Wuben H1

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Wuben H1 Headlamp REVIEW: 1200 LUMENS

Table of contents

Specifications

Brand/modelWuben H1
LEDOSRAM P9 (+ aux LEDs)
Lumens1200 lm
Beam intensity3900 cd
Battery config.1*18650
MaterialAluminum
Modes4+2
BlinkiesMultiple
ReflectorSmooth+ diffused
WaterproofIP66
Review dateNovember 2020

INTRODUCTION:

Wuben was established in 1981 and has been producing flashlights for decades. Most of that time was spent as an OEM, but in 2016 they launched their own line of flashlights. I’ve owned several Wuben flashlights over the past few years and have been really impressed with their overall quality. What I’ve come to expect in Wuben flashlights: wonderful presentation, amazing build quality, great regulated buck/boost drivers, and lumens that actually meet or exceed the stock specifications.  
To this point, I have only ever owned Wuben flashlights. So when I heard that they had released a headlamp, Wuben had my attention. The promotional listing looked amazing. Bright headlamp?  Check. High-CRI?  Check. Aux Red LED? Check. Built-in charging? Check. It certainly ticked all of the right boxes – now let’s see how it shines in real life, shall we?

Package quality.

Wuben does an excellent job with the presentation. Of all of the lights that I’ve handled lately, Wuben has set the bar for packaging – the clear plastic enclosure is sturdy and does a great job of showing off the contents. Many manufacturer’s packaging materials just wouldn’t cut it in a brick & mortar store.  What Wuben has done, however, would look right at home (if not stand out!) amongst all of the other properly displayed goods.

But it’s not all just about the packaging, now is it? What comes in that lovely package? You’ll find:

  • Wuben H1 headlamp
  • Wuben-branded battery (2600 mAh, protected)
  • Three-way headband
  • Spare o-rings
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manual

Handling of the light

If you were to handle the Wuben H1 outside of the headband, you might find it a bit slippery as the body is perfectly smooth.  The caps on each end, however, exhibit lightly-grippy knurling with a triangle pattern running throughout it.  Should you desire to do so, you can easily tail-stand the H1.

All of that said, the H1 is made to be in its headband strap. That headband has a lot going for it: it includes a top strap, it’s reflective, it’s highly adjustable, and it has a pattern of silicone “waves” lining it that provide a good amount of grip and keep the straps from sliding around on your head or hat.

Build Quality, Knurling, Threads, and anodization

The anodizing and overall quality of the Wuben H1 feel great.  No scratches in sight. The finish is matte, but very smooth. The tailcap threads are clean and square, though oddly thick.

In terms of waterproofing, Wuben claims IP68: 2 meters underwater for 1 hour. If some of their claims are accurate, I would believe this rating.  My initial reaction was that there was no way the charging port cover would allow it to be IP68-rated. However, it sounds like the cover is merely for keeping out mud and sand.  The USB port itself uses a “waterproof injection molded process”, so it should be sealed internally. 

While it is obviously not recommended to disassemble your new headlamp, I did remove the bezel assembly which exposed the LEDs and primary driver components. A gasket is used to seal this area off from water ingress.

LED, LENS, BEZEL, AND REFLECTOR

As can be seen from the removal of the bezel assembly, the Wuben H1 houses several LEDs: primary white LED, auxiliary High-CRI white LED (2835 footprint), auxiliary red LED (2835 footprint), and a bi-color indicator SMD LED.

The only LED the Wuben gave details on is the primary LED: the OSRAM P9.  I dug deeper into this LED during my review of the E12R.  Here’s what I found: It’s the OSRAM DURIS P 9, a 70-CRI 3737-footprint LED with decent looking characteristics.  Luminous flux appears to be about the same as a Cree XP-L V4 bin.  Forward voltage seems appreciably lower, though.  According to datasheets, the P9 has a VF around 2.96 volts at 3000 mA, while the XP-L is rated around 3.18 volts at 3000 mA.  This lower VF will allow it to run a bit more efficiently than the ubiquitous Cree LED.

The OSRAM P9 is nicely centered in a small, smooth reflector.  It seems to be slightly cool, perhaps around 5700K.  The aux LEDs are behind a diffuser that creates a very wide and even spill of light. The white aux LED is claimed to be High-CRI (I have no way of backing this claim up) and if I had to guess a CCT, I’d say it’s around 4000K.

Dimensions

  • Length: 85 mm / 3.3”
  • Head diameter:  26 mm / 1.0 ”
  • Body diameter: 33 mm / 1.36 ”

Weight: 

  • Empty: 59 g / 2.1 oz
  • With strap: 108 g / 3.8 oz
  • With strap and battery: 156 g / 5.5 oz

Headlamp Comparison

Image 1: Headlamp comparison left to right: Thrunite TH20 (AA/14500), Wuben H1, Convoy H1

Image 2: Small 18650 comparison left to right: Lumintop FW3B (brother of the FW3A), Wuben H1

Driver & User Interface:

The Wuben H1 utilizes a single button to control all three LEDs and their modes. This kinda concerned me at first, but it’s not too bad and it’s pretty easy to comprehend.

