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Thread: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    Default Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Few years ago, I had a PT Apex. Nice and bright but lasted about a year and a half. Then I bought a Fenix HP10. 225 lumens and was really nice. Lasted about two years. Is there anything out there that is brighter, lasts a long time and in the same price range?

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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Might help us help you if you tell us:

    1 What sort of battery/ies you want to use,

    2 What caused the demise of the previous two lights, and

    3 How much you are willing to spend.
    WTB Any Brand locking pliers multitool, Kershaw Bit Kit, leather sheath


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1100us View Post
    Is there anything out there that is brighter, lasts a long time and in the same price range?
    Not really. There are only a handful of 200+ lumen headlamps that cost under $100. ZebraLight, Spark, Fenix, and Black Diamond make a few models that fit the output and cost criteria but they have all been on the market for less than 2 years and no one knows how durable they are long term.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    "Long Lasting" is the nettlesome part. I think lots of lights are designed to last a couple years, and by then newly available emitters have improved so greatly that it's time to upgrade (at least, for a flashoholic). Any of my older lamps that are still functioning get little use because the newer lamps have so many advantages (tint, runtime, brightness) so I've resigned myself to simply buying new every once in awhile. At $70 a pop it's an affordable hobby.

    If you want to browse what's available (at least, of 2011) check my sig line links.

    Big question to answer is if you want that battery pack in the back, or not.
    Last edited by Bolster; 06-26-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    Default

    I use rechargeable AA. With the Apex, the plastic led housing developed cracks and fell apart. On the Fenix, the on/off switch broke, would not click, just froze. Looking to spend under $100 since none seem to last long. Yes, battery pack in the back. The Fenix was great, just wish the switch lasted longer. I use headlamps often, around the house, working on cars and camping. None of the new ones seem to use the xml which is odd.

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    Last edited by Aaron1100us; 06-26-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    surefire. lifetime warranty.
    i just got a minimus vision a couple weeks ago, and its built very rugged.
    price is a little more, but the warranty pays off. surefire has such a good foot hold, even 10-20 years from now they should still be around to honor the warranty if something does go wrong.

    there is even a AA model of the minimus now. price is around $100. the older saint maximus models could use 2xAA as well as 3x cr123.
    Last edited by skyfire; 06-27-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    The minimus is only 100 lumens. I need 200+. And that doesn't seem very bright any more.

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    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    my vision is rated at 75 lumens, but it seems twice as bright as that. im doing a runtime test right now with it, so i dont want to change its brightness. but i can say its much brighter than my ZL h501w rated at 80 lumens.
    if it matters, i got 2.5 hours of runtime with my vision on max.

    the new maximus is rated at 500 lumens. but it now uses a built in rechargeable battery. and its more pricey.

    i dont think theres anything out there that meets your criteria. you probably have to make a sacrifice in 1 of your criteria.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1100us View Post
    None of the new ones seem to use the xml which is odd.
    For anything with a focussed beam, and running at other than ultrabright levels, I'm not sure the XM-L has any overwhelming advantages. Efficiency at non-ultrabright levels isn't meaningfully more than a decent XP-G, and the larger die means beams are wider/less intense for the same optical arrangement.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    my vision is rated at 75 lumens, but it seems twice as bright as that. im doing a runtime test right now with it, so i dont want to change its brightness. but i can say its much brighter than my ZL h501w rated at 80 lumens.
    Beam angle may explain that (altho SF is known to underestimate lumens). H501w is 80, saint is 60. That's actually a noticeable difference.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Going through the headlamp sub-forum more and more it looks like there is nothing available that meets your (or my) requirements. I am wondering why the custom light makers on CPF and CPF Marketplace do not make headlamps.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    It's not particularly easy making a custom headlight in the same price range as commercial ones.

    There are some high-end headlamps around, but most of the ones I know of are aimed at cavers, and so are principally made for helmet mounting rather than as straight headlamps (Scurion, Stenlight, Rude Nora, El Speleo) .

    There are also some modules to fit in existing lights, such as the ones for Duos that John at Customduo makes, and the ones I make, but even to make a decent insert does end up costing meaningful money in terms of parts+labour - as soon as quantities are low enough that anything is effectively handbuilt rather than factory made, that does push the price up quite a bit.

    Most such things tend to be twin-beam, which for caving use does make them a heck of a lot better, but also adds to the price.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Policecar View Post
    Going through the headlamp sub-forum more and more it looks like there is nothing available that meets your (or my) requirements. I am wondering why the custom light makers on CPF and CPF Marketplace do not make headlamps.
    Word is that ahorton makes a very fine custom headlamp.

