Review: JETBeam HC20 headlight

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Sirius9
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Review: JETBeam HC20 headlight

 

JETBeam HC20 - headlight

Link to HC20 @ Gearbest
(thanks for providing this sample for review)

HC20-headlight

Specifications by GB:

Brand 

 JETBeam

Model 

 HC20

Function 

 Camping, Hiking, Walking, Night riding

Lumens 

 800Lm

Emitter 

 1 x Cree XM-L2

Mode 

 3 (High > Mid > Low)
 Actually 5, strobe and sos are hidden

Battery 

 1 x 18650 (included JETBeam JL240-2400mAh)

Reflector 

 Orange Peel

Lens 

 Glass lens

Waterproof 

 IPX-8 (Underwater 2m)

Beam Distance 

 100-150m

Body Material 

 Aluminium alloy

Weight 

 83gr!

Dimensions 

 (LxWxH): 8.2 x 2.65 x 2.9 cm
 or:  3.23 x 1.04 x 1.14 inches

Package 
content 

 JETBeam HC20 headlight, headband, 18650 battery,
 one spare O-ring, user manual and warranty card.

 

Introduction

       This is one of the new models released by one of the well known brands, JETBeam, at the end of 2014 year. Intriguing design and JETBeam´s reputation (you can't go wrong with JETBeam, right!) attracted me to this product, did it fulfill my expectations you can read in this review.

 

JETBeam-HC20-package

About the product

As shown, product is packaged in PITA to open blister packing of mediocre design with just enough informations to focus your attention on the 2 main things: 1) 18650 battery is included (so ready to go out of the package) and 2) square designed headlight business end with stainless steel like retention ring to make it more interesting. I should mention that they used pretty thick plastic sheet to make this blister housing so I believe it will be sufficient to protect headlight and battery but I still like more old fashioned cardboard box because it's good for storing the product when not in use.

JETBeam-HC20-content

 

Inside of the package you will find HC20 headlight with headband already coupled, JETBeam JL 240 18650 Lithium Ion battery, spare O-ring, warranty stuff and ofcourse user manual for you to practice your chinese Big Smile

JETBeam-HC20-user manual

Headband provided with this light is standard type that you get with almost and other headlight, almost identical to headband of my Crelant CH10 but the quality is better and you can notice that. It has 2 points of adjusting, a bit stronger grip than generic bands and thats about all that can be said about headband...

JETBeam-HC20-headband1  JETBeam-HC20-headband2  HC20-headlight

JETBeam-HC20-headband3  JETBeam-HC20-headband4

 

JETBeam-HC20-battery

18650 battery that is included in the set is marked as JL240 and advertised by JETBeam as:

- High capacity of 2400mAh with over 500 charge-discharge cycles
- Perfectly safe with triple overheating protections* lost in translation!!!
- High performance with max output current of 4A
and some other confusing and a bit funny specs like:
- "18650 rechargeable battery In Live end protection plastic package technology"
- "High reliability and impact resistance with steel protecting three key parts"

Dimensions: 68.7mm x 18.3mm *measured
Weight: 48 gr

Inside is probably Sanyo cell coupled with protection PCB and the "triple overheating protections" is actually referring to standard overcharging, over discharging and short circuit protection. Max charging currend is 2A (recommended 1A). I used my Accucell6 to discharge this battery and from 4.11V to 2.80V it measured 2033mAh (at 1A discharge rate) then I charged it in BT-C3100 and got 2036mAh (charged at 700mA rate) so slightly under specification, they probably used very low charging or discharging rate to get 2400mAh!

JETBeam-HC20-head

 

Business end is equipped XM-L2 T6 emitter in CW version, I would say that the tint is about 1B or 1C so there is a slight green hue at least on my sample. Orenge peel reflector will nicely smooth out the beam making it comfortable for close up work. Until now I used Crelant CH10 with XP-G2 emitter that makes noticeable spot on any level you set it, and that can be annoying if used for close up work plus it has much deeper reflector so in my case CH20 is appreciated upgrade.

Machining and anodization I would graded as excellent, my sample didn't had any dings, scratches or other imperfections.

Before we dig into this product and start disassembling it here are several comparison photos including mentioned Crelant CH10

JETBeam-HC20-with crelan1  JETBeam-HC20-with crelan2 JETBeam-HC20-with crelan4

can you notice resemblance? No! How about now

JETBeam-HC20-with crelan3

Either they were made in the same factory or someone copied someone or... not sure what but similarity is beyond coincidence.

