Around $50 - lightweight headlamp for working around the house

Wrecked

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Looking for something to use when working around the house - like today when I was working on the furnace I held my zebralight sc52 in my mouth. :rolleyes:

Don't want to spend a ton (I've got too many already!), Maybe $50 or so. USB rechargeable would be cool but regular batteries are fine.

Definitely want something warm.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

GeoBruin

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If you like the sc52, why don't you try the Zebralight H5x series?

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

Lynx_Arc

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Not too lightweight but a decent option is a Wowtac A2S with USB rechargeable 18650 battery included about $30 on Amazon where I got mine. I use mine at home, outdoors, and at work as it has a wide range of modes from about 3 lumens moonlight to 900 lumens turbo. I find Low, Medium, and High all useful modes that if used wisely can have you going days without recharging, longer if you don't use high or turbo as much.
 

flatline

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I found a 2AA right angle head military style flashlight for $5 at an army surplus store (the kind with diffuser and color filters stored in the base). I replaced the bulb with a NiteIze drop-in and put the diffuser in and it's been a wonderful work light for around the house.

But don't get that. Take a look at the Manker E03H AA. Wonderful design and well within your price limit.

--flatline
 

PartyPete

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I'm not big into headlamps but I wanted something decidedly lightweight and ended up with the 2016 Fenix HL10. Probably about 2 oz total with a AAA cell loaded in it.

Not incredibly bright or long lasting but perfect for small tasks.
 

Buck91

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Thrunite th20 or the acebeam H40? If you like AAs.
 

InvisibleFrodo

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If you like warm, the headlamp I want to get for myself is the Pelican 2755CC. It should cost about $32, I saw it as low as $28 I think. It runs 3xAAA, has 2 outputs at 36 and 72 lumens, and runtimes of 16 and 6.5 hours if I remember my specs correctly. Check it out.

I don't think many if any of the suggestions so far have actually been warm lights. Neutral, but not warm. The CC stands for correct color, make sure you put that part in. The 2755 is the standard cool white low CRI version of the same headlamp.
 
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gurdygurds

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Gotta agree that an H53 zebra is a stellar headlamp\flashlight. I end up using mine as a normal handheld more than I use it in the head strap. Very quickly adapted to the right angle grip and find it more comfortable and natural for handheld use. Highly recommend one.
 

Hawaii808

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I bought a Lumintral Lth20 from Amazon for my son at $25. It's not a great headlamp. Tight spot with barely any spill. It doesn't give you tunnel vision but throws pretty far. I wouldn't mind picking up another one but since I've tried a bunch already and haven't been fans of the other brands, I'll just stick to zebralights. Better everything in my opinion. But get what you can afford. It will pay itself off if it doesn't fail.
 

Wrecked

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Thanks for the suggestions. I really like ZL. Just wish they had USB charging or something similar.
 

degarb

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Not too lightweight but a decent option is a Wowtac A2S with USB rechargeable 18650 battery included about $30 on Amazon where I got mine. I use mine at home, outdoors, and at work as it has a wide range of modes from about 3 lumens moonlight to 900 lumens turbo. I find Low, Medium, and High all useful modes that if used wisely can have you going days without recharging, longer if you don't use high or turbo as much.

I like the hr20, by imalent. But wanted to snag two wowtacs a2, at $20, to buy my guys. I am wondering if worth the step down from the hr20, which has a more efficient xpl hi and ramping dial. also, it lacks a built in usb charger, using a battery with built in usb, making it proprietary. Also, looks bulky, heavy. Also, wondering if the a2s is worth the extra 10. Some think it is dimmer than the a1--lux, maybe?
 

Lynx_Arc

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I like the hr20, by imalent. But wanted to snag two wowtacs a2, at $20, to buy my guys. I am wondering if worth the step down from the hr20, which has a more efficient xpl hi and ramping dial. also, it lacks a built in usb charger, using a battery with built in usb, making it proprietary. Also, looks bulky, heavy. Also, wondering if the a2s is worth the extra 10. Some think it is dimmer than the a1--lux, maybe?
The A2 is only 500 lumens on turbo with a 2600mah USB 18650 while the A2S is 900 or so lumens on turbo with higher low/medium/high modes and has a 3400mah 18650 usb battery. I also have a Fenix HL60R and the modes/turbo are pretty close to the same on both lights. The ease of charging the Fenix with built in charger vs having to remove the battery of the Wowtac is not a big deal. I sort of like the green LED that lights up on the Wowtac batteries telling you it is done.
 

