Good cheap headlamp

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Sirstinky
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Good cheap headlamp

So my wife got me one of those China special 8 LED lamps for Christmas, you know the ones with 5mm LEDs overdriven by 3AAA batteries. It has the 3 point headband with 3 brightness modes (really just turns LEDs on or off) with a slow flasher. I really like it and wanted to mod it, but at around 80 lm and almost no throw I want more.

Anyone have recommendations for a 1000lm headlamp? Around $25. Ease of modding is nice too.

Thanks

dealgrabber2002
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Slight higher than your price tag, wowtac A2S

BillyBobJoe
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Hey neighbor!
I’d try the D25S from Sofirn’s Amazon store. I have one of these, and I like it. If you’re willing to wait, you can get a D25 (very similar) from AliExpress for a little cheaper.

D25S Headlamp

Lightbringer
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Boruit RJ02. Not really (easily) moddable except for the incredible ease of a TIR swap. Go from 5° spot to 120° flood by just swapping TIRs in about 30sec.

Comes with a 30°, I think, and swapping for a 60° gave me more flood, as to me the 30° was a bit too narrow. 5°/8°/10° are quite common.

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Agro
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RJ-02 is probably the cheapest headlamp worth its price. It’s not top notch. And it is very bulky. And more like 350 lm. But it’s fair quality and cheap. If want a cheap light that just works and don’t have higher aspirations that’s a good choice. Modding? Easy lens swap and doable LED swap (as long as LED footprint matches and you have hot air). No driver swap unless you’re a wizard or know how to design one.

I don’t have a D25 but I have its sibling (Boruit D20) on the way and it seems like a higher quality option…except that I’ve heard it’s not fully waterproof. D10 is.
It is more moddable:

  • you can swap a driver
  • you can do MCU swap to change firmware on the existing driver
  • you can swap optics
  • you can swap any 3V LED in D10
  • you can swap any 3V LED with matching footprint in D25 (not sure about other footprints)

Quadrupel
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JiggyJinjo
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I’d go with a SP40 just for the versatility but there’s no moonlight

Photonica
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Manker has their AA and AAA headlamps on clearance. Not nearly 1000 lumens, but well-made, nice UI, and dirt cheap. The AA has a nifty diffuser.

$18 E03H AA 0.1/12/50/140/350 lumens CREE XP-L or 240 lumens 90 CRI Nichia 219C

$13 E02H AAA 0.6/16/70/220 lumens CREE XP-L or 180 lumens 90 CRI Nichia 219C (Review)

More Photons!

pennzy
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Am I the only one with a RJ02 that is very blue?

pc_light
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+1 on the D25. D10, or Manker sale, I like the AA (E03) for size/runtime.

It might be fun to mod the 3xAAA headlamp (afterall it was a gift from the wife) with some Hi-CRI 5mm like these to run on rechargeable NiMH AAA’s. Up to 80 lumens is still great for closeup use.

Seeking the light.

Lightbringer
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pennzy wrote:
Am I the only one with a RJ02 that is very blue?

Prob’ly. LOL

Mine’s definitely CW, but not anywhere near Angry Blue™

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pennzy
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I read the mod threads on this head light. Just to be sure, people are placing their soldering irons along side the emitter to heat the board for reflowing?

Sirstinky
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Agro wrote:
RJ-02 is probably the cheapest headlamp worth its price. It’s not top notch. And it is very bulky. And more like 350 lm. But it’s fair quality and cheap. If want a cheap light that just works and don’t have higher aspirations that’s a good choice. Modding? Easy lens swap and doable LED swap (as long as LED footprint matches and you have hot air). No driver swap unless you’re a wizard or know how to design one.

