Black Diamond Spot or Icon?

rydude07

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Hi,

I have narrowed down to these 2 lights. Is the Icon much better for about $10 more?

I know that the spot is cheaper, but is the icon worth 10 more than the spot if i camp maybe once a month max and will use it then?

Will both be good for reading up close and for a general camping and hiking headlamp?

I am looking to get it ASAP.
 
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rydude07

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Well I just bought the Icon for $32 shipped. Hope that is a great price.
 

WDR65

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Hi,

I had a long reply typed but I had to leave my computer and when I posted I see that you have already replied, ooops. That is a good price and although I don't own an Icon, I do like the Black Diamond products that I do have. Let us know what you think when you get it.
 
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arizona1

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Good choice, i think you would have hatted the BD spot, the beam is horrible. it has a huge hollow hotspot. This can be fixed with tape, but even then i dont like it. Good choice on icon.
 

robostudent5000

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i would have told you to avoid them both, but at $32 for the Icon, why not. that's a great price for that lamp.

was it EMS clearance and Price Runner?
 

rydude07

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I am glad I didn't get the Black Diamond spot then, if it has the yellow ring issues.

Yah EMS.

Is the icon a good lamp? I should have avoided them both? Is the icon really bad? I read that it did get a backpacker award. Should I have gotten the princeton tec eos or quad for $30 instead?
 

arizona1

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Is the icon a good lamp? I should have avoided them both? Is the icon really bad? I read that it did get a backpacker award. Should I have gotten the princeton tec eos or quad for $30 instead?

I would have gone with the eos. it has a great beam, its regulated and waterproof.
 

rydude07

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I contacted Black diamond and they said that the Icon is regulated.

I also wanted something with spill and i understand the EOS is mainly throw if you do not mod it. right? ANy other opinions on the icon?
 

robostudent5000

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i think you're better off with a Eos if you can find one for less than $32. but the Icon isn't bad or anything.

IIRC, on the Icon, the modes aren't spaced far apart enough, and the 4 5mm LEd's are very blue. and the output is kind of low compared to the overall bulk of the package. plus the Icon isn't waterproof. i'd say that it's barely even water resistant. but if you don't care too much about these things, the Icon is fine, especially for the price you paid.

i should add that unlike some other Black Diamond headlamps, the Icon generally has gotten good user reviews on places like REI, EMS, Backcountry, Amazon, etc.

you can compare beamshots of the two at Szemhazai's site here.
 
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rydude07

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Seems like many other sites like rei.com love the black diamond icon headlamp...

Is the EOS that much better? Less modes on the EOS seem not as good since i would love a light to have flood on it as well.
 

robostudent5000

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after having said that the Icon has gotten good reviews on REI, EMS, Backcountry, Amazon, etc., i should also say that some of those reviews have to be taken with a certain grain of salt. several of those reviews say things along the lines of "wow, this thing is so much brighter than my original Petzl Tikka" or "i'm happy the bulb still hasn't burned out like they did on my Petzl Zoom" or "this is so much better than my old Mini Mag". so, you know.
 

rydude07

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yah true that. But isnt the black diamond icon the best money can buy for $32 for a headlamp? I really wanted something that is good around camp so the 4 leds will help vs the EOS
 

robostudent5000

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is it the best $32 can buy... that's a good question. i'm not sure that there's a good answer.

the things i like the least about the Icon are the bulk, lack of water resistance, and the color of the 5mm leds. if these things don't bother you, then you might be perfectly happy with the Icon. and even if you try it and realize you don't like it, the price is so good that you might be able to eBay it and come close to breaking even.

Edit* one thing i recommend you do once you get your Icon is to get some DC Fix from the Marketplace and apply it to the front of the lens. the lenses on these older BD headlamps kind of stick out and are very easily scratched. the way the case is designed, there is zero protection for the lens. the DC Fix will provide diffusion and an extra layer of scratch protection. there are a couple guys selling small sheets of DC Fix in the Marketplace.

Edit 2* i totally forgot! these older BD headlamps (~2006-2009) used low frequency PWM on the lower output levels. i don't know if the one you got still has the same circuits as the older models, but if it does, and if you're sensitive to PWM flicker, then you might have a problem with the Icon. this is not an issue for most people, so it may not be an issue for you.
 
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rydude07

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is it the best $32 can buy... that's a good question. i'm not sure that there's a good answer.

the things i like the least about the Icon are the bulk, lack of water resistance, and the color of the 5mm leds. if these things don't bother you, then you might be perfectly happy with the Icon. and even if you try it and realize you don't like it, the price is so good that you might be able to eBay it and come close to breaking even.

Edit* one thing i recommend you do once you get your Icon is to get some DC Fix from the Marketplace and apply it to the front of the lens. the lenses on these older BD headlamps kind of stick out and are very easily scratched. the way the case is designed, there is zero protection for the lens. the DC Fix will provide diffusion and an extra layer of scratch protection. there are a couple guys selling small sheets of DC Fix in the Marketplace.

Edit 2* i totally forgot! these older BD headlamps (~2006-2009) used low frequency PWM on the lower output levels. i don't know if the one you got still has the same circuits as the older models, but if it does, and if you're sensitive to PWM flicker, then you might have a problem with the Icon. this is not an issue for most people, so it may not be an issue for you.

