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Cyansky HS6R Review: Headlamp
Cyansky HS6R specifications
|LED||2 x Everlight 2835 SMD auxiliary red, 1x Luminus SST40 spot, 1x Luminus SST20 flood|
|Lumens||1400 Lumens (combined)|
|Beam intensity||7200 cd for Spot, 1006 cd Flood|
|Blinkies||Beacon (auxiliary red only)|
|Review date||September 2021|
After seemingly crawling out of the woodwork in early 2021 on the heels of their eCommerce site Cyansky, aka Dongguan Yiming Electronics Co. Ltd. has brought us some really innovative and high quality flashlights. They’re no stranger to 1Lumen either, and we’ve reviewed the Cyansky H5 hunting light with integrated lens filters, H3 hunting light, and Cyansky K3 thrower, a couple of tactical lights, and the M3 keychain light.
They’re all practical, functional, and high quality items. Both the H5 and K3 were great-performing (perhaps ground-breaking?) standouts in the congested hunting and tactical categories. Something was missing though…long-range thrower? Nope. High output flooder? Nah. Multi-emitter headlamp? Bingo!
Well, I think the folks at Cyansky must have been thinking the same thing, so they made one! Not only did they make one, they sent it for review, so today I’ll be taking a look at their new HS6R headlamp. I was a bit surprised by the design since it’s pretty standard with 2 LEDs behind TIR optics (just like a lot of other headlamps); one for flood and one for throw, flanked by some auxiliary red LEDs for low light work.
Power? Standard 18650. Again, nothing special. You can get this type of headlamp from Nitecore, Acebeam, Fenix, Thrunite, and even some of the uber-cheap Chinese brands like “Boruit” and the innumerable clones out there. However, Cyansky mixed it up a bit with the LEDs, so you’re getting a unique headlamp in that respect. I’ll admit I’m a big fan of useful flashlights and don’t like gimmicky or useless features, but I’m a sucker for unconventional designs. Let’s see if the HS6R can distance itself from the (stiff) competition.
The HS6R came in a retail package (like all of the Cyansky lights), so it’s attractive, functional, and well designed. Nothing super-special, but I like the layout and it’s eye-catching white and blue colors with feature blurbs and a nice picture of the product on the front. Inside it’s pretty standard stuff. The headlamp was riding in a molded thin plastic carrier with the accessories underneath. Here’s what’s included:
- Cyansky HS6R
- Spare switch boot
- Spare o-ring
- Cyansky BL1826 button top 18650 battery (loaded in the light headlamp)
- Simple user manual
- Warranty/registration card
- USB A to USB type C charging cable
- Headband and mounting plate (assembled)
This is standard fare for a mainstream headlamp from a quality brand. It’s enough to get you going, and some nice extras. A spare switch boot is nice, but I would have liked another spare o-ring since the included one is really small and may get lost or easily tear. They included a battery and a charging cable, which is perfect for someone who just ‘graduated’ from those cheesy AAA-powered ones and doesn’t have any 18650s or appropriate chargers on hand. The Cyansky marketing page says an ”EVA sticker” (aka a thin foam adhesive-backed pad) that goes on the mounting plate, but I didn’t see it in the package.
Flashlight in use
The HS6R is a headlamp so it’s going to be primarily worn on your head, but you can also carry it like a flashlight. The headband is nice and wide, with “Cyansky” boldly included on the sides in the familiar blue and black colors. I measured it at 2.5 inches and nearly 2 mm thick, so it has good padding. The HS6R isn’t too heavy (under 6 ounces with battery and band), but it is a bit chunky compared to my D10 clone (4.49 ounces loaded). However, combined with the padding from the thick headband, I found it very comfortable to wear, and despite not having a top band (that fits over the middle of your head), it didn’t want to ride down over my face unless really jostled around. I do think a top band would be a good improvement for this headlamp, especially for those using it with a hard hat, spelunking (google it), or bike helmet. My head’s pretty standard size(?), and it fits me fine. The band is adjustable, and I appreciated the larger size of the headband since it’s easier to adjust. It’s also pretty stretchable and softer than some others I’ve tried, so it will be comfortable. I think one-size-fits-all applies here, so no worries if you’ve got a head like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons.
