The Skilhunt H04 RC has been out for a few years, but what’s new here is the LED that’s fairly new being offered, and that’s the Nichia 519a. You know I’m a fan of that LED and I can tell you it makes a great choice in a headlamp for close-up work with it’s neutral tint and high CRI. Thanks to Skilhunt for sending this to me to look at.
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Packaging & Accessories
The light came in a retail hanging box with lots of good information on the outside. Accessories included were the light, pocket clip, 3500mAh 18650 buttons top battery, proprietary magnetic charging cable, Skilhunt branded 3 piece head strap, lanyard, extra o’rings , mesh bag, and the manual.
The UI on this version of the Skilhunt H04 RC has been updated from previous versions. It’s similar to what I saw on the M150 V3. Turning the light on with a single press will bring you into the main mode group in the last mode you used. Long pressing from off brings you into the ultra-low mode group. Within ultra-low, you have 2 brightness options, that you can toggle between by long pressing. This same sub-mode group works with Turbo too, so turbo high, and turbo low if you will. So once you have the low end and the top end set you effectively have a 5-mode light that works like most others. Long press from Off to ultra-low, single press for your main mode groups where you long press to go up in modes in a 3 mode group, and then double press for turbo. Strobe is triple press from on, and it also has 3 strobe modes, tactical, SOS, and Beacon. Lastly, there is electronic lockout which is 4 clicks from off. The mechanical lockout also works well here at the tail cap.
The light is made from aluminum and hard anodized black in a semi-gloss shine. The tail is magnetic, strong enough to hold the light in the horizontal position on a painted/powder-coated surface with the strap attached, but barely. The tail itself is mostly smooth. The light comes into 2 pieces, tail and body/head. The body has shallow milling for texture.
The head itself is pretty typical of other right-angle flashlights. The lens is round however there is a flush metal bezel that’s square. The lens has texture over top to somewhat diffuse the light. On top you have the recharging contact for the proprietary charging system. On the left you have the button which sits slightly raised. It’s a silicone button surface, semi-transparent and is used as a power level indicator and recharging status indicator.
You have 3 main retention options with the H04 RC, a lanyard, pocket clip and the 3 piece headband.
The pocket clip itself is press fit and is designed to fit, just under the head. It is pretty tight but can rotate. It’s a good clip as far as tension goes but not what I would consider deep carry as a little over 1.5cm sticks up beyond the clip.
The headband comes unassembled on the H04 RC and no directions were included on how exactly to assemble it. I did find a video on Skilhunt’s YouTube page showing how to do this and it was very helpful. The headband itself is made of good quality elastic, on the inside, it has a silicone band to help it stay put, on the outside it has some reflective pieces The plastic mount itself has no padding like you see on some other brands but I didn’t find this uncomfortable during use working on my car. What I really liked was that the mount is designed to work with the pocket clip still attached to the light. This is the way it should be done. There is also a lanyard that comes with the light, and it threads at the back of the light.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 101.5mm, the diameter of the body at 21.2mm, largest diameter of the head at 24mm. The weight of the headlamp with clip, and without the head strap came in at 3.69oz, and with the strap, it grows to 5.45oz. The light is IPX 8 water-rated and impact resistant to 1 meter.
LED & Beam Shots
This Skilhunt H04 RC is running a Nichia 519a which is best known for it’s pleasing tint and high CRI. On my Opple meter, I measured the tint at 4211k, and 97.5Ra (CRI) with no DUV shift. This is pretty much perfect for my preferences. I would also call it a constant current driver, without PWM on the multiple modes tested.
The headlamp here is using a TIR optic with texture on the outside and the resulting beam pattern is a large even beam without a pronounced hotspot. The spill is minimal. In the use of the headlamp, I found the beam to be maybe slightly too narrow for the automotive work I was doing, and I found myself manually adjusting the angle of the light a few times more than I would have expected.
I will let the graphs do the speaking here, but in general, the outputs are less than Skilhunt claims and I think this is due to them not updating their runtime charts for this new Nichia 519a LED that’s inside. The result is turbo can last to nearly 3 minutes, but you’re starting at about 620 lumens. Peak heat was about 43C so very reasonable temps. Turbo 1 and Turbo 2 runtimes were in the 3:30:00 runtime range, High out to 5:22:00, and Medium one all the way out to 14:30:00.
The light has built in recharging via a proprietary magnetic charging cable the light comes with. The contact on the light itself has a weak magnet on it, so I don’t think there will be as many problems on this design as other similar ones on the market. While the light does have the proprietary charging cable it uses standard button top protected 18650 batteries which is great for longevity and future replacements or spares. My tested capacity of the included cell was 3455mAh of a rated 3500mAh.
I charged the light from LVP at 3.074V to Full at 4.185V in just shy of 5 hours. This is pretty slow for a 3500mAh 18650 battery. The peak charging speed was 0.95A but this was a peak, and most of the charging speed was well under that as you can see by the graph. The button on the light does give a power indicator when in use in 4 different states with 2 different colors.
This is a great little headlamp when you are prioritizing light quality over quantity. Skilhunt really should publish official numbers when they put different LED’s in their lights, because they claim 1000 lumens, but this is clearly for a different LED than the example I have in this review that I measured at approximately 620 lumens. It also creates the mode spacing that isn’t ideal.
That said I really enjoyed using this headlamp, and I suspect it will become my new default when i’m doing closer-up work or something where CRI is important. This isn’t the headlamp ill pick to snowblow in because I likely want more output for longer periods of time. It’s a headlamp I can definitely recommend if you don’t have one already.