So we have a trio of lights on review this time, many thanks to Cluson Engineering for allowing me the extended time to test them.
They passed down a selection of lights, all being LED format and extremely bright out of the box.
Up first is the HL13 head torch, the beast is a super spot light, with a 250m beam on full power and around 170m on low power, this light pierces the dark.
Weighing in at only 220g with the supplied rechargeable battery pack, it balances perfectly on your head.
With around 6 hours use on high beam and 10 on low its perfect for out in the fields, its actually that bright I had to ask the nice folks at cluson for the optional filter as it was spooking the rabbits.
Plug the supplied charger pack into the mains, plug in the light and job done around 6 hours later that light is ready to go, using a 3 watt ever lasting LED it will work flawlessly for years to come.
I have found it is also brilliant for doing other jobs, i was working on the shed build and used it as my head light, as on low it lasted well into the night.
So the field test, how did it perform and did the Countryman beat it?
Well it performed fabulously, it passed the wet weather test, the cold test and the ooopps it fell on the floor test. even the lens hasn’t scratched. so the cold test we don’t get or have very cold in Devon and Cornwall, so I make it cold, I stick gear in the freezer, not for a few hours, try overnight, if I’m buying stuff that’s meant to survive outdoors, its got to live up to that.
So all three headlights went to the deep freeze, -20 in there and all night, normal batteries will get cold and loose power, these didn’t !
The Hl13 was still as bright as it was before is artic expedition, test 1 pass, now wet weather testing, we live in Devon, just wait outside for the next rain cloud to roll by.
I don’t mind the rain but a lot of gear does, its gets into places, its only truly waterproof if its IP 69k which is a submarine so…… Most things aren’t that tough, I think these headlights are.
So out hunting and the heavens open, I mean proper drowned rat job, and the light just shone like a beacon, now its got 2 settings high and low, or low then high, then off, its a little button on the bottom of the power pack, you can find it easily and it works, my only fault is its very bright, almost to bright, hence the need for the filter, i found it spooked the rabbits, its a white LED and it could of had a 3rd setting of lower power again, but that’s just my thoughts.
Now the ooops test, it was an ooops this time around, the head-strap got caught on my sleeve as I was taking it off and it went across the car park, it sounded worse than it was, i think the strap takes most of the landing shock and the build quality took the rest.
HL21, now this is my favorite light out of the 3, its another useful and practical light, running on a rechargeable battery or using 3 AAA batteries as emergency backup. good idea isn’t it..
With a adjustable flood to spot beam and 3 brightness settings and a red spot light to, this has it all except distance, Only around 150m beam, even on spot, it could of had a bit more to be a fantastic hunting torch as well as a great all rounder.
The beam is a white LED and is very bright and clear, with the battery in the rear of the light module its all front heavy but at 95g its nothing to worry about.To fully charge its around 5 hours, and it uses micro usb port to accomplish it. Unlike the HL13 where you have to cycle power settings, with this torch, you can cycle through high, medium and low, red or flashing red, and if it stays on for more than 20 secs the next push of the rubber switch turns it off, I really like this light, Ive used it on all sorts of jobs, and its my go to light.
To charge it simply pull the light down to its furthest position and lift the tab holding the battery compartment closed, take the battery out insert the micro usb wire, wait 5 hours and job done.
Now this is the HL20 cob light, this was the only one of the 3 that needs normal batteries, that being 3xAAA that’s the small thin ones.
With a high, low, and strobe beam its a good practical light, its a 3 watt LED but as a long configuration, so a nice pattern from the bulb.
I can offer testimony to this head light, at 0530 one winters morning I went to take my eldest daughter to school for a day trip to Londidium, and a flat tire offered the days 1st challenge, good job they made me big and strong, quick look in my shooting kit pulled out the cob light and wearing it on top of my woolly hat it worked a treat for the 28 mins, I was outside being an F1 team member single handed. it casted a great beam for working with and was a fantastic test.
Ive tried the light out hunting and its great as a light for sorting kit out, and setting up stuff, but because the beam is a wide angle its not fantastic for lining up a shot, but saying that with a beam reach of 30 m it was good for a bit of ratting it the barn and around the stables.
now you remember the freezer test, normally torches that take regular batteries cant stand the cold, Ive got a green laser from a very well known make and that takes the small drum batteries like cameras take and in the very cold its stops working, so it surprised me to see the cob light took the freezer test in its stride, well its a cluson product after all. The only downside I found is the beam length of 30m, I feel a smaller LED unit or at least a shorter one to produce more of a spot would of been better.
So I treated myself to a turntable for showing off these lights at their best, so Ive included the 3 lights in a spin and pics of out using them.Many thanks again to Cluson.
And as I was part way through writing this article I found out the sad news that Mr Gordon Clue, Founder of Cluson Engineering had sadly passed away, So please take a moment to remember Gordon, keeping people in the light since 1971, rest in peace sir.