I'm looking for a 1AA or a 2AA all-purpose headlamp. Something that is reasonably reliable with a somewhat smooth beam.
I realize that if I want to keep it with a maximum of 2AA cells while retaining a good amount of brightness to use with non night-adapted vision, I'm going to have to make do with a spot plus a generous spill beam.
I do not have much experience with the different LEDs available, but I guess that a general-purpose headlamp should use an XM-L emiter. But maybe an XP-G or even an XP-E emiter would be just fine... I don't know.
I like the Zebralight H51, but it's got two PWM modes so I'm not interested in this headlamp for as long as they do not update it.
Then there's the Fenix HL21, but I have read a couple user reviews on this online store called Amazon (dot com) that the arms that hold the headlamp tight on the craddle have a tendency to break. I'd have never guessed that a headlamp or its craddle would use a brittle polymer for its contruction.
There's also the recently released Fenix HL30, but I found this Chinese forum where they were discussing this model. While I do not speak Putong Hua, they seemed to point out that the little prongs where the headlamp rotates tend to break off. Also, they were suggesting that the serrated areas used to angle the headlamp may have a tendency to wear off rather fast. Other than that, I like the beam it produces as well as its user interface and runtimes.
This pretty much leaves me with some version of the Spark ST5. But there's this review on this very own forum by the member SelfBuilt where he textually says:
Now, a potential issue regarding the user interface on a headlamp is something that worries me a lot as there's nothing I'm going to use more than turning the headlamp on and off, accessing the different modes, etc."Switch timing takes a little getting used. Standard length click-release is "momentary mode", causing the light turn on/off for signalling. You need to be quick on the release for sustained on, or hold longer to activate the ramp."
So here's where I'm going to need your help guys, for those of you who have or had the Spark ST5 headlamp, I would be thrilled to hear what you think about the user interface of the ST5. Also, any suggestions on other headlamp models would come in handy.
Thanks for reading.