Wurkkos HD20 Headlamp Review

I have today my very first Wurkkos flashlight, the Wurkkos HD20 21700 headlamp.  It’s quite a beast, actually, offering every feature I can really think of.  Dual emitters (one high CRI, one flood).  USB-C charging.  USB-C powerbank(!!).  Magnet tailcap.  It’s just really a full featured headlamp!  Read on for some testing.


Official Specs and Features

Wurkkos doesn’t really seem to have an official website yet.  I believe the aliexpress page is about as official as it’ll get for now.

Wurkkos HD20 21700 Headlamp Versions

I only see one available (black), but I believe there’s an “army green” body available too.  The HD20 is available with or without a 21700 cell.

Price

These are going for $48.99 on amazon (referral link) right now, and that includes the 21700 cell!


Short Review

The feature set for under $50 is ridiculous, and completely worth the price.  I really can’t name anything this light should do that it doesn’t do, and most of what it does, it does very well.

Long Review of the Wurkkos HD20 21700 Headlamp

The Big Table

Three tables, here actually, with testing on all three emitter options.

Wurkkos HD20 21700 Headlamp (referral link)
Emitter: Cree XP-L HD and Samsung LH351d (Both Emitters)
Price in USD at publication time: $48.99 on amazon (referral link)
Cell: 1×21700
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes with switch warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.1
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
USB to USB-C Chargetime USB-C to USB-C Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with cell: All modes technically – but lower modes alternate in brightness as the switch blinks red
without cell: All modes technically – but lower modes alternate in brightness as the switch blinks red
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1213 (60.7% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 5.6
Claimed Throw (m) 144
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 717lux @ 3.276m = 7695cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 175.4 (121.8% of claim)*
All my Wurkkos reviews!

 

Wurkkos HD20 21700 Headlamp (referral link)
Emitter: Cree XP-L HD (Spotlight)
Price in USD at publication time: $48.99
Cell: 1×21700
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
Power off Charge Port with cell: All modes technically – but lower modes alternate in brightness as the switch blinks red
without cell: All modes technically – but lower modes alternate in brightness as the switch blinks red
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1300
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1137 (87.5% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 7
Claimed Throw (m) 141
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 674lux @ 3.456m = 8050cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 179.4 (127.2% of claim)*
All my Wurkkos reviews!

 

Wurkkos HD20 (referral link)
Emitter: Samsung LH351d (Floodlight)
Cell: 1×21700
Turbo Runtime
Power off Charge Port with cell: All modes technically – but lower modes alternate in brightness as the switch blinks red
without cell: All modes technically – but lower modes alternate in brightness as the switch blinks red
Claimed Lumens (lm) 700
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 505 (72.1% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 1.2
Claimed Throw (m) 44
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 73lux @ 3.036m = 673cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 51.9 (118% of claim)*
All my Wurkkos 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

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp what's included

  • Wurkkos HD20 Headlamp
  • Wurkkos 4800mAh 21700 cell (standard)
  • 21700 to 18650 plastic adapter
  • Pocket clip
  • USB to USB-C Charging cable
  • Lanyard
  • Headband (three point)
  • Spare o-rings (2)

Package and Manual

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp feature photo

The build quality of this headlamp is very good.  It’s a solid light.  By solid I mean all the things:  Solid as in well build.  Solid as in heavy.

A heavy light isn’t one you would probably want on your forehead as a headlamp.  But that’s becoming more and more common, so it is what it is.  Either you’re ok with it, or you’re not.  Olight is making 21700 headlamps too (see: Perun 2), so you can expect them to be completely acceptable sooner than later.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp showing emitters

There are two emitters – if I was complaining about anything on this light, it’ll probably be this.  I don’t actually need the flood option at all.  The main (spot) (bigger) emitter seen above suits my needs completely, and if I need flood, I’ll just manually diffuse the spot emitter.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp showing switch

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp showing spot emitter

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp showing both emitters

There are ridges on the body, very suitable for a headlamp.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp showing body ridges

The tailcap has reeding, which helps with removal.  You might never even chose to remove the tailcap though, since the light has charging built-in.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp tailcap

The switch is on the “top” of the HD20, and so headstanding is problematic.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp headstanding badly

The head also has some unusual reeding.  It seems out of place, until you use this as a headlamp, and realize this helps with adjusting the angle of the light.  It’s extremely well planned.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp head reeding

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp charge port cover closed

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp charge port cover open

There’s minimal printing on the light, but it does include a label for cell direction.  This image doesn’t really look like the included cell though (the positive isn’t quite as clear on the included cell – see below!)

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell orientation logo

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp side of head detail

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp tailcap

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp tailcap lanyard hole

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp emitters from side

The threads on the tailcap are very smooth.  square-cut, moderately lubed, and anodized.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp tailcap off

Both the head and tail are removable from the cell tube.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp head and tail off

They both have beefy springs, too.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp springs in head and tail

This is just for fun.  They don’t screw together (of course.)  But wouldn’t an HD20 this size be fun?

