Headlamps anyone?

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by DaktariEd, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. DaktariEd

    DaktariEd

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    Has anyone really used some of the new LED and hybrid LED/incandescent headlamps? Not just tried them out at the store, but really put them to work.
    I am considering them to free up my hands while at a campsite, looking around the Cruiser in the dark, etc. But do they really offer significant advantages?
    Your thoughts? Pros and cons?

    Ed
     
  2. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    I have a dual mode (LED/incandescent) that goes with me on all outings and camping trips. I believe it is called a Gemini sold by Black Diamond. I haven't found much use for the incandescent setting so get one with a super bright Luxeon and you'll love it. A couple of our ASM's have the versions that have a red LED in addition to a white LED. They seem to use it a lot but for my eyesight, the red doesn't seem to work. I haven't tried to adapt though.

    We used them to change a flat tyre in the dark a few weeks ago. They get used at meals for cooking and cleaning dishes in the dark. Setting up tents at night is much easier when you have both hands to work with. The guys with the red LED will use it to read stories to the scouts around the campfire. I used mine every night at summer camp; taking scouts to and from the med shed, walking the trails to the shower, going back and forth to the dining hall after dark. Everyone had a headlamp for a recent trip to explore some area caves.

    In short, get one; you won't regret it if you spend time outside at night.

    -B-
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2005
  3. nickw

    nickw

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    I use own and LOVE the Petzl Myo XP. It's purely a LED headlamp.
    It was not cheap, but its the best headlamp I have owned.

    It is small and lightweight, as well as still has a good light levels even compared to Halogens. In fact its has more light than most halogens. Only the best halogens have more light, but they EAT batteries in a hurry.

    I have done everything with mine, and even in the depths of a cave it has good light (both flood and dispersed). It also has a KILLER battery life. I have found the manufactures claim on battery to be pretty close, although I have never timed it. Regardless, even on max setting which is really bright I am sure you will get at least 60+ hours from three AA batteries. On economy mode, which is somewhat dim, but still useable they advertise 170 hours. I don't know if it would do 170 hours on low, as I have never strictly used low for a full set of batteries. But using it on what ever light level I need (low/med/high/150% boost) I still get probably 60-100 hours depending on application. The headlamp even has a built in battery meter, so you know when its time to start thinking about changing the batteries. But unlike Halogen you have more than 20 minutes after you see the battery level dropping. You probably still have hours left! Which could save your butt when you get into trouble. :) :) ;)

    I have found the biggest complaint with other LED headlamps is the amount of light. However with the Myo XP I have not found this to be a problem. I have gone for many nighttime hikes and camping trips, and usually there is enough light by my headlamp for 4 people to hike by. My friends simply turn their Halogen headlamps off to save precious battery power. :)

    Long story short, a good LED headlamp rocks. But a bad LED headlamp sucks and you will be frustrated with the low light level. Now that I have a good LED headlamp I don't ever want a halogen again (to heavy and eats to much batteries).

    I should also point out that the MYO XP is the BEST LED headlamp I know of. There is NO other LED only headlamp I would buy. So I would say buy the MYO XP, or buy a Halogen, and put-up with packing tons of extra weight on your head and batteries in your rucksack. Sure its more expensive initially, but it does save batteries and it is just plain convenient.

    Sorry for the long post, but the Myo XP simply rocks!

    Cheers,
    Nick

    P.S. I am NOT affiliated with Petzl in any way, shape or form.
    I am just a happy customer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2005
  4. youngdogs

    youngdogs

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    ~standing up~ My name is Jake and I’m a flashaholic . I spend time at two sites:

    1) http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/ (a bb)
    2) http://www.flashlightreviews.com/ Doug reviews new flashlights each week. This site even includes output & throw charts: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/features/chart_manu.htm Very handy!

    Both these sites will open your eyes to the world of flashlights beyond the cheap MagLight.

    I have several headlamps. I recently purchased two River Rock headlamps (http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/riverrock_headlamp.htm ) from target for $15 each for my boys. These are nice entry level headlamps and I use one daily.

    Here’s a direct link to Doug's reviews on only headlamps:
    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews_index/reviews_index_headlamps.htm

    Here’s a review on the Petxl MYP XP that nickw really likes: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/petzl_myoxp.htm
    (I don’t own one, so I can’t comment on them)

    I’m about to purchase the Streamlight Argo HP: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/streamlight_argohp.htm
    (One of the reasons I want this headlamp, is that it uses the same batteries (123As) as my Pelican M6 flashlight.

    There are some wonderful lights out there Ed! Good luck!

    Lights are just one of my addictions …. ~sitting back down~
     
  5. wesintl

    wesintl

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    I had (actually still have) an old petzel incandesent but It never goes anywhere. I got a Black diamond dual; beam and general light LED and it rocks. LED's are nice as you don't have to replace the batterys as often and you don't have a 4 pack of batteries on your head.
     
  6. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    I've got and love my Black Diamond. It's a 4 bulb LED. Great for when we show up at campsites after dark. Light weight and great light output. I still carry a maglite 4 d cell battery flashlight, but it's very lonely where it's stored (i.e. it doesn't get much use anymore!).
     
  7. Tigerstripe40

    Tigerstripe40

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    I go caving alot as well as 4 wheeling

    Cavers are moving to LED headlamps almost exclusively.
    They put out lots of light.
    They also use less batteries than do incandescant lamps

    For caving, my primary head lamp is a Petzl MyoBelt 5 (5 LED array, Xenon spot, 4 'C' cell belt pack) and I love this light. It's very ligth weight on the head, and puts out a good amount of light from the LED array. The Xenon spot is great for looking at formations, or for lighting down a long passage.
    And I LOVE this light. The batteries will run and run and run and run..

