Rating: 4 / 5
Final tally. It's a draw!
This headlamp appears to be marketed under different brands, but otherwise appears to be identical.
I have the eGear incarnation of this headlamp.
The on/off and mode selection button is very easy to operate - even with light gloves on, which is nice . While recessed just a bit, it might still be possible for it to be accidentally actuated while cramming things into a pack or stuff sack. The Princeton Tec Eos requires significantly more force to depress the switch than the eGear Li 1W.
Supposedly, pressing and holding the ON/OFF/MODEselection switch places the headlamp in a Flashing-HIGH o.p. mode, but i've never tried this.
eGear (EssentialGear.com) advertises slightly more liberal "burn" times (7h/15h/30h vs. 5h/11h/22h published for the Nuwai and VERIFIED by FlashlightReviews - cf., the link in the first Post in this Thread). I haven't verified burn times on the eGear, so i can't comment. Either way, plenty of long term light output from a pair of batts (since HI output mode, IME, is rarely needed, and then usually only for a 5-20 seconds at a time - read on...).
Just like with the PTec Eos and Petzl TikkaXP, i, personally, find that the eGear Li Luxeon 1W headlamp allows me to hike on Medium output, with occasional uses of High output to spot low contrast, faded blazes in unfamiliar or 'dicey' situations where i might wander off an indistinct trail (particulary when heavily covered and obscured by fallen leaves in Autumn and early winter). Though some otherwise healthy young bucks (and buckettes/does) who haven't yet experienced age degraded low light vision might be able to hike many, not too demanding trails/terrain using just LO output mode. Low output is all that is needed for setting up camp, but, IMHO, is too much light for close at hand tasks (3-4 feet away), and definitly too much light for reading. Save the batts and use a Microlight for these two uses, or at least for reading.
The light output levels are intelligently selected (and easy to remember), viz. HI = 100% output (~1W output), MED = 50% output, and LO = 25% output.
Light is just a bit front-heavy when used w/o the top "bucket" strap. Generally, to facilitate use regardless of what kind of hat/cap is being used, i remove the top bucket strap from nearly all headlamps. This allows me, if conditions warrant it, to tip my ballcap back a little and place the body of the headlamp under the visor or hat/capbrim so as to NOT have the visor cast shadows on the ground.
The larger diameter of the CR123 batts vs. AAA batts and the tall side-x-side arrangmement of the CR123 batts in the Nuwai/eGear headlamp vs the circular arrangement found in some 3xAAA headlamps contributes to a relatively/comparatively tall (for a small lightweight headlamp) headlamp which in turn contributes to the small amount of instability/bouncing noticed IF moving quickly on the trail. Use of the top bucket strap effectively eliminates any bounce, obviously. Interestingly, a competitor for the Nuwai/eGear headlamp, viz. Streamlight Argo HP, uses 2xCR123 which are axially mounted to minimize this bounce/instability when used w/o a top bucket strap and is noticeably more stable when moving quickly.
i will agree with the comments of the first Reviewer. This is really a very nice headlamp. Main downside for some is the use of CR123 batts. However, it also has some pluses - which are...
- somewhat lightweight since they are Li batts. 2xCR123 batts weigh ~0.02oz less than 3xAAA alkaline batts - an insignificant amount (AAA Li batts are still significantly lighter, however).
- while 2xCR123 batts have nominally only ~80% of the stored energy of 3xAAA batts, perhaps due to their higher starting voltage (nominally ~6v vs 4.5v), coupled with their more linear characteristic discharge curve, they can perform better in certain applications (see the next "plus" of CR123 batts).
- due to Li batts characteristic discharge curve, Li batts "join hands" with regulator circuitry to provide very nice, stable constant light output over most of a set of batteries' life.
