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Thread: [Review] A pure Flood COB 18650

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Apr 2012
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    Middle of Texas
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    Default [Review] A pure Flood COB 18650

    Is this the best inexpensive flood headlamp you can buy?

    I bought this Headlamp from Amazon. Itís sold under the Super Tiger name.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

    I tested the non-motion sensor version.
    At the time I purchased it (early 2019) it was less than $19.

    The Super Tiger


    The seller lists it at 150 Lumens on high with an IP55 rating.
    The instructions say IPX-4.

    What Do You Get?

    The package includes the headlamp with strap, a non-branded battery rated at 2200mAh, a micro USB charging cord (charge only Ė no data), a USB power supply, and an instruction sheet.

    The instructions say three modes, High, Low, and Strobe. That should be High, Medium, and Strobe.
    It actually ramps and has a memory.









    Description
    This is a very compact headlamp. The molded plastic housing includes the battery compartment and the COB element. There is a white translucent cover over the COB element. The single head strap is 1Ē inch wide, which is wider than several other cheap headlamps I have (a good thing).
    The head strap is connected at each end to a hard plastic green bracket that holds the headlamp.






    Observations and Tests
    The construction is excellent considering the price point of this lamp. It feels quite sturdy. The strap is long and has plenty of room for a fat headed guy like me.
    The green bracket that holds the lamp is hard plastic and not as comfortable as others I have used that are softer and/or larger (to distribute the weight better). But being so light it is not fatiguing to wear.
    I find it more comfortable than the typical 90 degree all metal lights with the third over the head strap. Speaking of weight, this thing has to be the lightest 18650 headlight out there.
    Only 1.9oz including the head-strap w/o battery. Packers/Climbers take note.



    The power switch is on top and seems well sealed from the elements. The switch is slightly concave and it takes a deliberate effort to press the thing. Using gloves of any thickness would be problematic.


    The charging port is on the bottom and the plug seats firmly.





    The battery compartment is on the right side of the light. It opens with a ľ turn.



    There is a nearly invisible set of marking to help align the battery cap when inserting the battery.
    I added a dot of tape to make it easier to see.



    The battery tube threads and O ring were dry out of the box. The O ring needed lubing to operate smoothly.
    Sure looks like it can be used without problem in heavy rain.

    The light is held to the bracket by circular plastic rings on each side of the COB element body. This is a firm friction fit so there are no crappy teeth to brake off and limit the degree of adjustment.



    The only possible flaw in the construction is how the rear of the head bracket connects to the two front rings that actually hold the light. These are attached by two metal screws that thread into the rings from the back of the bracket.
    Iíve had no problem, but Iíve not abused the light. A bead of superglue along the front of the bracket where the rings attach might make this more bulletproof.
    The light body where the rings are attached is about 1 inch in diameter. So if the bracket bites the dust, several other head straps have brackets for 1 inch lights that could be used.


    The UI:
    First click = High.
    Second click = Medium.
    Third click = Flashing.
    Fourth click = Off.
    If you pause on any setting for a while, one click will turn it off.
    The next click will return to the previous level. No need to go through the blinkies to turn it off.

    From Medium, press and hold and the light will ramp up to high and then ramp down past the medium setting to low. Stop where you like it.

    After sitting for a bit at any level, one click will turn the light off. The light remembers the last setting and will return there with a single click.

    Additional clicks (or press and holds) will get you to the other levels.

    The lamp is rated at 150 lumens on the included material. Iím not setup to do any real lumen measurements. But I do have a photographic light meter and some other lights to compare it with using the ceiling bounce method. If I had to make a wild ass guess, Iíd say it is at least 150 lumens. On low the light is still fairly bright compared to true moonlight capable lamps.
    IMHO, itís not great for a reading light. The huge spill will disturb others if they are nearby.

    Using a fresh 30Q battery I measured 0.6amps at the tail cap on high, 0.17a on medium, and 0.04a on low. A funny deal, clicking into high gives a slightly higher draw than if high is reached by ramping up.



    The Battery

    The supplied battery is a button top protected cell. A button top battery is required because the positive terminal faces outward in the battery compartment. A solder blob battery will fit. A magnet spacer on a flat top works also.




    The battery is marked 2200mAh. Mine tested 2358mAh and 62mOhms. 107% of the rated value!
    Thatís a pleasant change from the crappy batteries usually included with lights in this price range.

    Using the freshly charged supplied battery the lamp ran for 240 minutes on high before the low voltage protection on the battery kicked it off.
    I tried it with an unprotected cell and the light has no built in low voltage protection other than the brightness getting very dim.
    Flashaholic safe, but keep to the protected cells for muggles.

