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Thread: Review: klarus H1A

  1. #1

    Default Review: klarus H1A

    It`s been a long time between Klarus announced this headlamp and finally released it to markeet. After that H1A got almost no reviews.
    So i`d like to share my opinion about HL1A. This stuff is quite unusual in design, so I hope review will be useful for you, guys.

    H1A was provided by manufacturer for review.
    here is a product page(link is external)

    Headlamp has a good package, cardboard box with transparent sides. Design is definitely ok.

    What I like more, is plastic black “shell”, the same that i`ve seen at Olight H2S.
    Really useful decision to carry headlamp within, along with 2-3 spare batteries.
    Besides headlamp itself, package includes 14500 battery and manual.

    And here is our hero

    Appearance is attractive and unusual. Grey matte body feels good in hands and comfortably sits on head.
    Head strap is old-school O-shaped, in Klarus brand-colors, without light-reflective safety stripes.

    90 degrees tilt shift

    Regular “clicky” cover at the upper part of battery compartment

    There is a pair of metal buttons at the upper part as well. Left is responsible for primary light, right one is for additiona pair of LEDs. There is no cover from occasional pressings.

    S/n and model name are printed at the bottom part.
    I unscrewed 4 screws and here are insides.

    Strange gills-like stripes at the sides looks seem to have more design rather engineer origin.

    LEDs here:
    1) CREE XP-L V6
    2) pair of XP-E, 1 Hi-CRI 4000K R2, 2nd is red P2.
    Primary light has a TIR-optic, which used the same idea as in Fenix BC30 – some horizontal stripes to redistribute light downward, to prevent occasional blinging people going toward you.

    That`s all about appearance. Headlamp is lightweight, compact and attractive. I`ve got no complaints about insides and appearance.
    Quite simple.
    Primary light
    Long press activates LOW
    Short press starts high
    Simple clicks change brightness

    Long press – OFF
    All is usual, besides nice fade-in while changing brightntess.
    No mode memory.

    Additional light.
    Short press activates white low-white high-red.
    2x presses activates special modes and switch them.
    What Klarus calls ”Strobe” is something like beacon, less 1 hz which may be strobe only for Great Slow Kings.
    White light works as SOS here.

    I consider all these to be ok, may be additional rapid red light for mike ride would be a good addition.
    IMPORTANT – you can use primary and additional light at the same time.
    Lock-out mode. Hold both buttons for 3 sec – and light is locked.
    Unlock it with 3x presses any button. This also starts voltage checking, 3 and 9 blinks will mean 3.9v.


    No PWM-shimmering
    in any mode.

    Light distribution is floody, and absolutely diffused when additional white light is on – no surpise, as LED is covered with matte dome.
    I consider this light to be used in garage-camping situation. And for such simple needs you`ll get enough light. Side light is good for both repair close-range works and reading.
    What about battery – capacity is real. Charging amperage is ok, almost recommended 0.5C, 0.33A here. Blue-red indication is also a good thing to see here.

    Heat transfer is good, in high H1A gets warm quite quickly.
    Here is clickable runtime chart. I definitely consider HIGH to be TURBO, as it is so time-limited. I don`t know why Klarus didn`t make separate mode for both these modes.
    Nevertheless, before stepdown light is really bright (for 14500 and small H1A body), and after stepdown is definitely ok for most needs.

    What about the rest – it is no surpise for 14500 and AA both. I`d prefer 1st one as you get the same runtime but also an opportunity to use max brightness.
    And here are pics.
    Possible LEDs combinations.

    In small area, like here, even additional low gives you surprisingly enough light to look around.

    In garden-size territory mid is ok.

    Interesting and unusual headlamp with good and useful light \ set of modes. I thing separate turbo would be better than hiding it in High.
    Apperance is noble and attractive. UI is good.
    Well, price is not low, that makes buying this light a not “why not?” idea. I think as most of Ti lights, this one would be more collectable.

    BTW, old RS80 still appears in movies, thanx to it`s unique design. Who knows, may be H1A will repeat this.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review: klarus H1A

    Hi All,

    I thought I posted this reply already but something is screwy with my new account. Anyway, I want to make sure the info gets shared so I apologize if is a duplicate.

    Just wanted to give you all a quick impression of the Aluminum H1A AL. Its an excellent headlamp for working in small spaces such as a workshop or car. It has very little throw and no noticeable spot. The light however is extremely even and very pleasant to use for long periods of time. I wear mine in my workshop at least 8 hours a day and I never notice its even on my head. The engineering seems to be top quality as not only does it run continuously for 8 - 10 hours a day, but it also made it through a full heavy wash cycle and then full dryer cycle without a scratch....not bad in my opinion.

    Now for the issues. First of all, ditch the Klarus 750MmAh and get 3 or 4 1000 mAh cells. I went with a company called Vapecell and so far they have held up to continuous cycling. There are a few other brands of 1000mAh 14500's however I have not tried them. I get just over an hour per charge before it dims.

    ***Second issue, and this is a BIG one. The tab that keeps the battery compartment closed is EXTREMELY fragile. As a matter of fact, the entire plastic assembly is
    incredibly brittle. My tab broke almost immediately and the plastic piece that connects the headband to the light cracked as well. It's a manufacturing defect to be sure and I informed them of it with pictures and a video, but I don't know if it' been addressed. In the meantime, Klarus sent me a new headlamp, it took 6 weeks but it did come, and I used JB Weld to rebuild my broken one which is now indestructible.

    Overall I don't know if I can recommend this light. The various modes and the way it throws the light is really exceptional. The electronics and efficiency are excellent and the build quality of the light itself is fantastic. The brittle plastic however is really a serious problem. Unless you're willing to do some modification to the plastic in order to strengthen the weak I would avoid this light.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Review: klarus H1A

    Hello all... update on Klarus H1-A. DO NOT and I mean really do not buy this light. The light itself is excellent but the plastic battery compartment and head strap attachment aren’t just fragile, they are completely defective. I sent my first pair back, took 6 weeks but got a replacement finally and immediately took to filing all the rough edges and adding a bit
    of lubrication to make it easier on the plastic. They lasted 1 week before they cracked. I never use them for anything but working in my shop. No bumps, no scrapes, no caves...nothing. I’m not even sending these back. I’m just going to gut the headlamp and use the parts to make another light.

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