[Note: many regulator circuits stabilize at a nominal 85% (or less for some regulator designs) of max light output after the first 15-30min of current draw when used with non-linear discharging alkaline batts. even though the regulator is attempting to maintain constant current, the operation of many regulator circuits is highly dependent upon a stable input voltage. furthermore, as the voltage of alkaline batts drop off (which it does at a faster non-linear, i.e. non-straight line, rate), regulation can't be maintained. Only after a significant percentage of the starting voltage has been lost by alkaline batts does the alkaline characteristic discharge curve level off or flatten out, becoming more linear. By this point, voltage can be so low that the regulator circuitry has insufficient supply voltage to maintain constant current regulation to the LED, and so drop out of regulation into unregulated mode (in some designs), or just shuts off, leaving one near or in darkness. Li batts overcome both of these shortcomings when used with regulators, by maintaining a more stable supply voltage to the regulator (though even these drop a bit, but NOT as much as alkaline batts) after the first 30min of use in many applications, depending upon current draw and can leave a regulator operating at more than 90% of max output).]
regulation appears to be very stable in my unit over the life of the batts.
two additonal points i'd like to make are:
1) the output pattern is much larger than the PTec Eos which is really too tiny a 'spot' output for optimal use in spotting blazes on trees and rocks. with the Eos (which i really like) i have to do 'chicken walking' with the head bobbing about focusing the beam on individual tree trunks and rocks. the eGear/Nuwai eliminates much of this 'chicken walking'. in this respect, i greatly prefer the eGear Li Luxeon 1W over the PT Eos.
2) i've recently "discovered" the "joys" of rechargeable Li CR123 batts. Initial cost for two batts + a charger is high, typically $24-$27, but i'm finding it worth it. The batts are small and light and spares can be easily carried (this works for short treks, but NOT a Thru-Hike unless the charger, which is also small and light, is carried, and there is the opportunity to charge them at resupplies - i'm not suggesting doing this, only just pointing out a downside by mentioning what would need to be done to overcome this downside. Some chargers will charge two CR123 batts simultaneously from a relatively depleted state back to full power in under 2hrs).
i'm really getting 'hooked' on Rechrg. Li CR123 batts for those headlamps that use them. Plus, i'm working on a remote 2cell and 4cell (still 6v, but parallel arrangement gives more capacity/life) CR123 batt packs for use with ANY 6v headlamp that i modify with compatible connectors.
Sure, non-Rechrg. AAA Li batts can be used in the Eos and 3xAAA headlamps (as well as the small number of 2xAAA headlamps), but the cost of these will quickly exceed the initial outlay for the two CR123 batts and charger - if one uses a headlamp often; for those who don't non-Rechrg Li AAA batts or alkaline AAA batts are still probably the way to go.
However, AAA alkaline batts, while far less expensive, just don't offer the regulated burn times of Li batts (either Li AAA, primary (i.e. non-Rechrg) Li CR123 batts, or secondary (i.e., Rechrg) Li CR123 batts.
[Note: one important point on secondary Li CR123 batts - when they reach end of life for the current charge's use, the voltage nearly instantly drops off to a very low level, causing light output to become a mere glow and leaving one in near darkness.]
Bottom line: not the lightest; not the cheapest to operate, but perhaps the most stable regulated output, plus a highly usable output pattern, and equal or better light output than 3xAAA competitors. should at least make the 'short list' before a final decision is made on a small light weight 1W headlamp.
I'd like to give this headlamp a 4.7 or 4.8 rating, but decimal values aren't allowed. I hesitate giving it a 'perfect' 5 score, as almost any product could be improved. The main reasons for not giving it a 5 rating is NOT the use of CR123 batts, which has both pluses (mentioned above in the verbiage) and minuses (to reiterate - availability and cost vs. AAA batts), but the ease of accidental switch actuation when packing, resulting in "dead" batts, and a slight instability if used w/o the top bucket strap. Oh, and one minor nitpick, not mentioned before, the switch doesn't have any timing associated with it. So, if you're in say MED o.p. for any length of time, even a long period of time, and want to turn the headlamp OFF, you must still pass through LO o.p. (HI-MED-LO-OFF) in order to reach OFF. It's incredible performance (long regulated "burn" times, largely due to its excellent constant current regulation which is in part due to the use of 2xCR123 Li photo batts) is what gives this headlamp a 4.7-4.8 rating.
My two shekels. YMMV.