My HDS EDC U60 review

clipse

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Dec 17, 2003
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428
I finally got some time to get some good pictures (good by my standards which isn't very high :) ) and sit down and write about my new light.

[just a note, you can click on all pictures except the beam shots to get high resolution versions]



The HDS EDC U60 is made my HDS Systems. There has been alot of buzz about these lights for quite some time. I decided about a month ago that I really did need one of these lights. Before that I never gave these lights another thought. Then I started reading more and more rave reviews about people loving these lights. So, I thought I would give it a try. Then I hear that they are discontinuing most of their EDC line of flashlights. My first thought was,"Oh, great. They'll be out completely by the time I can afford one.". Well, that was partly true. I originally wanted a U60XRGT. The 'XR' meaning 'extended runtime' and the 'GT' meaning 'guaranteed tint'. Those were sold out by the time I got around to ordering one so I went for the U60XR. Come to find out someone had ordered the last one just before me. :( No, huge deal, I finally got the U60 ordered. I got mine from www.opticshq.com because it was the same price as most other places plus it came with a Pelican 1010 case and 24 Titanium brand batteries. Here is everything I got from OpticsHQ.



"What makes the HDS EDC U60 so special?", you ask. Well, I'll tell you. First this light has 4 different brightness levels, primary (10lumens), secondary (2.6 lumens), maximum (60 lumens), and minimum (.33 lumens). The cool thing about the four leves is that they are either two or three clicks away. And you can change the brightness of any given level. When changing the brightness you can choose from up to 20 different brightness levels ranging from 60 lumens down to .08 lumens.

"What other features does this have?", you ask. Lets take a look. The list of features from the HDS website:



The EDC Ultimate flashlights provides the following features:

* Your choice of maximum output - the world's smallest tactical brightness LED flashlight. 4 preset levels, 20 brightness levels with visually even spacing
* Fully regulated settings for constant brightness. Gracefully steps down to lower brightness levels to extend dying batteries
* Simple, intuitive single-button interface allows single-click On/Off. Additional brightness settings are quickly accessible. Features fully programmable
* 10 hours constant output on the Primary setting (10 lumens) using a single lithium CR123A battery. 20 minute minimum runtime on Maximum setting
* Ultra clear coated glass lens for maximum light output and improved scratch resistance. Optional polycarbonate lens
* Machined aerospace aluminum case with military hard anodize finish
* Will not damage rechargeable batteries. We highly recommend rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
* Reverse battery protection without diode power penalty
* Intrinsically safe and explosion-proof configuration
* Full thermal management - cannot overheat or get excessively hot
* Waterproof to 2 atmospheres
* Pocket clip and optional lanyard ring
* Dimensions: Ø 25.4mm x 82mm (Ø 1" x 3.2")
* Weight: 86g (3oz)
* Configurable options: all brightness settings, emergency strobe signal, SOS emergency signal (46CFR161.013-7 compliant), flashing locator (so you can find the light in the dark), turn on to last or specific setting, automatic switch lock (prevent accidental turn-on during transport or storage), automatic turn-off and two forms of momentary operation

Now, when I first read the list of features I was very curious about how quick the Strobe and SOS functions actually where. Well, I tried to get a video of the Strobe function but the flashes of light are too quick for my camera to pic up. But it does flash a quick little 'blip' every second. I did happen to get a video clip done of the SOS signal. Here it is.

SOS.MPG 5.9Mb

In this clip you will see the light flash 5 times first. That is me clicking 10 times to get into the main menu. once in the menu the light stays on for a second to let you know that you have entered the menu. You then see the light do a quick little 'blip' that is actually the strobe setting. I didn't want that one so I went to the next option by clicking once and you see three flashes. This is the beginning of the SOS signal option. after then three flashes there is a longer flash from me holding down on the button to select that option. After than I point flashlight at the camera then realize its too bright to do that so I pointed it away alittle bit.

Sounds complicated but I assure, once you play with it for awhile it becomes very very simple.

Now alittle about my particular flashlight. When I initially got my light I clipped it onto my pocket. I thought the clip was way to weak for these so I did some research and found a cure for that. I griped the clip with a pair of needle nosed pliers up by the screw holes and bent the clip so it would hold better. Now it holds like you wouldn't believe. Here is a pic of the clip for those interested.



As far as tint goes........All Luxeon LEDs come in different colors. Some more blue, some more purple, some greenish, and some just absolutely pure white. Mine is a cool white with just a slight hint of purple. Overall a very pleasing color that I don't mind one bit. It is really close to white though.

The cool thing about this light is that he has thermal protection built in. So, if you light gets too hot it will kick down two levels so you still get light and the Luxeon is protected from cooking itself to death. Also when the battery is depleted to much to maintain a brighter level, the light will search for a level that it can maintain. I checked the runtime of my light with a Surefire cell. I placed my light in a cup of cold water to keep the light cool and keep the thermal protection from kicking in. I set the light on high and put in the cup and waited for it to kick down a level. It took 27 minutes and 21 seconds to do so. The is more than I was expecting. The XR versions from what I've read gets about 10 more minutes.

