Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

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Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Caver John » Aug 17, 2011 10:25 am

Here are two very nice lights. Both are powerful, efficient, cave worthy, and relatively inexpensive.

Which would you choose and why?
For caving, assume both are diffused.

Fenix hp-11
Setting.  Lumens.  Runtime. 
Low.       4         206hrs
Mid.       55.       25
High.      133.      9hrs 31min
Boost.     277.      3hrs 51 min

4aa batteries

Around $60.00

Spark st-6 500cw

Low.     8lm.   8days
Mid1.    50lm.  28hrs
Mid2.    150lm. 8 hrs
Max.     320lm. 2.5 hrs
Super.   500lm.  1.4(limited)

One 18650 rechargeable Li battery with range from 3.7V to 4.2V(64mm~68mm compatible) or 2*CR123

$100

What do you think
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby verticalAndy » Aug 17, 2011 2:44 pm

I picked up a Fenix hp11 last month and was surprised at how much bigger it was than the Fenix hp10. I know others who use the Fenix hp10, I selected the Fenix hp11 because it was waterproof, but I didn't realize that it was bigger (and maybe a little heavier). All in all, I'm happy, but not thrilled.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Caver John » Aug 17, 2011 4:50 pm

I didnt know it was bigger either. How is it with the diffuser? Does it dim the light significantly?
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby wyandottecaver » Aug 17, 2011 4:54 pm

The Fenix 10 is pretty dang waterproof! I have on numerous occasions completely submerged it to a depth of a few feet and regularly cave in river caves. Never a bit of trouble.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby rlboyce » Aug 17, 2011 10:31 pm

Great question, and a tough decision. You're right... both lights are awesome.

Costs less: hp11 (by a lot)
More output: 500cw (now using U2 bin, so it's even more than 500 now)
More cave-worthy diffuser: 500cw (there are workarounds for the hp11)
Better weight distribution: hp11
Weighs less: 500cw

All depends on your preferences and caving conditions, and as mine are undoubtedly different from yours I won't give a recommendation. Guess it depends on whether you prefer to save some money, or prefer to have the most light.

If I bought an hp11, I'd be jealous of those who had more light with their 500cw. If I bought an 500cw, I'd be jealous of those who had more light with their scurions. :big grin: My approach is, as long as it's a good light and meets my minimum specification requirements and features, I buy as much light as I'm willing to pay for. As my personal limit is in the $100 range for my next light purchase in September, I'll never be buying a scurion, so I'll happily be settling for a 460nw (... or h600w if it costs about the same, depending on the fine details since they are so similar).
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby NSS8921 » Aug 18, 2011 11:04 am

Caver John, I recently got a Spark ST-6 460NW and compared it to my HP10. See the 'Spark ST-6 460NW Cree XM-L' thread if you have not already done so.

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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Chads93GT » Aug 18, 2011 12:31 pm

the ph11 body is basically the hp20 head stock with a better battery pack. i dont see hwo you think this thing is very heavy.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby rlboyce » Aug 18, 2011 1:52 pm

The HP11 isn't very heavy... at least I don't think so. However, the HP11 is heavier than the 500cw.

Fenix's website claims a total weight for the HP11 of 180 grams without the batteries. I have seen different numbers for the 500cw's weight, but the heaviest I saw that included the straps and the battery was 171.5 grams (NSS8921's review). Basically, the weight difference is roughly the equivalent of four AA batteries. Again, that's not really that big of a deal to me, but it's certainly more weight.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Cody JW » Aug 18, 2011 9:05 pm

Does anyone have a link to the Spark st-6 500cw ? This is the first I have heard of this one.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby rlboyce » Aug 18, 2011 9:29 pm

http://www.sbflashlights.com/Spark/Spark-ST6-500CW-p106.html

HP11 (above) max setting w/ diffuser VS 460NW (below) max setting w/ diffuser
Image
Image

HP11 (above) max setting w/o diffuser VS 460NW (below) max setting w/o diffuser
Image
Image

Images retrieved from http://www.light-test.info/. Note that the 500cw is a little brighter and has a cooler tint than the 460nw in the photo comparison. Also note that without the diffuser, the HP11 has a tighter and brighter hot spot (you can't see as far as the 500cw), but the spill is not as wide as the 500cw (you can't see your surroundings as easily with the HP11). I wish there was an outdoor photo comparison of both lights using the diffuser.

Again, both are great lights. I'd happily take either one.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Batgirl » Aug 18, 2011 10:59 pm

how does the Spark compare to the Sten? Not very familiar with either except that the Sten is ALOT more expensive. I currently use an Apex and a Corona and while both are great lights, I would like to have the advantage of a bit more.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby rlboyce » Aug 19, 2011 12:11 am

It's kind of like comparing a horse to a camel. So many differences, yet you can put a saddle on either one. Some people want to ride the horse... some people want to try the camel out instead. Each animal is distinctly different and superior under certain conditions.
(okay, that was a pretty bad analogy... :tonguecheek:)

The Sten is heavier (once you factor in the battery pack), but at least its weight is evenly distributed.
The Sten has a smaller head unit (because Spark puts their battery in the same housing).
The Sten (premium) runs longer on a similar setting to the Spark IF you own the larger battery pack.
The Spark is much brighter (on paper anyway).
The Sten has the ability to change out the optics for different beam profiles (all you can do with the Spark is go from spot to flood).
You can change out batteries with the Spark (you have to have a second pack for a Sten or an alternative power source pack).
In theory, the Sten is probably more waterproof (although both lights should do just fine in almost any caving scenario).
The Spark does not have an exposed cord to worry about.
(There are MANY other fine details)

If you prefer a Sten, are you willing to pay 3 times as much for it? If you prefer a Spark, you will save more money and have a brighter light that is also more "fuel efficient," but are you willing to do without some of the Stenlight's superior characteristics (briefly mentioned above) and longstanding good reputation?
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Cody JW » Aug 19, 2011 7:03 pm

I am not so sure how easy it would be to "hard mount" a spark. I am sure someone can fabricate an attachment to the helmet, but not everybody has the immediate ability to fabricate things. Other than that the spark might be a nice reasonable priced option. Just not sure how you could mount that rubber piece without using an elastic strap ( or maybe if someone could get their hands on some of the velcro stuff sten uses). I for some reason prefer not to use elastic straps for a primary light source.
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Caver John » Aug 20, 2011 6:23 pm

Cody JW wrote:I am not so sure how easy it would be to "hard mount" a spark. I am sure someone can fabricate an attachment to the helmet, but not everybody has the immediate ability to fabricate things. Other than that the spark might be a nice reasonable priced option. Just not sure how you could mount that rubber piece without using an elastic strap ( or maybe if someone could get their hands on some of the velcro stuff sten uses). I for some reason prefer not to use elastic straps for a primary light source.


Some industrial Velcro (easily obtained from a craft store) can be attached to the front of the helmet, with tip ties running vertically between the hook and loop layers of Velcro and around the spark. Bam!
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Re: Fenix hp-11 or Spark st-6 500cw

Postby Cody JW » Aug 24, 2011 7:28 am

I noticed when I went to the link for the spark that it sells the batteries for 10 bucks and a charger for 10 bucks. 10 bucks sounds kind of inexpensive to me for a charger. Does anyone have any experience with this battery or this charger or would one be better off to use a La Crosse (spelling ?) charger, or is it possible to use a La Cross charger?? I suspect Yucca or Marduke might know.
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