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Thread: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Charge)

  1. #1

    Default Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Charge)

    I humbly submit this review for consideration in the review forum.

    Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing



    The Armytek Wizard Pro has been a staple of flashlight suggestion lists for quite some time. Along the way Zak from zakreviews got his hands on one, and realized how much more awesome it would be with a Nichia 144a. Armytek listened.
    This light is the end result of that effort. Armytek has made an official Wizard Pro with Nichia 144A. Itís aptly named the Wizard Pro Nichia Warm, and here is my testing of it!




    Official Specs and Features

    This product isnít released yet, and I canít find it on their site, either! Hereís the Wizard main page though Ė it should show up there after release.
    Versions

    Since this is a special light there really arenít any other versions. Thereís just one body color. But as far as Wizards and Wizard Pros go, there are many. Wizard Pro Magnet USB, Wizard Pro Magnet USB Warm, Wizard Magnet USB, Wizard Magnet USB Warm Ė each of those has subdivisions, too. There are plenty of options here, and certainly one that would suit your headlamp needs.
    Price

    No official statement on price for these, but the other similar options are $80. This is specifically a Limited Edition (says so right there on the box) so Iíd really expect it to be more than 80 flat.

    Short Review

    Build quality is good. Most importantly the Nichia 144A excels, and itís worth the hype. Output is great. Itís a worthwhile consideration for these things. Unfortunately there is no LVP (possibly I have a QC issue, because Wizard Pros have had LVP in the past). Charging also left a bit to be desired for me, but it does work.
    Long Review

    The Big Table

    Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm
    Emitter: Nichia 144A (>90 CRI 4500K)
    Price in USD at publication time: [unknown]
    Cell: 1◊18650
    Turbo2 Runtime Turbo1 Runtime
    LVP? No
    Switch Type: E-Switch
    Quiescent Current (A): (below level of my capability to measure)
    On-Board Charging? Yes
    Chargetime
    Power off Charge Port with no Cell? With cell: All modes. Without cell: No modes.
    Claimed Lumens (lm) 1400
    Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1213 (86.6% of claim)*
    Claimed Throw (m) 97
    Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 178lux @ 5.005m = 4459cd
    Throw (Calculated) (m) 133.6 (137.7% of claim)*
    All my Armytek reviews!
    * Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I donít have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
    Whatís Included



    • Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp
    • Armytek 3200mAh 18650
    • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
    • Headband
    • Pocket clip
    • Spare o-rings (2)
    • Arm (?) band
    • Manual

    Package and Manual




    A very nicely printed cardboard package.




    The contents are in a plastic tray.




    The manual is a very long paper, available in 8 languages. The manual is comprehensive.
    Build Quality and Disassembly


    The Wizard Pro Nichia Warm has Armytekís typical build quality. Itís good. One thing Iíve noted extensively about Armytek lights is the anodizing Ė itís chalky. But this light is not so much so, and isnít an annoying amount of chalky at all.





    Thereís a good amount of cooling area below the head Ė more than just fins; thereís quite a bit of mass there. Also note how the fins extend past the bezel Ė this will come up later.

    The optic covering this emitter is dimpled, and not just that Ė thereís also a nice anti-reflective coating on there.

    The body is more or less featureless, due to this being a headlamp going to live on a headband most of its life. No need for huge amounts of knurling.

    The tail end has the magnetic charge connector. More on this in the charging and retention sections.



    The Wizard Pro Nichia Warm has Armytekís signature extreme levels of printing.


    The tailcap must be twisted for charging.


    The tailcap has a nice big spring. The threads on the body are unanodized, square cut, and quite long Ė so a bunch of twisting is required in order to remove the cap.

    Also since these are bare threads, they donít feel quite as smooth as I might like. But thatís unanodized threads for ya. However, unlike most unanodized threadsÖ. this light can be mechanically locked out with just a small twist.

    The head end has only a button Ė no spring.

