Flood Beam Headlamp List - 2011

Bolster

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That's a great quadra-beamshot, B0wz, thanks for posting it. Does a good job of showing the differences among diffusion options.
 

B0wz3r

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That's a great quadra-beamshot, B0wz, thanks for posting it. Does a good job of showing the differences among diffusion options.

No worries. Sorry it's not better quality; I did it just as a quick and dirty way of getting the shots. I do have a tripod I could use for my camera though, and it is capable of manually setting the exposure, so I might muck around a bit and try to do some better shots at a lower exposure that better reproduces what I actually see in the beams. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to it this week though; we're leaving on a week long family camping trip on Wed. and I've got my hands full with preparing for that. And we just bought a new (used) Sienna so I've got to round up a set of dedicated lights and emergency supplies to use as permanent supplies for it.

At the very least I can play around with my camera to see if I can find a decent manual exposure setting to more accurately represent what the beams actually look like. The shots I posted are okay in terms of what they show in the periphery, but the hot spots aren't really like what I see at all. In fact, they show that the H51w hot spot is larger than the ST5 hotspot, but what I actually see is the opposite.
 
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Bolster

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Good deal. My best beamshots come from setting lights on a forward surface (table, second tripod, etc), then setting the camera on a tripod behind, switching the camera to manual, and generally underexposing until the camera shows me more-or-less what I see. I've never quite figured out the best color balance to set the camera, but I use the daylight setting mostly. It doesn't quite agree with my eye, though. Your beamshots with the heavy hotspots are normal for what you see when you set the camera on automatic. Then it's up to how your camera weights the light...it's attempting some sort of weighted average, which almost always fails to capture what the eye sees. Long live manual exposures!
 

Danielsan

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I want a flashlight or headlamp as a gift for my father, he is reading books in bed before he sleeps. I showed him my H31 ZL Headlamp and he liked it. The thing is that i want an AA Version that works with Eneloops because CR123 are to expensive for everyday use and i dont want lithium rechargeables since ive read to many storys about them. So i thought a ZL H51Fw CRI is the best for the job? I mean it looks strange to wear a headlamp in bed but who cares.

Then i rememberd that some AA flashlights like the quarks have a clip that can be positioned on the top or the bottom for use on a base cap for example, so this would be a nice alternative in my mind, is there a small flashlight for one AA or even AAA batterie with a clip that can be attached on top or bottom and with flood neutral tint for reading? Or is the ZL H51fw CRI the better solution? or wait for the ZL H502?
 

varuscelli

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I want a flashlight or headlamp as a gift for my father, he is reading books in bed before he sleeps. I showed him my H31 ZL Headlamp and he liked it. The thing is that i want an AA Version that works with Eneloops because CR123 are to expensive for everyday use and i dont want lithium rechargeables since ive read to many storys about them. So i thought a ZL H51Fw CRI is the best for the job? I mean it looks strange to wear a headlamp in bed but who cares.

Then i rememberd that some AA flashlights like the quarks have a clip that can be positioned on the top or the bottom for use on a base cap for example, so this would be a nice alternative in my mind, is there a small flashlight for one AA or even AAA batterie with a clip that can be attached on top or bottom and with flood neutral tint for reading? Or is the ZL H51fw CRI the better solution? or wait for the ZL H502?

I'd recommend the ZebraLight H501w, which is less powerful but has much longer run time than most of the other ZebraLight offerings. For reading and other close-up tasks, an extremely bright light is not really needed and longer run time is often more desirable than the higher brightness levels that can be achieved with other lights. The flood of the H501w makes it perfect as a reading light. The H501 and H501w run on a single AA battery. I run mine or a variety of rechargeable batteries like Eneloops or higher capacity rechargeable PowerEx and Duracell batteries for longer run time.

Check out the ZebraLight Mods thread and look at the pics of the variations using the small lamps on a neck lanyard which is often much easier and less intrusive than having to slip a headband on and off.

ZebraLight Mods

Make sure you scroll through the entire thread so you can see the variations that people have posted, which should trigger your imagination for what can be done. Headbands, hat clips, pocket clips, lanyards and many other devices for holding/using the lamps in a variety of practical ways are illustrated.
 

GadgetGeek

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I too would recommend the H501w for reading. It's excellent up close because there is no hotspot.

If you think your father would prefer something a little more versatile and with a little more throw I would suggest the H51Fw. It's the best of both worlds. At this point in time if I could only keep one it would be the H51Fw. I mostly use the low settings and occasionally medium when I need a little more light/throw. An Energizer Lithium AA battery lasts a very long time at these settings.
 

varuscelli

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I too would recommend the H501w for reading. It's excellent up close because there is no hotspot.

If you think your father would prefer something a little more versatile and with a little more throw I would suggest the H51Fw. It's the best of both worlds. At this point in time if I could only keep one it would be the H51Fw. I mostly use the low settings and occasionally medium when I need a little more light/throw. An Energizer Lithium AA battery lasts a very long time at these settings.

Even though I don't own any of the H51 versions, you make a good point about its versatility. When you want the higher settings, they're there for you with the H51, and the H51Fw (floody, warm) would give him that warmer and more natural tint like the H501w does. In any case, from the little bit described by Danielsan, the one of the floody lights sounds like the way to go (probably floody warm).

