Inexpensive 3 AAA headlamp

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dimeotane
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Inexpensive 3 AAA headlamp

I've see this 3 mode headlamp for $5.93

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12924

It is described as 1W and it has a high mode, medium, and red led.  

 

Later I noticed one looking exactly the same on many EBAY sellers:

http://cgi.ebay.com/3-Watt-1-LED-Headlamp-HeadLight-Flashlight-head-torch-J-/300441230180

Like this one for for $3.59 with free shipping.  It is described as 3W, model number RQ-C42.

 

I've also seen it in white from another seller.  

Does anyone have experience with this headlamp?  Is the DX one actually 1/3rd of the power for twice the price as the ebay ones?

I'm curious how long it will run for on the lower power settings, in comparison to something a good headlamp like Petzl or Black Diamond that can run for 55 hours at a 35 meter distance.  Those headlamps also cost around $35. 

If no one has I will be sure to get one and review if it's any good for that price. 

danton
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 I have 2 of these for fishing

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/5W-CREE-LED-300-Lm-Flashlight-HeadLight-M5-AAA-Headlamp-/270548890635?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3efdf8740b

 

They were cheaper when I bought them. I think something like 6.5 euros

The battery pack is not in the front but at the back so the light stays in place when moving around

It has a r2 bin cree?? emmiter.It looks like a r2 cree but I wouldn't bet on it.It is bright.But not flood enough for me. I think about 90 minutes at high. If it had a zoom in-out capability it would be perfect

sb56637
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Hi there dimeotane, welcome to BLF! Enjoy yourself here.

Basically, all of the manufacturers' wattage ratings are totally meaningless and inaccurate. I would say it's usually best to buy based on quality and/or price, which can vary considerably between different sellers. But power or brightness measurements are ambiguous at best.

 

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

dimeotane
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I'm not sure how to submit a more formal review here on budget light so I'll start with a follow up to my OP. 

I now have this $5.88 headlamp from DX.  I'm pleased with it so far. Great value for the price!

 

This one has 3 modes:  High, low and then RED LED low.  Packaging states .5w LED but DX says 1w.  A reviewer has tested and written "Draws 100mA on low, 200mA on high and 33mA when running the small red LED".  I can confirm that it gave useful light for 12hrs + with 2900ma combination of NIMH rechargeables.  It has a good mix of flood and throw for getting work done around a campsite.  

 The red LED is bright enough to read and navigate your tent without ruining your night vision. 

On low, it is about 160 lux, twice as bright a BLF Delight / powerlight. 

Comfortable adjustable strap and foam rubber forehead padding.   It holds well the angle you've adjusted it to.

Similar in design to a Princeton Tec EOS.  

It could be more weather proof, so I opened it up and glued the front lens in place with crazy glue.  There is a rubber seal for the battery compartment.   The screw that holds the clamshell design shut is knurled, metal, slotted, and screws into a metal socket.  

The red LED projected uneven light so I sanded it to diffuse the light with a nail file. 

Similar brand name headlamps retail for 5 to 10x as much. If you want to know more just ask.  

 

dimeotane
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I just found that this same headlamp is a new product on walmart's shelves for $17!  It's packaged as a north 49 headlamp. 

It makes it look even sweeter at the price I got it for. 

fishinfool
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dimeotane wrote:

I just found that this same headlamp is a new product on walmart's shelves for $17!  It's packaged as a north 49 headlamp. 

It makes it look even sweeter at the price I got it for. 

That's even better since I don't have to wait 1.5 months for it to arrive.  Walmart here I come......later this evening when it's not a thousand degrees outside.

Thanks dimeotane.

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

dimeotane
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http://www.priceangels.com/15P-2B_1-LED_Ultra_Bright_Head_Lamp_Light__White__p17901.html

for 3.66 I gave this one from priceangels a shot.  It's *almost* exactly the same as the DX one that costs almost twice this. The first one I got from DX for a few bucks more is better and worth the extra cost.  