    The cell has PLENTY of room in the cell tube.

    Size and Comps

    Officially:
    108mm long, 24.5mm in body diameter, 29mm in head diameter.
    Weight: 65g.














    Retention and Carry

    The Wizard Pro Nichia Warm is primarily a headlamp, and the Armytek branded headband is going to be the way to use it as a headlamp. The band is comfortable, and has an over-the-top strap, too.



    This over the top strap is not removable. Thatís going to be a downside for some, but I like headlamps like this. The headband has some grippy forehead area, too.





    The headband alone weighs 44g. The light alone, with cell weighs 108g. Total package when running as headlamp is 152g. The top band is not removable.




    The attachment for the light is quite novel. It snaps into the grabbers, and then a rubber o-ring is pulled over it to secure it in place. This is a well documented ďnice connection,Ē but is in fact my first experience with it. I like it. Itís easy to get in and out, and thereís no fussing with slipping the light into some silicone rings.

    Also, the charge cable work easily while the light is connected. (For that matter, itís easy to unscrew the tailcap even while the light is in the band, too.)



    That brings us to this strap. To be honest Iím not sure what this guy is. The manual calls it a ďhandband.Ē I suppose itís a way to carry the light strapped around your hand Ė but Iíd imagine it more as an armband.

    Thereís also a pocket clip. Itís a friction fit deep carry steel clip, which attaches in either of the places the headband clips. So the clip has up or down connection.




    Power and Runtime

    The Wizard Pro is powered by a single 18650, and the appropriate type is included.



    Whatís included is a flat top unprotected cell.



    However, due to the setup in the cell tube, any type 18650 will work. I tested with my shortest flat top unprotected 18650 and my longest protected button top, and they both work fine. You should plan to use a high quality cell, though Ė the light draws nearly 5A on turbo2.

    Speaking of Turbo2, hereís a runtime. One thing about these runtimes, which I alluded to above. The girth of the neck, where the cooling fins are, thwart usual means of calibrated runtimes on my setup. So this is close but likely there was some spill that didnít get picked up. So while Iím reporting 1213 lumens (which is almost within the 10% rule anyway), I think 1400 is most certainly accurate.
    A couple other things: I like that the output doesnít step down at 30s exactly Ė output is maintained for over a minute! Thatís good. The [planned] stepdown is fairly dramatic. Another thing to note is that neither of my tests exhibited any LVP whatsoever. In this test, the cell was 2.33V when I checked it, which was quite some time after the test ended.

    In the next lowest output Ė Turbo1 Ė the light also exhibited no LVP. I pulled the light off the apparatus when the switch was blinking (for some time; I donít know how long), and the cell was 1.34V.

    Itís been suggested that I got a dud light, since Wizards do usually have LVP. I canít speak to that Ė I will contact Armytek about this. Either way, be aware that once your light steps down off the desired output (ie ~81m in the above test), stop using it and charge the cell.
    Built in charging is a feature of the Wizard Pro. It happens via a USB to proprietary magnetic connector.



    This charge cable alone weighs 26g.
    In comparison, Armytekís own Handy C1 weights 38g.
    Another similar single bay charger (as what comes with many Sofirn lights) weighs 28g.
    Nitecoreís F1 32g (with one band). All three of those would require a micro-USB cable but a short one I had on hand weighs 7g.
    So for not much of a penalty in charging, you could charge a cell in a dedicated charger Ė two of which also have USB-Out.
    But itís not just a matter of throwing the light on the magnet. You also need to unscrew the tailcap by about 1/4 turn. If you donít do this, youíll see the red light on the charge connector flash. If you do it properly, with the tailcap a bit loose, the red light will be steady. When charging is complete, the charge connector is green steady.






