Review: UniqueFire HD-016 dual beam Bicycle headlight

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

Not sure.  I don't ride enough to say.  I like the idea of it for trail riding though.  I think I'd prefer it be "Low (wide flood)", Low & High (flood and throw), back to "Low", press-n-hold for off.  Then press-n-hold from off to get to strobe.  I don't see needing "High (throw only)" without having the "Low" flood on too. 

I wonder if Gearbest would provide a "coupon code" for a discount just to get their name out there for MTBR users (I never see Gearbest listed at MTBR, so I don't think users over there are familiar with them). 

-Garry

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garrybunk wrote:

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

Not sure.  I don’t ride enough to say.  I like the idea of it for trail riding though.  I think I’d prefer it be “Low (wide flood)”, Low & High (flood and throw), back to “Low”, press-n-hold for off.  Then press-n-hold from off to get to strobe.  I don’t see needing “High (throw only)” without having the “Low” flood on too. 

I wonder if Gearbest would provide a “coupon code” for a discount just to get their name out there for MTBR users (I never see Gearbest listed at MTBR, so I don’t think users over there are familiar with them). 

-Garry

I find High (throw only) very useful when biking at high speeds on the road (yes I think its suitable for commuters) especially when I need to travel for a longer time (long rides) and have to save my batteries. For MTB on trails, its Low (wide flood) most of the time.

ledoman
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Nightbird95, for MTB trails wide beam with this light is more suitable only for ascending parts. For descending (at least faster ones) I would use both wide and throw. But it also might be dependant on terrain and flora surrounding. My opinion, though.

 

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I think I agree with you because the faster your speed is, the more you need to see what’s farther ahead of you. Smile

Actually I haven’t tried doing high speeds on trails at night yet and I don’t think I have the skills to do it so I guess I’m stuck to wider beam in the meantime. :bigsmile:

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I wonder if you could swap an SSX2 driver into this light and then get L-M-H modes with both LED's lit at the same time.  The drivers seem to be the same exact shape.  Or do you think the modes as is are better (being able to have flood only, throw only, or both)?

-Garry

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ledoman
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I didn't think of it. Good idea Garry. Will take a look if the dimensions fits. About using, both can be convinient. It depends on cycling style and personal preferences.

When you do MTB during ascending all you need on the bars is wide beam and you can see further away with narrow beam from your helmet light. When descending you have much more speed and you would like to have all the lights on full. Long beam only can be suitable for horizontal mid speed.

When commuting you mostly run at even speed. You can have both lights on all the time and only adjust brigtnes according to surrounding. High on rural and low/mid in urban where you already have some street lights. In case of commuting one light on the bar with two beams will cover the whole vision. Light on the helmet is not necessary.

I'm not telling those preferences are suitable for everybody, it's just my opinion.

 

EDIT: Measured the size of SSX2 driver back plate and it is same size like HD-016. So I think they can be interchanged w/o problems. Good to know if anyone would prefer different type of operating

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Thanks ledoman! That's awesome, though now I'd have to buy a cheap SSX2 just for the driver. I do like the ability to run the HD016 on 4.2v though (per Lagman). 

-Garry

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ledoman
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The last cheap SSX2 one I've got hands on few days ago had leds in paralell. The light was powered by usual 2S2P packet. So be aware what you might get.

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So are you saying that unit would run with 4.2v input? And where did you get it? 

My SSX3 emitters are in parallel but I never tried 4.2v input. 

-Garry

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Interesting light really. I don’t like the 18650 format too much though. I would prefer AA powered lights. One thing, for trailing, I think a neutral light is better.

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Garry, no. I've said it is powered by 2S2P (ie. 8.4V) pack, but normaly in SS2X leds are connected in series The last one was not.

Selle was bonlighting2014 at ebay. Must say it si not good. I pulls only 0.9A from battery pack A had to add R500 sense resistor to improve output a bit.

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MountainKing wrote:
Interesting light really. I don't like the 18650 format too much though. I would prefer AA powered lights. One thing, for trailing, I think a neutral light is better.

Well, you can build your own AA 6S battery pack. I'm working a lot with Li-Ion 18650 and they are very good regarding energy density. They are also safe enough if you treat them right. AA is of course even safer.

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I wonder what the driver is like in the LightMalls head only (currently $12.99). Any idea? Can't remember if it was posted about at MTBR or not. 

-Garry

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ledoman
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No, I don't have a clue.

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Actually I'd probably chance the $15.99 one on Amazon first. 

-Garry

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ledoman
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If you do, please let us know about its internals. At least there over at MTBR

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As posted over at MTBR, I just ordered the "SecurityIng" version of this light from Amazon ($32.99). Then the next thing I knew my finger slipped and I also ordered an SSX2 (due to ledoman confirming that the SSX2 driver will mount in this HD-016).  This would give both LED's on (wide & narrow) at the same time with Low-Med-High modes and a hidden strobe. Lagman's review confirmed that the original driver also runs on 4.2v input, which really appeals to me (to use unprotected cells in parallel), so I am torn between keeping the original driver or swapping the SSX2's driver. (I really just bought the X2 for the driver.)  I will post back with my findings.

I really think this HD-016 will be the perfect light for me! I can finally stop accumulating all these lights! (Yeah right! ). 

Thanks Ledoman! I should send you the bill!

-Garry

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You might be able to run the X2 driver on 1S cells if you wire the LED's 2P. 

I tried to run my X2 with 1S cells while is still had the stock 2S LED wiring.  I didn't expect it run, but was curious if it might possibly had a booster circuit in it.  It didn't run.  It would flash once every time I hit the momentary switch though. 