degarb

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The A2 is only 500 lumens on turbo with a 2600mah USB 18650 while the A2S is 900 or so lumens on turbo with higher low/medium/high modes and has a 3400mah 18650 usb battery. I also have a Fenix HL60R and the modes/turbo are pretty close to the same on both lights. The ease of charging the Fenix with built in charger vs having to remove the battery of the Wowtac is not a big deal. I sort of like the green LED that lights up on the Wowtac batteries telling you it is done.

I am still left wondering if the bin of the LEDs is any different between these two headlamps.
 

degarb

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Also, regulation is not clear. At least, what is the tail cap draw at start? And what is the lux at on meter in various modes, at start?

Also too, runtime is everything to me. So, I am not impressed if a light is brighter if it is using more energy. We fight for every minute of runtime with useful lux in the single cell format.
 
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Lynx_Arc

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I am still left wondering if the bin of the LEDs is any different between these two headlamps.
Possibly so, but I would think since there are two "colors" of headlamps I got the neutral/warm tint and it is a little yellowish not bad compared to blue or green tints others have. As for efficiency and runtime there are reviews on it out there and it looks pretty good. If you haven't used a decent 18650 based light/headlamp I don't think you will be disappointed. I tend to run on medium a lot and only need to recharge it every 3-5 days if I am using it more than a few minutes a day. I use high/turbo sparingly and only once had it step down on me to medium in very heavy use during the day when I didn't charge it up from running it a lot the day before.
 

degarb

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Possibly so, but I would think since there are two "colors" of headlamps I got the neutral/warm tint and it is a little yellowish not bad compared to blue or green tints others have. As for efficiency and runtime there are reviews on it out there and it looks pretty good. If you haven't used a decent 18650 based light/headlamp I don't think you will be disappointed. I tend to run on medium a lot and only need to recharge it every 3-5 days if I am using it more than a few minutes a day. I use high/turbo sparingly and only once had it step down on me to medium in very heavy use during the day when I didn't charge it up from running it a lot the day before.



I bought 3 $20 Amazon lights this week.

In any review, current and candela, at each mode, should be attempted. Else, review is largely worthless to me, beyond hobby interest. This post will fill in these important details, missing from nearly all light reviews.

(My quick phone composed, thumnail review of 4 cheap lights, which are available in one day via Amazon prime (with order over $35).)

-- Imalent Hr20 (still my standard for as close to ideal edc, belt worn, work light as is sold, in the single cell format) 4540 lux at 1 meter 1.86 amp (likely 2.1 amp in a resistance free mm) infinite dimming.
41-Hsv72rWL._AC_SY400_.jpg
Circa 2300 lux per watt, aka 1C, aka 1 work day, aka one 4 hr unexpected work evening without full charge.
Opinion, this is still my favorite all round edc, which I hang on belt, daily, and forget until emergency and brief daily use. I do not think the xpl hi has as good of lux per watt as the xpg2 (but close enough, with more impressive output) , which is critical for conserving juice and trying to keep these single cell lights to 1C, 350 mA max for all but brief bursts. 4000 lux at one meter is necessary, constantly over 8-10 hours. These 20 mm xpg 1x18650 lights, might get 2500 cd, at best, over 10 hours. However, doubtful if any are really constant current. This, plus, duffus drive levels (greedy hobbyist, who has no imagination of actually working daily with their lights for maximum reliable runtime and reliable 1000 candela lux when bouncing from 1 to ) , not matching a human work day, and need for 1000 minimum lux at 2 meters from object of focus) , is why a dimmer and xpl hi, will be essential in the 20 mm single cell format. A tir could get you more throw, but in build attempts, I never liked the apparent lumen drop, lux tradeoff. Also, in my tests of 2 years ago, the xpl hi just flat out impressed me with lumens, over the xpg2, and was worth the small drop in lux. However, hopefully Cree has inched up the xpg2 bin in two years but I doubt it, with the new management and focus on the stock price.... I own both the 4000K and cool versions of the light. I own two of the so called nw, hr20s. My opinion is that I grab the cool more often than so called nw. The cool seems more efficient, with noticeably longer runtime, the cooler is is more like real daylight, works better to stimulate the brain scn, renders color separation just fine. Personally, I think they should offer a 5000/5300/5700 k version, whichever they could obtain. My opinion is that 5300 seems true nw. 4000k seems yellow. Warm is more relaxing. However, building a screen shade for my phone, I determined a reddish screen filter is far less jarring than even yellow- when sleepiness is the goal. This leaves little love for yellow lights in my heart.


