Most 18650 Headlamps Just do not Last Long Enough

AEHaas

AEHaas

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'Currently using a Nitecore HC60 and usually on a medium setting. I do a lot of model airplane building and repair. But I have to switch out batteries half way through each work session. I have plenty of 18650 batteries. I guess the efficiency is just not that good. Maybe some newer 18650 lamp would work for a longer time with the same output. Or maybe a lamp with an adjustable beam can be turned to a lower output if I could concentrate the beam when needed. Maybe a remote battery pack would allow for more cells giving more time.

I do like the compactness of this lamp as I can locate it just above my eyeglasses to look into tight places. This is important so any head that is bigger would not be as useful.

Is there a newer, longer lasting, equally compact and possibly adjustable beam lamp out there?

Thanks,

ali
 
cityevader

cityevader

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I build too! (RC sailplanes though).

I recently got a $24 Sofirn SP40 with a high CRI , beautiful beam LED. I'm a mechanic, and it lasts a long time. There's a large lumen gap between medium and high (at least for my typical ambient lighting), but if it's "dark enough" of lighting to use medium, you'll be good.
 
Olumin

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Its frankly baffling there aren't more rotary headlamps on the market. Its bar none the best & most intuitive interface. You'd imagine HDS would jump at the chance, they'd essentially have a monopoly. Sometimes I really ask myself what some companies are doing. As it stands there is the Surefire minimus and maximus, neither of which is really that up-to-date or will satisfy the modern enthusiasts desire for neutral/hi cri emitters. That and the maximus uses a non-replaceable inbuilt battery & the minimus doesn't even support rechargeables.
 
Robot Mania FU

Robot Mania FU

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Its frankly baffling there aren't more rotary headlamps on the market. Its bar none the best & most intuitive interface. You'd imagine HDS would jump at the chance, they'd essentially have a monopoly. Sometimes I really ask myself what some companies are doing. As it stands there is the Surefire minimus and maximus, neither of which is really that up-to-date or will satisfy the modern enthusiasts desire for neutral/hi cri emitters. That and the maximus uses a non-replaceable inbuilt battery & the minimus doesn't even support rechargeables.
I know HDS brought a mock up headlamp to shot show back in 2016, but it never came to light. I'm with you on that one though. The rotary function feels like it was designed for a headlamp.

To the OP, how bright are you trying to run them? My zebralight h600fc runs for like 12 hours straight on 140lumens, and over 25 hours around 60 lumens.
 
knucklegary

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A rotory UI headlight would be great. But a HDS hanging off your forehead would need a strong supportive head strap. I personally like my ultra light low profile Petzl Tactikka +RGB. When sitting at a bench doing close up I don't need a large heavy contraption distracting me from my work
 
Olumin

Olumin

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I'd love for Nitecore to have a crack at making a rotary headlamp in cast magnesium. They already made cast flashlight bodies & have experience with rotary UIs. Seems like something they'd give a shot. & it wouldn't come with the price tag of a Surefire or HDS either.. We can all dream.

In watchmaking everyone I know incl. me just uses articulated lamps that are bolted or clamped onto the desk, usually by Waldmann or SIS. I like to buy old florescent SIS lamps & convert them to hi-cri led. Cheap and rock solid.
 
Lynx_Arc

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I've had a Wowtac A2S for years and use it at work and I rarely use it on high about 50/50 medium and low modes. I made sure and found a light that would do more than 8 hours at around 100 lumens which is find for most close up work. I'm guessing you are probably running your light at 300+ lumens and didn't check the reviews to see how long it will run at that output.
 
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AstroTurf

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zebralight 18650 are my goto long lasting headlights.
 
H

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Unless you’re using a Nitecore HC60 on the 420 lumen or 1000 lumen settings, that headlight should have plenty of runtime. I used to use mine for electrical work on a lighting crew. 210 lumens for over 7 hours usually got me through nearly a whole work shift. I’ve found now that I have the version 2 light, the 250 (closer to 300) lumen setting, which lasts 4 hours regulated, is used when I would have used the 420 lumen setting of the old version which lasts about 2 hours. The older version still has longer runtime in the 200+ lumen range. If you need more runtime at a brighter level, I suggest going to a 21700 light like the Fenix HM70R. For those that want a magnesium light, there’s the Fenix HM65R and HM65R-T.
 