    Charging is Ö unusual, maybe. Itís not a steady stream of current going to the light, but a step up and down every second or so, and even then, only around 0.8A max. Still this bounce means the effective charge rate is much slower. To wit: charging this single 18650 took almost 10 hours. Thatís just not good charging. Youíll note at the beginning of the test below (up to maybe 18 minutes) the charge rate is very low Ė I have a suspicion thatís the light going soft on a very under-voltage cell. Thatís a good feature of the charging system, but itís too bad the cell was ever that low to begin with.

    Modes and Currents

    Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
    Turbo2 1400/460 1m/2h49m 1213 4.70
    Turbo1 770 1h50m 653 1.66
    Main3 335 4h10m 293 0.62
    Main2 140 10h 122 0.24
    Main1 27 50h 26 0.05
    Firefly3 5 8d ~ 0.01
    Firefly2 1.2 40d ~ (0.05mA)
    Firefly1 0.1 200d ~ (0.03mA)
    PWM

    No PWM at all.









    For reference, hereís a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And hereís the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
    User Interface and Operation

    Thereís a single e-switch in the head of the Armytek. Itís an indicating switch, and very proud. The cover is grooved yellow button, and extremely easy to find without looking.

    Itís just a bit mashy though, and to hit things like the Turbo group are a little sketchy.


    The manual describes four modes Ė itís a clever way to do a UI really. Clever to a pointÖ
    Group 1: Firefly modes
    Group 2: Main modes
    Group 3: Turbo modes
    Group 4: Strobe modes

    This means you can avoid whole areas of the UI you donít wish to ever access. Thatís nice. But it means you have to go through off if you want out of Firefly into Strobe, for example. So good and bad.
    Hereís a UI table!
    State Action Result
    Off Click Last used [any (!!!)] mode
    Off Hold Firefly1
    Any Click 2x Last used main mode
    Any Click 3x Last used turbo mode
    Any Click 4x Last used strobe mode
    On Click Off
    On in any Group Hold Advance in group (ie F1>F2>F3, or M1>M2>M3, or, T1>T2, or S1>S2>S3>S4)
    LED and Beam

    The climax of all the writing Ė The Nichia 144A emitter. Itís extraordinary. It gives the impression of being very warm, but itís really around 4500K and thatís about perfect. The emitter is behind a dimpled TIR, which is also behind an AR coated lens. Overall the beam is very floody.

    These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.









    Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

    Test light on the left.

    I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because itís inexpensive and has the best tint!
    Random Comparisons and Competitive OptionsÖ.

    Hereís a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot!
    Conclusion

    What I like


    • More than the actual emitter itself, I like that a big brand listened to consumers Ė particularly Zak (because Zak knows the score).
    • Secondarily, I really like this emitter in this light.
    • Fairly good use of an indicating switch.
    • Good complete package light
    • Turbo2 output is very high
    • Turbo1 output is very stable

    What I donít like


    • No LVP whatsoever
    • Weird (possibly faulty?) charging on my sample
    • The light is quite long
    • Mashy switch


    Notes


    • This light was provided by Armytek for review. I was not paid to write this review.
    • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!


  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    They finally made this light!! I hope the lack of LVP is a QC issue otherwise it's a deal breaker! I also find the wizard too big.

    Thanks for the review

    Sent from my Pixel using Candlepowerforums mobile app

  3. #3

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Quote Originally Posted by NPL View Post
    I hope the lack of LVP is a QC issue otherwise it's a deal breaker!
    Unfortunately even a QC issue would be pretty not-ideal....

  4. #4

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Any any what type of cri the nichia is rated for? I love my AT wizard pro xhp warm but I just wish it offered better cri!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* neutralwhite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    I had a HCRI E21A Quadtrix 9080 6500k in mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck91 View Post
    Any any what type of cri the nichia is rated for? I love my AT wizard pro xhp warm but I just wish it offered better cri!
    AT Viking Pro Quadtrix 9080 E21A 6500k, Jetbeam AAA 9080 E21A 5700k,
    Jetbeam AAA Nichia E17A HCRI Red Led.

