Review: UniqueFire HD-016 dual beam Bicycle headlight

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ledoman
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Review: UniqueFire HD-016 dual beam Bicycle headlight

I've got the opurtunity to make the review of interesting bicycle headlight from the Gearbest

Click on the picture:  

I'm pretty much involved into bicycle lights so I hope I can make fair assesment.

Description from the webpage:

  • Brand: UniqueFire
  • Model: HD-16
  • Function: Night Riding, Hunting, Exploring, Camping, Household Use, Hiking, Seeking Survival, Walking
  • Feature: Can be used as headlamp or bicycle light
  • Lumens: 2400lm
  • Emitter: 2 x Cree XM-L2
  • Power source: Battery
  • Reflector: Aluminum smooth reflector
  • Lens: Glass Lens
  • Rechargeable: Yes
  • Color: White

The headlight came in a tipical cardbox and it includes:

  • headlight with XM-L2 leds
  • 2S2P 8.4V waterresistant battery pack 
  • US plug 8.4V 1A Li-ion battery charger with EU adapter
  • headband with light mount
  • 2 mount o-rings
  • velcro strap to mount the battery pack
  • user manual and suprisingly warranty card (in chinese and english)

 

The headlight itself has two XM-L2 leds. Actual bin is unknown but it is on a cool white side. The most interestnig thing with this light is having two distinct beam profiles: wide and narrow. This is also indicated on the top of the light.

To achieve that it has two different reflectors. In fact it has one TIR lense shallow and one deep reflector.

Bit more close:

It also has nice shield on the top somewhat limiting upper part of the beam:

Rear side with 3 status leds and mode switch:

 

Operating with rear button is simple. On the connection to the battery status leds are off, so you don't know if it's connected or not. This is good and bad. It is good it consumes very little power but you can easily forget to disconect it when not in use.

It has four modes which in turns only switch each led on or off, no memory mode. So the modes are:

  • wide beam on
  • narrow beam on
  • both wide and narrow beams on
  • both leds flashing

Longer press at any mode turns light off which is good and you don't have to cycle trough all the modes. You don't even have to use flashing mode if you don't like it.

Power used on connection, wide beam, narrow beam and both leds on:

Two sets of beam profile pictures (wide beam, narrow beam and both leds on) on different roads:

 

 

The mount is tipical MagicShine type with o-ring. As the headlight is not heavy (101gr w/o oring) there is no problem to mount it on handlebar or to the helmet. By my opinion it is more aimed to the handlebar usage anyway.

The battery pack is 4x 18650 cells 2S2P 8.4V. Again tipical for the most of bicycle lights nowaday. It is somewhat sealed in the rubber container.

Connection plug is tipical 5.5x2.1mm and it is sealed on the headlight part. Unfortunately the plastic screw is very hard to turn and you can easily damage the wire near the plug. I would prefer the Magicshine plug more.

Capacity of the battey pack is, well, you get what you get for that price. For the two led operation it should have at least 4400mAh, but unfortunatley it can deliver only half of that. I've measured out only 2150mAh. On the other hand it has fairly high voltage curve:

To bad it is low capacity.

Headstrap is nice colored and big enough for my head (which is not small).

 

The charger is tipical 8.4V one and it works good. For the stock battery capacity the 1000mA charging current is fast enough.

Instructions and warranty card

Shrani.si Shrani.si  

 

Conclusion

Pro:

  • two different beam profiles in one light (very rare)
  • good looking
  • simple user interface
  • no need to cycle trough the flashing mode
  • bright enough to be used for commuting and/or for MTB style cycling as a bar headlight
  • can be used as headlight - wide beam usable for close work
  • 101gr weight
  • modable?

Con:

  • somewhat ringy beam (some difusor might help)
  • only half capacity battery pack
  • connector can't be easily screwed together (Magicshine plug type would be much better)
  • only one brightnes level for each led (two button user interface would be needed)

 

I must say it performs quite well in the real life. Wide beam very usable for climbing and both leds on are enough to light the trail on descends. Somewhat ringy beam doesn't disturb to much if any, but would be very nice to be more even.

All in all I can say 2 in 1 light and versatile enough to be used on different trails/roads. There is still place to do some improvements.

 

EDIT: (10.29.2014)

Today I've got information from Gearbest you can use coupon for this light.


So the link is: UniqueFire HD-16 Cree XM-L L2 2400lm LED White Bicycle Headlight Flashlight 4 x 18650 with Head Strap Battery Charger-32.41 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

Coupon: HD16
price:$27.99

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:28
Nightbird95
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This is an interesting bike light. It solves the need for 2 separate lights – one as high beam and one as low beam – when riding on the road at night. The shield should prevent the wide beam (which could be used as the low beam) from ‘offending’ motorists from the opposite lane. Smile

ledoman
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Jup, interesting ideed. Gearbest has mentioned they might be doing jointly groupbuy with some bicycle forum for it so the price can be very attractive even with battery as is.

