I have not looked at headlamps in over a year ... fill me in please ???

marcis

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as the title says I have been out of the headlamp world for well over a year now... Looking to get a new headlamp for work and would love some suggestions.

My current/last headlamp is the zebralight h502, Unfortunately it has some issues, and I have not been willing to send it to zebralight due to the 6 week repair time (unless they finally doing repairs in texas ? ). I would like to get a new light and finally get this one repaired.

I prefer AA, but I have a feeling the majority of people are moving on to 18650 ???

I currently do maintenance work.. so I will be under sinks, tight spaces (bathrooms, closets, behind things that don't get much light).. you know that kind of stuff. I definitely want High CRI because I am starting to dable with electronics at work, and seeing the right color will be important :)

I suppose I probably want something with a hot spot.. . as much as I love the flood beams, I have a feeling a light with a hot spot will be better for this kind of work..

So before I left the world of headlamps zebralight was my go to, when I left Armytek was starting to get popular.. what else, or stick with one of those two ?

Suggestions ? what should I check out ?

Thank you all!!
 

ironhorse

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I have the manker E03H. Hi cri available and it has a frosted cover that you can slide down for more flood if needed. Single AA.
It has a kind of weird press and hold to shut off, but not hard to get used to.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I love 18650 headlamps as you get tremendous runtime at usable levels and high output for navigating difficult areas and focusing on tiny items. I have 2 headlamps: a Fenix HL60R with built in charger and dual red 5mm LEDs integrated into a headband plate, and a Wowtac A2S 18650 headlamp that came with a rechargeable battery (built in micro USB port) and is right angle removable from headband. Both headlamps have similar output modes: eco/moonlight, low, medium, high, turbo. Neither are high CRI the Fenix is a little to the green tint but still plenty white while the Wowtac is towards the yellow and looks warm with colors on electronics pretty good, not washed out.
The mode levels are about about the same for Low,medium, high, and turbo with a turbo about 800-900 lumens high is about 400 lumens.
The headlamps operate differently in selecting modes with the Wowtac needing you to press and hold and wait for modes to change. Click when off and hold for moonlight and double click for turbo. The Fenix cycles from red to eco to low,medium,high, turbo there is no shortcuts to regular modes and switching on from off and not holding puts you on flashing mode you have to hold when turning on then click to go to the next mode. The Fenix is not removable from its bracket for flashlight use but is shorter in width. The charging port is not easy to open/close the rubber plug. The price of the two headlamps were about the same because I got the Fenix on clearance for half price. The battery that came with the Fenix was 2600mah rated the Wowtac is rated 3400 but I'm guessing closer to 3000 due to the charging port built into it. The Wowtac has a smaller hotspot than the Fenix but not a lot smaller. I think if you want a smaller tighter hotspot you may consider what emitter the light has as it makes a lot of difference.
 

mobi

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I only own a few lights, and they are all Zebras. So this is not meant to be a comprehensive answer. It's just one more data point for your decision-making.

For a few years I've been using the H600Fd III. This is a spot beam that has been smoothed out with a frosted lens. It does have a hot spot, but it it is a subtle hot spot. The high setting on the H502 gives 278 Lm and about an hour of light. The H600, with its 18650 battery, has a setting of 255 Lm that will last about four hours.

More importantly, the relative high CRI of 83-85 of the H600 makes objects "clearer" in comparison to the H502. I'm not sure how else to describe it. A thread a few years back in this forum had comments by a professor who taught classes on perception. High CRI light, he taught, allows more efficient processing of light --again putting this in my own words. Thus, given two lights having equal lumen output, the one with higher CRI will seem "brighter".

I realized this when I started using the H600Fd Mk IV which arrived yesterday. Even on a low setting, a room was more "visible" than with a comparable setting on the mark III. The IV has a CRI ten points higher than than the III.

Now, the IV also has some green tint in the corona, and purple in the spill. According to another thread on this site, that's apparently a factor of the type of LED and LED lens in the light, not an indication of losing the tint lottery. To me, the higher CRI offsets the downside of the off tints.

Also, I sometimes put some parafilm over the lens' of my lights. Parafilm can turn a floody light into more of a pure flood. The parafilm also warms up the tint, essentially muting the green and purple tints.

Just some thoughts. Hope they help you along on the path to find the right light for your line of work.
 
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Stefano

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If you are looking for a replacement for the H502 but with a 18650 battery look at H604 (make sure you buy a good 18650 battery)
H604 is available in various versions (different led and tint)
If you want a High CRI watch the H604c (4000 K) or H604d (5000 K) I bought recently H604c and I'm very happy it.

