VERY Lightweight 225+ lumen headlamp that uses CR123 sized replaceable batteries and lasts long time?

CZ Eddie

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REQUIREMENTS:
  • Extremely lightweight (18650 is too heavy) like AA but prefer CR123 type
  • Last a long time at full 225+ minimum lumens brightness (three hours would be great)
  • Easily replaceable batteries
  • Batteries must be chargeable in 3rd party charger device (like Nitecore chargers)

I have the Black Diamond 225 and its peak brightness works well for me out in the garage, tinkering on bikes & cars.
But it quickly loses peak brightness. I'd like something not much heavier but which will last a lot longer.
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It must have easily replaceable batteries that can be charged externally so I can have a few of them charged up and ready to go.
I looked at the new Olight Perun 2 Mini and it seems perfect.
But Olight tells me it has no external charger and its batteries cannot be charged in a 3rd party charger. And the flashlight won't work with 3rd party batteries.
See my thread on that here if you're interested:

 

Hooked on Fenix

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Sofirn HS10 or Fenix HM50R v.2

Hard to find lights like this that will also run on lithium primary 123As. All off these lights require rechargeable high discharge 16340/RCR123A cells.
 

CZ Eddie

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Thanks, folks. I'm not stuck on CR123. I thought it was the same as 16340.
I just meant that I wanted a battery no larger than the CR123 size.

I'm researching the suggested options now.
 

CZ Eddie

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So, these are the specs on the suggestions above.
Specs collected from the mfg's pages:
MakeModelPriceWeightSizeBatterymAhChargingMax LumensHigh LumensRuntime @ HighMedium LumensRuntime @ MediumMax DistanceWaterproofImpact ResistanceRemembers Mode?Magnetic Base?Bulb
CYANSKIHS3R$60/$70 shipped37g/55g/92g57*23*27.3 mm16340/CR123700USB-C11004001 Hour1303.5 Hours135 Meters2 Meters2 metersYesYesn/a
ThruniteH01$3078.5g (everything?)66*21.5*21mm16340650Micro USB6871951.67 Hours507 Hours91 Meters2 Metersn/an/aYesCree XP-G3
JetBeamHR10$4046.8g (no batt)39.5*32.7*32.7mm 18350/16340/CR123850USB-C7007001.7 Hours2801.8 Hours150 Meters1 Meter1.5 MetersYesYesCREE XP-L HD
FenixHM50R V2$6078g (everything)64*36*32mm16340n/aUSB-C7004003 Hours1308 Hours115 meters2 Meters2 metersn/aYesCree XP-G3 S4
SofirnHS1037g (no batt)22.5*67.2*22.5mm16340/CR123A800USB-C11005001.25 Hours2001.75 Hours129 meters2 metersYesLH351D LED 90 CRI

Based on the specs, it seemed the Fenix was my best best to get 225+ lumens for three hours run time.
But then I read a review that said it provided 400 lumens for 20 minutes, then dropped down to 120 lumens after that.

Is that how all these flashlights work?
I want something that will hold the same output until the battery dies.
At which point I'd just swap in another battery.

Sorry, I've been around a long time but I'm a flashlight newbie.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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At 225 lumens regulated, you might get 1-2 hours out of a 16340 battery. If you want more runtime at a higher brightness, you may want to go up to an 18650 light. My Nitecore HC60 v.2 puts out 250+ lumens for about 6 hours regulated. A 16340 cell might only have about a fifth the capacity of a good 18650.
 
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The Jetbeam HR10, using a high capacity 18350 cell (1100 mAh v. 650-750 mAh for a 16340 cell) will maintain 275 lumens output for two hours before tapering off. I suspect that your hope for a three hour runtime from the lower capacity 16340 cell will be disappointed. That noted, one solution is to carry additional 16340 cells, as many as you need. In support of this option, carrying additional 16340 cells is likely to be less costly than other alternatives.

A second solution may be to reconsider headlamps that take 18350 or 18650 cells. An 18650 headlamp likely deliver the runtime performance you want, but you'll need to adjust your expectations as to the ergonomics of wearing a larger lamp assembly.

I own a dozen headlamps (literally), and unless you plan on trail running, I suspect you would adjust to wearing an 18650 light without any problems.

There is no "wrong" answer to your quest: let us know what you decide.
 

CZ Eddie

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Hey, you guys were right.
The 18650 wasn't as bad as I thought.

A high quality head band and cushion for your forehead and proper fitting goes a LONG ways towards comfort.

I got stuck trying to figure out which flashlight to buy.
Then, had an urgent need for one and Amazon had an 18650 headlamp available for same-day delivery.
I gave it a shot and it feels great on my head. Really comfortable. And it's an American company which is nice for me.

Coast XPH30R

Unfortunately, I hate the on/off action.
It doesn't remember your brightness setting.
So, you have to click it three times to turn it off. Because it needs to cycle through all the brightness.
And turning it off is even more annoying than that.
Because sometimes it skips a click and you're suddenly lost.
Three clicks doesn't turn it off and now you've gone back around to the starting click and have to repeat all over again.

So, I'm gonna start looking for an 18650 headlamp that otherwise meets the needs discussed in my OP!

EDIT: The Coast actually is kinda neat in a way. When you turn it on, you get a few brightness levels to click though.
That's annoying. I want it to remember.
But the turning off was better than I realized. I was confused at first because it would simply turn off and I thought it was skipping brightness steps. But then I noticed it *always* turns off if you've been using it for more than a few moments, no matter which brightness level you're on.
So, that's cool I guess.
 
Last edited:

cave dave

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Zebralights tend to be the lightest of the bunch and have excellent efficiency and regulation. Not sure how the comfort is, as I only own the AA size.
 
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