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Thread: Looking for a headlamp

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Looking for a headlamp

    Looking for a headlamp runs on AA battery with about 300-350 lumens. Any recommendation would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Not many headlamps that can do that without using a single 14500 (lithium ion). I think the only one that can do it is Zebralight as most other headlamps. I'd recommend looking at Zebralight and Fenix headlamps if you can afford them.
    The Fenix HL50 can do 285 lumens off a nimh AA but only in burst (short) mode normally it is 150 lumens and typically most 1AA headlamps struggle getting to even 200 lumens for an extended period of time. The Zebralight H52F can do 300 lumens for almost an hour I believe.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    It also does 500 lumens for 60 second turbo with a 14500.

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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Not many headlamps that can do that without using a single 14500 (lithium ion). I think the only one that can do it is Zebralight as most other headlamps. I'd recommend looking at Zebralight and Fenix headlamps if you can afford them.
    The Fenix HL50 can do 285 lumens off a nimh AA but only in burst (short) mode normally it is 150 lumens and typically most 1AA headlamps struggle getting to even 200 lumens for an extended period of time. The Zebralight H52F can do 300 lumens for almost an hour I believe.

    I was going to buy the Fenix HL35 but it's discontinue now.

    The 300-350 lumens is for when I need more light but most of the time it will be on medium mode, something around 150 lumens will be good.

    With Zebralight it seem like it can get complicated if you don't know what you doing.

    I don't trust Lithium Ion on or near my head.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    I was going to buy the Fenix HL35 but it's discontinue now.

    The 300-350 lumens is for when I need more light but most of the time it will be on medium mode, something around 150 lumens will be good.

    With Zebralight it seem like it can get complicated if you don't know what you doing.

    I don't trust Lithium Ion on or near my head.
    Then don't use a cell phone. Lithium ion is safe if you use good batteries and devices and for an extra amount of safety protected batteries. The Zebralight is the only light I know of that can do that many lumens off 1AA... awhile back there were some 2AA headlamps that were probably in the range of output you desire but seems many have been discontinued.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* hiuintahs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Years (decades?) ago my headlamp was a Petzl Micro 2xAA adjustable focus incandescent. At the time I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now my favorite is a single CR123A / 16340 rechargeable lithium ion (Olight H1 Nova). Thus its very light (weight) and you can actually hit higher lumen levels than a 2xAA headlamp, though I hardly ever use a turbo or the higher modes. But its there in case you need it.

    Zebralight probably has the record for max output out of a single AA. Some lights that I've seen trying to get a max output out of a single AA have poor efficiency. If just dropping the output 20%, it's like you get 40% more run time. I don't know the exact numbers, I'm just throwing out an example. It's just that the AA battery has less capacity when using the max discharge capability.

    I think the OP was referring to 2xAA's though since that is what the HL35 has. I picked up a 3xAAA HL25 for a discount when they were being discontinued. 3xAAA is not my favorite battery configuration. But I liked the HL25 better than the single AA HL23 because Fenix did not put memory on the HL23 and it starts out on high every time.........otherwise I would have stuck with the HL23.
    Last edited by hiuintahs; 02-24-2018 at 01:22 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Then don't use a cell phone. Lithium ion is safe if you use good batteries and devices and for an extra amount of safety protected batteries. The Zebralight is the only light I know of that can do that many lumens off 1AA... awhile back there were some 2AA headlamps that were probably in the range of output you desire but seems many have been discontinued.
    I use my cell phone on speaker phone.

    Can the safety circuit in protected cells have issue in shorting out?

    What's your opinion on the Manker E03?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by hiuintahs View Post
    Years (decades?) ago my headlamp was a Petzl Micro 2xAA adjustable focus incandescent. At the time I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now my favorite is a single CR123A / 16340 rechargeable lithium ion (Olight H1 Nova). Thus its very light (weight) and you can actually hit higher lumen levels than a 2xAA headlamp, though I hardly ever use a turbo or the higher modes. But its there in case you need it.

    Zebralight probably has the record for max output out of a single AA. Some lights that I've seen trying to get a max output out of a single AA have poor efficiency. If just dropping the output 20%, it's like you get 40% more run time. I don't know the exact numbers, I'm just throwing out an example. It's just that the AA battery has less capacity when using the max discharge capability.

