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Thread: What's your ideal headlamp?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* FlashSpyJ's Avatar
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    Default Which headlamp do I want??

    Just discoverd that I need a headlamp!

    Was out in the woods the other day, and felt that I really need a headlamp!

    The size shouldnt be bigger than ex Pricneton Tec Quad. 3AAA batts are fine.

    Output should be very low, absolute under 10 lumen, or ability to choose a lower level! I used my Fenix P2D with its low, but it was to bright, would guess around 5 lumen or so would be sufficient.

    Price, not over $35 including shipping. Would guess the shipping would be around $10-15, so max price would be $20-$25.

    have had a look at petzl e+lite, the only thing about that one is the batterys. I dont know if thats good or bad for me, dont think I would be changing alot of batterys on it.. really like the two stage output, plus a red led!

    Let me know what you guys think!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* half-watt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashSpyJ View Post
    Just discoverd that I need a headlamp!

    Was out in the woods the other day, and felt that I really need a headlamp!

    The size shouldnt be bigger than ex Pricneton Tec Quad. 3AAA batts are fine.

    Output should be very low, absolute under 10 lumen, or ability to choose a lower level! I used my Fenix P2D with its low, but it was to bright, would guess around 5 lumen or so would be sufficient.

    Price, not over $35 including shipping. Would guess the shipping would be around $10-15, so max price would be $20-$25.

    have had a look at petzl e+lite, the only thing about that one is the batterys. I dont know if thats good or bad for me, dont think I would be changing alot of batterys on it.. really like the two stage output, plus a red led!

    Let me know what you guys think!



    it sounds like your needs are not very demanding for a headlamp. even a young, healthy person with no contributing factors for less than optimum low light vision won't spot landmarks in the dark or blazes marking turns in trails at 20'-30' with just 5lumens of light output. so, to me, it sounds like you need just enough light to take a stroll on an undemanding path and be able to see 5'-10' in front of you. nothing wrong with that at all. just bringing this perception i have from your Post, so that my following recommendation will have some context for interpretation.

    It sounds like all you only need a 2x5mm or 3x5mm white LED headlamp. A Petzl Tikkina or a Black Diamond Wiz or Gizmo would fit the bill - one has 2x5mm white LEDs and the other has 3x5mm (my old-timers is actin' up so i forget which has which). The two BD headlamps have a lo and high setting. The 2x5mm i like more than the 3x5mm. Batt life on the 3x5mm was shorter than i expected. I was less disappointed by the 2x5mm BD (Wiz???) and actually enjoyed it a bit. it just might meet your requirements. they market it as a child's headlamp (i call it "Baby's first headlamp"), but i really was impressed with it - NOT that it's a great headlamp, but for the price and form factor and being just 2x5mm white LEDs with both HI and LO (and flash, if i recall correctly - my memory isn't too good for some things any longer) it seemed like a decent headlamp. price is good too.

    if you want the Tikkina, try to find a pre-06 specimen. Why? i'm forgetting the exact timeframe, but i believe it was '06 (unlikely,but possibly '05 - time slips by when one is on in years) Petzl switched to the newer 2x as bright white LEDs. these will produce too much light for you based upon your 5lumen upper limit requirement.

    i can't recommend even an older pre-'06 Tikka or Zipka (3x5mm) because they only have one brightness setting and that will also be above you 5lumen upper limit when the batts are fresh.

    that upper lumen limit of yours makes much above a single LED Photon Microlight (or equivalent) more than you have specified. Check REIoutlet.com, they had for just shy of $12 an eGear (rebranded Nuwai???) headlamp with 1x5mm LED, if i recall correctly, that used 1xAA batt with a Plano-Convex lens for focusing the beam. You could take that lens out if you want flood and replace it with a proper sized flat "lens". I've done that and switch back and forth if i want spot rather than flood and vice versa. it's not terribly bright, though it has some throw, for a little guy, with the plano-convex lens.

    Coast also makes a 1xAAA single white LED headlamp. Gerber Tracer with 2x5mm, powered by 1xAAA (VERY POOR construction) suffers from occasional bad connection after changing the battery. i don't recommend the Gerber.

    i'd just like to address the Petzl e+LITE. what i'm about to say applies to ALL Li coin cell headlamps, with the possible exception of the PT Scout.

    Battery life/burntime/runtime IS THE ISSUE with Li coin cell headlamps. Manufacturer's make wild claims of 10-20 hours (and even up to 100hours in some cases for 1x5mm RED LED models), but in actuality they produce only about 30minutes of BRIGHT (for a single LED, that is) light.

