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Thread: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

  1. #451

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Quote Originally Posted by gogdog View Post
    ... the 1200mAh 18350 battery. Which....is just a longer version of 16340...though...how would a person know if something like a zebralight h32 would accept that extra length? I guess just calling the company?
    I can help a bit here with battery nomenclature. The numbers for these lithium cells give the diameter in the first two digits, and the length in the next three (all in mm).

    So a "16340" is a cell that is 16mm in diameter, and 34.0 mm in length.
    An "18350" is 18mm in diameter, and 35.0mm in length.



    The 18350 will not fit into an H32 or any other lamp designed for CR123 cells. It is 2mm too fat in diameter. Length may also be a problem, but not as big of a problem.

    Of course, the advantage of the 18350 (and 18650) is that their extra diameter gives them more capacity. The volume goes up as the square of the radius (for a given length), so an 18xxx will have an 81/64 advantage over a 16xxx.

    But if it won't fit into the light, then that won't help much.

  2. #452
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    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    I suspect it would accept the extra millimeter... But as lampeDepeche mentioned the width is the issue
    Last edited by likethevegetable; 01-04-2018 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #453

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    OK, yesterday I received my zebralight package! This is my first "decent" AA light. I bought two to compare...a h53c and a h53Fw. Right now, besides junk lights, here is my total collection ->


    lumintop hl AAA, lumintop tool, h53c, h53Fw

    So...in comparing the two headlamps, here is a beginner's initial impressions:

    1. I personally thought that the h53c was too warm. I know that its supposed to have a higher CRI value, but it seemed to give everything too much of a yellow tint. It did remind me of incandescent maglites that I used to own 20 years ago. For example...I went in the woods last night and the h53c made the snow look muddy/dirty. The h53Fw though was beautiful. I'm not enough of a connoisseur to tell the difference apart from a CRI 93-95 and CRI 80, but I pretty much couldn't. I could definitely tell the difference between my lumintop hl AAA and the h53Fw though. I didn't realize how much the cooler white/lower CRI of the lumintop distorted colors in comparison to the zebralight until I had both side by side.

    2. I prefer the beam of the floodier Fw. After side by side comparisons...even at the highest levels, I felt the 53c provided just barely farther throw than the 53fw, which is the only advantage over the 53fw. But the 53fw was much nicer with up close work, and just the "look" of the beam (nice soft edges). Now, I could put dc fix/tape over the non floody to make it just like the fw...but, I really don't think I'll ever say "I HAVE to see 32 feet instead of 30 feet (or whatever the actual beam distance is) RIGHT NOW" and rip off the tape. I wouldn't want it any floodier though...I definitely won't be looking at a 502 or something. Tape would have a disadvantage of getting dirty around the edges (or sand...I'm in the desert often), or having to clean up adhesive residue if I took it off..or...just plain buying dc fix from home depot for $10).

    3. I did get the GITD headband vs the black one. I don't see any benefit of the black over the GITD, so the GITD does offer some additional functionality. However...I didn't like the headband. I thought it was a pain to get the headlamp through the two holes and out again (harder than it should have been anyway). I also found it uncomfortable (the outside edges kind of dug in). It might help to thread the band through the loops as well, though that would make it harder to get the headlamp attached. I would probably just buy the armytek headband separately if I was planning on using one frequently. (I'm not though..I'm going to attach a loop of grosgrain to my beanie).

    4. Wow, to a beginner...I was surprised how little difference I thought there was between the higher output levels. Like...between H1 320 Lm (0.9 hr), H2 267 Lm (1.6 hr) / 192 Lm (2.3 hrs). I'm sure all of you here were already well aware of that though. So I set my highest to 267 Lm for the additional runtime. I would have set it to 192 Lm but it started getting a bit too close to my second highest of 119 Lm (which I could tell a brightness difference).

    5. UI. I ...actually really like the UI. I get quick access to 6 different intensity settings, and everything feels nice and quick. There were some learning curve to programming, but I overcame those with just a few minutes of playing around with the light timing. (one example...if I double click to go to M1 and then double click again to go to M2..if I do that too quickly it registers as 3 clicks and goes to beacon. Or...in G6/G7 I only get into programming mode maybe...50% after doing the 6 double clicks).

