I ordered the headlamp from the Zebralight website and chose the free shipping option. The site suggested shipping would be between 2 and 8 weeks. So when the courier turned up 8 days later with a padded parcel from China requiring a signature, I was MOST impressed! Excellent work Zebralight
Inside was a solidly constructed brown corrugated cardboard box. Upon opening was a notice suggesting the use of either an AA Eneloop or and Energiser Lithium battery. Lithium ion batteries are not supported although this isn’t spelt out in the information in the box. There was also a fold-out sheet listing safety instructions and information detailing the lamps operations. In addition, there was the headband, a small Ziploc bag with two spare o-rings, and a belt/pocket clip. The clip appears to be made of quality spring steel and while not attaching rigidly to the body of the lamp, does fit securely enough to require some force to remove. And after removing and attaching a number of times now, there is no evidence of wear or marking on the body – something I was a little nervous about.
The lamp has three main levels, High, Medium and Low. Each of these main levels has two sublevels which can be programmed. This gives the following combinations possible:
H 140 lm and H1 94 lm or H2 62 lm or strobe
M 36 lm and M1 18 lm or M2 9 lm
L 1.8 lm and L1 0.34 lm or L2 0.01 lm
The last setting used in each of the three main levels is memorised.
Turn the light on by either one quick depress of the soft-touch switch turning the light onto High. Or, by pressing and holding the switch for more than approximately half a second, the light turns on in the Low setting. Whether on or off, by pressing and holding the switch, the light cycles Low-Medium-High. Release the switch at any point to select the desired level.
To program the second sublevels:
Go to a main level, then perform six double clicks. On each subsequent double click thereafter, the light cycles through the available brightness levels or strobe function. When you have the desired level, switch the lamp off. That second sub-level will now be memorised and retained even through battery changes.
A nifty feature is the battery indicator which is activated through quickly clicking four times. The lamp will then flash from 1-4 times to indicate the state of charge of the battery.
If you are looking for a light that has ‘intensity,’ you need to look for another model headlamp. There is no reflector to focus the light generated, but rather you get this particularly wide (120°) pool of light. If being used in headlamp form, the pool of light is so wide it goes right to the periphery of your vision, up, down and to the sides. Anywhere you can comfortably move your eyes will be will be lit within the range of the headlamp. And how far is that range? Outdoors, I would say the comfortable maximum is somewhere around 25 feet. Where this lamp really excels is enclosed spaces and working close up.
This model from Zebra is the ‘c’ version they refer to as ‘neutral white’ (a Correlated Colour Temperature of 4000 Kelvin) as well as high CRI – Colour Rendition Index. (a rating of 100 is attributed to sunlight under which the various wavelengths of reflected light are equally visible.) Typical values of CRI from other flashlights in the Zebra range are 65-75, while the high CRI versions are nominally 85. Putting it all bluntly, it’s a nice light to view things under.
The clever thing about all the ‘headlamps’ in the Zebra range of course is there ability to be used independently of the headband. They can either be hand-held, or can tail-stand to throw light into a room or workspace. To use as a headlamp, slide the body into the two rings in the silicone holder and rotate up or down as required.
The headband doesn’t have a strap going over the top of the head, but because of the low weight, doesn’t really need one. It takes little tension on the strap to hold it in place.
Something I hadn’t realised until receiving the lamp is the Glow In The Dark ‘reflector’ (which as I’ve already indicated, isn’t a reflector at all) While it does look very cool in the dark when the lamp is first turned off, the intensity quickly fades to the point of not being particularly useful to locate the lamp in the dark.
Taking the battery compartment apart, the grippy tail-cap is just that. And the threads and o-ring were nicely greased, Actually I didn’t realise just how nicely until I cleaned them off for a photo and went to regrease them. YUCK! Grit! It took me 15 minutes mucking about, finally resorting to washing the threads with IPA and blowing them off with an air compressor to get them properly clean prior to regreasing. Sheesh.......
Water/dust proofing is to IPX8 standard – 2 metre submersion for 30 minutes. I haven’t put it to the test.
EDIT: Has now been put to the test. See here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-goes-swimming
If you want a flashlight that can continue emitting photos for a considerable period of time, how does 2.8 months sound? That’s a spec that comes from Zebralight. I’m afraid I’ll have to take their word for it, because I don’t see myself setting it up for a test to determine the validity of the claim any time soon!
Here are some photos:
And the clip.... complete with finger-prints! Ooops.....
The lamp can be rotated very readily in the silicon head-band holder. If that becomes a problem, simply slide it along to engage a silicon ring into the 'land' that the clip fits into. It then locks much more securely. BUT, at the expense of the lamp feeling slightly weighted off center.
Now for some real-world weights. My scales are plus or minus about a gram as you can see by adding up some of the separate components:
While I haven't done a run test on the lowest setting, I have test run it on high to determine the run time. Here is an animation the shows how the lamp did over a period of a little under 50 minutes...
Camera settings: ISO 320, F5, shutter, 2 seconds, focal length 24mm (full frame image sensor) The lamp was 1.7 metres to the centre of the bush, camera 1.3 metres behind lamp.
As you can see, the light maintains regulation well until around 40 minutes, then starts to go into mild decline. It tips over the cliff soon after 45 minutes. So on my test with the Varta 2100mAH cell, it doesn't do quite as well as ZL/s claimed run-time with an Eneloop 2000 mAH cell.
So, how do the various levels look on the H502c. As you can see from the captions on the images, I run only the main and sub-level 1 to give you an idea.
Thought I'd better try the difference between an Energizer Lithium and the Varta NiMH.
And now for an animation of the beam pattern shot at different shutter speeds. These were shot against a light coloured wall (cream) to give an idea of the beam pattern on 100 ISO.
And a beam slice.
Hmmm... bit worried about whether I've overstepped the mark with the size of the images I've used here. And perhaps the time involved for the gifs to load. Apologies if I haven't quite got the formula right. Will correct as necessary.