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Zebralight H52 vs Black Diamond Storm
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David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Zebralight H52 vs Black Diamond Storm on 11/18/2013 18:04:01 MST Print View

> When was the last time that you bought a flashlight or C- or D-cell headlamp with those?

Last week. FAA Part 135 regs still dictate a flashlight with two D-cells be used to inspect the plane. Good Grief! Pilots are about the only people as obsessed with saving weight as we're are.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Zebralight H52 vs Black Diamond Storm on 11/18/2013 18:58:42 MST Print View

"And I would think that people would realize that rechargeable is out of the question when hiking."

It seems to me that depends on trip length. Perhaps if you are a through-hiker on one of the big three trails, but not for much else. I would suggest that few people take hikes longer than 10 day to 2 weeks, and the Zebralight is fine for that without any on-trail recharging.

Zebralight figures are for a 2000mAh Eneloop rechargeable NiMH battery. I use Imedion NiMH LSD cells because they are rated at 2400 mAh (an extra 20%). Let's look at how long 2 cells should last in an H52W:

*) Low (2.7y Lm) is plenty for in-camp use, cooking, tent light, trips to your cat hole, etc. It is rated at 4 days, which would be 115+ hours with the Imedions. Assuming you use the light 4 hrs per day, that is 28+ days -- way longer than most people's trips.

*) M2 (25 Lm) is adequate for trail hiking. It is rated for 12 hours, which would be 14+ hours with the Imedions. Unless you are deliberately night hiking, an hour a day should be plenty -- that means it should last at least 2 weeks on a single cell.

Bottom line: it seems to me that an H52W with two Imedion rechargeable AA cells (one in the light, and one spare) should be fine for trips of up to 2 weeks unless you plan to do a lot of night hiking. In that case you would need to take one more cell for each all-night hike you plan (M1, 50 Lm 9 hrs, or M2 25 Lm, 14+ hours).

Bottom line: all of your recharging would be done at home, before you leave on the trip. There would be no on-trail recharging for trips of up to 2 weeks.


scree ride
neutral or cool on 11/18/2013 19:17:11 MST Print View

Grab the neutral or wait for the cool white?

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
neutral or cool on 11/19/2013 00:16:15 MST Print View

I bought the H52W AA headlamp because I thought the better color rendition would be more pleasing to the eye when night. As it turns out, I much prefer the piercing white light of the cool white emitter (I also have the SC52 AA Zebralight, which is very similar to the cool white emitter used in the H52 AA).

So in my case I prefer the cool white if it's going to be used for trail walking. The advantage of the neutral white is that it shows up the bumps and dips on the trail a little better but it does seem a bit duller than the equivalent cool white.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Oranges and Lemons on 11/19/2013 11:03:44 MST Print View

There are multiple considerations and as I've learned here, what works for the raven may or may not work for the conspiracy.

There are a couple basic issues when it comes to lights with respect to tradeoffs - brightness/runtime (the brighter the light, the less runtime all other things being equal), brightness/size (the smaller the light the less mass to dissipate heat and the less overall output is possible for any appreciable time at least - this excludes "turbo" short burst modes), runtime/battery capacity (bigger and/or more batteries will run longer than smaller capacity/fewer batteries). Everybody wants a light the size of the Zebralight H31 that has the output of a triple XPG emitter custom 18650 light and runs for 8 hours on high but that is simply not possible!

After that you get into the murky world of circuit design (single cell lights by and large need a boost circuit as noted already - multi cell lights use a buck circuit) which has a variety of relative impacts including efficiency and regulation (which in and of itself is the source of much confusion and marketing spin). There are also practical considerations like build quality and ease of service/replacement. Not to mention power supply replenishment to the extent needed.

Personally - I like a regulated light as I like to have "x" minutes or hours of light at a fixed level. I use mostly multi level lights however and for a long time have developed the habit of using the least amount of light necessary for the job at hand. If I need "high" I like it to be "high" for the time I need it and not a declining curve. Some are fine with a long extended tail - just a matter or preference.

I like a smaller light and recognize that runtime and overall output will take a hit. Given current technologies in emitters however, overall output gets overrated. My most used EDC flashlights are around 200 lumens on high which for almost all uses is more than enough light. I have two that will output a good bit more than that but in a single CR123 size light those modes are not that helpful as you can't use them for more than a minute or two on those levels as the light gets too hot. Better emitters for me, at least, brings greater runtime at the same brightness rather than just more lumens.

I also think having to replace batteries can be a red herring - I use CR123 lights mostly in headlamps and pocket lights. My Steripen (if I'm using it) is based on CR123 cells - and for me that works well - I only carry one size spare. But most of the time I carry a spare for true catastrophe as the headlamps or lights I take into the woods, at the levels I most use them - will run for days constantly and I don't use them constantly. I get that for long distance hikers - i.e. more than a week the ability to resupply at the local gas and sip matters as a safety net but for many folks it is not as big a concern as other things.

And lastly there are legitimate considerations around build quality and ability to get service. Buying a light from REI (or MEC) has advantages if you have one nearby. I always have a backup light and have a couple headlamps so if I did have a turnaround I'd be OK with it in all likelihood. But I understand some would prefer that distribution/service model. The downside is it limits you to the lights they sell which may or may not represent the widest selection.