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  1. #1
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    Review: UniqueFire HD-016 dual beam Bicycle headlight

    I've got the opurtunity to make the review of interesting bicycle headlight from the Gearbest

    Click on the picture:  

    I'm pretty much involved into bicycle lights so I hope I can make fair assesment.

    Description from the webpage:

    • Brand: UniqueFire
    • Model: HD-16
    • Function: Night Riding, Hunting, Exploring, Camping, Household Use, Hiking, Seeking Survival, Walking
    • Feature: Can be used as headlamp or bicycle light
    • Lumens: 2400lm
    • Emitter: 2 x Cree XM-L2
    • Power source: Battery
    • Reflector: Aluminum smooth reflector
    • Lens: Glass Lens
    • Rechargeable: Yes
    • Color: White

    The headlight came in a tipical cardbox and it includes:

    • headlight with XM-L2 leds
    • 2S2P 8.4V waterresistant battery pack 
    • US plug 8.4V 1A Li-ion battery charger with EU adapter
    • headband with light mount
    • 2 mount o-rings
    • velcro strap to mount the battery pack
    • user manual and suprisingly warranty card (in chinese and english)

     

    The headlight itself has two XM-L2 leds. Actual bin is unknown but it is on a cool white side. The most interestnig thing with this light is having two distinct beam profiles: wide and narrow. This is also indicated on the top of the light.

    To achieve that it has two different reflectors. In fact it has one TIR lense shallow and one deep reflector.

    Bit more close:

    It also has nice shield on the top somewhat limiting upper part of the beam:

    Rear side with 3 status leds and mode switch:

     

    Operating with rear button is simple. On the connection to the battery status leds are off, so you don't know if it's connected or not. This is good and bad. It is good it consumes very little power but you can easily forget to disconect it when not in use.

    It has four modes which in turns only switch each led on or off, no memory mode. So the modes are:

    • wide beam on
    • narrow beam on
    • both wide and narrow beams on
    • both leds flashing

    Longer press at any mode turns light off which is good and you don't have to cycle trough all the modes. You don't even have to use flashing mode if you don't like it.

    Power used on connection, wide beam, narrow beam and both leds on:

    Two sets of beam profile pictures (wide beam, narrow beam and both leds on) on different roads:

     

     

    The mount is tipical MagicShine type with o-ring. As the headlight is not heavy (101gr w/o oring) there is no problem to mount it on handlebar or to the helmet. By my opinion it is more aimed to the handlebar usage anyway.

    The battery pack is 4x 18650 cells 2S2P 8.4V. Again tipical for the most of bicycle lights nowaday. It is somewhat sealed in the rubber container.

    Connection plug is tipical 5.5x2.1mm and it is sealed on the headlight part. Unfortunately the plastic screw is very hard to turn and you can easily damage the wire near the plug. I would prefer the Magicshine plug more.

    Capacity of the battey pack is, well, you get what you get for that price. For the two led operation it should have at least 4400mAh, but unfortunatley it can deliver only half of that. I've measured out only 2150mAh. On the other hand it has fairly high voltage curve:

    To bad it is low capacity.

    Headstrap is nice colored and big enough for my head (which is not small).

     

    The charger is tipical 8.4V one and it works good. For the stock battery capacity the 1000mA charging current is fast enough.

    Instructions and warranty card

    Shrani.si Shrani.si  

     

    Conclusion

    Pro:

    • two different beam profiles in one light (very rare)
    • good looking
    • simple user interface
    • no need to cycle trough the flashing mode
    • bright enough to be used for commuting and/or for MTB style cycling as a bar headlight
    • can be used as headlight - wide beam usable for close work
    • 101gr weight
    • modable?

    Con:

    • somewhat ringy beam (some difusor might help)
    • only half capacity battery pack
    • connector can't be easily screwed together (Magicshine plug type would be much better)
    • only one brightnes level for each led (two button user interface would be needed)

     

    I must say it performs quite well in the real life. Wide beam very usable for climbing and both leds on are enough to light the trail on descends. Somewhat ringy beam doesn't disturb to much if any, but would be very nice to be more even.

    All in all I can say 2 in 1 light and versatile enough to be used on different trails/roads. There is still place to do some improvements.



    EDIT (10.29.2014): Today I've got information from Gearbest you can use coupon on this light.