From here on out I'll let the pictures do the talking for me. Not much more I can say.

EDC apart.


Inside the tailcap of the EDC.


Underneath of the EDC head compared to the underneath of the Fenix P1 head.


EDC nest to the P1


Beam Shots.

Fenix L1T vs. HDS EDC U60
l1tvsu60.jpg


Fenix P1 vs. HDS EDC U60
p1vsu60.jpg


Streamlight Propolymer 4AA vs HDS EDC U60
slppvsu60.jpg



Streamlight Propolymer 4AA vs HDS EDC U60 up close
slppvsu60upclose.jpg


Over all, I really really really like this light and can't wait to see what comes from HDS next. :)

If you have any questions or anything feel free to ask.

clipse
 

skalomax

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Nice Review, Was the HDS 60 on high? Looks like you got a good tint for no GT. Actually i thought the EDC 60 was brighter, but still a good light.
 

clipse

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Dec 17, 2003
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428
skalomax said:
Nice Review, Was the HDS 60 on high? Looks like you got a good tint for no GT. Actually i thought the EDC 60 was brighter, but still a good light.

Yeah it was on high. I don't really have the best camera for taking beamshots. I think the pics don't really do it justice. Besides, I think the HDS's brightness is alot in the sidespill. That thing will light up a room better than any other light I have.


clipse
 
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jar3ds

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Sep 12, 2005
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nice pics!

I've been keeping 15 cr123's in my 1010 since thats the way it came from battery station... i had no idea that 24 would fit so snug... needless to say.. my 1010 now has 24 cr123's in it :D
 

magic79

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Nov 7, 2005
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The Evergreen State
I have a U60 and a U60XR (I bought the U60 when I dropped my U60XR and cracked the lens...I refuse to be without one while I send it to HDS for repair!). They are the second and third I've owned. All three (non GT) had white-white tints. I really can't see the need for GT.

One of the two sits in my pocket every single day, no exceptions. I find it to be the best EDC bar none.

Excellent light.

Abysmal marketing decision to alienate their loyal users with their new total secrecy plan.

Oh...and BTW - nice pictures by ANYONE'S standards!
 

Xygen

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Aug 10, 2005
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WrathOpud said:
I've been away for awhile ... but why is HDS discontinuing alot of their lights?
I hope they'll bring out a complete new product line, which makes the current EDC's redundant in features and price.
 

gadgetnerd

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Mar 31, 2005
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Brisbane, Australia
Thanks for the excellent review clipse, which has just convinced me to order a HDS EDC B42 (US$90 - bargain). I've been playing with torches for a few years, so about time I got a higher end one. Can't wait...
 

luxlover

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clipse,
For a person who only has 93 posts under his/her belt, you have turned out to be a very devoted and ambitious poster. This has been demonstrated by your fine imagery and emphasis on factual details about HDS lights taken directly from HDS. When a member puts forth the effort that you have, my respect for that person immediately increases. Keep on sharing and giving.

Luxlover :grin2:


 

jayflash

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Oct 4, 2003
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Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Clipse, are both the P1 & U60 using primary CR123 cells? With my particular pair running on rechargeable 123s, the P1 is just slightly brighter in its smaller hot spot than my U60. However, my U60 has more over all output and a broader, brighter, spill beam.

Informative review, clipse, and I agree the GT version isn't normally necessary unless the user is VERY sensitive to tint. Those trying to decide between a GT or U version would be much further ahead with the greater flexibility of the Ultimate.

An important consideration between basic & ultimate versions is control over the four levels. For me 10 lumens is insuficient for many tasks so I'd be forced to use the Max setting much of the time. Max would be too bright for closer use and would eat up the cells. Changing the primary setting to 22 lumens made the U60 more useful for me. (YMMV)

The ability to choose: turn on to last level, and change the switch function to momentary made the U60 better for my purposes. The Ultimate version alows the user to completely change the personality of this light.
 

clipse

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Dec 17, 2003
Messages
428
Thanks for the compliments guys. I really enjoy writing reviews of various things when I can. Its even better when I can write about something that I really like. Hopefully I can get a similar reveiw of the P1 up soon. (my next purchases I believe will be the 2x123 body for this light and a Fenix L2T)



jayflash said:
Clipse, are both the P1 & U60 using primary CR123 cells? With my particular pair running on rechargeable 123s, the P1 is just slightly brighter in its smaller hot spot than my U60. However, my U60 has more over all output and a broader, brighter, spill beam.

Yes both lights are on primaries. I used a surefire primary in my P1 and Titanium brand primary in my U60. Thanks for the compliments.

clipse
 
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