You can remove the headband easily for cleaning or replacement. It mounts to a stainless steel plate that the headlamp also mounts to via some stainless steel retention wires. These fit around the ends of the body and interface with tabs on the mounting plate. I was able to remove the headlamp from the plate, but it’s a bit tricky and I don’t know if Cyansky meant for it to be removable, but it made it really easy to carry like a flashlight. For helmet-duty, Cyansky also sells an optional helmet mount that clips to the plate in place of the headband.
The headlamp swivels 90 degrees up or down in the mount, but I noticed it’s a bit difficult to adjust while wearing it. The wires grip the body of the headlamp pretty tightly, but it did loosen up over time the more I moved it. If you wanted to, you could use a little oil in between the wire to free it up a bit. For the switches, there’s two; both are e-switches. One on the end of the battery tube in the all-too-familiar ‘D10” style, and a second on the top of the body above the side switch. I like how the switches are on the same side and close to each other since it makes it easier to switch modes and locate them. The side switch is for controlling the main (spot) LED, and the top switch is for the aux red LEDs and flood LED. They both felt good, nice and click-able with good feel and feedback. The side switch has backlight LEDs to indicate battery state. I noticed the top switch is topped with a metal button, so it wasn’t as grippy as the side switch. I did have a little trouble locating it in the dark by feel, since it’s metal and doesn’t stick out much, and the action is very low, so it kind of blends into the body. I think a rubber button cover would be a much better choice here.
Build Quality, and Warranty
This is the first headlamp I’ve reviewed since the positively amazing Magicshine MOH 55 Aquila Pro in 2020 and the first one from Cyansky, so it’s uncharted territory quality-wise. However, I’m familiar with their flashlights, which are very high quality and well-built. The body is all metal, specified as ‘aero grade’ aluminum alloy. There’s not a shred of plastic on the housing aside from the TIR lenses and the rubber switch boot and charge port cover. Nice! It feels very substantial in the hand, like this is definitely a serious headlamp. The finish is a very, very nice type III HA matte finish anodizing. It’s a lot like the K3 I reviewed earlier…nice and grippy and perfectly executed, and no thin spots, no blemishes, and perfectly done. The machining is also well done with zero machine or tool marks and no anomalies that I could see. The edges are all nicely chamfered and blended, so no sharp edges anywhere either. The silkscreening is also perfectly done-nice and sharp. This is all common with Cyansky’s lights, with good attention to detail and great fit and finish.
The front of the body features a blackened metal (probably stainless steel) retaining plate held on with six, 2 mm hex head fasteners. I assume these hold the lenses against the MCPCB. There’s no glass lens protecting the optics, and they aren’t recessed, so they might get scratched or damaged if dropped face-down. The manual says they’re “Grade 10 super-impact-resistant PC lens.” I guess that means they’re tough? I didn’t try to take them out since it would compromise the waterproofing. There’s only a couple of potential ingress points for water, but they’re both well-sealed. The battery compartment is sealed with a single thin o-ring, and the USB charge port is sealed with a nice silicone plug. Cyansky gives it a IP68 rating good for 2 meters of (temporary) immersion. I used the HS6R on a trip to the beach and a prolonged camping trip, and at night there was a lot of moisture in the air, but there was no condensation inside the lenses or battery tube afterward.
