Skilhunt H04, Lumintop HL3A or ...? ~40$

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zamachowiec
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Skilhunt H04, Lumintop HL3A or ...? ~40$

Hello, I’m looking at headlamps and these two looks the best in this budget in my opinion.
Is Lumintop better in anything except power and Anduril? As I saw in reviews after ~5 min their max output should be very similar.
In my opinion Skilhunt looks better for my use but what’s your opinion about these 2? Maybe you recommend something other?

Quadrupel
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There is nothing better out of the box for this price like H04 cri

NoDa775
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If you want just a headlight FW3A, then go for the HL3A. But as far as practicality, the Skilhunt destroys it. I own the H04 (RC) and can conclusively say that there is absolutely nothing that I wish it did that it doesn’t do already. The H04 has absolutely amazing runtimes (with the LH351D), so much so that I have owned it for two months and have only charged it twice. Also, the High CRI LH351D is very well suited for a headlamp. The clip is great, the headband is awesome, magnetic USB charging, tailcoat magnet, the list goes on. Another huge reason to buy the Skilhunt over the HL3A, is that it is SO light. It weighs as much as a single 18650. For under $100, you simply cannot find a better headlamp. If you really care about 2000+ lumens for 10 seconds, then go for the HL3A, but the H04 is better in every respect. Also, spend the extra few bucks, and get the RC version.

Just my 2 cents, hope this helps.

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zamachowiec
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Thanks for help. I don’t need lot of power, if I need then I will takie Sofirn IF25A also. I think that your comment convinced me that it’s the best choice in this budget, if I would like something better then I should go for Wizard, nothing between them? If I will take Skilhunt it will be HCRI, RC with TIR. You got TIR or OP?

raccoon city
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Between the two, I only have the Lumintop HL3A.

I chose it mainly because I love the stepless ramping of the FW3A.

The HL3A is a great headlamp, but there are others that might be better suited to you.

Sunnysunsun
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NoDa775 wrote:
If you want just a headlight FW3A, then go for the HL3A. But as far as practicality, the Skilhunt destroys it. I own the H04 (RC) and can conclusively say that there is absolutely nothing that I wish it did that it doesn’t do already. The H04 has absolutely amazing runtimes (with the LH351D), so much so that I have owned it for two months and have only charged it twice. Also, the High CRI LH351D is very well suited for a headlamp. The clip is great, the headband is awesome, magnetic USB charging, tailcoat magnet, the list goes on. Another huge reason to buy the Skilhunt over the HL3A, is that it is SO light. It weighs as much as a single 18650. For under $100, you simply cannot find a better headlamp. If you really care about 2000+ lumens for 10 seconds, then go for the HL3A, but the H04 is better in every respect. Also, spend the extra few bucks, and get the RC version.

Just my 2 cents, hope this helps.

Wow I thought the HL3A was light, but the H04 is almost 15% lighter (56 vs 48g). Factoring in the weight of a cell, 106g vs 98g makes it an 8% difference. The inclusion of magnetic charging is pretty convenient and that efficient buck driver makes runtimes excellent. Brightness suffers though compared to the HL3A, Zeroair tested the max brightness of the H04 with the LH351D to be just 600 lumens while the max brightness of the SST20s in the HL3A with full fet should be 1600+.

Note that I am biased towards the HL3A which I own.

H04 RC Pros:
Better efficiency- maybe 10-20% more runtime at equal brightness (my estimate)
Magnetic charging
Lighter
Better headband

HL3A Pros:
More feature rich UI (anduril)
Higher turbo brightness
Better tint
Better colour rendering 95/80 of sst20s(Reds really pop) vs 9050 of the LH351Ds

I estimate that both headlamps should be able to a similar consistent brightness of 350 or so lumens in their high cri configurations. While the H04 has a more efficient driver, the HL3A does have the advantage of having 3 LEDs.

I like the ramping and features of anduril too much and the sst-20s make everything look gorgeous. I’d pick the HL3A again, and for me the H04 would be the next best choice.

Pavlo
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If you care about efficiency, Skilhunt H04 all the way as it uses an efficient buck driver. In higher modes, this may be offset by the HL3A being a triple.
The HL3A may have FET for a higher turbo, but that will overheat and step down in seconds, so I wouldn’t let that influence your decision. Fun feature to have on a handheld flashlight where you have your hand next to the switch, but almost useless in a headlamp that is intended to be hands free.

zamachowiec
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Thank you for answers, I have 2x Sofirn IF25A to have fun with Anduril so now I will go with something other Smile Thanks for every help, haven’t order yet so you can still write if you have something to add about one of these, I still can change my mind Smile

NoDa775
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zamachowiec wrote:
Thanks for help. I don’t need lot of power, if I need then I will takie Sofirn IF25A also. I think that your comment convinced me that it’s the best choice in this budget, if I would like something better then I should go for Wizard, nothing between them? If I will take Skilhunt it will be HCRI, RC with TIR. You got TIR or OP?