Will take some beam shots tonight with the light attached to the bicycle bar.

chiefinspectorfinch
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I’m eager to see internal construction (heat sinking) and pwm frequency measured…

Society is like a pot full of nuts and bolts, finest pieces always end up on the bottom...

 

ledoman
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Well, I don't expect any PMW when you basicaly just turning on/off the leds. Heat sinking is to be inspected, though, but after I make beam pictures, just in case Wink

ledoman
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Added some beam profile pictures and power used during runtime. Final conclusion is also there. 

Anyone intereseted in some details, comments, ...?

gamezawy
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Nice light you got there , any idea about amperage reading for every led ?

and thank you for taking the time to review

Nightbird95
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So I guess I was right. The wide beam is appropriate for lo-beam and the narrow for hi-beam. Lo-beam will particularly be useful on heavily vegetated trail rides at night where you need to see ‘everything’ near you. Hi-beam will be useful on straight roads and at higher speeds. Smile

The common problem I encountered with my bike lights (I had four plus the ledoman X6) is that its chargers are usually defective. Of the four bike light chargers (one is using Pannovo Battery Case), only one charger is currently working, one lights up but only gives 4.2 volts, one won’t function, and I had one ordered from eBay wherein I tripped the circuit breaker of my house when I plugged it in. When I inspected afterwards, the wires leading from the AC jacks were connected by a solder blob in its PCB. I assume its was accidentally done during manufacturing. Sad

Nightbird95
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Also, I think the tail cap current readings of the HD-016 is within what is common among Chinese bike lights. Here are the tail cap readings of my different bike lights on high:

1. SingFire SF-90 (DX) – 1.01 Amps
2. SolarStorm X2 (Cerlavi of eBay) – 0.70 Amps
3. SolarStorm X2 (green-led of eBay) – 0.86 Amps
4. SolarStorm X2 (bestsave999 of eBay) – 2.19 Amps
5. Ledoman X6 (stock) – 1.28 Amps, (modified) – 3.38 Amps

ledoman
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gamezawy wrote:
Nice light you got there , any idea about amperage reading for every led ?

I did some dissasemblig last nigt, but haven't publish the pictures yet. There can be seen sense resistor R150 (0.150 Ohm) and LEDA chip, so the current to the led can be calculated. AFAIK feedback voltage of this chip is 0.25V. So 0.25 / 0.15 =  1.66A

As you can see on my pictures, input power is about 5W (7.82*0.65). If you put it back 5/1.55 = 3.06V. This quite good fits on Cree Vf chart. It only assumes 100% driver eficiency, which is not, of course. So I would say it is about 1.5A to the single led.

 

ledoman
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Nightbird95 wrote:
Also, I think the tail cap current readings of the HD-016 is within what is common among Chinese bike lights. Here are the tail cap readings of my different bike lights on high: 1. SingFire SF-90 (DX) - 1.01 Amps 2. SolarStorm X2 (Cerlavi of eBay) - 0.70 Amps 3. SolarStorm X2 (green-led of eBay) - 0.86 Amps 4. SolarStorm X2 (bestsave999 of eBay) - 2.19 Amps 5. Ledoman X6 (stock) - 1.28 Amps, (modified) - 3.38 Amps

Can you explain why so big difference with third X2 against first two?

 

Nightbird95
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ledoman wrote:

Nightbird95 wrote:
Also, I think the tail cap current readings of the HD-016 is within what is common among Chinese bike lights. Here are the tail cap readings of my different bike lights on high: 1. SingFire SF-90 (DX) – 1.01 Amps 2. SolarStorm X2 (Cerlavi of eBay) – 0.70 Amps 3. SolarStorm X2 (green-led of eBay) – 0.86 Amps 4. SolarStorm X2 (bestsave999 of eBay) – 2.19 Amps 5. Ledoman X6 (stock) – 1.28 Amps, (modified) – 3.38 Amps

Can you explain why so big difference with third X2 against first two?

 

I think its simple. They are not made from the same factory and either one, two or all of them are clones. :bigsmile:

All of them were bought from different sellers in eBay, all based in China. Two are colored red and even their ‘reds’ are obviously different from each other. I think its just like what happened to the Sky Ray King. There are so many versions of the SRK that it would seem impossible to tell which is genuine. Smile

ImA4Wheelr
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Nice review with great info and pics.  Thank you Smile

ledoman
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Thanks. Here are some new pictures.

