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Thread: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

  1. #1

    Wink2 Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual.




    This is a second generation headlamp from Olight, following on the original H15 Wave that I reviewed a little over a year ago. While superficially similar looking, a lot of has changed about the light – although the distinctive motion-sensitive "wave" feature for changing modes is still there.

    As before, I haven't done a lot of headlamp reviews, but I am including comparisons to some of the workhorses in my collection. Scroll down for the comparisons.

    Reported Manufacturer Specifications:
    • LED: Cree XM-L2
    • Three brightness levels: Hi 250lm/200lm (Without/with diffuser) – Med 100lm/85lm (Without/with diffuser) – Lo 15lm/12lm (Without/with diffuser).
    • Runtimes: Hi 3h – Med 5.7hr – Lo 36hr
    • Beam intensity: 1,850cd
    • Beam distance: 85m
    • Battery: OPB-H15S Li-ion (included) or 4xAAA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
    • User interface: can be configured to either use the switch or infrared hands-free sensor to turn the light on and off. A filter built-in filter diffuses the light for close-up work but can instantly be flipped out of the way to project the beam far. This makes the H15S an extremely versatile light great for reading, inspecting equipment, working on the car, or walking at night.
    • The H15S features a high-capacity, rechargeable lithium battery with built-in charger. The battery charges from a Micro-USB cable allowing the light to be charged from either a computer or 5V USB power source. The H15S can also be run on 4 x AAA batteries, either Alkaline or Ni-MH.
    • A built-in filter has been designed for lighting close distances. The diffuser softens the light making reading and inspecting equipment close-up easy.
    • Water resistant: IPX-6
    • Impact resistant: 1m
    • Head Dimensions: 70mm/2.57" * 53.5mm/2.10" * 22,,/0.87"
    • Battery Pack Dimensions: 55mm/2.16" * 42mm/1.65" * 27mm/1.06"
    • Weight: 98g/3.46oz (excluding battery)
    • MSRP: ~$50



    The H15S comes in the newer Olight-style packaging, with lots of descriptive characteristics printed right on the plastic packaging. As with the H15, the battery compartment is separate from the light head. Inside the box, my light came with the main headstrap attached (and optional over-the-head strap included in the box). There is spiral cable connecting the light and battery compartment (again removable from the clips on the headstrap, if you want). Bundled accessories include the new Li-ion battery, USB charging cable and manual.






    As you can see, the box has an extensive range of specs printed on it.





    From left to right: Duracel AAA NiMH, Olight H15S, Petzl Tikka XP2, Zebralight SC30W, Spark ST5.

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Olight H15S Wave: (1xLi-ion, 4xAAA): Head alone: 42.2g, Battery compartment alone: 31.0g, Battery compartment alone with OPS-H15S Li-ion battery: 58.3g, Battery compartment alone with 4xAAA: 77.3g, complete unit (with basic headband and Li-ion battery): 118.1g
    Olight H15 Wave: (4xAAA): Head alone: 42.5g, Battery compartment alone: 28.4g, Battery compartment alone with batteries: 74.8g, complete unit (with headband and batteries): 141.5g
    Petzl Tikka XP (3xAAA): 58.3g, 94.4g with batteries
    Petzl Tikka XP2 (3xAAA): 52.3g, 88.4g with batteries
    Spark ST5 (1xAA): Weight, 41.5g, Length 58.4mm, Width 42.8mm (max body), Width 24.0mm (bezel)
    ITP H01 (1xAAA): Weight: 22.7g, Length 53.7mm, Width 37.2 (max body) or 15.4mm (bezel)
    Zebralight H31w (1xCR123A): Weight: 28.6g, Length 66.9mm, Width (bezel) 22.1mm.

    The bundled Li-ion battery clearly lowers the overall weight, compared to 4xAAA.







    Here's what it looks like with the top head-strap attached. If it helps for the scale reference, I wear a size 7˝ Tilley hat.





    To overall shape and look of the H15S is very similar to the earlier H15 (and a number of other headlamps). I am glad to see the bundled rechargeable Li-ion battery pack included now – and it's a nice touch that 4xAAA is still supported as well.

    As before, the H15S separates the battery compartment from the main headlamp unit. This is not an uncommon design, and it does offer the advantage of balancing out the weight.

    Build of the headlamp and battery case is plastic, as you would expect (and as is common in most consumer headlamps).

