Headlamp? Why do I need a headlamp?

TPA

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You'll look like a dork, but they are darn handy. The key use is when you need the use of your hands. Or, longer usage of a light. Going for a long walk at night, it leaves your hands free. Because it's strapped to your forehead, wherever you turn your head is illuminated. I also heard from some people who used them after the hurricane at night. They didn't have a lot of battery power on-hand, so illuminating the entire room or multiple rooms with lanterns wasn't going to be a wise move. The headlamps provided that bit of lighting they needed right in front of them for the time.

and...in the end...it's another light. Who is posting here who can't use another light to their collection?
 

Bob A

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You'll look like a dork, but they are darn handy. The key use is when you need the use of your hands. Or, longer usage of a light. Going for a long walk at night, it leaves your hands free. Because it's strapped to your forehead, wherever you turn your head is illuminated. I also heard from some people who used them after the hurricane at night. They didn't have a lot of battery power on-hand, so illuminating the entire room or multiple rooms with lanterns wasn't going to be a wise move. The headlamps provided that bit of lighting they needed right in front of them for the time.

and...in the end...it's another light. Who is posting here who can't use another light to their collection?
The point you make about power outages post-hurricane strikes me as significant. I think that alone would make having one at hand,m so to speak, justifiable.

Gonna do it, thanks.

Just BTW, I don't much mind being a dork, but I don't like to stick out.
 

Bucur

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Appreciating that a headlamp is handier than a hand held flashlight took some time for me but eventually, I realized that my forehead is a far better light carrier than my mouth. Similarly, since high max output also means longer runtime at lower output, appreciating that high output is as beneficial for headlamps as it is for handheld flashlights also took some time for me.

My 1xAA or 3xAAA headlamps were satisfactory for short distance short duration tasks in my woodworking shop. I started to use them more extensively due to their convenience and they started to feel inadequate after a few inevitable step-downs. Then, I shifted to 1x18650, namely a Fenix HM65R-T. I hoped that it would meet all my expectations at 400 lumens High Floodlight mode, despite knowing that it would step down to about 300 lumens but it would run at this output for about 10 hours. I don't know how accurate these claimed figures are but this was a big improvement over the 3xAAA ones. It is OK for my woodworking shop but I now use it so extensively that I have to swap batteries when I work for long hours.

The fact is; the more convenient a headlamp is the more uses I find for it. Even the Fenix HM65R-T falls short in my garage, when detailing my car! The remedy for me was a Fenix HP30R V2.0. Thanks to Degarb, I knew the actual runtimes at actual output levels before buying it. You can find them here: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/what-about-the-fenix-hp30r-v2-0.479806/page-2 My expectation that 400 lumens at Medium Spot & Flood Light mode would be sufficient turned out to be incorrect for detailing my silver car but it shows almost every detail I want at High Flood mode (1000 lumens) and definitely every detail at High Flood & Spotlight mode (1800 lumens). I still swap batteries if I work for long hours so there is no end to the search for more power, just like hand held flashlights.

So is my path from 1xAA to 2x21.700 headlamps. One thing is clear, though: when I need both hands, I need a headlamp.
 

TPA

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Headlamps w/rechargeable batteries are great for common use. For emergencies, I still strongly recommend primaries.

If stuff hits the fan, you have no idea when power might be restored. A Costco pack of batteries will generally get you through anything and is cheap insurance. Unlike rechargeables, you know exactly how much capacity is left and that they're charged and ready to go. I usually affix a Brother P-Touch label with runtimes to all of my lights when I can. Then I know what my resources really are.
 

jabe1

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Headlamps w/rechargeable batteries are great for common use. For emergencies, I still strongly recommend primaries.

If stuff hits the fan, you have no idea when power might be restored. A Costco pack of batteries will generally get you through anything and is cheap insurance. Unlike rechargeables, you know exactly how much capacity is left and that they're charged and ready to go. I usually affix a Brother P-Touch label with runtimes to all of my lights when I can. Then I know what my resources really are.
This is why I rely primarily on single AA headlamps which can use 14500 also.
AA size can be found everywhere, (even many cheap landscaping lights) and I'd rather not try to change multiple batteries in the dark when they run out of juice.
 
