When one of the most recognizable torch makers is going to produce headlamp, announced as hit for more than a year before the market premiere, the expectations are really great. With experience in the field of electronics, optics, thermal design, they have almost everything needed to create brilliant headlamp - they need only the ergonomics and product quality at a good level to get a true masterpiece.
It's time to check whether the product meets the expectations or fail :-].
Here's Fenix HP 10 :
Some technical data
• Cree XR-E LED(Q5) with lifespan of 50,000 hours
• 4 output levels, 3 flashing modes
• 7 lumens, 210 Hrs - > 50 lumens, 22Hrs -> 120 lumens, 7.5Hrs -> 225 lumens, 2.5Hrs
• Strobe, 5Hrs -> SOS, 50Hrs -> Warning Flash, 4 4Hrs
• Max lighting distance: 220 meters
• Dual switch system for easy operation - one for turning on and off, second for output adjustment
• Digitally regulated output - maintains constant brightness
• Output memory function
• Overheat protection system
• Uses four 1.5V AA (Alkaline, Ni-MH, Lithium) batteries
• Separated type structure to balance the weight for comfortable wearing
Light head - 54mm (Length) x 43mm (Width) x 33.5mm (Height)
Battery pack - 84mm (Length) x 64mm (Width) x 21mm (Height)
• Light head made of aircraft-grade aluminum, the rest made of high quslity plastic
• Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
• Light body: 40g, Battery pack: 77g (excluding batteries)
• Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
• Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
• Price : 65$
A little fun with the blister, a kitchen knife may be handy. Now, mount all straps, put the cells on and go into battle.
It's very hard to set the head angle - you need to use much force for that and this is probably not a task to perform, while the light is still on your head. Head base is very broad, but too flat and it's not fitted very well, the same case with battery pack. The main problem looks to be the headband - clamps hold weakly and you have to set-up the headband almost for every use.
Execution ? At first glance, there is no sealing at the cable entrance to the head and the battery container, but otherwise flawless. It's strange that weight of the head and battery container is given separate, but the complete set weighs 140g (264g with a set of GP 2500 cells).
Beautifully presented light source - Cree XR-E Q5 led - I’ll not give my head for the bin, but the Q5 is for now standard in all better products. Plastic head with aluminum front ... Where I have seen this solution? Primus PrimeLite Race - fortunately, here producer give much more heat exchange surface.
The buttons aren’t too big, but you can sense them, and they work without a problem - the upper ON / OFF, and side to switch modes. I must admit that they are pretty sensitive, there was no problem to change modes wearing the gloves, but you have to keep in mind, that switching the modes during run may be almost impossible.
Screws are firmly held, but to meet the standard headlamp IPX8, which means "protection from flooding by continuous immersion and increased water pressure (over 1 m deep) for 30 minutes", they have to be. IPX8 is pretty impressive considering the fact that most of the competition meets only IPX4, which means that they are only "rain resistant”.
You can see a well-sealed enclosure, they even put o-rings on the screws . Sealing of cable entry into enclosures is resolved very simply - flooding them with epoxy glue, the battery container is sealed in a similar manner, rubber buttons are also permanently glued into the case.
A moment of fun with a screwdriver and you can see the whole construction of the HP10.
Led is just behind the silver top – I was unable to disassemble it, because the glue used to seal the cable leaked to the thread :(.
The driver is based on Microchip PIC12F629. It works very well, the overall performance parameters are very good, led current levels are almost independent from the power source, and in a case of too low power supply it will simply not allow to turn on two strongest modes. You can clearly see the company experience in this field.
Fenix HP 10 - a bit used batteries co ;)
V-in I-In P-In V-led I-led P-led Eff.
Boost 4,99V 802mA 4,00W 3,48V 971mA 3,38W 84,4%
High 5,48V 285mA 1,56W 3,20V 420mA 1,34W 85,9%
Mid 5,68V 96mA 0,55W 2,97V 151mA 0,45W 82,2%
Low 5,75V 14mA 0,09W 2,67V 19mA 0,05W 62,0%
Fenix HP 10 - NiMH rechargeable
V-in I-In P-In V-led I-led P-led Eff.