JETBeam-HC20-threds

As shown, threads are square cut, lubed, operation is nice and smooth, O-ring is of good size to make tight fit when tailcap is screwed. Tailcap has printed markings about directions for opening and closing but I should mention that there are no markings about how should you insert the battery and this is because you can insert the battery both ways Smile of course I tested this and it works, points goes to JETBeam fot this one.

"Unique "anode and cathode AUTO-ID" technology for battery random connection"

 

JETBeam-HC20-huh

Most flashlights have reverse-polarity protection but wouldn't it be nice if they would work regardless how you insert the battery.

OK, let's move along, a bit more force applied while screwing the tailcap and this happend, I accidentally unscrewed opposite side of battery tube! I would like to think that this happend because I have strong hands but in this case most probably they put a too little of thread lock glue (there were some guy residue on threads) Big Smile

JETBeam-HC20-ups

This gives us an opportunity to inspect how electricity is transferred to the driver, there are 2 thin circular cut PDBs that make a contact with end of each battery tube, seems like slightly complicated solution that requires hand assembling...

JETBeam-HC20-bat connection

Under retaining ring (that look like it's stainless steel but it is not) there is a O-ring and then just plain ordinary glass lens, no AR coating on this one. Glass is 23mm wide and 1.4mm thick.

JETBeam-HC20-nssrign

OP refletor is 23mm in diameter, only 7.7mm deep and the emitter hole is 7.35mm wide.

JETBeam-HC20-reglector  JETBeam-HC20-emitter

Emitter is ordinary 20mm aluminium star, sticked with thermal paste on a thin shelf, inside of the headlamp head there is a rim on which this shelf sits. I have to say that I expected more, at least they could make threaded shelf or they could press-fit it inside after driver installation.

JETBeam-HC20-1 JETBeam-HC20-driver

Under the emitter shelf is the driver, it looks like solution that can be used for handheld flashlight also nothing particularly interesting/attractive on it, not sure what for are those two unpopulated resistor pads, they look like already bridged on a PDB...

User interface and current draw

User interface is simple and easy to use. There are 3 main (High > Mid > Low) and 2 hiden (strobe and sos) modes. For opperation press and hold for power ON or OFF, when ON short/quick tap on the button will circle through min > mid > high  and then back to min mode. double click is used to access to strobe and sos modes and you can do that only from ON state, you can not fire strobe or sos from OFF.
Driver also features mode memory so it will resume its operation in last used mode. I measured current draw using supplied JETBeam battery as well as NCR18650PF, 15 seconds after power on and here are the results:

Mode

JL240 – 4.15V

NCR18650PF – 4.18V

High

1.80A

1.98A

Mid

0.53A

0.57A

Low

0.17A

0.17A

So, it would appear that claimed 800 (LED) lumens are about right (more or less). Working in High mode causes relatively fast heat build up so after 120 seconds Step Down is activated and current draw starts to drop gradually all the way to 1A. Presumably this is done to prevent meltdowns Smile You can do a power off-on circle and get it working in High again for next 2 minutes but that won't make heat go away.
Also, one more issue raised while I was playing with this light, after disassembling it driver started whining in Low and Mid mode for some reason, prior to that all was fine.

All in all I think that JETBeam could do a slightly better job with this headlight, they have a solid base and a room for upgrades like making the emitter shelf thicker, there is enough room to add even 5 mm of copper Big Smile that would also allow prolonged operation in High mode, maybe offer neutral white tints, people seem to like them.

It is a nice and useful light, I use it mostly when tinkering with small electronic parts, soldering, etc because i have poor room lighting, I use mostly low and mid mode, high hardly ever and it does the job well, better than XP-G2 based Crelant CH10

 

shutter speed
@f3.2

Mode

High

Mid

Low

1/1000s

max1

mid1

min1

1/800s

max2

mid2

min2

1/640s

max3

mid3

min3

1/500s

max4

mid4

min4

1/400s

max5

mid5

min5

1/320s

max6

mid6

min6

1/250s

max7

mid7

min7

1/200s

max8

mid8

min8

1/160s

max9

mid9

min9

1/125s

max10

mid10

min10

1/100s

max11

mid11

min11

 

spin

Thanks for reading.

