- Pricing & Availability
- What comes in the box?
- Design & Construction
- Size & Measurements
- User Interface
- Emitter & Beam
- Mode Chart
- Driver & Regulation
- Carry & Ergonomics
- Batteries & Charging
Pricing & Availability
Cyansky sent me this light in exchange for an honest review. Here is the official product page and the Amazon page where you can see current pricing.
What comes in the box?
The box is basic retail packaging with printing, a pegboard hanger, and a vacuum formed plastic insert to hold everything in place. Nothing special. The following items are included in the box:
- The headlamp itself
- Battery (inside the headlamp)
- User manual & warranty card
- USB A-to-C charging cable
- Spare o-rings
- Drawstring pouch
- “Insulation sticker” (foam pad with adhesive backing)
Design & Construction
HS6R has a traditional headlamp design with an array of emitters at the front for different purposes.
Build quality is good. There are no sharp edges anywhere (even on the stamped metal headband bracket) and the anodizing seems to be well applied. The battery cap threads could probably stand to be a little beefier.
Size & Measurements
Lumintop FW3A | Emisar DW4 | Cyansky HS6R | Emisar D2 | Acebeam Pokelit AA
|Height (light itself)||24.9|
|Depth (from front of light to back of bracket)||36.7|
|Side Switch Diameter||~15|
|Body Tube Diameter (internal)||19.0|
|Included Battery Length||68.6|
|Included Battery Diameter||18.7|
Weight without battery (including headband): 115g
Weight with included battery (including headband): 162g
This user interface is simple and easy to use, but it leaves a lot to be desired
The side switch controls the main (flood) LED. The top switch controls the secondary (flood & red) LED’s. Hold a switch to turn that channel on or off. Click a switch to change the mode on that channel. Double-clicking either switch will lock or unlock the light. That’s it.
What they got right:
- Mode memory is nice so you don’t have to cycle through all the modes when you turn the light on/off.
- Throw and flood are separate on their own switches so you can control them independently.
What they got wrong:
- Hold for on/off and click to change modes is backwards. Clicking should turn the light on/off and holding should change modes.
- No shortcuts to the important modes (red, turbo, moonlight, etc). You have to turn the light onto whatever mode was used last and then cycle to the one you want. I wish this light had the typical shortcuts found on most e-switch lights (hold from off for Moonlight, double click for Turbo, triple click for blinkies).
- Red and flood are in the same mode group so you have to cycle through red whenever you change the flood mode, and that’s annoying.
- The emergency beacon mode is in the normal mode rotation instead of hidden behind a shortcut like it should be.
Emitter & Beam
HS6R has four emitters. The main (throw) emitter is a Luminus SST40 in cool white. The flood emitter is a Luminus SST20 in 4000K. I don’t know the model of the two red LED’s. These aren’t the latest-and-greatest emitter choices that are popular with enthusiasts but they do the job. I’m pleased with the presence of an SST20 4000K because it’s warmer and high CRI so color accuracy on the flood channel is excellent. That’s not a common feature and it helps set this light apart from the competition. Pairing that with a high efficiency LED on the throw channel was a great decision. Though this particular sample of SST40 is pretty green with poor color rendering, as you’ll see in the mode chart section.
The main (throw) beam has some minor ringing and artifacts but it’s not bad. Perfectly suitable for outdoor use. The flood & red beams are very soft and wide with no defined hotspot nor edges.
In the beamshots below, the basketball goal to the right of the hotspot is 39M away and the power pole in the center is 185M away.
Disclaimer: All of my measurements are taken at turn-on. Lumen measurements were taken on a Texas Ace 3.5″ Lumen Tube. A candela measurement was taken at 10 meters with an Opple Light Master III on the highest brightness, and other candela figures were calculated relative to that. CRI, CCT, & DUV data was taken for each mode from a few feet away at the center of the hotspot with the Opple Light Master and Waveform DUV Calculator. Runtime tests were performed with the Ceilingbounce app on my smartphone. All of these tests were performed with a fully charged included battery unless otherwise specified. I cannot measure moonlight directly, so moonlight readings are calculated based on the brightness relative to the next-lowest mode. None of this is professional equipment, so take all of these measurements with a grain of salt.
Above are the official specs, followed by my own measurements below.
|Level||Lumens||Candela||Throw (Meters)||CRI (Ra)||Color Temp. (K)||DUV (Tint)|
Color properties: The flood channel (SST20 4000K) is nice with a warmish 4000K color temperature, fairly neutral tint, and great color rendering. The throw channel (SST40) on the other hand, has the lowest CRI score I’ve ever seen from a white LED. It’s also very green tinted. I found myself using the flood channel most of the time and I only turned on the throw when I needed to see something far away.
Moonlight: is completely missing. None of the channels (red, flood, nor throw) get low enough. Ideally each channel would have a moonlight (1lm or less) mode.
Mode count: is ok but not great. There are two red modes (same brightness but one is blinky), three flood modes, and four throw modes. I wish there were a consistent number of modes for each color. Moonlight-Low-High-Turbo, for example.
