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Thread: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

  1. #1

    Default Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    So bassically me and some mates are doing a pretty epic enduro run event which will involve night running

    Problem is im looking for a headlight that is quality. ie the ones you buy from shops.
    I have found out through mountain biking that buying lights like my current XML CREE T6 are pretty powerfull compared to "off the shelf" ones and a hell of a lot cheaper.

    Question is this:

    Need a light non torch(tried and fell off) which i can use with a headstrap securely enough that i can run with it,

    Also need something pretty light, even if it means having spare battery packs carrying with me then changing if the runtime isnt great ie min runtime needs to be around 2 hours.

    I have seen this setup which looks good Magicshine MyTinySun HEAD 1000.

    But ofc it silly over priced, and sure a much cheaper setup can be made, things i like are the fact that the light and battery are en-cased well and all you need is to plug them together ie no exsposed wires ect.


    I live in UK so maybe that helps with anything ie suppliers ect.

    hopefully you pros can give some good advice, thanks
    Last edited by Norm; 02-29-2012 at 06:48 PM. Reason: Sales Link removed / Language.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    I expect this will be moved to headlights soon enough, as there are a few threads already about head torches for running.

    Your high lumen desires are because you're running on trails in the dark, right? Otherwise, there are plenty of 100-150 lumen units under $100 (70 quid) that would suit.

    If you have time to wait for various suppliers, you can build your own for a little less than the mytinysun you described. Visit the diy lighting forum of mtbr dot com and see what people have been doing with the easy2led housing.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* CarpentryHero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Zebralight H600 should do nicely, it's the smallest 750 lumen headlamp I can think of.
    Spark Headlamps are really well made too
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Search of "running" in titles only, headlamp forum.

    CLICKY




  5. #5

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    i did actually do a search but a lot of the running topics were 2009 so imagine the tech within them is riped by now,also some of the beam pictures are exspired sadly.

    I was actually thinking about getting magicshine style light ie like my T6 Cree xml and mounting it onto a headstrap, but ofc i would need a differant battery pack ie one that is lighter than the standard 4 pack cube one, something more flatter, but still self contained.

    Thanks for telling me about Zebralight H600, i have never heard of them tbh so have no idea how bright they are, or more importantly floody they are.(any good videos of the H600 around?/same goes for the spark headlights, any good compariosion vids)

    Again sinse im UK i havnt heard much of the zebra or spark lights so finding a supplier might be tricky, but if they are good then will be well worthwhile, given they are built for purpose.

    Budget wise im looking around 30-50 quid as my T6 Cree XML cost be £30 ish and its very good but not suited for running due to being too spotty/heavy batery pack and the mounting would be a issue.

    More advice allways welcome, and more info about spark and the zebra lights would be great ie more details about them compared to my bike T6 light be good to know

  6. #6

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    this thread and the threads linked in it might help.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Like i said i did search before hand and saw that topic, the only issue with these lights is that getting them in the UK is bloody hard.

    The spark looks great but given it cost around 99 dollars this means it going to cost most likely £100+ quid which is too exspencive for what i am looking for,(looking for £30-50ish)

    so any other suggestions? still considering the magicshine and mounting it somehow if i cant find a decent priced headlight setup.

    Zebralight H600 looks great but where can you buy it in UK sinse only one i can find is £76 and doesnt include battery or charging gear so thats easly another 20quid+ so thats £90 for a flashlight which for that price i could get a pretty good magicshine.....

  8. #8

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    i did actually search before posting and saw that topic,

    Main issues are finding a UK supplier and the ones who do supply the zebralight sell them at £76 quid which i think is quite exspencive given they dont include battery or charger so thats another £20 ontop of that....£90+ for a headlamp is pretty much into magicshine zone and a pretty decent magicshine at that price too....

    So i would like to find something cheaper around £30-50 like i orginally said.

    If i not able to find a headlight that suits needs then it going to be a DIY job which going to be complicated or most likely getting a magicshine and somehow mounting it securely onto head.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    you might want to re post this question in the Headlamps sub-forum. you'll probably get better responses if you do.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Honestly, and I really don't want to sound like a quality snob, your price range isn't going to get you anything really good. The MS unit, if you strap it to your head, is too heavy IMO. Going diy still means your'e going to break the bank with batteries and charger. Maybe something from dx/fleabay could turn out adequate, but I'd hate to be out in the middle of the night and finding out the battery contacts are bad. Try the headlamps sub forum, just watch out for the advice coming from the guys that never run a mile in their life.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
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    Default

    completely agree.



