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Thread: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Wink2 Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Fenix have released a new headlamp HL10 powered by 1AAA battery. It is pure flood with a 90 degree beam angle (i.e., it illuminate a confined area). Although it's a headlamp, it can be used as a key-chain light.





    The light comes in a plastic clamshell with a cardboard outside. It comes with a headband, spare o-ring, 1AAA Alkarine battery, user manual and warranty card.
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    Manufacturer Specifications from Fenix website & manual :

    • Utilizes Cree XP-E LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • Uses one AAA (Ni-MH, Alkaline) battery
    • 69.5mm(Length) ×29.2mm (Width) ×28.2mm(Height)
    • 45.2-gram weight (excluding the battery)
    • Mini light stands upright when removed from the case
    • 100-degree tilt mechanism focuses the HL10 where needed
    • Digitally regulated output - maintains constant brightness
    • Reverse polarity protection guards against improper battery installation
    • Made of durable plastic and aluminum alloy
    • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
    • Brightness & Runtime : High (70 lumens : 50min), Med. (27 lumens : 2hr 45min), Low (3 lumens : 27hr)
    • Peak beam distance 15m
    • Intensity 55cd
    • Impact resistance 1m
    • Waterproof IPX-8, underwater 2m
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    The HL10 headlamp is a light and holder structure. You can use it as a key-chain light, if you want.
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    The holder is composed of (1) yellow hard plastic cover which protect the light from outside impact, (2) metal clip holding the light, and (3) black hard plastic bracket.
    The metal clip holds the light fairly firmly, but there is a risk of scratching the light when pulling it off or fitting it into the clip.
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    The hard (type III) anodizing is a matt black and consistent throughout with no chips or blemishes to be found on my sample. Labels are fairly minimal and not as bright as other lights, but clearly legible against the background.
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    The light has electronic control switch on the head. The switch cover has a textured grip, and is slightly protruded. It has a firmer switch feel, requiring a more definite click to activate. There are two small protruding shapes protecting the lens from either scratching or damage. The diamond-shape knurling is present over tailcap only.
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    The light has 2 parts (i.e. integral head-battery tube, tailcap).
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    The switch is covered with textured boot covers, and are easy to access. Feel of the switch is good for this type, with a lightly audible click as you make contact.
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    The purple hue is reflected on the upper glass lens. Note that there is an upper AR coating glass lens and a lower plastic convex lens. There is a black & ash-colored metal reflector between the upper and lower lens. The XP-E emitter with R4 output bin was not perfectly centered on my sample. But it was reasonably centered. It seems to be there is no centering disc. It does not seem to affect the beam noticeably or make artifacts in the beam. It's acceptable. Scroll down to later in the review for beamshots.
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    The battery tube has a clean cylindrical tube design with a flat face machined on where manufacturer name & model name are printed. There is no knurling on the tube, and it has a small notches on both ends of the battery tube to be properly attached on the metal clip. The serial number is on the opposite side of the tube. Tail threads are not anodized, so tail lockout is impossible. Base of the tailcap has a simple gold-plated spring.
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    The positive contact in the head has a physical reverse polarity protection.
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    The screw threads are good quality triangular-cut. My sample has no lube on the threads. But I haven’t experienced any problems with cross-threading.
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    The rear end of the battery tube has a tiny hole for split-ring attachment. It seems to be weak, as it is near to the edge.
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    The HL10 could tailstand, without the split-ring attachment.
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    The headband is good quality, and worked well in my testing. It holds the headlamp securely (both within the holder, and strapped to your head), but still allows for accurate positioning. The headband may not fit to those who has large head size.
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    There is a stopper for adjusting the strap.
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    The weight of the HL10 is as light as a feather, if I may be allowed a little exaggeration.
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    You can see the light adjust angle in the black holder. The angle adjustment is about 100 degree and is not moved at any point during use.
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    Standby Current Drain

    Due to the electronic switch, there is going to be a standby current drain when a battery is installed. I measured this current as 14.8 uA. Considering Eneloop AAA (800mAh) capacity, that would give you around 6 years before one fully charged battery would be completely drained. The drain is absolutely nothing to worry about on NiMH. As there is no tail lock-out feature, I recommend you keep a battery separate from the light when not in use for a long time.
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    From left to right, Sanyo Eneloop AAA(800mAh), Fenix E05, Fenix HL10, N-Light B3, Skilhunt Ramble-i.
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    The head size & light weight excluding battery of the lights are as follows :
    E05 - 14.1mm / 11g, HL10 - 19.9mm / 19g, B3 - 14.0mm / 34g, Ramble i - 15.5mm / 23g
    The bare light is a negligible 19g.
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    The light itself is very compact.
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    The wall thickness of the tube is 1.44mm (at thick side) & 1.04mm (at thin side), and the inner diameter of the tube is 10.63mm. The light feels solid. The use of Li-ion 10440~10450 rechargeable is banned. The build quality is excellent.
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    User Interface

    There are three constant output levels only (i.e., no flashing mode).
    The light is turned on/off by pressing and holding the switch for 0.5 seconds.

