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Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Anker HS2 Runners Headlamp Review

2017 has seems to have been the year of the headlamp. Today I have the Olight HS2 which is a bit of a break from the usual design of using a right angle light found in many headlamps. Thanks to Olight for sending me the HS2 so that I could take a look and review it.

Full Photo Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/URvhR

Youtube Review:

For more details and purchase check out the links below.
http://bit.ly/HS2eBayUS
https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/headlamps/headlamp-olight-hs2

The HS2 is primarily designed to be used for runners. Olight’s CEO is an avid runner and wanted something small and lightweight but with runtime to use for early morning or late evening runs. While it should work good for that it also will work for other headlight tasks decently well. However it’s lack of a very low (Moon light mode) does limit very up close work or hiking where you want to preserve your night vision.

 

Physical appearance

The HS2 takes a different approach to their other headlamps by using 2 drivers and two different optics to give you both flood and a bit of throw at the same time. Each emitter can be used independently or together and I will go over UI in a bit. The small emitter up front is removable from the strap but not the plastic holder. This detached piece allows you to power the light via microUSB if you want. When on the headband it’s attached via a coiled wire to the head strap. The battery pack is a small rectangle that when worn goes on the back of your head. The switch is a large blue button on the left hand side of the headstrap. The connector between the two pieces was very stiff to plug in the first time. You really need to force it until there is no gap. If you purchase an HS2 and it’s not working make sure you check this out.

 

The head of the light is removeable from the band. It looks like the nut would allow you to do this but instead it disassembles the light itself. To get it off, you can slip it off the strap itself but not off it’s holder. Similarly the battery is sewn into the strap making removal or replacement not possible. The biggest problem I see with this is if I wear this out running and get it all sweaty I would like to wash the headband. With this setup and the IPX4 water rating you can’t just throw it in a machine. You can rinse it in the sink but that’s about it. IPX4 means it’s water resistant to splashes and light rain and normal dirt. That’s a little disappointing because it limits washing, but from a practical use for runners it should be ok. Weight is right at 4 ounces ready to run. Overall build quality is good and what I have come to expect from Olight.  

 

Since this was designed as a runner’s light to be worn on the head, I think at a minimum it would have been nice to include a piece of reflective tape on the battery pack, and if you took it a step further maybe 1 LED on the battery pack itself to act as a “tail light” for other runners, bikers, cars while out running.

 

Performance

This light uses a Cree XP-G2 LED in cool white. One LED is behind a lens to focus the beam and the other is behind a frosted piece of plastic to diffuse it. The result is one floody light and one more spot. I didn’t notice any abnormal tint shift in the output of the cool white but would like it more if they offered a neutral white version. All modes have PWM but it’s not something that I noticed.

 

Olights runtimes have been proven to be accurately published and the HS2 is no different.

  • Mixed Beam High – 400lm – 2hr 12 min
  • Mixed Beam Low – 100lm – 9hr
  • Throw Beam High – 200lm – 4hr 30 min
  • Throw Beam Low – 50lm – 18hr
  • Flood Beam High – 200lm – 4 hr 30 min
  • Flood Beam Low 0 50lm – 18hr

 

There is no step down due to temperature or time and I really like this. In my testing the head of the light got up to 117F after 10 minutes of run time. That is HOT but it doesn’t touch your skin so I think this is acceptable. This light normally runs at the LiPo backs nominal voltage of 3.7V but if you choose to run if off a USB battery bank it will also run on 5V. This gives you a bit more performance because of the increased voltage. The UI and operation remains the same no matter what power source you use.

 

UI

The UI of this light is pretty easy. For startup, between modes, and at shutdown there is a nice fade in/out ramp. The light has two brightness modes on each LED and on both combined. You can run it on Flood, or Spot, or Both at the same time. To switch between them, just double click after the light is already on. Triple click to activate an SOS mode (Both LED’s at the same time). This light does not have a memory mode and always starts in high with both LED’s burning. I ended up running both LED’s at the same time during most of my testing. I think for most running applications people will use both as it lets you see what’s around you and directly in front the best. To turn off just long press and the light will gradually power down.