    The emitter has been upgraded to the latest generation Cree XM-L2 (which is different from most comparably-priced consumer headlamps that use the smaller XP-E or XP-G emitters). As before, you get the option for both throw and flood, thanks to a dedicated reflector and spring-mounted diffuser cover (scroll down for beamshots). I am happy to note the diffuser now flips up more than before, so it no longer casts a shadow or reflects the main beam anymore. Gone however are the secondary red LED emitters (replaced by infrared emitters in the same spots on the front of the unit). See the User Interface section below for more info.

    The battery case looks a lot like before, but no longer has the primary electronic switch or dim red light (which I never found very useful, but may have suited bike-riders well). The H15S is controlled solely by the head switch, which is more intuitive now. On the top of the front headlamp unit, you find the single large red button to control modes and on/off. There are also motion-sensitive sensors on the front that can respond to hands-free "waves" to change levels (thanks to the IR emitters just below). Again, see the UI discussion below.

    Headband is good quality, IMO. The top-strap is easily removable as before.

    Let's take a closer look at how the batteries fit into their compartment …








    It was clever of Olight to keep the basic 4xAAA battery pack shape from the H15, but then design a custom Li-ion battery pack that could also slide in (scroll down for pics of the new battery).

    In terms of the carrier, it is much the same as before. Frankly, all-plastic multi-AA/AAA carriers tend to be somewhat limited in their battery hinge design and waterproofness. In the case of the H15S (and H15 before it), you rotate the designated side end-bracket until the end-piece pops open (i.e., out of the plastic retaining clamps holding it down). There you will find an internal connection piece that swivels slightly from the end-bracket. There is an o-ring around this connection piece that helps to maintain water resistance. There is also a connecting cable to ensure you don't lose the end piece.

    Pay attention to how the batteries go in – the labels on the plastic end-bracket are very small, and hard to see. But you can tell from the indentations on the metal contacts which way the AAA cells are supposed to go (i.e., negative battery terminal to the raised dimpled connector piece, positive battery terminal to the flat connector piece). If you put them in wrong, Olight informs me the unit does have reverse-polarity protection. The included Li-ion battery can only go in one way (scroll down for pics).

    As before, I find the carrier end-bracket a little fussy to re-seat and lock into place. Still, it should maintain reasonable water resistance (note the light is IPX-6 rated). There is actually reasonable good tension on the end-bracket, holding it tightly closed (once you get it properly lined up).

    Let's take a closer look at the new Li-ion pack:







    This is a good design – it has plastic bits on the battery's body to prevent you from sliding it in the wrong orientation. There is also an easy-pull plastic tab to allow you get the battery out of the carrier (it goes without saying, don't try to remove this tab ).

    There is a micro USB connector on the battery itself, which you can charge from any USB port using the supplied cable. A red LED light beside the charging port comes on when it is plugged in and charging. Once charged, the light goes off. It took around four hours to do a complete charge (sorry, I didn't time it exactly). Voltage across the battery contacts reads ~4.20V when fully charged (i.e., just like all 3.7V nominal batteries). Olight rates the battery as 1200mAh (scroll down for my testing results).





    The H15S uses a Cool white XM-L2 emitter with a textured reflector (OP). Emitter was well centered on my sample. A spring-mounted diffuser cover allows you to diffuse the beam. Although the reflector is small, it is deeper than most headlamps I have come across.

    As mentioned before, there are two IR LED emitters on either side of the main white emitter. These will glow faintly red when the light is in wave-activated mode (i.e., they emit some minor amounts of light in the visible red spectrum when the wave feature is turned on).



    This differs from the red LEDs on the H15 (which, presumably, emitted some IR light used by the sensors). The H15 had relatively bright red LEDs, in contrast.

    User Interface

    Unlike the H15, you no longer need to switch on the light at the battery pack any more – all operation is controlled by the main switch on the head.

    You turn the headlamp on by a single click of the head switch. You advance through modes by clicking the head switch again, in the reoccurring sequence of Hi > Med > Lo > Standby, in a repeating loop.

    By default, once clicked on, you can the turn headlamp off/on in any given mode by a wave of the hand within 10 cm of the sensors on the front of the light (e.g. wave for off, wave again for back on).

    To deactivate the sensor and "lock" the given level you are in, press and hold the head switch for more than 3 secs (you will see a brief flash). To re-activate the sensor, press and hold the head switch again for 3 secs.

    There is no mode memory, and the unit always defaults to Hi mode upon a battery change.