-- A2: above average color rendering.
51Zi38HXEXL._SCLZZZZZZZ__US284_.jpg


Opinion. Tiny bit heavier and bulkier than the Hr20; but at $30 cheaper, I could forget this point quickly. The charging scheme is not for me, but would bump the light from downpour resistance to submersion. And my guys won't mind taking the battery out to charge it, as much as myself, who has already 9 things to plug in each night before crashing. Most importantly, I know for a fact that this xpg2 will be 2x lux per watt, compared to the xpl in the A2S. This light's fatal flaw is not having a 1C setting, making it only useful for 2 or 3 hours a day. The a2s does have the 1C setting, yet is only 1100 CD (spec sheet and my experience with the xpl in a 20 mm), which is not bright enough for anything other than inspection at arms length in the black of night (useless working in day, or inspection at 2 meters). I will stick to my Imalent Hr20 xpl hi with infinite dimmer to get my lux and runtime.

A2 measurements ( per usual, My $50 multi meter has internal resistance, so I take current measurement over an amp with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, measuring temp and high ohm resistance is the criteria for my mm purchases.) : 6200 lux at 1 meter (all lux is standard at 1meter +- an inch since I use my body as a meter stick) turbo (10 minutes to damage led, otherwise likely 1.4 amp) ,2300 lux on high 600mA (.65 amp, aka 3 to 3.5 hours, aka too short of runtime to be reliable), mid 600 lux 140 mA at 1 m (likely 18 hours okay to 1 to 1.5 meter, aka far dimmer than the potential during a workday), low unmeasured because not bright enough for work,

--- What if fire good color rendering,
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FDKFG1Z/?tag=cpf0b6-20

4127hR31WgL._AC_SY400_.jpg


Opinion: promises 1600 lumens. And indeed lots of wakeup light to jar my glial wake up cells in the periphery of my eye. For reason of efficiency, or lack of heat grease, it does not get as hot as I would expect. Yes, this light surprised me. It has two xpl leads, each in a reflector smaller than 20 nm. Probably 17 mm. It is a center heavy flood, with need for lots of amps to be useful, up close. It is not submersible, but should handle a down pour. I added orings to improve the blow test air resistance. However, this little light has several saving features which I really like: it actually is a tiny bit, noticeably lighter and smaller than the a2s and even, perhaps, the hr20; the two xml2 leads, each sharing the drive current, noticeably, are more efficient than a single emitter (translating to more light at any drive level, which the eye can pickup); it has 5 well chosen drive levels (!). I will probably use this as a supplemental light for my Hr20 (two lights for my belt), mainly in morning as a packup/wake up light, with expectation of a max of 3 hour at the 800 mA drive level. I added a center elastic strap and elastic x strap to hold tightly onto the base, since it is designed to easily be removed and used by a moron :) as a hand held.... Now, this rivals my bedside reading light for comfort, which is the ubiquitous, green Energizer 3aaa 220 (250) lumen ramping headlamp
ref=asc_df_B00TI8GSE2
, which I love for its genius, except for the 3aaa, (now, $12 Amazon and Walmart) no USB, aspect. I plan to mod one of these (great bedside lights) with an old, small 2 amp hour phone battery and USB charging board, and see if I can keep its form factor.
418aXm62G1L._AC_SY400_.jpg
(Best "invisible" form factor, with decent output, driver which I love, and optic. However, inferior 3aaa design, only used by my bedside and daughter. Needs to be pink, for her to like it. $12 amazon/Walmart. )

WHAT IF FIRE measured: 1590 lux 1 m with 1.84 A (probably 2.1), 800 lux .8A, 380 lux at 360 mA ( 7 or 8 hour work setting ok to 1 or 1.5 meter) , 160 lux at 150 ma, 50 lux



-- Xph 50: borderline acceptable color rendering,
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SJNG5FW/?tag=cpf0b6-20

51IyuZuJ1iL._SCLZZZZZZZ__US284_.jpg


This is more of a bone cheap worklight, not an edc. Purchased as a curiosity.