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Duster1671

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I can think of two factors that might be in play here:

1. Beam shape - diffusers and mules are likely more popular choices in headlamps than regular flashlights. A Zebralight 'f' model is certainly my choice for a nice hands-free task light. These beams throw a lot of light off to the sides, so the tendency is to run them at higher power levels to achieve a certain intensity in the center.

2. Weight - A heavy flashlight in a head strap is much more intrusive than one in my hand, so keeping weight down is a priority. Smaller batteries weigh less and have shorter runtimes. 18650 has plenty of capacity, but that's the absolute largest battery I would want for a headlamp.
 
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AstroTurf

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agreed, for around the house applications, the zl aa lasts for about a 5 hour stretch.
 
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Kitchen Panda

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If you really need the highest lumen output, then I don't think there will be an appreciable variation in run time. I see the current edition Nitecore claims 450 lumens for 2 1/4 hours, with a 3400 mAhr battery. That's around 1050 lumen-hours, at 100 lumens/watt ,10 watthours - an 18650 only holds about 13 watthours at best. My Olight H2R only claims 2.5 hours at 600 lumens, which is pretty similar. Don't know if it would work on your lamp but you might extend the run time if it can operate while the charger is connected - then you could get a 10,000 mAhr battery bank and get many more hours of use. Though you might feel like an old-time miner with a belt-mounted battery lamp.
 
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sirpetr

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Nitecore HC60 uses XM-L2 (U2bin), little old LEDs generation, there are much better LEDs now, like XP-L2 (V6,W2 bins). If we compare directly just LEDs (not taking into account optic and driver losses which may also differ) XP-L2 are 22-25% more efficient. Can be easily verified on pct.cree.com (actually I have done that to provide real comparable figures).

Our lamps have been reviewed few times here recently. S2X model is approx. 20gr heavier but more comfortable due to spread weight and offer even more output because of 2 XP-L2 leds (higher efficiency with 2 LEDs). Lot of folks actually use them for work. If I am not mistaken HC60 MID mode is 210 lumens with 7h15m runtime. Our S2X has got 230 lumens with 10h runtime - that should get you through the whole shift easily.
 
cityevader

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I build too! (RC sailplanes though).

I recently got a $24 Sofirn SP40 with a high CRI , beautiful beam LED. I'm a mechanic, and it lasts a long time. There's a large lumen gap between medium and high (at least for my typical ambient lighting), but if it's "dark enough" of lighting to use medium, you'll be good.

After I typed this, I received in the mail, a Sofirn HS40 which is almost identical, except ramping brightness can be selected. Dialing in brightness finely, in between stepped outputs, is fabulous for getting sufficient lumens AND run time.
 
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jabe1

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If you’re doing bench work, why does it matter if you need to switch out the battery every once in a while?
 
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Vimespolly

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The Fenix HP30R V2.0 has a remote battery pack that takes 2 21700 so that gets weight and size off your head and a run time on most modes measured in days puts paid to that concern.

But in all seriousness I tried a couple of 18650 head lamps but found they didn't last long enough for all day under a house plumbing so I'm moved to the wurkos H5 a 21700 light and I love and have never found it too big or heavy and I am a fellow glasses wearer.
 
K

Kitchen Panda

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Just tried some experiments on my bench top with my Olight H2R. My bench has about 500 lux on it with normal room lighting. On medium (150 lumens), the H2R brings that up to 1500 lux; I get to over 3800 lux with "high". An HC60 supplied 200 lumens on medium, giving even more lux on target - and it will do it for 7 hours. I don't have the stamina for 7 hour sessions of bench work, so changing batteries would not be a problem for me. (Why, yes, I did buy a light meter at Princess Auto for just such occasions.)

However, one thing that I spent a lot of money on that does greatly improve the comfort and quality of my bench work (such as soldering surface mount electronics) is a magnifying visor. I picked up an OptiVisor a couple of years ago with the 3.5x lenses and it's made a world of difference to my aging eyes. The headlamp and OptiVisor makes for a great combination, though I'd probably terrify anyone if I answered the door with all that gear on my head. The headlamp sold for use with the OptiVisor was....extremely unimpressive by Candlepowerforum standards. Six 5mm LEDs running on a pair of AAs are not going to make me happy.
 
freeme

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It could run with powerbank your pocket.
 

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