    One of my backup's is a Petzl Tikka 3 led array light, though the new Tikka/Zipka with 4 leds and has a better button, better electonics (longer battery life).

    IF you want to spend big bucks you can pick up the LuPine Spe-Lu head lamp. That bad-boy has a 26-LED array. Runs at 4 watts of light power for 12 hours, and 2 watts for 24 hours.
    But this is a $360 head lamp!

    Good place to get some head lamps

    http://www.caves.org/imo/LED.htm
     
  8. subzali

    subzali

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    Black Diamond Moonlight is what I have/use. Great except for the bulbs (4) are exposed, and have been known to break with rough usage. The Petzl Tikka is pretty similar, but the bulbs are covered. Since I switched over from old REI incandescents, I've never looked back from LED for anything from camping to hiking. However, for seeing details in a small space (think rock climbing at night) halogens etc. shine (every pun intended). Nickw is right about the Petzl Myo XP: it has a lense that focuses the light (tries to be like halogen etc.), but you flip the lense down for more diffuse classic LED light. It's a sweet headlamp. Its cousin the Tikka XP is similar, but smaller. Has a lense that slides to change from focused/diffuse. Haven't tried this one yet but looks pretty neat. If you're going to go mixed, I like the Black Diamond setups better because they have a button to switch from LED/Halogen etc. whereas the Petzls have a screw top, which seems kinda cheesy to me. Not affiliated with either, but I work in a mountaineering shop, so those are my observations...
     
  9. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    I have used all sorts of head/helmet lights over the past 20-years...even ones I made myself. Personally, after 3-years of using the LED's I think they are great to have around the house, glove box etc. However their light output does not compare to halogens...but their battery life is most impressive. I still find myself using my other halogen lights when I need more light/brighter light. They all have their place and like most tools you need to select the one that fits the need at that time...
     
  10. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    I have a petzl LED only, and works GREAT!

    Recieved it as a gift, and it is the s***!

    It goes with me everywhere.

    I own at least 6 three D cell Maglites, and will have at least that many headlamps... they are just that good.


    Good luck!


    -Steve
     
  11. jonb96150

    jonb96150

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  12. DaktariEd

    DaktariEd

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    Great info...lots to consider.
    Looks like I'll have to see a few in action if possible.
    Thanks again,

    Ed
     
  13. chip7238

    chip7238

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    I'll have to say the same. Petzl Tikka in the 'Cruiser all the time - great for nighttime maintanence, and tasks around the house in dark corners.

    I also have a Petzl Duo that I use for backpacking. A little heavy, but it has LEDs as well as halogen. I use the LEDs most of the time, but the halogen comes in very handy to see across torential creeks at night - don't want to cross the wrong one!
     
  14. Heffenoche

    Heffenoche

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    I've had this one for several years and love it. I do use the brighter incandescent when I want to see further away. I have to admit this isn't very often. I also bought a cheap 3 led Garrity that I got a Wally Word on close out for around $5. It runs of button batteries and I've been pretty impressed by it for what I paid for it.

    Pros - hands free
    Long lasting battery and bulb life
    Always shines where you are looking
    Light weight

    Cons - Can't be use to defend yourself like a maglite

    Truethfully I rarely use a flashlight any more.
     
  15. jhaha

    jhaha

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    I second the Petzl myo Xp, it is amazing. I work at the 3rd closest outdoor store to the AT, and we sell these things to thru hikers all the time.

    If you are looking for a more affordable, but great all around headlamp, try the tikka plus, it is a 4 led setup without the big bulky battery pack on the back of your head. those run around 40 bucks.

    If you are thinking about getting one, do it, you will use it in a lot more places than you think.
     
  16. freightdog

    freightdog

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    Yep!

    Mine goes everywhere with me!
     
  17. OZCAL

    OZCAL

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    I've got a neat one made by, no kidding, Energizer. Very lightweight, adjustable beam angle, very bright white light. Kept it in the center console until my three year old appropriated it, then it ended up on my wife's bedside table for late night reading.

    Got it at A16, I believe. Might've been twenty-five bucks.
     
  18. clownmidget

    clownmidget

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    I use headlamps for work (night time surveys for wildlife), for fun (camping, night hiking/running, night mtb riding) and for the occasional trail wrenching that may or may not be necessary. So here are my takes:
    1) LED's don't provide good depth perception
    2) LED's don't provide a good eye shine from wildlife
    3) LED's do come in great night visions options - especially green (my favorite)
    4) LED's last so long compared to incandescents it's silly
    5) so far my favorite is the Petzl DUO but as others mentioned it is heavy.
    6) for pure, awe-inspiring light the HID's that are out there now will change your whole perspective on night lighting. I don't know of one that is strictly marketed as a headlamp but several are designed to be mounted on a helmet and the battery packs worn on a waist belt. Their battery life is usually less than 2.5 hrs though.

    Being in the dark is fun :D
     
  19. LoveTractor

    LoveTractor

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    I love my Petzl Tikka Plus. 3oz, 4 LED bright as all get out with 4 settings(bright, less bright, less bright, and blinking) and you don't have to cycle through all the settings to turn it off. Push the single button in succession to desired setting, leave it, and then it turns directly off wherever you are in the settings. Alright, a little too much info about that, but it's one of the things I love about it. :flipoff2:
     
  20. njfzj80

    njfzj80

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    Go to the store and buy the Tikka Plus...end of story.
     
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