Black Diamond Storm (2016) replacement


Newly Enlightened
Aug 1, 2021

I have a Black Diamond Storm which I believe is the 2016 version. Though I use it daily (and in fact I realized I'm wearing it right now), I've come to dislike it and am looking for a replacement. It seems that here is the best place on the internet for a good recommendation. I appreciate any help/opinions!

Primary uses:
  • Reading in bed in red mode.
  • Camping/backpacking (no night hiking).
  • Various night-time chores, e.g. watering plants or hanging laundry.
  • DIY stuff around the house that needs extra light.
  • Interface is beyond ridiculous — I've had it for several years and still haven't figured it out. It still feels like mostly mashing the single button though several things I didn't want. Also waiting for the brightness to ramp up and down while holding the button is tedious.
  • Battery life with NiMH cells is rather poor and seems to have lately gotten worse. I'd guess more like ½–2 hours on high rather than the spec'ed 22 hours. Batteries all test better than spec (Eneloop Pro, 900 mAh).
  • Subtle whine/buzz in some modes.
  • PowerTap™ is a silly gimmick — I've never used it for the intended purpose but have blinded myself several times by bumping the unit accidentally.
  • Mode memory often forgets what the setting was, leading to blinding white light filling my bedroom instead of low red light I wanted.
  • Green, blue, and blink modes get in the way.
  • Headband needs frequent re-adjustment.
  • Plenty bright.
  • Red mode.
  • Separate spot and flood mode.
  • AAA powered & works with my NiMH rechargeables, which I already have a good setup for.
  • Adjustable angle up and down.
  • Regulated output, but not to the bitter end (there's a long dimming period after the fully regulated period).
I did also have the previous version of the Storm and I liked it better, though I don't recall the details.

Given that, does anyone have recommendations for a replacement? Especially from outside my experience, which is with outdoor/camping gear.

I do see there is a newer version, that lists NiMH compatibility in the specs and has two buttons instead of just one. Maybe it is better?

Very much appreciated and thanks for your patience. Please let me know any questions you have.


Newly Enlightened
Sep 4, 2015
Green Bay, WI
Three of the options I'd recommend are:
The Fenix HL15 that uses AAA batteries and accepts Ni-MH batteries, so you can use the AAAs you have.

The other one I'd recommend is also from Fenix and is available for Pre-Order is the HM50R V2.0. Instead of AAA batteries it uses a single rechargeable 16340 and will give you longer battery life along with more output if you should need it. It has 5 lumens of red light compared to the HL15 that only has .2 lumens of red light, which may not be enough for reading.

Then I have the Fenix HM61R that has 3 red light modes to choose from 1 lumen, 5 lumens, and 5 lumens flashing. It utilizes a single 18650 for a battery, so you would have extremely long battery life, along with a really bright light if you need it. It maybe more than you need, but I figured I'd at least mention it.

Good luck with your decision.


Newly Enlightened
May 11, 2017
I can understand the convenience of using existing NiMH arrangements but personally, I'd ditch the AA or AAA compatibility and get a headlamp from Petr at Lucifer Lighting in Czechoslovakia. His headlamps are - IMHO - the best value and are amazingly cheap compared to the so-called 'high-end' AA lights. The quality & level of build is amazing & his service is 2nd to none!