Skilhunt H04 RC Headlamp Review

I have another Skilhunt straight from KillzoneFlashlights.com – this time it’s the venerable H series headlamp – the updated H04 RC.  The H03 was a massive success and ended up with a bunch of iterations.  The H04 looks to be the same.  What I have is the version with built-in charging and a TIR optic.  Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There a bunch!  Three with charging.  Three without.  Two with optics, two with reflectors, and two with a flip over cover.  The one seen here is the H04 RC exactly.

Even among those body options, there are emitter options – There are cool and neutral white versions of some (or all) of those (in Cree XM-L2 format).  And what I have here is the Samsung LH351d High CRI option.

Price

These are going for $53.90 at KillzoneFlashlights.com without battery.  Buy yours at killzoneflashlights.com!


Short Review

It’s a nice improvement for two reasons – the emitter (go with LH351d), and the UI.  Both of these new aspects make this light worth the price!

Long Review

The Big Table

Skilhunt H04RC
Emitter: Samsung LH351D (4000K, High-CRI)
Price in USD at publication time: $53.90 (without cell)
Buy yours at killzoneflashlights.com!
Cell: 1×18650
T1 Runtime T2 Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: Proprietary magnetic
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? With cell: All modes. Without cell: All modes except T1.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 900 (spec is for XM-L2 version!)
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 589 (65.4% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 3.8
Claimed Throw (m) 123
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 210lux @ 3.348m = 2354cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 97.0 (78.9% of claim)* (spec is for XM-L2 version!)
All my Skilhunt 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

  • Skilhunt H04 RC Headlamp
  • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Headband
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Magnet spacer
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Build quality is good.

He head has surprisingly deep cooling fins.

The body doesn’t have a ton of texture.

The tailcap has enough for easy removal and cell swaps.

There’s a bunch of laser etched writing on the head, too.

There’s a spring in the tailcap, which is removable.  This allows removal of the magnet, which can be replaced by a rubber filler (included).

The body has a sticker to note cell orientation.

 

 

 

 

 

Both head and tail have a spring, too.

Threads are short, anodized, square cut, and smooth enough.

Size and Comps

Length 99.9mm / 3.93 inch
Head diameter 23.5mm / 0.93 inch
Body diameter 21.6mm/0.85 inch

Weight: 48g / 1.69z (without battery)

Similarities with the H03 are obvious.  The new version (at right below) has the same tailcap, and is barely any longer, even though it adds charging.  The switch cover is also slightly different and much better on the H04.

Retention and Carry

This is a headlamp, primarily.  Included is this thick band, with Skilhunt branding and coloring too.

Each band has a grip strip, seen below.  And at the end of each are plastic connectors.

The manual honestly does not cover how to use these clips.  Here’s a video by Skilhunt that you will 100% need in order to get the straps right:

With this video, it’s very doable.

The top strap (seen below) is not completely necessary.  The light rides fine without it.  But for heavier exertion exercises, it’ll be beneficial.

Skilhunt has adopted a clip-in connector, and it works very well.

There are even two loops on the outside where the spare o-rings could be placed to doubly secure the light.

Other lights, like the Skilhunt M200 also fit this clip mount.

With the clip-in mount being what it is, it would be possible to throw some more of these connectors on the strap, and run as many as 3 lights at one time on this one headband.  Each side and top…. that’d be some nice lighting!  Or even four lights, if you keep one in center as a headlamp!

There’s also a pocket clip included.  It’s a friction fit clip, only fitting on the head end of the light.

The H04 will stay in the clip-in mount while the clip is installed.

Power and Runtime

The H04 RC is powered by a single 18650 cell.  I tested the light with a Vapcell M34 – a 3400mAh 10A cell.  But I also threw in a longer protected button top and it still fit and worked.  The light can also be powered by two cells, and since the manual actually states a “Rated Range: 2.7V ~ 8.4V,” even 2 18350 cells should be acceptable in the light.  I tested with two random 18350 cells and not only did they fit and work fine.  Do not attempt to recharge two cells at one time in this light, though.