    Take for example the Petzl e+LITE powered by 2xCR2032 Li coin cells having 225mAh of stored energy each.

    according to one on-line review, on fresh batts the e+LITE produced, on HI, approx. 300 lux at two feet (why two feet instead of 1m or 1' - i don't know why the reviewer picked that distance). however, 30minutes later it was down to approx 75 lux (right where LOW mode starts out) and both modes, i.e. HI and LO, followed each other closely at around 25 lux from two hours on.

    a single AAA or AA powered headlamp is a far better solution, IMO.

    The Princeton Tec Scout is a bit different. Only 2x5mm LEDs, but it is powered by 4xCR2032 batts and has 3 intensity modes (LO, MED, HI) plus flash.

    you can buy CR2032 batteries in bulk for about 50 cents each and in single quantities from BrightGuy.com for maybe 70 or 80 cents each (sorry, i forget).

    i hope this info was clear and will prove to be helpful to you.

    if you have any specific questions i failed to answer, just reply and i'll try to answer them.

    last year, i switched from headlamps to a Fenix flashlight either clipped to my ballcap brim/visor or side-mounted in a JakStrap headband. The L0D-CE has only 7.5 lumen output on LOW and a decent burntime and weighs under an ounce. Plus you have the 50lumen MAX output mode if you ever need it. I'd highly recommend you give it a try.

    by the way, i own all of the above (and dozens more different headlamps) and have first-hand experience with them all. so, i'm not just "parroting" something i read somewhere.

    my two shekels. as always this is only my opinion ("opinions are like arm pits, everyone has 'em and they usually stink" is what my Pappy told me when i was kid - he had a lot of wise farmer sayings as i called them then).

    YMMV (your mileage may vary).
    Last edited by half-watt; 07-24-2007 at 10:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    http://flashlightreviews.com/reviews...ght_enduro.htm <---- Streamlight Enduro/River Rock 2AAA headlamp.

    Enduro mods
    Last edited by eebowler; 07-24-2007 at 11:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* half-watt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    Quote Originally Posted by eebowler View Post
    http://flashlightreviews.com/reviews...ght_enduro.htm <---- Streamlight Enduro/River Rock 2AA headlamp.

    Enduro mods

    good call. i own one. very nice headlamp. very good runtime on LO.

    i should have included it even though on LO it is just above his 5lumen upper limit cut-off. after all, it is only rated at 6lumens on LO. close enough to 5lumens i figure.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    I use a PT Apex, which on its lowest setting, is probably too bright for you. But my gf uses a Petzl Tikka XP, which on its lowest setting might be dim enough. Or, her previous headlamp was a Tikka Plus, which probably went low enough. I don't know if Petzl still sells the Tikka Plus though. It's a nice, small, light headlamp.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    Another awesome headlamp is the 1AA Rayovac Sportsman Extreme headlamp available at Wal-Mart. $18.83. Includes a flip over diffuser to turn the luxeon into a floodlight.
    Fenix L1P, L2D CE, L0P SE, Zebralight Q5 CREE headlamp, Huntlight ft02x, Tikka XP, PT Aurora & Eclipse 2, SL ProPoly 4aa Lux and Twintask 1L, Inova X1, Dorcy 1aaa, MagLED 2AA, Nuwai HLX-712L, Akoray K-106 AA, Rayovac 1AA headlamp.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* FlashSpyJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    Thanks Half-Watt for your answer! Lots of lights to check up on!

    I found some of them to be good contestors (spelling?)!


    Have to do some more reading!
    Last edited by FlashSpyJ; 07-26-2007 at 05:49 AM.

  8. #8

    Default What's The Best Headlamp

    I need a new headlamp. I have one of the small Petzl e+lite that I received as a gift and now I'm hooked. I never knew how handy these things are. I'd really like one with varible brightness that runs on AA's. Preferably one that I can adjust to get long runtimes. What do you think would be the best headlamp?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic SaVaGe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp

    j֥ Th Lf Wth LT f Lm

  10. #10
    Flashaholic tazambo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp

    I'm thinking this is in the wrong thread.... (?Headlamps?)

    I suggest something slightly cheaper than the options given above (very nice options however).

    I have a Princeton Tec EOS, 3AAA batteries, RRP about $30.
    Very favored by modders if you want it made even better.

    PT Apex runs on 4AA's or Apex Pro runs on 2 R123's, considered to be one of the best, obviously bigger and heavier. Batteries worn on rear of the head.

    Also look here
    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/rev..._headlamps.htm

    Regards
    Dave
    Last edited by tazambo; 08-19-2007 at 03:20 PM. Reason: spelling
    --------

  11. #11

    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp

    The PT Apex or SL Argo HP are both great choices. The Argo HP really shines with a Seoul mod and a 17670.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp

    Stenlight S7

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp


  14. #14
    * The Arctic Moderator * Sigman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp

    Merged a couple like threads...