    Anyway, I do see what user gunga was saying with preflashing though. But mine is the exact opposite. I only notice it in G5 when double clicking to Medium. It will flash High because you did the first single click (which shoots high), and then it goes to medium with the second click (after it registers a double click). Its quite noticeable to me. But thats basically the only time I see it....and it makes sense to me why I would see it (the first single click is High and the second quick "double click" makes it go to medium). Gunga on his G7 model...had switched High and Low, and previously said ->

    Two quick presses should allow me to get to medium with no preflash. Well. It doesn't. When I do two quick presses, I get low, a brief preflash to high, before settling in to medium. So in theory I could have 0.08 lumens, a brief 475 lumen flash before settling into 7 lumens.
    Which...doesn't make sense. The first single click should now be Low, and the second quick double click should then register to Medium. Which....I went ahead and programmed my G7 like gunga did (switched high and low) and I didn't get any "HIGH" preflash.

    Anyway...in case anyone cares, I set the light to G6 and programmed it ->

    Single click Low (.06Lm, 1.2Lm)
    Hold medium (29Lm, 63Lm)
    Double click High (119Lm, 267Lm)

    I prefer lights that are L, M, H since I mainly am using the light in a tent in the middle of the night or doing camp chores. In this configuration, I never get a "preflash" of H that might ruin night vision, nor will a single click ever accidentally register as a long press and go to something really bright (it will go to a medium). And...if I'm in L, its real quick to go to Medium/High since I can just now hold it and it goes M, H, L.

    Anyway...really liking the light. I still think I'll use the Lumintop HL AAA for most of my trips for weight saving but for winter or longer trips I will probably take the zebralight.
    Last edited by gogdog; 01-07-2018 at 05:31 PM.

  4. #454
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    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Nice comparison, gogdog. Just an FYI, DC-fix leaves no residue at all, it widens the spill a tad, but it does compromise the throw quite a bit. I ended up taking it off my H53c (EDC use) because I liked the extra throw.. once I get my H600Fc my H53c probably won't see much headlamp use.

    If you want super floody, try putting a finger from a latex glove on. Gives you almost 180°! Worth checking out.

    Edit: also just wanted to add: the difference in throw between the c and Fw is offset by the fact that the w emitter puts out more lumens, so I don't think it's fair to say that the F throws almost the same as the regular..
    Last edited by likethevegetable; 01-09-2018 at 10:58 AM.

  5. #455

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Quote Originally Posted by gogdog View Post
    I still think I'll use the Lumintop HL AAA for most of my trips for weight saving but for winter or longer trips I will probably take the zebralight.
    Great write-up!

    I agree with you that the -w beam is just right for my taste in tint and CRI. In principle, I should prefer the higher-CRI. But I have loved every ZL neutral that I have owned. (Which is...um...about 6 of them?)

    Remember, though, that the AA battery has *3 times* the capacity of the AAA. So an extra 17 grams of base weight (31 gms for the H53 vs. 14 gms for the HL) is giving you higher max levels, a better UI, better efficiency, and 3 times the capacity. Plus, the H53 can run on AAAs, while the Lumintop cannot run on AAs.

    This is why I am perennially tempted by AAA lights, and always in the end go with AA lights instead. To my mind, the advantage in size and weight never makes up for the drop-off in capacity and capability.
    Last edited by lampeDépêche; 01-10-2018 at 04:21 PM.

  6. #456

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    This is why I am perennially tempted by AAA lights, and always in the end go with AA lights instead. To my mind, the advantage in size and weight never makes up for the drop-off in capacity and capability.
    I can appreciate that point of view. Its interesting though...in general I would be the opposite. For most of my backpacking trips, I would grab the AAA lumintop. The main reason...is that I simply don't use a flashlight much during the summer (it gets dark late (9:30pm) and we go to bed, and by 6:30am its already light enough that you don't need a light).

    But more than that...the actual watts/oz rates between a AAA eneloop and a AA eneloop is only about 12% worse. For instance, check this chart I recently made:



    So a standard AAA eneloop gives you 2.34watts per oz, and a AA eneloop...2.64watts/oz. So actual battery capacity for the weight are pretty similar. If you add in the weight you would have to carry to bring a AA light (17gm difference between the HLaaa and h53), the AA eneloop wattz/oz efficiency compared to the hlaaa drops way down to 1.6watts/oz.

    Lets think of it a different way....if you only had a lumintop hlaaa...would it be that awful? Actually....for less weight of the h53 and batt, I can carry the hlaaa and 3 AAA eneloops and have MORE energy capacity. ->

    That setup is more energy efficient.

    Now....don't get me wrong...we are talking about grams here. But...thats all ultralight backpackers talk about (grams). Sometimes we forgo luxury. I mean, my hiking partner doesn't bring a flashlight at all (just uses his phone light), even though the phone light is much harder to use. So for me....bringing a h53 would be more of a luxury item. If I honestly thought I would go through 3 AAA batteries...I would bring the h53. Its a nicer light. Actually..if I thought I would go through 2 AAAs...I would bring the zebralight. I am thinking in high use trips I would bring the h53 with the fenix 1600mAh li-ion 1.5V microusb rechargeable battery that I could charge with my battery pack (I would assume if I'm using my light a lot, I would be using my phone a lot, so need external power), since the fenix also weighs less than a AA.

