Wowtac H01 Headlamp Review

Here’s a little headlamp that has received much talk lately.  The Wowtac H01, a 16340 right angle light with micro-USB charging built in.  Also it includes the 16340 cell, so it’s an inexpensive complete package!  Read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

I believe there’s just one version of the H01.

Price

List price for the H01 is an incredible $19.99!  Including a cell and for the features it packs, that’s quite a deal!

$19.99 amazon referral link and get 10% off with my coupon!

10H01zeroAir

Also have a look at the whole of Wowtac on amazon.  They’re having a Father’s Day sale!  It’s a 20% sale on all WOWTAC flashlights and 30% off for A4 V2 on Father’s Day.  No coupon needed; the final price has been discounted on Father’s Day.


Short Review

Like I said above – for $20, this is a great value light.  The emitter being XP-G2 (and not XP-G3) is a choice I appreciate by Wowtac (ie thank you for not going with the universally bad tinted XP-G3).  The UI is good, the size is good, onboard charging works well, the headband is comfortable – there’s really very little if anything to dislike here!

Long Review

The Big Table

Wowtac H01
Emitter: Cree XP-G2
Price in USD at publication time: $19.99 amazon referral link!
And get 10% off with my coupon!
10H01zeroAir
Cell: 1×16340
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Impossible to ignore switch and main emitter warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: micro-USB
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no cell or body? Very low output (just one mode) (and unstable – like “flickering”)
Power off Charge Port with cell present? Very low output (just one mode), but usable.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 614
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 578 (94.1% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 6.3
Claimed Throw (m) 97
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 444lux @ 3.002m = 4001cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 126.5 (130.4% of claim)*
All my Wowtac reviews!
  • Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

  • Wowtac H01 Headlamp
  • Wowtac 650mAh 16340
  • Wowtac headband
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Spare o-ring (2)
  • Spare charge port cover
  • Manual and paperwork

Package and Manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Build quality is good.  Probably build quality to cost ratio is a good number here – better built than most $20 lights.

It’s also small!  Which is a good thing because it rides very well on the headband.

The knurling on the body is well placed, useful, and good quality.

The threads are anodized, square cut, fairly short, and very smooth.  These threads are nice.  Of note is that with the cell in place, you’ll have to squeeze the parts together to get the threads to grab.  Not a big deal though.

The tail end has a spring but no magnet.  The head has only a proud button.

The switch has an indicator, as seen below.

Size and Comps

Dimension: 66mm * 21.5mm * 21mm
Weight: 75g

This might be on the order of “too small” for hand use, and ideal for headlamp carry!

Retention and Carry

Not sure if ever featured here before but the way Thrunite and Wowtac package their headbands is both impressive and frustrating.  (Frustrating because there is absolutely zero percent chance of ever getting it secured back this way.)

Anyway, this is a headlamp, and that silicone holder in the headstrap is going to be the main way to carry it.  It slips in easily and the grooves on the body of the light make it sit securely.

The headband is a single axis band (no over the top band).  It’s stretchy and comfortable and adjustable.  With the lightness of the light, it’s a good setup.

The light fits into the band with the head on one side at well as well as the other.  Since the button is on the end, it won’t matter what direction you pick.  The holder is slightly directional though, as one side is a bit longer than the other.  Still the light holds fine either way.

There is no pocket clip.  There is no magnet.  There is no other way for carry of the H01.

Power and Runtime

The included cell is a 650mAh 16340.  It’s a button top, and nothing proprietary.  Any 16340 should work just fine in here.

Here are two runtimes.  Turbo essentially hits the claim, and steps down after around 75 seconds as claimed.  Then the output drifts off from “High” toward the low voltage warning.  I’d like a little better regulated output, but I am not really complaining here.

 

High looks exactly like Turbo does after the turbo steps down.

Built in charging is via a micro-USB charge port in the head.  The port is covered by a press in rubber cover.  A spare is included.

An appropriate cable is also included.

Charging looks great, at just over half an amp, or approximately 1C for the 16340 cell.  This is good.  When charging, the indicator switch is red.  When complete, the switch is blue.  If something is wrong, the switch is a mix of red and blue (purpleish, but mostly “red and blue”).

I was asked if CR123 cells will work in the H01.  The answer is technically yes, but usefully no.  The voltage of those cells is below the cutoff for operation.  So right from the start the “low voltage warning” action starts, on CR123 cells.  That is, the switch flashes red, and the main emitter flashes white (a very low output, too).  So if you need to use it as a beacon, then yes the cell will be great.  But for any other modes, no.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 614/197 75s/85m 578 1.89
High 198 90m 186 0.60
Medium 62 6h 56 0.16
Low 16 23h 10 0.04
Firefly 0.5 31d 0.02

PWM

There’s PWM on the middle three modes.  It’s fast enough that I don’t really notice it.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

There is a single switch on the H01 – an e-switch on the head.  This switch is proud (no tail standing) and has two two color indicators (red and blue).  It’s a big and easy to find switch.

Here it’s indicating blue.  The red indication is exactly like this – two emitters.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode Memory, except Firefly/Turbo/SOS)
Off Hold Firefly
On Click Off
Any Double click Turbo
On Hold Mode advance (LMH, excludes Firefly/Turbo/SOS)
Any Triple click SOS

LED and Beam

The emitter in the H01 is a Cree XP-G2.  This emitter is behind a TIR optic, and provides a surprisingly tight beam.

I think it’s possible in my copy that the TIR isn’t seated right – see the images below.  The beam profile has a weir corona, is very square shaped, and also has some square legs off to the top right.  In the pics it’s not all that noticeable, but it’s pretty annoying in person.  I have a feeling putting a new emitter in here and making sure the optic is seated right will fix this up.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

Test light is on the left!

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Low cost
  • Complete package
  • Good charging
  • Nice simple yet comprehensive UI

What I don’t like

  • Beam shape with the possibility the optic is misseated.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Wowtac for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • For flashlight related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!

Author: zeroair

3 thoughts on “Wowtac H01 Headlamp Review

  1. Hi ZeroAir. Thank you for the informative and in-depth review. I recently got the H01, but the switch was unreliable, meaning it sometimes took at least 2 presses to turn on or off the light; however, the replacement light has proved more reliable.

    I am a little disappointed that the 2 blue LEDs stay on in all modes other than firefly, but it might be a programming limitation that prevents activation of the red LEDs for only the low-voltage warning, which makes more sense to me. Battery consumption of the LEDs is probably minimal, but why not use 1 blue/red LED instead of 2?

  2. Hi ZeroAir. Thanks for the reply. Do you think the H01 would be adequate as a running headlight? is the light flooding enough to illuminate correctly a wide enough zone at a distance of 2-4 meters?

  3. I have been using an A2S and I´m very happy with it, but the H01 would be great sidegrade for shorter run

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