I got the H04R (OP reflector) and then ordered a TIR via email from skilhunt. It was nice to be able to try both. I like the TIR a bit better since the beam is more usable overall, but the OP reflector is alright for outside use. You could buy the OP one, and I can send you an extra TIR that I have (if you are in US pm me).

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Mraz
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I’ve got few Skilhunt headlamps and I love them, highly recomend. I prefer the TIR versions. Spare TIRs are so cheap that you can order few of them (varying degrees) and see wich one suits you.

zamachowiec
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@NoDa775
Thanks for your offer but I’m from Poland so the only way for me is buying from Aliexpress.

@Mraz
I think I will go for TIR.

Is it possible to swap between OP and TIR or there is bigger difference than only this plastic in front.

Pavlo
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If you want the most throw, the OP is the way to go. If you buy the OP, you can easily find TIR optics on Ali Express and swap them in. If you buy the TIR version, it will be very difficult to source the reflector if you decide to go that route.

zamachowiec
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@Pavlo
I think I don’t need lot of throw in headlamp.

icpart
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I am very happy with H03RC. Indeed that was my first LED flashlight which ignited me in that hobby. I want to buy H04 but little different model H04F, I really don’t need magnetic charger. With previous F models I know there was a issues. If someone have that new F models with additional TIR cover please comment. And now I am happy just ordered H04F Hi cree for just 30$ from AE Big Smile

Pavlo
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zamachowiec wrote:
@Pavlo I think I don’t need lot of throw in headlamp.

Then def go with the TIR option, much smoother beam overall and you can find TIR with narrower beam angle as a backup.

zamachowiec
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@icpart
You used coupon for that price?

icpart
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Yes with 3$ AE coupon. But without it there is promotion for about 35$.

zamachowiec
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It was code only for you or everyone can use? Could you give me if it’s for everyone?

icpart
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The coupon I think was exchanged for AE coins but I am not very sure about that. I didn’t remember from where I received it.

Colonel Light
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My two cents as a longtime Zebralight H60 user ,and Sofirn SP40 user of about a year. I expected the UI of the Skilhunt H03 SE (recently purchased) to be better given that I had heard nothing bad said about it. I think it would be much better for my brain if the mode order was “cyclical” rather than “reciprocating”. I end up having to make an awful lot of clicks in the process of changing brightness. If you don’t need to change brightness often the UI will do the job. On the plus side it is very light (good job Skilhunt), as light as a Zebralight. I wanted the LH351D version but didn’t want to pay the substantially higher price found on Skilhunt’s store versus an XPL 5000k version on Banggood with a coupon.
I don’t like cool white low CRI (it’s noticeably cooler than my Zebralight neutral white) but it does well as a daytime headlamp and is still a lot better than a budget headlamp.

I am sure Anduril would work very well for headlamps, I have been tempted to add a HL3A or a PL47G2 to my collection.

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The YLP Gekko 1.0 is the bee’s bollocks in this price range. 4000K LH351D 90+CRI, ramping or discrete/good programmable UI, very good thermal control, 49 g, quite a bit more efficient than the H04. I was cross researching against the HL3A, H04/H04RC, YLP Panda 2 CRI/3, some Acebeams, etc. The HL3A was initially the most attractive, but button design and Lumintop design/quality issues knocked it down. I decided to jump the gun before the reviews rolled in to get the initial discount price from the code in the YLP thread here (with code was $30 USD, $36 USD shipped to USA, currently ~$41 USD not shipped without coupon code if you do the conversion from rubles), and I’m very satisfied.

There is some criticism of the heat path/build quality between the star and body, but, if you don’t open it up to see, the construction looks impeccable externally on mine. It’s not super high powered, 3 amps max, so the heat path issue actually doesn’t affect use to a noticeable degree. Mine actually does sustain 900 lumens in actual, cooled (running) outdoor night use on a cool night. 300+ lumens is sustainable uncooled indoors.

AEDe has a nice review on Fonarevka.

Nice 300 lumen flat line runtime for 4.5 hours using a 3500 mAh cell:

http://forum.fonarevka.ru/showpost.php?p=1331202&postcount=173

Much better efficiency than the H04RC (lumens*hr, area under the graph) at 350 lumens from zeroair’s review using a 3400 mAh cell. Both headlamps use the LH351D, though the Gekko is 4000K and the H04 is 5000K. If everything else was equal, you’d expect the 5000K to be more efficient than the 4000K, so the efficiency gap between the drivers is pretty big.

https://zeroair.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/zeroair_reviews_skilhunt_...