    Its the same reason that I EDC'd a lumintop tool AAA (I actually don't EDC anymore though). It was super light, thin, and it worked for me because I rarely used it so the diminished capacity wasn't an issue. (I do know that its blasphemous to not EDC a light here on this forum).

    Plus, the H53 can run on AAAs, while the Lumintop cannot run on AAs.
    Thank you for this! I'm new to zebralights...I actually had no idea about that capability. So..all things being equal....I would assume that I would simply get 2.5x less runtime on a AAA eneloop than a AA eneloop? I would assume that I should stay away from the high modes of the light ....that the AAA would perform worse with high amp draw than the AA....but maybe I'm wrong.

  7. #457
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    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Just a minor thing to add: where you've written watts, it should be watt-hours. As you know, energy was the proper metric used for your comparison, but watts is used for power. Power is a rate of energy transfer. For example: you would say that flashlight is consuming X watts of power, and a battery has Y watt-hours of energy stored. Consuming X watts for 1 hour results in X watt-hours of energy consumed.
    Last edited by likethevegetable; 01-10-2018 at 06:49 PM.

  8. #458

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    gogdog, I like the way you think!

    Making up a spreadsheet and running the numbers is exactly the right way to approach this question, and I cannot quibble with your conclusions about watt-hours (I also like the way that likethevegetable thinks, too--I made the same mental correction from "watts" to "watt-hours" while reading gogdog's post.)

    Now that you have established that 1 Lumintop + 3 AAAs weighs less than 1 H53 + 1 AA, and provides more watt-hours, there's a further step you could investigate:
    Which set-up will give you more lumen-hours?

    If one or the other of the lamps is more efficient, then it will give you more lumen-hours per watt-hour.

    Lumen-hours are handy because with LEDs there is a *roughly* linear trade-off between output in lumens and runtime in hours. *Very* roughly, and depending on details of the light and the cell (esp. if it's an alkaline), a lamp+cell that can run for 1 hour at 100 lumens output will also run for 100 hours at 1 lumen output. How close to a linear relation is it? Not that great--there is a zone of max efficiency usually in the middle of the output range (like around 10-50 lumens), and efficiency will drop by something like a factor of two on the ends. So if your light will give you 20 hours of 10 lumen output, then it may only give you 1 hour of 100 lumens (instead of 2 hours) and only 1000 hours of 0.1 lumens (instead of 2000). Nevertheless, it's a good way of comparing how efficiently different lamps convert watt-hours into usable light. (Note: with alkalines, the efficiency is awesome in the lowest end, and really, really craters at the high output end. But you clearly already know about this.)

    So: have you compared the lumen-hours/watt-hour efficiency of the Lumintop and the ZL? Since you're a spread-sheet devotee, you might enjoy it. I honestly don't know how it will come out, because I have not run the numbers.

    As the lawyers say, this is all de minimis by now (i.e. we are quibbling over tiny quantities), but as you mentioned, that's what UL people like to do!

    ETA--on the H53 using AAAs: one nice thing about the ZL headlights is that the spring in the tailcap is long enough that you do not need to add a spacer in order to use a AAA--you can just drop it into the H53 and tighten it up and it will fire right up. Will you lose the high modes? No, not if you are running eneloops, because their current output is good. On the other hand, you would burn through the AAA pretty quick if you run it at the 300+ H1 mode, so it would probably make sense to choose a lower output if you are running it on AAAs. Also: the H53 no longer supports 3.7 volt cells like the 14500 and 10440 (the H52 and H502 do). Not much of a loss, really, since you are unlikely to encounter those in the wild. Much more likely to have to resupply from a Mom&Pop gas station which has sold everything but their last card of AAAs (or AAs).
    Last edited by lampeDépêche; 01-10-2018 at 08:24 PM.

  9. #459

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Okay, couldn't resist running some numbers myself.

    Here's the Lumintop info:
    120LM,30LM,1.5LM
    Runtime: 0.5h,4h,36h

    So in the middle of the range, one AAA cell gives you (30lumens x 4 hrs)=120 lumen-hours. At the high end, it drops to (120x 0.5) = 60 lumen-hours, and at the low end it drops to (1.5x 36) = 54 lumen-hours.

