CAMPING - POWER & LIGHTING
Hella’s camping and work light range continues to expand. The latest model lineup includes variable-output area lights and slim inspection lights.
The Hella Nova area lights range comes in four sizes: R (163mm square x 63mm) 3K (235mm square x 88mm), 5K (267mm square x 88mm) and 10K (304mm square x 103mm) models, with luminous flux of 1500 lumens, 3000lm, 5000lm and 10,000lm, respectively.
All the latest Nova models have five-stage, selectable operation at 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% output. In the case of the 10K model this light intensity can be varied remotely by using a mobile phone app.
The compact R model operates on mains rechargeable 3.6V lithium battery power, while the 3K and 5K models are Dual System types that can operate from 100-240V/50-60Hz mains power or on 11.1V inbuilt lithium-ion battery power. Battery life varies, depending on light intensity, from one hour at 100% output to 12-14 hours at 10%.
Charging time is said to be two hours and an optional 12V-24V in-vehicle charger is available.
The 10K is a mains-only model that needs to be plugged in to operate.
All Novas feature a COB LED in a central projector module that fits into a curved die-cast aluminium housing that has an inbuilt carry handle and a folding, heavy-duty stand. All models are fully sealed against water and dust entry, to IP67 standards.
We’ve used the previous mains-powered Nova area light model for the past two years and found it, literally, brilliant, but the fixed output was sometimes just too much light. The variable-output 2017 range is welcome, allowing users to adjust intensity for different situations.
The 3K and 5K battery models can be used at mid- or low-intensity to light up a huge area for several hours and then can be recharged with vehicle alternator power or solar panel and battery power during daylight.
We’ve been testing a 3K model and have found that’s all we need for illuminating a large area for four hours or more, at only 50% intensity. It came in a sturdy carry bag with pockets for charge leads and for smaller Hella lights.
The compact R model has now joined our camping kit, being capable of lighting up the campsite and attaching easily, via its adjustable magnetic base, to the steel legs on our slide-on camper, or on our LandCruiser’s body panels.
This area light is similar in size to the Nova R model, measuring 196mm x 187mm x 43mm and has two stage operation, with 450 lumen or 900lm outputs.
Like the Novas it has a die-cast aluminium housing, integrated carry handle, folding stand and is dust and water resistant to IP54 standards.
The Uni Max is charged by a USB cable that can be connected to 240V mains or DC inputs.
Slim and Mini Slim
We’ve been using Hella’s work lights for years and have yet to break one or have it fail. The early models were awkward to charge, but the new range has
USB charging, via 12V-24V or 240V inputs.
Typically, we plug them in during daylight hours and let the vehicle alternator charge them while we’re driving, or let the solar panel and deep cycle battery do the job if we’re camped.
The Mini Slim model is a new favourite, because it’s so versatile: being a work light, inspection light and flash light, all in the one unit that’s only 242mm long.
In work light mode the Mini Slim has a spread beam with a choice of two output levels – 100 lumens and 200lm – and as a flash light it has a 100lm spread beam.
In inspection light mode the light bar pivots out, like a pen knife blade and can swing through a 360-degree arc. For hands-free operation the Mini Slim can be hooked onto an overhead projection or can cling at any angle to a steel surface, on its magnetic base.
The light bar is only 9mm thick, allowing it to be poked into quite small spaces.
Slim and Mini Slim are the most versatile small LED lights we’ve ever had and they get used for everything from vehicle inspections to lighting up the dinner table!
Uniform Gen II
Uniform is a powerful, rechargeable COB LED inspection light with a belt clip, magnetic-base charging unit and a magnetic, pivotting, U-shaped leg. it also has a top mounted swivel hook.
Sitting in its base, Uniform Gen II can be charged from 12V or 240V power.
Output is selectably 100 or 200 lumens.
The previous model had a charging jack socket, but Gen II has external metal contacts and no hole, so there’s no risk of contamination or the charging port becoming blocked. A battery indicator on the front shows the charge level.
Uniform has a protective moulded ring around its edges. We chucked it around and couldn’t bust it.
Mini Form Gen II
This new light is pocket sized version of Uniform Gen II, with a pocket or belt clip. It has a magnetic base and pivotting U-shaped leg. Output is either 55 or 110 lumens.
The Mini Form Gen II charges from a 240V socket or 12V, via a USB cable.
Mag Pen is a rechargeable, pencil design LED work light.
We checked it out against a Narva equivalent and both units performed very well, giving surprising illumination for such small units.
Both lights have torch beams, 240V chargers and pocket clips with magnetic buttons.
UniPen is a fat pen-sized light with an 80-lumen COB strip light on its face and a 50-lumen torch beam at the top. It
has a U-shaped, magnetic leg. Uni Pen charges from 240V or 12v via a USB cable.