Wurkkos HD15 Red Headlamp Review

Wurkkos HD15 Red 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 Red headlamp product page.

Versions

As expected in my previous HD15 review, Wurkkos has now added many color options to the HD15 menu.  Not just that, but they added an HD15r, which has a red emitter too!

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 in red 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 (Red body) 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):
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) 1293 (64.7% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 5.4
Claimed Throw (m) 151
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 475lux @ 3.788m = 6816cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 165.1 (109.3% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4400-4900 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Wurkkos
All my Wurkkos reviews!
Wurkkos HD15 (Red body) 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):
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) 868 (86.8% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 8.3
Claimed Throw (m) 148
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 306lux @ 4.639m = 6585cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 162.3 (109.7% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4400-4900 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Wurkkos
All my Wurkkos reviews!
Wurkkos HD15 (Red body) 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):
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Powerbank Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: all modes
without cell (or body): lowest four modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 866 (86.6% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 2.4
Claimed Throw (m) 75
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 171lux @ 3.431m = 2013cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 89.7 (119.6% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 5000
Measured CCT Range (K) 4800-5100 Kelvin
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 HD15 Red headlamp what's included

  • Wurkkos HD15 Red 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 Red headlamp box Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp box

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Wurkkos HD15 Red 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.  Moreover, I reviewed the black body of this exact light already.  I am not sure why Wurkkos sent this one, but here’s testing on it anyway!  And don’t confuse this headlamp with the post I made the other day, which was the HD15r, a headlamp by Wurkkos with a red emitter.

All these HD15 models are similar in essentially everything except body color or emitter.  The build quality is great.  The user interface is great.  The emitter choices are great.  It’s just a great solid value headlamp!

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 Red headlamp head threads Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp tail threads Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp with both body tubes

Both the head and tail have springs.

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp head and tail springs Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp head contacts

Wurkkos HD15 Red 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 HD15 Red 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.

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp beside torchlab boss 35 Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp with other HD15 headlamps

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 Red headlamp headband

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

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp headband Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp headband

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

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp in headband Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp in headband

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

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp pocket clip

The pocket clip is a “two-way” clip.

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

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp lanyard installed in tailcap

There’s a strong magnet in the tailcap.

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp tailcap magnet

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 Red headlamp with 18650 Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp with 18350 tube

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp included 18650

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

Wurkkos HD15 Red 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 Red headlamp orientation logo

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 Red headlamp button

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.

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.

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 HD15 Red 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.  After the initial blip at 2.6A, I ran the powerbank at the highest current where I thought it’d stay on, and continued that over and over until the powerbank shut off and I tested the cell at 3.11V.

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 rt 5.46
High 800 2h8m rt 1.76
Medium 240 7h20m 190 0.60
Low 20 58h 15 0.04
Moonlight 2 230h 0.8 0.00

Spotlight:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1000 3h30m rt 3.51
High 400 4h rt 0.97
Medium 120 13h30m rt 0.38
Low 10 111h 8.8 0.02
Moonlight 1 333h 0.5 0.00

Floodlight:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1000 2h45m rt 4.05
High 400 3h30m 321 1.09
Medium 120 13h 94 0.35
Low 10 93h 6 0.02
Moonlight 1 333h 0.3 0.00

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.

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 Red 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 Red headlamp e-switch

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

Wurkkos HD15 Red headlamp e-switch profile

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 Red headlamp dual 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:

Spot:

Flood:

Beamshots

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)

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

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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4 thoughts on “Wurkkos HD15 Red Headlamp Review”

  1. Bonjour, j’hésite vraiment entre hd15 et hd15r, vous avez les 2, laquelle me recommanderiez vous pour un usage outdorrs? Merci

    1. If you don’t need red, then there’s probably no reason to go with the HD15R. If you need red, well, go with the HD15R.

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