The threads on the battery compartment cap are tiny rectangular cut and fully anodized, so you can lock out the headlamp by unscrewing the cap slightly. These threads didn’t seem lubricated very well and were pretty gritty, but some SuperLube synthetic grease helped a bit. I found myself nearly cross threading them a few times, so be careful. To be fair, this light is USB rechargeable, so you ideally shouldn’t need to open the battery compartment much. For springs, there’s just one on the tail cap (brass button on the driver), and it’s a thin gold-plated affair, pressed into the tailcap to complete the circuit. The spring is appropriately sized since this light doesn’t pull a lot of current.
Cyansky’s warranty is commensurate with the price and similar to other higher-end flashlights. According to Cyanskylight.com:
“15 days free replacement: Cyanskylight will offer a new replacement within 15 days of purchase for any manufacturing defects if the problem occurs in normal use. In case the model has been discontinued, the customer will receive a similar or improved model in time. 60 Months free repairs: Cyanskylight will offer free repair within 60 months (5 years) for lights from the date of purchase if a problem happens with normal use. Limited lifetime warranty: For lights past the free repair warranty period, we provide lifetime repairs but will charge for parts. The distributor or dealer will notify customers of the cost of the part in advance.”
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
The HS6R employs a very unique arrangement of LEDs that I haven’t seen before in a headlamp. There’s 3 total in play here, and each is a different size suited for a different application. There’s one for throw, one for flood, and two for low-light duty where preserving night vision is paramount (Cyansky says it also repels mosquitoes…hmmm). The LEDs are all mounted behind their own PMMA plastic TIR optics. Cyansky enlisted the help of the Luminus camp on this one since the spotlight LED is the Luminus SST40 in 6500K. The flood LED is the popular SST20 in 4000K 95 CRI trim. The auxiliary red LEDs are Everlight 2835-size SMD LEDs found on other lights (including the Fenix E-Lite). I like this combination, and I’m glad to see high CRI included to supplement the CW LED. For those unaware, high CRI (color rendering index) LEDs are great at accurately reproducing colors, unlike cool white low CRI LEDs that tend to wash out colors or turn them blue.
Cyansky makes very effective use of these LEDs. The spot LED has a narrow-angle optic, and the flood LED has a pebbled and frosted wide-angle optic. The red SMD LEDs are behind an optic/diffuser, so they don’t seem focused, but do project the red light a little. The spot beam is pretty focused, and looks like my D10 almost, but with a tighter hotspot and enough spill to be useful. Not as much as a reflector though. I will say the cool white SST40 looks great behind the optic, and the tint uniformity is very good. The flood optic works great with the SST20, projecting a nice wall of warm, high CRI light, but it does have enough throw to be useful. I found myself using this one the most since the high CRI and warm white really rendered colors well, and the throw is actually pretty good for general use (not as much as the spot LED though). When I needed to see farther away, I clicked on the SST40. The red LEDs work great! They provide a lot of useful saturated red light and really lit up anything within 5 feet in total darkness. Overall, this is a very effective and useful combination.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 8 cm / 3.14 inches
- Height: 4 cm / 1.57 inches
- Width: 3.6 cm / 1.41 inches
- With included 18650 battery: 162.3 grams / 5.72 oz.
- Without battery: 113.9 grams / 4.01 oz.
Compared the HS6R to some other headlamps I own.
Group 1 left to right: FireFlies PL47G2 (2021 version), Slonik D10, Cyansky HS6R, FireFlies PL47G2 (2021 version Mule)
Group 2: Cyansky HS6R, and MagicShine MOH55 Pro.
The MOH55 Pro is a bit of a standout here since it’s 4000 Lumens and the battery is external. The closest competitor to the HS6R is my modded Slonik D10 with SST40, but it has a traditional reflector.
Driver & User Interface:
Since I can’t open up the HS6R, I can’t tell you what’s under the hood, but judging from my testing, it’s most likely a constant current driver. At this price point, this is a nice feature for sure.