The driver:

 

Internals with pill and reflectors:

 

TIR lenses does not fit well enough:

 

Tried to mod with some spare narrow OP reflector and hairsprayed wide reflector:

Did not help much with ringy beam.

But a lot of XM-L(2) leds with some reflectors have ringy beam, anyway.

 

garrybunk
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Thanks for the review!  Seems like deja vu! Wink  I might be interested in the group buy, though I wish it was available as a head unit only.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
ledoman
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Well, yes, more dedicated Wink. Will see how will go about groupbuy. I know the head only would be better, but then yet, for the price you get nice rubber coated battery pack as a bonus. Smile

totilde
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I’d love to see something like this, with an on-off switch in the light itself, and a remote switch to swap modes between hi and lo beams, close to my thumb. It should have a jumper or group modes to select whether you want to use both beams in hi mode, or just hi beam. that would be my perfect bike light.
switching between all modes in this light when you approach upcoming traffic is a deal breaker. just hi and lo please

Mooooooo

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Wait - are you saying we can open up the battery pack/case and put our own cells in, like the Pannova case? 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
raven38571
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Better if could get without batteries, but include wire and case

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The internals look very similar to that of a SolarStorm X2. I may have more bike lights than we have bikes at home but yes I would also be interested in a group buy. :bigsmile:

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It seem like a nice bike light..but not quite sure about pulling the trigger yet..maybe GB on this light to about $25 then I might take the bait ( I really hate buying from them though, their handling & shipping is too slow for me Flat Stare )

The only way to do a great work is to love what you do.

ledoman
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garrybunk wrote:
Wait - are you saying we can open up the battery pack/case and put our own cells in, like the Pannova case? 

No, unfortunately not. You can put in shrink wraped 2S2P pack - the one you tipicaly get with cheapo lights. The only problem is plug connector which does not pass the wire hole. This means you have to push wire trough the hole first and connect (solder) it to the pack. At last you put the pack in the rubber coat. Not the easiest thing to do, but it's doable with not much hassle.

I've borrowed picture from the other site. You can see the "window" at the bottom side:

ledoman
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DayLighter wrote:
It seem like a nice bike light..but not quite sure about pulling the trigger yet..maybe GB on this light to about $25 then I might take the bait ( I really hate buying from them though, their handling & shipping is too slow for me Flat Stare )

You must be spoiled somewhat Wink.  Shipping within 3 weeks is bingo for me. Mostly it takes about 4 weeks Undecided. Anyway we have to see what (if) they have to offer.

 

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So what is the OD of the lens?

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hmm…dual buck circuits? Interesting

appears those R150’s are the current sense resistors…lowering the resistance there might kick the power up…but it appears the “pills” are woefully inadequate for decent thermal management if you were to crank the power up

Still a good review…thanks for the hard work!

ledoman
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I think OD of the reflectors is about 21.5mm, but will measure exactly later at the evening. The TIR lenses I was trying to fit are 21mm, but the main problem is height. They are either to tall (in place of wide reflector) or to shallow (in place of narrow reflector). Last one could be elevated with some washers. In the place of wide reflector you would need to grind the lips where pill resides and make new very tight (press fit) pill. Maybe there is another solution, but I would have to inspect internals again.

EDIT: I've measured 21.45mm for the reflectors OD.

ledoman
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WarHawk-AVG wrote:
 ... appears those R150's are the current sense resistors...lowering the resistance there might kick the power up...but it appears the "pills" are woefully inadequate for decent thermal management if you were to crank the power up

Yes you are right. R150 are sense resistors and LEDA chips has probaly same feedback voltage as with other drivers I've seen. By guys at DX forum the feedback voltage is 0.25V which in turns means 0.25/0.15 = 1.66A to the leds. Replacing sense resitors with R120 or R100 would give you about 2.08A and 2.5A, respectively. Maybe little less with some efficiency loss.

Adding thermal compound is mandatory and I would dare to use R120 for sense resistors.

garrybunk
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Any update on a Group Buy on this light?

EDIT - 5,000th post!

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
djozz
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garrybunk wrote:

Any update on a Group Buy on this light?

EDIT - 5,000th post!

-Garry

Congratulations Garry!

ledoman
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Congrat Garry.

I don't see much interest here for the GB. Do you have any idea where else we should try with it? Not that I earn anything, just want to help.

I think this light is more suitabe for commuters than for MTB-ers. What do you think?

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ledoman wrote:
I don't see much interest here for the GB. Do you have any idea where else we should try with it?

Nope.  Guess you're not getting much interest over at MTBR either?  About an hour ago I passed up an opportunity to nab one for about $28 on an Ebay Auction (assuming the winning $27 bid didn't jump above mine).  I decided to let it go (and I bought another cheap bike light to test/review Smile ). 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.

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