Thanks a bunch for your help! How do i know if i got the 2006-2009 version vs the new one? Do the newer ones not stick out?

The black diamond website says that the icon is ipx 4...isnt that better than 2 of the EOS?

I dont think the color of the leds will bother me. Isnt the icon like a mix between the princeton tec quad and the eos since i can use it for throw and for near the campsite with the smaller Leds? My problem with the EOS is that it isnt that good around camp i heard.
 

robostudent5000

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Chances are that the Icon you got is still the same internally as the one they've been selling since 2007. I think the emitter was upgraded in 2008, but I think it's unchanged since then. I think the front lens design is the same for every version of the Icon.

The Eos is IPX7, it's fairly well sealed, and is reliably dunkable. I dunk mine all the time to wash them. The Icon, I've seen one disassembled, and it is totally not sealed. I don't think it'd survive a heavy rain storm.

the Eos's narrow beam is indeed a limiting issue, but it can be improved by sticking DC Fix on the front of the lens.

$30 is kind of a tricky range for headlamps. i recommended the Eos in one of my earlier posts, but i have to add that as solid as they have been in the past the Eos isn't quite what it used to be. The quality control on the newer Eos's i've seen haven't been that great. The last 70 lumen version that I bought kind of sucked and had to be RMA'd right out of the package.

just about every $30 headlamp you can get is going to have some issues.
 

rydude07

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Chances are that the Icon you got is still the same internally as the one they've been selling since 2007. I think the emitter was upgraded in 2008, but I think it's unchanged since then. I think the front lens design is the same for every version of the Icon.

The Eos is IPX7, it's fairly well sealed, and is reliably dunkable. I dunk mine all the time to wash them. The Icon, I've seen one disassembled, and it is totally not sealed. I don't think it'd survive a heavy rain storm.

the Eos's narrow beam is indeed a limiting issue, but it can be improved by sticking DC Fix on the front of the lens.

$30 is kind of a tricky range for headlamps. i recommended the Eos in one of my earlier posts, but i have to add that as solid as they have been in the past the Eos isn't quite what it used to be. The quality control on the newer Eos's i've seen haven't been that great. The last 70 lumen version that I bought kind of sucked and had to be RMA'd right out of the package.

just about every $30 headlamp you can get is going to have some issues.

Thanks man! SO the new EOS's have some issues eh? I heard that it tends to fall foward if you bob your head as well. Maybe for anything less than $30 the Icon would be the best. The Icon should have a lot more spill as well in the right mode than the EOS right?

Is there a way to tell if i got the new icon?
 

robostudent5000

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i haven't had any problems with the Eos bobbing forward. i think the newer ones are actually less prone to that than the older versions. the problems i'm talking about are things like the emitter not being centered and the switch sometimes not working. PT still has the good warranty and they'll fix/replace it for you.

regarding the spill on the Icon main beam, i don't know how useful that'll be close up. the hotspot is pretty prominent and for close use it'll washout the spill anyway. i would think that for close use, you'll mostly be using the 5mm LEDs.

i don't know that there is a "new" Icon. as far as I know, the Icon has been the same since 2007 except for an emitter upgrade in 2008. i haven't looked at any Icon's made after 2009, so that's why i added the caveat that "i don't know if the one you got still has the same circuits as the older models". as far as i know, these things could have a quantum generator inside them or something now. i don't know. i know they look the same as what they were selling back in 2009 and the specs look the same, but since i haven't held a post-2009 Icon in my hands, i can't say for sure that they are the same.
 

rydude07

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Well i checked altrec and many other sites and they praised the icon. I hope its as good as they say. Seems like the people here on candlepowefourms dont like the icon and would get the EOS as the best headlamp.

Is the EOS brighter than the icon?
 
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robostudent5000

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Well i checked altrec and many other sites and they praised the icon. I hope its as good as they say. Seems like the people here on candlepowefourms dont like the icon and would get the EOS as the best headlamp.

"best"? i don't think anyone on CPF would say that the Eos is the best. maybe in 2009, not in 2011.

like i said before, there are some known issues with the Icon. if those issues don't bother you, then you should like it fine.

as for which one is brighter, click on the link i gave you in one of the above posts and see for yourself. the beam profiles are different so me telling you which one is brighter won't really tell you much.
 
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gcbryan

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I think the Icon is probably a good deal at the price you paid for it. It's hard to compare headlamps without talking about what you will use it for and what your personal preferences are.

For instance the EOS is nice but a little larger than some other units. However everything is included in that unit (batteries). The Icon requires wires and a rear battery pack. Which is better in that regard depends on personal preferences.

The EOS has 3 levels but the low isn't as low as some would like.

The Spot has much lower lows for instance and although the beam is less than perfect and most people use some diffusion most/many people do the same for the EOS to widen the beam so one is not better than the other in that regard.

The Spot has a secondary flood mode but it's not very bright. The Spot toggles between the main beam and flood beam every time you turn the unit on. The Icon allows you to chose.

If you don't mind the rear mounted battery pack you probably will be happy with your choice among those two or three units that have been mentioned considering the price.
 
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