I don’t have a D25 but I have its sibling (Boruit D20) on the way and it seems like a higher quality option…except that I’ve heard it’s not fully waterproof. D10 is.
It is more moddable:

  • you can swap a driver
  • you can do MCU swap to change firmware on the existing driver
  • you can swap optics
  • you can swap any 3V LED in D10
  • you can swap any 3V LED with matching footprint in D25 (not sure about other footprints)

Interesting. Is the D10 more or less moddable than the D25s? D25 has 2 emitters on a single mcpcb that don’t seem easily swappable without reflow, plus it’s aluminum. I like that D25s says it has sst40s though? Not sure if they’re fakes though like the XML-2. I’m considering the D10 since it has a 20mm mcpcb. What is the driver swap like? Anyone have teardown pics?

ValuseekeR
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Sofirn also has the sp40, which is under $25 on their site: https://sofirnlight.com/products/sofirn-sp40-led-headlamp?variant=315069...

I’m still rockin the Skilhunt H03, but I guess it’s over your budget these days.

Sirstinky
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Quadrupel wrote:
Unequivocally D10 http://budgetlightforum.com/node/58827

I’ll probably order this one. I like that it has a single led on a standard mcpcb and looks easy to mod. Has anyone ever swapped the driver? It’s a great candidate for an sst40 or maybe an xp-l hi in 5000k?

Quadrupel
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Comparing to D25, D10 has more mod options. You can change all parts : led, optic and driver. And it weight less.

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You can grab a D10 off of ebay for pretty cheap but there are clones of clones and the most important thing to watch out for is the plastic holder which has a see thru hole in it like the ones Sofirn was selling .The lights came out way to easily and the  nub didn't keep the light in it's set position .

 The one you want just has a nub ... no square see thru hole.

Pennzy> all of my R2's /D10's /d25's have emitter tint  good enough for the common man .No nasty green /purple or freakish blues .All surprisingly decent considering the price.

Problem with the R2 is size and PWM ..But if you get rid of the headband /Slap a big magnet to the tail connect it to the side of your fridge or range hood it's a nice cheap light..Just not as a headlamp Smile

  D-10 ,Skillhunt H03 nw, or the Manker  AA E03H at $18 are all great lights  ***> the deal on the Manker is  XP-L only at this point (no Nichia) but it's still a very nice AA headlamp.

 My suggestion is ... Buy them all 

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

Agro
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Boaz wrote:

You can grab a D10 off of ebay for pretty cheap but there are clones of clones and the most important thing to watch out for is the plastic holder which has a see thru hole in it like the ones Sofirn was selling .The lights came out way to easily and the  nub didn’t keep the light in it’s set position .


 The one you want just has a nub … no square see thru hole.


Pennzy> all of my R2’s /D10’s /d25’s have emitter tint  good enough for the common man .No nasty green /purple or freakish blues .All surprisingly decent considering the price.


Problem with the R2 is size and PWM ..But if you get rid of the headband /Slap a big magnet to the tail connect it to the side of your fridge or range hood it’s a nice cheap light..Just not as a headlamp Smile


  D-10 ,Skillhunt H03 nw, or the Manker  AA E03H at $18 are all great lights  ***> the deal on the Manker is  XP-L only at this point (no Nichia) but it’s still a very nice AA headlamp.


 My suggestion is … Buy them all 


Any photos? I bought the cheapest D20 I could find and it’s secure. But for any future purchases I don’t want to rely on luck….
slmjim
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Acebeam AA H40 w/SST-20 95+CRI. 

Don't know how moddable but, it ticks all the boxes just fine for me as it comes.

 

slmjim

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.

Smile! It makes others wonder what you've been up to.

Sirstinky
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Thanks for all the suggestions! Probably still going to do the D10, although, I did find one that has some interesting features… claims to have 2 fake XML-2 and two xpg2. I’d lume to get our just to tear our airway and see if I could swap 2 xpl hi in it and 2 high cri 3535 size emitters. 6 led headlamp Rechargeable headlamp, 6 LED 8 Modes 18650 USB Rechargeable Waterproof Flashlight Head Lights for Camping, Hiking, Outdoors https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q8G36QV/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_fXGgEbTTTRKTG

nydude
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I’ve got a Sofirn sp40 which is great and usually can find coupons or something to get it around 25.