    Here's the H53w info for comparable outputs:


    • 122 Lm (4.2 hrs) M2 30 Lm (21 hrs) L1 1.2 Lm (13 days)

    So that's (30x21)= 630 lumen-hours at the 30-lumen output, 512 lumen-hours at the 122-lumen output, and 374 lumen-hours at the low end.

    But of course each of these should be divided by 2.5 since the ZL is running AAs (2000mah) instead of AAAs (800mah) (and let's assume we are using eneloops all around).

    So for 800 mah worth of input, the ZL is giving 205 lumen-hours on high, 252 lumen-hours on medium and 150 lumen-hours at the lowest level.

    If I did those numbers right, then the ZL is 3x as efficient at the high level (205 vs. 60), 2x as efficient in the mid-range (252 vs. 120), and 3x as efficient at the low range (150 vs 54).

    Check me on this, but it looks to me as though you could get as much actual light from the ZL and *one* eneloop AAA as from the Lumintop and *three* AAAs.

    But I may have screwed up somewhere with my numbers.
    Last edited by lampeDépêche; 01-10-2018 at 08:46 PM.

  10. #460

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    You could run the AAA light on an AA with the battery case open, or run a AAA in the AA light.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  11. #461

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    there's a further step you could investigate:
    Which set-up will give you more lumen-hours?
    Challenge accepted!

    Actually, it looks like you started on the challenge yourself.

    First to point out...is that the h53 #s are based on a AA eneloop Pro, not standard eneloop. So taking the 30 Lm (21hrs), that would be 30 Lm ( 16.8hrs ) for a normal 2000 mah eneloop. So, that would be 504 lumen-hours at the 30 Lm level, then divided by 2.5 would be 202 "normalized" lumen hours in comparison to the AAA eneloop. Which..yeah...compared to the lumintop at 120 lumen hours is quite a big jump.

    However...this needs to be more apples to apples. All of these numbers right now are based on manufacturer claimed specs. I would rather do the numbers on real life specs.

    I do have this review of the lumintop hl aaa that gives runtime charts ->
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...umintop-HL-AAA

    Which....shows the medium at 25lumens and 3hrs40min runtime. I previously did do a runtime chart of my own for the lumintop ...and while I don't have a light box to measure lumens accurately, I can confirm the runtime to be exactly 3hr40min on medium with a AAA eneloop.

    Now...for the h53...I'm having trouble finding an actual runtime chart. This thread shows that the runtimes are overinflated by about 20% ->
    https://www.reddit.com/r/flashlight/...han_specified/

    Of course, the lumintop is about 10% overinflated. But....to get a better #s...I can simply do my own runtime test of the h53Fw with a AAA. One problem though....is I don't have a accurate light meter so I would have to just hope that both Medium settings are about the same lumens....again...a chart from a review would help to see how much zebralight inflates their lumen values...

    You could run the AAA light on an AA with the battery case open
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. If you mean battery tube open...that wouldn't work since the AA won't fit inside the lumintop battery tube.

  12. #462

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Ha! I see that the Reddit thread was started by our own "likethevegetable"! I have to assume that it's the same person.

    So, likethevegetable--did you ever get satisfaction from ZL? Did you get better runtimes, or a new light, or some explanation?

    I have not previously heard claims of inflated specs on ZL lights, but I may have missed them.

    Oh, and I looked at Narmattaru's review of the Lumintop--that is one very cute light! Beautiful piece of work--I almost want to get one just to play with it.

  13. #463

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    I didn't notice that about likethevegetable's reddit thread! Funny.

    Anyway...so yeah, tomorrow I'll run the AAA runtime test. I might (depending on how bored I am), create a shoebox lightbox so I can test the relative lumens of the lumintop and h53 and hopefully find a setting that they are close on. (right now to me...the lumintop's medium level is brighter than the h53s 30 Lm level). You really have piqued my interest to see just how much a difference two lights can be efficiency wise.

    Oh...and...I think I figured out my programming issues for g6 and g7!

    Lets say I was programming my double click settings. I would double click to get to the DC1 setting (called M1 by zebralight...but now that they are user programmable, I think they should be called s1,s2 (single click), dc1,dc2 (double click) and h1, h2 (hold)....or something similar...just makes more sense to me). Anyway...now that I'm on the dc1 setting, I double click 6 times to enter programming for that level. That works fine.

    But what I was doing before...is trying to set the dc2 setting. I would double click 1x to get to the dc level, then, double click again to get to the dc2 level. I would then wait...5-6 seconds and then double click 6x...but...it wasn't working. Either it would turn off after the 6th double click, or...program the dc2 level to some odd level, or...whatever. I haven't pinpointed exactly what happens, but, there is an easy solution.