If you are looking for more throw, look at H600Fc or H600Fd but they have a different beam than the H502 you already have - It is quite large but not like H502/H604
 

LeanBurn

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Thrunite TH20 for well over a year, not a single issue. It is all I need.
 

3L3M3NT

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I've had good luck with my Fenix HL55 that was upgraded by vinhnguyen54 on here. I use it at night when I take my dog for a walk. Depending on how "bright" it is that night I usually run the HL55 on Med or Hi to make sure I can see anything on the road ahead of me and to make sure oncoming traffic can see me. My mom liked to so much that she purchased a regular HL55 for doing tasks outside at night along with going for walks with the dog as well. She likes that the Eco mode has the right amount of light for reading a book outside at night.

I haven't used it, but my brother really likes his Fenix HL60R and is glad that you can recharge the battery without having to remove it.

So as you can imagine my vote would be for getting a headlamp that uses an 18650 and just make sure you carry a spare 18650 that is fully charged, so you never have to worry about forgetting to charge the battery in the headlamp.

If your looking to get a headlamp with a HCRI, then you could always get one customized by vinhnguyen54 to get the characteristics you want out of your headlamp.
Here's his CPF page. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?140-Vinhnguyen54
And here's his website. https://skylumen.com/ and a link to his modding services page. https://skylumen.com/pages/modding-services
I had a great experience on the flashlight and headlamp he customized for me and would definitely buy another one from him in the future when I'm in the market for another light. :thumbsup:
I found a few options on his site that might interest you.
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/acebeam-h40vn-compact-14500-headlight
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/klarus-h1a-headlight
I'm not sure if you wanna spend $150, but with this headlamp you can spec the LEDs you want in it.
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/acebeam-h30vn-brightest-headlight
Another 18650 headlamp. https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/acebeam-h15-magnetic-ring-headlight

You could always check and see what the other modders offer as well.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?92-CPF-Custom-Flashlight-Builders-and-Modders

Good luck with your decision. :thumbsup:
 

LED_Power_Forums

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Mar 15, 2017
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I have Zebralight H502c as well using as night light. The battery normally can last 2 weeks before needing a charge. When it ran outta juice, I would switch to Manker E03H which has high CRI Nichia 219c in it. It has hotspot by default and can be "flooded" by sliding down the diffuser that come with it. There's magnet below as well for sticking to metalic surface. Very satisfied with the tint and performance.

It's not without con though. The step down is sudden and not gradual, so the low battery warning can't be noticed if only moonlight mode is used. The rubber for the switch feels kinda...not sure how durable it is. There are some reported their unit failed after suffer a drop, so not sure how much abuse it can take. Give it a try only if you can look past these issues. For about half the price of Zebralight, it is a bargain. :)
 

marcis

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Jan 29, 2010
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I've had good luck with my Fenix HL55 that was upgraded by vinhnguyen54 on here. I use it at night when I take my dog for a walk. Depending on how "bright" it is that night I usually run the HL55 on Med or Hi to make sure I can see anything on the road ahead of me and to make sure oncoming traffic can see me. My mom liked to so much that she purchased a regular HL55 for doing tasks outside at night along with going for walks with the dog as well. She likes that the Eco mode has the right amount of light for reading a book outside at night.

I haven't used it, but my brother really likes his Fenix HL60R and is glad that you can recharge the battery without having to remove it.

So as you can imagine my vote would be for getting a headlamp that uses an 18650 and just make sure you carry a spare 18650 that is fully charged, so you never have to worry about forgetting to charge the battery in the headlamp.

If your looking to get a headlamp with a HCRI, then you could always get one customized by vinhnguyen54 to get the characteristics you want out of your headlamp.
Here's his CPF page. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?140-Vinhnguyen54
And here's his website. https://skylumen.com/ and a link to his modding services page. https://skylumen.com/pages/modding-services
I had a great experience on the flashlight and headlamp he customized for me and would definitely buy another one from him in the future when I'm in the market for another light. :thumbsup:
I found a few options on his site that might interest you.
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/acebeam-h40vn-compact-14500-headlight
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/klarus-h1a-headlight
I'm not sure if you wanna spend $150, but with this headlamp you can spec the LEDs you want in it.
https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/acebeam-h30vn-brightest-headlight
Another 18650 headlamp. https://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/acebeam-h15-magnetic-ring-headlight

You could always check and see what the other modders offer as well.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?92-CPF-Custom-Flashlight-Builders-and-Modders

Good luck with your decision. :thumbsup:

woah, This stuff looks great.. Half the stuff I am reading on his site (just had a quick peak) doesn't make much sense to me, but I am sure a phone call/private message would make the process much simpler.

