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Thread: Spot, Flood, Both?

  1. #1
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    Default Spot, Flood, Both?

    Are there any battery integrated headlamps that have two emitters (one spot and one flood) with a "Both" mode when both the spot and flood can be turn on at the same time as well as separately off course. This would be with high,med, low settings for decent run times.

    Also, are there any headlamps using two emitters where both emitters (spot and flood) are the same (just different optics).

    Usually the flood is some less efficient emitter.

    I'd like to see a headlamp with a rotating knob to set modes (flood,spot,both, red led) and a button to set on/low/med/high/off which would control whatever mode the knob was set to. Powered by two AA batteries would be optimal (would include lithium AA's).

    There are so many headlamps out there but they all seem to be more alike than different so they offer no choice or variety.

    When I see a headlamp with one good feature it usually has one terrible feature that eliminates it from my consideration.

    There are $20 flashlights out there that can be programmed by the user regarding preferences yet most headlamps use inferior flood emitters and most start in high and use AAA batteries.

    Even a basic model with only one emitter and a diffuser usually has a disqualifier such as the only emitter is a low power 5mm emitter and has high battery consumption.

    Someone with a decent robust efficient moderate powered headlamp would do quite well.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 05-20-2011 at 11:09 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    I think the Scurion does most of what you want - at a steep price. I think the new Petzl Pixa 3 might the flood and spot at the same time trick. I'd settle for a single emitter with a decent diffuser - the Petzl Tikka XP 2 has some good qualities, but the emitter isn't my favorite.

    Ted

  3. #3

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedh View Post
    I think the Scurion does most of what you want - at a steep price. I think the new Petzl Pixa 3 might the flood and spot at the same time trick. I'd settle for a single emitter with a decent diffuser - the Petzl Tikka XP 2 has some good qualities, but the emitter isn't my favorite.

    Ted
    That scurion looks really high tech sophisticated.... Really nice.

    Do you have any experience with it?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    By 'battery integrated', do you mean battery on the forehead or just on the headlamp somewhere?
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    By 'battery integrated', do you mean battery on the forehead or just on the headlamp somewhere?
    Forehead. I realize this limits using both emitters on high for very long. Using both on low or medium would work. I'm not even sure both would be that big a deal or useful. Just seems like someone would have offered that choice since the components are already there.

    Actually I think a BD Storm that started in low and would stay on one mode (flood or spot) upon startup rather than toggling each time it's powered up would work for me most of the time. A larger button would be nice as well.

    The more I look at all of the choices out there the more that I see the Storm actually is a pretty good light but that is only because of the very imperfect world of limited choices concerning headlamps.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 05-21-2011 at 01:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    From the current offerings, if it were me, I'd purchase a Spark and pull the reflector when I wanted flood. That would mean you'd have to stick the "spare part" in a pocket. If you wanted a directional flood, you could just use the diffusion filter that now comes with Sparks. Again, a separate part.

    I hope that some light manufacturer will put EXTERNAL THREADS on a light, like a camera lens does. Then we can thread on focusing lenses, diffusers, colored filters.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    ...battery integrated headlamp... two emitters (one spot and one flood) with a "Both" mode when both the spot and flood can be turn on at the same time as well as separately... where both emitters (spot and flood) are the same (just different optics)... with a rotating knob to set modes ... Powered by two AA batteries
    Petzl Pixa 3 comes closest to what you're looking for.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtunderground View Post
    Petzl Pixa 3 comes closest to what you're looking for.
    Except that it's really an industrial headlamp. It's big and heavy and underpowered. It's not for hiking/camping/mountaineering.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    5150Bronco - Sorry, never seen one in person. The caving crowd has said nice things; there is probably a forum around here somewhere.

    Bolster - Have you encountered the Pentagonlight MOLLE light? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagonlight, picture near the bottom of the article. It has exactly the threading arrangement you're talking about. Cleverly, the filters screwed onto the base. Unfortunately, they are no longer in production, but might still be available.

    Ted
    Last edited by tedh; 05-22-2011 at 12:49 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    I've been playing around with this idea a little more (and experimenting outside at night). What matters when hiking in the woods is not so much a high lumen output since a lot of the light hits the trees, bushes, etc. and is reflected back but being able to set the right level (ramping is helpful).

    If you get the flood or the spot too bright it becomes a negative thing quickly. I having a ramping headlamp and set that almost to its lowest setting for flood. I then took a XP-G light that has a low setting and held that just above my headlamp and used it as a spot light.

    That was a very good combination. If the spot is any more than the optimal level then its distracting to see the halo moving around in your periphery. With it at the optimum level there is no halo as it blends in. You can also just use a spot light with a piece of tape over it to act as a diffuser. It still throws further and is more directed than the flood light but in this manner the two light sources are seamless...no halo moving about.

    I'd love to see any option on the Storm for instance where I would be able to first set the lighting level for the spot and then for the flood and have those levels in memory. Then when you want both you just hit a button for "both" and it uses the pre-set levels for spot and flood.

    In most cases in my environment and from my testing it would be low flood and low spot or low flood and medium spot. This is even using a spot mode that I've already made more diffused than the stock version.

    It's quite a nice effect. That's the problem with most headlamps. They are either underpowered or overpowered with poor spacing of the settings. To me more user control means more than new models that just come out with higher output. It's the quality of the light settings rather than the shear lumens.

