Best buy in tiny headlamps?

mateen

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Wanted a very small headlamp for backpacking, camp cooking, tent reading, etc. Would like a high/low beam, AAA or AA batteries, LEDs and batteries in one housing, and one strap only. Seems like the Petzl Tikka/Tactikka is the way to go? Or....?
 

mrme

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It depends on how much you intend to use it and whether weight is important.

If you really like traveling fast and light, you can't beat the BD Ion, which weighs less than an ounce and takes up very little space. The run time is poor and the battery is expensive.

The PT Scout weighs a little more, has more bulk, but has a better run time. It uses 4 CR2032 coin cells and has a good run time. It also has all those anoying light levels and flashing modes.

I have both and like them.

The 3 AAA models such as the Petzl Tikka have excelent run times and the batteries are cheap.
There are others who make them such as the PT Aurora and Energizer.

The only way you can go wrong with them is to get one of those awful early model Petzl Tikkas that don't have the tilt housing.

I just gave away my Aurora since it is heavy for an light weight light and not powerful enough for a real headlamp.
 

greenLED

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You pretty much nailed it with the Tac/tikka.

I must sound like a broken record, but some of the newer Black Diamond headlamps are really nice. The Moonlight is smallish and uses 5mm LED, but I find the beam is too wide/spread/sucky to even bother with it.

The BD Zenix (or the newer Zenix IQ) also uses AAA batts and is pretty small. It also has 5mm LED + a Lux. The IQ version is regulated IIRC, and has a couple fo different modes. BTW, the casing looks flimsy, but I was told by a DB rep that they're actually quite sturdy. Haven't got one to run over with my car and check /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Woa! I forgot about the Scout; that's my son's headlamp. Yup, tiny, bright, and has all those annoying settings. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif About the only thing I dislike about it is that it uses 4 of those coin-cell batts. Expensive to replace. But now that I think about it, we haven't replaced the batts in over 2 years (and they DO need replacing).
 

mateen

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who actually types the word "sucky" - that made me laugh out loud. Anyway, I did see the Scout but kicked it off my list for using coin-cells. Those things are a real PITA especially considering I can find alternative headlamps using AAA or AA.
 

greenLED

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Yeah, I thought it was a great buy back when we got it (the Scout), and my son absolutely loves it, but now that I know better I'd go with a AAA or AA headlamp for him.

It doesn't seem like "sucky" is even in the dictionary; must be "thingymajig's" word-cousin or something /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

twentysixtwo

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Had an early Tikka, gave it away after I bought an Aurora. It WAS low power until I modded it with 3 of the Nichias from the group buy. Now it puts out as much total light as my EOS on high!!!!! the beam color and throw aren't as nice as the EOS but it's noticibly smaller and lighter. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif
 

PeLu

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It is funny but for the tasks I use my small headlights (like the Petzl Tikka/Zipka) they are usually too bright and I would like a lower setting....
But this looks like unCPFish behaviour...
 

cave dave

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I like the Tikka+ a lot. I find it plenty bright for setting up a tent and cooking and other camping activities. Definately bright enough for reading, where you want a wide angle beam. This replaces the aurora which cracked around the case. The aurora plastic seems to brittle for a 'snap fit' design.

Petzl has a new one coming out that looks kinda like the PT EOS. Uses a luxeon and has a sliding diffuser. I think that may be the one to get. Can't remember the name.
 

DaGunn

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IMHO, the best buy and best headlamp for the activities that you mention is the Photon Freedom light. It comes with a hatclip and necklace to hold the light. The hatclip can be clipped to your hat or clothing or just about anywhere and swiveled to direct the beam, and there are three small magnets on the clip that attach it to metal surfaces. The necklace protects the switch and eliminates accidentally discharging the light when not in the hatclip. The Photon Freedom light itself has fully adjustable brightness (not just high/low) to suit your needs in addition to SOS and other flashing modes. The Photon Freedom contains one of the brightest White 5mm LEDs presently available (that can be replaced when newer/brighter 5mm LEDs become available). The Freedom has great runtime and although it uses 2xCR2016 lithium batteries, you can purchase them online fairly inexpensively (<$1.00/each for Energizers). It is fraction of the size, weight, and price of the Tika, Zipka, and Tactika headlamps. Given the price differential you could purchase two Photon Freedoms (you can find them online for about $16.00) for the price of one of the Petzyl headlamps and then have a backup light or spare light to lend out.
I own each of the lights that I mentioned in this post, and when I go fly fishing in the evenings I always ensure that I have the Photon Freedom on me.

