Help me pick the right one please

Farhad Gulemov

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
48
I am looking for a LED headlight which I could use for the following two purposes: a) reading books on my ebook reader (a PB360 with an Pearl E-Ink screen) at night or in relative darkness b) repairing desktop computers. I am hesitating between two Zebralight models: a) the H51F AA Floody Headlamp b) H501 Headlamp AA Flood w/ new UI But here I am stuck as I can't decide between the two. I think that the H51F would have a cooler white light, which I like, and a wider selection of brightness levels. However, on the H51F the 95 and 0.2 Lumen output levels are PWM generated and I was told that this is a drain on the eye. The H51F is also a tad heavier. I can't decide - which should I pick?! Thanks for any advice!! Farhad
 

tre

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
1,222
Location
Northern IL USA
PWM is fine as long as the frequency is fast enough. My SC51w (shares electronics with the H51F??) has very visable PWM on the lowest low mode. The PWM is not visable in all the other modes. However, I'm not sure this would be an issue reading. I only notice it with movement. I don't see it when there are not fast moving objects. All my other Zebralights have no visable PWM - just my SC51w (which as I said most likely uses the same electronics since the lumen ratings are the same).

Also, you said you like cool tints. Have you ever tried neutral? A neutral tint is much easier on the eyes, especially for something like reading. I would look at the H51Fw and H501w.
 

CarpentryHero

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Messages
3,018
Location
Edmonton
Pwm Doesn't affect everyones eyes, some are more sensitive then others. Moonlight mode is less likely to wake my wife so that's what I use, although I use it to navigate my house at night. ;)
If your not concerned about waking others the H501 looks very promising, but you should ask yourself at what brightness setting are you using it at? And will the emitter be in your line of sight?
I have the h31 and I clip it to my shirt, tailcap facing up for up close work.
 

Farhad Gulemov

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
48
A neutral tint is much easier on the eyes, especially for something like reading. I would look at the H51Fw and H501w.

ok, I guess the choice is then between H51F/H501/H51Fw/H501w/H31Fw.

In other words, which Zebralight is best for ebook reading and computer fixing?

Does anybody have experience with reading ebooks on an E-Ink screen with these?
 
Last edited:

robostudent5000

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
877
IMO pure flood is better for in close tasks like reading and computer repair than anything with even a muted hotspot.
 

tre

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
1,222
Location
Northern IL USA
H501/H501w is the pure flood model. It has an emitter with no reflector and there is no trace of a hotspot.

The H51F/H51Fw use a reflector but Zebralight uses a diffuser lens (the lens is a cloudy white) on the light to make the hotspot less intense. There is a very very slight trace of a hotspot. The trade off is that this model is much brighter.

There is an H502 on the way which will be a much brighter pure flood model but I think I read that it is 6 months away.
 

Farhad Gulemov

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
48
H501/H501w is the pure flood model. It has an emitter with no reflector and there is no trace of a hotspot.

thanks A LOT for this clarification. I guess that I will go for the H501w unless somebody can recommend something even better?
 

tedh

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
142
I have an H501w, and I think it's near-perfect for what you are trying to do. I can't think of anything else that provides the smooth illumination of a 501, at least out of the box.

Ted
 

Woods Walker

The Wood is cut, The Bacon is cooked, Now it’s tim
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
5,434
Location
New England woods.
The tint on the XR-E 5A-Q3 is very nice. Not sure if any other LED can copy it 100%, maybe others might know. The beam rocks as well. The H501w is my go to around camp light.
 

B0wz3r

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
1,754
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
The tint on the XR-E 5A-Q3 is very nice. Not sure if any other LED can copy it 100%, maybe others might know. The beam rocks as well. The H501w is my go to around camp light.

I prefer the F type of light for a headlamp; I use DC-fix on my H51w and its beam profile looks pretty much exactly like that of the Fw models.

The Q3/5A tint of the XRE/XPE's is very nice... one of my favorites. The tint of the XPG-R4 that's in the H51w is also very nice, although it is definitely cooler, while still being neutral; it's more pure with than the Q3/5A tint of the XRE/XPE. I'd say it's close to about 4500K whereas the Q3/5A tint is about 4000K, so the XPG emitter that's in the H51w is closer to real sunlight, and as I've used it, I've come to appreciate that tint more.

PWM for me is exactly opposite of what Tre describes... I only see it when I'm reading or otherwise holding my head still and/or not looking at moving objects. When I'm moving around and doing stuff, I don't notice it at all. YMMV of course; everyone is different.

I'd say try the H51Fw... it will put the most light where you're looking, and not be so bright in the outer edges of the spill area that you'll blind other people with it. Or, I'd wait for one of the H51c models; they're not as bright on max, but I honestly find that anything more than 120 lumens or so for the kinds of things I use my H51w for is totally overkill.
 

Bolster

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
1,542
Location
Mexifornia
Good choice. I'm late to the party but I agree that an even, wide, floody (neutral/warm) beam without a hotspot is what you want. Your H501w is nearly ideal for your use. The ONLY problem with it is...that the H502 will be out soon! (evil snigger).
 

Farhad Gulemov

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
48
does anybody already know how the H502 will differ from the H501? Judging by this thread, the main difference will be more power, not something which will make a difference for ebook reading at night.
 
Last edited:
Top