Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp Review

Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp Review

The Wurkkos HD15R is an update to an interesting headlamp. It offers two emitters – one white and one deep red! And it uses USB-C charging!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Wurkkos HD15R headlamp product page.

Versions

Of the Wurkkos HD15R headlamp, there are a few versions.  They differ in body color – black, red, and cyan.  Also available as a kit (with 18650) or without 18650. There are many HD15 versions, too, which I won’t cover here.  But a white/white emitter combo is available too.

Price

With the cell (which is the package I recommend), the going price right now is $35.99.  That’s a 38% off sale, so get going to buy it.  Without the cell, you can save $3, at $32.99.


Short Review

The body is red, which is great.  But this red emitter – a deep red Luminus SST-20 is absolutely red.  The “Deep” part of the red is so accurate.  So red.  There’s so much redness to the red.  Otherwise, the light as a whole is fantastic.  I would probably opt for a more throwy white emitter, but I do understand that isn’t really the role this light fits.  Build quality is great. The package is great. The price is also great!

Long Review

The Big Table

Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp
Emitter: Samsung LH351d and Luminus SST20 (Red) (Both)
Price in USD at publication time: $35.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.18
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)
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 736
Candela per Lumen 3.23
Claimed Throw (m) 140
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 208lux @ 3.418m = 2430cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 98.6 (70.4% of claim)^
Claimed CCT
Measured CCT Range (K) 1000-2700 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Wurkkos
All my Wurkkos reviews!
Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp
Emitter: Samsung LH351d (5000K, 90CRI)
Price in USD at publication time: $35.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.18
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) 814 (81.4% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 2.4
Claimed Throw (m) 148
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 151lux @ 3.756m = 2130cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 92.3 (62.4% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4800-5100 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Wurkkos
All my Wurkkos reviews!
Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp
Emitter: Luminus SST20 (Red) (DR-B120-V660 )
Price in USD at publication time: $35.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.18
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)
Candela per Lumen 6.05
Claimed Throw (m) 33
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 63lux @ 3.297m = 685cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 52.3 (158.5% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 660
Measured CCT Range (K)
Item provided for review by: Wurkkos
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 HD15R headlamp what's included

  • Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp
  • Wurkkos 3000mAh 18650
  • Headband
  • Wurkkos 18350 cell tube
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Pocket clip
  • Charging cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Lanyard
  • Manual etc

Package and Manual

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp box Wurkkos HD15R headlamp box Wurkkos HD15R headlamp boxhd15r manual

 

Build Quality and Disassembly

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp

The HD15R 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.  In fact, it’s the same light with a minor change as the other Wurkkos HD15 I’ve already tested.

Just like the HD20 and other HD15, the build quality on this headlamp is fantastic.

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 HD15R headlamp head threads Wurkkos HD15R headlamp tail threads

Here are the parts with both cell tubes included.  The red is quite fetching!

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp parts with both cell tubes

Both the head and tail have springs.

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp head and tail spring Wurkkos HD15R headlamp head contacts

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp tailcap

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 HD15R headlamp in hand

Wurkkos HD15R 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.

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.

I am a big fan of Wurkkos.  I think they’re one of the most solid brands, and certainly are for the price!!

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp with other Wurkkos HD15 lights

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 HD15R headlamp headband

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

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp headband Wurkkos HD15R headlamp headband

The Wurkkos HD15R headlamp slips into the headband easily, but not while also using the pocket clip.

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp headband

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

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp headband

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp pocket clip

Also included is this friction-fit pocket clip.  The clip will work on both cell tubes and does attach on the cell tube.  The pocket clip works fine with the 18350 body, too.

The pocket clip is a “two-way” clip.

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

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp lanyard installed

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp magnet tailcap

There’s a strong magnet in the tailcap.

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp magnet tailcap

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 HD15R headlamp cell tubes

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp included 18650

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp included 18650 Wurkkos HD15R headlamp included 18650

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

Wurkkos HD15R 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 HD15R will function with the cell tube reversed, though. Note that the cell still always goes with the button toward the head!!

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 (or 18650, for that matter).

My calibrated setup isn’t calibrated for red output, so the two tests below which include red output are only estimates.  It does seem like the driver has been tweaked a bit on this version.  Compared to the other HD15 I tested, the oscillation in output because of temperature is much less dramatic.

However, within the larger oscillations you can see above, in the test of highest “just white” output there are micro oscillations that are very noticeable (in fact, it’s really flickering).

The test of just red on the highest mode is set to “relative output” and not any certain number of lumens.  I’ll tell you this though.  It’s bright.  Overpowering red in a very incredible way.

Charging

Another feature of the Wurkkos HD15R 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.

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.

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp charging cable

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 10 minutes.  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 the 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 6.00
High 2.48
Medium 1.03
Low 218.7mA
Moonlight 9.6mA

White:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1000 4.38
High 1.17
Medium 0.42
Low 35.5mA
Moonlight 8.55mA

Red:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1.90
High 1.01
Medium 0.36
Low 31.2mA
Moonlight 8.38mA

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:

White:

Red:

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 HD15R 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 HD15R headlamp e-switch

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

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp e-switch

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

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp e-switch indicating green

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 Emitter blink 2x (of the most recently used emitter option)
Lockout Click 4x Unlock (previously used mode)
On Hold Mode advance (LMH only)
On Click 3x Switch emitter (Red > Flood White > Both) (advances to last used mode for that emitter)
On Hold Mode advance (LMH only)
On Click and Click Hold Switch emitter (Red > Flood White > Both) ​(seems to match the current mode, but switch emitters)

^ 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 in the HD15R.  They both seem to be very floody by design.  The top emitter is a High CRI (90) 5000K Samsung LH351d.  The bottom emitter is a Luminus SST-20-DR, a “deep red” emitter.  Both use dimpled TIR optics.

Wurkkos HD15R headlamp emitters

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

Both:

The “both” is sort of interesting because the red manages to essentially supersaturate the white, except (maybe) on the highest output level.  Even then the beam is noticeably reddened (not “pink” really – it’s still quite red.)  Did I say yet how impressively red this Deep Red Luminus is?

White:

The white has a mid to high CRI output (claim is 90CRi, and that’s about right.)

Red:

In fact, the red here is so deep that it saturates the sensor, and so this is just a best approximation of the report.  By that I mean I held the light far enough away that the sensor would accept the input, and this is the result.

Beamshots

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

Both:

White:

Red:

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:

White:

Red:

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
  • Great way to get into a Deep Red emitter
  • 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

  • White Flood emitter may not be that useful (dependent on your use case, of course)
  • 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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6 thoughts on “Wurkkos HD15R Headlamp Review”

  1. What’s your room temperature? Currently reviewing mine with a fan on full speed and I’m not seeing the same fluctuation on Turbo. Room temp is 21°C

  2. Toggling back and forth between this review and that of the HD15, it appears that the ANSI chart for the HD15R incorrectly lists the throw numbers of the SST20, not the throw numbers of the LH351D. That is why it appears to come up short in percent of claim.

  3. I have bought exactly the same HD15R. Your review is nice and complete: I have a question about powerbank mode . I cannot reach 2A for output. I reach max 0,5A and charging other devices is very slow (I tryed several wires and devices to charge) How do you reach 2A ? Best regards,

    1. Really I reached 2A only through testing. I have a little electronic load that I test with. It could be that the device you’re using only wants to pull 0.5A or just negotiates to 0.5A or something.

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