But also -- if his father would be using the lamp more for semi-long stretches of reading before going to sleep, it's possible the H501w might still be a better choice for longer run time...and I think I'm right about the run time part -- that is, that even if the H51Fw were used on the lower settings the H501w might still allow longer run times. But that's just how I interpret the specs as presented on the ZebraLight website, and I could easily be wrong about the comparative run times when the H51Fw is used on lower settings...(I haven't studied runtime tests on these lights much, so please correct me on that if I'm off in my interpretation)... :confused:

The exceptional light weight of the H501w might be a consideration, too (even if minor) with slightly better "hardly know it's there" factor, I guess.
 

GadgetGeek

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I haven't done any runtime tests either but from the Zebralight website they appear to be very similar to me.

If you can't decide buy both!:D
 

varuscelli

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I haven't done any runtime tests either but from the Zebralight website they appear to be very similar to me.

If you can't decide buy both!:D

I think after re-evaluating the specs from ZebraLight, I'm inclined to believe that the H51Fw would be the best all around choice. It's certainly a more versatile flood with its high (H) setting and on its H2 settings has a solid runtime that matches the H501w on its high setting.

And for reading, using it either on the headband or on a lanyard looped through the standard ZebraLight holder is the way to go, I think. I lean toward the lanyard, personally -- cinched up kind of high on the chest and angled appropriately for the position of the book. The pocket clip could also be used for reading and even the pocket clip clipped to a hat (but clipped to a hat it would likely also shine back into the eyes a bit).
 

GadgetGeek

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I think after re-evaluating the specs from ZebraLight, I'm inclined to believe that the H51Fw would be the best all around choice. It's certainly a more versatile flood with its high (H) setting and on its H2 settings has a solid runtime that matches the H501w on its high setting.

And for reading, using it either on the headband or on a lanyard looped through the standard ZebraLight holder is the way to go, I think. I lean toward the lanyard, personally -- cinched up kind of high on the chest and angled appropriately for the position of the book. The pocket clip could also be used for reading and even the pocket clip clipped to a hat (but clipped to a hat it would likely also shine back into the eyes a bit).
As far as the published runtimes go keep in mind that Zebralight used a 2000mAh battery for the H51Fw and for the H501w a 2700mAh battery. If you use a 2700mAh battery with the H51Fw it will run even longer than the published times.

Excellent lights, you can't go wrong with any of them.:)
 

Blue72

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out of curiousty I measured my sons Petzl tikkina 2, because the wide beam was impressive regardless of the blue hot spot the led put out.

The beam angle measures 120 Degrees!
 
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Bolster

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Measuring beam angle--sadly there's no accepted standard for it. If you measure to how far the beam throws any light whatsoever, you can get really wide spreads on lotsa lights. When I do beam measurements on floodly diffuse lights, I measure to the point where the brightness appears to have faded to half of what the center is. Admittedly a rough measure. For me, if my iris has to widen to see into the darker spill areas, I don't consider that as ideally useable light. I'm sure others would disagree, it's an arbitrary method, really.
 

Blue72

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I agree Bolster, I based my measurements on usable light without having to strain to see what you are looking at while hiking. I did not include outer rings or dim area's. I will try to post pics next week to see what measurements you would come up with on your standards
 

Blue72

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Ok Bolster I took a few pics for you. I originally measured the beam with a protractor. This what the beam looks like. Keep in mind I do not have the greatest camera and the outer beam is brighter, but it gives you a general idea

6171975541_50d040e28a.jpg







To give a better idea of the flood angle I took another pic with the headlamp pointed 90 degrees away from the target. The target being the hanging towel. So you can see how far the beam spreads. I know everyone has different standards in measuring beam angle, But the beam you are seeing is more than bright enough to identify things in the trails with your peripheral vision.


6172505212_277a658d9d.jpg






Hope this helps!
 
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Bolster

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Thanks for the Pix. To me that looks like a traditional "spot with spill" beam, rather than a floody beam. I will add a reference to your pic from the list in the original post. Thanks again!
 

Blue72

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looks like a traditional "spot with spill" beam, rather than a floody beam.

I agree, but the wide spill is impressive, especially for a cheap $18 light. It might not be true flood. But its a cheap alternative for someone who wants a lamp that lights up their entire line of sight.
 

Blue72

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I took apart the tikkina headlamp and sanded down the 2 led's with fine sandpaper. It eliminated the blue hot spot and smoothed out the beam.

The beam is actually smoother than what the picture below is showing. It is now just a "wall of light" with no noticeable hotspot

6442553611_355d1d65b0.jpg
 

robostudent5000

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I took apart the tikkina headlamp and sanded down the 2 led's with fine sandpaper. It eliminated the blue hot spot and smoothed out the beam.

The beam is actually smoother than what the picture below is showing. It is now just a "wall of light" with no noticeable hotspot

the old sandpaper/steel wool on the dome trick. i tried this on some 5mm LEDs after reading about Fenix E01 owners trying it, and got similar "wall of light" results, but i also got a increase in glare and a big loss of output. my guess is that the Tikkina with sanded LED's is awesome indoors, but is it usable outdoors? do you think you could hike with it?
 
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