Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★
There is published at BLF a very good review of this headlamp made by MrAdmin.
I normally do not publish reviews of flashlights already analyzed in BLF, but this time it has been an exception. I won this headlamp in a raffle made here by DealExtreme (yes, DX, DealExtreme). DX asked all winners to perform a review when receiving it, and this is the reason why I posted it even when there is another very good one already made by sb56637.
Other users have done the same, because it was part of the "winning condition" to do a review of it when receiving it. OK?
I want to thank again DealExtreme and BLF for making this possible.
|Battery:||1xAA or 1x14500|
|Switch:||Electronic switch (push button)|
|Modes:||Infinite (ramp mode)|
|LED Type:||Cree XR-E Q5|
|Price Paid:||0$ (Won in a DX draw here at BLF) but it costs 29.80$|
|Date Ordered:||Sent on Nov 2012|
- Seems high quality for it´s cost
- Very smooth and clean threads
- "Ramp" mode (infinite variable brightness) with working memory
- AA/14500 support
- Magnet in the tail
- Parasitic drain (but has easy solution)
- Button too heavy to press (maybe only my unit)
- No "pause" when arriving max and min power while selecting brightness
- A bit low PWM specially in the minimum setting
Features / Value: ★★★★★
I always wanted to have this tiny and handy headlamp!
The first thing that I have to mention: this is one of the few "ultra/trust-Fire" lights that I have not had to clean and lube before using it. It has arrived completely clean both outside and inside, and with a generous quantity of lube in the threads.
The second thing that I have to mention: I did´nt espected it to be the quality it is. I espected less, taking into account that it is a xxxx-Fire light of 29$.
Now I have a "normal configuration" for use as headlamp. I have been using a OEM NiteCore EZAA + the ultrafire headband as a headlamp, resulting in a very throwy configuration. Now I have a "pure-flood" weapon + the ability to choose the exact light output I want.
UltraFire guys are shipping them in a nice box...
Where we find the headlamp and an aceptable quality headband.
I already had one of these headbands purchased 2 years ago... I had a OEM NiteCore EZAA attached to it, and it was my "previous headlamp"...
Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★
Again, I mention about the quality. I was especting less. I really like it´s threads and how clean and lubed it came.
It feels very robust, but I dont think it will survive a +1m drop in a solid concrete surface.
The only bad thing I have noticed, is, that the electronic "push button" is veeeeeery hard to press. Maybe it is only in my unit. The main problem of this, is not for the On/Off action, but for the infinite-brightness selection, that you have to keep pressed the button. Some times, due to the fact that it is hard to press, when you are holding it, sometimes your finger will be "bumped" and you will have to press again to adjust brightness, using a lot of pressure...
It seems to be made from a solid piece of mechanized aluminum, where the only "separable" parts are the tailcap and the clip. The clip can be removed just by unscrewing to "allen" screws.
I have to mention too, that, it is NOT necessary to remove the clip to "insert" the flashlight in the headlamp. With a bit of practise, you can do it easily, without damaging the rubber of the headband. Also, even with the clip inserted, you can "tilt" the light up and down, lo improve your vision, if you need the light projected more to the ground or your front....
There is a magnet in the tailcap, that allows you to "stick" it to any metallic object. Also it can tailstand when you are not using it as a headlamp (with the headband).
Also, again, very clean, smooth, anodized and lubed threads. Allows "lock-out". Only 1/4 turn and the electronics will not receive current from the battery, avoiding the parasitic drain and reseting the brightness to the max output when you power on next time.
If you unscrew the tailcap, remove the battery and look inside, what you will see is a "black" part with a spring, and a "ultrafire" and "+" logo.
Battery Life: ★★★★☆
I will not give the 5 full stars. Ok, it is an "UltraFire" so dont espect the high eficiency drivers other manufacturers put in their lights such as Fenix, JetBeam, NiteCore, etc.
It is more than aceptable for what it costs. Typical eficiency from other lights.... current decreasing when the battery voltage decrease. It will not maintain too much a constant brightness for a long time... it will be slowly decreasing while it is powered on.
However, I have managed to get very good runtimes. I have not tested how much it will last on the lowest mode, but I think it can be powered on in that mode for more than 2 days with a 2500mAh Ni-Mh cell.
On the highest mode, with a 2500mAh Ni-Mh cell it will give aceptable light for a 1,5 hours, then decreasing.
The current draw measured is (was tricky to get the measurement, specially the lowest mode):
Ni-Mh highest output: 853mA
Ni-Mh lowest output: 24mA
I have not tested the runtime with 14500, but the current draw measurements, are:
14500 highest output: 510mA
14500 lowest output: 21mA
I will not use with 14500. I will use it only with Ni-Mh, because there is not much difference in the output, and with Ni-Mh it will have more runtime, and it will generate less heat.
To power it on, just simply press the switch once. That will power on the light, at full power if you have inserted the battery (reseted circuit). If not, it will be powered on in the last brightness setting you used.
To power it off, just simply press once again.
To enter the HIDDEN Strobe mode, press twice.
Light Output: ★★★★★
OK, this light, due to it has no reflector, but has some kind of convex lens, it produces a "pure-flood" beam. It is not useful to see objects at more than 3 meters... Only close range.
Also, due to the fact that I dont have measuring equipment, I have to "eyeball" the lumens output. This is my estimation:
Ni-Mh High: 110 lumens
Ni-Mh Low: 2 lumen
14500 High: 130 lumens
14500 Low: 8 lumens
Beamshots, Ni-Mh only, pointing the corner of the wall and the ceiling, at about 2 meters...
This is the highest setting:
And this is the lowest setting I could select:
Notice that on the highest setting, no PWM is seen. The PWM starts to be seen (but not much in real life) when approaching the lowest setting.
I have said it all. This is not a zebralight, nor a spark, nor a Fenix, etc... but it is a good headlamp at an affordable price which offers a "pure-flood" beam + a infinitely variable brightness adjustment with a good runtime too.
If you can not pay more than 30$ for a AA sized headlamp, this can be one of the best choices.