Headlamp recommendations sought

geepondy

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I have decided right here and now that I'm going to get a headlight! In the last power failure, despite my growing supply of flashlights, I found the light I used the most was my Coleman fluorescent lamp and I thought back then how nice a headlight would be. Tonight I'm cleaning out my closet, using my E1/KL1 as illumination. I shine it in the closet, identify what I want to remove, put the light down so no longer can see what I want to remove, fumble and remove it anyhow and then have to pick the light up and repeat the process. Plus reading Joe Talmadge's thread on the blackout has giving me further inspiration.

But which one? Obviously LED (I think) and brightness is more important then runtime although real short runtimes are a turnoff. I like regulation too although that is just one of the factors. Oh and under a hundred bucks, considerably so if possible? Thanks!
 

hartage

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Give the Cyclone from walmart a shot... $20 3 led's and 1 krypton, led's pretty bright, waterproof, has a good thick rubber coating on it for durability. Did I mention it's $20? lastly if you don't like it hell take it back to walmart.
 

MicroE

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I own two PT Aurora's. Three white LEDs in a nice small package powered by AAA batteries. Nice comfortable headstrap. You can select high, med, or low light level. I use one all the time in the workshop.---Marc
 

Gone Jeepin

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Check out the Petzel Zippka or Tikka. I have heard the Dlack Diamond lights are nice too. I just prefer the battery pack as part of the light vs on the back of my head. I can use the Zippka as a table light in a pinch...
 

Ratso

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I really love my Streamlight Septor. It was $30 at Brightguy and has 7 LEDs, running 1, 3, or 7. It is pretty bright although it has a pretty wide beam. The elastic head band is pretty good quality and is removable. Uses 3 AAA batteries.I just used it to replace a car battery at night. Everyone else there had Eveready 2D lights but the Septor gave off a nice wide white light that was not comparable, plus I had my hands free.
 

Flashlightboy

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Why don't you take a look at the new Nitrolon SF headlamp. It uses the MN02/3 bulbs with an interchangeable LED module.

Oh yeah...it doesn't exist. Sorry about that. Me bad.
frown.gif
 

Albany Tom

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This will sound silly, but how much brighter is the Septor at 7 rather than 3 LED's? I have a green Trident (1 or 2 LED's or halogen), and find I don't use the halogen much. Is the Septor the same size as the Trident?

BTW the Tikka is a nice light, nice and compact, but I like the ability of the Trident to aim up and down when working on things. Plus, w/ the halogen it's brighter. For camping, or reading, though, hands down it's the Tikka. Perfect reading light, even and bright.
 

SCampbell

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You beat me to it, geepondy!

What about the harnesses? Who has the most comfortable one, along with LEDs? I know, I know, that's a real subjective thing, but I KNOW some of you guys either own or have tried all of these headlights...

Steve
 

hartage

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Scambell, the harness for the cyclone at walmart is very comfortable and fully adjustable. Heck I can wear it pretty loosely and the hadlamp will stay on even if I'm upside down. Have it on for a bit and you'll forget it's even there.

Before you guys go spend a lot of $$ on a headlamp, give the walmart cyclone a shot... can't beat it's return policy don't like it get yer money back. Ya like it though (and you will) yer only out $20
 

Charles Bradshaw

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PT Matrix or Solo plus Matrix Module for max options. Solo comes with PR flange halogen in smooth reflector, plus orange peel reflector for other bulbs. The Matrix Module is 3 LEDs and regulated for up to 40 hours with alkalines and 100+ hours on Lithiums. Batteries are a pair of AAs. Headstrap is fully adjustable. Best of all, the headlamp is dive rated waterproof.

Don't waste your money on AAA based headlamps.
 

Sean

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I got to the same point as you, wanting a headlamp for power outages, moving/getting things in the shed as night, working in the attic or crawlspace, etc. So, instead of trying to find a good LED headlamp when I already have an Arc LS that works great with rechargeables, a Surefire KL1, Opalec newbeam etc. I went to wal-mart and bought one of those velcro head bands that is made to hold a 2AA minimag on your head. It works very good, and for only $3 I turned all of the above mentioned LED lights into a bright headlamp of my choice. It's not as fancy as a $30 headlamp but as often as I need one it works for me.
 

Charles Bradshaw

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T-Rex: Runtime, or lack thereof. Runtime claims with AAA lights are exaggerated. Even AA are to some extent. In fact, I suspect that all mass produced lights are exaggerated in the runtime department (marketing hype). Another point is that many AAA based headlamps are not that well designed (not that robust).

The Princton Tec Solo is a very robust headlamp and it is waterproof. you can put a Versalux PR-2 LED bulb in the orange peel reflector w/alkalines or get the Matrix Module for regulated light output.

Most people go for a AAA one cause the AAAs are cheap.

I think in far longer terms, than just a few hours. Six months of light at 12 hours per day (worst case) with the Matrix Module takes 44 Lithium AAs. In reality, you wouldn't be using it for 12 hours per day, so you would have more like a year's worth of light, or more. Under the same parameters, using the regular Infinity, you would need 27 lithium AAs, based on 2 x alkaline runtime.

I like to think in worst case terms and make my choices accordingly. Where I live, we have cold winter weather to factor in. As a result, I will choose lights that I can use lithiums in, with AAs preferred, and for maximum runtime. Though I do have an LX for extremely bright, but limited use.
 

Quickbeam

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I would also recommend the Septor. You can get additional AAA battery "cartriges" (carriers) from Brightguy if you need to carry spares for a quick change.

As for runtime - I'll invoke "Doug's Law of LED Illumination" ;-) which states that:

"In general, you should take the battery life claimed by the LED flashlight manufacturer and divide by 3. This is how long the flashlight will probably produce light before you will want to change the batteries."

So I would estimate 45-50 hours of good light for 1 LED, 12-15 hours for 3 LEDs and around 5-7 hours for 7 LEDs.

Here's the full review:
http://thelightsite.cruxial.com/reviews/streamlight_septor.htm
 

Ratso

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I agree with Doug; those are fairly accurate run times. Getting a "AAA" headlamp is not a waste of money. I don't know why you think this. For LED headlamps AAA is the most popular configuration so they can run it direct drive and not lose any efficiency. EVERY LED light is exaggerated be it AAA, AA, D, or Lithium. Manufacturers just claim the "useable" life. My Septor has good enough run time for my use, plus selectable brightness. For an incandescant however, such as the trident, AAA will not last very long.
 

Termac

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The Zipka is my favorite; it goes from pocket to head to pocket with ease. It is quite possible to be content with the light output of a Zipka after 10, 20 or 30 hours. Just depends on the ambient light environment and your task. I bought a PT Matrix; of all my LED purchases, it is the one I regret most. It is big and heavy and expensive, but doesn't put out any better than an Infinity. I also have never seen it proven that a Lithium AA battery actually does out perform an Alkaline in cold temperatures, when the load is small as with an Infinity or Matrix. But I've seen many posts here of Arc AAAs working fine while frozen in a block of ice. Someone should freeze a couple Infinitys.
 

geepondy

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Bought the Cyclone for now. $18.83 actually and for the truly budget conscious, they offer a headlight for $5.95 at Walmart. The light seems pretty decent although I have no other headlamp to compare it to. The incandescent bulb is very yellow and fairly weak but I suppose if they beefed it up too much, it would eat right thru the 3 AAA's. It seems rugged enough except I have concern's that the "clicking" mechanism that controls the swiveling of the lamp will break. No more then I will use it, I will probably keep it.
 
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