It’s a well-known fact that simple UI’s are my favorite, and the HS6R features a pretty simple UI without many bells and whistles. You do get useful features like mode memory, but there’s no strobes, and since this is a multi-LED light, you’d think there would be different mode sets and brightness levels for each, and you’d be right. Furthermore, the implementation of those modes are well-done. The main (we’ll call it the spot) and auxiliary (flood) LEDs can be controlled independently of each other as well as operated simultaneously, so you can get a flood/throw arrangement going. Neat. The ONE thing I do not like about it is the press and hold for on/off. Booo (insert Price is Right loser horn here). Okay, okay, once I got used to pressing and holding, it wasn’t so bad.
Modes: Main (spot) LED: Low, medium, high, and turbo. Auxiliary (flood) LED: Low, medium, high. Red LED: Normal, and warning (flashing). There’s a semi-hidden strobe mode also.
- Press and hold side/top switch: Turn on
- Single click side/top switch: Battery check
- Double click side/top switch: N/A
- Triple click side/top: N/A
- Press and hold side/top switch: Turns off
- Click side/top switch: Cycles through modes for each LED: Spot LED: L, M, H, T. Flood LED: L, M, H. Red: Normal, flashing.
- Double click side switch: N/A
- Triple click side switch: N/A
- Yes, last mode memory for all modes.
Low voltage warning:
- Yes, the switch indicator will flash red and the brightness will step very low when the battery is at 3 volts. The light will turn off when the cell voltage goes below 2.8 volts. From the manual: Battery >80%, green light, 80%-50%, blinking green, 50%-20%, red light, <20%, blinking red.
- Warning flasher on red LEDs
- None. Unscrew the battery compartment cap 1/4 turn to manually lock out.
Additional info: As far as headlamp UI’s go, this is a good one. The mode spacing is very nice, and everything is well thought-out here. Now, I know the press and hold for on/off might not be a huge deal for some, but for me (and others of the flashaholic continuum), it’s really annoying. It’s also present for both switches. Okay, okay, don’t re-gift your new HS6R to a certain in-law (you know who) or hock it at the pawn shop, because the press and hold isn’t difficult to live with or get used to. There is a learning curve to it, and mode memory makes it a little easier to live with. Mode memory, by the way, is available for all LEDs and mode sets. You might be thinking, jeez those high-power LEDs would get hot. Well, Cyansky implemented a 60-second step down timer and a form of ATR for the HS6R. On Turbo, it will step down after 1 minute, but during prolonged use, ATR takes over. I’m interested to see how this works.
Batteries & Charging
The HS6R is pretty conventional when it comes to power, sporting a run-of-the-mill 18650, specifically Cyansky’s BL1826. This is a 2600 mAh button top cell which was loaded in the tube. This battery has a nice gold-plated button top, and is a bit longer than a standard flat top at 68 mm. It doesn’t say anything about a protection circuit so I’m not sure where the extra length comes from. I put it on my analyzing charger (yes, you can charge the battery in an external charger) and it showed an internal resistance of about 40 milliohms, so this is not a high-drain cell.
You might be asking, why not a 21700? I’m all for more power and runtime, but I surmise that Cyansky’s logic for not using one is sound. Here’s why. A bigger cell adds size and weight. Also, this light doesn’t need a 21700 either owing to the low power demands. That said, 2600 mAh is on the low end of 18650’s these days, and a 3100 or 3500 mAh cell would have been ideal for more runtime, plus the weight difference is negligible. Another issue…A standard flat top 18650 will not work due to the length and the interference bars for reverse polarity protection on the driver. You can bypass the interference bars with a round magnet about 5 mm tall stuck on the positive contact of the cell. Do it at your own risk though because if the magnet becomes dislodged (if you drop the headlamp, for instance) and makes contact with the battery tube wall, you cause a short and either the headlamp goes up in smoke or your battery could get hot and vent. You were warned. If you have a protected button top, use that. I had an Acebeam protected cell with USB charging and it was a tight fit, but worked fine. A Thrunite button top 18650 also worked perfectly.