    I think the OP was referring to 2xAA's though since that is what the HL35 has. I picked up a 3xAAA HL25 for a discount when they were being discontinued. 3xAAA is not my favorite battery configuration. But I liked the HL25 better than the single AA HL23 because Fenix did not put memory on the HL23 and it starts out on high every time.........otherwise I would have stuck with the HL23.
    Is the CR123A safer than the 16340 Li-Ion ?

    Do you know wearing a headlamp with a battery pack in the back become awkward or unbalance, example Coast HL8 4xAA.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    I use my cell phone on speaker phone.

    Can the safety circuit in protected cells have issue in shorting out?

    What's your opinion on the Manker E03?
    Safety circuits have failed before on cheap batteries and damaged cells but it is rather rare for decent cells and lights.
    I haven't any opinion on the Manker E03 I haven't heard anything bad about Manker products but that doesn't mean they can have a dud or not. The problem I have with running 14500s in AA lights is often they aren't primarily designed for them it is more of an afterthought and they can heat things up fast and at high outputs can drain the battery pretty quick and sometimes the lower levels are elevated in output also making them possibly too bright for use. I currently have a cheap ebay AA zoomie that is running off a 14500 battery with no issued at all I've gone through 4-5 recharges of the battery using it. The only issue is that the battery is unprotected and I've discharged it too low for my charger to "see" it a few times that can be a problem with unprotected cells and some lights that are use 1.5v and 4.2v batteries both.
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* LeanBurn's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Thrunite TH20 ?



    • A high output headlamp with max output of 520 lumens in turbo mode powered by one Li-ion 14500 750mAh battery.
    • LED: CREE XP-L V6 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.
    • Mode & Runtime (Tested by one Eneloop AA 2450mAh NIMH rechargeable battery):
      -Firefly (0.3 lumens, 14 days)
      -Infinity Low (1.6 lumens, 21 hours)
      -Infinity High (230 lumens, 95 minutes )
      -Turbo (250 lumens, 93 minutes)
    • Batteries Applicable: 1x AA battery, 1x 14500 battery.
    • Working voltage: 0.9-4.2 V.
    • Reflector: Orange Peel.
    • Peak Beam Intensity: 1120 cd
    • Beam Distance: 67 m (max.)
    • Dimensions: 70 mm * 24.5mm
    • Weight: 76g (without battery).
    • Waterproof: IPX-8 (2 m)
    • Impact Resistance: 1 m.
    • Material: Aircraft grade aluminum body with premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
    • Accessories included: O ring, spare rubber slot.
    Last edited by LeanBurn; 02-25-2018 at 01:29 PM.
    THRUNITE Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    FWIW, my three headlamps all use 3x AAA. Petzl Tak Tikka (bought six or seven years ago after a lot of research), Princeton Tec (from a refueling outage at a nuke plant), and a cheap Princeton Tec I found on sale for my 5yo boy (actually quite good). This is coming from an electrician, and Iíve done many many jobs where I used a headlamp all day many days. They donít meet your wishes, but my point is there are lots of headlamps on the market that work just great.

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    Flashaholic Enzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Iím looking for similar. Zeroing in on a Klarus. I own a few of their other lights and like the quality.
    http://www.klaruslight.com/index.php...tid=177&id=147

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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    This may be just what you guys are looking for (if not too late, maybe): Fenix has just released their latest HL30 2018 that runs off of 2 AA batteries, and it so happens that their output is exactly 300 lumens. @carnage, I have no idea if they will be available at retailers yet, as I only saw it on the Fenix Fb page towards the end of last week, so my guestimate would be that you may have to wait a while. You didn't give more specs or requirements, so why not have a look?

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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Iím looking for similar. Zeroing in on a Klarus. I own a few of their other lights and like the quality.
    http://www.klaruslight.com/index.php...tid=177&id=147
    Do you know what are the specs are running on alkaline/NiMH ? The link only have the specs for Li-Ion, that I could find.