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Poppy

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Primaries? Yeah they are convenient, I buy them 60 at a time at the Home Depot around Christmas time, or when I need them. The AAA's get used primarily in remotes. AA's IDK randomly. For headlamps, and most all of my flashlights, I use 18650's. They have 3-4 times the capacity of the AA, and are rechargeable. Who doesn't have a dozen of them?

During an outage, they can be charged from the car battery, it's alternator, or tool batteries (if they are not being used to recharge cell phones). They can be used as power banks for cell phones (which are more important than flashlights).

Power banks have become crazily inexpensive.

Should one have a light or a couple that are designed for alkalines? Sure, they are cheap enough, but shouldn't one also have lights that are designed for 18650 or 21700 LiIon batteries? I say, have both.

When people say SHTF scenarios, are they talking about "The Walking Dead" scenarios? Or a three day to two week outage caused buy an ice storm? IMO for a couple of weeks, a stock of alkalines will get you by, but for a "Walking .dead" scenario, I want solar and rechargeables.
 
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Headlamps w/rechargeable batteries are great for common use. For emergencies, I still strongly recommend primaries.

If stuff hits the fan, you have no idea when power might be restored. A Costco pack of batteries will generally get you through anything and is cheap insurance. Unlike rechargeables, you know exactly how much capacity is left and that they're charged and ready to go. I usually affix a Brother P-Touch label with runtimes to all of my lights when I can. Then I know what my resources really are.

Based on the occasional ice storm-induced blackouts we get in the Portlandia area, I have adopted the practice (and recommendation) of using rechargeables first in dual fuel situations and saving the primaries for last. If the power comes back on before all the rechargeables are spent, you can throw every dead rechargeable into every available charger asap to quickly recoup your losses in the likely case that the power outage isn't really over while still having some or all of your primaries left. The goal in this scenario is of course that you hopefully won't have to replenish any, some, or all of your supply of primaries, and you can simply recharge the spent rechargeables when the event is truly over.

But your point about primaries stands very solidly. I especially embrace your idea of labelling the runtimes.
 

Bob A

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Headlamps w/rechargeable batteries are great for common use. For emergencies, I still strongly recommend primaries.

If stuff hits the fan, you have no idea when power might be restored. A Costco pack of batteries will generally get you through anything and is cheap insurance. Unlike rechargeables, you know exactly how much capacity is left and that they're charged and ready to go. I usually affix a Brother P-Touch label with runtimes to all of my lights when I can. Then I know what my resources really are.
Dual fuel for the win.
 

Bob A

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Just one question: Have you by chance done any reading in the 'Official Zebralight Thread' on this forum?
Actually, no.

I bought the Zebra on a whim. It's an interesting light, but I don't think it will prove ultimately that useful, for me.

Of course, time will tell.

I took Poppy's suggestion in hand, and ordered a pair of the Sofirn lamps, one with dual red/white, the other just white. Just the other day I realised that I could put them to good use around the house.

I'm inclined to add that the Sofirn mentioned CRI, a new concept for me to consider. I'd think that accurate colort rendering would be very useful in a headlamp.

I looked at the Surefire lamps, and the Minimus might be of interest if I could find a reasonably priced used example, but they don't seem to discuss CRI on their site. I'm curious whetheranyone here can comment on the surefire, and of course any other tangential info is probably useful.
 
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61 Willys wagon

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I just bought 2 armytek wizard c2 pro v3 headlamps for me and my wife. Any opinions/thoughts from current users?
 

Bob A

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My two Sofirn lamps arrived today, and I have to say I'm delighted (NOT "de-lighted" . . . ).

Comfortable, reasonably simple (though I could happily live ever after without a strobe), quite well-made on first impression. Any complaints would be minimal, at least so far, especially considering the price!
 

arficus

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I mountain bike with a headlamp. I ski with a headlamp. Why would I hike or even walk with a handheld when my hands are my major line of defense should I fall? 95% of the time I need light I don't need immense flood or throw, why would I want to burden my hands? In short, I use headlamps at least 20x more than handhelds, and have been doing so for 10+ years.
 