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp joke shot shorty body

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell tube

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp 18650 adapter

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp showing all parts

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell installed

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp switch actuation

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp pocket clip

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp headband

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp

Size and Comps

Officially 122mm x 30mm, and 130g without cell.

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp with torchlab boss 35

Below is the HD20 with the Olight Perun 2.  The Wurkkos is a little bigger, but overall I’d say a much better light.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp with olight perun 2

Retention and Carry

This is labeled a headlamp, so I’ll start there.  A three point headband is included – that means there is a strap over the head, too.  This strap isn’t removable.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp headstrap

The top strap isn’t really removable, nor would I recommend it.  You’ll need that for full support.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp headstrap back

No grip strips or anything are on the inside of this strap.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp headstrap cloth

The HD20 slips into the headband easily, but not while also using the pocket clip.

Speaking of the pocket clip, here it is.  It’s a friction fit two-way clip, and connects in the grooves of the headlamp.  It’ll go on the mid-body part, and also can go on the tail end, too.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp light pocket clip installed on tail end

Also included is a magnet on the tailcap, which is (surprisingly) strong enough to hold this light horizontally.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp magnet

And finally, the lanyard connection, which is in the tailcap.

Power and Runtime

A single lithium-ion cell powers the HD20.  The proper size is 21700, and one can be included with your purchase if you opt for that package.  The cell is a 4800mAh 21700, and is not special or proprietary or customized in anyway (except the nice Wurkkos wrapper).

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell

This does mean that other 21700 cells can be (fully) used in the HD20.  They’ll power the light, they can be charged in the light, and they can be used with the powerbank function.

An adapter for using a single 18650 cell is included.  This is a simple plastic sleeve, useful for only centering the cell and nothing more.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell with adapter

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell with adapter

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp all parts showing

As depicted on the tailcap cell orientation image, the cell goes into the light in the “normal” way – positive end toward the head.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell installed

 

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp cell orientation

I performed a number of runtime tests.  The only real issue I saw with performance is that when using both emitters, the output isn’t really all that much higher than using just the spot emitter.  So I’m not sure what the point is really, but it is what it is.

That said, here are two runtimes with both emitters.  The temperature regulation is extremely active, which is a little surprising, but still acceptable.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp turbo runtime graph both emitters

Aside from the thermal regulation above, the output is unregulated.  Sorry but on this test I apparently forgot to activate my temperature logger.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp high runtime graph both emitters

Here’s a runtime on turbo with just the spotlight.  You can see the active thermal regulation here as well.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp turbo runtime graph spot emitter

High with just the Spot emitter is unregulated, again.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp high runtime graph spot emitter

Output on turbo of the flood emitter is of course much lower, and differently regulated.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp turbo runtime graph flood emitter

All in all these tests are ok.  What would really set this light off is regulated output.  The outputs also don’t quite meet the specification.

Low voltage protection is observed at least in some of the runs.  The light didn’t always shut off, but the switch indicated in every case that the voltage was low.  The switch will also indicate the power level for around 5 seconds after the light is turned on.  Indications are as follows:

Green: >30% power
Red:  <30% power
Flashing Red:  Low power

Another feature of the HD20 is built-in charging.  There’s a USB-C port in the head, which has a press-in cover.  This cover is quite thick, and when installed properly, very secure.  It has a thick edge, and must be deliberately pushed into the opening.

An appropriate charge cable is included.  It’s USB to USB-C.  Note that USB-C to USB-C works as well, but always just at 5V.

Here’s a charge graph with the USB to USB-C setup.  It’s fairly normal, and charges at well over 2A.  The cell should handle that easily – it’s under 0.5C for a cell of that capacity.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp charge graph

And here’s a graph with USB-C to USB-C.  Note that the dropout around 70 minutes was my fault – I knocked over the setup.  Charging here goes to almost 2.5A!

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp charge graph

This light has one more incredible feature to offer – a powerbank function!

It looks to be rated at 1.6A output and of course that’s USB-C output.  So I tested it at 1.6A out.  The powerbank feature does include low voltage protection, too.  I tested this to well above 1.6A for what it’s worth, and the HD20 will actually output over 3.5A, but still really maintains around 11W.  So at 3.5A out, the voltage is WAY out of USB spec (at around 3.3V).  Still interesting that it’ll go that high in current!

