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Thread: Headlamp recomendation please

  1. #1

    Help Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Hi guys

    Iam really sorry for another "which headlamp" thread but I am finding it so difficult to find the right head lamp for me especially with all this misleading jargon

    I need a very durable head lamp for rescue operations and storm damage services. I have read through alot of your posts and did quite a bit of research yet I am still having trouble.

    I need a light that can last throughout the night as I am working, waterproof (or very water resistant) since I'll be working in the rain and on flood boats and one that can be used for both medium and short range (long range would be an advantage)

    My first choice is the apex since it provides everything I need, however it's the battery life that concerns me the most and is perhaps the only disadvantage, I know alot of people own it, I was wondering if you guys can give me advice on how well the light operates on low?

    My second choice either the Zenix IQ or nightray from black diamond both said "IPX water proof" which hopefully means its waterproof . I really like the long battery life

    My third choice is the Myo 5 and it's battery life is better then the apex while being able to provide more lighting options and power then the Zenix IQ/nightray.

    I really dont know what to go for and was wondering what do you guys recommend? I am very happy if you could give me some advice on which to go for or any other lights that may be suitable for me

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    I'd suggest the Apex. I starte with some cheap walmart and target headlamps and thought they were pretty decent. Then, I did some research and found out the Apex was the one to get for most uses. I bought one the other day and wow, it is pretty cool. The four 5mm LEDs on the side are brighter than my other two headlamps on high. Lites up a good sized area with the 5mm LED's and I can't believe the throw it has with the 3w spot. Plus water proof to 1 meter. You can also use Lithium AAs for a 4.5 hour runtime on high.
    Surefire G2, M3, E1L, Inova X5 white, X5 blue, X1, AE 24w HID, RR 2XAA, 2XC, 2XAAA , RR incan/led, Dorcy Metal Gear, Brinkman 4 LED, Mini mag, Pelican Mightylite, Coleman lantern, River Rock lantern, Omega shake light, NightStar shake light, Streamlight keymate,inova LED key light, 2 river rock LED key lights, Princton Tec Apex, energizer 6 LED headlamp, RiverRock .5w Headlamp, Streamlight 4XAA Lux, Brinkmann MaxFire, Princeton Tech Rage, 3 Garrity chrome classics, Mag 85, Mag 3D, Thor platinum

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* jar3ds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    get the apex... use lithiums or a li-ion mod pack...

    you'll get good runtime on high with the LED's... but you'll have your spot luxeon when you need it...

    you can buy some of these:

    http://www.thomas-distributing.com/b...lder-index.htm

    so that you can carry 4 spare cells with you at all times... that way when you head out on a mission... each case you have with you will be a new set of batteries... you can use NiMH as your primary batteries... but keep a bunch of lithium e2's as emergency backups for coldweather and extra runtime use...

    hope this helps... personally... the only brand of 'serious' headlamps I trust is Princeton Tec...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Skullo
    ...

    I need a light that can last throughout the night as I am working, waterproof (or very water resistant) since I'll be working in the rain and on flood boats and one that can be used for both medium and short range (long range would be an advantage)

    My second choice either the Zenix IQ or nightray from black diamond both said "IPX water proof" which hopefully means its waterproof .
    I do own the Apex, but not the other two. However, I can tell you that the Apex is the single best light I ever used.

    Compared with the Zenix (IPX-4) the Apex is more waterproof (IPX-7):
    IPX-4: Protected against spraying water - at 10 liters/min at a pressure of 80-100kN/m2 for 5 min from all angles
    IPX-7: Protected against water immersion - Immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.

    For normal walking and working at close range I usually use the low settings. And if you really needed then you have a very impressive burst of light from the 3W bulb. You won't have this option with the Zenix.

    I would definately go with the Apex.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    I've been eyeing a Zenix IQ for a long time. I like the regulation, the decent waterproofness (not dunkable, though).
    For a really tough headlamp for the work you describe, I'd look into one of the Pelican headlamps - those are designed to be tough/industrial environments.

    For longer runtimes, look for something that has an external battery pack (such as the ones that come with some of the Petzl headlamps). Using AA or AAA won't give you the runtime you need, although you can always carry lots of spares - which would give another vote for the Apex).

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Welcome to CPF and hang on to you wallet

    The luxeon on low is bright enough for most uses and the runtime is about 12h with NiMH rechargeables. On high it will have good throw compared to most other headlamps. The 5mm leds give a very nice flood light for close work and the 5mm on low will run for ages (days).