Buff

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I use trekking poles. If i hike at night or in low light definitely not using hand held. Like when i through hiked the Appalachian Trail nearly breaking the record for my age. To stay on schedule you sometimes find yourself humping the trail at dusk or even an hour in the darkest night.
Plus making camp setting up your tent in the dark is a headlamp no brainer!
Then i woke up!!! Lol!
I only wish i had the walnuts to "through hike" the App Trail. To hike the entire length (2200) miles of mostly mountainous trails is bad ***. And doing it without being eaten by a bear is icing on the cake.
My one major accomplishment was hiking the entire width (4ft) of the App Trail. There is that.
 

3L3M3NT

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kilogulf59

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@Bob A This is just my 2¢ worth and I'm no portable light expert or flashlightaholic. I am just an end user who gets most of his tech info from the kind and knowledgeable folkshere.

Honestly, the first time I tried one I said aloud "baby, where have you been all my life". How many times I burned myself on mechanic's lights or screwed around trying to hold a flashlight while working in some contortionist's position somewhere and so on. And how great to have one during a power outage; walking around the house, reading, working in the kitchen, you name it. I cannot say enough about headlamps (in all but a self defense/home protection situation). The bottom line is you have light wherever you look, hands free. If I were forced to choose between a flashlight and headlamp, no contest, headlamp hands down every time. With that said I/we do use the handhelds more. Like every night and morning when we have to let the dogs out (we're rural). For this purpose they're simply more convenient. Everything has its place but for certain things, NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING beats a headlamp...and that's my take on the subject.
 

Bob A

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@Bob A This is just my 2¢ worth and I'm no portable light expert or flashlightaholic. I am just an end user who gets most of his tech info from the kind and knowledgeable folkshere.

Honestly, the first time I tried one I said aloud "baby, where have you been all my life". How many times I burned myself on mechanic's lights or screwed around trying to hold a flashlight while working in some contortionist's position somewhere and so on. And how great to have one during a power outage; walking around the house, reading, working in the kitchen, you name it. I cannot say enough about headlamps (in all but a self defense/home protection situation). The bottom line is you have light wherever you look, hands free. If I were forced to choose between a flashlight and headlamp, no contest, headlamp hands down every time. With that said I/we do use the handhelds more. Like every night and morning when we have to let the dogs out (we're rural). For this purpose they're simply more convenient. Everything has its place but for certain things, NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING beats a headlamp...and that's my take on the subject.
I agree with much of what you say. There's a lot of opportunities around the house and in my life where hands-free light would be useful, though I've made do with handheld flashlights perfectly well for decades.

It's more a matter of handiness: A flashlight is always in my pocket; in fact, there's usually two. I don't have to think about it, just reach in grab it. So it's an automatic response to the need for illumination.

While my headlamps have a more specific utility, freeing up an extra hand, they're not as convenient to carry around, and I can't see my way into wearing it everywhere.

My thought is to get a handful of these things, keep one in every vehicle and scattered about the house in areas that I hang out where a headlamp might be useful. It's easier to pre-position things where they're likely to be needed, and having a set lace for them eliminates having to wander around trying to remember where I left it.

Those Sofrin lamps are inexpensive enough, and seem well enough made, to be the answer to a problem that I may not actually have, though I have a solution at hand, so to speak, should a need arise.
 

Monocrom

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Those Sofrin lamps are inexpensive enough, and seem well enough made, to be the answer to a problem that I may not actually have, though I have a solution at hand, so to speak, should a need arise.
Be careful when ordering lights from Sofirn's website.
Make sure the word "Sofirn" is to the left of the model designation of any light you click on. If you only see a model designation, that's not a real Sofirn. It's a No-name worthless piece of junk that for some bizarre reason, Sofirn sells right alongside their inexpensive but good-quality lights. No clue why Sofirn does that. Learned that lesson the hard way.
 
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