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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Flashlight vs headlamp on 12/08/2010 07:25:45 MST Print View

Regarding the comparison between the H51 and something like the iTP flashlight, a headlamp plays the role of a flashlight much better than a flashlight playing the role of a headlamp.

Even though some of these little flashlights come with headbands or there are various ways to mount them to a hat or clothing, a headlamp will be much better suited to the task, especially when you need to direct the light up or down.

Since the H51 can be removed from the headband quite easily, it really is both a headlamp and flashlight in one package.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Thru-Hike Flashlight or Headlamp on 12/08/2010 09:56:22 MST Print View

I did a thru-hike on one set of batteries (two months). I don't have any objective data but I bet I used my headlamp maybe once a week. During summer it's light out until 21:00 or 22:00 and you'll find you sleep from dark until dawn (which of course comes early). For utility's sake I recommend a headlamp over a flashlight in just about all situations.

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
pct LIGHT on 12/08/2010 10:52:44 MST Print View

Geesh, That pole taken is enough to scare me into a Fenix Flashlight. Thank you for all the posts they have been very helpful. I guess I have a bit to think about.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F - M

Locale: SoCAL
PCT Light on 12/08/2010 12:35:43 MST Print View

I did start my 2009 PCT hike with a Fenix L0D Q4(1AAA) flashlight. While I think it was bright enough to work for the whole trail, its small size (and perhaps Olive wasn't the best color choice) worked against it as I somehow left it behind on Mt. Laguna a few miles before the store when I packed up in the morning. So it only lasted a few days before I was forced to use my Photon Freedom light as my primary light until I could replace it. While I think Photons will work for a low use camplite and for use as an emergency night hiking light, I don't think many would want to use them for an entire thru-hike. They don't last long before the LED light starts to fade as the batteries run down. I also don't know what I was doing wrong, but I would often get to camp at nite and find the battery dead in the L0D for some reason so I'm not sure I trust that twist on/off mechanism and prefer a real button. I started carrying it without the battery and then when it got dark, I would put the battery in it.

Most of the time in camp and hiking, you don't need a bright light. But there were a few times when I appreciated the bright Turbo Mode of my L1D Q5 light that I replaced my lost L0D light with. When looking for a campsite after dark, the added throw of a bright light helps spot campsites far off the trail. Also, I loaned it to a hiker so he could find his headlamp he dropped in the dark. He couldn't find it with his backup light, but easily found it ~1/4mile back with mine on full brightness. He lost the same headlamp twice in Washington (the previous time another hiker found it and returned it 2days later). Just before it gets dark, he would put his headlamp over his wide brim hat but leave it turned off until it was dark. Only he sweated alot so he would sometimes take his hat off to wipe the sweat off his head and twice his headlamp fell off the hat. The first time it happened, he didn't have a backup light and still insisted on hiking in the dark to get to a spring. It was funny watching him passing by my camp that night sticking real close to his hiking partner in front who had a light. If the guy in front stopped suddenly, they would have had a collision and found themselves in a compromising position.

Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Zebralight reliability poll on 12/08/2010 12:53:58 MST Print View

FYI, as a very frequent visitor of CandlePowerForums, I'd like to advise you not to worry about that reliability poll and take it with a huge grain of salt, for two reasons:

1 - That poll was posted right after a lot of people were having an issue with the newly released Zebralight H30 a while back, of which the initial batch was recalled by ZL... so it's heavily biased towards people complaining about that one specific issue which was all over CPF for a while and was acknowledged and corrected by ZL

2 - Anyone who has a flashlight problem and googles for answers ends up at CPF, so you see a number of problem reports there that does not represent the general population


I have a Zebralight and it is awesome, well made and reliable.

PS. If you search CPF you can easily find enough reports of problems to scare you off (almost) any brand of light... including Fenix, 4Sevens and uber-reliable uber-expensive brands like Surefire. Huge selection bias in what you see posted there versus the general reality. 4Sevens, Fenix, Zebralight, Surefire, etc all make fantastic lights.

Edited by diplodocus on 12/08/2010 12:57:42 MST.