    Give a quick click of the switch to advance through outputs when on, which proceed in sequence from Low -> Med. -> High, in repeating sequence. The light has mode memory, and remembers the last output level used when you turn the light off and back on, (even after a battery change).
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight


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    PWM



    The lights show no sign of PWM at any output level. The light is constant current controlled. I notice there is no buzzing sound at any levels.
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    Runtime



    The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for High output is as follows :
    1) 1xSanyo Eneloop AAA (Ni-MH) : 136 min.
    2) 1xIndustrial AAA (Alkarine) came with the light : 101 min.
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    Relative Output Comparison



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    The light gives a true flood beam with an almost 90 degree beam angle.
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    Beamshots

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door on Max. output on Sanyo Eneloop)

    - ISO100, F/3.1, 1/20sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/3.2, 1/40sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/3.2, 1/80sec, Auto white balance



    As you can see, beam profile is not so clean in a very short distance. But the HL10 is all flood very nicely. Tint is slightly warmer (i.e., my sample is actually neutral white in tint).
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    2. Indoor beamshot (about 90cm from the target on Med. output on Sanyo Eneloop)



    It's very useful to read a book or newspaper or map on Med. or Low mode.
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    3. Indoor beamshot (about 3.5m from the target on High output on Sanyo Eneloop)

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance


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    4. Indoor beamshot (about 4.0m from the target on High output on Sanyo Eneloop)

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance


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    5. Indoor beamshot (about 7.0m from the target on High output on Sanyo Eneloop)

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance


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    Thanks for watching!
    Last edited by candle lamp; 04-28-2013 at 05:36 AM. Reason: Correction of TYPOS
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Thanks
    Fun fact; your HL10 serial end with 720, mine with 721
    They are brothers
    Latest review(s): Rofis TR20 - Olight S1A
    "Lux in tenebris lucet"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Thanks
    Fun fact; your HL10 serial end with 720, mine with 721
    They are brothers
    Indeel! How did it happen? We live in different country. That's the long arm of confidence.
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    Indeel! How did it happen? We live in different country. That's the long arm of confidence.
    Here he is
    Latest review(s): Rofis TR20 - Olight S1A
    "Lux in tenebris lucet"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Here he is
    What a big surprise!
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  6. #6
    Flashaholic N10's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    even if it's HA3,wouldn't the metal clip scratch/wear the light's body after removing and clipping the light to and from the holder multiple times?
    Great job on the review though!

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by N10 View Post
    even if it's HA3,wouldn't the metal clip scratch/wear the light's body after removing and clipping the light to and from the holder multiple times?
    Great job on the review though!
    Time will tell
    Latest review(s): Rofis TR20 - Olight S1A
    "Lux in tenebris lucet"

  8. #8
    Flashaholic ArmoredFiend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    good review! jst the right size and flood with a great price tag!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by N10 View Post
    even if it's HA3,wouldn't the metal clip scratch/wear the light's body after removing and clipping the light to and from the holder multiple times?
    Great job on the review though!


    There are slightly raised rings on both ends of the battery tube as shown above. Those rings have an alignment feature which prevent the light from sliding. As I mentioned in my review, the metal clip dose hold the light tightly (i.e., the light fit tightly around the metal clip). There's possibility that the metal clip might scratch up the rasied rings marked with red circles as above. I guess removal is more likely to scratch up the raised rings than attachment does, beacuse you have to grip the head of the light first and remove it from the clip when removing. When clipping the light, you can insert the head & battery tube into the clip at the same time.
    The anodizing is excellent on my sample. But I guess only time will tell.
    Last edited by candle lamp; 04-29-2013 at 05:19 AM.
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    candle lamp. Great review. Do you feel that that headlamp would show wear marks just from adjusting the angle of the light? I liked the look of the beam. Seems almost like the H501.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    candle lamp. Great review. Do you feel that that headlamp would show wear marks just from adjusting the angle of the light? I liked the look of the beam. Seems almost like the H501.
    Thanks. Woods Walker! I just got to play with the light for 4~5 days. The metal clip holds the light firmly, but you can rotate the light easily as much as you want. However the light doesn't shift its angle (or position) during walking or moving around.
    I adjusted the angle repeatedly dozens of times intentionally, but didn't notice wear marks on the body. I like the build quality. It's a matter of common knowledge that everything has moving parts will eventually wear out over time. So it will show that marks someday.
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  12. #12
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    Smile Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    I got mine a few days ago, love it great little light, low is good for reading a book or map, medium is enough for walking in the dark,
    i'm not worried about scratching it as i will be buying a few spares

  13. #13

    Default Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    candle lamp,

    Thank you for the review. This light is exactly what I was waiting for as a reading lamp which can be worn without discomfort due to the light weight. I have ordered two and will be getting some more in due course.