 

Edited by: Sirius9 on 06/07/2018 - 20:30
brad
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What are the run times?

FlashPilot
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Thanks for the review. Accept for the battery cooker design in this one, Ive always enjoyed JB products.

Beachlogger
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Iit claims to have quite a bit more lumins than the crelant, does it seam to be that much brighter? Nice review btw

Sirius9
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brad wrote:
What are the run times?

Using included 2400mAh battery you should get about 2.2 – 2.4hrs on high (first 120 seconds in high mode draws almost 2A but then it steps down to 1A), on Mid you would get ~4.2hrs (current draw is 570mA) and on Min you should get about 14hrs (170mA of draw), user manual claims 4 hrs, 6 hrs and 15 hrs respectively.

Beachlogger wrote:
Iit claims to have quite a bit more lumins than the crelant, does it seam to be that much brighter? Nice review btw

Well it is hard to evaluate this because Crelant has smaller emitter (XP-G2) and considerably deeper reflector that is more on a SMO side than OP, so you get more throw out of it than with HC20. Crelant draws ~1.14A on max (battery at 4.07V) so that would be about 500 LED lumens. On the field I would sad that difference is not that big, JETBeam gives you slightly wider coverage while Crelant throws further but if you using it for close up work, changing car tire, soldering something or anything that is in reach of your hands (even for bicycle riding) JETBeam takes the lead, for fishing, hunting… I would go with Crelant.

 

Sirius9
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Coupon code in first post will get the price down to 27.99$.

 

chiefinspectorfinch
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Unfortunately no one mentioned PWM frequency (apart from some russian site where user stated that it does not use pwm at all)

Truth is that it does use pwm (except for high mode) and frequency is quite low by my standards. I measured only 1.3 kHz which in my book is unacceptable from experienced manufacturer.

Also measured current from battery is different, 2.46A / 0.76A / 0.22A (Sanyo FM protected)

Included battery seems to be decent, opus returned 2492mAh at 1A discharge current.

HC20 is really nice, but driver should be better.

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

 

vēer
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Yeah, I received mine yesterday, it uses PWM on low and medium, havent tested it aside from usual modes checking, but it seems like PWM itself is not visible to the naked eye.
Also, it whines on low and medium pretty loudly.

mhanlen
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Looks like a nice budget light of you need something cheap. Thanks for the review.

Sirius9
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Your welcome, it is nice light, even if you decide to swop the driver and/or LED it’s cheap enough..
P.S. talking about the price, coupon code from top of the thread still works and the price is even lower than what I mentioned in my previous post Wink

 

vēer
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The price is right, I bought my first one when it was around 29$, used GB points to lower the price to 24.59$, probably either this coupon didnt work at that time or I forgot to use it?

Anyway, that light has not arrived yet, I bought second one when it was on sale for 24.89$ and with GB points it went way below 20$ :D! Got it together with H3 sale and they arrived registered, hence why faster than my first order of HC20.

So yeah, I “gambled” given lack of reviews(sort of) and it seems that for the money this is acceptable light!
Will see how lasts over years.

THAO916
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so far, I like it. I just have to get use the low of 70lumens, other than that it’s a pretty solid headlamp and for $20, it was a killer deal.

pilotdog68
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Is it typical for JetBeam products to be unglued? (easy to get into and modify)

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

CheapThrills
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chiefinspectorfinch wrote:
Unfortunately no one mentioned PWM frequency (apart from some russian site where user stated that it does not use pwm at all)

Truth is that it does use pwm (except for high mode) and frequency is quite low by my standards. I measured only 1.3 kHz which in my book is unacceptable from experienced manufacturer.

Also measured current from battery is different, 2.46A / 0.76A / 0.22A (Sanyo FM protected)

Included battery seems to be decent, opus returned 2492mAh at 1A discharge current.

HC20 is really nice, but driver should be better.

Thanks for mentioning that Smile
Important factor for me but maybe 1,3K would do for me…

JasonWW
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Odepro Outdoors wrote:

 how about our flashlight review? It reached your side more than three months and I didn’t get your reply for a long time


 


Are you trying to speak to Sirius9?

His stats show he hasn’t been on this forum in 5 months. He may not be doing reviews anymore.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.