Convoy makes one too which I don’t have but looks similar and may or may not be more mod friendly.

Jerommel
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Skilhunt H03

Hmmm… Not really cheap perhaps..

Muto
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Don’t do that 6 headed monster, you will just end up ordering another headlight till you get a real quality one.
That thing is going to weigh ton with the dual battery pack on the back.
I have a headlight with that battery pack and they weigh so much that over time the elastic in the headband gets stretched and weak.
Pretty much guarantee it will also have horrible low freq. PWM and crap tint.

Just order this and don’t look back.
If it does not suit, you can send it back for refund (but I bet you won’t) ;
https://www.amazon.com/WOWTAC-Rechargeable-Waterproof-Lightweight-Flashl...

Available in Cool White or Neutral.
Currently 29.99 – 5% coupon = 28.49 and this includes a good 3400Mah battery and Thrunite quality build.
Have the reg Wowtac A2 and love it. Good mode spacing, great headband and just quality. Battery runs forever.

The headbands with no strap over the top will eventually drive you crazy.

Good luck with whatever you chose.
Keith

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After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

Omega_17
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Why no one mentionned the Astrolux Headlamp? http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68771 Its the best for the money. And for 35 dollars and can have a battery and charging it with the USB port.

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I highly recommend the D10. Here’s my Boruit D10 Mod.

I also have a multi-LED cheapo headlamp made by Rayovac. It’s not that bright and has a terrible tint. I then bought a better Rayovac single LED headlamp, but that was still barely adequate. It was much brighter and the tint was also better. But the brightness would constantly step down, even with 3 AAA eneloop batteries, which was really annoying when working on something. I also sanded down the plastic lens to diffuse the beam, but I still didn’t like to use the headlamp.

The D10 is so much better! I also think the driver/firmware is good. It has 5 levels and rarely do I use the high mode since the others are bright enough. And for around $11 with internal USB charging, it’s a bargain.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

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https://www.ebay.com/p/2255616482
BORUiT Headlamp Xm-l 3x CREE T6 LED Headlight 18650 Light, Charger, Battery. $20.95 US’
I have this one and it is very bright but bulky.

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aswang
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For under 25 USD, the Sofirn/Boruit D25 or D10 are very good and lots of mod options. Jaxman also sells host for their angle light the E1 . I’ve built a couple for friends and they’re very well made although chunkier and heavier compared to other angle lights.

Sirstinky
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Jerommel wrote:
Skilhunt H03

Hmmm… Not really cheap perhaps..

Not really. I’d feel bad if I modded it and broke it Silly

Sirstinky
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NeutralFan wrote:
I highly recommend the D10. Here’s my Boruit D10 Mod.

I also have a multi-LED cheapo headlamp made by Rayovac. It’s not that bright and has a terrible tint. I then bought a better Rayovac single LED headlamp, but that was still barely adequate. It was much brighter and the tint was also better. But the brightness would constantly step down, even with 3 AAA eneloop batteries, which was really annoying when working on something. I also sanded down the plastic lens to diffuse the beam, but I still didn’t like to use the headlamp.

The D10 is so much better! I also think the driver/firmware is good. It has 5 levels and rarely do I use the high mode since the others are bright enough. And for around $11 with internal USB charging, it’s a bargain.

I have a 319A in another project 70 cri 5000k I got in a sale from mtn. It’s a nice led I’m driving it at 3.5 amps. I’d probably keep the 5050 size and go sst40. Can you swap the driver? Is that hard?

NeutralFan
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Yes, I got the same 319AT from MTN. The MCPCB was perfect for the D10 since the plus/minus contact pads were on the same side and I didn’t have to extend a wire.

I kept the stock driver so I’m not sure how hard it would be to replace.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Agro
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I don’t feel that H03 is worth paying 4 times the price of D10 as long as price has any significance.

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