For charging, you get USB type C charging good for 2 amps. It’s always nice to see USB C instead of the icky micro USB. With a 2600 mAh cell 2 amps seems a little high since generally, a safe charge current is ½ the capacity rating. It’s okay to quick-charge occasionally at a higher current, but prolonging this might reduce the cell lifespan. The upside of a higher charge current is, well, faster charging. On my USB tester with the low battery indicator on, I got 1.86 amps and 5.29 volts, and charging terminated at a very conservative 4.13 volts each time. The headlamp body did get noticeably warm during charging. The cell did charge reasonably quickly at around 2 hours for a full charge.
The HS6R is unique in that there are 3 LEDs to measure, and added complications for the current measurement, throw, and Lumen readings. Should be fun!
Since I knew this doesn’t pull crazy amps, I sidelined the clamp meter and used my Radio Shack T-RMS multimeter with 16 gauge wires inserted directly into the meter. I tested the main (spot) LED, flood LED, red LEDs, and a combination of the spot and flood to see how that affected the current draw.
- Low: 26 mA
- Medium: 229 mA
- High: 1.08 A
- Turbo: 3.75 A (3.9 A at turn on)
- Low: 33 mA
- Medium: 292 mA
- High: 1.84 A (1.90 A at turn on)
Spot+Flood LEDs Combined
- Low: 67 mA
- Medium: 540 mA
- High: 3.1 A
- Turbo: 4.07 A (at turn on)
Since the spot LED only supports Turbo, and the flood LED’s maximum setting is High, it appears there’s some limiting happening somewhere when the spot and flood LEDs are at their maximum settings. The current when both are at their maximum should be about 7 amps. For yucks, I tested a Sony VTC6 on the highest settings and the spot Turbo jumped to 4.17 A, and there was no change with the flood or the red LEDs.
- 110 mA
I conducted the runtime test using the 30-centimeter integrating sphere with the Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging lux meter. I used the fully charged BL1826 18650 battery and tested Medium, High, and Turbo for the Main LED, and High for the flood LED. I didn’t test all modes for the spot and flood LEDs to keep it simple (and it would have taken forever).
Turbo on the spot started at 781 Lumens. It held that for about 10 seconds before tapering off to 761 Lumens, then a slow decline over the next 5 minutes down to 483 Lumens. The output was pretty stable at 700 Lumens or better for almost 4 minutes, so that’s good. The output held steady at 372 Lumens for an hour and 30 minutes before the battery voltage dropped to the LVP threshold and started throttling the output back. By 1 hr 38 minutes, the output was 102 Lumens, and 3 minutes later LVP kicked in and dropped the output very low to 14 Lumens and started blinking. The switch LED was also flashing red for low battery. This continued for a minute, then the output dropped very low and I ended the test at 1 hour 54 minutes. Chansky specified 2 hours for the runtime, and I think I ended the test prematurely? Either way, I don’t refute that claim because I let it sit at 7.3 Lumens for 10 minutes before ending the test. The manual says there’s supposed to be a timed step down at 60 seconds on Turbo from 1200 to 1000 Lumens for overheat protection, and I did see one, but it happened at 45 seconds. I wasn’t expecting the housing to heat up much, and it didn’t. I only saw a max of 53 C after 4 minutes.
Note: Reviewer Tim’s HS6R had a problem, where the higher output modes stepped down quickly, and stayed at very low output. If yours has this issue, reach out to Cyansky!
