If you can only carry one - zebralight h51w (And for emergency backup bring a photon freedom along with it's hat clip. weights nothing, and if you clip the freedom to your hat, it'll do as makeshift headlamp)
Hazna, first of all thank you for the feedback.
yes, i do understand now that lithium batteries are the way to go if i go the AA way.
what are the Zebralight models which support lithium batteries?
what do you mean by "precautions" of using the 18650 batteries and where i can read about them? i thought they just another type of rechargeable batteries with longer run times. actually thought about the idea of buying the 18650 zebralight model and living with the weight of the recharger for the longer run times.
are you saying the ZL models are more prone to failure due to complex build? if so i am very surprised you are the first to give this kind of opinion.
If I were off-grid camping for a month and only had a light, I could quite easily live off 2 lithium AAs in a ZL, using it continuously at night mostly on moonlight and low for general camp chores (ie, not hiking). However, if I had other AA electronic devices with me like UV water purifier, cellphone, GPS, Radio, then I'd probably go with my Powerfilm AA solar charger which is weights ~ 4 oz (or 4 batteries) and is the packed size of 2 packs of cigarettes. It would probably be good for charging 2xAA per day just strapped to your pack.
Last edited by reppans; 06-23-2012 at 06:01 AM.
There's lots of information on batteries and electronic subforum about the precautions using li-ion batteries but here are a few links to get you started:
They're really not that scary to use, but I feel you need to understand what your getting into before getting started.
I'm not saying in particular zl models are more prone to breaking, but I keep reading where people imply that it's build quality is amazing. They do feel solid, but they can fail like any other light. I'm starting to have issues with the switch on my sc600 and need to send it back to the factory to get fixed.
The 220g refers to the headlamp with 4 duracell akaline batteries if you switch to lithium you drop about 50 grams. Your run time over the zebralights goes up significantly as well. I understand if you don't want that much weight though. I like it because it balances the front part of the light and stay put on my head better.
Finally got an internet connection after a whole week without.
so i am a month away from flying to the Alps.
still thinking through the headlamp issue. but i think i'm close to figuring it out.
my thoughts so far:
1. the chance of ever finding a 18650 battery in a mountain vilage, mountain basecamp is close to zero. so i think i "stuck" with the AA headlamps.
2. Pure flood Headlamp is good for camp chores but not for night walking, climbing so i need a spot headlamp with the ability to go to Low outputs.
that's about it. i think either the H51 or the H51W. what say you?
btw what's the deal with this one http://www.zebralight.com/H501w-Neut...w-UI_p_13.html
what are the updates?
Neutral light is preferable for headlamps since it helps discerning colors and shapes: cool light tends to significantly wash shadows and dark surfaces out—this ends up in a loss of visual contrast and general shape recognition. It's not a problem indoors where potential obstacles are easy to recognize and avoid, but definitely not something you'd want to give up when climbing, caving, or biking. If you only have one main light source on your trip, you should definitely consider something neutral.
Yes, Moozooh. ofcourse you are righ. i forgot about that one.
so it's basically down to either the H51W or the H501W. when considering the Zebralight models.
From what i can tell after looking at the specs on the ZL website the H51W is more powerfull and has twice the output modes than the H501W. at almost the same weight and price.
Last edited by Lone; 07-06-2012 at 07:54 AM.
If I remember correctly, H501 is the older model which at this point is discontinued and out of stock. It's been fully obsoleted by H502 which suits the same purposes but does everything better.
I can only see flood models of the H502.
are there spot models aswell?
A floody light is a good light for walking, so don't fret. The H502 can do 12 lumens for 27 hours, and if there isn't any other light around, that's very usable.
25 lumens for 12 hours is where I'd want to be at... if there is light around your eyes will adjust, and you will need to be in the 50 lumen range.
If you are hiking/camping, the H502 it's about as good as it gets.
and as silly as it sounds, a $1 solar light from walmart could be very useful. I bought a ton of them for my deck.. priceless..
but my store sold out of them too.. so.. easy come easy go i guess.
Ezeriel, most people here think that a warm tint light is the best way to go. whereas the 502 is a cool white light.
in which way is it better than the H51W ? except for being much stronger.
There are 3 versions, so far, of the H502.
The very cool-white xm-l
The slightly cool-white Rebel 5000K
The neutral-white Rebel 4000K
Zebra is trying to source neutral xm-l's to their liking.
I think the extra length of the H51Fw is better for use with the NiteIze headband (if you decide to use something other than Zebra's own band/holder)
but since you seem really worried about runtimes and batteries, cool whites are better for that.
