Zebralight or Fenix? Long runtime needed

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Gil P.

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Hello,
What are your opinions on the following:
Zebralight H600W MK IV
Fenix HP30R V2.0
Fenix HM65R

Light needs to be waterproof and durable. Would prefer a warm tint flood light, only need up to 1000 lumens. Most use is at around 500 lumens and at less than 10 lumens for reading.

Are the stated runtimes from these companies accurate?

I've been using a zebralight since 2016 without issue, but I'm wanting longer runtime, as well as looking for opinions on the new headlamps.

Can someone educate me on 21700 batteries? I see the Fenix HP30R uses them. Which brands should I be looking for? I've seen some that go up to 5000 mAh which sounds impressive.
 
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SubLGT

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Can someone educate me on 21700 batteries? I see the Fenix HP30R uses them. Which brands should I be looking for? I've seen some that go up to 5000 mAh which sounds impressive.
Sanyo, Molicel, Samsung, LG, Lishen, Murata.

For very specific model # recommendations, see the battery chart at:
 
H

Hooked on Fenix

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The zebra light looks good, but they don’t accept protected batteries. When I put something on my head, I want to be safe. Other than that, it’s probably the best of the three options being lightweight, waterproof, and floody. The Fenix HP30R v.2 is heavy and expensive using 2 21700 cells. Also has a rear battery pack. The wire and two places it goes to make it harder to waterproof, and easier to destroy with wear and tear. The Fenix HM65R looks decent, but I’d spend a little more for the HM65R-T. It’s magnesium and lighter. 21700 cells are a little heavy for a headlight. I suggest sticking with 18650. If you want a good floodlight, the warm white l.e.d. version of the Nitecore HC60 v.2 is a good choice. If you really want 21700, look into the Fenix HM70R, (has good runtime at 500 lumens) though if you want under 30 lumens in white light, pick something else (has 5 lumen red l.e.d. setting).
edit: The Fenix HM65R is apparently also made with magnesium like the HM65R-T. The HM65R-T has a different headband and an extra 100 lumens for $5 more. It’s 0.21 ounces lighter.
 
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Gil P.

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The zebra light looks good, but they don’t accept protected batteries. When I put something on my head, I want to be safe. Other than that, it’s probably the best of the three options being lightweight, waterproof, and floody. The Fenix HP30R v.2 is heavy and expensive using 2 21700 cells. Also has a rear battery pack. The wire and two places it goes to make it harder to waterproof, and easier to destroy with wear and tear. The Fenix HM65R looks decent, but I’d spend a little more for the HM65R-T. It’s magnesium and lighter. 21700 cells are a little heavy for a headlight. I suggest sticking with 18650. If you want a good floodlight, the warm white l.e.d. version of the Nitecore HC60 v.2 is a good choice. If you really want 21700, look into the Fenix HM70R, (has good runtime at 500 lumens) though if you want under 30 lumens in white light, pick something else (has 5 lumen red l.e.d. setting).
edit: The Fenix HM65R is apparently also made with magnesium like the HM65R-T. The HM65R-T has a different headband and an extra 100 lumens for $5 more. It’s 0.21 ounces lighter.
Thank you for the information.
I think I'm going to get the Fenix HP25R 2.0.

It uses a 21700 and goes down to 5 lumens on flood low. It's got a separate 21700 battery pack. I hope the wires are not easily damaged or pulled out.

What are your experiences with an external battery pack in the rain?

I won't running with the light. It will ge used for night hiking off trail, camping, and occasionally hunting.
 
H

Hooked on Fenix

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I own an old Princeton Tec Apex, Corona, and owned a Yukon HL, among others. I don’t use them much in the rain. I prefer higher waterproof rated lights for that (IPX7 or 8). The rear battery pack will give better balance for a light that is heavier, but the waterproofing won’t be as good (more potential points of failure), the wire can snag on tree branches (this can screw up electrical connections), and you’ll be uncomfortable doing anything laying down. If you need that much light and runtime and can’t simply bring spare batteries, go for the 2 21700 light, but for most things, you’re going to want something lighter and more comfortable.
 