    2nd point: there are a few "wrong" things with Your search:

    1st of all: My H600 - bought directly from zebralight - costed me the equivalent of Pound 56,--
    Charger and cells for additional ~ 12,-- (pound)
    --> get them both from cheapo shop dealextreme.
    --> Or Cells from brand "AW", and some charger for them, both from some reliable shop, like lighthound, or ...

    the zebra - while not 750 but more like 400-500 lumen in a constant drive mode - is MORE than enough for running
    but
    its a headlamp.
    If You run difficult terrain, then the non present shadows from this setup might cause problems; one should add an additional lamp, placed somewhere at hip height.

    The magicshine is crap for running. Running means LIGHT equipment, and there is nothing as light as the H600.
    Beam is on the wider side, perfect for walking and running, slightly not far enough reaching for speed (biking, sledging).

    I do not like the rubber like mounting and would prefer one from plastic that is stiffer. Have modded the part with a thin plastic plate.
    If You have a handheld light You like to use instead, just put it onto Your head with some light-mounting headband, no high tech unobtainable here.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    One cheapy that you might want to consider is an Alpkit Gamma. Just over a tenner, delivered, with good batteries. Pros: it's pretty light, balanced front to back, has a strap over the top so is stable when running. Somewhat bright. Neat red light on the back. Surprisingly decent quality for the money. On the downside, it's 3xAAA, so not super burn time. Not regulated. The part that stops me from using it on trail most of the time is that it's a very tight spot beam, so if you've got it focussed 10 feet ahead, there's very little spill, especially at your feet.

    I wish I had experience with the LED Lenser h7... that might also be a candidate, but I've seen lots of criticism of its build quality.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow View Post
    completely agree.



    2nd point: there are a few "wrong" things with Your search:

    1st of all: My H600 - bought directly from zebralight - costed me the equivalent of Pound 56,--
    Charger and cells for additional ~ 12,-- (pound)
    --> get them both from cheapo shop dealextreme.
    --> Or Cells from brand "AW", and some charger for them, both from some reliable shop, like lighthound, or ...

    the zebra - while not 750 but more like 400-500 lumen in a constant drive mode - is MORE than enough for running
    but
    its a headlamp.
    If You run difficult terrain, then the non present shadows from this setup might cause problems; one should add an additional lamp, placed somewhere at hip height.
    Like i said and you have said many people here dont run, so their advice is going to be taken with some salt given some lights arent at all suited for running, thus i testing them atm.

    You said you got the H600 for £56 quid....where i ask as cheapest i can find is £76 quid,
    Ofc i would get a quality battery with it if i got the H600 but that ofc going to cost around £26 roughly,

    Has anyone got a comparision video./review of the H600 compared to say my T6 Cree XML bike light?? as id like to see the output of the zebralight in reality rather than the fake pictures i can see around the web which clearly been doctorered.

    thanks

  14. #14

    Buttrock Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    I have the SC600 and SC600W (Warm version), the flashlight versions of the H600 (Same lighting).

    The beam is pure flood..you won't have the same kind of "bouncing ball of light" effect that a more focused beam gets you when running as your aim bobs up/down, etc...as the entire path is lit up from in front of you, to 40-50 meters away...and its darker beyond that, as the light doesn't throw per se, other than by shear horsepower.


    Control shot - Dark



    Control Shot - Camera Flash




    Zebra Light SC600W (Warmer color tint)



    600W



    600W



    600W






    SC600 (These are the non-W versions...cool white color tint)



    SC600




    SC600



    SC600



    SC600



    Pointed down at grass...SC600 left/SC600W on rt



    Control Dark 2



    Control Flash 2



    SC600W



    SC600


    So, my camera sucks for night pics...but, if you can assume the scene was actually quite sharp in real life, there was actually no glare in real life...and you could easily resolve grass and dead leaves and rocks and sticks, etc....

    You can see that the quality of the illumination is pretty good for running....essentially, a ball of light in front of you...and on the ones where the light was aimed more to the side, etc...you can see without being blocked by the tree, etc...that the light projects quite a way off...that white house in the last set is ~ 30 meters away.