    NOTE:
    Numerous like threads exist in the headlamps archive, but I seem to be having "merge problems" for some reason?!
    -"Must control self"-
    ....

  15. #15

    Default Re: What's The Best Headlamp

    The best lamp is the one that last forever.
    Think about mother earth: only use rechargeable cells.
    ''A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.'' -George Moore

  16. #16

    Default What's your ideal headlamp?

    Im interested in what you would consider an ideal headlamp. No matter how many headlamps come out, I never seem to find my ideal HL. I came up with a list of what that would entail.

    3AAA or 2AA (in front)
    No top strap
    Cree or Seoul LED
    Regulated circuit
    Lithium capable
    3 brightness levels / 1 strobe
    Smooth reflector (spot / throw)
    Clear/Red/Green Lenses
    Rotating Diffuser (diffusing whatever color lens you have in)

    Different models hit on some, but never all of these. For example, the Tikka XP is 3AAA, has no top strap, has 3 brightness levels/1 strobe and has the diffuser. But it is a non-regulated Luxeon which cannot take lithiums. And I think white is the only color flavor. The standard Tikka/Zipka has the red/green/clear lenses, but loses the diffuser. And it not only drops to 3 small LEDs, it is still non-regulated and cannot take lithiums. The PT EOS gets pretty close; 3AAA, no top strap, regulation, lithiums, 3 brightness levels/1 strobe and a good spot reflector. But it lacks a diffuser, a Cree/Seoul and, again, youre stuck with only white. I know I could get closer by modding it with a Seoul and adding the diffuser assembly from the new Ray-o-vac, but youre looking at @ $70 for parts (its hard for me to justify $18.88 for a diffuser) and I would still lack color options.

    The closest Ive come is a mini-mag with a nite-ize headband, IQ Switch and TerraLux TLA-5EX. With that I have 2AA, no top strap, the Seoul, semi-regulation, lithium capability, 3 brightness levels/2 strobes and a (relatively) smooth reflector. I then use the anti-roll ring to hold a red and/or sanded (diffusing) lens in if needed. The downside: The light is on the side of my head, the IQ zaps some of my lumens, no green and it cost between $50-60.

    Surely someone could come up with all this for $40. Oh, well a fellow can dream
    Last edited by 2ManyLights; 08-20-2007 at 03:51 PM.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's you ideal headlamp?

    I was going to suggest Tikka XP - but then I read you already considered this. I wish Petzl would make an updated version with a Cree/Seoul LED, the absence of regulation isn't a bad thing for some people (you always know how much of battery life is left, it doesn't just stop working after X hours, longer runtime...). The impossibility to use lithium batteries is a drawback (what battery to choose for winter ). I have been using it for a year now - it's a headlamp that suits my needs the best.

    I am looking forward to the Zebralight headlamp, but it's not exactly what are you looking for (runs on 1AA, uses Cree, regulated, very small, no top strap, HAIII body, no optic/reflector - no hotspot, just spill, but no info about filters)
    Last edited by Daniel_sk; 08-20-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    That is a good lamp. Let me say that I am certainly not trying to bash any lamp or anyone's reason for choosing them. I guess I'm interested in what people would deem "ideal" and where I fit into (or do not) the general population. I'm confident that my "ideal" lamp does not exist. I just thought it would give you everything. (Light battery weight, ability to wear with/without a hat, today's most efficient LED, non-diminishing light level, long battery life, variable light levels, distance and proximty lighting and various color) But "everything" is a very subjective term.
    Last edited by 2ManyLights; 08-20-2007 at 04:20 PM.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    Yes, it's always a compromise - there isn't an ideal headlamp/flashlight...
    Your idea of an perfect headlamp is very similar to mine, I would prefer a 2AA setup (don't like odd number of batteries).
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  20. #20

    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    1AA OR 14500 in the front. I'd mainly use 14500, but AA is nice backup option
    no top strap
    Cree or SSC
    Waterproof
    Regulated with low-batt flicker and multiple levels

    I'd keep that one in my jacket pocket.

    I'd also like to have a slightly bigger one -
    two 18650s in a rear battery pack
    top strap
    variable focus
    Cree or SSC
    Waterproof
    Regulated with low-batt flicker and multiple levels including 1A

    I used to use my original Tika and Myo5 as little EDC/big beamer, but now they seem dim compared to my Cree/SSC handhelds
    Last edited by Vermonter73; 08-20-2007 at 06:05 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    I've been interested in what would happen if you took the Petzl Tikka XP, replaced the Lux I LED with a CREE or SSC LED and then ran it with lithiums. I think the upgraded LED should easily be able to handle the higher discharge of the lithiums. The only problem then is that your light might be too bright.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    1aa is certainly the sweetest battery setup for just about anything. So I'd go for the Ray-o-vac or Zebralight.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    Love my Streamlight Argo HP.