5200 lux at .96 amp, 2600 at 480 ma ( 12 hours on 3200 MA, probably 8 on these cells okay to 2 meter without zoom)

Opinion : OK for $20. I like that it has a useful 480. But would be far more useful with a 1C, rather than 1.5 C and .6 C. Did not last me a full day of inspection inside, during day, fighting with outside glare. Probably garbage bin of Xph 50, both, color and efficiency. Would be far more useful with a proper bin of Xph. I imagine, an Xph 35 hi, would work well. ... Using this light, while I can make the low work when zoomed, I only like the output on high mode, which would make runtime too short for any real world use. I am no color snob, but the light color is a throw back and bothers me.... A possible modification is to add a third cell, for 1c. However, likely the built in charger could not put out enough juice to charge up three cells overnight, at this budget price it is likely a 500 ma charge circuit. Maybe.

Conclusion. So, will I be trying the a2s? Probably not: Since at 1 C the lux is not high enough to be useful. Above 1 C the light will not have enough reliable runtime to be reliable. I do find the useful drive levels in the a2s, something lacking in the a2, lamentable. Since both the A2 and a2s miss the mark of useful lux at the useful drive current, wasting anything more than $20 on a light that doesn't meet spec, is insanity. I might buy more A2 as emergency, end of the workday lights for my workers, that they take home and care for. For myself, the Imalent HR20 will be my edc, which has held up fine for last 1.5 or 2 years, with near daily water splashing (not submersible, like the A2). The what if fire, could nearly replace the niche of the green plastic energizer, if it were a little bit lighter. And, I wonder, if I could grind, shave metal from the What If Fire and get a true high power light with the near perfectly invisible form factor of the Energizer.

I figured out how make my own superior 2x 18650 headlamps and wristlights in 2014. The breakthrough is to use avid heat sinks for bezels, old fashioned cpu spiked heat sink for rotation body and further cooling.,and buck pucks with dimmer from led supply. I am still buying single cell lights because I can't make anything as tough, or as small, or as cheap, as even the imalent Hr20.... Also, I have been waiting for low improvement over the v6 xpl, at 350 mA and 700 mA target, reliable 1C levels. Hank at intl-outdoor.com has had these 202 low nw for years; Cree 303 lpw press release is very old; I don't think 240 lpw unreasonable in a 350 to 700 mA. Maybe Samsung will step up to the plate.
 
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degarb

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Update, my lumen guess:

WHAT IF FIRE measured :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FDKFG1Z/?tag=cpf0b6-20

Between 170 and 177 otf lumens, compared with the hp11 , At the 1 watt setting. ...
TURBO 665 lumens (1.8a), High 333 lumens .8 a,Standard Mid 177 lumens (.36a), low 55 lumens (150mA), lowest 22 lumen (milliamps , not measured)
(*It is possible, that due to minor factors augmenting together, these numbers could be off, or as low as 20%. Especially, I believe, since beam shape is so different to the target light. Or, maybe, these little unknowns cancel each other out, as in a typical bid, estimate situation.... )

So, probably not as efficient as I thought. Though not bad in the 1watt range.

I will underscore that it is still not as transparent as the energizer for comfort. I am not sure if I will attempt to use an angle grinder or rasp to shave unnecessary metal off.

The driver does not remember your last you setting. Instead, it does something surprising and totally better. It always starts at the .1C setting, also known as the one watt setting, aka the 8 to 10 hour setting, aka the workday setting, aka the reliable setting. This is very useful if I were hand out 6 of these lights to my guys, so that they do not accidentally run out the battery prematurely during a day. This would also be useful for handing these out to my family on a weekend camping trip, so that they don't run out of battery before the weekend is out. I can also see this also being useful in a church, Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troop, handout of lights. I also found it useful, so I don't need to constantly worry or check every time I turn on the light, that I accidentally put the light into a short day mode.

I actually would pay extra if the greater than .1C setting were absent or hidden on a light. Workers in the dark, cost money per minute.

665 lumens is a far cry from the 1600 claimed. Still, it does seem amply bright on turbo.
 
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