18650 headlamps

Matty84

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Apr 12, 2017
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OK guys,

While I'm still sifting through the forum and finding my way around the threads im looking for some opinions.

Looking to add yet another headlamp to my collection.

What I have: a led lenser H14, a H14.2 and a H5 (and some crap $10-30 jobs I don't use)

What I want:
I'm looking to move away from AA & AAA and build a kitty that are all compatible with 18650 batteries so I only have to carry the one battery size with me.

Key requirements:
. 18650 compatible
. Variable light output, preferably a dimmer but stepped is ok
. White main light, but has red secondaries

Desirable:
. Adjustable spot to flood
. Variable red led output, otherwise very low powered red leds
. Waterproof, or at the least shower resistant

What it's for:
To put on my head... Nah jokes! OK so I like to hunt (hunt by means of search for, not shoot) creatures at night so I need a good flood beam for the immediate area around me, but with a spot beam that packs enough punch to light up eyes at 100m+. I like the low setting to be the opposite so I can dull it down as to not spook things too much. The red LEDs I would love to be dimmable also but I have not seen one that does, if that's the case I'd like the secondary red LEDs to be quite dull as the primary reason for wanting the reds is to have only enough light to see what I'm doing just in front of me while fishing or at times where I do not want a light on at all.

If I could get some brands/models that may fit that bill to start researching that would be great. If you need more info to better direct me then ask away and I'll try to be more specific

TIA

Matt
 

DRAWs

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Jun 16, 2016
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a Nitecore HC90 probably good for you. it has RGB leds, variable light output, USB rechargeable, and 110 Meters of throw
 

Matty84

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Apr 12, 2017
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Yep, ive seen the HC90 and the one that has sparked my interest the most so far. If nothing else is comparable ill probably end up getting it, but it doesnt hace an adjustable beam and would like to compare other options before i spend the cash on it and have to buy twice
 

the Kwan

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May 4, 2016
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Some of the better Headlamps are often 18650 powered but sealed and charge via a usb like the wisdomlite2 or the Nitecore EH1 and EH1s which is a shame if swapping the batteries out is an absolute requirement.
 

lampeDépêche

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
1,200
...The red LEDs I would love to be dimmable also but I have not seen one that does, if that's the case I'd like the secondary red LEDs to be quite dull as the primary reason for wanting the reds is to have only enough light to see what I'm doing just in front of me while fishing or at times where I do not want a light on at all....

This is very hard to find, but I've got it on my Zebralight H600w. Here's how:
1) Buy a small disc magnet, 11/16" in diameter, from K&J magnets--it will cost less than a buck;
2) epoxy it onto the tail-cap of your Zebralight
3) buy a Photon Freedom Red with the covert nose--under $10 if you shop.
4) click the Photon onto the magnet--the 11/16" disc is the perfect size to fit in the recess of the battery compartment

Now you've got a red LED on your headlamp that aims up and down (it swivels on the magnet), is infinitely adjustable from about 3 lumens down to 0.001 lumens, and clicks off whenever you don't want it there (e.g. to pull the headlamp through a headstrap or mounting).

Very easy mod, and it's the only way that I know to get a dimmable red LED on an 18650 headlamp.

The fact that the ZL H600 series are the best headlamps in the world is just one bonus....
 

Matty84

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Apr 12, 2017
Messages
6
This is very hard to find, but I've got it on my Zebralight H600w. Here's how:
1) Buy a small disc magnet, 11/16" in diameter, from K&J magnets--it will cost less than a buck;
2) epoxy it onto the tail-cap of your Zebralight
3) buy a Photon Freedom Red with the covert nose--under $10 if you shop.
4) click the Photon onto the magnet--the 11/16" disc is the perfect size to fit in the recess of the battery compartment

Now you've got a red LED on your headlamp that aims up and down (it swivels on the magnet), is infinitely adjustable from about 3 lumens down to 0.001 lumens, and clicks off whenever you don't want it there (e.g. to pull the headlamp through a headstrap or mounting).

Very easy mod, and it's the only way that I know to get a dimmable red LED on an 18650 headlamp.

The fact that the ZL H600 series are the best headlamps in the world is just one bonus....

Whoa... This might be above me, but has my interest though not sure how it works. (read total tech novice when it comes to electronic mods) do you have a pic of what you mean.? Will it only work on the zebralight or others also.
 

Matty84

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Apr 12, 2017
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My favorite headlamp is Acebeam H20vn modded...
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/h20vn-headlamp-w-drivervnx2

But it sounds like you might be interested in a aspheric lens (zoom) flashlight. A small one you could strap to the side of your head perhaps....
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/sipik-need-spec

Preferrably yes but not out of the question if it doesn't, traditional forhead mount or side mount doesn't bother me, but with what I use a headlamp for (eg: scouring close range, tree tops and cliff escarpments in the one trip) a zoomable lens does fit the bill better. I'll check out these links now
 

lampeDépêche

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
1,200
Whoa... This might be above me, but has my interest though not sure how it works. (read total tech novice when it comes to electronic mods) do you have a pic of what you mean.? Will it only work on the zebralight or others also.

Dead easy. Not even a mod, just some epoxy, or even super-glue. (though the magnet tends to fall off after a few weeks if you use superglue).

There's no alteration to the electronics of either light: the ZL keeps running off its 18650, and the Photon runs off its 2032 coin-cell. You can also keep a couple of Photons with different colors, and pop them on the magnet for whatever color you want: amber, blue, green, whatever. Very versatile. Not high output, but that's what the ZL is for.
 

iamlucky13

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Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Messages
1,140
The red LEDs I would love to be dimmable also but I have not seen one that does, if that's the case I'd like the secondary red LEDs to be quite dull as the primary reason for wanting the reds is to have only enough light to see what I'm doing just in front of me while fishing or at times where I do not want a light on at all.

You may find the ultra-low white light modes some headlamps offer adequately inconspicuous for your needs.

If not, another option is making yourself a detachable filter (using velcro or magnets, or similar). You can either buy colored "gels" often used or photography lighting and attach them to a piece of rigid plastic to keep in your pocket, or get a purpose made flashlight filter and modify it to attach to your headlamp. For example:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CYPLMZG/?tag=cpf0b6-20

There are very few headlamps other than the LED Lenser's with adjustable beams. One of the users here recently reviewed one called Nextorch you might try finding - I think it's kind of a budget brand and not sure how wide the widest setting really is.

Other than that, I guess most of us are just satisfied with a single beam, especially since in many circumstances (eg, not carrying a bunch of fishing gear), it's pretty reasonable to also carry a flashlight for the long distance needs.

But the same idea as with the red filter might be an option - buy one of the headlamp models with a hotspot like the HC90 or a Zebralight H600W, and attach a diffuser when you want a floody beam. There's a product called DF-fix that is popular as a flashlight diffuser, but scotch tape or even milk jug plastic can also work. Where cleverness might be needed is coming up with a good way to attach it to the light for frequent removal.
 
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