Mode Spacing: is good. There are no weirdly small or large jumps.
Performance: is not great but it’s serviceable. The outputs I measured do not meet the advertised specifications.
Thermal regulation: doesn’t appear to do very much. When I did my cooled Turbo test, the light was barely warm after. It’s very strange that the second-highest modes still have a large stepdown after a couple minutes despite being dimmer than the highest modes after stepdown. That tells me there’s little to no active thermal regulation going on, which is a real shame. This light could perform much better if it could actively adjust brightness based on temperature.
LVP (Low Voltage Protection): from the manual “When the battery voltage is lower than 3.0V, the lamp will automatically step down to a lower brightness level until battery runs out. The lamp will power off when the battery voltage is 2.8V.” That’s exactly how I want my lights to work.
Driver & Regulation
HS6R uses 3V LED’s and supports one 3.7V or two 3V batteries, so it must be using a buck driver. That should lead to higher efficiency and better regulation.
Regulation is below average. The highest modes are heavily affected, and even the highest flood mode (less than 500lm) is heavily affected by battery voltage. This isn’t detrimental but I expected better performance since it’s using a buck driver and it isn’t wildly bright.
Note: All regulation measurements are taken at turn-on so they do not reflect any thermal or low voltage stepdowns that may occur. A value of 0 indicates low voltage shutoff immediately upon activation.
PWM: No PWM is visible to my eyes or camera, nor audible to my ears.
Parasitic Drain: 13 microamps. That will take 23 years to drain the included battery.
HS6R has two switches. There’s an oval-shaped plastic button on top that controls the flood & red LED’s, and there’s a round rubber button on the side that controls the throw LED. I love that Cyansky chose to add multiple switches instead of trying to control 3 different LED’s with a single switch.
I really like the top switch. It’s in the right spot so it’s really easy to press by squeezing between my thumb and index finger. It’s clicky and tactile too. Excellent work, Cyansky. My only gripe with this switch is that it controls both the flood and red LED’s. I wish there were another switch of the same type on the top left of the light that controlled just the red LED’s.
The side switch is also clicky and tactile, and I like that it’s a different shape and texture to help differentiate it, but I don’t like its placement. It’s more difficult to use because its mounted on the side, so I have to try and hold the light with my hand while pressing the switch. I wish this switch were on top and right in the middle.
Carry & Ergonomics
HS6R’s included headband is excellent. The strap is wider than all the other headlamp’s I’ve used. That makes it extremely comfortable because it can spread the headband pressure across a wider area. There’s no annoying top strap either. The mount in the front is stamped steel that’s been nicely rounded and polished and it works great with the bent wire retainer on the light itself. It’s so much better than the generic silicone 2-strap headband that comes with a lot of headlamps these days. I applaud Cyansky for trying something different here and they nailed it.
Unlike right-angle headlamps, HS6R doesn’t double as a handheld flashlight so there’s no magnetic tailcap nor pocket clip. I wish there were some sort of headband-keeper built in. Even a couple of rubber bands attached to the metal plate would be helpful. The included drawstring bag does OK but it’s more cumbersome than it needs to be just to keep the headband in check while its not in use.
Batteries & Charging
HS6R uses one 18650 battery. The included one is a protected 2600mah button top. I would have liked to see a higher capacity cell (3500mah) included at this price point. There’s physical reverse polarity protection so you can’t use flat top cells, which is a shame. You can use two CR123A batteries in series if you need extreme cold weather performance or extreme long term storage, so that’s a nice bonus.
Charging is facilitated by a USB-C port on the bottom of the light. It’s covered by a rubber flap that aggressively attracts lint. Charging works from an A-to-C cable or a C-to-C cable. There is no powerbank function. The light is usable while charging, but only on throw-medium mode.
Here are some lights in the same class and how they compare.
Olight Array 2 Pro: similar price, counter-balanced battery pack, wave-control, rear indicator, proprietary battery (larger), one button, no high-CRI emitter, no proper moonlight mode, probably better regulated and meets advertised specs (I haven’t tested this model but Olights generally are well regulated and meet specs)
Fenix HM60R: similar price and design, more traditional headband design, less throw, no high-CRI emitter, larger battery capacity, single side button, adjusts brightness according to how fast you are walking/running, no proper moonlight mode, probably better regulated and meets advertised specs (I haven’t tested this model but Fenix lights generally are well regulated and meet specs)
This section is not comprehensive. If I didn’t include a particular light here, it doesn’t mean it’s bad or doesn’t deserve to be here. I simply cannot list every possible competitor.
HS6R made me re-think what I want from a headlamp after using right-angle headlamps for a couple of years. Having a dedicated headlamp with multiple beam options can be very useful. The headband is top notch and I love the separate switches. I also applaud Cyansky for using a warmer and high CRI emitter on the flood channel, which is rare for this style of headlamp. Unfortunately the UI is missing some key features and the performance doesn’t live up to the price tag so it may not be the right choice for everyone. I hope Cyansky either lowers the price substantially, or they release an updated version with all the changes I suggested.
Thanks to Cyansky for sending me this light for review!