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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

Will update the original post, too.

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Just received my HD-016 "SecurityIng" version from Amazon.  Battery had enough juice to run through the modes one time before it died.  Will test it out later.  First impressions is that it looks good!

1

(That's my SSX2 package on the left.)

1

The box is just a generic bike light box.  It says "XM-L" and "Natural White" which are both lies.  It came with cool white XM-L2's. 

BTW - I also received my SolarStorm X2 from Amazon.  It did come branded as an X2 and not blank (I know that doesn't mean much, but I like to see it branded).  First impressions on it - doesn't seem very bright on high.  More testing and teardown on that one to come too, though I won't post it in this thread.  In fact, I will just post further details on both lights in "My Bike Lights Thread" linked for your convenience in my signature Smile .  No promises though on when I'll get to tear downs.  

-Garry

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garrybunk wrote:

…BTW – I also received my SolarStorm X2 from Amazon.  It did come branded as an X2 and not blank (I know that doesn’t mean much, but I like to see it branded).  First impressions on it – doesn’t seem very bright on high.Garry…

I have three different versions of the SolarStorm X2 from three sellers of eBay. One has 720 mA tailcap reading on high, one has 860 mA and one has 2190 mA (obviously the brightest). They all have SolarStorm X2 marks but when I opened them, they have different drivers (though the 860 mA and the 2190 mA are somewhat similar). Smile

I added 2x R100 resistors to the sense resistors of the 720 mA and changed its lead wires to AWG 22 and it now does 1567 mA. Added an R100 resistor to the sense resistors of the 860 mA and it now does 2883 mA. Wink

BTW, after reading your thread on diffusing bike lights, all my three X2s now have DCFix on their left lenses. Beer

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Don't want to go too far off topic of the HD-016, but I did measure battery pack current to the X2 (@8.24v) - 0.855A on high Sad . I haven't opened it up yet though. 

-Garry

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I just received my SecurtyIng version from Amazon.



I haven't torn it apart yet, but I've taken current readings and got some beamshots.

Current pulled from 2-cell battery pack at 8.24v:
Off: 0.020A
Flood: 0.663A
Throw: 0.665A
Flood & Throw: 1.410A (Steady, not dropping)

(BTW - I am confident current readings I make are accurate.)

Flood is VERY wide! However the "flood" mode doesn't throw out far at all. I can't imagine "flood" alone being enough to ride with (except commuting where it is used more for "be seen" use. I think I would prefer the reflector be just a tad deeper in order to get a little more throw out of it.

Here are some beamshots. Pics taken with my same manual camera settings at roughly the same location so that my beamshots can be compared one to another. In the first set of pics, the distance to the trees I aimed between is approx. 185 feet (garage is beyond the trees at an undetermined distance - I really need to determine that). Approx. 275 feet to the house off to the left of the trees. (Note: you can barely see the trees or garage in the "throw" pic.)

Flood:
1

Throw:
1

Flood & Throw:
1

Now to my wooded trail spot:

Flood:
1

Throw:
1

Flood & Throw:
1

That wooded shot above really sells this light!

Full size pics can be found in my PhotoBucket Gallery.

Next is a full teardown and mod to XM-L2 T5 5B1's and a resistor modded SSX2 driver to run Flood & Throw LEDs at all times in a High-Med-Low (or Low-Med-High) arrangement.

-Garry

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Wow. Thanks for the teardown and time to take those really awesome pics garry. Just want to make me grab my bike and go out here! I think a neutral tint would have been just gorgeous Smile

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Just for the heck of it, let's compare the HD-016 to my SolarStorm X3.  Now remember, my beamshot setups are not in exact locations, but do use the same camera settings.  Both lights on "full output".  SSX3 only received an emitter swap.  X3 Current pulled from battery pack = 2.48A vs. the HD-016 pulling 1.41A. 

Mouse Out = HD-016, MouseOver= SSX3:

2

Seems the X3 is wasting 1A more juice for similar level of output. Perhaps it's the setting (scene).

So here is the same mouseover across my backyard:

1

 

Ok, the X3 does have more output.  I think I can get the HD-016 bumped up though to give me similar output for less current draw (i.e. be more efficient).

-Garry

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siata94
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wow the tints are so different, HD looks washed out. But pics are somewhat confusing for me.
The HD seems obviously better in the wooded shots but the X3 reverses the
order in the backyard shots, to me eyes.

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siata94 wrote:
wow the tints are so different, HD looks washed out. But pics are somewhat confusing for me. The HD seems obviously better in the wooded shots but the X3 reverses the order in the backyard shots, to me eyes.

I think that's because the X3's beam pattern is cut short with the wooded sides.  Look closely in the distance of the X3 shots to the side of the center spot.  I can see some more trees lit up than in the HD-016, not much but I see it. It didn't help that there were more leaves on the trees in the X3 shot and the tint difference throws you off. 

-Garry

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how many lumens is this really ? and whats its run times ?

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Rough ballpark - 900 to 1000 Lumens?  I'm basing that on what an XM-L2 puts out per Match's test at 1.4A and rounding down for losses in reflector & lens.  Rough guess on run time: 2150mAh (per ledoman's test) / 1400mA current draw = 1.5hr. A "good" battery pack would get you closer to 3.7hrs!  OR a good 2 cell battery pack would get you close to 2hrs. 

-Garry

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I just noticed a clone of this HD-016 as light head only at Lightmalls.

-Garry

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