    Recharging the battery inside the light drew .87mps max and I measured 4.19volts after it finished a charge cycle.
    There is a little LED next to the charging port to indicate when the charge cycle is finished.
    The light had no problem reviving the cell with the protection tripped.
    Itís a darned tight fit to get the micro USB cable in the port, but it works.


    Whatís it look like?
    The 18 element COB beam pattern is pure flood. No hot spot at all and no artifacts at the edges. The spread is nearly 180 degrees, with some falloff to the sides.





    On the head and angled down, you can see everything. Top to bottom, side to side - itís all there.
    Glasses wearers take note, unless itís really tilted down you donít get flair in the lenses.
    I couldnít really get a good beam shot to show the wonderful even light.
    Iíve never seen a pure floody Z-Light but itís hard to imagine anything better.



    Even on low there is plenty of light for true dark work at arms-length. On full bright it would be fine for trail walking or camp use. There is no real throw to the headlamp. Outdoors the huge spread disappears at any distance.
    On high itís about right for indoor work inside cabinets or other places where the indoor lights canít reach.
    I wore it while replacing a built in oven. The flood is so even itís easy to forget thereís a light source other than room lighting.
    The color temperature is cool white but itís not blue. The white LED cover softens the light.


    PWM

    A light is useless if the PWM is to nasty to look at. Taking a look at the O-scope one sees about a 1200Hz (1.2KHz) PWM to control brightness. At the lowest setting I see just a hint PWM when using the light and really moving my finger fast through the beam (or so I think). It does not bother me.
    Once again this is better than expected in this price bracket.

    PWM Full



    This is the Highest Ramp, Note the slightly lower duty cycle compared to the click to High



    PWM Ramping



    PWM Low



    Conclusions
    This is one terrific buy for a floody headlamp. For less than $20 you get a decent protected battery and an 110v USB power supply.
    There is no PWM visible (to me) at lower settings.

    Itís small, itís light, it works.
    This light strikes me a something that might disappear after the production run is gone.
    I needed one for the house, one for the office, one for the car, and one for the drawer (in case one of the other 3 need replacing).

    The batteries in the other 3 all test better than the rated 2200mAh.



    Is this a first for an inexpensive no-name battery?

    My advice?
    If you are looking for something for close up work Ė get one.

    All the best
    Jeff

    This is my first review on CPF. Comments and criticisms are most welcome.
    Last edited by jeff51; 07-12-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    California, Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,794

    Default Re: [Review] A pure Flood COB 18650

    I saw the AA version of this. GREAT REVIEW! If all possible, can you do a beamshot in a garage and/or outside to give us an idea of how flood and bright it is?

  3. #3
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Middle of Texas
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: [Review] A pure Flood COB 18650

    Dealgrabber,

    Here are some shots of the Super Tiger vs a WOWTAC A2S headlamp.
    The WOWTAC is more of a thrower style headlamp. I have the warm white version.
    (Why do I always picture a tiger wearing a cape when I type the name?)

    WOWTAC and Super Tiger




    These were shot using the same ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. I forgot to set the white balance so the colors may not really compare as the camera picked what it wanted.
    The room shots were done with a VERY wide angle lens (18mm in 35mm format equivalent)
    The wall is 10í from the camera. Notice the left wall that comes back toward the camera position and the light on the ceiling.

    WOWTAC on Low Ė 24 Lumens.

    The me the hot spot is about 75% as bright as the Super Tiger on high.




    WOWTAC on Medium - 126 Lumens.
    The hot spot blows the Super Tiger out of the ballpark.




    Super Tiger on High 150 Lumens.

    You see a hot spot? Me neither. Look how much light is on the left hand wall and the ceiling coming back towards the camera.
    This is why I like this light so much. There is never a hot spot in the field of view. Everything is evenly lit.
    If it only had a 4500K High CRI COB, it would be perfect.





    Now some beam shots to compare the hots spots and fill
    WOWTAC on the left, Convoy S2+ on the right, Super Tiger on the botton.




    Same lights with more exposure to compare the spill.



    As you can see there is way more light projecting to the side with the Super Tiger.
    Like I mentioned, this light is only useful for closer distances.
    The only downside is the throw is so wide that people not directly in front of you are going to get hit with the spill. But since itís a COB and has a diffuser over the top itís not as obnoxious as a thrower.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: [Review] A pure Flood COB 18650

    Thanks Jeff.

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