    There are some runtimes posted in this forum that you should take a look at.
    When the batteries are starting to wear out the light reduces the brightness and lets you have pretty good light for a long time.
    Princeton Tec have not exaggerated runtimes on this light while a lot of manufacturers do. They will also replace the light if anything is wrong with it.

    I've had a lot of headlamps and my Apex is the best by far. No other headlight except the Stenlight S7 would be better for your needs IMHO. The Stenlight is $200+ I think so it's a bit too expensive for me...

    I am a field biologist and my needs seem similar to yours and you will need it to be waterproof. The water resistant headlamps will get wet inside when used in very wet conditions, waterproof to 1m is a lot better than splash-proof or weatherproof... If the water is fresh water this might be OK, if it is seawater your light will die pretty soon if it isn't waterproof.

    I use NiMHs almost always, but I keep lithiums as spares. Alkalines work OK, but aren't as good when using it on maximum brightness.

    There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this board and a lot of good threads on what lights fit what needs. You should check out flashlightreviews.com where you'll find some very good reviews of lights and headlamps.

    Sverre
    Last edited by NoFair; 03-30-2006 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Brainfart...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    The Zenix is great, but the battery life isn't the best around and you may find the 2 LED's insufficient for close flood light. there is no O-ring on the battery housing. I've been rained on, and never really noticed a a drop in output with my Zenix. It's a trooper. It's great for Camping and truly dark situations where weight may be an issue but for spotting, it's battery life is a real limitation. With rechargeables... I get 2.5 - 3 hours on high... (I should buy better NIMH batteries)...

    you may be better served by the APEX. Longer operational period, better flood, better spotting ability. Plus it comes in the cool Pseudo SAR color.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    How about the Silva L1?

    Looks pretty promising:


    Specifications
    Bulb type: 3 Watt true output Luxeon LED
    Batteries/type: 4 pcs AA (LR6) included. (4 pcs C (LR14) for external battery case not included)
    Discharge time: Power Save - 200h, Bright – 160h, Ultra Bright – 140h
    Light distance: Up to 63 meters
    Waterproof: IPX6
    Temperature operating range: -40 to 60 C
    Material: PC/ABS headlamp body
    Dimensions: 75 x 48 x 55 mm (headlamp body)
    Weight: 226 g incl. Batteries
    Instruction manual languages: GB, DE, F, ES, I, NL, POR, SE, FI
    Warranty: 2 years
    Art. No.: 57081

    See: This page for more info...

    For more info on the IP ratings (for waterproofnes) check out: this page
    Last edited by Coop; 03-30-2006 at 05:17 PM.
    ... Never underestimate the power of human stupidity ...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    geez you guys should get a job as light sales men! you know your stuff

    hmm "IPX 4 waterproof" = water resistant wow those product ads can me misleading

    I looked through flashlightreviews.com (praise the owner of that site) and found some more options which is great. I think i will stick to NoFair's advice with getting something waterproof

    the SilvaL1 looks good as well, so many choices I've got the "I want them all" bug.

    I also went to the princteon tec website, it says the apex has 70 or so hours burntime, which I have no idea what that means but thanks to you guys and this site I know it does not mean battery life, so what is burn time?

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Quickbeam is the owner of flashlightreviews.com
    You may also want to check TheLEDMuseum.org (by our very own... TheLEDMuseum).

    There's an explanation on what exactly the IPX ratings mean on the Black Diamond site somewhere.

    Carful with those runtime estimates. I'm willing to bet one of the "*" on my Flashaholic designation that the 70 hours of runtime is the total time a set of batteries will cause the lamp (or LED) to be on. That doesn't mean you'll have useable light after an hour or so of use. Check out the runtime graphs that are stickied somewhere on CPF. We use runtime to 50% brightness to assess usable runtime.

    BTW, I've been "out in the field" quite a lot, and the Petzl Zoom was my choice for many years. It even survived "open heart surgery" and then a capsized boat somewhere in the Peruvian Amazon. I favor LED(5mm or Luxeon)/incandescent combos nowdays. The Vectra IQ is my choice there (although the Zenix IQ is calling my name too).

