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Wuben H3 Review: headlamp
Wuben H3 specifications
|LED||Osram P8 + blue + red|
|Beam intensity||700 cd|
|Modes||3 + red + blue|
|Blinkies||SOS + red strobe|
|Review date||April 2021|
Wuben asked to review the Wuben H3, and although I’m not a big fan of this type of flashlights, I just wanted to see what this is all about. The H3 is one of Wuben’s newest addition, and it’s a headlamp that can be rotated in 2 different directions. Most headlamps can only change the beam vertically, but not from left to right. The H3 can do both, so I wanted to see if I was missing out on something cool.
The H3 is shipped in an interestingly designed plastic blister package. It’s focused on the younger generations, with the bright orange colors, low output, and the use of 2AAA batteries. This could be a safe and fun headlamp for kids.
- Wuben H3 headlamp
- Manual (11 languages)
- 2 AAA alkaline batteries (installed)
Flashlight in use
You would probably think that we are merely looking at a headlamp, but even without the strap it’s a neat little light. You can put it down on the table and rotate the flashlight either direction. Or you can just clip it to your belt, pants or pockets and have a small and lightweight flashlight at hand.
The headband is adjustable, feels pretty comfortable and solid. There are 2 switches on the side, both have different dimensions, so the one sticking out the most is for the main LED, while the shorter one is for the blue and red lights. The white LED and red/blue LED can’t be used at the same time. So if you selected the red LED, and you then push the larger button, the red turns off and the white LED turns on.
I like this design, because it’s very easy to operate while you are wearing it.
But there is 1 major problem. And that’s the lid for the battery compartment. Adults tend to have stronger nails and fingers, but I am unable to open the lid without hurting my nails or feeling very scared of opening it up and hurting my fingers. This must be a design flaw. Good luck letting your kid open the lid bare-handed and replace the batteries outdoors. Especially if you have cold hands, or wet hands, it’s tough to open it up. Maybe this was done on purpose, but I can’t see why. I did see other people opening it up with their thumbnail, without any problems, so I might have just very weak nails, or they are just too short.
On top of that, it’s a little difficult to attach the clip to the headband. But you probably don’t take it off that often, so this isn’t a bit problem.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Everything is made of plastic. The clip, the rotating system, the buttons, and the flashlight body. This means that it’s very lightweight, but I’m not sure how strong it is. I tried squeezing it in my hands, but I didn’t hear anything moving or opening up, so that’s a good thing.
How it holds up, in the long run, needs to be seen. So far, it looks fine and works fine. and should be fine to use in the rain.
Within 5 years from the date of purchase, if the product(accessories excluded) has quality problems, WUBEN will offer free repair for WUBEN registered customers. More info: https://www.wubenlight.com/blogs/news/how-to-get-5-years-product-wattanty-from-wuben
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
Wuben refers to the main, white LED, as an Osram P8 and the 2 colored auxiliary LEDs as 2835 SMD, without referring to any company name or model name.
The white LED sits behind a custom made 18mm TIR optic, and the 2 colored LEDs are behind 2 translucent little windows which make the colored LEDs more like glow. These auxiliary LEDs usually have horrible beam patterns. But they look pretty smooth on this headlamp.
The white LEDs color temperature is definitely on the cold side of the spectrum, but not blue in any way. The beam has a clear hotspot with enough spill. Outdoors this should be working just fine, but on a white wall it doesn’t have the nicest beam pattern, but who really cares.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 56.6 mm / 2.23 ”
- Width: 25.22 mm / 0.992”
- Thick: 22.17 mm / 0.872 ”
- Empty: 27.2 g / 0.96 oz
- With Eneloop 2*AAA: 51 g / 1.8 oz
Flashlight Size comparison
Size compared to other headlamps
Image 1, from left to right: FireFlies PL47 g2, Wuben H3, Acebeam PT40
Driver & User Interface:
The light makes use of 2 different buttons for 2 different LEDs. The main LED can be operated with the largest switch, and the auxiliary LEDs are operated with the smaller switch. The switches are located next to each other and should be easily operable in the dark. Both switches are electronic switches and to switch between the auxiliary LED and the main LED, you simply just press the other switch. You can switch between them at all times.
- Main LED: low, medium, high + SOS
- Auxiliary LEDs: red light, blue light, red flash
Main switch from OFF:
- Single-click: to last used mode, mode memory
- Double click: SOS
- 3+ clicks: N/A
- Press and hold: shortcut to Low mode
Main switch from ON:
- Single-click: turns off
- Double click: SOS
- 3+ clicks: N/A
- Press and hold: changing modes from low to high
Auxiliary switch from OFF:
- Single-click: last used mode (red, blue or red flashing)
- 2+ clicks: N/A
- Press and hold: change between red, blue and red flashing
Blinky modes menu:
- SOS with main LED, and flashing red with Auxiliary red LED
- No, just turn it off
- Not visible
Batteries & Charging
The H3 headlamp came with 2 Alkaline AAA batteries. I know it may sound nice to include batteries with a headlamp (or flashlight) these alkaline batteries won’t be the best option. If you store them inside the headlamp for a long time, you may end up with leaking batteries.
I would always recommend using rechargeable NiMH batteries, and especially Panasonic Eneloop (the white ones).
All output numbers are relative for my home-made Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.
All of my readings were taken from fully charge Eneloop AAA 750mAh batteries.
Amps were measured with a Fluke 77III, at the tailcap.
|Mode||Amps||Advertised output||measured @ 30 sec||measured @ start|
|Med||0.16A||50||54 lm||54 lm|
I tested it with the included Alkaline batteries, and they were exactly the same output numbers! Keep in mind that this was tested in my integrating sphere that has an ND filter on top of the sensor.. So the lux meter just showed 2 lux and then 3 lux after 30 seconds. And 1 lux is about .52 lumens in my sphere.
- I don’t like the way the Fluke 77 III is showing the numbers, but it looks to me to be 0.15mA. That’s not very good.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
Testing Low wasn’t a great success. I had to replace the batteries of the Lux meter twice, so I don’t have a clear boring 1 lumen line. So I just calculated the hours by Start and Finish, and this is the runtime for Low: 4 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes and 33 seconds, and I hope you like that.
But I don’t recommend using Eneloop NiMH batteries for that because the batteries were discharged too deeply, which they don’t like. 1 was around 0.6V and the other 0.9V. Not good.
High starts at around 135 lumens, and drops to 110 lumens in 3 minutes, and at 2 hours and 4 minutes drops to 56 lumens. It then continues for about 5 minutes till it drops to 1.5 lumens. It then continues for a few more hours. But I would not recommend doing that, because the batteries will discharge too deeply and can damage the batteries.
Measurements were taken indoors at 2 meters distance with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
According to specs, it is supposed to throw 700 cd, which is pretty spot on.
For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/30sec , F4, 5000K
The wall is about 5 meters/ 15 feet away.
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.
- No PWM
- Easy to find with the bright orange color
- Simple UI and 2 easy to use switches (great for kids)
- The battery compartment is too difficult to open for kids (an important design problem)
- Difficult for kids to attach it to the head strap
3.5 stars: ★★★⋆
I’d love to like it, and it has a few nice features, but it has some major design flaws, especially considering its target audience; children. The first one is its battery door; for kids (or with cold/wet fingers when being outdoors) this is very difficult to open with your nails. Another, yet smaller problem is the difficulty of attaching the clip to the headband by children. Without these flaws, it could have been a nice headlamp for kids; lightweight, easy UI, and bright orange color (difficult to get lost).