Pelican 2720 headlamp Review


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 5, 2010
Hove, UK
3 x AAA LED headlamps have been around for a long time, but Pelican have recently release a new headlamp, the 2720, with an interesting mixture of features setting this apart from the rest.

PART 1 – Initial Impressions:

With a lot of features included, the 2720 is still not much larger than the average 3xAAA headlamp and is smaller than many of the multi-led versions.

Adjustable output, adjustable beam, optional red light and the ‘Gesture Activation Control’ makes it very versatile and usable.

The quality feels very good and unlike most other headlamps like this the battery compartment is easy to open and close instead of ripping off a finger nail or needing a key to prize it open.

Due to all the capabilities it loses out a bit in waterproofing only being IP-X4 rated.

What is in the box:

The full retail packaging is one of the big plastic blister packs. Though this does keep the product nicely packaged and protected in a shop, it is challenging to open.



The 2720 is supplied with a standard elasticated fabric head strap (fitted), a rubber head strap with plastic cable guides to clip on (though I don’t know what cable they would guide as the 2720 doesn’t have a remote battery pack), 3 x AAA Duracell batteries and the instructions.


The strap is neatly folded and held with a rubber band


A closer look:

The front of the 2720 is quite busy looking at it has the main beam LED with zoom lens, under which are the red LEDs, surrounded by the infra-red LED and sensor for the gesture activation.


On the top are the two buttons, the black one for the main on-off function and the clear one for the gesture activation.


The light is hinged for added flexibility and this uses a click adjust mechanism shown here.


Modes and User Interface:

The 2720 has main beam with adjustable output and red LED constant on and SOS flashing modes.

To access these modes, (from OFF) press to cycle through the modes, stopping when you reach the one you want – main beam, red beam, red flashing, off.

To adjust the main beam, first select the main beam, then press and hold the black button and the light will dim the output. When you get to the desired level let go of the button. (output level is not memorised)

Once you have had a mode selected for 2s or more, the next press and release of the black button will turn it off. If you wait less than 2s then clicking the button changes to the next mode.

Gesture Activation Control - Whatever mode you are in, pressing the sensor button puts the 2720 into standby mode, flashes the main beam and turns it off. The sensor button now glows red.


(photo from Pelican’s website)

Now the infra-red sensor in the headlamp detects anything moving within about 10cm of the front of the headlamp. This means you only need to wave at the front of the light and it will turn on and off. You can use your arm if your hands are full or oily/dirty to easily turn the 2720 on and off.

The adjustable beam zoom is operated by a lever above the main beam lens and is infinitely variable between the 1-4x zoom.

Batteries and output:

The 2720 takes 3 x AAA batteries and will work with alkaline and NiMH cells. The 2720 is supplied with alkaline batteries, but I have been using NiMH as my preference is for rechargeable batteries.

The main beam output is quoted as 80lm with the lowest output being 5lm (adjustable anywhere in between). No output levels are quantified for the red beam.

Full output does not appear to use PWM, but all dimmed levels do use PMW. The frequency is high enough not to be annoying, but it is noticeable with moving objects.

PART 2 – In The Lab

In an attempt to quantify the actual beam profile I developed the following test. There are probably many flaws in my method, but it is simple and easy to carry out and seems to provide a good enough comparison.

The method used was to put the light on the edge of a table 1m from a wall, with a tape measure on the wall. The zero of the scale is placed in the centre of the hotspot and a lux meter is then positioned at points along the scale, with the measurements recorded. Beam shots are often taken with the light shining on a flat white wall, so this method is simply measuring the actual intensity across the beam on a flat surface, not the spherical light emission.

The results are then plotted on a graph.

For the best throw you want to see a sharp peak with less of the distracting spill. For the best flood light the trace should be pretty flat.

The 2720 is shown in both widest and tightest zoom settings. The wide output is a very good flood light beam profile with even spread of light. The zoom setting has a much more focussed beam with greater throw.


Taking this a little further, I calculated an approximate factor to apply to the lux measurements, as each measurement gets further from the centre of the beam, it corresponds to a larger area onto which the light is falling. It seems to me that this should also be taken into consideration, so I applied these area corrections and came up with this odd looking graph.

The key quantity here is the area under the graph line. This should correspond to the total light output.


This shows an interesting feature of zoom lights; that of the considerable total output reduction at the maximum zoom. The losses are caused by the lens size and are typical; however the zoom option is very useful for gaining range at the cost of some output.

PART 3 – The beam

The flood beam is a nice even spread of light. At maximum zoom the beam is a bit messy and you can see the LED power wires.

The red LEDs’ beam is poor even for 5mm LEDs, with lots of artefacts.

The main beam is the strong feature of this light, with the red light being a useful bonus.

PART 4 – Using the P0


The 2720 is comfortable to wear and adjusts to project the beam where you want it. The rear of the hinged mount has a textured foam rubber pad so there is no hard plastic digging into your head.


For general everyday use, the nice flood light means you don’t need to dim the beam as it doesn’t have a blinding hotspot. So most of the time all you need is to click once to switch on the main beam and once finished click to switch it off again.

When running errands in and out of the house, the gesture activation proved very useful as I have been able to switch it on and off without touching it. However, what I have found is that it is not activated by a gesture, instead it is a proximity detector and doesn’t distinguish between your hand, a door frame, wall, or any other surface that the infra-red sensor can pick up. The result of this is that you can choose to turn it on and off by moving close to something. Again useful, but in some situations this would be problematic if you are working in a confined space; in this instance the standard on-off mode is more stable.

An interesting and innovative light from Pelican, and one that I’ve found to be well made and very useful within its accepted limitations.

Review sample provided by Peliproducts .co .uk.

I’ll update post 2 of this thread once I have some more comments to add....


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 5, 2010
Hove, UK
As the 2720 has a soft click button I just wanted to check the parasitic drain.

For NiMh it was 34.8uA and for Alkaline it was 42.6uA.

Not mentioned in the main review is the fact the the plastic loops, which the elastic headband fixes to, have a slot in the middle. This allows you to slide the standard headband out and use the additional rubber one that is supplied instead.

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Newly Enlightened
Mar 10, 2011
Nice review -- thanks. Is it regulated? (I'm hoping it would be, as the price I found online was something like 70 euros/90 bucks.)

And btw, the hooks are almost certainly to catch the bottom rim of a hardhat/helmet.


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 5, 2010
Hove, UK
I am almost certain it is not regulated as nowhere in the specifications is this mentioned and when the batteries are getting low the output dims and is still usable for a long time. Regulated lights can fall out of regulation and simply dim rather than just cut out, so this in itself does not exclude being regulated, however normally a manufacturer would state this as a positive feature, and I have found no mention at all.

Thanks for the heads-up on the rim clips. This makes perfect sense. Not being a regular helmet wearer (apart from a cycling helmet which don't have rims) I had not thought of this.
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