    INcidentally, IPX ratings are as follows (from this site):
    The terms "water resistant"/"waterproof" are not concrete, so the environmental waterproofing rating of enclosed electronic equipment is codified formally by tests specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 529:
    • IPX0 - Ordinary use; no water resistance tested
    • IPX1 - Protected against vertically falling water drops
    • IPX2 - Protected against vertically falling water drops when enclosure tilted up to 15 degrees
    • IPX3 - Protected against spraying water
    • IPX4 - Protected against splashing water
    • IPX5 - Protected against water jets
    • IPX6 - Protected against powerful water jets
    • IPX7 - Protected against temporary immersion in water
    • IPX8 - Suitable for continuous immersion
    For all weather outdoor equipment, e.g. GPS or Surveying equipment, an IPX rating of 4 or better is essential.
    Last edited by greenLED; 03-30-2006 at 05:44 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* jar3ds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    i know i just recomended the Apex... but if you want the ultimate.... the StenLight isn't bad... the price compared to the apex is....

    but it seems to be one of the best headlamps availble... and it seems like you'll be putting your light throw the paces...

    so if runtime is an issue and brightness... etc... look @ the StenLight

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by jar3ds
    i know i just recomended the Apex... but if you want the ultimate.... the StenLight isn't bad... the price compared to the apex is....

    but it seems to be one of the best headlamps availble... and it seems like you'll be putting your light throw the paces...

    so if runtime is an issue and brightness... etc... look @ the StenLight
    Yeah I was considering that but I believe I will go with your previous suggestion with the Apex, alot of people have suggested it and with lithiums I believe it will do nicely, provided I remember to check the battery light is on green .

    The apex simply has all the aspects i need, powerful enough to see downed/exposed cables at night while the low settings won't blind my team mates (happened to me a few times). Plus Iam very confident in being able to use it in the weather/environment it will be working in.

    I managed to play around with it at a nearby camping store and will purchase it next month, still time to think about any other options but I am pretty confident now about the apex. Thanks for all the help, you saved me alot of headaches

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* jar3ds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    good choice... looks like the apex will fit your needs just fine ...

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Skullo
    Yeah I was considering that but I believe I will go with your previous suggestion with the Apex, alot of people have suggested it and with lithiums I believe it will do nicely, provided I remember to check the battery light is on green .

    The apex simply has all the aspects i need, powerful enough to see downed/exposed cables at night while the low settings won't blind my team mates (happened to me a few times). Plus Iam very confident in being able to use it in the weather/environment it will be working in.

    I managed to play around with it at a nearby camping store and will purchase it next month, still time to think about any other options but I am pretty confident now about the apex. Thanks for all the help, you saved me alot of headaches
    The Apex will give you hours of diminishing light after the battery-indicator turns red. At least with NiMH, and lithiums should give better runtimes on all levels than NiMH so you should be all right.
    Often burn time is time until you can't see your hand in front of you, which isn't very useful to most people.
    I think PT lists runtime in regulation (full brigthtness) and total time on the packaging of the Apex.

    Sverre

  15. #15

    Default Headlamp recomendation please

    Greetings All.

    Just found this site a week ago and been reading up on a few things.

    I am in the market for a nice headlamp. Problem is, there are too many companies with too many products and i am lost.

    I am looking for an all around lamp used for working in dark places around the house, camping, hiking, fishing, etc. I want one that has the head strap in the center for added comfort/support as well. Adjustable beam (long and short - high and low) appears to give the most flexabitly as well. Battery life would be a plus. I was looking at the Princeton Tac Apex.

    Any other brands, models, etc one should consider?

    Thanks much for your help!!

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* ACMarina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    Welcome to CPF!!

    I'm a big Princeton Tec fan, and I've liked everything I've owned from them Good luck with your search!
    I love my Al-PD

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    Welcome to CPF and hold on to your wallet!

    I'll start you off easy, but be warned that prices go up (WAY up) from here. There is a headlamp that should fit your needs very well- it is very small and lightweight, has a center strap, and only takes 2 AAA batteries (most take 3). It can throw pretty well but has plenty of spill for close up work. High will last around 6-7 hours, low around 20 on one set of batteries. Brightness is significantly better than a 5mm LED headlamp and a bit lower than a luxeon one.

    How much does this headlamp cost? Well, if you've got a Target around, the River Rock .5watt headlamp may be found on clearance for under $4!! When it retailed at $15, this unit was alread an excellent value, but now its a no-brainer. If you can get to Target, I strongly suggest you check it out- it will likely be all you need, and if you later want something with more umph, you are only out 4 bucks.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    Greetings and Welcome to CPF!

    That Princeton Tec Apex is a nice one! If you do decide on other Princeton Tec headlamps but doesn't have the center head strap, you can get a replacement one since these are interchangeable—I believe.

