Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp Review

Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp Review

The Wurkkos HD15 is an interesting headlamp. It offers two emitters – one for flood and one for throw. It also has USB-C charging! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Wurkkos HD15 headlamp product page.

Versions

As far as I can tell, this is the only version.  The HD15 doesn’t seem to be offered in the many Wurkkos colorways (yet?)

Price

Right now, the HD15 is listed at 35% off the MSRP of $50.75, at $32.99.  For just $3 more you can add an 18650 cell like the one you see in this review.


Short Review

Wurkkos is a great brand.  They offer high-quality lights with great build quality and many features.  This Wurkkos HD15 headlamp is no exception.  Dual emitters as well as USB-C charging, a magnet tailcap, and an 18350 cell tube included, all for just $33!  That’s a great deal.

Long Review

The Big Table

Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp
Emitter: Luminus SST-20 and Samsung LH351d (Both)
Price in USD at publication time: $32.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.1
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: all modes
without cell (or body): lowest four modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1326 (66.3% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 4.7
Claimed Throw (m) 151
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 470lux @ 3.827m = 6884cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 165.9 (109.9% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4400-4900 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Wurkkos
All my Wurkkos reviews!
Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp
Emitter: Luminus SST-20 (Spot)
Price in USD at publication time: $32.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.1
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: all modes
without cell (or body): lowest four modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 910 (91% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 6.6
Claimed Throw (m) 148
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 479lux @ 3.649m = 6378cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 159.7 (107.9% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4400-4900 Kelvin
All my Wurkkos reviews!
Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp
Emitter: Samsung LH351d (Flood)
Price in USD at publication time: $32.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.1
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Power off Charge Port with cell: all modes
without cell (or body): lowest four modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 906 (90.6% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 2
Claimed Throw (m) 75
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 311lux @ 2.461m = 1884cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 86.8 (115.7% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4700-5100 Kelvin
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 HD15 headlamp what's included

  • Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp
  • Wurkkos 3000mAh 18650
  • Headband
  • Wurkkos 18350 cell tube
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Pocket clip
  • Charging cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Manual etc

Package and Manual

 

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp

The HD15 might look familiar to you if you’re an avid reader of this site.  It’s quite like the Wurkkos HD20, which I reviewed a good while back.

They’re alike in many things like built quality and features with a few exceptions.  The HD20 runs on a 21700 cell, while the HD15 runs one 18650 cell.

The HD15 also includes a shorty tube for use with a single 18350 cell.  This is a good addition to the package and really rounds it out.

Both the head and tail have springs.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp tailcap

Threads on both the head and tail are square cut, long, and very lubed.  I managed to miss getting photos of the head threads, but they’re the same.  So much the same, in fact, that the cell tube is reversible (more important points on this later.)

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp tail threads

Size and Comps

Dimension: 110mm (length) x 27.4mm (head diameter)
Weight: 72g / 0.15lb (without battery)

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).

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp in hand

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp in hand

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

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp 18350 beside convoy S2+

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 HD15 headlamp 18650 beside torchlab boss 35

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp 18350 beside torchlab boss 35

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 HD15 headlamp headband

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

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp headband Wurkkos HD15 headlamp headband

The Wurkkos HD15 headlamp slips into the headband easily, but not while also using the pocket clip.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp headband Wurkkos HD15 headlamp headband

It’s possible to remove the cell while the light is in the headband.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp headband

Also included is this friction-fit pocket clip.  The clip will work on both cell tubes and does attach on the cell tube.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp pocket clip

The pocket clip is a “two-way” clip.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp pocket clip

There’s a strong magnet in the tailcap.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp tailcap magnet Wurkkos HD15 headlamp tailcap magnet Wurkkos HD15 headlamp tailcap magnet

Also on the tailcap is a hole through which the included lanyard can be attached.

Power and Runtime

If you buy the package kit at $35.99 you’ll receive this 3000mAh 18650 seen below.  This lithium-ion cell is a button top.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp with included 18650

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp included 18650

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp included 18650

The cell fits in the normal direction – the positive terminal (button) goes toward the head.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp included 18650 installed

Remember above where I said the cell tube is reversible?  There’s a cell orientation screen-print on the pocket clip area.  If you reverse the cell tube, this icon will be in the wrong orientation.  The cell still always goes with the button toward the head.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp cell orientation

This shorty tube that’s included is great – using a single 18350 with the HD15 will make this just the right size for many users!  Since there are good long springs on both the head and tail you should have no problem using any type of 18350.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp 18350 size

Here are runtimes.  The claim with both emitters on Turbo is 2000 lumens.  I’m not seeing very close to that. Also, the temperature regulation seems a bit… aggressive.

