basic requirements of a headlamp

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mickb

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A headlamp to me is something that not only allows hands free use but is also the backup to your primary light, edc or duty lights. Whether you are at home, work, camping, hunting, handling emergencies, night hiking or in a disaster scenario, its a fallback option.

Secondly one of the most important functions ( to me) of such a light is the ability to provide the minimum useful light for the longest period. That is enough light to move at normal speeds across unknown ground, ID obstacles at this speed and negotiate and perform tasks indoors for as long as possible, particularly if re-supply of power is not available. Another word for it is minimal operational emergency lighting.

One thing that sort of dissappoints me with a lot of the powerful headlamps is them missing this critical power level. Often they now jump from moonlight 1 lumen( which is a more specialised application and not always useful for most of what I describe) directly to a 25, 50 or 70 lumen power level..

While this still provides many hours use, its dissappointing that far lesser lights, such as the little fenix HL-23 and a range of budget lights which have a 3, 5 or 8 lumen mode are at a better level for longest useful minimal runtimes.I stock lights for cyclones( hurricanes) and floods and while in the 1st world you don't expect to go weeks without power, its still comforting to know you have light sources that can last many days. I know most people do not consider disaster or emergency scenarios as a purchase reason, however I am sort of surprised the 'moonlight functions' or 'firefly functions' became such a marketing necessity. We added strobes, beacons, low voltage indicators for safety, but are killing off the operational emergency lighting level...

The ultralow functions do have some legitimate uses but I think its also numbers marketing too- manufactures want to be able to say they have the most lumens AND "975 hours run time" on the packaging now or the item will not sell.
 
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parametrek

parametrek

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I think you've got selection bias. I have 356 models of headlamp in my database. Of those 118 feature a mode of 1 lumen or less. Of those only 18 lack a mode between 1 and 20 lumens. Most of them are made by Nitecore.

There is no shortage of headlamps with "operational" levels from Zebralight or Armytek or Skilhunt or Fenix.

I love my firefly modes in headlamps. They are perfect for reading.
 
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mickb

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I think you've got selection bias. I have 356 models of headlamp in my database. Of those 118 feature a mode of 1 lumen or less. Of those only 18 lack a mode between 1 and 20 lumens. Most of them are made by Nitecore.

There is no shortage of headlamps with "operational" levels from Zebralight or Armytek or Skilhunt or Fenix.

I love my firefly modes in headlamps. They are perfect for reading.

Nice I assume you have these on an excel spreadsheet. Can you filter the following

1.Currently in production.

2.Lumens 3-19 lumens and 110 hours minimum run time at this level

3. 1 x 18650 minimum and greater than 750 lumens maximum output.(aka 'powerful 'headlamps)

Interested to see the models avialable.
 
A

AVService

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I don't see how one could offer basic parameters for a Headlamp as a requirement really?

My preferences for working directly on front of me and then for working at a distance are as much at odds for any single light as they are for any other light type that I can imagine.
If I am camping they may be different than when hiking,etc.

If they produce light this is the only thing required as a start.

I am just glad we have a lot of choices!
 
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mickb

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I don't see how one could offer basic parameters for a Headlamp as a requirement really?

My preferences for working directly on front of me and then for working at a distance are as much at odds for any single light as they are for any other light type that I can imagine.
If I am camping they may be different than when hiking,etc.

If they produce light this is the only thing required as a start.

I am just glad we have a lot of choices!

I think any of us purchasing a light have some sort of parameters in mind, it developes our choice. I want a headlamp as backup to my main light and a setting to get me out of trouble if need be. But I only own three flashlights btw so I'm different end of the spectrum from the hobbyist who has a lot of lights
 
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Tixx

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Nice I assume you have these on an excel spreadsheet. Can you filter the following

1.Currently in production.

2.Lumens 3-19 lumens and 110 hours minimum run time at this level

3. 1 x 18650 minimum and greater than 750 lumens maximum output.(aka 'powerful 'headlamps)

Interested to see the models avialable.