 

The lack of a mode lower than 50 lumens limit’s this lights use for some traditional headlamp activities as 50 lumens is more then you need in many cases at short range or while trying to preserve night vision.

 

Charging

Charging of the onboard 2000mah lithium polymer cell, is accomplished via micro USB on the battery pack itself. Using the included cable plug it into your favorite USB power source. The 4 small blue LED’s will come on to let you know it’s charging. When all 4 are lit and solid you know it’s ready to go. These also serve as a battery indicator just press the button to get an idea of the available charge. This setup allows you to run longer if by hooking up to a larger mobile powerbank via a wire if you would like. This light will work while charging too.

 

This light does have a low power indicator, while using it. When the battery reaches 10% those LED indicators will begin to blink. You will also get an audible tone for 10 minutes. If on high combined and you switch a lower mode you will get more runtime. To stop this just press the blue button. Since the battery is mounted on the back of your head hopefully you will be able to hear the beeping even with headphones in. I do wish they had a visual indicator at maybe 20% (Fast short strobe) that gave you a little extra time to get home before things went dark.

 

Packaging

Packaging is typical Olight. It’s high quality printed cardboard. Inside you got a micro USB cable to charge that’s olight branded but not proprietary. On the outside of the box you have the typical relevant information to learn about the light in a retail setting. I really like that Olight included a zippered carrying case to keep everything together. I wish more headlights on the market did this.

 

Pro

  • Nice light profile (Flood + Throw) with smooth ramping up and down.
  • Great runtimes on low and good on high, No stepdowns in output due to temp or time.
  • Really easy to use UI and charging system
  • Comfortable and balanced head band & light weight operation
  • Can run from a USB Powerbank at 5V to increase runtime and performance.
  • No assembly of the headband itself is required

 

Cons

  • I would like an additional low lumen mode which would make the light more versatile.
  • I wish the light started in Low mode not high.
  • The light and battery should come off the strap to allow you to wash the headband or improve the IPX rating.
  • Currently no high CRI or NW options

 

Summary

I was at my local runners shoe store over the weekend and they were selling headlamps for runners for nearly $40 that ran on AAA batteries. The Olight HS2 is clearly better than those for a price that matches its performance. This is a specialized headlamp for runners and it makes some design compromises that would make it a little better for hiking or camping uses like lack of a moon light mode. It’s arriving on the market at a good time as the days are getting shorter and the runners are still out in force. I think this would make a decent hiking or camping headlamp too given it’s nice mix of flood and throw though still. I have enjoyed using it around the house and in my yard because of it’s light weight and split beam characteristics and can recommend it, especially if you are a runner

For more details and purchase check out the links below.
http://bit.ly/HS2eBayUS
https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/headlamps/headlamp-olight-hs2

Review

Olight PL-2 Valkyrie Full Review

Today I have a review of the brand new Olight PL-2 Valkyrie weapon light. Olight provided me this light for testing and review and it has not influenced my opinions. Video is still my main thing and I would appreciate you take a look at that too.

Video Review:

Photo Album: http://imgur.com/a/v1Wha

I have the Olight PL-1 II Valkyrie and have it on my Glock 19 for use in home defense situations. I did a video review a few months ago and had zero problems since. The PL-2 improves on just about every aspect of the PL-1, and is the second weapon light made by Olight.

During this review I am going to compare other weapons lights to the Olight PL-2. I borrowed Streamlight TLR-1s from a friend to include. The Streamlight TLR-1s and Olight PL-2 are in direct competition since they both are similar sizes, weights, and both use 2x CR123A batteries.

The packaging is typical of Other Olight products, with a small but nice cardboard retail box with a hanging tag. Relevant information is found on the front and back. Inside is a plastic container that has the light, manual, extra mount, and allen wrench. Olight includes 2 batteries preinstalled but uses a small piece of plastic to prevent accidental discharge in the package. This must be removed before first use.

Size and Weights

Olight PL-2

  • Length – 3.25 Inches
  • Head Diameter – 1.28 Inches
  • Body Diameter – 1.44 Inches
  • Empty Weight – 3oz on my scale

 

  • TLR-1s Empty Weight – 2.95oz on my scale
  • Olight PL-1 ii Empty Weight – 3.32oz on my scale

 

Comparing the Olight Pl-2 to the TLR-1s the Head is smaller and crenelated. The light is shorter in height and length and the same in width.