Since I knew level 4 (High) was as deep as I’d be going in the runtime tests, I went ahead and did this one uncooled.  The light does get quite warm, approaching 60° C, but output is fairly stable.

Regulation on this output is quite different from the Turbo of the other two.  I can’t explain it, but it’s also very aggressive.

Charging

Another feature of the Wurkkos HD15 headlamp 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.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp usb-c charge port

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.

Charging at over 2.3A from USB-A is pretty impressive.  You’ll want to be sure to give this light a good power source for charging.  (Of course, a less powerful source will work, it just won’t charge as quickly.)

C to C works as well.  The profile looks about the same but doesn’t seem to go quite as high in current.  Sorry that the scale is a little something but I wanted to be sure to capture that bit at the far right.  During an overnight charge session, charging seems to have restarted.  Because of that, it seems you shouldn’t leave the HD15 on a charger all the time.

Powerbank

This light has one more incredible feature to offer – a powerbank function!  I tested the output all the way up to around 2.6A.  At that current, the output shut off nearly immediately.  However, as displayed by the graph, the HD15 will maintain “2.1A” for around 15 minutes.  That’s not clean power though, because as you can see the voltage drops out constantly (without actually shutting off the power).  If we dip down to a more reasonable 1A, the voltage will stay steady until the powerbank function shuts off as low voltage protection for te 18650 cell.  We can even go lower, at around 0.5A and pull more power out of the cell.  Output shut off at around 3.2 or 3.3V, which is perfectly good.

Here’s the same data as above, but just a better view of the initial stress testing.

Modes and Currents

Both:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 2000 1h45m 1326 5.42
High 800 2h8m 615 1.38
Medium 240 7h20m 183 0.51
Low 20 58h 7.3 27.2mA
Moonlight 2 230h 0.9 9mA

Spotlight:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1000 3h30m 910 3.19
High 400 4h 336 0.76
Medium 120 13h30m 109 0.32
Low 10 111h 5.6 16.9mA
Moonlight 1 333h 0.5 7.6mA

Floodlight:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1000 2h45m 906 3.83
High 400 3h30m 356 0.93
Medium 120 13h 93 0.32
Low 10 93h 4.1 15.6mA
Moonlight 1 333h 0.4 7.6mA

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.

Both emitters:

Spot emitter:

Flood emitter:

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 HD15 headlamp.  It’s on the head, and the light can be set up in the headband where that’s the right or left side.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp e-switch

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

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp e-switch

The action is very low – probably under half an 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
Strobe Double Click SOS
SOS Double Click Beacon
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 (double blink of the most recently used emitter option indicates lockout)
Lockout Hold Momentary moonlight (of the most recently used emitter option)
Lockout Click Spot emitter blink 2x
Lockout Click 4x Unlock (previously used mode)
On Hold Mode advance (LMH only)
On Click 3x Switch emitter (Flood > Spot > Both) (advances to last used mode for that emitter)
On Hold Mode advance (LMH only)
On Click and Click Hold Switch emitter (Flood > Spot > Both) (advances to last used mode for that emitter)

^ 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 Wurkkos HD15.  They’re both claiming 5000K in temperature.  In the photo below, the top emitter is a Luminus SST-20 with a smooth TIR.

Below that in the smaller opening is a Samsung LH351d, with a dimpled TIR.  This emitter is high CRI, at 90 CRI.  This is the flood emitter.

Wurkkos HD15 headlamp emitters

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

The claim is 5000K and by my measurements, both emitters come in below that.  That’s the preferred direction of “error” from my perspective, so this is a very good reading.

Both emitters:

Spot emitter:

Flood emitter:

Beamshots

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

Both emitters:

Spot emitter:

Flood emitter:

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 emitters:

Spot emitter:

Flood emitter:

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

Conclusion

What I like

  • Complete package for under $35
  • 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
  • USB-C to USB-C charging even works!

What I don’t like

  • Flood emitter may not be that useful
  • Output doesn’t quite hit the specs in any mode
  • Temperature regulation is quite active (and the output varies wildly because of it)

Notes

  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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1 thought on “Wurkkos HD15 Headlamp Review”

  1. Great review!
    Two things I noticed, that you didn’t note:
    The emitter can also be cycled through by triple press from on.
    The clip doesn’t sit right on the 18350 tube, the space for the clip is too big on the tube, so it sits at an angle. Thats visible on one of your photos.

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