High started off at 350 Lumens, which lasted for 2 minutes before increasing slightly to 357 Lumens, which it held for another 6 minutes, before increasing again to 365 Lumens at the 8 minute 30 second mark. It held that for about 40 minutes before increasing again to 372 Lumens at the 41 minute mark. Note that this is the same output as Turbo at the 4 minute 45 second mark, so it seems like the driver is programmed with ATR for these preconfigured brightness levels. It held this output for an hour before starting to step down gradually to 365, then 357, 350, and down to 340 at the 1 hour 43 minute mark. 3 minutes later, the output was way down to 102 Lumens, and 5 minutes later, LVP kicked in and started blinking to signal low battery at 1 hour 52 minutes. The output dropped to 7.3 Lumens (like Turbo) where it stayed until I ended the test at 2 hours 10 minutes. Thermal performance was similar to Turbo, with a max temp of 51 C at 30 minutes into the test. Cyansky’s spec for runtime is 3 hours, so I’m under that, but I suspect they run the light until it shuts down, so I say their claim is reasonable.
Medium was the longest runtime, and as usual was pretty boring. The test started at 98.55 Lumens, and held that until the output started increasing after a minute or so to 100 Lumens. This behavior continued until the 20 minute mark, settling at 99 Lumens with gradual decreases over the next 9 hours down to a stable 94 Lumens. Note, these are imperceptible to the naked eye and only visible on the instruments, so you won’t see it dimming. At the 10 hour 28 minute mark, LVP kicks in and drops the output to 10 Lumens, then down to 7.3 (like the other modes) at 10 hours 32 minutes, and from there, down to 6.57, then 4.38, and on down to 2.92 Lumens by 11 hours 13 minutes. 18 minutes later, the output was down to 1.4 Lumens, which vacillated between that and 0.73 Lumens until the low battery warnings at 12 hours 48 minutes until shut down at 14 hours 59 minutes. This is way beyond Cyansky’s figure of 12 hours, so that’s always good. No heating to speak of with Medium mode aside from maybe 3-5 C above ambient.
This is about as good as I can ask for with a headlamp like this with consistent output throughout the runtimes (and no PWM). The HS6R has a constant-current driver, and while an FET-driven light will be brighter in the beginning, long-term it won’t maintain the same output. So why don’t all lights have fully regulated drivers? Well, it comes down to the almighty dollar. FET drivers are simpler, have fewer components, and are cheaper to make. Plus they give higher performance (and we know Lumens sell, right?). The ATR on the light works fine, and the runtimes are consistent. All good performance from the HS6R.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
For the lumen tests, I used my home made 30 cm integrating sphere calibrated with a light of known output using the Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging lux meter. I used the included fully charged BL1826 battery. Readings were taken at 30 seconds. I captured the turn on reading for turbo. The Auxiliary LED measurements are in parentheses. The advertised output figures are the same for Low, Medium, and High on the spot and flood LEDs. Even though the flood LED does not have a Turbo setting, I compared the highest settings for the spot+flood LEDs combined as well.
|Mode||Measured Lumens||Advertised Lumens|
|Low (flood)||10.95 (10.95)||30|
|Medium (flood)||100.74 (100.74)||150|
|High (flood)||365 (365)||500|
|Turbo||803 (876 at turn on)||1200|
|Turbo Spot+flood LEDs||949 (at turn on)||1400|
The output for Low, Medium, and High are the same for spot and flood LEDs, I got higher than Cyanskys figure for the red LED, but my figures are way down from advertised. I fabricobbled a workaround for the reverse polarity protection interference bars on the driver that prevent using flat top cells by adding a 5.5 mm tall by 5.5 mm round magnet to the positive contact of a VTC6 to see if a high-drain cell would affect the output. Nope. Proof that current-limiting is happening somewhere (probably the driver). Turbo stayed at 876 Lumens and 365 for the flood LED on High. With both combined, I got 949 Lumens, which seems a bit low. Again, I might be losing some light due to my testing setup since I can’t get the face of the optics 90 degrees to the inner surface of the integrating sphere due to the width of the headlamp. That said, I don’t think it’s much of a loss, and I don’t think I could have achieved 1200 Lumens for the spot LED or 500 for the flood LED, and nowhere near 1400 for both on the stock cell.
