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Thread: Red headlamp choices again.

  1. #1

    Default Red headlamp choices again.

    I hate to ask a noob question, but well, here I am.

    I need a red LED headlamp that is fairly bright and runs off of AAA batteries, but all of my searches have been too generic and resulted in a TON of white lights that either have the word red in the description or "also include" red LED's. I have bought 3 headlamps off the net so far thinking I had found what I seek, but so far I am a bust.

    Here's my requirements:
    AAA batteries, regulated output. [I have a go-pro camera that takes AAA's and has no workable battery gauge, so I have a metric ton of 1/2 used lithium AAA's. Having a headlamp run out of batteries and require replacements is no big deal, having a camera go dead in the middle of recording *is* a big deal, so swapping the batteries in the camera is cheap insurance and provides me with a steady supply of used lithium batteries to put in flashlights...]
    LED output above 40 lumens [arbitrary, but I have 2 lights now that unless it's pitch black, the red is so dim as to be useless] edit: upon further searching, maybe 40 lumens worth of red is a bit too high of a goal, but OTOH, I already have "dim" red led headlamps...
    Elastic head strap [no cap mount or side head mount]
    Must either be red ONLY, have a red lens or have a foolproof, groping in the dark method of ONLY activating the red light without having to cycle through modes.
    Must not require modding, if I was any good with a soldering iron, I would have already made what I need...

    So far the ones with the flip up lens cover seem the most foolproof in preventing white light spill, but I am worried about the cover being flimsy or easily broken. A better choice would be a headlight with only a red LED, but it seems impossible to construct a search that only returns "red only" LED's. So, CPF, since you are everything that is light and good, recommend me some headlamps, please.
    Last edited by barrysuperhawk; 06-10-2012 at 09:48 PM. Reason: clarity

  2. #2

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    Hmmm...one option would be to find a red led flashlight that runs on AAA batteries and use a Fenix headband or one another headband like the Nitecore headband (each of which turn a regular flashlight into a headlamp). Or an AAA flashlight that can be fitted with a red diffuser...or red diffusion film (and again used with the Fenix headband or Nitecore headband).

    A couple of headlamps options might include the Petzl Tactikka Plus LED Headlamp or the Petzl Tactikka XP, both of which (I think) use red diffusers and run on AAA batteries.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    So five minutes ago I went to my dead battery drawer and got a AAA that read 0.74v on the multimeter.

    I got a small square of kitchen foil and rolled it into a pea-sized ball.

    And I got my ZL H51r from the back of my bike.

    It normally takes an AA, of course, but I dropped the AAA in their, dropped the ball of foil onto the back end of the battery, and threaded on the cap.

    It fired right up with good bright red light. How much? Probably 2 lumens--looks like it is on the higher of the low levels. When I switch to medium or high, the output looks the same, so the voltage just won't support those higher outputs right now. But when I double-click in high mode, it goes right into a very nice strobe (which is how I have it set up for my bike).

    Okay, 10 minutes of light later, and it's down to 0.72v.

    Now I'm dropping in a AAA reading 1.4v and--yup--it supports all of the output levels, with very noticeable jumps in brightness from 2 to 10 to 20 to 60. Actually, now I see that I may not be getting the two top highs of 80 and 100 lumens--when I switch between those high levels, I don't see any difference (visual eyeball on ceiling, not a calibrated integrating sphere!) So it gives access to both lows, both mediums (10 & 20), and the lowest of the highs (60).

    So here's how it looks to me. The H51r will run easily on used AAAs. Depending on how used they are, it will give you varying access to the outputs you would get if you were running a fresh AA. If you ever want it to scream at 100 lumens, you can drop in an AA.

    For converting an AAA to an AA, there are nicer solutions than a ball of tin-foil (purpose-built sleeves and things). It fits a lot of your other requirements. You might want to get one and give it a try.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    Noxx Explorer red led headlamp

  5. #5

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacecar View Post
    Noxx Explorer red led headlamp

    I like the look of that!

    And it's probably a better choice for using up cells than the ZL would be, because it uses 3 cells at a time--you might not need to swap them as often. (But you might also want to try to pick 3 cells that are pretty close in voltage--less likely to act weird, leak, back-charge, etc. as they run out).

    The Noxx would still require AAA-to-AA conversion, though, whether sleeves or magnets or foil balls.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacecar View Post
    Noxx Explorer red led headlamp
    Yeah, as lampeDépêche said, nice looking headlamp...and a pretty cool suggestion but for it being the wrong battery type based on opening thread requirements. The AAA desire on the OP's part really narrows the possible suggestions.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    thecoyotelight .com takes one or two 18650 batteries. I wonder if it will take a battery holder with 3 AAA batteries. Red LED.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    Those are a couple of great replies, and I will probably buy both of them [I also use AA's and 18650's for other lights] just because they are cool, but I would really prefer a dedicated, red AAA headlamp. I would prefer not to use adapters or foil of I can help it, mostly because by using 1/2 used batteries in this light, I am guaranteeing that I will be swapping batteries often and adapters of any type are just one more thing to fumble with.

    I have gotten a couple of PM's recommending these 2:
    the Petzl tactikka
    and Princeton Fred
    and searching for the Fred, I found this:
    Princeton Quad

    I like the idea that the tacktikka and the quad use all 4 LED's for red, but the obvious downside is if you bugger up the red cover, you are done for. The fred advertises that it is always red first, and you need to hold the button down for 1.5 sec to get white, so it also gets the nod for versatility, but I am concerned that one red LED just won't be very bright.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    I am currently searching for a similar headlamp ie. some red goodness.

    In addition to the 3 you've just mentioned, the princeton tec "EOS tactical" is another option with more throw to it, whereas the quad is more of a flood (due to the four LEDs).

    As far as worrying about the plastic red lens suffering an accident.......maybe that would be better than the actual glass and LED suffering the same fate . So it could almost be looked at as a protection.

    If the worst did happen, Petzl Tactikka XP is another option which has spare lenses available for it.

    I am leaning towards the Princeton tec range myself as they switch on at the dimmest setting by default, rather than blasting out of the gate like most others.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Red headlamp choices again.

    Quote Originally Posted by lampeDépêche View Post
    For converting an AAA to an AA, there are nicer solutions than a ball of tin-foil (purpose-built sleeves and things). It fits a lot of your other requirements. You might want to get one and give it a try.
    I bought an 8 pack of AAA to AA converters from DX a while a go. It was around two bucks. I've been using 1/2AAA batteries inside them but would certainly do the job.

    Personally I'd go for the Zebralight. H501r if you can find it now. I'm currently wondering whether to get the H51r for H51Fr as using it on back of my bike is one use.

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