    I also have a Petzl Tikka XP which claims a 120 hours on low light setting. "Easily the brightest mini-lamp we tested," said Backpacker Magazine (March 2006 Gear Guide issue) And so far, I do like it since it has that sliding "diffuser" lens for wide beam lighting applications with a "boost" button for brightness! But on this model, there is no center headstrap.

    Hope you find what you're looking for and Enjoy!
    LUX'Ottica

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    I'll throw in a word (or two) for Black Diamond. Check out their "IQ" line of headlamps - only regulated hybrids (LED/incandescent) offered to the public right now. Another good brand name is Petzl, but I feel they've fallen a bit behind on their LED offerings - quality is excellent, though.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    If I can only have 1 headlamp it will have to be the Favourlight 3 Watt on rechargeable 2x123As.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    I'm very fond of the Princeton Tec Aurora for in-camp use and it's still my favorite after-dark reading light. Of course my wife swiped that light so now I use a Princeton Tec EOS. A little intense for reading even on low but overall a great light.
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
    CPF # 9435

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    For your first, it was mine and still my only, I would recommend something cheap so you find out if you truly like them. I like the one strap model personally with the battery pack in front on the light. I have the Brinkman 3 LED model two white LEDs and one red and it works great for me. I picked it up at Target for $12.

    Another thing I would choose is make sure the light can move up and down for adjustment to point of sight like the Brinkman and others. Some of the cheaper ones do not adjust and I find that way to handy to leaveout.

    Welcome to CPF , you will find some great people here, not that I am one of them but there are plenty of others.
    Lee

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  23. #23

    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    Quote Originally Posted by zespectre
    I'm very fond of the Princeton Tec Aurora for in-camp use and it's still my favorite after-dark reading light. Of course my wife swiped that light so now [...].
    This just sounds so very familiar... I really like the Aurora for daily use around the house. Light, fast on my head, bright enough for any task and very versatile (and reasonably priced).
    For hiking and camping I got the Apex - There is just more juice in these 4 AA batteries

  24. #24
    Flashaholic Gaffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    What about the Petzl Duo 8 or 14. I thought the placement of the leds right next to the bulb was a nice feature. They are also regulated. I almost purchased a Duo 5 a few years ago, but I figured out it was a little too hardcore for me. The beam is adjustable too. IPX8. Just another opinion.

    Petzl Duo

  25. #25
    Flashaholic Gaffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    From what I have read the Black Diamond Soliras has a great runtime with its lith ion battery pack. Beam is also bright, again from what I have read. It is just a little more expensive.

    Soliras

  26. #26

    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    Wow, thanks for the awesome welcome.

    Lee, i did go to Target and got the river-rock head-lamp. $5.99 i just couldn't pass it up. While i was on my shopping spree, i also picked up the RR keychain light for $1.78 and gave to the wife (can you say brownie points). This should pave the wave for what's to come.......

    Now, i have been reading this board for about a week and some of the stories i have heard i thought some of you where, shall we say.....obsseced with wearing your headlamps.............

    I am very sorry for thinking this as i guess i joined the ranks last night - lol. So much so that i was working in the basement and didn't even bother to turn on the lights - lol.

    I did experience some of the same things others complained about with this light, blue tint, off-center spot, etc. A few turns of the lens cover fixed the off spot. Light is pretty nice for $5. I can use this for work even, running cable up in drop ceilings and such.

    At any rate, thank you all for the info. Based on what i have learned thus far here and some of the other links i found within posts, the PT & Petzl seem to be the best ways to do. I think (from what i have also read) 2 lights are going to do the trick, the Apex for when it is needed, and the EOS for close-range work. Just gotta save some money - lol.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic Lucero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    While I haven't had the experience of a direct comparison between all lights, when I was searching for a headlamp a year ago, the one I purchased is the MYObelt5. Actually purchased a pair and gave one to the wife.

    I like the focus-able incan + the three power settings for the LEDs.

    Choose either five LEDs or three LEDs at low/high setting.

    Rechargeables go into the pack, the pack goes on the belt, and you're done. It's a "set it and forget it" kind of system. For me.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    vde, I just wish I had discovered headlamps a long time ago, they are simply too handy. I would have loved one at my last job where I did all the wiring and cable for the computer systems in the factory.
    Lee

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  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* JonSidneyB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    I have 5 stenlights right here.
    The Creator of the protected RCR123

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Krit's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: Headlamp recomendation please

    I use PT EOS. This model is full regulated luxeon one watt. Very good headlamp for me.

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