This one is cheaper made: has a dimmer emitter, doesn't close fully (there's a gap). It works, but I wouldn't rely on it for anything serious, it's so cheaply made.   It'd make a nice toy for a kid until they break it.   If I add some silicone sealant along the edge it would be more water resistant where theres that gap, and it doesn't close fully. 

 

 

dimeotane
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This cheap headlamp isn't bad actually with a little addition of sillicon sealant.  Now that I've lined the inside edge with a layer of silicon rubber, it closes firmly shut, and it'll be water resistant.  I've ran it now for 6 hours continuous (on Duraloops out of the package) without it dimming yet.  Its dimmer now at about 8 hours, but it's still running. 

 

xiejol
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I posted this some time ago at CPF.  I've got one of the same types of headlamps as danton and I found that it easily takes a P60 dropin. 

I recently upgraded using the XM-L three-mode dropin from Manafont.  It rocks.  I also chopped off the battery pack and built an 18650 holder out of black PVC and a road bike tube.  I wrapped the dropin in aluminum foil and found that it transfers heat pretty well.  I will probably get some of the decent copper foil off eBay later on.  

 

Here you can see the weight in oz with batteries and without:

 

 

 A size comparison shot with the rechargeable AAAs I use.  

 

 

 A size comparison with my Surefire 6P:

  

The battery case is cheap, but not too flimsy.  It comes with a large o-ring, but I wouldn't want to dunk it under water.  It will probably shed rain just fine, but I never tested it since I replaced it with the 18650 holder.  One very nice feature of the case is that the lid, which snaps on, is attached by a metal ring, so you don't worry about losing it or holding it while changing batteries.  Very nice.  The battery contacts are cheap and one popped out while pulling out a battery.  A dab of glue will fix it.

 

 

 

The base of the light contains a simple clicky switch setup with a spring that provides a contact to the emitter.  There is a metal contact that covers the spring, which popped off the first time I took it apart.  

 

 

 

Here you can see all the components, my only concern is the multiple paths required for heat to leave the body.  All the connections involve threads, so I ended up smearing thermal grease to help heat transfer between each component.

 

The reflector is low quality smooth plastic.  The lens on this light is really poor quality glass and has a few marks out of the box.  The body is in fact aluminum, only the reflector and the adjustable base are plastic.

 

 

The light does protrude a little from the head, but it is so light you don't even feel it.  Since it will be on my helmet I don't care, my visor will block it anyway.

 

 

 

 

And, of course, I must have beamshots.  My old camera didn't take the best shots, but here are some using the stock emitter.  On the left is my 6P with a R2 emitter running off two RCR123As, on the right is the 3AAA headlamp.  

 

The R2 is a good bit brighter, but also runs with more juice.  The picture below is the same shot, but with an adjusted exposure.

 

For $14 I didn't expect much, but I like the headlamp and think it is well worth the money.  The fact that I can upgrade it easily makes it a steal.  

I used this light all last summer for early morning commutes and late night rides.  I have used it on and off road and love it.  I used an R2 dropin from DX until the XM-L came out from Manafont.  Having three modes is wonderful.  I will probably be ordering at least one more from one of the variety of sites that offer it.  Now that I have the XM-L I can't wait to ride around at night.  I will try and get a picture up of the new battery holder when I get a chance.

 

You can get it off eBay or from a variety of sources.  I paid an extra $3 because I didn't like the woodgrain.

Match
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Welcome Xiejol!  That's one hell of a first post Smile Very nice descripton and detailed photos.  Now you've piqued my interest in a headlamp I would have probably ignored before Wink

 

discord
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Did the one on Ebay for $3.59 end up being the same as the one on DX? Did anybody pick up the ebay one?

xiejol
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I had looked for a P60-compatible headlamp for a while.  Now that it has the battery I want it is the perfect light for me.  The fact that I just upgraded it from an R2 to a XM-L in about 10 seconds says a lot.

Here is a shot of the 18650 tube.  Sorry for the phone-camera quality.  I used a piece of PVC pipe and a PVC end cap, ran some copper tape inside, covered it in a road tube, and lashed it on to the old battery pack mount using a piece of Velcro.  Tricky to get back together when changing batteries, but it has worked for the past year.