Modes: Moon, Low, Med, High, White Aux, Red Aux

From OFF:

  • Press and Hold: turn on last used Aux mode (aux white, aux red, flashing red)
  • Single-click: turn on last used primary mode
  • Double-click: strobe mode
  • Triple-click: enable/disable blue “breathing” indicator LED
  • 4x click: lock-out mode

From ON:

  • Press and Hold: rotate through modes
  • Single-click: turn off
  • Double-click: activate high/turbo mode (or if you’re already in high mode, it will activate strobe)

Mode memory:

  • Yes.  Both the primary modes (moon-low-med-high), as well as the aux modes (aux white, aux red, flashing red), have mode memory.


Low voltage warning:

  • When turning on the headlamp, the aux area will light up to indicate battery status:
  • Capacity ≥ 90%: Blue light constant on (off after 5 seconds)
  • 90% > Capacity ≥ 40%: Blue light flashes (off after 5 seconds)
  • 40% > Capacity ≥ 15%: Red light constant on (off after 5 seconds)
  • 15% > Capacity > 0: Red light flashes
  • During runtime tests, Low Voltage Protection kicked in around 3.00 volts

Strobe/blinkies

  • There are 3 blinky modes: Strobe, SOS, and Beacon
  • To activate the blinky modes, double click from Off, Aux, or High
  • To go to the next blinky mode, double click again.  Single-click to exit.
  • There’s also a flashing aux-red mode which is in the normal aux-mode rotation

Lock-out mode: 

  • 4 clicks while off will enable/disable the lock-out mode.  No functions are available in lock-out mode.

PWM

  •  PWM is not visible to the eye, nor by camera

Add additional info: there is a blue “breathing” “here I am” indicator LED that can be enabled/disabled. Wuben claims that the battery will last 100 days with it enabled. Based on my current draw measurements, I figured around 150 days, so 100 days is certainly believable.

Batteries & Charging

Wuben included a branded 2600 mAh protected battery which fits nicely. There is built-in charging. A Micro-USB cable (included) plugs into the port that can be found under a dust cap next to the switch. My tester showed a charge rate of 0.92 amps, so I’d expect around 1 amp, give or take. Built-in charging terminated at a near-perfect 4.19 volts.

When charging, the aux area lights up red.  Upon completion, it switches to BLUE. As part of the “color challenged” (color deficient, color blind) group of people, I’d like to shake the hand of the person that made that decision (as opposed to the usual red-green indication). Thank you!

Performance

For current measurements, an ANENG AN8008 multimeter and UNI-T UT210E clamp meter were used.  Lux was measured by a UNI-T UT383 BT at 5 meters. Lumens were measured in a homemade lumen tube using a TSL2591 sensor, calibrated against several known lights. The temperature was monitored with a MLX90614 IR temperature sensor.

Amp measurement  

  • Moon: 5 mA
  • Low: 159 mA
  • Med: 0.9 A
  • High: 2.9 A
  • Aux White: 90 mA
  • Aux Red: 58 mA
  • Standby: 27 uA
  • Standby with breathing indicator:  0.4 – 0.8 mA

Runtime graph

I performed 2 runtime tests: high mode and medium mode. Honestly, they’re not that different.  The main thing is that high starts out around 1170 lumens. But by 40 seconds into the run, output quickly ramps down to 535 lumens and stays there for the remainder of the run until it finally dies at 150 minutes, having topped out at 48°C.

In medium mode, the Wuben H1 starts out at 480 lumens and stays there for the remainder of the test. It lasted a total of 173 minutes and topped out at 46°C.

Lumen measurements (for each mode)

  • Moon: 1 lm (spec: 1 lm)
  • Low: 95 lm (spec: 80 lm)
  • Medium: 480 lm (spec: 400 lm)
  • High @ 0s: 1164 lm
  • High @ 30s:  1171 lm (spec: 1200 lm)
  • Aux White: 12 lm (spec: 10 lm)

Throw numbers: 

  • Lux at 5m: 167
  • That equals 4175 cd (spec: 3900 cd)
  • Which translates to 129 meters (141 yds) of throw (spec: 125 m)

Beamshots

Indoor Beamshots: 

  • These are close range indoor beamshots with white balance set to 5000K for all
  • Wuben H1 primary LED
  • Wuben H1 aux white
  • Wuben H1 aux red
  • Thrunite TH20 NW (left) vs Wuben H1 primary LED (right)
  • Thrunite TH20 NW (left) vs Wuben H1 aux white (right)
  • Convoy H1 5000K (left) vs Wuben H1 primary LED (right)

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost, by Wuben. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

OVERALL CONCLUSION

PROS

  1. Versatile
  2. Bright main LED
  3. High-CRI aux
  4. Red aux
  5. Built-in charging
  6. Great regulation
  7. Nice strap
  8. Full kit for a fair price

Cons

  1. Mode memory with no shortcuts
  2. Micro-USB charging
  3. Big jump between Moon and Low
  4. Short-lived “high” mode
Gabriel's image
4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Author: Gabriel

The Wuben H1 embodies nearly everything I want in a headlamp. Bright main LED, super-floody high-CRI and red LEDs, built-in charging, etc, etc. Sure, there are certainly a couple things I would change. Micro-USB? What year is it? And I would really appreciate some predictability in the UI – like some shortcuts, or dropping mode memory (or make it configurable?). But all of those things are fairly minor quibbles in comparison to all the good things that the H1 has going on. I think my go-to headlamp (a customized Convoy H1) will be taking a backseat from here on out to make room for the Wuben H1!

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