    This is definitely a simpler user interface than the original wave, which was a bit cumbersome in comparison. I also find the sensitivity of the motion-wave sensors slightly improved.

    There is a diffuser cover for the emitter that is spring-mounted and held in place by a small clip on the base of the head unit. Press on the clip to release the diffuser for more throw.

    Video:

    For more information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:



    Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information.

    PWM/Strobe

    There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level – I presume the light is current-controlled, as before.

    Hi mode noise:


    Med mode noise:


    There were some reoccurring signal patterns on Med and Hi, in the ~1.7 kHz range. These were not visible by eye however – I only mention them because the oscilloscope is able to detect them. It is not uncommon to see circuit noise on many current-controlled lights.

    Standby Drain

    As both the battery pack and head switches are electronic, a standby current drain is always present when a battery is installed. Given the design of the carrier, I was not able to measure this current, however.

    Beamshots:

    And now, the white-wall beamshots. All lights are on Max output on the identified battery type. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera for the cool white emitters (to minimize tint differences), but daylight white balance was used for the neutral white ST5.

    Let’s start with un-diffused white beams.










    The H15S gives a pattern similar to the H15, as you would expect – but with much greater max output now. There's a good balance of throw to spill. For the comparators, note that lights that use an optic (e.g., the Petzl Tikka XP2, or my SSC-modded Tikka XP) tend to have a narrower beam profile with less spill. They also sometimes have color distortions in the beam.

    You'll note the H15S diffuser cover flips open higher than the original H15 (i.e., it is not catching part of the spill, as before). This means that you no longer have the "shadow" over the top of the spillbeam like you did on the H15.

    Now let's see what happens with included diffuser in place on all of the above lights:







    It's always hard to tell in these up-close white wall shots, but the H15S diffuser does a good job diffusing the beam.

    To have a better idea of the beam angle coming out of the headlamp, I did some comparison shots in my original H15 review against a carpet. The beam angle doesn't look any different on the H15S, so here are those original comparisons again.

    Note that you shouldn't make too much out of beam tint difference below - auto white balance was again used, but with different lights combined. This is really just to show you the beam angles.




    Keep in mind, the new H15S is much brighter on Hi than the old H15 – but the relative beam pattern hasn't really changed. Just imagine more output in the carpet shots above to get the idea.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).



    The H15S has basically the same output on the bundled Li-ion battery pack as on 4xAAA (more or less, scroll down for lumen estimates). Max output has clearly increased from the original H15 – as has the corresponding peak intensity/beam distance.



    Olight output and throw specs for this light thus seem fairly accurate in my testing. Note there is a significant step-down on Hi after 5 mins of continuous runtime.

    Output/Runtime Comparison:

    To start, here is a comparison of various battery sources on the H15S:



    Consistent with my output measures, there is little difference in initial output on Hi on all supported batteries. There is a significant step-down after 5 mins on Hi (also consistent on all batteries).

    Where things vary a bit is on the Med level, where my Li-ion battery pack was slightly brighter than 4xAAA. Otherwise, you can consider all battery sources to be consistent in output.

    In terms of runtime, there is clear improvement on Hi of moving from alkaline, to NiMH, to Li-ion rechargeable. This is as you would expect (i.e., Li-ions do a lot better under higher current drains than alkaline). On Med, the NiMH and Li-ions look pretty similar, suggesting there is not much of an advantage to the Li-ion cell here (except for the lower weight, of course, and ease of recharge).

    Let's see how it does stacked up against some of the competition:







    The H15S clearly has a lot more initial output on Hi than the original H15 – but it rapidly steps-down to a comparable output level. This initial burst of high output means even with the new emitter, the H15S has slightly lower overall runtime on Hi than the original H15.

    Of course, one advantage the H15S is a proper Med mode now (i.e., the original H15 was Hi and Lo only, no Med). You can see that output/runtime efficiency on the H15S Med mode is excellent, across all battery types.

    You can also see that the 1200mAh battery in the H15S is capable of providing longer runtimes than 750mAh rated RCR or 14500 in my earlier XP-E and XM-L lights.

    Potential Issues

    The motion-activated wave feature still takes a certain amount of getting used to, although it is much improved from the earlier H15 (thanks mainly to a simplified interface on the H15S). Sensitivity seems improved, but this feature is really best suited for outdoor use. In cramped quarters, the light can still be turned off by simply passing too close to a door jam, cabinet door, counter-top, etc. Indoors, you are likely to want to temporarily lock-out the wave feature.