First is the full graph, until the end where the shutoff happened.  My setup kept trying to restart, which explains the massive mess at the end.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp powerbank graph

And here’s the initial minute or so, where I pushed the output as hard as I could.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp powerbank graph

Modes and Currents

Both:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 2000 1h44m 1213 5.90
High 850 5h19m 532 1.24
Medium 260 22h13m 178 0.50
Low 85 56h23m 54 0.17
Moonlight 2 960h ~ ~

Floodlight:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 700 1h44m 505 2.90
High 350 5h19m 170 0.67
Medium 110 22h13m 55 0.26
Low 35 56h23m 20 0.08
Moonlight 1 960h ~ ~

Spotlight:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1300 1h44m 1137 2.98
High 500 5h19m 375 0.64
Medium 150 22h13m 116 0.26
Low 50 56h23m 37 0.09
Moonlight 1 960h ~ ~

Pulse Width Modulation

There is PWM on all modes – even Turbo.  But even at the lowest setting, it’s not PWM that I can call “noticeable.”  It’s plenty fast.  Interesting that the PWM of “both” is individual.  I’m not really certain what this means, and it’s neither a good or bad thing.  Just a fun novelty.

Both:

Floodlight:

Spotlight:

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

A single switch is used to control the Wurkkos HD20.  It’s on the head, and the light can be setup in the headband where that’s the right or left side.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp switch

The switch is slightly proud of the body, so prevents headstanding.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp switch

The action is very low – probably under half a mm of travel.

As mentioned above, the switch is an indicating one, with both red and green emitters.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode memory)
On Click^ Off
Off Hold Moonlight (of previously used emitter)
Any Double Click Turbo (of previously used emitter)*
Turbo (any emitter combo) Double Click Strobe (both emitters)
Strobe Double Click SOS (both emitters)
SOS Double Click Beacon (both emitters)
Off Triple click Cell check (same check as turning the light on, but the light doesn’t turn on in this check)
Off Click 4x Lockout
Lockout Hold Momentary moonlight (both emitters)
Lockout Click Spot emitter blink 1.5x
Lockout Click 4x Unlock (previously used mode)
On Hold Mode advance (LMH only)
On Click and Click Hold Switch emitter (Flood > Spot > Both) (advances to last used mode for that emitter)
  • differs from the manual’s claim
    ^ If you access turbo from an on state, clicking when in turbo will send you to the previously used mode.  Otherwise (and in all cases, I think), clicking turns the light off.

I think that’s pretty much all for the user interface.  It’s pretty well featured.  It seems like when going to “Both” emitters, they’re set to match on “Low.”  That’s a pretty good setup, and means you won’t get mismatched outputs.

LED and Beam

There are two emitters on the HD20.  They’re both 5000K in temperature.  In the photo below, the top emitter is a Cree XP-L HD neutral white emitter, with a big TIR.  It’s surprising as the “Spot” option that this isn’t the HD version of the XP-L emitter.  Even better would be an XHP35 HI.

Below that in the smaller opening is a Samsung LH351d, with a dimpled TIR.  This emitter is high CRI, at 90 CRI.  The CRI is really the only reason to include this emitter.  This is the flood emitter.

wurkkos hd20 21700 headlamp emitters

The emitters can be used in just about any setup – Just the flood, just the spot, or both at once.

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

Both:

Floodlight:

Spotlight:

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

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

Both:

Floodlight:

Spotlight:

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

Conclusion on the Wurkkos HD20 21700 Headlamp

What I like

  • Complete package for under $50
  • Incredible feature set
  • Dual emitters – both 5000K
  • One high CRI emitter
  • Indicating e-switch
  • Fairly comprehensive user interface
  • Powerbank feature works well
  • USB-C charging is good at >2A
  • USB-C to USB-C charging even works!

What I don’t like

  • Flood emitter is really not that useful
  • User interface can be a little confusing going from spot to both
  • Cree XP-L HD instead of XP-L HI is an odd choice for the spot output

Notes

  • This light was provided by Wurkkos 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.com!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!
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7 thoughts on “Wurkkos HD20 Headlamp Review”

  1. Interesting that the PWM of “both” is individual. I’m not really certain what this means, and it’s neither a good or bad thing. Just a fun novelty.

    The spot LED turns on 15 μs after the flood LED in my test. It might be intentional to reduce the rapid change in current. Maybe they use a microcontroller with multi-phase PWM support. Or it’s just how two timers are implemented in the microcontroller.

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  3. What would you recommend between hd20 and wuben h1? I saw the wuben have really good stabilization and regulation.

    If not considering the price which in your opinion is better? I don’t need the powerbank function.

    1. Tough call. If size truly does not matter, I’d go with the HD20 regardless if you need all the features it offers. If you think 21700 might be too big at all, then I’d go with the H1.

      1. The wuben H1 is able to give constant 480 lumen for around 2 hours using the included batteries according to your measurements.

        I’m interested in the runtimes. It seems wuben h1 have better runtimes compared to wurkkos hd20. Although wuben really goes down after those 2 hours. The wurkkos still going but very much dimmer.

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  5. There’s a big negative that you didn’t write down:
    The efficiency is very bad when using the flood emitter, only about 50 lm/W according to your tests.

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