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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by colight View Post
    This may be just what you guys are looking for (if not too late, maybe): Fenix has just released their latest HL30 2018 that runs off of 2 AA batteries, and it so happens that their output is exactly 300 lumens. @carnage, I have no idea if they will be available at retailers yet, as I only saw it on the Fenix Fb page towards the end of last week, so my guestimate would be that you may have to wait a while. You didn't give more specs or requirements, so why not have a look?
    I did a Google search and nothing comes up, so I guess it's not available yet.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Safety circuits have failed before on cheap batteries and damaged cells but it is rather rare for decent cells and lights.
    I haven't any opinion on the Manker E03 I haven't heard anything bad about Manker products but that doesn't mean they can have a dud or not. The problem I have with running 14500s in AA lights is often they aren't primarily designed for them it is more of an afterthought and they can heat things up fast and at high outputs can drain the battery pretty quick and sometimes the lower levels are elevated in output also making them possibly too bright for use. I currently have a cheap ebay AA zoomie that is running off a 14500 battery with no issued at all I've gone through 4-5 recharges of the battery using it. The only issue is that the battery is unprotected and I've discharged it too low for my charger to "see" it a few times that can be a problem with unprotected cells and some lights that are use 1.5v and 4.2v batteries both.
    What brands do you consider as good quallity cells (un/protected)? ?

    Which 14500 cells are you using and which 14500 you think is good quality?

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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    General question to anyone.

    Is the CR123A safer than the 16340 Li-Ion ?

    Does the CR123A and the chargeable RCR123A/16340 uses the same chemistry?

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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    General question to anyone.

    Is the CR123A safer than the 16340 Li-Ion ?

    Does the CR123A and the chargeable RCR123A/16340 uses the same chemistry?
    Thread seems to be drifting off topic here, but short answer is that the two different batteries referenced above are different, with different risks, and different chemistry.

    Some searching in the Battery subforum should address your question in much greater detail and specificity ...
    ... is the archimedes peak

  19. #19

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    What brands do you consider as good quallity cells (un/protected)? ?

    Which 14500 cells are you using and which 14500 you think is good quality?
    I only have harvested cells from battery packs right now... my 14500s came from a kodak rechargeable camera battery pack that had 2 of them in it. The cells are unprotected that I have.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* hiuintahs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    What brands do you consider as good quality cells (un/protected)? ? Which 14500 cells are you using and which 14500 you think is good quality?
    I'm only using two brands in the 14500 size and that is a Keeppower and a Fenix.......both use the same raw cell made by Sanyo (Pansonic now?) and both are protected. There are other brands that are just fine. Consensus is that if you get a 14500 that uses the Sanyo cell, you'll be fine. The Sanyo cell seems to be the most popular from what I can tell. Some guys have the unprotected Sanyo cell. I've thought about getting an unprotected one, but just don't have the need like I do 18650's.

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    General question to anyone.
    Is the CR123A safer than the 16340 Li-Ion ?
    Ya probably if you had to give it a grade. The reason I say that is because you're never going to recharge a CR123A. I have to honestly say, I've never worried about safety with lithium ion rechargeable batteries though. I love them. I also have a couple dozen CR123A's as emergency preparedness and spares on trips like backpacking trips where a charger isn't accessible. But around home I leave 16340's in them rather than to consume the CR123A's.

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    Does the CR123A and the chargeable RCR123A/16340 uses the same chemistry?
    Adding to archimedes answer, ya they are different chemistries. I'm not the expert in this area but this is my brief understanding. The CR123A primary is a lithium battery. The RCR123A or 16340 is lithium ion. You can't recharge lithium batteries without causing internal shorts to the battery. So they use lithium ion which is safe.

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    Flashaholic Enzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    Do you know what are the specs are running on alkaline/NiMH ? The link only have the specs for Li-Ion, that I could find.
    Yes. Bottom of the link, download .pdf. Gives you specs for all battery types.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Thanks for the replies everyone!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Well if you really wanted to go nuts.... (LOL)
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...Gangnam-Style)


    but seriously I have become extremely fond of the Nitecore NU25. It's got a built in pack but it has really found a place in my life.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-NU25-Headlamp
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    My issue with built in batteries in headlamps is longevity. Years down the line when in use the battery becomes weaker and weaker can you easily replace it? If not your nice headlamp is just another carcass sitting around unused.
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  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    I have the same feeling about integrated batteries - my headlamp sits in the drawer unused most of the time, the battery will degrade even if not used. I don't want to buy a new headlamp in 3 years just because the battery lost most of the capacity.
    By the way most Petzl headlamps are dual-power - you can use 3xAAA batteries (alkaline, nimh or lithium) or their USB rechargeable li-ion battery pack which fits the same battery compartment. I am fine with non-rechargeable batteries since I do not use it that much, so I just don't bother.

    carnage - what is the intended use of the headlamp?
    I'm also searching for a new headlamp for hiking / walking around the camp. I can give some of my personal experience:

    - you need a balanced beam for outdoors, full flood (such as some zebralights) isn't very useful - a lot of light is wasted and you need to run it on higher output levels to get enough "contrast" on the trail. Floody headlamps are great indoors. Some headlamps have two LEDs, one for proximity and one for distance. My old Petzl Tikka XP had a sliding diffuser, it worked pretty well.