  6. #6
    The Wood is cut,
    The Bacon is cooked,
    Now itís time to sleep
    RIP our friend.


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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Moved to "headlamps" however left a shadow in the previous forum for a few days so people participating can find it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck91 View Post
    Any any what type of cri the nichia is rated for? I love my AT wizard pro xhp warm but I just wish it offered better cri!
    The product page (which has been listed since I published the review) states that this is >90CRI.

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Thank you for an excellent review. I had been waiting for ArmyTek to come out with the Nichia headlamp and am very happy they finally did! Your review alerted me to the fact that it would soon be available.

    I received my Nichia equipped Wizard Pro a few days ago and it is by far the nicest headlamp I've had from them yet. I've owned numerous versions of the Wizard Pro, and at present I have a Wizard Pro with XHP50 as well as a Tiara Pro warm. I can honestly say that visually, the new Nichia equipped ArmyTek not only has the nicest tint of any headlamp I've owned, but the tint is also nicer than any other high CRI flashlight I own, except maybe an EagleTac MX25L3C with 6x Nichia 219B LEDs, which has been my benchmark light as far as high CRI, and just having a very visually pleasing tint in general. The Nichia Wizard Pro is ever so slightly cooler in colour temperature and every so slightly less rosy than the EagleTac, but to date it easily comes the closest. It is much closer to the 219B than any Nichia 219C equipped light I own, which all have a much cooler colour-temp and are slightly greenish, and definitely nicer than any 4000K high-CRI SST-20 equipped light, all of which are a bit too yellow for my liking. If I had to pick, I think the Wizard pro now wins as far as a visually pleasing, high CRI tint in my view. I have yet to try using the Wizard Pro as a light source for taking photos, so I am not sure how the new and old Nichia LEDs compare in that way...

    In any case, the Nichia 144AR in the new Wizard Pro not only has a fantastic tint visually, but I am blown away by the brightness of such a high CRI single emitter. It pretty much equals the cool tint XHP50 Wizard Pro I have in brightness when both are on turbo. Astounding! If I recall, the old 219B tops out at roughly 350-ish lumens for a single emitter, so this is a huge step up. I should also confirm, that like all other ArmyTek headlamps I've owned, the beam is wonderfully smooth, even and artifact free with absolutely no tint shift anywhere. Buttery smooth, wonderful high CRI goodness!

    Four points in the review I'd like to comment on...

    First, on mine the top head-band is most definitely removable (thankfully), but it may not be obvious at first glance that it can be taken off? Firstly, there is a centre cutout in the slot that's part of the headlamp bracket. You just have to pull the stretchy headband back and then pull it out of that slot. Secondly, it is attached to the main headband at the back by a loop that is sewn and sealed, which at first threw me. However, all you need to do is unthread the main headband from all the buckles and then you can slip off the sewn loop of the top headband. It is a bit tedious but most certainly can be done on the production light. Maybe your preproduction headlamp was different?

    Next, you mentioned a "mashy" switch. I will take that to mean "mushy", as in not having a distinctive click? While my own Tiara Pro certainly has what I would consider a mushy switch, which is my least favourite thing about that otherwise excellent headlamp, the new Wizard Pro has a very positive, nice distinctive click. It may be a bit stiff for some people's liking, but it does have a nice tactile click, just like my older XHP50 equipped Wizard Pro. I will say that an earlier model of Wizard Pro I owned (with an XM-L2 if I recall) not only had a very stiff switch, but it was mushy too, a truly terrible combination. That all leads me to believe that maybe ArmyTek sources the switches from an inconsistent manufacturer? Hopefully the poor switch on yours was maybe also due to it being preproduction? I consider mine to be perfect, so hopefully most others will be as nice too!