 

Mounted Pictures

Construction
The body itself is made from hard type anodized aluminum. The battery compartment is contoured to fit the batteries more tightly. I was critical of the PL-1 having plastic inserts to make it compatible with different guns rail systems. The PL-2 Improves this by making them from aluminium. Out of the box this came with the Glock sized rail preinstalled, but you get a 1913 rail piece in the box as well as an allen wrench to change it. The mounting system is very similar between the PL-1 and PL-2. The quick detach mount is very sturdy, and requires no tools to attach to the light. The attachment lever has some machined grip to it but does not include any rubber this time. It has spring tension on it when in the open position it should fall freely off the rail. I really like this easy to use quick detach with no tools required unlike the TLR1s that requires a screwdriver or coin to firmly attach and detach it to your weapon. Sometimes the best light is the one you have with you and you don’t always need to be pointing a gun at what you are needing to light up.

Performance
The PL-2 is advertised as producing 1200 lumens through a CREE XHP 35 HI LED in Cool White, however those are peak lumens. Like many high output flashlights the PL-2 will step down in brightness to 600 Lumens when it gets hot. This is still more than the PL-1 which didn’t have an overheating issue. At 600 lumens it has a claimed runtime of about 70 minutes. In my testing after 1 minute of use it got to 98F. I continued this test for 5 minutes to see if it would step down in output and it 108F. The lense is a plastic TIR style lense. It creates a very hot center, minimizing spill. The Olight PL-2 can use 2X CR123A or rechargeable RCR123A cells. If using the rechargeables runtime won’t be as long. This is one case where I would recommend using Primary batteries for longer shelf life, and because the runtimes will be longer due to the reduced capacity of the rechargeable batteries.

I went and shot about 350 rounds of 9mm and 40 S&W through a Glock 19 and a Glock 22 and had zero issues with this light. It attaches firmly and remains there. Unfortunately I was not the only one at the range this time and we couldn’t shut off the range lights. I didn’t have any trouble with the battery door coming open accidentally during shooting. The only problem I had was the lens got a little dirtyfrom gun powder residue. The RSO’s at my range were pretty interested in it too. After shooting with the light on it naturally gets coated in gun powder residue. It cleaned off fairly well with some Hoppies #9 but seems to have a rougher surface finish on the top of the bezel closest to the muzzle.

Beam Shots
Indoor https://youtu.be/mBR8ocRqxGs?t=8m16s
Outdoor https://youtu.be/mBR8ocRqxGs?t=8m37s

Water resistance is listed as IPX6 so that means it’s highly water and dust resistant but isn’t rating for continuous water immersion. For normal use cases, even in the rain or dropping it into a puddle this should be fine but don’t take it diving.

The quick detach allows you to use this like a normal flashlight if you wanted. It would also allow you to mount it on other things, with cheap 1913 rails available online. Bikes, scooters, etc

Olight has a new switch design and I really like it. It gives you a audible and tactile small click when you turn on and off the light. This is an improvement over the old more mushy switch on the PL1. It gives you more confidence to know what mode you are in. It works from both a front push or side push. If you click both sides of the light at the same time you get strobe. They retained the same interface though where you have to push both sides of the buttons to get strobe. This isn’t the easiest to do if you have smaller hands and impossible to do one handed without adjusting your grip each time. Streamlight with the toggle system on the TLR1 has Olight beat here.

The battery door is pretty quick access. To access the battery compartment it should be removed from your pistol first, you then pull the lever back all the way 90 degrees from the body of the light and the door will hinge open. There is a small tab at the top/bottom of the light that keeps the door attached. There is gasket material on the door itself for water and dust protection. Inside at the bottom there is markings for polarity as well as on the top of the door. The Streamlight TLR-1s system is a bit more complex and over engineered. It uses springs as contacts and a larger tab to keep the door in place. The release is a spring metal and primes the door for opening. It’s easy to use as well but takes and extra second.