    So the link is: UniqueFire HD-16 Cree XM-L L2 2400lm LED White Bicycle Headlight Flashlight 4 x 18650 with Head Strap Battery Charger-32.41 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

    Coupon: HD16
    Price:$27.99
    Last edited by ledoman; 10-29-2014 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice review! I really like those beams! How is the heatsinking on this one?

    -Garry

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I did short MTB ride last night (unpaved road as on pictures) and it is quite good as handlebar light. Didn't try it on the helmet, though. Wide beam is not so usable there. Anyway helmet light is still must have, for MTB at least. Commuting should be just fine only with this light on the bar.

    Will try to do some modifications about ringy beam. I do have very similar OP reflector for the narrow beam. On the wide one I'll try to use hairspray to disperse the light even more. Also black painting inner ring of the front pannel might help reducing ring effect. Will report it back.....

    To bad 21mm TIR lenses can't be used. Either is to tall or to small. Using some washes might help to put the narrow one to the proper height. But this is scheduled for the next round of modding possibilities ;-).

  4. #4
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    Looks like a decent light for a cheap-o Chinese one. Is the battery on this one rubber-coated?
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  5. #5
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    Yes, the battery has rubber coating with the "window" at the bottom. You can open it easily and replace the cells. Inside there is tipical shrink wrapped 2S2P pack with protection circuit like similar ones.

    If anyone is interested I might organize groupbuy. The Gearbest who provided that light have give me a hint they might offer it that way. I'm waiting for their response.


    For the price I think it is good deal.

  6. #6
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    Good overview. I have this same light, in red. Just a comment on the ringy beam. On my wall the rings are pretty obvious, but when used on the trail, and in conjunction with my helmet light, I don't notice the rings anymore.

    Certainly I wouldn't complain if it were a little brighter, but a very decent light for what I paid ($35 on eBay).

  7. #7
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    The brightnes can be pushed up a bit by adding additional resistor over R150 or place another one. You would want to have R120 (2A to the led) or R100 (2.5A to the led) instead of R150. I would stay on the safe side with R120. Adding thermal paste is neccesary in any case.

    Here are some new pictures.

    The driver:

     

    Internals with pill and reflectors:

     

    TIR lenses does not fit well enough:

     

    Tried to mod with some spare narrow OP reflector and hairsprayed wide reflector:

    Did not help much with ringy beam.

    But a lot of XM-L(2) leds with some reflectors have ringy beam, anyway.

     

    Last edited by ledoman; 10-06-2014 at 03:36 PM.

  8. #8
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    for US riders, Amazon has the SecurityIng® version of this and the battery does "look" water resistant-ish.... I don't have a thing for Amazon, I just have a thing for 2day shipping...

    The little hood could be nice for us SSers as we sometimes hang out too far over the bars on the steep bits....

    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Looks like a decent light for a cheap-o Chinese one. Is the battery on this one rubber-coated?
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  9. #9
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    I just ordered the above "SecurityIng" version of this light from Amazon. My finger slipped and I also ordered an SSX2 . Ledoman has confirmed to me over at BLF that the SSX2 driver will mount in this HD-016! This would give both LED's on (wide & narrow) at the same time with Low-Med-High modes and a hidden strobe. Another reviewer over at BLF confirmed that this light also runs on 4.2v input, which really appeals to me (to use unprotected cells in parallel), so I am torn between keeping the original driver or swapping the SSX2's driver. (I really just bought the X2 for the driver.)

    I really think this HD-016 will be the perfect light for me! I can finally stop accumulating all these lights! (Yeah right! ).

    Thanks Ledoman! I should send you the bill!

    -Garry

  10. #10
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    Today I've got information from Gearbest you can use coupon on this light.

    So the link is: UniqueFire HD-16 Cree XM-L L2 2400lm LED White Bicycle Headlight Flashlight 4 x 18650 with Head Strap Battery Charger-32.41 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

    Coupon: HD16
    price:$27.99

    Will update the original post too

  11. #11
    Just Ride !
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    How does the brightness compare to the SSX2 ?
    Every time i walk into the LBS and see the price tags on new bikes it makes me enjoy and appreciate my Ol' ride even more.