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H04 have same hi-cri 4000K led, superior build quality and switching driver which is more efficient. You can compare Gekko to this one, they probably are made by same manufacturer because have same hole under star

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It is not correct to compare efficiency on 300 lumes and 350 lumens, moreover on the 300lumens real output could be 280.
But stabilization is really flat.

Bt you shold take in accont quirks in Gekko TK.
As example, if you turn Max (900) and work for some time (TK will lower output as example 400lumens), and switch for 300lmens mode, the real output would be significantly lower (~180-200) for 1.5 mins while TK will raise it up to 300 lumens. Because it’s “TK overheat gap” d’t take in account that 300lumens mode by default is lower heated then previos “downlowered maximum”.

Other – it would be very good to check how good LED star attached to body. There was case of overheating LED and not good screwing.

D'AVerk
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Quadrupel wrote:
You can compare Gekko to this

Not correct, because of driver difference. And head heat dissipation differs, but in other body is pretty close. Interesting case.
Quadrupel
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All correct, both have linear driver and probably that fake HC30 have better heat dissipation since it have better head construction.

D'AVerk
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Quadrupel wrote:
All correct, both have linear driver and probably that fake HC30 have better heat dissipation since it have better head construction.

There is difference between direct current regulation in Gekko and unknown, but very possible PWM regulation in fake.

As example, on “equal” 350mA LED in Gekko would work on Vf as 350mA with much better efficiency, then 3000mA PWMed LED in fake (and with more fast flat reglation lost, if even there are some).

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Pavlo wrote:
If you care about efficiency, Skilhunt H04 all the way as it uses an efficient buck driver.
Quadrupel wrote:
H04 have same hi-cri 4000K led, superior build quality and switching driver which is more efficient.

Switching driver, but not efficient:

When I pointed to those graphs on reddit, m4potofu investigated the H04:
“I have an H04 driver lying arroud so I quickly checked its efficiency on high with an LH351D, well I only did one measurement because I seems to have killed it afterwards (oups), 80.2% at 3.7V in, which is not good at all, it has a rectifier diode so it’s an asynchronous buck which partly explains the low efficiency.”

https://www.reddit.com/r/flashlight/comments/m2jibz/nly_ylp_gekko_10/gqk...

lightningrunner
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D'AVerk wrote:
It is not correct to compare efficiency on 300 lumes and 350 lumens, moreover on the 300lumens real output could be 280.
But stabilization is really flat.

Bt you shold take in accont quirks in Gekko TK.
As example, if you turn Max (900) and work for some time (TK will lower output as example 400lumens), and switch for 300lmens mode, the real output would be significantly lower (~180-200) for 1.5 mins while TK will raise it up to 300 lumens. Because it’s “TK overheat gap” d’t take in account that 300lumens mode by default is lower heated then previos “downlowered maximum”.

Other – it would be very good to check how good LED star attached to body. There was case of overheating LED and not good screwing.

I’m aware of that the thermal control works like that, and I like that for the reasons that Inferion has stated. It provides a visual indication that the button press is working. If I’m using the light such that the thermal control is working, I’d either keep it at that setting (for example 400 lumens) if I need that light, or be happy that the lower discrete level is lower than normal for a while the light cools down. What’s the problem with that? I’ve switched to the ramping mode anyway, and like I said earlier, in my case, if I’m using 900 lumens or something near that, I’m outside running in generally cool weather at night, where the cooling has been sufficient to maintain max lumens despite the divot under the star issue. I basically haven’t seen any issue in my real use.

Quadrupel
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Right , linear drivers are more efficient then switching are, but only in Russia Big Smile

D'AVerk
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lightningrunner wrote:
I basically haven’t seen any issue in my real use.

May be you are topic starter? So we are giving advices for TS now, and he/she should analize HIS/HER real use, not yours.

And if Nitecore do something “unknown” with light flow – this called as “narcomany”,
and if such unknown things do Inferion driver – this is “wow, cool feature”? Not at all.
This is just bug, and this should be declared as BUG.

No any reason do such things against simple check of current on mode changes and reset TK if current on new mode is LOWER then before.

Two-three program instructions and light flow could be transparent for all, not only you, with yours pattern of use.

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D'AVerk wrote:
lightningrunner wrote:
I basically haven’t seen any issue in my real use.
May be you are topic starter? So we are giving advices for TS now, and he/she should analize HIS/HER real use, not yours.

The OP asked for suggestions. I provided my suggestion. The OP might have already made a purchase, butthis discussion is useful for other readers too.