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Thread: Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test

  1. #1
    So many CCR So little etc Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase has a reputation beyond repute Mark Chase's Avatar
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    Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test

    Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test


    True 5400 lumen light output measurable outside the lens (9000 lumen at the chip)

    4 power settings: 12%, 25%, 50% and 100%

    Powered by a 375Wh Li-Ion rechargeable battery Providing 4hrs hours of Burn time
    @ max power

    Burntime @ 25% = 16hrs Burn time at 100% 4 Hours

    94 Watt LED with 5400 (9000) Lumen Output @ 5600 Kelvin

    LED +/- 15 degrees fixed focus

    Emitter life 50,000hours

    Recharge Time from complete discharge approx 4.15 hours

    Package includes light, 375Wh battery, S4-S4 cable, foam lined transport case, 230v charger, EU power chord with UK adapter & manual

    730Wh and 1.1KWh batteries are available as options


    If you use Google Translate to switch the text on the HW web site from German to English you get this description of the torch:
    "Compact, lightweight and powerful, our lamp is optimal for most situations underwater. Their light output is much higher than that of comparable compact underwater lights."

    Incredible???? 25 words only and yet they have managed to squeeze in a whole host of totally inaccurate statements

    Compact??? This torch does nothing in any way to even offer passing nod towards being compact. The torch head is large by most standards being at least as big as a VB50 but granted slightly less of a lump than the old 21W HIDs with the ballast in the head.

    However even that tiny level of restraint is rendered insignificant by the shear enormity of the battery pack which looks like they chopped the top off an old 7ltr steel cylinder, crammed it full of hi tec batteries, welded a bottom on it and sprayed it black.

    Its enormous! But then it has to be to provide the 94w monster of a LED with fuel for its quest to melt shipwrecks.

    "Optimal for all situations underwater ?" My instant reaction was no it isn't but then I sat down and tried to think of a situation it was inadequate for and I totally failed. They obviously wanted to include shark attacks. Screw bang sticks just flash the beast with this on full power and its eyes will fall out. It has to be the best tool ever if your lost at sea as you can attract the attention of passing passenger aircraft at 30,000ft!

    "Our light output is much higher than that of comparable compact underwater lights".

    Is there anything comparable? I tried a 30W and a 50W HID back in the day and I classified them as pointless extravagance. The only think I could really compare the HW80 to would be a video system.

    Basically this dive lamp obviously used Jeremy Clarkson as a design consultant. Fresh from designing the 5ltr Petrol V8 powered food blender JC turned his attention to the whole underwater dive light problem and decided the solution was MUCH more power.

    I haven't done serious video work and I have no idea what a 15000 lumen video light is actually like but I have tested a fair few dive lights and dived with several more varients and the only word to describe the HW80 is "biblical". It came into my mind the moment I switched it on and on reflection it still seems the most appropriate description.

    My daughters are quite used to dad playing around with diving torches In the garden comparing the subtleties of a 21W HID to a VB50 LED on tight mode. Such tests have passed without comment, but when I unleashed the HW80 in the back yard my 17 year old daughter took the time to come outside and say, "Oh my god, thats amazing!"

    But I digress

    Once you switch on the HW80 is all too easy to overlook all other aspects of its design. It is hard though because it's like being confronted with Kim Kardashian naked and being asked to evaluate her dental work.

    But I'll try to close my gaping jaw and be objective.

    OK so the first thing to mention in the build quality which is first class. The presentation in the pelican case type box is top notch. OK the price of this beast at £1400 is enough to make you take out a separate insurance policy just for our dive torch but rather like being in a top end luxury car you can easily see and feel where the money was spent. In use there is no need to justified your extravagance to others. They will be using their Ford Mondaio torches when you unveil the Ferrari 458 and no amount of whimpering about the practicalities and cost saving will make up for their feelings of inadequacy or your self assured smile
    Next: Yes it is pretty big there's no getting away from that but it not so big as to make it ridiculous. Mounting it could prove an issue. It did cross my mind that I should dive side mount and use my old twin sevens cam bands to mount two HW80s on my back but A: I couldn't afford it and B: I couldn't go back to OC.