    I didn't know that UK_caver made custom lights, would like a linky if possible.
    Last edited by Bolster; 06-28-2012 at 05:28 PM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    The stuff I do is largely inserts to upgrade existing headlights (Petzl Duos and headlamps based on mining headsets), and the odd dive torch insert, plus some compact lights for underground photography.
    Though I try to keep the cosmetics reasonable, typically I make things for looking with rather than looking at.
    Info at http://www.bisun.co.uk

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1100us View Post
    I use rechargeable AA. With the Apex, the plastic led housing developed cracks and fell apart. On the Fenix, the on/off switch broke, would not click, just froze. Looking to spend under $100 since none seem to last long. Yes, battery pack in the back. The Fenix was great, just wish the switch lasted longer. I use headlamps often, around the house, working on cars and camping. None of the new ones seem to use the xml which is odd.

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
    Contact Princeton tec and they will replace your Apex with the newest version using a x-pg emitter and better plastic housing. Otherwise Little Monkey makes great lights, but the price is a lot higher (worth it if you use it a lot imho)

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    Default

    I sent a message to that site asking prices. Their headlamp looks nice and 800 lumens. I'd spend more for a nice light like that.

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  17. #17
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Aaron1100us - some of my headlamps also look like they've been thru a war. Cracked housings repaired with epoxy reinforced with embedded copper wires
    for added strength -like rebar in concrete. Repairing Apex hinges is doable. Scratching the surfaces gives epoxy something to grab onto and is a proven procedure for rough repairs where functionality trumps beauty contest headlamps.

    Of course having a bright headlamp that looks good is preferable and worth spending money on for us flashaholics.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    I might have found what I'm looking for. Zebralight H600. 750 lumens on turbo and takes an 18650. Looks sturdy too.

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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1100us View Post
    I might have found what I'm looking for. Zebralight H600. 750 lumens on turbo and takes an 18650. Looks sturdy too.
    I suggest that you perform an immersion test when you get it. The pattern with ZebraLights seems to be that some units are well sealed and some are not. The units which are properly sealed seem capable of taking a beating and lasting a long time. The units which are improperly sealed seem to die inside of a year. ZebraLight is not known for speedy warranty service after the first few weeks of you receiving your order, so it is better to test your unit sooner than later.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by YoSeKi View Post
    I suggest that you perform an immersion test when you get it. The pattern with ZebraLights seems to be that some units are well sealed and some are not. The units which are properly sealed seem capable of taking a beating and lasting a long time. The units which are improperly sealed seem to die inside of a year. ZebraLight is not known for speedy warranty service after the first few weeks of you receiving your order, so it is better to test your unit sooner than later.
    This issue usually occurs with new lights. The H600 has been around for almost a year now. It's a model that has the least reported problems compared to other ZL models. The other one is the H51 model. I have the H51w and have conducted the dunk test twice, dropped it on concrete numerous times. It's still working.

    The H600 is a great light. I am still toying with the idea of getting an H600w for use as a flashlight which, of course, can also be used as a backup neck light/headlamp for my soon to be acquired H502w.
    EDC: Zebralight H52w; Backup/loaner: Olight i3S
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    How about a headband you can mount a high powered LED flashlight to.

    That way you could go as bright as you want as long as it fits in the mount.

    If the flashlight dies just mount up another.

    I have seen ones where you van mount an angled or straight style into.

    This Fenix model looks pretty sweet:

    http://www.fenixlight.com/viewnproduct.asp?id=38

    Unless you dont like the light mounted to the side.

    You could probably turn it 90 degrees and mount an angled model toward the front.

    Good Luck

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    I do like the fenix idea, cheaper too. Then I can use my 3 mode xml-u2 L2P

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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    surefire. lifetime warranty.
    i just got a minimus vision a couple weeks ago, and its built very rugged.
    Even the vaunted Surefire are not 100% durable apparently: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...imus-acting-up

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any long lasting bright headlamps?

    Long lasting 'run-time wise' and bright is simple with a big battery pack. Although the hazard posed by accidentally crushing the pack in a fall and having a lithium fire on your belt is scary. Long lasting as in something you could pass on to your grand kids in 50years still working is another story. As far as I know under driving LED's so they never get very hot is the most reliable way to assure they will out last their rated life times. Big heat sinks help a lot but ambient air temp is a factor.

    I think the best way to view out LED lights is as 'bust gear'. Expect them to wear out, die, and need replacement.

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