UF-H3 modded with a Nichia 219 Best 18650 Headlight ever

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles
UF-H3 modded with a Nichia 219 Best 18650 Headlight ever

Thanks to Tido and NightCrawl for the inspiration in this thread and Dr. Jones for his driver here’s my modded UF-H3. I used this light as is came from the factory for a couple years. Then I began refining my led tastes and began moving over to warmer and higher CRI lights. I purchased a Zebralight H600FW, and liked the longer runtimes and the warmer color, but I missed the full flood beam with no hotspot what so ever I had from my old UF-H3. The frosted lense from the Zebralight didn’t cut it. I saw how nice the Nichia 219 running as a mule (no lens) looked and I thought it would make a perfect headlight. I was right. Here’s how I did it for anyone who wants a perfect 18650 headlight.

I reflowed a Nichia 219 onto a 16mm pcb both purchased at illumination supply. It would have been easier to just by a nichia on a 10mm board, but they were out of stock at the time. I watch an Old-Lumens video on how to reflow an emitter and he made it look easy enough for me to try. I had to dremel the board down to size and make some notches for the wires.

I also dremeled the light a bit, adding a arch to allow emitter to slide into place.

I cleaned off some spots to solder to

Nice fit

DrJones reprogrammed a NANJG101 1.4A driver for me. He put his “lumodrv”: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/8368#comment-148503 on it, which I have to say is the perfect UI for a headlight. I like it way better then the ZL UI. I asked him to put 3 main modes 5%/35%/100%. These modes are quickly accessible, plus there is the option to ramp up or down with 33 linear steps at any time. I love it. I mostly use the 35% mode and get about 7 hrs runtime at that level. Not as efficient as the ZL but good enough for me. DrJones was great to work with and without his help this headlight wouldn’t as nice as it is.

I had to dremel the driver down a bit to make it fit in the brass ring that gets press fit inside the flashlight. I opened up the inside diameter of the brass ring as much and I felt comfortable, then kept dremeling the driver down until it fit inside the ring. I was nervous about screwing up the driver but it survived the operation.

Here is the driver with all the wires soldered on

All wired up with Teflon coated wire.

I tried to shove as much aluminum as I could inside. I cut of a chunk of heatsink off of some motor controller and ground and filed it down enough to barely fit.

I used thermal epoxy to secure the led in place and pot the driver, then I mixed up some thermal epoxy with some thermal grease and filled in all the air voids inside.

The original plastic lens was cracked in half so I took a glass lens off an old AAA flashlight and used silicone and JB weld to protect the emitter. Its not pretty, but I care more about the function than the form.

Here it is with some of my other headlights. UF-H6 (my next mod), Zebralight H600FW, Modded UF-H3, UF-H2.

I opened up the UF-H6 and it looks like it will be a great candidate for a future build.

Here is a bowl of strawberries illuminated by the Zebralight H600FW

And here it is lite up with the nichia 219 headlight

Heres a crude beamshot of all four headlights from left to right, Zebralight H600FW, UF-H6 (with PWM lines), UF-H2, Modded UF-H3

Thanks for reading.

Edited by: electricjelly on 11/06/2012 - 06:34
jacktheclipper
jacktheclipper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 10/31/2010 - 21:18
Posts: 4745
Location: Florida , U.S.A.

nichia pron

kbark
kbark's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 13:22
Posts: 370
Location: North Carolina

Nice job! I wonder if the AA version can be modded as well? It might be too small to stuff a driver into.

electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles

You’d definitely need to use a different driver, I barley got this one to fit the 18650 body. Maybe DrJones is aware of a smaller driver he can put his lumodrv onto.

NightCrawl
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/22/2012 - 08:20
Posts: 3071
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

Nice build, it looks hard but its really worth it. I only used a 1A driver for my H3 and its getting warm enough. Wink

You might want to check out my review of the H6, there are some pics of the internals:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/13165#node-13165

As for the H2.. I know DrJones wanted to mod his, I think he wanted to use the stock driver board as dummy and build the components on top because there is very little place. Dont know if he did it, but I guess its a PITA..

electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles
NightCrawl wrote:

Nice build, it looks hard but its really worth it. I only used a 1A driver for my H3 and its getting warm enough. Wink

You might want to check out my review of the H6, there are some pics of the internals:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/13165#node-13165

As for the H2.. I know DrJones wanted to mod his, I think he wanted to use the stock driver board as dummy and build the components on top because there is very little place. Dont know if he did it, but I guess its a PITA..

Thank you. Yes it was totally worth it. The 1.4amp has been working good for me, I mostly use 35% medium mode and it just gets warm, and I’ve used it for over an hour a bunch of times. I like to have the option to really blast it on as high as it will go when needed which isn’t very often.

That a great review of the H6. I wish I had checked it out before disassembling my H6. I thought the bezel ring around the lens was press fit, after trying to pry it out I discovered it just unscrewed out :~

I’m keeping my eyes peeled for another good High CRI emitter, other than the Nichia 219 for the H6. It would be nice to find something as efficient as an XML, but with high CRI like the Nichia. Once I figure out what emitter to go with I’m going to place order with DrJones for another lumodrv driver. I really love the lumodrv UI. I’m thinking of making a lumodrv driven desk light too.

electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles

Here my recent ultrafire uf-h6 triple nichia 219b build with a 3amp lumodrv driver. I put it together a few months ago and its become my goto headlight.

electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles

I put in a chunk a Aluminum for the noctigon board to sit on and filled the empty spaces with arctic silver. Here’s the emmiter installed

electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles

Here’s the light all assembled with some of my other 18650 headlights.

electricjelly
electricjelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 308
Location: Los Angeles

I built my third Nichia headlight about six months ago. Its now my goto headlight. I just thought I’d post it up hear for continuity. I didn’t document the build, but I wanted to show my three generations of nichia headlights.

From left to right. Nichia 219a in a UF-H3D, Triple Nichia 219B in a UF-H6, Triple Nichia 219C in a Skilhunt H02 all are running a Dr. Jones lumodrv driver

Moonlight shot