    I have flashlights in the 300-600 lumens range that are just annoying to use at night even if you are searching for something and can use the brighter light. The annoying part isn't the hotspot which is the part that you are actually using. It's that large halo that takes your eye away from what you are looking for because it's so distracting.

    With the option to set levels for spot and flood and then use them together you can tailor the lighting so that it's more effective at lower levels and more natural looking or at least more pleasing.

    I do find that most of the time it's the somewhat diffused spot mode that does most of the work but having a little flood helps fill in the gap right around your body so that you don't bump into things.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 05-25-2011 at 01:39 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    I'd love to see any option on the Storm for instance where I would be able to first set the lighting level for the spot and then for the flood and have those levels in memory. Then when you want both you just hit a button for "both" and it uses the pre-set levels for spot and flood.
    that sound exactly like a Scurion. check out the link.
    Last edited by robostudent5000; 05-25-2011 at 04:26 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by robostudent5000 View Post
    that sound exactly like a Scurion. check out the link.
    Thanks for the link. Interesting. It does sound exactly like what I was talking about. I didn't download the price list but in Googling I think I see a reference to $800 or so. Since the Storm does all that except for the memory and "both" switch for $50 I guess I'll have to pass on the Scurion but I would pay $75 or so to BD for a Storm 2

    While playing around tonight I figured out that what I really like in a flashlight apparently is a diffused beam. My general purpose flashlight is a 3 mode XP-G 18650 type of light. I figured the XP-G was a more general purpose beam than a XR-E since it has a larger hotspot but it's still annoying to me (as are all flashlights) due to the sharp cutoff from the outer edge of the spill to total darkness.

    I like the output but that halo effect is just distracting at night. I had some plastic diffusion filters from an old HID dive light that I have since sold and decided to cut out a piece to fit the P60 head of my XP-G light. I hadn't done this before since I figured it wouldn't throw enough to illuminate by backyard. I was wrong!

    Now I actually like this light. It still throws 100 feet or so (this is somewhat less than before but as much as I need from that light) but now there is no distracting edge.

    I think for my uses all lights other than single AAA lights should be like that unless it's an aspheric built just for throw. I have one of those as well. I see no need for hotspot/spill/sharp cutoff type of beams. Either diffused beams or hotspot/sharp cutoff like an aspheric beams (which is useful for checking out commotion in the backyard at night without light going into neighbors windows).

    I gradually figured that out for headlamps but I guess I'm just figuring that out for flashlights as well.

    I guess my cheap Scurion could be two Storms One worn as a necklace at chest level set to a low flood mode and the head mounted one would be for spot mode
    Last edited by gcbryan; 05-25-2011 at 02:54 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    I guess my cheap Scurion could be two Storms One worn as a necklace at chest level set to a low flood mode and the head mounted one would be for spot mode
    yeah. i tried that with an Eos and my RR mule floody - Eos on my head, RR floody on shoulder strap. it works pretty good, albeit a bit clunky. if you go with two lamps, i think you'd be better off using a dedicated floody like a Zebra H501 for the second lamp instead of going with another Storm. you'd get a greater range of brightness to play with that way. plus the Zebra has more mounting options.

    i had tried mounting lights on various parts of my pack or wearing a lamp as a belt or necklace before and really didn't like how i had to turn my body to point the light. but with the floody, since it illuminates such a wide angle, the pointing issue is not an issue. still, i don't know how i feel about wearing two lights at once though.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    I'm not really interested in wearing two lights unless it was just to experiment a bit more. I am finding out that the lights don't have to be that bright if you get them adjusted just right.

    The extra flood is nice to have but the main beam with a little translucent tape actually works pretty well. Still it's nice to experiment a bit if for no other reason than if a suitable new light comes out I'll know exactly what I want and what combinations work best.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 05-25-2011 at 03:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    I have a small 30-50lumen Energizer that allows for both flood and spot at the same time.

    it runs on 2x AAA iirc.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisrupTer911 View Post
    I have a small 30-50lumen Energizer that allows for both flood and spot at the same time.

    it runs on 2x AAA iirc.
    How do you like that effect and where did you buy it?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    I got it from Target I think.

    being that it's not a fancy light with cree LEDs or anything, spot or flood by themselves to me, on non-fresh batteries is nearly useless.
    but together, i can use it when camping to setup a tent or find something in my gear no problem.

    It's really just a backup light I carry just in case I need it or someone I'm with does. It's also lightweight so my GF doesn't complain about using it.
    this is it



    • 2 lighting modes:
      2 bright white Nichia LED’s deliver ~ 28 lumens with 50 hour run time
      1 bright red night vision LED with 150 hour run time
    • Pivoting head
    • On/off slide switch
    • Adjustable elastic headband
    • Packed with 3AAA long lasting Energizer® MAX® alkaline batteries

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Spot, Flood, Both?

    The ubiquitous Energizer with quote-unquote "flood" option. I own this light and cannot recommend it if you need flood. What they call "flood" is just another slightly wider, slightly fuzzier, narrow angle beam. No adjustment of brightness. Beam artifacts. Must click through all the modes to find the one you want. You can make it somewhat more useable if you pull off the lens and bead-blast it to get the beam to spread a little more. That also gets rid of some of the nastier artifacts.

    The one thing I do like about it, is that it's got a reasonably white tint for an inexpensive lamp. And it's reasonably bright, too. So if all you need is bright, focused light that's inexpensive, it'll do.

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