  12. #12
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    Nice! Even tho I'm all "Glowormed Up," I cant' stay away from Dirty Lights Done Dirt Cheap!...

    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    I just ordered the above "SecurityIng" version of this light from Amazon. My finger slipped and I also ordered an SSX2 . Ledoman has confirmed to me over at BLF that the SSX2 driver will mount in this HD-016! This would give both LED's on (wide & narrow) at the same time with Low-Med-High modes and a hidden strobe. -Garry
    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    for US riders, Amazon has the SecurityIng® version of this and the battery does "look" water resistant-ish.... I don't have a thing for Amazon, I just have a thing for 2day shipping...

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.M.S View Post
    How does the brightness compare to the SSX2 ?
    You can't compare brightness directly as they have different beam profiles. You could compare one "eye" only - the long beam where the output is pretty much equal. Maybe HD-016 is bit more bright if you look into spot.

    The most important with the HD-016 is it covers the whole distance range from handle bar onwards when both leds on. You can choose to lit only short range or long range or both - see the pictures. This is what SSX2 can't do, but of course it has brigtness levels. So it depends on your needs and cycling style.

    It also depends on what SSX2 you've got. Some are really poor lately. Just got one which doesn't have any heatsinking under the led star . Also the current to the leds is only about 1A, so you can't compare to others if you don't tell what power yours is using. On the other hand you can see on my pictures how much HD-016 is taking from the battery pack.

  14. #14
    Just Ride !
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    You can't compare brightness directly as they have different beam profiles. You could compare one "eye" only - the long beam where the output is pretty much equal. Maybe HD-016 is bit more bright if you look into spot.

    The most important with the HD-016 is it covers the whole distance range from handle bar onwards when both leds on. You can choose to lit only short range or long range or both - see the pictures. This is what SSX2 can't do, but of course it has brigtness levels. So it depends on your needs and cycling style.

    It also depends on what SSX2 you've got. Some are really poor lately. Just got one which doesn't have any heatsinking under the led star . Also the current to the leds is only about 1A, so you can't compare to others if you don't tell what power yours is using. On the other hand you can see on my pictures how much HD-016 is taking from the battery pack.
    Great review BTW , thank you .
    I'm gonna have to get one of these for the bar , SSX2 I already have for the helmet .
    Every time i walk into the LBS and see the price tags on new bikes it makes me enjoy and appreciate my Ol' ride even more.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.M.S View Post
    Great review BTW , thank you .
    I'm gonna have to get one of these for the bar , SSX2 I already have for the helmet .
    This can be good budget commbination. You can use HD-016 wide beam during ascending and all lights on during fast descending. During commuting or similar you can combine wide beam with your SSX2. You'll find out what best suits you.

  16. #16
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    Just received my HD-016 "SecurityIng" version from Amazon. Battery had enough juice to run through the modes one time before it died. Will test it out later. First impressions is that it looks good!



    (That's my SSX2 package on the left.)



    The box is just a generic bike light box. It says "XM-L" and "Natural White" which are both lies. It came with cool white XM-L2's.

    BTW - I also received my SolarStorm X2 from Amazon. It did come branded as an X2 and not blank (I know that doesn't mean much, but I like to see it branded). First impressions on it - doesn't seem very bright on high. More testing and teardown on that one to come too, though I won't post it in this thread. No promises though on when I'll get to tear downs.

    -Garry

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Just received my HD-016 "SecurityIng" version from Amazon. Battery had enough juice to run through the modes one time before it died. Will test it out later. First impressions is that it looks good! -Garry
    Please let us know about the beam shot on the "HD," my cheepo friends are in dire need of a sub $100 helmet/bar pair....

  18. #18
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    patski, you can see beamshots in OP at the beggining of this thread. HD-016 and SSX2 can be usable cheapo combination, IMHO.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    patski, you can see beamshots in OP at the beggining of this thread. HD-016 and SSX2 can be usable cheapo combination, IMHO.
    LEDoman, I'm assuming that the the SecurityIng® version of the HD-016 may only share the housing...