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
PCT trail on 12/08/2010 13:01:08 MST Print View

Thanks Dave,
I read the review and there were very few H51 model people that even posted. It was mostly the other models. At this point I am considering the Fenix LD10, Fenix LD01, and the Zebralight H51. I am leaning towards the H51. I just hope it does not fail on me on the trail is all. Thanks again, I will tell you guys if the Zebralight Fails on me! hah
Have a Happy Holiday and thanks again for all the posts!! I am so glad to have this forum, and everyone here has been more than helpful to me.

Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: PCT trail on 12/08/2010 13:09:27 MST Print View

Overall, I'd go with the Zebralight... the headlamp feature is just too good to pass up.

But, other notes:
Personally, if you're strongly considering the LD10 and want that size/format of light (AA, clicky), I'd choose the 4Seven's Quark AA over the LD10 any day.

The Quark has several things you will probably appreciate while backpacking:

1- Super low moonlight mode: The moonlight mode (0.2lumens?) is adequate to read by. If your eyes are adapted to the dark, you'll be surprised what you can do with this mode. And as a bonus, using it won't totally destroy your night vision. And the batteries last for days and days on this mode, it's fantastic.

2- Better pocket clip: The Quark pocket clip is a much better/reliable design if you're actually going to use it. The Fenix pocket clip on this one is sort of an afterthought that clips onto the light.

3- Note that 4Sevens rates their lumen output differently than Fenix. 4Sevens uses a more honest "OTF" or out the front lumen output that is actually measured and includes light loss at the lens, whereas Fenix is quoting an estimate of how much is being put out at the LED. So, 100 4Sevens OTF lumens > 100 Fenix emitter lumens.

4- 10 year warranty on 4Sevens is a nice touch. David Chow/his team at 4Sevens back up their products well and are easy to get a hold of.

(As you can tell, I guess I'm kind of a 4Seven's fanboy, but I just think they make very carefully thought out products. All the above being said, the LD10 is also a great light, so you wouldn't be making a bad choice either way.)

If you want AAA format, like the LD01, also consider the 4Sevens Preon ReVO... a bit more money, but it uses a more advanced power regulation scheme (current-controlled rather than PWM, which is hard to come by in such a small light). This results in great battery life for its size on the ReVo. Same comment about 4Sevens using lower-sounding OTF lumens ratings applies here.

Edited by diplodocus on 12/08/2010 13:14:43 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: PCT trail on 12/08/2010 13:14:35 MST Print View

Joshua,
Also remember that many of these "tactical" type lights use complicated circuitry (for a flashlight). The technology goes way beyond sending power to a tungsten filament to make it glow, and thus will inherently have more issues. It's not a bad idea to take a minuscule keychain light for backup.

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
PCT light on 12/08/2010 13:36:03 MST Print View

My goodness there are way to many options. I understand why people are post Just Pick 1! It sure is hard when there are so many options. The Quark Flashlight look pretty great! Anyone have feedback on of all these lights listed, What light will be most reliable and will run on regular batteries and no need the lithium? Lithium might not be available. Also, for night reading how many Lumen's will I need? For camp Chores? Thanks

Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: PCT light on 12/08/2010 13:42:21 MST Print View

"What light will be most reliable and will run on regular batteries and no need the lithium?"

All the lights you are considering will be about equal in terms of reliability and performance on different batteries. They all use very similar circuit designs and LEDs.

"Also, for night reading how many Lumen's will I need?"

These questions depend on how the light is focused and personal preference, but generally: You'll be able to read with very, very low lumens... Anywhere from 0.1 to 15 lumens is a comfortable range for reading. You'll use the lower end if your eyes are very dark adapted.

"For camp Chores?"

Anywhere in the 10 lumens to 120 lumens range

Beyond about 120 lumens would usually only be "needed" for lighting up larger areas or seeing further distances. This all assumes your eyes are adapted to the dark.

Edited by diplodocus on 12/08/2010 13:43:46 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: PCT light on 12/08/2010 13:46:53 MST Print View

Not to push the H51, but its the only light like these that I have. So, here are my thoughts on your questions...

Regardless of the scary poll, you're going to find reliability is pretty even across the board.

The H51 will run regular or lithium.

You only need a couple of lumens to read. The H51 puts out 0.2 lumens on its lowest setting and you'd be able to read by that, but the 2.5 or 8 lumen setting might be better.