    If you want to program dc2...first, make it your memorized mode. So...double click (or single click/hold, for whatever level you want), then double click to your sub level, then single click to turn the light off. Now your "sub level" is your new "memorized level". So, then go back to that level (double click for example), then do 6x double click to program that level.

    Basically...don't try and double click to get to your sublevel and then try and do 6x double clicks afterwards to program it. Just try and get to programming level when its the memorized level.
    Last edited by gogdog; 01-10-2018 at 10:38 PM.

  14. #464

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Ok....so, I couldn't wait for tomorrow and made an integrating shoebox. Initial results were interesting. So...when comparing the two lights in person, I always felt that the Lumintop medium was brighter than the zebralight medium, and the 120Lm lumintop was a brighter than the 122Lm h53.

    Here is my shoebox (its white on the inside) ->


    So...first, I calibrated the ceilingbounce app to read the lumintop's medium setting at 25Lm (based on the Narmattaru review chart). But....the h53's (h53Fw I tested first) 30Lm only read as 18Lm. Lumintop 120 read as 106, and the h53Fw 122Lm read as 83Lm. (the h53c read as 12Lm and 79Lm respectively.

    Now...am I going crazy here or is there really something up? At first I thought that it could be a big difference due to the CCT levels? Or...my setup just sucks or ?

  15. #465

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    So regarding running an AA in a AAA light with the battery cap off, it's pretty self explanatory, you need to fabricate a connection to the positive and negative, maybe use friction against the side walls, anyhow...

    Second thought is that integrated spheres aside, one could substitute the use of a sphere for a specific task; at what distance or level were the crossing shadows of a single obstacle judged to be identical for two lights?
    (If there's a pole in front of you and a wall behind it, you know that the light in your right hand is more intense than the light in your left when the shadow to your left is darker than the shadow to your right...)
    - that's harder than just figuring which is more useful to you at given range, using the relative shadow strength, and DC amperage readings.

    You could figure out your best light= driver X led X optic for your preferred usage.

    Or another simpler test could simply be; at what range was an observational task able to be completed for each light at a given power level?
    Last edited by eh4; 01-11-2018 at 01:08 AM.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  16. #466
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    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Caught red handed! That was me.

    My concerns of the lower than spec'd runtime were ultimately assauged, I did not replace my light.

    I found that the runtimes were actually higher on the highest modes, but almost 25% lower on the medium modes. I will fully disclose that I had no way of knowing the actual lumens though. I compared the runtimes of similarly spec'd (and visually compared) lumen outputs to my Fenix HL50, and the H53c produced better runtimes, and considering the warmer and higher CRI, this was good news. I figured ZL was a bit generous when interpolating their run times.

  17. #467

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    OK...I have the runtimes of the h53Fw using a AAA eneloop (800 mAh). As I stated before...the medium setting on my lumintop hlaaa is what I used for normalizing my ceilingbounce app. I set that to 25Lm (lumintop specs it at 30Lm). The h53Fw on the 29Lm level only registers as 18Lm on my phone. And...my eyes say that is probably true...it does seem less bright than the lumintop.

    So, the Lumintop hlaaa gives 3hr40min of 25Lm, so 91.6Lm hours. Here is my runtime chart for the Zebralight ->


    So, 18Lm for 5hr40min gives 102Lumen hours. That means the zebralight is about 10% more efficient than the lumintop with a AAA eneloop on the Medium setting.

    If I go back to this chart ->

    So for the setup above, even if I boost the watt/oz numbers for the h53 by 10%...(1.35), it still wouldn't beat the hlaaa in WEIGHT efficiency. But, it was fun to do the testing. I'll probably run a test tomorrow on a higher setting for the h53.

    Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed though in the zebralight manufacturer spec #s. Not only do the lumens seem lower than they should be for a particular setting, but also the runtime. Extrapolating my numbers for a AA, it would give me a 14hr10min runtime on M2 (29Lm) vs the spec 16hr48min....thats 16% off (not even mentioning the lumen value difference so really it would be quite a bit more than 16%). The lumintop spec #s/lumen values seem much closer to reality. (lumintop even underestimates their runtime for high....they say .5hr, when its really about 43 min).

    OH....I also wanted to mention something. So, I was trying to use the ceilingbounce app...but...if you don't leave the app running in the foreground, it won't record all of the time (at least on my phone). For example, if I have it recording and then go do a text or something, only about half of the time actually gets recorded, which is bad. I couldn't just leave my phone alone for a whole runtime test, so I instead used the program I used to use called 'Physics toolbox suite'. Its a much more fleshed out app than ceilingbounce..and it will still record all time even in the background (you can also turn off your screen if you want and it will still work).