Zebralight matches the criteria I know.

http://www.zebralight.com/Headlamp_c_7.html
 
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mickb

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tixx you and parametrek have a point. Not so much selection bias on my behalf just less knoweldge on the complete range of lights availabe. I was going off the more common lights available here in olight, nitecore, thrunite etc, but looks like zebralight covers everything, though not as easy to get here, Thanks for the link and eye opener.
 
Lynx_Arc

Lynx_Arc

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I have the Wowtac A2S and a Fenix HL60R both of which I think match your criteria although the wowtac is dimmer on firefly, the low mode I believe is about 10 lumen range and another forum has a review that estimates it at 4.5 days. The Fenix lists Eco mode as 5 lumens not sure of the runtime or accuracy of that figure though.
 
degarb

degarb

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Yeeess, runtime at useful lux equals usefulness. The problem with all the light manufacturers is that they are going for the woo wow. I hate the drive levels chosen for 99 percent of the lights. Garbage bait, even the $800 lights. Infinite dimming and respectable throw power watt optic. To work, we should have minimum of 1000 lux. 80 90 % of the work day is 2, maybe 3, meters and under. Doing the math, anything under 4000 candela for under 10 hours is crap...

Unfortunately, with one 18650 and 20 mm optic this ain't happening, even with a 189lpw led. 20mm Tir does throw better.

The imalent HR20, might get me the best belt design that closest matches the spec for a backup worklight. Genius is the dial, small size that is easily forgotten on my belt, better runtime in class, durable ish and fairly waterproofish. It would be better with a more throw Tir, sold separately as an option. I am on the fence as to if 21700 would offer significant improvement on runtime, enough to justify a bigger, heavier size. I would snatch up a 21700 version to test.

The Fenix hp11 was only jobsite head lamp that worked for my crews. 4000 lux 10 hours. I had to modify the 2s18650 magic shine 36mm to make them work for the crews. I now make my own 10 hour minimum 5300 candela lights. Lighter, better color rendering, cheaper, impossible to run dead: just better. Hint, I use an avid heat sink as a bezel
( looks like a hand in the catching pose) , small cpu heatsink as the head, small copper pipe for pivot, 2s18650 and infinitely dimmable buck driver, chosen for a minimum runtime of 10 hours, lots of 5 minute epoxy, zinc/copper dust
Mixed in, little jb Weld. I have tried optics from 26mm to 40 mm. Guys like 31mm to 40mm. 40 seems to be the crew consensus favorite. My favorite is the 36 mm. Xp-l v5 or v6.
 
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parametrek

parametrek

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Nice I assume you have these on an excel spreadsheet.

No I have them on a website for anyone to search. Some of your requests are easier than others. Only lights in production are on the site. So that is a freebie. Headlamps over 750 lumens? Easy. 94 of them. "1x18650 minimum" is a little vague but maybe 84 meet that criteria. "110 hours at 3-19 lumens" requires actually reading through these 84 possible lights.

Some that you might like include the entire Skilhunt H02/H03 series (12 models), every Zebralight H6XX headlamp (25 models), the entire Armytek Wizard/Wizard Pro series (4 models). Fenix has a couple that qualify: HL55, HP25R, HP30, HP30R. And then a few oddballs like the Eagletac (Sportac) PH10LC2 and Acebeam H30.
 
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mickb

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"110 hours at 3-19 lumens" requires actually reading through these 84 possible lights. Some that you might like include the entire Skilhunt H02/H03 series (12 models), every Zebralight H6XX headlamp (25 models), the entire Armytek Wizard/Wizard Pro series (4 models).

Thanks. One of the issues is whether they have suffcient CD at the low levels specified to allow quick movement etc, which was the context of my first post. Had this problem with the armtyek wizard( 2015 era, I think they were 1100lumens max back then) Did a mini review as one of my first posts on candlepower and then sold it as its low power functions were not useful for the purpose. Some of the fenix models look good btw.
 
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