For camp chores, you'd only need 10-20 lumens.

And, the H51 puts out a blinding 200 lumens off of a single AA if you need the light. Its the brightest single AA in the world.

On high, it puts my Princeton Tec Eos and Remix to shame, and they use 3 AAA batteries. Though I do believe the Princeton Tecs get longer runtime on high, but I'm not completely sure.

Edited by T.L. on 12/08/2010 13:50:23 MST.

Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Lumen Interpretation on 12/08/2010 13:49:46 MST Print View

Sorry if I'm posting way too much flashlight info, but one thing that's good to know about lumens:

Lumens themselves are a linear scale of how much light the flashlight is putting out. But your eyes do not perceive lumens in a linear fashion, but in a logarithmic fashion. What this means is that 2x as many lumens will NOT *look* like 2x as many lumens. The visual difference between 10 lumens and 20 lumens is small. Same goes for the visual difference between 100 lumens and 200 lumens. I think the general rule of thumb is that it takes about 4x as many lumens to *appear* twice as bright.

The moral is: Don't get too caught up worrying about small percentages of lumens either way. You won't be able to really see much difference between 75 lumens and 100 lumens for example.

Edited by diplodocus on 12/08/2010 13:51:22 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Lumen Interpretation on 12/08/2010 13:52:35 MST Print View

Dave's right. While I can see the light change between 200 and 140 lumens, it doesn't make a big difference, especially at any distance.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Lumen Interpretation on 12/08/2010 13:59:19 MST Print View

Yes, the Lumen is a measurement of light strength.

What nobody seems to mention is light spectrum. Back in ancient history when we had incandescent bulbs in our headlamps, they put out a warm glow of a fairly broad spectrum. As a result, we could distinguish colors at night with just the headlamp for illumination. But then we converted to LED headlamps, and they have a very narrow spectrum. Some are warm and some are cool, but the spectrum is narrow enough that color recognition gets chancy. Most of the time, I can put up with that. However, color recognition gets important when I am trying to read a paper topo map.

--B.G.--

Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Re: Re: Lumen Interpretation on 12/08/2010 14:04:11 MST Print View

Totally agree, Bob.

There are a lot of incan light fans on CPF for this reason. The full spectrum is a lot more pleasant to the eye and makes things look more natural. Modern LED lights often make things look sort of washed out.

Fun Fact: All White LEDs are actually Blue LEDs with a phosphor coating that spreads out the spectrum. If you look at the output of a white LED, there is a huge spike in the blue region for this reason.

High CRI (Color Rendering Index) LEDs and so called "Warm White" and "Neutral White" LEDs attempt to address this, but none of them comes close the the full incan spectrum. However there aren't a lot of lights made using the LEDs yet. 4Sevens sometimes has the Neutral White variety, but they are generally limited availability.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lumen Interpretation on 12/08/2010 14:19:02 MST Print View

"Fun Fact: All White LEDs are actually Blue LEDs with a phosphor coating that spreads out the spectrum. If you look at the output of a white LED, there is a huge spike in the blue region for this reason."

That is interesting, because in the early days of color LED history, Red color was easy, Yellow and Green were harder, and Blue was extremely difficult to produce.

There are some LED products being made for video camera illumination, sort of like a sun gun. A few seem to offer spectrum variability. Color temperature is important to photographers.

--B.G.--

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lumen Interpretation on 12/08/2010 14:31:47 MST Print View

It doesn't have the H51, but beamshots are very useful when picking out a light.

http://www.illuminationgear.com/SIDEBYSIDE27729.html

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
PCT light on 12/08/2010 14:32:38 MST Print View

Sounds Like the Zebralight H51 is the way to go. I will take my chances and we will see.
Thanks for all the help...Zebralight H51 as primary and the Photon Micro-Light II as my backup. Thanks for the advice about Lumens. I was worried the 0.2 Lumens would be to little for nighttime reading, but sounds like it might work.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Thru-Hike Flashlight or Headlamp on 12/08/2010 18:07:46 MST Print View

Have you considered the Zebralight H31?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Thru-Hike Flashlight or Headlamp on 12/08/2010 18:20:48 MST Print View

Only problem with the H31 is that it runs off a CR123 battery. Those are pricey and harder to find compared to AAs.