The cell(s) go into the light in the normal orientation – positive toward head.)  A flat top unprotected cell does not stick out at all (but longer cells do).

Here are a set of runtimes.  The higher of the two Turbos is T1, and it’s first.  The output doesn’t hit the specification, but it’s likely that the spec is written for the Cree XM-L2 version, and it’s also unclear if the spec might be written for the higher output two-up cell option.  As noted above, two-up cells do provide more output (at the sacrifice of runtimes).

After the stepdown (claimed is 2 minutes, and that seems right on accurate), the light is very stable at an again lower than claimed 340ish lumens (claimed is 490).  Output is very well regulated for a couple of hours, until the output tracks downward with cell voltage, finally shutting off around 2.9V.

The switch helps to warn the user that the cell voltage is low, too, as follows:

Constant blue: >80%
Blue flashing: 80%-50%
Constant red: 50%-20%
Red flashing: <20%

Note that this only happens around 3 seconds after the light is turned on, and only indicates for around 5 seconds.  (I can not say specifically what indication does during runtimes, either – the manual doesn’t even include the information above, about percentages.)

T2 is the same as T1 except without the higher initial output of T1.  It’s around 350 lumens for over 2 hours, then tracks downard, and finally shuts off.

Runtimes really looks just like the M200 which I just tested the other day.  Notably on both these lights, not only does the switch give warning of low voltage, the main emitter flashes too (as seen in each runtime, once the steep decline starts).

On bench power, the main emitter flashes a few times at around 2.9V, while the indicating switch also blinks red 3x.  At 2.7V, the light shuts off completely.

These are very good output tests, despite being “lower than claimed”.  This is good and well regulated output for an LH351D.

The M200 also has built-in charging, by way of a magnetic connector in the head.  An appropriate cable (the MC-10, same as for the M200) is included.

The port is on the top.

The connector snaps too pretty readily.

The charger also has a little indicator as well – while charging, the indicator is red.  When complete, it’s blue.  Charge graph looks exactly like the M200 graph.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
T1 900/490 589 2.62
T2 490 3.5h 349 0.97
H1 365 h 239 0.61
H2 190 11h 0.22
M1 70 25h 0.11
M2 20 75h 0.05
L1 3 450h 0.03
L2 0.5 0.01

PWM

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

The H04 RC is operated by a single switch.  It’s an indicating e-switch on the head.  The switch has a silicone cover, and is translucent.  It requires minimal force, and has a positive, quiet actuation.

The UI is a lot like previous generation Skilhunts, but it adds that clicks go up to the top then back down through the modes (instead of the next click from Turbo being Low).  I sort of get this change, but it’s not one that does it for me.

There are two mode groups.  Mode A and Mode B.  To switch between these Modes, hold the switch from off, for 5s.  The light will flash a few times to indicate the change.  Mode A is the more traditional Skilhunt option, and the one I’ve used here for the review.  It has more output levels.

Mode A Table:

State Action Result
Off Hold 5s Group switch (Indicated by 3 flashes on main emitter)^
Off Hold 1.5s Lockout (allows momentary L2)
Lockout Hold 1.5s Unlock to low mode
Lockout Click Turn switch indicator on/off (Switch indicator = red blink by switch)
Off Hold 0.5s Low (L1 or L2, whichever was last selected)
Off Click On, Mode Memory (after ~3s, switch indicates battery level for 5s*)
Off Double Click Turbo (T1 or T2, whichever was last selected)
Any Triple Click Strobe (memorized strobe).  Strobe options: Fast strobe (S1) > Beacon (S2) > Slow strobe (S3)
On Hold (0.5s) Off
On Click Mode advance (LMHT cycle, of your memorized modes from each level)
On Double Click Advance between sub levels (ie T1 goes to T2 and back, M1 goes to M2 and back) – Memorized to the selected Submode. (Including Strobe**)
Strobe Click Main mode (memory)

Mode B Table:

State Action Result
Off Hold 5s Group switch (Indicated by 3 flashes on main emitter)^
Off Hold 1.5s Lockout (Momentary memorized L1 or L2 is possible)
Lockout Hold 1.5s Unlock to low mode
Lockout Click Turn switch indicator on/off
Off Hold 0.5s Lowest programmed option (Can be L1/L2 but might also be M1 or whatever).
Off Click On, Mode Memory (Switch indicates battery level for 5s*)
Off Double Click Turbo (T1 (always T1))
Off Triple Click Memorized strobe mode SOS.^^ Strobe options: Fast strobe (S1) > Beacon (S2) > Slow strobe (S3)
Strobe Double Click Strobe advance (and memorize)
On Click Off
On Hold Mode advance (LMHT cycle, depending on what modes you’ve selected – you can actually add all the subgroups from T2 all the way down to L2 for 8 modes total in the main rotation!).  On the flip side of that, it’s possible to remove all modes down to two modes (with T1 always accessible via double click).  It seems that any two (non T1) modes can be selected!
Strobe Click Off
On Triple Click Enter programming mode.  Main emitter will ramp output from lowest (L2) to T2.  The indicating switch will be red if the output is active in the mode cycle, or not lit if the output level is inactive in the mode cycle.  When the light cycles past a mode you want to iterate (in or out of the main cycle), click the switch.
Programming Mode Click Turn output (L2 through T2) on (red switch) or off (switch not lit)
Programming Mode Hold 1.5s Exit programming mode
Programming Mode Triple Click Restore to defaults (confirmed by light turning off)
Strobe Group Hold 1s Iterate output level for active strobe mode (L M or H).  This “Hold” isn’t persistent – hold again (separate “hold” action) to change output level again.  Each strobe can have a different output level.

^ The manual says the indicator for switching between the two groups is three fast then three slow by main emitter (entering Mode B) or three slow then three fast (entering Mode A) but I find that it’s actually just three flashes (period.)  Three low flashes = entering Mode B.  Three higher flashes = entering Mode A.
* Battery indicator: Constant Blue: 80-100% power.  Flashing Blue: 50-80% power.  Constant Red: 20-50% power.  Flashing Red: <20% power.  If cell is below 3.0V, the indicator switch flashes 3x every 2 seconds.
** Strobe subgroups: S1=Fast strobe, S2=Beacon, S3=SOS.
^^ Triple click from on in Mode B is tricky because this enters programming mode!  I programmed Low out of the sequence once by accident doing this.

Mode A and Mode B are both useful and very similar except a few important, polarizing things.  A requires a hold for off.  B requires only a click for off (but requires hold for mode advance).

Mode B with all the programming looks absolutely confusing but it’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.  I’ll probably stick with Mode A just because I like for some of the choices to be made for me, and I don’t mind hold for off.  If you’re a “click for off” then you can still set the light up just like Mode A but you’ll have the click for off…. Both groups are very good, and it’s nice to see this level of consideration going into a UI!

I’m a little surprised that Skilhunt hasn’t just “moved on” to offering a ramping UI, but I’m also pleased that they haven’t.  I’d rather have specific outputs like this, and this is a good implementation.

LED and Beam

The emitter here is a Samsung LH351d and “High CRI” of 90 CRI.  It’s a great choice, and I love the beam from it.  The emitter sits at the base of a dimpled TIR optic, which provides a beam that’s has a spot and rolls off into a good bit of spill, too.

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

  • Nice new headstrap mount
  • Great that it uses High CRI Samsung LH351d
  • New switch cover is great
  • Broad voltage range accepting all the way up to 2×18350 (!!)
  • Part compatibility with other Skilhunts (particularly the charger)
  • Programmable UI means you can get practically whatever you want.

What I don’t like

  • There’s no shorty tube available

Notes

  • This light was provided by KillzoneFlashlights.com 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

8 thoughts on “Skilhunt H04 RC Headlamp Review

  1. Am I reading the tested lumens chart correctly? It seems the brightest turbo mode is only 600 lumens?

    1. That’s right. The trade off for good temperature and high CRI is often lower overall output. This is not unusual.

  2. How strong is the magnet? The review on here for the h03 mentioned it was kinda weak, I’m wondering if they used a stronger magnet in this version.

Leave a Reply