  18. #468

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Thanks so much for doing this, gogdog!

    One query: your graph is labeled "AAA 2000mah". I assume that you meant "AAA 800mah"? I'm assuming that you ran the ZL on an eneloop AAA?

    I share your disappointment with ZL's output and run-time claims--I had thought that their numbers were more reliable than this. I remember reading some of Selfbuilt's reviews, and the impression that I took away was that their output numbers were generally accurate in the middle range, over-stated in the low range, and understated in the high range, i.e. he was measuring highs that were a little higher than they published.

    Check this one, for instance:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...VIDEO-and-more!

    Bottom line: it looks to me like you were right about the Ultra-light backpacker's perspective. The Lumintop gives as good value in lumen-hours per gram as the ZL does, and perhaps slightly better.

  19. #469

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Yep...I made that mistake on the graph. Fixed!

    This morning I did a test at the h4 setting (119Lm).



    It was a step down at almost exactly 60 minutes, and 86Lm (119Lm claimed). So, 86 Lumen hours. The lumintop gave 43 minutes at 105 lumens (120Lm claimed), so 75.25 Lumen hours. Thats 12.5% more efficient. Though...with both tests...the zebralight was producing less lumens than the lumintop which at that lumen level could have been relatively more efficient to run so that should be considered as well.

    Anyway...interesting experiment (for me at least).

    Bottom line: it looks to me like you were right about the Ultra-light backpacker's perspective. The Lumintop gives as good value in lumen-hours per gram as the ZL does, and perhaps slightly better.
    Per gram...yeah, the lumintop gives better lumen hours. But that metric isn't necessarily the most important. I mean...if I only cared about lumen-hours per gram I would switch to a 18650 light. The core principle of ultralight backpacking is that you only take what you need. For example...you decant everything like sunscreen, hand lotion, etc into a micro container and bring only the amount you would need for the trip. Energy would be the same thing...if I only use a AAA amount of energy on a trip, I should take a AAA light. Bringing a AA light would be too much, and 18650 much more so.

    I did think about the ZL vs Lumintop a bit more though. If I do take my measurements/runtimes at face value, the ZL is 10-13% more efficient. But I also should take into account that the ZL has a higher CRI which I believe is more energy draining, so if the ZL is giving 10% more lumen-hours for a AAA, its really more than that because energy is also going into the higher CRI value (if I understand that correctly). If it had a lower CRI, maybe the ZL would be...15-20% more lumen-hours than the lumintop? Not sure.

    Anyway, I'll probably go ahead and do some AA tests and make sure I still get the same lumen-hours, and do some higher lumen testing on AA.

  20. #470

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Oh...and I wanted to be clear that after thinking about it...I'm not really "disappointed" in the lumen values/runtimes of the ZL. Its all relative. Whether someone says the M2 level is 30Lm or 20Lm on their measurement device is really all just relative. The important thing, is if I'm comparing two lights (hl aaa and h53fw) on the same measurement device, I can now calculate lumen-hours and thus efficiency between the two lights. Now I know that the ZL is giving me more lumen-hours with a higher CRI than the lumintop, plus a myriad of other features. Which...I would hope so...its a $60 light vs a $20 light.

  21. #471

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    I'm still puzzled about your output results. Promising 119 and delivering 86 is really not acceptable.

    And it's also not in line with most people's experience of ZL. As I mentioned, Selfbuilt has usually found their performance to be very close to their advertised specs (except in the low-low range).

    I don't know whether there's something funny about your lightbox? (In that case, the Lumintop may be delivering *more* than its specs). Or something off about this particular ZL light?


    On a separate topic--that Lumintop sure is cute! The only things keeping me from buying one now are
    a) I don't like the beams from pebbled lenses as much as reflectored ones, and
    b) the lack of lock-out means I cannot drop it in a pocket without worrying about it turning on. In a pack, I guess you can keep the battery out during the day, and at night you can clip it somewhere visible so that you'll see if there's an accidental turn-on.
    ETA: c) the lowest setting of 1.5 lumens is still a lot higher than I like for my lowest setting. I use the sub-lumen settings on my ZLs quite a lot.

    These aren't huge minuses, but so far they have been enough to make me resist the temptation to buy a light I don't really need. Must...resist...temptation!
    Last edited by lampeDépêche; 01-12-2018 at 03:05 PM.

  22. #472

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Yeah...I don't know either. Its possible my lightbox is just crappy and due to a # of factors that I'm unaware of, the ZL is getting underreported or the lumintop getting over reported. But again, the lumen-hour calculations do seem that they would be accurate.