....and actually as I look, the H502d has daylight tint and only slightly less lumens/runtimes as the XML
The H502 can do 12 Lm (27 hrs)
the H502d can do 10 Lm (27 hrs)
the H51W can do 7 Lm (26 hrs)
so.. there isn't a lot of difference there, and a warmer tint might be worth it to you.
I think the H51w is a fairly focused light as well. The XML is floody as can be.
Hold a focused light on your head, and imagine looking around with it.
Other people prefer focused headlamps, but I think that would drive me insane.
but yeah, we are way into the personal preference zone, so go with your gut, and pick the one you like
I thought everything has already been cleared out on page 1 --> the H51w
the 501/502 - for me - all seem to be floody ones without reflector at all ...
... use them for reading newspaper/book, or possibly cooking or setting up tent. But anything needing more than 2 meter illumination distance ...
PS: "to the Alps"?
didnt You type something to have us (me) think of a "remote" part of the world?
I highly doubt You wont be able to recharge anything during Your trip
what are You doing with: Your cellphone, Your I-Pad, Your cameras batteries, ... ?
but You are right: NO chance to get loaded 18650s anywhere. Therefore one brings his own + charger
Last edited by yellow; 07-07-2012 at 01:42 AM.
It's obvious that the light should be floody and waterproof. I would put a lot of emphasis on the low modes. The yshould be well spaced or inifinitely variable and the light should be efficient at these levels. Good would be maybe 0,03, 1 ,5, 10-20 , 50 lumens and then one bright 100+ lumens mode. HDS lights are very good for this. The current ones are also floody.
Ezeriel- Yes i too think that a very focused light is bad for looking around but i hope that the Zebralight spot models have sufficient spill that will allow me to look at objects near me without having to turn my head in order to get the hot spot on them.
Yellow- "the 501/502 - for me - all seem to be floody ones without reflector at all ...
... use them for reading newspaper/book, or possibly cooking or setting up tent. But anything needing more than 2 meter illumination distance .."
are they that floody ??
jorn- Thank you for the life experience feedback about using flood headlamp while walking.
i made a comparison between the H51c and the H51W . and came up with the H51W winning in all categories.
The driver- why is it so obvious that the light needs to be floody?
if you are traversing dark open terain and you need to see 10 meters away from you, what good is a flood for that? i prefer a spot with good spill. no?
Oh. well i am embarrassed.
so all the small headlamps are "floody" by nature i guess and spot is reserved for the big deep reflector lights? . i think i'm starting to get it.
i am just trying to figure it out if floody is what i need.
It's like, all in your state of mind, dude
...and the dude abides.
and we have no definition of the middle area of where throwy meets floody
but if you look at the beam description on zebralight's website they describe the beam pattern to you
the H502 is "Flood, with 120 degree beam spread" (no hotspot)
the H51w is "80 degree spill beam spread; 11 degree hot spot (3.8 feet at 20 feet)"
I also think the c might have more throw. (The rebel is smaller than the xp-g, Smaller led means better focus---> more likely to throw).
There is a video that shows what the frosted lense will do to the beam at youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gVCk4J20jA
It's very "alps like" where i live, so everytime i want to go fresh water fishing etc. i need to climb some #"@€% mountian. Had a sc50+ a while, but dident like to walk on rocky hillsides with a spotty beam on my head. The hotspot is kind of blinding and it dont light up your next step that good. (tunnelvision makes it worse). Only used it on one trip. The h51w should be more floody than my sc50+, (sc50+ got a smaller xp-e led). If you find the h51w to be too spotty, a layer of frosted scotch tape on the lense will make it a floody light in seconds
A little picture while youre waiting for the alps trip It's littered with 1000-1200 meter high mountains everywhere here. Makes me feel like a beat up old man everytime im out fishing I find the f version to be in the "goldie lock zone" in these types of terrain. I dont have the h51w to compare with, but the sc50+ was so far from optimal as a headlamp for me, that i jumped directly on the h51fc when it came out.
Last edited by jorn; 07-07-2012 at 03:24 PM.
whoooooaaaaaaa.......... That's awesome! Where is that? You guys got healthcare? Speaky english?
I'm sick of america.. please tell me that paradise is full of blondes with big.. headlights
Edit: Norway! umm.. yeah.. english? blondes?
The Un says it's the best place to live, but i dont know.. You won't starve, but it's so freaking cold up here...
Lots of blue eyed blonds, but not that many would wear a headlamp. And the loong cold winter + short "rainy" summer, will prevent them from even thinking about showing some skin