Boost 4,72V 850mA 4,01W 3,44V 904mA 3,11W 77,5%
High 5,03V 311mA 1,57W 3,20V 418mA 1,34W 85,4%
Mid 5,15V 104mA 0,54W 2,97V 152mA 0,45W 83,8%
Low 5,21V 14mA 0,08W 2,68V 20mA 0,06W 73,7%
The battery case is solidly constructed and well sealed, closing the screws are not big, but just the right size to be able to easily tighten and loosen them, without using a screwdriver / coin, etc.. Inside the container you can see gold-plated springs to improve contact with the cells. The design of the battery container is very similar to me with Primus ;-).
The manufacturer give precisely burn time in each mode, with data on energy input it can be easily verified. Set of 4 rechargeable batteries with a capacity of 2500mAh of have 12Wh of stored energy.
Mode Lumens Declared Calculated +/-
Boost 225 2,5h 2,9h +20%
High 120 7,5h 7,6h +2%
Mid 55 22,0h 22,2h +1%
Low 7 210,0h 158,7h -20%
Declared times are for certain achievable, and even with a small reserve (except for the low mode, do not know why).
How it light ?
Probably the most important element for this headlamp, it is the strongest headlamp on the market powered with AA cells yet. It is true that the utility of the Boost mode that can only stand for about 3 minutes because of overheating of the lamp is debatable, but 120 lumens of light for 7 hours is a very good result in these category headlamps. Competition? Petzl Myo RXP - declared 140 lumens on high.
HP 10 Boost vs Myo RXP High (225 vs 140 lumens)
HP 10 High vs Myo RXP High (120 vs 140 lumens)
HP 10 Mid vs Myo RXP Mid (55 vs 51 lumens)
HP 10 Low vs Myo RXP Low (7 vs 25 lumens)
Based on jtr1962 data, about Cree XR-E Q5 lumen's output I was able to carry out one more comparison... :].
Mode Declared Current Calculated
Boost 225 904,2mA 220,0
High 120 418,4mA 120,0
Mid 55 152,1mA 49,0
Low 7 20,8mA 6,5
Declared lumens vs calculated lumens - number looks quite good for the Fenix I think :-).
On the plus, the full regulation and the amount of light leaving competitive solutions far behind - almost, because the 225 lumens mode works only for 3 minutes, so that the utility mode is instantaneous, as in the boost mode Myo RXP, which works only when pressing the button - at least you don't have to hold the button here.
Mode 120 for sure competes with the Myo’s 140 - remains the question torch type beam, the reflector was chosen reasonably and we have enough spill to be able to run or walk, but still it isn't ideal for the headlamp.
There is no diffuser integrated - the manufacturer offers for sale separately diffuser, but its construction will disqualify its use in applications other than basement adventures, due to poor attachment and the high possibility of loose it in the contact with branches.
Poor fitting to the wearer's head - the battery case is moving up and down during the course and the head base doesn't fit to forehead. These are problems of manufacturer that begins his adventure with the headlamps and should be easily eliminated in future models.
What, for one is minus for another maybe plus. Flat base and strips easy to remove, allow you to easily mount this headlamp on bike helmet by using two stripes, a helmet also does not complain about the discomfort and very strongly tighten stripes, similarly for safety helmets.
Another question, all the headlamps without integrated power supply, which I had the opportunity to test, allow the exchange of power cable, the cable here has been carefully glued and there is no such possibility. The manufacturer is so sure about endurance of the selected components, or it is the effect of shortcut in the sealing?
In total, cool headlamp, but designing it so late and with so many competing models to test they could have avoided several shortcomings. For now, despite the smaller amount of light and poor led cooling, I will stay with the RXP :). For running and walking the headlamp must be comfortable and versatile, and for a bike I have much stronger DIY headlamp :naughty:.
Fenix - we waiting for more ... :-]