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3_gun

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Are the stated run times from these companies accurate?
Define accurate. Oddly the answer to the question can be both yes & no. Realize the FL1 standard tests run time from lumans 30sec after start down to 10% of the light level. So yes if you start at 1000L & don't mind being at 100L at the end of your run the time is accurate. If you were expecting to have 1000L for the entire run then no it is not accurate. From experience (and this is a broad statement) you can expect a constant light level for the stated run time somewhere near 30% of the claimed turbo level. So a light that claims 1k/l would have a steady light out put vs run time at somewhere "near" 300L'ish. Even then from doing tests with my own lights, run times usually fall short of the claimed times but are close enough to be explained by build & battery tolerances
 
A

aznsx

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Hello,
What are your opinions on the following:
Zebralight H600W MK IV
Fenix HP30R V2.0
Fenix HM65R

Light needs to be waterproof and durable. Would prefer a warm tint flood light, only need up to 1000 lumens. Most use is at around 500 lumens and at less than 10 lumens for reading.

Are the stated runtimes from these companies accurate?

I've been using a zebralight since 2016 without issue, but I'm wanting longer runtime, as well as looking for opinions on the new headlamps.

Can someone educate me on 21700 batteries? I see the Fenix HP30R uses them. Which brands should I be looking for? I've seen some that go up to 5000 mAh which sounds impressive.

<<<Are the stated runtimes from these companies accurate?>>>

The runtimes of the Fenix lights are likely accurate as specified, tested, and rated per the referenced ANSI PLATO FL1 standard. Being a PLATO member company, you can probably count on them adhering to the standard. Historically, I've never seen any indication that they don't. They also generally publish runtime graphs, which are invaluable in evaluating the specifics of the rating and mapping it to your needs. An example is this, for the 25R:


I looked up that Zebra on their web site, and I couldn't find any reference to what standard their runtime spec is tested to or the test methodology used to determine its ratings. The ratings may be 'accurate', but if one doesn't know how the testing is done, they mean little (to me). I also didn't see an output / time graph, so that doesn't help either. Perhaps there's better information elsewhere that I missed(?)

I think you might have the classic 'apples to oranges' thing going on trying to compare the two.
 
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Gil P.

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<<<Are the stated runtimes from these companies accurate?>>>

The runtimes of the Fenix lights are likely accurate as specified, tested, and rated per the referenced ANSI PLATO FL1 standard. Being a PLATO member company, you can probably count on them adhering to the standard. Historically, I've never seen any indication that they don't. They also generally publish runtime graphs, which are invaluable in evaluating the specifics of the rating and mapping it to your needs. An example is this, for the 25R:


I looked up that Zebra on their web site, and I couldn't find any reference to what standard their runtime spec is tested to or the test methodology used to determine its ratings. The ratings may be 'accurate', but if one doesn't know how the testing is done, they mean little (to me). I also didn't see an output / time graph, so that doesn't help either. Perhaps there's better information elsewhere that I missed(?)

I think you might have the classic 'apples to oranges' thing going on trying to compare the two.
Good info and you're right about the apples and oranges comparison.

I'm torn between the Fenix HM70R and the HP25R 2.0. The light module on the HP25R looks more substantially built.

Any opinions between the two?
 
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aznsx

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Good info and you're right about the apples and oranges comparison.

I'm torn between the Fenix HM70R and the HP25R 2.0. The light module on the HP25R looks more substantially built.

Any opinions between the two?

I spent too much time looking at those 2 lights and have run out of time for now, but I saw enough to give you a 'bottom line' answer. I see at least 5 reasons why, if I were ordering one of those two lights today, I would definitely go with the HP25R 2.0. I'll follow up with those reasons when I get more time, but for now, if you're leaning toward that choice, I would definitely agree with that from my perspective.

I haven't looked at the others in the current Fenix lineup (only compared the two you mentioned head-to-head). In terms of what other manufacturers I'd be looking at, I'd also be checking the Streamlight current lineup, although I'm not up on their current offerings. That said, HP25R 2.0 definitely looks like a top candidate to me though, and personally I would choose it over the HM70R.
 
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Gil P.

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I spent too much time looking at those 2 lights and have run out of time for now, but I saw enough to give you a 'bottom line' answer. I see at least 5 reasons why, if I were ordering one of those two lights today, I would definitely go with the HP25R 2.0. I'll follow up with those reasons when I get more time, but for now, if you're leaning toward that choice, I would definitely agree with that from my perspective.

I haven't looked at the others in the current Fenix lineup (only compared the two you mentioned head-to-head). In terms of what other manufacturers I'd be looking at, I'd also be checking the Streamlight current lineup, although I'm not up on their current offerings. That said, HP25R 2.0 definitely looks like a top candidate to me though, and personally I would choose it over the HM70R.
I'm looking forward to your thoughts. I looked up streamlights offerings but didn't see anything that appealed to me.
 