    Got to love this part of the description: Switch Type: Blue Button

  20. #20
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    I'm suspecting they are all the same. Mostly the first round/batch that appears are the same. Afterwards clone starts to appear and they are getting worse most of the time. At least with SSX2 in the same budget range it is happening so.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    I'm suspecting they are all the same. Mostly the first round/batch that appears are the same. Afterwards clone starts to appear and they are getting worse most of the time. At least with SSX2 in the same budget range it is happening so.
    Summer/fall 2013 I bought 2 "branded" solarstorm x2s, one worked ok but was never very bright, one failed on the first rocky descent, I paid $18 to ship back to Shenzen, did you ever see my "Bottom Drawer?"

    I'm NOT really a hobbyist I've just wasted a lot of time/money getting something that works for me...

  22. #22
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    I just received my SecurtyIng version from Amazon.



    I haven't torn it apart yet, but I've taken current readings and got some beamshots.

    Current pulled from 2-cell battery pack at 8.24v:
    Off: 0.020A
    Flood: 0.663A
    Throw: 0.665A
    Flood & Throw: 1.410A (Steady, not dropping)

    (BTW - I am confident current readings I make are accurate.)

    Flood is VERY wide! However the "flood" mode doesn't throw out far at all. I can't imagine "flood" alone being enough to ride with (except commuting where it is used more for "be seen" use. I think I would prefer the reflector be just a tad deeper in order to get a little more throw out of it.

    Here are some beamshots. Pics taken with my same manual camera settings at roughly the same location so that my beamshots can be compared one to another. In the first set of pics, the distance to the trees I aimed between is approx. 185 feet (garage is beyond the trees at an undetermined distance - I really need to determine that). Approx. 275 feet to the house off to the left of the trees. (Note: you can barely see the trees or garage in the "throw" pic.)

    Flood:


    Throw:


    Flood & Throw:


    Now to my wooded trail spot:

    Flood:


    Throw:


    Flood & Throw:


    That wooded shot above really sells this light!

    Full size pics can be found in my PhotoBucket Gallery.

    Next is a full teardown and mod to XM-L2 T5 5B1's and a resistor modded SSX2 driver to run Flood & Throw LEDs at all times in a High-Med-Low (or Low-Med-High) arrangement.

    -Garry

  23. #23
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    Outstanding reviews. Thanks guys, I plan to pick one up for a second light.


    Garry, do you the capacity of the SecurityIng battery? On Amazon is says:

    Power Source: 1 x 8.4V 8800mAh battery pack (Included)

    I'm guessing it's closer to 2100mAh (what ledoman measured) which would give a runtime of about 90 minutes with both lights on.

  24. #24
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    I do not know the capacity, nor do I have the equipment to properly test capacity without tearing apart the individual cells. I have not charged up the battery yet and therefore haven't done any runtime testing. I'm awaiting a nifty little voltmeter/ammeter to use to monitor the "charger" before using it. I'd heavily lean toward the 2100mAh ledoman measured as being what I have in mine. I did see into the shrinkwrap that my cells are pink. Ledoman, can you confirm your cells are pink? If they are not pink than perhaps I do have different capacity cells.

    bank5, be sure to open the front end and add thermal paste to the pills where they seat into the body.

    Oh -I forgot to add this is my impressions above, I do NOT like that strobe is in the mode sequence and not hidden. It's like they swapped the "press-n-hold" strobe for a press-n-hold" off instead and I think I prefer the other way around.

    -Garry

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    I do not know the capacity, nor do I have the equipment to properly test capacity without tearing apart the individual cells. I have not charged up the battery yet and therefore haven't done any runtime testing. I'm awaiting a nifty little voltmeter/ammeter to use to monitor the "charger" before using it. I'd heavily lean toward the 2100mAh ledoman measured as being what I have in mine. I did see into the shrinkwrap that my cells are pink. Ledoman, can you confirm your cells are pink? If they are not pink than perhaps I do have different capacity cells.

    bank5, be sure to open the front end and add thermal paste to the pills where they seat into the body.

    Oh -I forgot to add this is my impressions above, I do NOT like that strobe is in the mode sequence and not hidden. It's like they swapped the "press-n-hold" strobe for a press-n-hold" off instead and I think I prefer the other way around.

    -Garry
    Thanks for the extra info. Does flood on yours also have a ring around the beam?

    I'm a newb with lights -- what are the pills and why is thermal paste necessary? I noticed that the light on Amazon has a 30 day money back guarantee and 12 month warranty, so I'm wondering if I should wait until after a year to add the paste

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