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    +1 on argo HP, stock it's 70% of my satisfaction, most other headlamps I have read about or tried barely meet 50% satisfaction level...

    SSCing it will make it 85% of what I want out of a headlamp.

    a 3rd lower level would be nice for after the upgrade.

    To get to 100% satisfaction, I need a perfectly flat regulated, 1x18650 powered, 3 level output (20mA, 200mA, 800mA) SSC with a smooth wide spot diffused to a very wide even spill. Operation must be by 1 reliable button to cycle through modes with. And I'd like the 18650 on the back of my head to balance the weight better.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    http://www.basegear.com/princetonscout.html
    if you can find a good source of 2032s...

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    For me the ultimate headlamp would have:

    - Very low level red led (to perserve nightvision)
    - Low level white (for reading)
    - Medium level white (for general use)
    - High level white flood
    - High level white spot
    - Ultra high level flood & spot

    How do you get all these modes in one headlamp? I'm thinking something like the Stenlight, with a flood optic on one led and a spot optic on the other. And add 2 white leds and a red led, and ofcourse a nice switch/interface to access all mentioned levels.
    And I'd prefer a behind the head batterypack, to keep it balanced a bit.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    Ideal for me is:

    3W of possible power, luxIII is fine, cree more efficient
    levels Full Med Low and soooo low its like 1/3rd of a 5mm led
    Boost, having a 30sec boost button is cool, from any level up 1 level
    10* 25* and 50* focus or diffusion changable with instant method, could be done best with correct zoom optics
    water resistant
    lightweight li-ion power on back, so weight is balanced, 2400ma minimum. li-ion 40% lighter than ni-mhy or alkie
    over voltage protection, no regulation for extensive declining runtime. why run out ever, drift off instead
    3 strap headband, so the straps can be very loose, make the top one removable with velcro, for them that dont want one
    tiltable without Clicks
    padded properly so the hunk areas are soft, yet dont decompose from acidic skin oils.
    Metal heat sinc, or simple lightweight metal body connected to led base for heat removal.
    3oz total weight
    All low profile, so it doesnt look like some contraption on your head.
    AND
    when you pull it off your head, it folds up and forms a hand held flashlight.

    did i miss anything :-)
    oh i forgot the high brightness tritium locator, so you can find it in the dark, like the 3mmx23mm one
    Last edited by VidPro; 08-24-2007 at 09:26 AM.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic whippoorwill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which headlamp do I want??

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackDecker View Post
    Another awesome headlamp is the 1AA Rayovac Sportsman Extreme headlamp available at Wal-Mart. $18.83. Includes a flip over diffuser to turn the luxeon into a floodlight.
    +1. This headlamp has a few shortcomings, but it is real close to the perfect headlamp. I use a PT Eos when hunting but this one is now my backup.
    Those who refuse to change will find themselves perfectly adapted to a world that no longer exists.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    My ideal headlamp has a narrow long throwing beam, a built in diffuser, and switch that has 4 rotary positions with a push button (like the Gladius). The 1st postion would be lock-out and the other three positions operate like the Gladius in constant mode where it remembers your setting - press and hold to ramp output up or down. That way the headlamp would have three completely customizable settings. The emitter would be a 3W Cree. It would, of course, have a low enough low power setting.

    In the mean time, I use a PT Quad or EOS. Both are great lights.
    Last edited by matthewdanger; 08-24-2007 at 11:48 AM.



  30. #30
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    Default Re: What's your ideal headlamp?

    - 2AA batts in the main housing
    - power jack to plug in pocketable or belt-clipped li-ion or other big battery pack
    - couple of different battery packs available. "big" and "huge" capacity.
    - no strap over the head
    - nothing behind the head (so I can read in my tent)
    - 1 Cree or better, with beam shape similar to stock Apex
    - 2nd Cree or better, with diffuser or something, aimed a tad lower than 1st LED.
    - Like Apex, separate switches for the two LEDs
    - power levels = max, medium, and low (lower than Apex's low) or better yet, knob for infinite adjustment
    - can turn on both LEDs simultaneously, no time limit
    - heatsink (don't care how much the headlamp sticks out of my forehead)
    - power-saver mode
    - red lens can be slid in front of LEDs
    - helmet mountable with adaptor

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