    There is no mode memory (accept during the wave-controlled standby-off), and the light always defaults to Hi upon main button activation.

    The light uses a separate battery compartment connected to the headlamp by a coiled cable.

    Due to the electronic switches, a standby current will always be required when batteries are installed. I have not measured this current, however.

    All headlights that use a plastic battery carrier typically have limitations in terms of waterproofness and durability. But the design of the H15S seems acceptable for the rated IPX-6.

    Preliminary Observations

    As I noted in my original H15 review, the headlamp space is a new lighting field for Olight. I am starting to see this more and more, as mainstream flashlight manufacturers move into the headlamp space (which was previously the domain of a select group of dedicated makers).

    As is the case with many initial forays into new fields, there are bound to be some learning pains. The H15S is very much a second generation product, and one that I think it is better suited to general headlamp use. That said, there are still few quirks to be considered. But headlamps are a tricky space - it is probably impossible to have one design that pleases everyone. I personally have gone through quite a few different models over the years – and continue to keep several models around for use in different situations and for different purposes.

    Physically, the H15S is similar to the original H15. Separate battery pack designs (with all-plastic construction) will not be uniformly popular. But Olight has smartly included a Li-ion battery source while maintaining general compatibility with 4xAAA. Like the H15S before, the physical build seems decent - tension on the battery pack bracket cover is good (although it can be fussy to seat and lock in place), and there is an o-ring in there for water resistance. And there a few head tweaks as well – the diffuser hinge now flips the diffuser a little higher up, preventing it from blocking part of the spillbeam path.

    The motion control "wave" interface remains the most novel feature of the H15 series. I find this to be improved – not so much for sensitivity (which seems mildly better), but for a more intuitive interface. Of course, part of that has been achieved by ditching the front red LEDs modes, simplifying the options (i.e., the light now uses IR leds). But I am glad to see Olight respond to my suggestion to add a proper Medium mode. And the separate control switch on the battery carrier was never particularly helpful for me anyway – although some may miss the red light on the carrier (i.e., was good when riding a bike to help show your presence from behind).

    As before, I have found the wave feature interesting, but of limited use indoors in cramped environments (e.g., under a sink, or changing a light fixture). At least you no longer have the complicated double-wave requirement to switch modes. The greatly simplified user interface on the H15S is much easier to use, and welcomed by this reviewer.

    The beam pattern remains quite good, in keeping with the reflectored nature of this headlamp. The diffuser also does a good job spreading out the beam for up-close work. Note that max output has been greatly increased on the H15S compared to the H15 – but there is a timed step-down feature that quickly drops you a level that is close to the previous H15's Hi mode. Output/runtime efficiency seems quite good on all levels, and the Olight ANSI FL-1 specs seem accurate for output, runtime and beam intensity/distance as before.

    A really nice touch is the inclusion of a Li-ion battery and USB charging cable – while still maintaining support for 4xAAA. The Li-ion battery has half the weight of 4xAAA, with at least as good runtime performance and regulation as NiMH (and even better on Hi).

    On the whole, the H15S is definitely a much improved product over the H15. All I really miss from that earlier model is the front facing red LEDs. Hopefully this review was able to give you enough information to decide for yourself if it is a fit for you.

    ----

    H15S was supplied by Olight for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-14-2014 at 09:05 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Very nice review! Thank you for taking the time to do this for all of us.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Thanks for the review
    Do wonder how the quality is, on this light? Seems not that durable to me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    selfbuilt,

    Great review as always! I have read DOZENS of your reviews and they've informed me on multiple purchases. There is, however, one detail that I would LOVE if you could maybe include in future reviews. This is especially applicable to headlamps, although I'd love it on all lights. I would love for you to measure the beam angle, that is to say, how wide the spill is. For instance, on paper, I thought a SWM V10R was the PERFECT light for me, but it turns out that the spill is way too narrow for my use. So I ended up getting a EagleTac D25A and the spill is SO WIDE and I absolutely love it. But it's hard to tell just from photos how wide a beam is, even when directly compared to other lights so it would be SUPER helpful to have a numerical value assigned to just how "spilly" a light is. Again, your reviews are already SO thorough but if it's something you could do, I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

    Thanks for your consideration!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Do wonder how the quality is, on this light? Seems not that durable to me.
    It seems alright to me. I've owned plenty of all-plastic headlamps over the years, and none of have failed on me so far (although I am personally careful with all my gear - same goes for cell phones, etc.).