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aznsx

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I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

I'm shooting for tomorrow evening on that. I hate it when life gets in the way of the pursuit of flashlights, but since I depend on flashlights for the protection of my life (/personal safety) at times, I try not to complain.
 
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SubLGT

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The HP25R 2.0 looks interesting. I like the idea of locating the battery at the back of the head. On my Armytek headlamps, the back of the headband is always riding up. Some weight back there might reduce that tendency.
 
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sirpetr

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The HP25R 2.0 looks interesting. I like the idea of locating the battery at the back of the head. On my Armytek headlamps, the back of the headband is always riding up. Some weight back there might reduce that tendency.
Agree! Definately help when the weight is distributed between front and rear. Especially for running but helps even for hiking.


GilP: Doesnt actually matter if 21700 or 18650. When taking quality cells from top manufacturers both sizes offer virtually the same weight/volume/capacity ratio.
 
kreisl

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Doesnt actually matter if 21700 or 18650. When taking quality cells from top manufacturers both sizes offer virtually the same weight/volume/capacity ratio.
in theoretical maths yes (the "density" of a battery material is constant) but in research there seems to be a difference of 15% between form factors.
the new tesla battery for example
 
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Gil P.

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Agree! Definately help when the weight is distributed between front and rear. Especially for running but helps even for hiking.


GilP: Doesnt actually matter if 21700 or 18650. When taking quality cells from top manufacturers both sizes offer virtually the same weight/volume/capacity ratio.
Won't the 21700 provide a longer runtime with their 5000mah batteries?
 
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sirpetr

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Gil P.: Sure, 21700 has more capacity than 18650 but its heavier. The point I was trying to make is that weight/capacity ratio of both is the same.

kreisl: That 15% difference is just in cars where 21700 fits better and whole battery assembly matters. For use in flashlights and headlamps where they are used inividually, they are same. I compared both best available cells (18650 3500mAh vs. 21700 5000mAh) and they are very similar in terms of weight/capacity. If I remember right, even 21700 looses a bit over 18650. That is the reason why we never started making our own 21700 lights, there are no clear advantages (except larger capacity).
Yes, Tesla´s 4680 battery is different is many ways and may have higher capacity/weight but I guess wont be available to public. Also the format, especially diameter, is not good for (small) headlamps.
 
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3_gun

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Won't the 21700 provide a longer runtime with their 5000mah batteries?
Often but not always. During one of my personal run test I found that a 3000mah battery out lasted a lesser quality but still good battery of 5000mah rating. This was at a higher lumen out put, same light & batteries at a lower light level did as you'd expect. Battery quality can in some lights really make a difference. One 3rd party tester found a top shelf battery boost the turbo level by over 500L. And one of the batteries in my test was OG shipped with the light, so you can't even trust that the battery sold with the light will perform the best. That's part of the reason I started buying lights w/o an include battery unless it a well rated one
 
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Gil P.

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Often but not always. During one of my personal run test I found that a 3000mah battery out lasted a lesser quality but still good battery of 5000mah rating. This was at a higher lumen out put, same light & batteries at a lower light level did as you'd expect. Battery quality can in some lights really make a difference. One 3rd party tester found a top shelf battery boost the turbo level by over 500L. And one of the batteries in my test was OG shipped with the light, so you can't even trust that the battery sold with the light will perform the best. That's part of the reason I started buying lights w/o an include battery unless it a well rated one
Good advice. I'm about to place my order. I think i have a good idea on which batteries i want. I hope I can find the Samsung 21700 protected batteries.

I've got a Xtar ii charger. It doesn't list the 21700 on the back or the charger, but it does list larger batteries it's able to charge. Hopefully it won't be a problem.
 
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sirpetr

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GilP: We have good experience with Keeppower 18650. Bought maybe two thousands of them already directly from Keeppower and all work fine. If I remember right, one battery was dead on arrival, but I would say its good score. I measured capacity multiple times and they are correct.

3_gun: Its little more complicated. Batteries are good quality and poor quality. Good quality ones (Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG, Sanyo) have declared capacity spot on and stable performance between all cells. We never ever had any problems with these brand cells and we used thousands of them in our products. Different story is when using protected cells - then it heavily depends on the quality of protected circuit (resistance, discharging, long-term reliablity) and the quality of the bare cell.

Your observation with high lumens probably means that the light is direct driven (so the cell with lesser resistance give more ampers=more lumens) or needs huge current which is too high for normal cells. There are standard cells (<10A) and high current cells. It can make large difference in these direct driven or high lumen lights but thats probably not OP´s case as he needs just 10-1000 lumens.
 

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