    And yeah, I discussed the lumintop hlaaa frustrations I have with it here ->
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...umintop-HL-AAA

  23. #473

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Ok...here are my runtime charts for a h53Fw running a 2000mAh Eneloop. I tested the eneloops on a la crosse charger and they all reported higher than 2000 mAh (2020, 2070, 2040, etc). I'm also reporting the difference between spec and actual runtimes:












    Spec: H1 320 Lm (0.9 hr) using 2550 eneloop pro, so 43 min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 170Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 41min so only 5% under runtime, 116 Lumen hours

    Spec: H2 267 Lm (1.6 hr), so 1hr15min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 162Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 63min, 16% under runtime, 170 Lumen hours

    Spec: H3 192 Lm (2.3 hrs), so 1hr48min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 130Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 90min, 17% under runtime, 195 Lumen hours

    Spec: H4 119 Lm (4.2 hrs), so 3hr17min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 86Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 2hr28min, 25% under runtime, 212 Lumen hours

    Spec: M1 63 Lm (8.5 hrs), so 6hr38min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 49Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 4hr43min, 29% under runtime, 231 Lumen hours

    no chart made:
    Spec: M2 29Lm (21 hrs), so 16hr23min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 18Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 15hr3min, 8% under runtime, 271 Lumen hours

    So, I'm somewhere between 5-29% under runtime. The lumen hours seem to be correct with h1 being much less efficient than the lower light levels of m1, m2. H4 and M1 are the most, exagerated, runtimes on the zebralight website. I'm wondering if they actually tested each individual light and instead just estimated runtimes based on what they thought should be based on some kind of lumen hours chart they have. I'm not sure.

  24. #474

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Wow, gogdog, I don't know what to say about this. Except, thank you for testing and documenting and sharing it with us!

    But as to the big gap between the claimed specs and what you are recording, I am puzzled, and troubled. I cannot explain it.

    As to the outputs, we could blame it on your light-box. But that would not explain the run-time deficiencies.

    Do you have an easy way of checking the calibration on your light-box? I am trying to think about how you could acquire light-sources whose lumen figures you could trust. Perhaps just some household LED bulbs in a few sizes? If GE or Philips or any reputable mfgr says that their LED bulb puts out 800 lumens, then I feel pretty confident it's within 5% of that.

    Another possibility to consider at some point--and maybe before you do too much more work--is that your light is a bad sample. You could just ask ZL to send you a new unit. Point them to these graphs, and ask them whether these gaps are acceptable. Tell them you'd be willing to rerun the tests with a second sample.

    I'm really not happy about what you are seeing. Promising 320 and delivering 170, if that is really what is going on here, is not cool.

    And again--it's really anomalous, given the results of people like Selfbuilt, which I have pointed you to before.

    In any case--this is excellent work, whatever the explanation for it may be. Thanks for sharing it.

  25. #475
    Flashaholic Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    One theory to only partially explain lumen measurement differences, at least on h1: ZL might use the ansi standard, which I think is the lumen measurement at 30 seconds or a minute.

    Another: the ZL setup might be very warm, or downright hot, making the cells perform better.

    Another: ZL cherry picks good new cells, and tops them off to the very high end of the spec.

    The most obvious is that ZL has over inflated the specs on this light. It would be the most flagarent inflation of specs I've heard from ZL, so I'm definitely going to reserve judgement until some other samples are tested with other setups.

    Thanks for all the work, gogdog!

  26. #476

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Do you have an easy way of checking the calibration on your light-box?
    Well, not really. As I stated before, I calibrated the lightbox based on the Narmattaru Lumintop hl aaa review that stated the Medium mode was 25Lm. So everything is based off that. Its possible that the lumintop's real lumens are higher than manufacturer spec...though that sounds odd for a manufacturer to do that. Regardless, based on my AAA testing....the ZL was shown to be more efficient on lumen hours than the lumintop so even if the lumens are lower than stated, the runtimes seemed accurate based on lumen hours between the two lights.

    Really the issue here is why the stated manufacturer runtime specs are so off, especially for H4, M1. My calculated runtimes do seem accurate on what the headlamp should be getting...I mean, if the AAA on H4 gave 86 Lumen hours, then theoretically I should get 2.5x that on a AA, so 215 Lumen hours (I got 212, super close). But why would zebralight over inflate the spec runtimes so much?

    I like Keitho's possible explanations, though that wouldn't explain the increased differences between modes (H1, M2 are much closer than H4, M1). Which is why I think that ZL really probably didn't actually test all of the modes and just did a calculated/estimated runtime for some of them, and whatever calculation they used was just wrong.

