Rayvenge T1A headlamp review

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keltex78
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Rayvenge T1A headlamp review

Disclaimer: this review may be totally biased, as this headlamp was won as part of a giveaway sponsored by Rayvenge here: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/43667

Review of Rayvenge T1A Headlamp: http://www.amazon.com/Rayvenge-Headlamp-115-Lumen-114-Meter-Waterproof/d...

I received the light a few days ago. I’ve been using it since then, as I would have used my original headlamp, to give me a good assessment of its performance.

It arrived in a nice retail-grade box:

“A compact, lightweight, and powerful flashlight, CREE LED delivers 100 lumens plus red light.”

Of interest, Rayvenge does not appear to be the OEM for these, as I find the same light available under other brand names on Amazon, including “BrightSpark”, “LITOM”, and “SmartLite”. The Rayvenge is priced competitively compared to the other brands, and was shipped quickly and in good condition.

Opening the package; this headlamp is tiny! As seen here, alongside the single Alkaline AA cell that powers the light:

… it is very small. The full weight of the light is 65g with the battery and strap attached. This is far lighter than the 106g weight of my older 3xAAA 10×5mm LED headlamp.

It has a central white emitter with two 5mm red LEDs on either side. The white emitter is in a small plastic reflector that is half smooth/half OP.

Inside the battery compartment, there are four screws holding the inner housing in place:

Removing these screws, we find a PCB containing the driver circuit, the two red 5mm emitters, and switch. This surrounds what appears to be a genuine first-gen Cree XP-E emitter:

The emitter is mounted on a square aluminum star mounted against the back side of the main driver circuit. There is no additional heatsinking beyond this:

On removing the PCB assembly, I found an O-Ring that fits around the lens assembly, presumably to improve water-resistance. I’m not about to test this unit in a dunk test as I don’t want to risk ruining this light:

Using the light:

I’ve been using this light for several evenings, for various uses, ranging from flashlight modding to feeding the cats on the back porch. I estimate that I have about 2 hours of serious use on this light, with some additional runtime due to playing with the different modes and the red light function.

Light modes are as follows, as measured with a new AA Alkaline:
First press starts with White/High. There is no mode memory; the light starts in White/High every time. Each additional press switches to the next mode in the white group. A long three-second press switches the light to the Red mode. After a short delay, a short press from any mode turns the light off.

1. White/High – 600mA
2. White/Med – 230mA
3. White/Low – 60mA
4. White/SOS
5. Red – 150mA
6. Red – Strobe

The packaged literature claims a 114m range on high, which I find to be quite optimistic. With moderate night-adapted vision, I found this light to be useful out to my backyard fence, which is only about 15m. Anything beyond this is too dim to be useful. The literature also claims 8 hour runtime at this level. Unfortunately, at the drive current I measured, this is impossible from any AA sized cell.

I have found that the Medium power is ideal for close-up work that I use a headlamp for most often, such as soldering components.

The White light modes are very nicely spaced. The emitter has a very nice tint, on the cooler side, without any annoying blue. Although I’m happy with the tint, I may eventually replace the emitter with a Nichia 219-series emitter, as this seems like the perfect application for a high-CRI light. I do find that the reflector makes a very messy beam, with a central donut hole. In a normal light, this is usually minimized by the longer ranges it would be used at, but on a headlamp, my typical use is within arm’s length, so this effect is exacerbated by the close range. The effect is somewhat exaggerated in this beamshot, but shows how messy the hotspot is at close range:

A piece of matte scotch tape over the lens does a fantastic job of cleaning this up and diffusing the light though, creating a much more suitable close-range pool of light.

The unfortunate mode grouping and UI means that this light always starts on high, effectively ruining any night-adapted vision you may have. There is no way to use the Red light without three seconds of the white light. Interestingly, I measured higher power usage when the red light was used vs. the white light on low. I also find that the red mode is slightly too bright. My ideal use for a red light would be to bait fishhooks while night fishing or other similar activities. The red mode on this light is actually a bit overwhelming at this close range, and a lower red mode isn’t available. I assume the red strobe would be useful for nighttime joggers/bikers who could wear the headlamp backwards to warn approaching motorists of their presence. Finally, especially when using the red light, I find it difficult to aim the beam directly at my hands without the light shining brightly on my nose or other parts of my face, creating a distraction. To prevent this, I have to aim the light higher than is ideal.

Overall, I really do like this light, considering that I was comparing from such a bulky, dim, heavy, and ugly-tinted headlamp. It has several negative characteristics that a bit of thoughtful engineering should have taken into consideration during the design process. However, I still see this light fulfilling my headlamp needs for a long time.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:28
Martini
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Great pictures and a good review. I’m going to have to try scotch tape to defuse the beam.

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
dealgrabber2002
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I plain out removed the reflector.

Martini
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
I plain out removed the reflector.

Interesting, does that make it all flood with no hot spot?

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
dealgrabber2002
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Martini wrote:
dealgrabber2002 wrote:
I plain out removed the reflector.

Interesting, does that make it all flood with no hot spot?

Yes. I find it much more useful. And the dark donut hole is horrible.

I know this is a budget headlamp, but how can they think it’s ok to use a reflector that leaves such an ugly beam?

Martini
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Martini wrote:
dealgrabber2002 wrote:
I plain out removed the reflector.

Interesting, does that make it all flood with no hot spot?

Yes. I find it much more useful. And the dark donut hole is horrible.

Since there’s only four screws holding everything together I went ahead and pulled the reflector out of mine. Without it the beam (if it’s proper to call it that) is very smooth, and there’s no doughnut hole or hot spot. I’ll have to try it outside to get a real good feel for whether or not I’ll keep it like this. I’m not sure the modest output of this light will be adequate with such a diffuse beam. I’m too lazy to get dressed and deal with the cold tonight so it’ll have to wait for a different night. It will still be hard to get a good idea how well it works with so much snow around, even a little light looks like a lot when everything including the streets are covered in white.

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
rayvenge
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Thanks for the review, keltex78

Rayvenge T1A Headlamp on Amazon: http://www.amztk.com/t1aheadlamp
Rayvenge T3A Headlamp on Amazon: http://www.amztk.com/t3aheadlamp

keltex78
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So, I replaced the XP-E emitter in my giveaway Rayvenge headlamp over the weekend with a high-CRI Nichia 219b:

Other than the great tint (which actually wasn’t too bad on the original emitter)

This completely does away with the annoying horrible/messy/donut-shaped hotspot of the original emitter! Now, the beam is smooth and much more useful! It may have been that I just got lucky with a slightly-different spacing, but it’s much nicer now. Unfortunately, there’s an occasional flicker due to the small diameter wire used on the LED leads getting kinked, but I can fix that easily enough…

There’s a little bit of mess on a white-wall shot at longer ranges, I assume due to the tiny reflector, but it’s not noticeable during use. The donut hole only shows up if the light is held 2-3 inches from a surface; anything further and the hole is gone!


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

paiolo
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Hi all,

I discovered that the same headlamp can also be found on aliexpress.com under the brand “Lixada” at only 8$!
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/LIXADA-LED-Headlamp-Flashlight/32683405187.html

I received it in these days and it is identical to the one described in this review