Definitely intrigued with his work.


To everyone else, Thank you all for your responses. Lots of options to check out :)
 

3L3M3NT

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Sep 4, 2015
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woah, This stuff looks great.. Half the stuff I am reading on his site (just had a quick peak) doesn't make much sense to me, but I am sure a phone call/private message would make the process much simpler.

Definitely intrigued with his work.


To everyone else, Thank you all for your responses. Lots of options to check out :)

I get where you're coming from. When I first started looking for a quality flashlight, I was overwhelmed by all of the options and then once I had figured out what flashlight I wanted, I realized that the flashlight I wanted could be customized. Talk about getting thrown into the deep end on what LED I wanted to go with in my light. This is where Vin is so great, he answered all of my questions and made suggestions on what LED to go with based on what I was going to be using it for.

I'd definitely recommend giving him a call/pm/email to see what he recommends based what you'll be using the headlamp for.
 

GreenWorldFTWWW

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Apr 4, 2019
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I second Thrunite TH20,had it for almost 2 years now and had no issues overall,it is flawless and suits my needs :)
 

ViperaPiper

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Apr 17, 2019
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I would suggest Fenix HL50. Single AA battery with the option of CR123A and has a pronounced hotspot unlike most other single AA headlamps. The design of the strap and holder makes it easy to detach if needed. The only downside in your requirements is that it has a neutral white emmitter instead of high CRI but I've had good experience so far with it.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Oct 1, 2004
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Tulsa,OK
I would like to reiterate that for heavy use (more than a few hours a day) the single AA headlamps fall flat on runtime when you are needing a decent amount of light. I use my Wowtac at work doing plumbing under sinks and pointing at ceilings setting hangers and I've gotten 2 days of heavy use out of it without recharging. It is rated for about 15 hours at medium level while a single AA headlamp can't give you but half the lumens for half the runtime (or a little less perhaps). My requirements for a headlamp is at least 8 continuous hours at a level of lumens that is useable and I've found with an 18650 headlamp I bump the lumens up for a short while to punch through dark deep areas and also to help light things up for someone I'm helping at a distance. These higher bumps in output cost a little in runtime that a AA headlamp would not be able to sustain total hours usage at a lower level without replacing/recharging the battery. If you are working in new construction or areas with poor lighting or no power you would find yourself needing to stop and swap in a new battery every day.
Having to stop and swap batteries while working can be a big problem especially when you have to tie down your work so you can use both hands.
I also agree with Glock27 in that a non floody (hotspot) type headlamp is optimal for a wide variety of situations while a floody headlamp limits you to more close up work I've had to use a headlamp to walk from one work area to another and you need some throw to navigate over trip hazards and move ladders and long pipe through obstacles. A decent non floody headlamp with a ~400 lumen mode can give you enough throw to see 20 foot in front of you. When you get older or have vision issues having a hotspot can be a huge thing.
I'm not an electrician but neutral to warm white headlamps to me look to show colors close enough to accurate for me, it is only the cool white range that causes issues and these days even some LEDs not listed as neutral or warm are close enough to neutral away from bluish tint to suffice.
I'm not going to knock high CRI LEDs and I think many people actually "need" the more accurate color rendition but I also think that high quality more neutral LEDs in the better light manufacturers offerings tend to be useful for most folks. Often the high CRI LEDs do render colors better but at a cost of output and runtime..... that would perhaps render the single AA headlamps no longer useful for heavy long runtime days.
having 2 headlamps now I find is an advantage to me in that I use one at work and don't have to worry about dragging it in/out of the house. So far I haven't needed to keep a spare battery for my work headlamp I can charge it in my truck during lunch break if needed a half hour can give me enough runtime at low/medium output for the rest of the day
 

skygear

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Jul 10, 2013
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Can some of you post pics of custom headlamps?

Or links to some more other than the one listed above. Using the search feature is not producing much. YouTube either.
 

Buck91

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Thrunite TH20 for well over a year, not a single issue. It is all I need.

+1 for sure. Only reason I don't use my TH20 much anymore is because I got the CPF bug and ended up with some new options (including a couple Wizard Pro headlamps). The TH20 is still the light that lives in my weekend pack (which doubles as my oh-poop grab and go bag).
 
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