    HW80 left next to two conventional Light Monkjey 21W HID & LED torches

    One good thing is a 1.5ltr suit inflation bottle mount would be an ideal way of carrying the battery. I think id swap out my 1.5ltr mount for the torch and go back to running the suit on back gas. Or maybe a 0.75ltr suit inflate where my torch canister used to be.

    I have to admit the beast isn't very travel friendly due to both its size and its weight and the battery charger is hardly a compact item but I suppose if you can afford to own a £1400 dive torch its likely you can afford a light weight travel rig. Rather like the Ferrari 428 owners who have a Range Rover to run the family around in at weekends.

    On the up side the HW80 has an eminently practical Goodman's Handle. A bit like having a cup holder on the 458 but you have to admit its practical. Even on full burn its 4hour duration is more than adequate on its low power setting it will do an incredible 16 hours which may or may not be critical for some massive cave diving expedition but regardless even on low power this thing is more than a match for most torches on full power. As for signalling? Do you notice when the sun goes out? if so you will notice when someone flashes you with a HW80 my only concern would be if your leading and someone is flashing from behind with a pathetic 21W HID? would you notice?


    Now at this point id usually offer up some shots of the torch in action in my pond and some garden shots. however sadly I only had this to play with for a short period of time and I was suffering from an algae bloom in my pond which reduced it to pea soup. QED pond testing was out. See below for the result.

    I also didn't get much of a chance to dive the beast, which was a great shame but there's an excellent video of it in action on the HW website.

    What I was able to do was some dry shots. I know these are less than ideal but I submit that the epic proportions of this torch are apparent. So here we go.

    Pic1 HW80 low power at 9m range

    Pic2 MB Sub VB50 on wide beam at 9m range for comparison

    Pic 3 HW80 on full power at 9m range

    Pic 4 MB Sub at 5m range

    Pic5 HW80 at 5m range


    I don't need a HW80

    It's too big, too powerful and useless for travelling with.

    But I want one and it doesn't matter how ridiculous it is I can't help thinking about it in the same way I just know if I won the lottery the very first thing I'd be doing is driving down to Romans on the A217 and putting a deposit on a Ferrari 458. So if you secretly lust after power and can afford to buy a HW80 i'd say just ignore the mundane comments about it being to big and pointlessly powerful and just buy one because I have no doubt just like me you will giggle in side every time you switch it on to max power


    Mark Chase

    NOTE: I don't work for HW I don't even sell torches I was not paid for this report and I do these tests for no more reason than to satisfy my unrequited desire to write for dive mags.
    Last edited by Mark Chase; 9th February 2014 at 18:54.

  2. #2
    RBW Member Chris_H is an unknown quantity at this point Chris_H's Avatar
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    La Crosse, WI
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    Re: Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test

    Entertaining write up Mark. Thanks! You also have excellent taste in cars.

  3. #3
    RBW Member Larry0428 is on a distinguished road Larry0428 is on a distinguished road Larry0428's Avatar
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    Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test


    I now want something I have absolutely no need for . Great write up, thanks.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  4. #4
    RBW Member Kåre W K is an unknown quantity at this point Kåre W K's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Alta, Norway
    Megalodon eCCR, Shearwater

    Re: Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test

    This was fun reading;)
    I have been using a HW80 for about 2years, one of tje first one that was sold.
    It's big yes. But that is something you forget when you see the enourmous light from this torch;)
    I have been diving with almost everything, from 50w halogen to 100 wHid, NOTHING is like the HW80.
    It's expensive, but you forhet it when you see the light;)

  5. #5
    All The Gear, No Idea windymiller has a spectacular aura about windymiller has a spectacular aura about windymiller has a spectacular aura about windymiller has a spectacular aura about windymiller has a spectacular aura about windymiller has a spectacular aura about windymiller's Avatar
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    Re: Heinrichs Weikamp HW80 on Test

    I've had one for 18 months, its always a head turner underwater...

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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