    The battery compartment is my only real concern here, if you are performing many repeated battery changes (e.g., charging it every day). I wonder how longer the plastic retaining clips would last with that sort use.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirstyTurtle View Post
    I would love for you to measure the beam angle, that is to say, how wide the spill is. For instance, on paper, I thought a SWM V10R was the PERFECT light for me, but it turns out that the spill is way too narrow for my use. So I ended up getting a EagleTac D25A and the spill is SO WIDE and I absolutely love it. But it's hard to tell just from photos how wide a beam is, even when directly compared to other lights so it would be SUPER helpful to have a numerical value assigned to just how "spilly" a light is.
    This is why I did the carpet beamshots for the headlamps, to allow people to draw that conclusion. You could just as easily as I measure the beam angles in those pictures. For that matter, it is also why I do the white wall beamshots, so people can draw relative spill intensity and spread conclusions.

    But there is a real problem if I try to provide absolute numerical assessments (which you can probably see if you try to do it yourself from the carpet shots). For one, the "edge" of hotspot and spill are not always so sharply defined. And what constitutes a usable amount of spill? I run the risk of misleading people by reporting a wider spill angle measure if that spill is much dimmer than another light (i.e., angle alone is insufficient info to make a decision). And I can't necessary capture accurate spill intensity measures if they are variable across the spill. Even if I could, it would be hard for people to put those numbers into proper context in isolation. This is why, at the end of the day, the beamshots themselves provide much more useful qualitative information that you could quantitatively gleam from only a couple of measures.

    A good analogy here is runtime plots - people are always looking for a way to reduce flashlights down to one or two numbers for simple comparison (e.g., total output and total runtime). The problem with that kind of roll-up is that you are removing all the critical information in-between. I discuss this in some detail on my Methods page at fliashlightreviews.ca (where I show six hypothetical runtimes that look completely different, but have identical ANSI FL-1 output and runtime values). I think it's much the same for beam pattern analyses - you are much better off looking at the whole pattern rather than a simplified couple of measures.

    All that said, I agree it would be helpful to have a grid structure on the wall for the beamshots (and to use additional distances, to allow people to more fully compare hotspot and spill over distances). That woiuld complement the two objective measures that I can capture (i.e., peak intensity and overall output). But it would also be a lot of work to start now, and not practical inside my home. Truth be told, photography is a lot of work to do well, and I prefer to spend my limited time on the things I can objectively measure and analyze. Like everyone, I need to work with what I have available on hand ...
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-12-2013 at 06:39 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* D6859's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Do you know can the Li-Ion battery of H15S be used in H15? There's a company here in Finland and is selling H15S batteries separetely. The same company, btw, claims being part of the H15S developing process. I was wondering could I buy the battery and use it in my H15. I find its red LEDs useful and don't consider the UI too difficult to use but I would like to use Li-Ion instead of alkaline (or just to have it as a backup for my eneloops).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Not sure ... I don't have the lights in front of me at the moment, but I seem to recall trying this and not being able to do it physically. The carrier is designed a bit differently now, and the Li-ion pack has tabs to prevent reverse orientation. But I'll double-check and report back next week.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    selfbuilt,

    thanks for the review. Too bad Olight does not mention the step down nowhere.

    I own this light and enjoy using it a lot.
    OlightH35S,SR96,M2X,M3X,S15-Ti,SRmini,ZLSC600WMKiiL2,SC5,IMALENTSA04

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* D6859's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Not sure ... I don't have the lights in front of me at the moment, but I seem to recall trying this and not being able to do it physically. The carrier is designed a bit differently now, and the Li-ion pack has tabs to prevent reverse orientation. But I'll double-check and report back next week.
    Thanks, and thanks for the review also. I contacted the company and they informed me that the battery doesn't fit in to H15. That's a shame :/

  10. #10

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Just got mine! Funny how I look for reviews after I brought it...anyways, it's a great light. I use it primarily for viewing inside my PC when working inside it and it's great. Wave feature is awesome.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Good review! Unfortunately, my battery compartment latch broke after a few weeks of use. Cold weather may have contributed to this. Also, the usb receptacle on the rechargeable battery pushed into the battery body and became unusable. The headlamp has been sent back to Olight for repair or replacement. I will up date when Olight has resolved this.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Quote Originally Posted by k98k792 View Post
    Good review! Unfortunately, my battery compartment latch broke after a few weeks of use.
    Thanks for the info, sorry to hear about your issues. Curious to hear your experience with the repaired unit.

