I'm in the market for a good quality LED headlamp.
I'm here looking for suggestions as to good build quality, bright
'flood' illumination that renders colors correctly, long battery life
(preferably from 2, not three cells) and resistance to 'real world'
dirt/crud, water & mechanical shock.
Any and all suggestions, comments, warnings etc are more than welcome!
Suggest also posting to rec.bicycles.tech.
I don't know if it will start a religious war,
but one can always hope. :)
Were it me, I would follow this guy's lead
and make an elastic / velcro strap for the
ubiquitous and useful LED Maglite:
I really like the Petzl brand for stuff like climbing a tall mountain
OTOH, DX has cheap-ass (< $7) ones that are okay for riding a bike at
night once in a while or dealing with raccoons in the attic.
I'm not sure any of them has color rendition as a priority- white LEDs
are pretty dubious.
I have a Petzl 'hybrid' that has both LED and halogen bulbs that would
be okay for color rendition, but it sucks batteries pretty fast in the
halogen mode, and it's not particularly inexpensive.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)17681149&sr=8-1
Somebody already mentioned the Petzl headlamps.
I looked a while back for a water-proof (or resistant) headlamp and
there were only two: one resistant to about three feet for ~10 minutes,
and another resistant to ten feet for ~30 minutes. Both of these were
pretty expensive, $50-$75 IIRC. Mountaineering-equipment retailers will
Also I will warn you that if you ever get OIL or other petrochemicals on
an elastic (latex) headband (commonly used on typical headlights) the
elastic will quickly fail.
Another way is to get a small waterproof headlight and wear it on a
non-elastic headband. This is not as ideal as a specific-purpose
Well, you'd have to provide the strap, since this is designed for "real"
waterproof applications where you will have a mask strap handy, but it
is "really" waterproof (500 ft rated, I'll stick to 130 myself)
However it's 4 cells, so not what the OP is looking for.
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
This one is pricey, but it purely kicks butt for task lighting where
tasks are at arms' length as opposed to hiking -- although it does OK
for that too. It's amazing.
Good luck on the 2 cell bit, most lights that use white LEDs will take
3, if not 4, alkalines. Only way around the voltage requirements of
white LEDs is to use lithium cells or a more formal inverter power
supply($$$ and heavier). Also good luck with accurate color
rendering, most are somewhat bluish in cast.
Have a look at what Bass Pro and Cabela's carries. I've seen some at
the local Sportman's warehouse, most only had 3 LEDs at most, hardly
I've got an HF flashlight that I bought on special and with coupon
that has 100 LEDs, that one qualifies for "floodlight". Uses 4 AA
cells, though. Could be rigged with a head harness, have seen those
for use with regular flashlights. Good enough for looking for downed
deer after dark.
Sounds like what you want is a hat covered with LEDs.
It uses three AAA cells, but my wife & I have several of these kicking
(Amazon.com product link shortened)-
They work very nicely, aren't over priced, and the top strap makes them a
lot more secure than some. We've been re-insulating the attic, and they
have gotten a really good workout. The batteries last a good long time,
the lights are pretty bright, and the color isn't too far off.
If you shop around, you can frequently find deals on them, or at least
free shipping from places that sell them for less than Amazon. I linked
to Amazon because they have a lot of good reviews.
I'm the original poster...
First of all, thanks to all for the good information.
I decided to go with, and bought this one:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
It was on sale at a local camping place (A-16)... $64.95 - 25% for a
total of $48.71 (before tax/lic).
It does use 3 AA's but I'll live. I much prefer battery powered devices
that use even numbers of batteries, as they come packaged that way, and
that extra battery always bugs me.
The unit has 4 small LED 'side lights' for close range flood lighting,
that can be adjusted high, medium or low. Once you eyes are acclimated
to the dark, even the low position is fine for walking around. (There is
also some silly emergency flash mode for the floods.) Around mirrors and
shiny stuff, even on low these'll leave spots in your eyes...
I quickly discovered that the med and low flood settings are
accomplished by rapidly 'strobeing' (sp?) the LED's, and will require
caution around moving equipment.
The center 3W spot LED is extremely brilliant & well focused, and also
sports three power levels, with med/low attenuation accomplished same as
the floods. The spot does not have the silly emergency flash mode. and
is painfully blinding around mirror's & shiny stuff.
The floods and spot cannot be both energized simultaneously, nor does it
(so far) seem necessary.
It has three tiny battery level indicator LED's, green/yellow/red
mounted to the side of the battery compartment.
Manual is just 'ok'. It had no mention of how to assemble the top strap,
and it took a day or so to figure it out.
Comes with a 3 year warranty, and they claim parts are available.
Thanks again all!
That beats Amazon's $54 price, with free shipping. Good deal.
You buy the expensive way. I usually buy in even increments but get
the large economy packs, usually 20 or 24 for $7 (Eveready Gold alk)
v. $4-5 for 1-2 pair in most stores. Our local BiMart is cheaper than
HD, Lowes, or Wally World.
It may seem silly now, but you wouldn't think the emergency flash mode
on low was a bad idea if you broke your leg 4,000' down a cave and had
to wait a day or two for a rescue.
Interesting. I wonder how much battery life that saves.
I wear my headlamps while on my back quite often and have always
bought the style with the back of the band free of obstructions.
They're all much lower powered than your new one, but I can see why
some mfgrs put the battery box on the back: for better balance.
No comment. <titter>
G'luck with it.
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
The little guy from Notre Dame said "Call it a hunch."
Ayup. Or used the rods in your eyes to get around. Look askance and
walk wherever you like, Winnie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
Sometimes, you can find them packaged six to a pack, which
should solve your problem for the moment.
I'm using something made (or at least branded) by Eveready, with
a mixture of central spot, multiple floods, both at once, or red narrow
floods. It is somewhat ligher than what you got, apparently, as the
three AAAs which it uses live in the front compartment with everything
It is sold by Home Depot (probably among other places, but that
is where I found mine -- right by the checkout counter where I could not
resist it. :-)
The lamp assembly hinges down so you can point it to workbench
surface if you need to.
I haven't checked it for strobing yet, as I use it on unpowered
equipment in tight places, or when doing detail work on electronic
repair, not mechanical.
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