Since this is a new light weapon light could not find any custom made holster options yet. This should get better as time goes on and the popularity improves.

When I compare the Olight PL-2 to the Streamlight TLR-1s my takeaways are, the Olight is well engineered and built. For 99% of people that buy it, it will meet their needs very well. To me the Streamlight feels a bit over engineered and uses a better switch system. However the Streamlight uses older technology and LED’s at this point so 300 lumens isn’t much in 2017. Both lights will meet their intended purposes well.

Olight has taken what they learned from the PL-1 II and incorporated user’s feedback into the PL-2. Boosting performance, reducing the height of the light, improving the mounting system, all while keeping the price under the competition. If you want a ton of light, from a small package and are ok with a 2x CR123A light, this is a great option with current technology from a company with a solid reputation.

Pros

  • New buttons with tactile and audible click
  • Quick open battery door
  • Tool free quick disconnect mounting system
  • High performance but it can’t be sustained due to heat

 

Cons

  • No holster options yet that I could find
  • Somewhat pricy batteries (CR123A)
  • Strobe interface isn’t ideal requiring pressing both buttons at the same time.
  •  I like the Streamlight toggle buttons better then the Olights push buttons.

Photo Album: http://imgur.com/a/v1Wha

If you are interested in purchasing you can do so at the links below.
Ebay: http://ebay.to/2rHQW9s
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tAkExd
Olight Store: https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/safety-and-self-defense/olight-pl-ii-valkyrie

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight PL-1 II Valkyrie Review

Here is my review of the Olight PL-1 II Valkyrie weapon light. It’s  been one of the more fun reviews recently because the shooting range I go to allowed me to turn off the lights and test out the weapon light with live fire and film it!

 

If you are interested in purchasing here you can do so here at

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oQq1pG

Ebay: http://bit.ly/PL1IIeBayUS

Reviews

Olight S Mini Baton CU – Review

Here is my review of the Olight S Mini Baton in Raw Copper. It’s been my EDC for most of the month of January and I really like it. I love how the copper light is taking on a patina of its own and it’s performance for it’s size is fantastic.

If you would like to purchse this light here are a few places you can do so.

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2jTJIKs
Olight World – https://olightworld.com/store/flashlight/smini-baton.html

EDC Review Reviews

Olight H1R Nova Review

A few months back I reviewed the Olight H1 Nova, and have been enjoying the light. Now Olight has the new rechargeable H1R Nova headlamp. Below is my full review. It’s still a great light but is now magnetically rechargeable!

 

Review Reviews

Olight S30R Baton iii Review

 

Olight asked me if I would like to review their revised S30R Baton iii and I said I would. This is a pocketable thrower style light powered by an Olight 18650 battery that in Turbo mode produces 1050 lumens. It’s a pretty nice light  but slightly longer than the Olight S2R due to it’s different lens design to give it more throw. For more in depth review with night run shots, check out my video below.

 
If you are interested in purchasing the light you can find it a the links below.

Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2h68h6L
OlightWorldhttps://olightworld.com/store/flashlight/s30r-baton-iii.html
GoingingGearhttp://goinggear.com/flashlights/olight-s30r-baton-iii-1050-lumen-1-x-18650-cree-xm-l2-led-flashlight.html

 

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Review Reviews

Olight S10R Baton iii Review

New Logo – Over the past few weeks I have been working on updating my branding of my Youtrube channel. Part of that is a new logo which you will find in the video as a watermark, and the intro video. I would like to thank @DaveMedia_LNK for the animation help on the video. I think it turned out very nicely, and now on to the review.

 

The Olight S10R Baton iii is a new version of Olights popular S10R light. It uses a new LED, the Luminus SST-40. It produces 600 lumen on turbo mode. The flashlight uses a RCR123 sized lithium powered cell that’s rechargeable on the included magnetic doc.

 

I found the light to be very easy to EDC with it’s short under 3 inch size and light weight yet it has powerful performance. For a more in depth review please watch the video below.

 

 

 

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If you would like to purchase this light you can do so below.

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2gHSE4E

OlightWorld – https://olightworld.com/store/specialty/every-day-carry/s10r-baton-iii.html