Aug 27, 2013 at 10:29 am #1307001
Two weeks ago I purchased one of each of these headlamps directly from Zebralight. They have both received high praise on various web forums, and it happened the manufacturer was having a sale ($49.50 with free shipping). At that price, it was almost in the territory of the Petzl Tikka XP2 lamps, so I jumped. They arrived quickly and I was impressed with the light output ( 200 lm for the H51 and 220 lm for the H31) and the build quality. These are both IPX7 waterproof (2 meters for 30 minutes). They came equipped with headbands, additional O-rings and a "glow in the dark" headband attachment that can be swapped out for the standard black one.
I liked them enough to go back to check on buying another for a gift, only to see them listed as discontinued models ( all variations – flood, neutral white, etc.). Price is $64. It appears Zebralight is focused on their H600 model – cost is $89 – although it was not available for purchase on their website at this time. This light puts out substantially more lumens (1,020) on high and takes a special 18650 size 3.6/3.7V li-ion rechargeable battery which appear to cost $4-$7 per battery plus a charger station.
They still offer the H502 ($64) which takes AA but is a flood design.
Not sure I would ever need 1,020 lumens and I know I am not ready to pay $96 (including battery) for a headlamp. Somewhat surprised that they would discontinue such a popular headlamp – happy I got one when I could.Aug 27, 2013 at 10:39 am #2019038
"Not sure I would ever need 1,020 lumens"
With that much light intensity, you would not need to bring a firearm. You could just blind the bear.
–B.G.–Aug 27, 2013 at 11:40 am #2019058
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"With that much light intensity, you would not need to bring a firearm. You could just blind the bear."
As demonstrated repeatedly in the Men in Black movies, they can be used as a Neuralzyer. Flash the bear with 1,020 lumens and he'll forget what he was going after.Aug 27, 2013 at 11:52 am #2019062
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
Apparently there is an H52 in the works to replace the H51. No date yet.
The H600 mk2 and H602 are supposed to start shipping mid-Sept.
Seems there is no H32 planned at the moment or other CR123 headlamps.Aug 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm #2019113
Many people have good reasons not to buy the H31 version of this lamp based on the need to use CR123 batteries. I don't disagree that these can be expensive or hard to find batteries. But it seems this is only a real concern if your are on an extended thru hike or a poor planner. As to cost, I was able to order a 12 pack of Surefire Lithium 123's for less than $1.70 / battery on Amazon. These have a 10 year shelf life and perform better than alkalines in cold weather. They are also lighter if grams matter. Most of my trips are 2-5 days, and one spare battery gives me enough backup comfort, so I am not worried if the local general store has one.
On the plus side, the H31 is smaller, lighter, and brighter. I thought I would prefer the H51, but the H31 is what I put in my pack.Aug 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm #2019214
I've had the Zebralight SC52 AA flashlight for quite a while now and have been patiently waiting for Zebralight to announce a headlamp version of this light. I'm hoping that the phase out of the old headlamps means that a release is approaching. I've been extremely impressed with the SC52 AA as it takes a single AA battery "or" a 3.7V 14500 Li-ion battery which boosts the already impressive 280 Lm light to 500 Lm for a short period. I really want a headlamp version of this light.Aug 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm #2019238
as popular as these lamps have been, I can't imagine that they don't have a replacement(s) waiting on the wings
that said, I have two H31's just in case :)Sep 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm #2025597
I thought I'd post this as a followup to my previous post… I have been waiting for Zebralight to announce a headlamp version of my SC52 AA flashlight. It's the brightest AA flashlight on the market (I own one) and can use the high output lithium 3.7 volt batteries as well as an AA battery (3.7V produces a 1 minute burst at 500 lm and then steps down to 280 lm. With an AA battery it will put out a continuous 280 lm)
Zebralight is now listing the headlamp version (H52w AA Headlamp) which is what I've been waiting for! Unfortunately, it's not available yet but at least it's finally on their website. I'll be hitting the buy button as soon as it's in stock. At 1.1 oz (32 gram) for the light, and 2.9 oz (80 gram) with an Eneloop AA and headband, this is an amazing light.Sep 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm #2025623
The H52 is a few grams lighter (32 vs 37, not counting the 23g strap and battery) but the main advantage seems to be that you can use a AA or 14500 (rechargable lithium) battery. Brightness is up a bit (266lu vs 200lu) and with a 14500 battery is pushes 460lu for up to a minute and then reverts to 266 (probably heat limited).Sep 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm #2025629
"At 1.1 oz (32 gram) for the light, and 2.9 oz (80 gram) with an Eneloop AA and headband, this is an amazing light."