    Regards

    Harry

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry999 View Post
    candle lamp,

    Thank you for the review. This light is exactly what I was waiting for as a reading lamp which can be worn without discomfort due to the light weight. I have ordered two and will be getting some more in due course.

    Regards

    Harry
    It's good to hear this is what you was waiting for. Hope you like and use it for a long time.
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  15. #15

    Default Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    My two HL10 lights arrived. One is set up as a headlamp for home use and the other is now on my keychain next to an Arc AAA Ti.

    I really like this light. It weighs very little but has a great build quantity and sufficient output to be useful for the majority of EDC tasks.

    I am definitely going to order a couple more in a few weeks as back ups.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry999 View Post
    My two HL10 lights arrived.

    Thanks to the original poster for a fine review with great pix. I ordered an HL10 6 weeks ago; has not appeared. Still on backorder!

    Does anyone know if this light will take an Energizer lithium AAA? Am considering it for the glove box in the car.

    Thanks!
    AT

  17. #17

    Default Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Thumbs View Post
    Thanks to the original poster for a fine review with great pix. I ordered an HL10 6 weeks ago; has not appeared. Still on backorder!

    Does anyone know if this light will take an Energizer lithium AAA? Am considering it for the glove box in the car.

    Thanks!
    AT
    It should be fine with the Lithium AAA. It is only rechargeable Li-ion cells which are prohibited.

    I am still liking this light a lot by the way!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry999 View Post
    It should be fine with the Lithium AAA. It is only rechargeable Li-ion cells which are prohibited.

    I am still liking this light a lot by the way!
    Harry, where did you order your lights from?

    AT

  19. #19
    Flashaholic bobski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    I got my HL10 through fenix-store.com... It finally showed up a few days ago. The store's latest news email said they're having supply troubles (whether that's due to popularity, slow production or both IDK) but are sending out backorders as the shipments come in.
    In case anyone else runs into this issue: The switch on my HL10 was flakey. It would respond just fine most times, but then ignore clicks for no apparent reason. Turning on, turning off, switching modes... Didn't matter - the light would just stop responding. Taking the battery out wouldn't make a difference either. Out of frustration, I discovered that tapping the head of the light on a hard surface would make it respond again.
    That said to me it's some kind of mechanical issue (bad solder joint or something) so I decided to take a look inside. The ring around the switch dome unscrews, dome comes off (it has a thin plastic washer between the rubber and metal ring) and the electronics package, reflector optic and all, slides out the top. Everything's machined nicely, guides and locating tabs included where they're needed. The solder joints all look good, and even a lot of the components have some kind of adhesive on them to keep them stable - I couldn't find anything obviously wrong.
    On a hunch, I decided to open the tactile switch. I've got more tact switches in my parts drawers than I know what to do with... If I kill the switch, I can solder in a new one - I had already killed the warranty. The switch is held together by a metal retainer that clips on over the switch body and has a single solder tab on one end. I skipped the desoldering headache and just bent the solder tab once the side clips were released. Inside, a plastic actuator plunger thing, and a concave metal disk (responsible for the mechanical click and making the electrical contact). Flipped the disk out of the way... the switch contacts and what else? A tiny sliver of black plastic. Probably mold flash or some kind of drilling waste from the switch manufacturer. Seems the bit of plastic would fall down and block the connection between the disk and the switch contacts. Tapping the light would knock the plastic sliver out of the way, allowing contact again.
    I picked out the sliver, reassembled the switch and light... It's now working flawlessly.

    Fenix: get your tact switches from a different manufacturer. Maybe this is why they're having supply problems?

  20. #20

    Default Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Thumbs View Post
    Harry, where did you order your lights from?

    AT
    Al,

    I am the UK so ordered from from the UK Fenix distributor. I will send you a PM with details.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    I haven't heard anything about HL10 shortages in the US.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic ArmoredFiend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Just got my HL10..all thanks to this review. Nearly got the MC10 previously..but it's not as floody as i wanted until this comes along.

    And along with Fenix Headband and some velcro, i managed to put this HL10 in the middle, and additional 2 lights (either 123 or AA) on both sides for throw...they are splendid!!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* f22shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ix-HL10-Review
    my initial impressions of the light.

    i think it's a nice headlamp especially for the price.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic Tacitus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    It's good to hear this is what you was waiting for. Hope you like and use it for a long time.
    Thanks for the review!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Thread revival. What happens when you put a 10440 in this light?

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Sphinxxx View Post
    Thread revival. What happens when you put a 10440 in this light?
    If the 10440 is Li-ion cell, there is alternative of death or life. Fenix says the use of Li-ion 10440~10450 rechargeable is banned.
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  27. #27

    Default Re: Fenix HL10 [XP-E R4, 1xAAA Ni-MH or Alkarine] Review

    Ya, might be an expensive experiment. I just wish somebody made a little angle light in AAA that could take 10440s. It could be incredibly lightweight.

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