As the first review of 2018, TLR is bringing some new changes to the review layout after hearing from you readers!
Henceforth, there will be a Preface at the beginning and all Disclaimers will be moved to the end.
Also, we would like to wish all our readers – a Blessed and Great New Year 2018!
May all our wishes & dreams come true.
Zebralight has been producing one of our favorite UI and we have had several of their AA series over the years. They have been introducing new models recently and while this H600w MK III might be a 2016 model; its updated LED emitter and wider (protected and unprotected) battery acceptance still makes this one of our favorite 18650 headlamps.
Fun fact: This is also our first headlamp officially reviewed on TLR.
Packaging & First Impressions
This is what the light will come with as shown below.
- Packaging is minimalist.
- The threads and o-rings were well lubricated. Threads were smooth and clean (no gritty feeling).
- No clip is provided to pocket carry the light.
- The head electronic switch has a nice tactile feel that produces a soft audible click upon activation.
- Anodizing of the light is uniform without any missing specs, as expected from Zebralight.
- Headband provided is of good quality and should withstand day-to-day abuse without issue.
- Battery compartment holds a KeepPower 18650 3400mAh battery with sufficient room for a slightly thicker battery width. 18650 3500mAh batteries should be able to fit without issue as well.
Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)
- Body Material: Natural HAIII Aluminium
- LED: XHP35
- LED Specification: 4500K (Neutral White)
- Battery Format: 1 x 18650 ONLY (Protected & Unprotected)
- Output & Runtime (with Zebralight ZL634 18650 3400mAh battery) [DEFAULT]:
- Low – L1 (3.3 lumens / 18 days) or L2 (0.37 lumens / 2.8 months)
- Mid – M1 (61 lumens / 33 h) or M2 (28 lumens / 73 h)
- High – H1 (1126 lumens / ~2.2 hr) or H2 (580 lumens / ~2.8 hrs)
- Output & Runtime (with Zebralight ZL634 18650 3400mAh battery) [PROGRAMMABLE]:
- Low – L2 (0.01 lumens / 7.1 months)
- Mid – M2 (10 lumens / 8 days)
- High – H2 (139 lumens / 12 h)
- Waterproofness: IPX-8 Standard (2m up to 30min)
- Dimension: 97.8mm (length) x 24.2mm (diameter)
- Weight: 39g (excluding battery & headband), 85.6g (excluding battery)
- Sealed and potted LED driver circuitry
- Battery reverse polarity protection
- Accessories Included:
- 1*Headband with removable top strap & black silicone holder
- 2*Spare O-rings
- MSRP: ~$89
UI (User Interface)
UI for this light is good for Every Day Carry (EDC) as it is relatively straightforward to use after the initial learning curve.
Switching ON and OFF is done by the electronic switch on the head of the light, so no momentary activation is possible.
- 1 Click – Direct access to HIGH (H1 or H2) – based on last brightness level memory.
- 2 Click – Direct access to Medium (M1 or M2) – based on last brightness level memory.
- 3 Click – Direct access to STROBE/BEACON; double click to switch between the 4 modes.
- 4 Click – Battery check indicator — 1 to 4 flashes (~25% to ~100% battery left)
- HOLD (~1 sec) – Direct access to LOW (L1 or L2) – based on last brightness level memory.
- 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
- 2 Click – Switch between current level’s sub-levels (L1 or L2 / M1 or M2 / H1 or H2).
- HOLD – Mode change (light cycles through LOW, MID & HIGH); let go switch to select mode.
L1, M1 & H1 are fixed and are non-programmable. However, L2, M2 & H2 are programmable as seen in the Quick Overview – Output & Runtime [PROGRAMMABLE] section.
Programming the second sub-levels (L2 / M2 / H2) modes:
- Switch ON the light and switch to the Mode Level (LOW , MID, HIGH) that you want to program.
- Double-click 6 times to get into programming mode.
- Further double-clicks will cause the light to cycle through different brightness levels.
- When at chosen brightness level, short click to turn OFF the light to finish programming. The new second sub-level is now memorized after the light is turned off and even through battery changes.
For flashlights that are intended to use on a daily basis (EDC) and for possibly a long period of time, form factor is extremely important.
This light fits a medium sized hand easily. For headlamps, there isn’t many ways of holding it but rather it would be more of test of comfort whilst its on your head. The Zebralight-branded headband held the light sturdily even when doing more vigorous activity (eg jogging/running), at no time did the light feel like it was about to fall off. However, the 2 rubber mounts would leave a mark on one’s forehead after prolonged usage.
While using the light without the headband, the light is able to tail-stand or even head-stand perfectly, providing nice angled light where needed.
For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is somewhat predictable due to the fairly shallow Orange Peel Reflector. But due to the LED used, the beam is still sufficiently “throwy” for recognising items in the near to mid-range distance.
The XHP35 LED is slightly off-centred but does not affect the beam profile.
The beam has a rather distinct hotspot which gently blends into the corona and a fairly wide usable (almost round) spill. There are no rings or dark “donut” in the beam when whitewall hunting or in real world usage.
All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (L1/L2 Mode: 3.2″, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB, M2 Mode: 1.3″, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB, M1 Mode: 0.8″, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB, H2 Mode: 0.4″, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB and H1 Mode: 1/6, F3.5, ISO100, Daylight WB).
Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.
L2 (0.37 lumens):
L1 (3.3 lumens):
M2 (28 lumens):
M1 (61 lumens):
H2 (580 lumens):
H1 (1126 lumens):
Mode (Output) Spacing
Mode spacing appears to be progressively brighter to the eye and the modes are well spaced enough to be able to know which mode one is currently in. With that in mind, TLR tend to view mode spacing as battery life indicators (amount of runtime left) rather than the specific output (lumens).
Zebralight with its efficient electronics for its various low and moonlight modes makes for days and even months of usage out of a single 18650. The moonlight modes are excellent for those bedtime runs or with night-adjusted eyes.
For the 580 and 1126 lumens outputs, they are PID thermally regulated by ambient temperature and air circulation.
Tint & CRI
The tint is said to be 4500K. However, due to the emitter used, there is some tint variances with the corona possessing a slight yellow-green tint but is not obvious in real life usage.
The CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LED used in their light is unknown but a guesstimate would be in the 75CRI ballpark.
In any case, the overall tint & CRI in real life usage is a pleasant for both day and night usage, without any purple, green or blue hues.
The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on Turbo.
No signs of water intrusion in the head, switch or body was seen.
No electronic lockout but mechanical lockout is possible when needed, like during transportation in a bag.
A quarter turn (anti-clockwise) of the tail portion of the light will enable mechanical lockout.
To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own EDC or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For this light, it is a definite YES.
With the efficient low modes that enables this light to have days and even months of runtime, Zebralight has set a standard for circuitry efficiency. Its UI becomes very simple to use after the initial learning process and has become one of our favorite UI to date and the newer Zebralights now come with an even more programmable UI. Another thing to note is that almost all protected and definitely all unprotected 18650 batteries will be able to run this light, unlike the current generation Zebralights which will only fit unprotected ones.
However, as mentioned earlier, we look forward to the day that Zebralights includes a clip for their 18650 headlamps as they do for their AA headlamps; for those times to pocket carry this light.
Since this headlamp only uses a 18650 battery, it would be recommended to use a handheld flashlight to supplement this floody-style light. To get a sufficiently throwy light that uses a 18650 battery too, may we suggest the Fenix PD32 2016 we reviewed.
As with all gears, two is one and one is none.
The Lite Review
Disclaimer: Light was provided for by FastTech for this review. No other compensation was provided.
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