    And
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Thank you for the in depth review! The duel battery option is a great feature. It was my mission to find a new head lamp today. Alas the lack of the red mode was a deal killer. I have the new Black Diamond Spot on the way to try out on my next night hike. How did the red mode on the older Olight perform? I haven't found alot of information out there on that feature.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Quote Originally Posted by ms grey View Post
    How did the red mode on the older Olight perform? I haven't found alot of information out there on that feature.
    You can see commentary in my original H15 Wave review here.

    Basically, I found them brighter than typical for a headlamp. This is actually a good thing for hiking at night, but there was unfortunately no way to turn down the brightness. This was a problem for where I do my 100-yard beamshots - they were so bright that the red was being picked up in the foreground of my shots (due to the long exposure times). As a result, I went back to using my Petzl Tikka XP2, which is a lot dimmer on red.

    Oh, and
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Pleased to say Olight sent me a replacement. Hopefully this one will be a little tougher. Time will tell

  16. #16

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    OK, the replacement unit I received fell 3 feet onto a concrete floor, snapping off one side of the latch, rendering the headlamp useless. Also, this time the charging port of the battery pulled out instead of pushing in. I've sent a email to Olight to see how they want to proceed. If they send me another unit, i'm going to tape some foam over the poorly designed latch in the hope of using this headlamp long enough to get my moneys worth out of it. This headlamp is not worthwhile for any serious use, in my opinion

  17. #17

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    very cool review!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Quote Originally Posted by k98k792 View Post
    OK, the replacement unit I received fell 3 feet onto a concrete floor, snapping off one side of the latch, rendering the headlamp useless. Also, this time the charging port of the battery pulled out instead of pushing in.
    Thanks for letting us know your experience.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* D6859's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Quote Originally Posted by k98k792 View Post
    OK, the replacement unit I received fell 3 feet onto a concrete floor, snapping off one side of the latch, rendering the headlamp useless.
    I had the previous version H15 but its battery case broke after 11 months of use and I got replacement. I didn't use it as much after I had bought Fenix HL30 but again the battery case broke, now after only 6 months. I contacted the company that sold the headlamp and asked to get my money back. They refused to refund all the money, but sent me H15S as replacement. The part that broke in my previous headlamps and that I'm now concerned in my new one is circled in the picture. Is this the latch you are referring to?


    The UI, runtime and modes seem better than in H15, but I don't trust the battery case and I really miss the red LEDs. I'm considering Xtar H1 to get more durable headlamp.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    I just bought the newest revision of H15 Wave S and noticed some differences. It has a main power switch at the end of the battery compartment and uses pwm control on medium and high settings. Surprisingly on the lowest power settings pwm is not used. Switching frequency is 1700 Hz and on the highest setting the duty cycle is so high (85 %) that the effect is not very noticeable. Medium (50 % duty cycle) on the other hand can easily be seen with the naked eye.

    Scope screenshots on the three modes.

    Low:


    Medium:


    High:

  21. #21
    Flashaholic maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Just read the original review with care and noticed the part about flickering being noise, not pwm. Didn't know that. Either way, the flickering can easily be seen with the naked eye when looking straight at the led itself, but not so much from the scene illuminated by the lamp.

    Here is a pic of the new main on/off switch on the battery compartment.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Nice to see independent confirmation of the flicker pattern - a very consistent result. And thanks for the pic of the updated compartment.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Measured the spectrum with i1Pro using HCFR and cct/cri with ArgyllCMS spotread. Olight S10 with a more spiky blue and cooler temp for comparison.





    And an album with more measurements:
    http://imgur.com/a/Fe5Jh
    Last edited by maukka; 01-05-2016 at 05:28 AM.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight H15S Headlamp (XM-L2, 1xLi-ion, 4xAAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS + more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Nice to see independent confirmation of the flicker pattern - a very consistent result. And thanks for the pic of the updated compartment.
    I guess the flickering on high is almost impossible to see since the level doesn't drop very low unlike on medium where the signal level varies more although doesn't drop to zero like on true pwm. Here's a couple of charts from a remeasure.

    1. "Zero level". Light off:


    2. H15S "High"


    3. H15S "Medium"


    4. H15S "Low"


    5. Eagletac D25LC2 "Strobe" to represent pwm like behavior

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