Dave
 

PeLu

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And I have to add, if you remove all the keyrings from the Photon and put an elastic ribbon through it, you have a very good tiny headlamp.
As it has almost no weight, a small ribbon (as used in self knitted socks) does the job and the Photon's shape gives a perfect angle down.
This will be a light for closer work anyway.

But, cave dave, I'm also looking forward to the Petzl Tikka XP, but more I'm hoping for a Zipka XP (no idea if there is ones on schedule).
 

beamrider

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Actually I use a Petzl Myo XP. Absolut amazing beam (...to my opinion very near to al SF KL1, wich reach about 65 m.
If you don't need the narrow Beam, you can put a lens in front of the lamp that makes the beam wide and smooth (a featur that will be found on the Tikka Xp too !!).
You've got 3 beamlevels and a flash modus.
Petzl Myo Xp specs
 

cave dave

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PeLu,
You could make your own Zipka out of a Tikka. Petzl sells the spring cord retracter thing seperately as a keychain. Petzl E44Z Zip. It probably wouldn't be hard to attach. Plus you would retain the tilt feature which you lose in the Zipkas.
 

Flash_Gordon

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mateen-

Don't know exactly where your line is for a small headlamp, but you might consider the PT EOS. Lightweight and pretty small IMO, 3 levels, tilt, single strap and 3xAAA.

I enjoy mine, the only small objection being that it leans towards throw more than flood. For reading or in tent use, a strip of satin scotch tape makes it nearly perfect on low.

Mark
 

pedalinbob

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[ QUOTE ]
twentysixtwo said:
Had an early Tikka, gave it away after I bought an Aurora. It WAS low power until I modded it with 3 of the Nichias from the group buy. Now it puts out as much total light as my EOS on high!!!!! the beam color and throw aren't as nice as the EOS but it's noticibly smaller and lighter. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Was this a tough mod? I am tempted to try this.

Bob
 

paulr

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I'm surprised the CMG/Gerber Tracer isn't mentioned. 1 AAA, two LED's, about as light as a PT Scout.

You can get those 2032 cells for .25 each at Battery Station, so replacing them every few years isn't so bad.

Changing the leds in a PT Aurora looks tricky. I opened mine up to take a look and it's not obvious how to get the board out. I may try a little harder later.

Any idea if I can adapt the Zipka retractable cord thing to the Aurora?
 

cave dave

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I saw the Gerber tracer in a gift pack with a gerber knife at Lowes Hardware. Price seemed good. Don't rember what thought. I resisted temptation. Althought with two of the new Nichias modded in ....
 

twentysixtwo

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The Aurora is held together with 4 staked plastic pins. A pair of needlenose pliers, a small screwdriver and some patience gets it open pretty easily. Don't lose the catalyst pellet. Also, make sure you mark the old LED's so you don't mix them with the new LED's Putting it back together, I used my soldering iron to heat stake the pins.

globalmart has them with the pulsar for about $20 plus shipping. Great gifts for early xmas shoppers.
 

Krit

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For tiny headlamp I try to find the luxeon with 2 step and run with 1*123a for light weight. But I can not find it until now. Anyone please tell me where to buy it.?
 

Lux Luthor

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[ QUOTE ]
PeLu said:
It is funny but for the tasks I use my small headlights (like the Petzl Tikka/Zipka) they are usually too bright and I would like a lower setting....
But this looks like unCPFish behaviour...

[/ QUOTE ]

Not at all! It just depends on who you talk to around here, and whether they've spent enough time in real darkness.

There is some hope among the manufacturers, I think. I've noticed that the EOS has much sharper dimming than any other headlamp I've seen, so I think PT may finally be getting it. It's still too bright for certain things, and the color on low sucks on mine, but atleast I think they're waking up to how truly wide a variation in light output you can need, depending on the conditions.

BTW, that satin scotch tape trick mentioned above works beautifully on the EOS. That's the first think I did with it when I bought it. I get spill all the way out to the edges, but the beam doesn't shine so much as a speck of light in my eyes, and I wear glasses.
 

wwglen

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I have oneof the Gerber Tracers with two leds.

VERY cheaply made. Not waterproof and removing the back to open it up requires bending some plastic tabs back to release the catch. Afer a few times the plastic got bent and I had to bend it back to get it to stay shut.

I have no illusions about the longlivity of this design.

I gave it to my 8 year-old daughter to read in bed with.

One the PLUS side... IT IS SMALL.

wwglen
 
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