You can save about one ounce by substituting a lighter weight band. I use an old Croakies eyeglass retainer strap on my H501.
–B.G.–Sep 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm #2025689
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Over at CPF, there's something known as the "David T" carry method for zebralights. You get an elasticized finger sleeve (walgreens, amazon). Then thread a flat boot lace through that. Then add a cord lock. The light fits snugly inside the finger sleeve. The flat boot lace goes around your head and the cord lock keeps it secure. Does it sound uncomfortable? It's not!! And it's uber-lightweight, and multi-use. I actually carry my ZL around my neck a lot of the time. Since I use the H502 (flood), aiming it is not very important.Sep 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm #2025696
>> and with a 14500 battery is pushes 460lu for up to a minute and then reverts to 266 (probably heat limited).<<
Dan – I'm not sure where you got your numbers from?
With the 14500 battery the output is 500lm
The max output for an AA and stepped down 14500 is 280lm.
The AA output (280lm) is measured using an Eneloop battery, standard Lithium AA (disposables) will increase the output.
The step down from 500lm is definitely a heat issue but it makes an excellent hand warmer while on high with a 14500 battery running at 500lm. The step down is not really an issue because with my SC52 I can turn it off and back on again and it gives me another minute at 500lm. It doesn't seem to cause an issue to recycle it to high output repeatedly (so far…).
I would agree that the fact that these lights take a 14500 battery or an AA battery is what makes it special. Battery weights vary quite a bit too. A 14500 weighs .7 oz, an Eneloop weighs .9 oz and a Lithium AA (disposable) weighs .5 oz. The light can use them all, so it's nice to have choices (I don't use the Eneloops anymore).
On the weekend I did a 3 day trip and took my SC52 with me. While sitting around camp at night (many hours each night), I put the little light under the edge of the rain fly of my Notch (the light can stand on it's tail) and it provided a great "mood light" (reflected off the fly with a nice glow). The 14500 battery was still registering 3/4 charge at the end of the trip.Sep 18, 2013 at 7:43 am #2025760
It looks like I was looking at the "floody" version, which is 475lm stepping down to 266lm.
It looks like 14500's don't have more capacity than a NiMh AA, so the main advantage is that it can push higher power (due to the higher voltage). That's desirable for some applications, but for hiking one minute of brighter light is a much smaller deal than gaining capacity.Sep 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm #2025992
If output is kept the same (as in running the light at the same output with a 14500 vs NiMH ), then I think you will find that the 14500 will have a greater capacity. You want to look at Watt-hours (Wh) as a comparison not mAh and voltage since the different batteries are running the same light.
I believe the conversion is: Wh = mAh × V / 1000 (electrical engineers please jump in at this point as I'm walking on thin ice here)
My 14500 battery is 3.7 V and 800 mAh so 2.96 Wh
My NiMH battery is 1.2 V and 2000 mAh so 2.4 Wh
So pretty close but the 14500 is slightly higher and a few grams lighter. Of course there are variables like if I run it to 500 lm then everything changes. Voltage conversion may also be another variable in this case. I think my preference for backpacking would be to use Lithium disposables but a tiny little 500 lm light is fun to use so I just keep packing a 14500 battery!Sep 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm #2026032
"I believe the conversion is: Wh = mAh × V / 1000 (electrical engineers please jump in at this point as I'm walking on thin ice here)"
That is valid in general. The m and the /1000 cancel out each other. Otherwise WH=Ah x V
There are several specifications of the Zebralight products that are probably good, but not stated by the vendor.
A lithium primary battery is very good, though, and lighter weight to boot.
–B.G.–Sep 19, 2013 at 4:47 am #2026055
The math looks good. I normally use higher capacity NiMH batteries rather than the slower discharging ones (ie. Eneloop) because I charge them immediately before I head out. So my Duracell ones are 2650 mAh * 1.2 V = 3.18 Wh
It looks like one can buy 900 mAh 14500's, so those would be 3.33 Wh. So there seems to be a small gain in capacity, but probably not much more than 5-10%.
Anyways, it's nice to have options. The capacity of the regular lithium AA's is great (Over 4 Wh), but for cost, hassle and environmental reasons I prefer rechargeables.Sep 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm #2028954
Zebralights site now has the H52 available for pre-order, hopefully will be shipping soon.Sep 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm #2028960
Zebralight's page says that pre-orders will start shipping on Oct 18, 2013.
I've placed my order.
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