Headlamp for car repairs

Wurkkos

atrõõv

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May 19, 2016
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Hello!
I have used quite many cheap headlamps for working on my cars. But today, when another one broke down I thought to finally get a high quality headlamp. The headlamp should be water and oil resistant, being shock-proof would be a good feature, but not essential. The most important thing is that LED lamps (at least the ones I've used so far) create very sharp shadows and it is quite hard to see under some details under the car. Are there some headlamps that don't create so nasty shadows? What lamps do you recommend?
 

hazza

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Aug 19, 2014
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My recommendation is for something with a very wide beam angle. I was always sceptical about this, but I tried a Zebralight H502 and I found the wide beam to be great for 'arms length' repair/DIY work. I would probably prefer the H502w as it is a warmer colour light. Zebralight are quite expensive and the controls aren't suited for everyone, so to keep your options open, someone here might be able to recommend some similar alternatives.
 

FlashKat

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Mar 18, 2006
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Definitely get a headlamp that uses a 18650 battery for long battery life. It sucks when you are underneath the car, and the light goes out because the battery died.
 

dino33ca

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Feb 23, 2009
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My recommendation is for something with a very wide beam angle. I was always sceptical about this, but I tried a Zebralight H502 and I found the wide beam to be great for 'arms length' repair/DIY work. I would probably prefer the H502w as it is a warmer colour light. Zebralight are quite expensive and the controls aren't suited for everyone, so to keep your options open, someone here might be able to recommend some similar alternatives.


I really prefer the extra strength of the H602, Imo, one beautiful light. Perfect sphere of balanced light, no hot spot. I do deliveries at night and it clips on to my belt. I can walk at night in the sphere of light. I've also used this light successfully to work on cars as well...

http://www.zebralight.com/H602w-18650-XM-L2-Flood-Headlamp-Neutral-White_p_115.html
 

hiuintahs

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Sep 12, 2006
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Utah
Another item for working on cars is a lantern like the Fenix CL20 which has a magnet and can be fastened wherever convenient on a metalic car. The Fenix HL23, HL25 are pretty rugged with IP68 rating. They're not very expensive and pretty floody. I prefer the HL23 because it only uses 1xAA battery whereas the HL25 uses 3xAAA batteries (but is brighter and has memory). The Fenix HL50 is another single AA or single CR123A headlamp. I'm not into headlamps like I am the flashlights but feel its important to have a couple. I prefer light weight and so don't like them when they have lots of batteries. I'd rather have spare batteries.

The Nitecore HC30 is an inexpensive (can be picked up on sale for $39), single 18650 headlamp that works pretty good. My preference is light weight and no over the top band though......just a single headband. Anyhow just some thoughts :).
 
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D6859

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Oct 29, 2013
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Finland
I've been really satisfied with my Armytek Tiara A1 Pro (v1) and Armytek Wizard Pro (v1.5). They are AA and 18650 powered lights (respectively). I've been waiting for to get some money to order Fenix HL35 which is 2AA powered.

If you adjust the headlamp close to your eye(s) it shouldn't create any shadows that you could see but light the things you can see directly in front of you. Also, a headlamp that is "floody" (eg. Tiara, Wizard, Zebralights) shouldn't create so hard shadows. IIRC Nitecore HC30 has tighter hotspot so it might be more suitable for outdoor.

Here's a simple sketch illustrating the difference in placement (yes, I drew it myself with a Linux (i.e. KDE) version of Paint).
headlamps_and_shadows.png

I wonder if a headlamp that is IP68 (submersible) can hold oil. My guess is it can hold oil as well as water but you need soap or something to wash the oil off which might damage the O-rings in a long run. Also the rubber boot on the switch might not like all the solvents. On the other hand, I've been using my Tiara on cunstruction sites and when working on some different DIY projects which have included solvents like alcohol with no problems. I've also tested many of my flashlights when taking a shower so they've been in touch with soap and water also, no problems.
 

Mark620

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Feb 22, 2006
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326
I have had problems with too much light in one area causing a depth perception problem. Then when I reach to do a task the shadow obscures what I was looking at...Multiple sources of light helps.
 

atrõõv

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May 19, 2016
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I'm choosing between Fenix HL25 and HL55. How good flood does the HL55 have? Zebralight is out for me because there isn't a distributor in my country. And what do you think of Petzl Pixa 2?
 
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