Throw was measured at 5 meters indoors using the Uni-t UT383S lux meter. I used the included fully-charged Cyansky 18650 battery for all tests. Readings were recorded at 30 seconds.The flood LED figures are in parentheses.
|Mode||Measured Throw||Advertised Throw|
|Red||N/A||24 cd, 10 meters|
|Low||125 cd, 22.36 meters (N/A)||186 cd, 28 m (80 cd, 18 meters)|
|Medium||950 cd, 61 meters (150 cd, 24.4 meters)||908 cd, 60 meters (300 cd, 35 meters)|
|High||4425 cd, 133.0 meters (950 cd, 61 meters)||3010 cd, 110 meters (1006 cd, 63 meters)|
|Turbo||8100 cd, 180 meters||7200 cd, 170 meters|
The Uni-t didn’t return any readings at 5 meters for the red and Low setting for the flood LED, but my numbers are pretty close to Cyansky’s. This is good performance from the HS6R, and more than useful enough for most all indoor or outdoor duties. If you need more throw or flood, then you need a bigger headlamp (or use a handheld flashlight).
I compared the HS6R to the Magicshine MOH55 Pro, FireFlies PL47G2 (2021), and my D10 headlamp with 5000K SST40.
- Outdoor shots: The fence is about 40 meters away. The HS6R’s spot setting easily reaches the fence, and the flood, well, floods! With the flood and spot combined, the beam is extremely useful! The MOH55 Pro lights up everything with 4000 Lumens, and my D10 with SST40 does very well despite being driven about 3 amps.
- Indoor shots: The end of the hallway is about 12 meters away. I tested the flood, red, and spot LEDs on the HS6R individually, and the spot Turbo and flood High settings combined.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Cyansky. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Awesome build quality
- Excellent UI implementation
- Fast USB type C charging
- Stable output, CC driver
- Comfortable to wear
- Great beam patterns
- Nice ergonomics
- Charge current a bit high for the included battery
- Included battery is only 2600 mAh
- Needs long 18650 cells to work reliably
- Press and hold for on/off
- Doesn’t meet factory specs
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues, much better options available at the same price – 3: Average: some defects or issues – 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
I love these kinds of success stories! Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen Cyansky crawl out of the woodwork seemingly from out of nowhere with some nice lights, including one with probably the best implementation of integrated lens filters to date. However, like all fledgling manufacturers, there was a hole in their product line-up, a headlamp-sized hole, which needed to be filled, and they did. They could have done a conventional L-shape, or T-shape with a single emitter or maybe an aux light blah, blah, blah, but realizing the need for something different, they produced the HS6R. I’m delighted to report that yep, it’s different and that’s a good thing. Combining throw/flood light sources is nothing new in a headlamp. Fenix has been doing it for a long time in their HP and HM-series lights, and Nitecore has high CRI emitters for their HC series, but Cyansky one-ups them here with superior optics. The throw-flood optics are nicely optimized with the spot and flood high CRI LEDs, and by adding red lighting, Cyansky really bumped the useful-meter pretty high.
Further complimented by a nice user interface, high-quality and solidly-built host with a comfortable headband, and you have a recipe for an incredibly-useful headlamp. I used it extensively on two camping trips, and can unreservedly say it got more use than my handheld lights. Ever tried clamoring down the side of a steep embankment (yep, shortcut) on an outhouse quest in the middle of the night in pitch blackness holding a flashlight, hand sanitizer, and a bag of wet wipes? Trust me, you’d have paid about $1000 for a $2 headlamp just to have your hands free. It’s pretty affordably-priced also, at around $70 US with the battery and fixins’.
Well done Cyansky!
No, it’s not perfect, but there aren’t really any glaring faults. I don’t like the press and hold for on-off, the battery limitation is annoying also, and no, it doesn’t meet the factory specs (although it may be in part due to my measuring setup), but other than that, I can’t fault it. Add a high capacity battery and I’m seriously postulating whether this would be the best headlamp out there currently. 4.5 stars for the HS6R.
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