Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lumintop HL01 NW Headlamp(1x18650/2xCR123A) 610 Lm, Review

The HL01 is a first headlamp from Lumintop,featuring Dual button switch design for easier one hand operation.
610 Lumens maximum brightness. 1x18650 or 2xCR123A battery compatibility.
Ultralow 0.8 Lumen mode. Hidden flashing modes. High efficiency output regulating circuit.
The HL01 is available with a cool white or a neutral white LED.
My review sample is the Neutral white version.

147gr with a 18650 battery.
Length 3.46 inches (88.8mm)
Diameter of the body 1.07 inches (27.6mm)

Rubber foam on the back of the holder.

High quality headband. Good thickness. Holds the headlamp stably and comfortable.
Black/Grey color.
Can be easily adjusted for different size head.

The headlamp holder is made of plastic.
The battery cap allows side-standing.

Diameter of the head ~24mm. There is enough length for attaching a small diffuser.

The head can be rotated on 180°.
There are 17 defined positions with mechanically locking.
A click sound can be heard on any position.

Aerospace aluminum body. Black matte HAIII military grade Hard anodized finish.
Waterproof to IPX-8 standard (2 meters under water).
Impact resistance to 1.5 meters.
Aluminum “unibody” construction for excellent cooling performance.

Different height buttons.
The shorter is the ON/OFF button. The longer is for mode switching.
Both switches are electronic buttons with a clear click sound.
Soft rubber switch cap.

The buttons are big and easy to press with finger.
There is enough space between them.
Just have to remember by touching which is for ON/OFF and which for modes.

Lumintop HL01 can be powered by one 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries.

Anodized trapezoid cut threads.
Well greased 0-rings.

There is a plastic tube inside the main aluminum tube.
The reverse polarity protection(protecting from improper battery installation) is mechanical and this requires using only button top batteries.

lock out the battery cap is possible for disconnecting the power to the driver board.

Keeppower 3400 and XTAR 3100 protected batteries fit well in the battery tube.

The HL01 stays comfortable on head.
Pressing the buttons is relatively easy.

Standard packaging.
All important information can be seen on the box.
In the box-the HL01 headlamp,a headband for it,two spare O-rings.

This is the lowest 0.8Lumen mode.Quite low brightness.Great for using in full darkness or as a locating light in very dark places.

Cree XM-L2 LED.
Neutral white on my HL01.
The LED on my sample is not quite well centered,but the beam is not affected by that.
18mm diameter reflector.
Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating.

Textured (Orange peel) aluminum reflector for smooth,well flooded beam.
This is the best choice for a headlamp and provides a clean of artifacts beam.

User Interface
The HL01 has 4 constant and 3 flashing modes.
3 main modes Low(8Lm)-Mid(95Lm)-High(610Lm) with instant memory for the last used mode.
Short click for ON/OFF.
Briefly press the mode switch to cycle between Low-Mid-High modes.
The memory for the last used mode works accurately and quickly without need of waiting a second or two for its work.
The light will start on the mode you left it no matter how frequently will turn it On and Off.

The fourth constant brightness mode is Ultralow(moonlight) 0.8Lm mode.
This mode is hidden and is available from Off state,after pressing the On/Off switch for a second.
There is no memory for this mode.

The flashing modes are Slow flash(beacon),SOS and Strobe (in this sequence).
They can be activated after pressing the mode switch for 1 second while the light is turned On.
Short press will switch between Beacon,SOS,Strobe.
There is no memory for the flashing modes.

Pressing the Mode switch from OFF will activate High mode momentary.

Lumintop HL01 is current controlled on all modes. There is no sign of PWM.
The output is impressively well regulated as the balance between runtime and brightness is just the right for excellent performance.

Because of the electronic way to turn ON/OFF the light,the circuit is actually in Standby mode at OFF state and takes ~150 µA current.
If you will not use the headlamp for a long time,it is good to unscrew a little the tail cap.This will lock-out the main circuit.

Short video presenting the UI and design specifics.
(turn on annotations)

Using a Keeppower 3400mAh battery,the output is nearly flat for about 80 minutes on the High 610Lm mode.
There was no brightness step down during the tests.Full run time test using a cooling fan and 10 minutes test without cooling.
It is good to switch the light to a lower mode if you feel it too hot when using on High mode.

Battery voltage
U start 4.2V
U end 3.15V
There is a Low voltage protection.
Initial current draw on High mode= 1.5A


The light from the Neutral white Cree XM-L2 LED in my HL01 sample is on the warm side of the neutral lights.
There is a noticeable yellowish tint(mostly in the hotspot).
Maybe not the best choice for using indoors,because white objects look unnatural.
Not a problem for outdoor use.The yellowish light could be more efficient,especially in bad,foggy weather will give good visibility.
2580cd peak beam intensity.

The Beam is well balanced between throw and flood.
Quite wide beam angle with very useful spill.
Smooth transition between hotspot and spill. No artifacts.
The hot spot is clearly defined as can be seen on the beamshots below..

1 meter, white wall, 1/20sec
Lumintop HL01 High-Mid-Low

3 other lights for beam shape and tint comparison.

1 meter, white wall, 1/250sec

5 meters, 1/6sec

5 meters, 1/50sec

Lumintop HL01,Nitecore HC50,ThruNite Neutron 2C

Lumintop HL01 and Nitecore HC50

Lumintop HL01 is a good offer for a headlamp.
Good build quality.Lightweight.Sufficient amount of lumens.Well spaced brightness modes.
The dual button switch is easy for one hand operation.
High quality headband that should last for quite a long time.
The neutral white beam has more yellowish tint than I'd like. The cool white version might be a better choice if good color rendering is required.
Though I didn't test the cool white version and can't comment on it.
The holder is made of plastic and I can't confirm that it would withstand dropping it on a hard surface.

Overall the headlamp is comfortable in use and provides good illumination for different types of use as close range work or sport,camping,etc.

Thanks for reading!