    With respect to your comment about your headlamp not having LVP, I contacted ArmyTek before placing my order since that concerned me. They said, and I quote, "All of our flashlights have LVP. Nichia Wizard Pro is not an exception. You can use both protected and unprotected batteries with this flashlight.", so I have to believe your Wizard Pro unfortunately did have a defect. That said, I have not yet drained an unprotected cell down, so I cannot confirm or deny yet that mine actually does have LVP. Of course from a cell health standpoint, I am hesitating to do that test! I may just throw in a protected, 10-amp 18650 and be done with it, so I don't need to worry. The manual states that for a protected cell, it needs to be stable at a 7 amp draw when using turbo2, so a robust protection circuit is a must.

    One last point is that I agree with your charging assessment. While I don't have a way of analyzing the charging behaviour in detail like you did, I can confirm that mine charges very, very slowly indeed. I am still waiting for mine to fully charge the cell (it has been many hours), but I removed it a few times to confirm with a multi-tester that it was actually gaining charge! At one point, when it was reading a hair over 4 volts, when I then put it back on charge the charging light stayed green. A 30 second burst on turbo dropped the voltage enough that it started charging again. If it terminates at a good voltage, then I may use it when I am not in a hurry and just let it charge overnight, but otherwise I will pull the cell out and charge it in my fast XTAR charger instead.

    So, charging issues aside, I think I have found my "grail" headlamp. I suppose I now do wish that ArmyTek will consider making a Nichia equipped special edition Tiara Pro (I would buy one in a heartbeat!), since I like keeping the smaller headlamp in my camera bag for impromptu nighttime use. However when I am on a camping trip or hiking in the dark, I prefer the larger 18650 equipped Wizard Pro for its longer runtime. Cheers!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Stefano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    It appears that Armytek has introduced many new features, including Wizard models with red light. (minute 3:12)

    Last edited by Stefano; 01-28-2020 at 04:35 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Thanks for the thorough review. I like the pic on the two dollar bill for size.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    I have no intention of hijacking this thread, I only want to say I envy your silver Overready. Beautiful light. OK, now back to headlamp discussion.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Has the firmware been updated since no LVP models?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Just received my wizard pro nichia. Box had clearly been opened, but everything was inside. My concern is that itís a return. Do they ship with the battery installed? The battery is charging separately now. Is this normal?

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    I think it's required by law to ship the battery inside the light. Much safer.

    Sent from my Pixel using Candlepowerforums mobile app

  15. #15

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Thanks! Itís working fine 👍

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Gaffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    I just received this light. Vast improvement compared to my 2015 Tiara. Electric switch is so much easier to use compared to the Tiara (which has such a hard button to "mash"). Color temp is spot on compared to my high CRI HDS. Very happy with this light. I did take apart my headband to remove the top strap, just not needed.

    On a side note, the amount of power spit out on turbo is just ludicrous. This sucker will get hot quick, regardless of safety precautions. I will only use high to impress myself or others, I'll not have a scalding hot light on my forehead.

    Personally I'll never use the magnetic charging. I have multiple cells charged and I never trust that easy jazz. Decent charger thx ya.

    Overall it's a great addition to my light collection. Let's see how long it lasts, 5yr old Tiara has no hiccups, I expect the same with the Wizard.

    Edit - Great review BTW
    Last edited by Gaffle; 02-23-2020 at 10:32 AM.
    "When Armageddon comes, it would be good to be an Olympic athlete, because running real fast and jumping over stuff could come in handy." -Jack Handey

  17. #17

    Default Re: Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing (Nichia 144A, 18650, On-Board Cha

    Great review, as always! Just one clarification, the top strap can be removed pretty easily. The front bracket has an opening where it can be removed and the rear loop can be taken off by unbuckling the main strap. Itís pretty easy, just pay attention to how the main strap loops around itís tightening buckle.

    I love the tint and the floody beam is just about perfect for a headlamp for my tastes. Great ff modes too. Iím still getting used to the ui, and the button isnít my favorite either, but itís a great light. I thought the lvp was straightened out. Sorry to hear itís still a possible issue. My magnetic charger was left in the box.

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