    In the 1st set, The chainlink fence/pine trees are about 50' away, and the first big Elm tree on the other side of the fence is ~ 15' past the fence, with the second big Elm about 50' past the 1st one, or ~ 115' total. (~38 yards)

    The next line of trees, just visible immediately to the left and well behind the first pine tree, in the lawn to the left of it...is even further away, closer to 200' range (~60 meters).

    So, that range gives a good amount of lead time to avoid obstacles, recognize holes and roots to trip on, etc...from a single cell light ~ 4" in length.

    The H600 version puts out the same beam, but mounts to your head, etc.

    Hope that helps!


    PS - My perspective is that for a race that you put a lot of time and effert into preparing for, equipping for, and finally running...considering what you might pay for the right running shoes, socks, and other gear...lighting equipment can be even more important on a night run, and saving a few quid but turning an ankle is NOT a great trade off.

    Last edited by TEEJ; 03-20-2012 at 03:27 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    has no one mentioned the Spark ST6? i don't run trails at night, so take this with a grain of salt, but it seems to me like that would be better than a ZL H600, no? it comes with a top strap so it's probably a little better bounce wise than a H600. and if i'm not mistaken, is a bit cheaper than the H600 in the UK (£67 on amazon.co.uk). it comes with both a clear lens and a frosted lens so that you can change the beam to your liking. and supposedly isn't as picky about working on cheaper cells. here's a link to a review with beamshots.
    Last edited by robostudent5000; 03-20-2012 at 07:01 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    I like this comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastandbulbus View Post
    Try the headlamps sub forum, just watch out for the advice coming from the guys that never run a mile in their life.
    I agree with that the vertical strap on the st6 will probably provide more stability than the zebralight. The choice to swap between frosted and clear lens, is a good feature to have. If you need more flood and less hot spot for your running, swap over to the frosted lens.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    The ST6 has less than half the power, dropping down to ~ 300-ish lumens on high after it warms up, etc....so you have less light to SEE with.

    So, sure, you can get dimmer and dimmer lights for lower and lower price points...and, if its very important to save money on a light vs maximizing the competitive advantage of being able to see better at night than the people you are running against...then that works too.

    Just run a little slower and more carefully to compensate for not being able to see as well...and if you place lower at the finish line, or turn your ankle on a depression you didn't notice, you can console yourself with the $ you saved.


  18. #18

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    The ST6 has less than half the power, dropping down to ~ 300-ish lumens on high after it warms up, etc....so you have less light to SEE with.

    So, sure, you can get dimmer and dimmer lights for lower and lower price points...and, if its very important to save money on a light vs maximizing the competitive advantage of being able to see better at night than the people you are running against...then that works too.

    Just run a little slower and more carefully to compensate for not being able to see as well...and if you place lower at the finish line, or turn your ankle on a depression you didn't notice, you can console yourself with the $ you saved.
    newer Sparks don't step down apparently, and can stay at max until the battery drains. the H600 steps down from max after just 3 minutes. so based on your own reasoning, the ST6 is actually better suited to the task.

    but anyway, it's not as if he's gonna use it on full burn the whole night, right? if he needs 400+ lumens all night long, he should be looking at something with a battery pack. otherwise he's gonna have to stop every couple hours for a battery change.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    While it's nice to have super bright modes, I find for most my purposes 100-200 lumens is plenty. On my spark st5, for close-medium work the ~50 lumen mode is enough (and still gives me a good night of runtime). I guess in the end it depends on what you use it for.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* f22shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by hazna View Post
    While it's nice to have super bright modes, I find for most my purposes 100-200 lumens is plenty. On my spark st5, for close-medium work the ~50 lumen mode is enough (and still gives me a good night of runtime). I guess in the end it depends on what you use it for.
    This is the real choice. I'm not sure if you get any more output with 14500.
    H600 would be a joke with no topstrap. St6 although with a topstrap I think a bit too heavy for running.
    St5 is light enough. Maybe run on high and swap battery when needing.
    If I had to have output then I would use st6. But I find with actual use I like the st5 better.
    I also like h501 on high if I'm familiar with the running loop.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    To the OP,
    I am an avid runner, and regularly run 4-10 miles before sun up on a pitch black trail in the woods. I have done tons of running on streets as well before sun up using various lights. I've been on the hunt for the best running headlight for a few years, and have bought many many lights & tried many options. To get to the point, currently the best all around set up for long distance running in the dark is by far the Zebralight H600 using a NiteIze headband (bought my headband from batteryjunction.com). The headband that comes with the Zebralight will bounce all around, but the inexpensive but very durable NiteIze headband is perfect & won't bounce around at all. I've covered this set up on several running threads before, and would direct you to read those threads. Click on each of the links below:

    Ultra Runner Needs Help Choosing Headlamp

    Which One Should I Get For Running - START READING AT POST #33

    Headlamp For Running

  22. #22
    Flashaholic*
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    Default

    I dont get it ...

    open Google, type in "zebralight", open 1st hit - which is Zebralight.com
    --> H600 = $ 89,-- = GBP 56,--
    no shipping (I just checked my invoice)
    ... Sorry, but maybe one deserves to pay GBP ~76, if sooo lazy at price checking?




    as I already posted, I also dont like the wobby mounting part of the headband.
    Therefore have put some stiffer foam like material "behind" it, now its ok.
    The idea of using an additional falshlight holding head strap is also quite good, better than mounting around with the original.
    ... waiting for the H600 band to get the plastic holder like the small models

    PS: The H600 is the most extreme small and light 18650 light I have ever seen, therefore it works good, also without the middle strap. No need to have it too tight (which does cause me headaches with more heavy lights)

  23. #23

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by robostudent5000 View Post
    newer Sparks don't step down apparently, and can stay at max until the battery drains. the H600 steps down from max after just 3 minutes. so based on your own reasoning, the ST6 is actually better suited to the task.

    but anyway, it's not as if he's gonna use it on full burn the whole night, right? if he needs 400+ lumens all night long, he should be looking at something with a battery pack. otherwise he's gonna have to stop every couple hours for a battery change.


    That ignores the fact that a stepped down sc600 is twice as bright instead of more than twice as bright.


  24. #24

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    That ignores the fact that a stepped down sc600 is twice as bright instead of more than twice as bright.
    huh?

  25. #25
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Outdoorsman5, thank you for your very helpful advice. I'm looking to run a base of 45 miles per week year-round and quite a few of my runs will be in the dark.

    I have ordered a Zebralight H51W and have just found a NiteIze headband in my cupboard that I must have had for about 15 years and have never used!

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Andrews View Post
    Outdoorsman5, thank you for your very helpful advice. I'm looking to run a base of 45 miles per week year-round and quite a few of my runs will be in the dark.

    I have ordered a Zebralight H51W and have just found a NiteIze headband in my cupboard that I must have had for about 15 years and have never used!
    I'm glad it was helpful to you. I really like all of my zebralights. All of them are useful, and fill the gap that so many other headlights couldn't. I find myself liking one for a while only to pickup one of my other zebralights & discovering all over again how useful it is. I can't say this about many of the previous headlights I've owned over the years. I liked them & they were useful, but none of them became timeless. I could honestly see myself using these zebralights for a very long time, and believe them to be a good investment.

    I like being well equipped for my runs before sun up, and love being prepared for the next adventure (hiking, camping, hunting, & fishing trips.) I have a wife & 3 young kids, and we all dream of doing this kind of stuff more often. Having good equipment makes it all the more fun.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Outdoorsman5, I notice from here and the other threads that all your ZL are cool white. Have you ever tried the neutrals?

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head torch setup for RUNNING!

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    Outdoorsman5, I notice from here and the other threads that all your ZL are cool white. Have you ever tried the neutrals?
    I actually have two neutrals from zebralight (H51w and a H501w.) I also have two Quarks with neutrals LED's. For a general use light, I now absolutely prefer neutral tint.....can't believe it cus I used to not care at all. But with the cool white tint I still notice better contrast in the woods WHEN RUNNING. For general use the neutral tint looks nicer in the woods and everywhere else, but to my eyes (ymmv) the cool white just seems brighter even when comparing the same lumens. The cool white tint also seems to help me see better when moving quickly. I kind of wish it were different since I now prefer neutral tint, but all in all it is not a big difference. I could just run my neutral light on a higher level. It may not be this way for everyone, but seems to be for me.

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