    Another possibility to consider at some point--and maybe before you do too much more work--is that your light is a bad sample. You could just ask ZL to send you a new unit. Point them to these graphs, and ask them whether these gaps are acceptable. Tell them you'd be willing to rerun the tests with a second sample.
    Actually...I have a h53c that I also bought at the same time....so I have a second sample that I'm running as we speak! I'm testing H4, M1 on the h53c and will report my findings tonight when the tests complete.

  27. #477

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Gogdog how does your second copy perform in comparison to the first?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogdog View Post
    Well, not really. As I stated before, I calibrated the lightbox based on the Narmattaru Lumintop hl aaa review that stated the Medium mode was 25Lm. So everything is based off that. Its possible that the lumintop's real lumens are higher than manufacturer spec...though that sounds odd for a manufacturer to do that. Regardless, based on my AAA testing....the ZL was shown to be more efficient on lumen hours than the lumintop so even if the lumens are lower than stated, the runtimes seemed accurate based on lumen hours between the two lights.

    Really the issue here is why the stated manufacturer runtime specs are so off, especially for H4, M1. My calculated runtimes do seem accurate on what the headlamp should be getting...I mean, if the AAA on H4 gave 86 Lumen hours, then theoretically I should get 2.5x that on a AA, so 215 Lumen hours (I got 212, super close). But why would zebralight over inflate the spec runtimes so much?

    I like Keitho's possible explanations, though that wouldn't explain the increased differences between modes (H1, M2 are much closer than H4, M1). Which is why I think that ZL really probably didn't actually test all of the modes and just did a calculated/estimated runtime for some of them, and whatever calculation they used was just wrong.



    Actually...I have a h53c that I also bought at the same time....so I have a second sample that I'm running as we speak! I'm testing H4, M1 on the h53c and will report my findings tonight when the tests complete.

  28. #478

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    I'm still doing tests (I basically am redoing all 6 tests for the h53c). And...I discovered that I was using 5 different AA eneloops, and they were all testing above 2000mAh...but I found one that last reported 1800, so I'm redoing a few of the h53Fw tests just to make sure some test didn't accidentally use that one.

  29. #479

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    Thanks for all of your work on this.

    An eneloop that only contains 1800mah might explain lower run-times, but it cannot explain low lumen outputs.

  30. #480

    Default Re: New H53c AA Headlamp Neutral White High CRI!

    OK...so, I retested several of the h53Fw tests...and the H4 (119Lm) was off...I most likely used the 1800mAh battery originally. Here is the new H4 ->



    Spec: H4 119 Lm (4.2 hrs), so 3hr17min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 86Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 2hr48min, 14% under runtime, 241 Lumen hours

    Now....my second sample, the h53c.








    Spec: H1 285 Lm (0.9 hr) using 2550 eneloop pro, so 43 min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: Honestly....I'm not really sure where to cut this test off. But, it hit 100Lm at the 48minute mark. If so, it averaged 170Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 48min so 14% OVER runtime, 136 Lumen hours
    Again though...I'm not really sure where ZL cut their runtime off at. The h53c H1 runtime chart is a shallower curve than the h53Fw H1 runtime chart.

    Spec: H2 238 Lm (1.6 hr), so 1hr15min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 150Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 65min, 13% under runtime, 163 Lumen hours

    H3 (not tested)

    Spec: H4 106 Lm (4.2 hrs), so 3hr17min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 79Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 2hr48min, 14% under runtime, 221 Lumen hours

    Spec: M1 56 Lm (8.5 hrs), so 6hr38min using 2000mAh eneloop
    Test: averaged 45Lm during runtime based on my lightbox, for 4hr37min, 30% under runtime, 208 Lumen hours

    M2 (not tested)

    To recap...if I'm not looking at H1 due to the curve, the h53c runtimes are very close to the h53Fw runtimes. Lumens, and thus, lumen hours, are lower on the h53c due to the higher CRI.

    For whatever reason, the M1 runtimes are greatly exaggerated on ZL's specs. Its possible...based on my lightbox #s...that it could be because the lumen value is closer to the spec value. Like, on the h53Fw...the M1 value is about 22% under spec, and other values are: H2: 39% under, H3: 32%, H4: 28%, M2: 38% under. So, on average the M1 value is closer to lumen value than spec, so worse runtime.

    Again...all just speculation. Through these tests I did learn just how much eneloops can differ from each other on actual energy that they hold, so I would have to think that Keitho's guess is a good one ->

    Another: ZL cherry picks good new cells, and tops them off to the very high end of the spec.

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