    - I prefer a simple UI. 3 levels of output are fine. Infinite brightness setting is mostly a marketing gimmick, 3 levels cover 99% of use-cases and you can quickly jump between the levels. For example while working around the camp you have it switched constantly on low or medium, but if you go to collect some firewood you switch to high to check goods spots in further distance. Same for walking - you need to quickly check the path in the distance and then return back to the lower setting. If I need to do a combinations of click / hold / wait or I need to adjust the output and then re-adjust, then it will become annoying over time. The headlamp should at least have an easy option to jump to high and then back.

    - I would personally prefer a 1x CR123A headlamp in my case (same battery as in my flashlight, good performance in low temperatures, good energy density), but a lot of flashlights are 3xAAA so I have to live with that. 1x AA could be also fine, but usually the output is lacking with just one AA battery. 3x AA is too heavy. 18650 is too big, I don't need super long runtimes or very high outputs.

    - The headlamp should be lightweight and comfortable. The head strap should be just a single piece, without the top strap.

    - red light option is nice, but not necessary. A good low white output is also fine.

    - an ideal outdoor headlamp should be watertight - not just rain proof. Most Petzl headlamps are only IPX4 rated - this means that water will definitely get inside in a heavy rain, the headlamp will work (stainless steel contacts) but you need to take out the batteries and dry the headlamp after the trip.

    I haven't yet found a headlamp that would fit my requirements. I was quite pleased with my old Petzl Tikka XP (3 output levels, sliding diffuser + color filters, separate turbo button), but it's not sold anymore and outdated. I had and sold the original Surefire Minimus (100 lumen), this was the model with the fresnel optic (annoying beam artifacts, too much flood) and you always had to dial the output from lowest setting to maximum. The newer Minimus 300 has a better reflector and the UI is a bit better, it now remembers the output setting and you have a on/off button on the side. But the Minimus is a quite large headlamp (for my taste) and very pricey compared to 30$-50$ Petzl / Black Diamond / other headlamps. I am now using a Black Diamond SPOT 2017, it's a good headlamp but the UI is ridiculous - too complicated and you have to ramp up and down the brightness all the time, it doesn't have any preset levels... I am now looking at the Petzl Actik, seems to be simple, reasonably priced (~$35), lightweight, 2 types of beam, red LED, 3xAAA / li-ion pack, but missing a lockout option and only IPX4....
    Last edited by Daniel_sk; 03-04-2018 at 10:47 AM.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    I was reading a lot of reviews online on the hinge style headlamp and the hinge breaking. Does this happens a lot?

  27. #27
    Enlightened Ray F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    Looking for a headlamp runs on AA battery with about 300-350 lumens. Any recommendation would be appreciated.
    I recently had a very good experience with the Nitecore NU25. It has a burst mode of 360 lumens. However, it is powered by an internal lithium battery not AA.
    An unused battery is an unhappy battery as it will never realize its full potential.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* hiuintahs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Quote Originally Posted by carnage View Post
    I was reading a lot of reviews online on the hinge style headlamp and the hinge breaking. Does this happens a lot?
    The only hinge style headlamp that I've owned is the Princeton Tec EOS. The hinge is plastic and is prone to breakage. I did have one that broke. Those headlamps are kind of out dated now. They were quite the rage back in the day......and we would mod out the Luxeon LED to something else.

    Once the flashlight makers started to produce headlamps, I became disinterested in the Princeton Tec, Petzl, Black Diamond, etc. I just didn't think that they matched up to the experience and performance that a seasoned flashlight company could produce.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic colight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    @carnage, did you find what you were looking for? I just had a look at the Fenix online store, and those HL30's (2018) are now available if you're still interested. Since headlamps are not really of any interest to me, I only found out now that they even have a focusable headlamp, called the HL40R, but that does not run off AA's. About the hinges breaking - that may always be a possibility, but in all honesty I cannot say that I've ever heard or read about that happening to any of Fenix's products, although the same could probably be said about some other manufacturers as well.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Looking for a headlamp

    Thanks for all of the replies everyone it's appreciated.

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