Recommendation for a Headlamp for a church

Ithilome2

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I'm looking to get a headlamp to leave at a church and wondering what recommendations might be given?

Some Details (that I think* are pertinent. I'm sure there's more details):

Qualifications:
-Light distribution between spotty or floody isn't terribly important- It'd be used mostly by one person (me) for a work light. I'd wear it on my head while up on a ladder trying to see low voltage electrical connections for lighting or power.
-Since it's for close up work, the lumen output probably doesn't need to be high
-Cheap/expendable. The head lamp would be kept at a location accessible to many people. There's a good possibility that it'll walk off or relocate.
-Durable to withstand abuse (since anyone can access it, it'll probably get misused and dropped)
-Able to be quickly used and without notice after being stored for a week or longer. (I'd guess that to meet this need would require the headlamp to run off a battery that's readily available? The church has wireless handheld mics that use AA batteries, so those will likely be on hand.)
-Be a self contained unit (doesn't have an external battery pack)
-Minor preference is for a small size unit so it doesn't take up much space in a storage room
This is a pie in the sky wishlist, I'm sure tradeoffs will have to be made.

Initially I was going to go with a Sofirn HS10 headlamp, but I'm not finding one that can use AAs (You can't use a AA to replace a 14500 battery can you? I think the voltage is different and would cause problems). I debated using a Petzl but it looks like they only come as rechargeable or using AAA batteries. Using Alkalines would be preferred but if the headlamp can be charged up and used rapidly, perhaps a rechargeable is fine. For reference I've used an energizer headlamp and it does most of what's needed aside from using AAAs (which the church doesn't typically have).


If a cheap headlamp ($40 or less) can't be used I could spend a bit more and keep the headlamp with me; taking it to church only when its needed. But often I don't realize I need it until I'm at the church doing something else, so it wouldn't be on hand.
 

hamhanded

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I recommend a Thrunite TH20, it will run just fine on a single AA alkaline. It might be a bit out of your ideal price range at $45.

There are lots of other options these days, I'm sure— that was my pick from about 2 years ago and I'm still happy with it.

For what it's worth, I'm not as discerning with headlamps/work lights as I am with other portable lightning. I've gone cheaper than this, though, with one of those $15 home improvement store purchases, and it was utter trash.
 

Remembertheslap

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Dec 12, 2020
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49
I'm looking to get a headlamp to leave at a church and wondering what recommendations might be given?

Some Details (that I think* are pertinent. I'm sure there's more details):

Qualifications:
-Light distribution between spotty or floody isn't terribly important- It'd be used mostly by one person (me) for a work light. I'd wear it on my head while up on a ladder trying to see low voltage electrical connections for lighting or power.
-Since it's for close up work, the lumen output probably doesn't need to be high
-Cheap/expendable. The head lamp would be kept at a location accessible to many people. There's a good possibility that it'll walk off or relocate.
-Durable to withstand abuse (since anyone can access it, it'll probably get misused and dropped)
-Able to be quickly used and without notice after being stored for a week or longer. (I'd guess that to meet this need would require the headlamp to run off a battery that's readily available? The church has wireless handheld mics that use AA batteries, so those will likely be on hand.)
-Be a self contained unit (doesn't have an external battery pack)
-Minor preference is for a small size unit so it doesn't take up much space in a storage room
This is a pie in the sky wishlist, I'm sure tradeoffs will have to be made.

Initially I was going to go with a Sofirn HS10 headlamp, but I'm not finding one that can use AAs (You can't use a AA to replace a 14500 battery can you? I think the voltage is different and would cause problems). I debated using a Petzl but it looks like they only come as rechargeable or using AAA batteries. Using Alkalines would be preferred but if the headlamp can be charged up and used rapidly, perhaps a rechargeable is fine. For reference I've used an energizer headlamp and it does most of what's needed aside from using AAAs (which the church doesn't typically have).


If a cheap headlamp ($40 or less) can't be used I could spend a bit more and keep the headlamp with me; taking it to church only when its needed. But often I don't realize I need it until I'm at the church doing something else, so it wouldn't be on hand.

 

Hooked on Fenix

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If you want cheap and small, there's the plastic Nitecore HA11 for $20. If you want more durable, there's the Thrunite TH20 you can find around $30 (probably without battery). I wish Acebeam still sold their H40 headlight. That's what I use and was only $30. Hard to find any 14500 lights with built in charging. You'll probably need a charger and might need to purchase the batteries separately. Lights that are AA compatible often cut corners by not including a 14500 cell. The Sofirn HS10 doesn't take 14500s. It takes a high amp rated 16340. The problem with that type of light is that it only takes li-ion cells and it needs high amp rated cells to operate correctly. It's difficult to find spare cells available to purchase. Other than that, I like my Sofirn HS10. Just have to have a backup light when the battery runs low.
 

3_gun

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At $5 each you can buy a few & leave them around the building so one is always near by. There are a couple similar priced headlights to look over also on the Sofirn site
 

idleprocess

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If you're up on a ladder working at arms' length you're going to want a reasonably flood beam. You'll want decent color rendition although I suspect that anything in the now common 80CRI with a tint of ~5000K or less will probably suffice; unfortunately this information is not always available from the manufacturer.

Not sure how up to date that Parametrek is but it can drill down to 1xAA headlamps.
 

sween1911

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I've picked up a bunch of the "Energizer" brand ones and they've been great for nighttime corn mazes and camping trips. There's a couple different kinds of varying lumens. I run mine with Energizer lithiums just because they might sit in a storage container for a few months and suddenly grabbed for use.
 

desert.snake

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if it is possible to exceed the budget, then one of the best, but it's bait for thieves

And whatever you choose in the end, I highly recommend buying a few flashlights for CR2032 or CR2016 and stuffing them into your pockets. They are reliable and if suddenly a your headlamp dies, then you can clamp it small light with your teeth and this will be enough for most jobs, some kind of backup

or one of the more expensive
 
Last edited:

Hooked on Fenix

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I've picked up a bunch of the "Energizer" brand ones and they've been great for nighttime corn mazes and camping trips. There's a couple different kinds of varying lumens. I run mine with Energizer lithiums just because they might sit in a storage container for a few months and suddenly grabbed for use.
Many of the Energizer headlights cause glare right down in your face. They work fine if used with a hard hat that blocks the glare, but I would not recommend them otherwise. They get to be annoying after awhile and you end up looking for something better to replace them with.
 
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I have one of the Zebralight H53c Neutral White headlamps. (I have a dozen headlamps, but the Zebralight is a day-to-day workhorse for around the house and other close applications.) There are three levels of light output, and each of the three levels can be programmed for a level of illumination that's most useful to the task. The color temp is a blissful 4000K, which is enormously useful for accurate color separation, especially when working with wiring. Small, lightweight, with solid aluminum construction; you won't notice it on your head. Accepts alkaline, NiMH, and lithium primary cells; 14500 li-ion cells are not supported. To avoid the possibility of parasitic battery drain (and to avoid a dead battery just when you need it) simply untwist the tailcap a half turn before storing the light for any length of time.

This headlamp is NOT one you want to leave lying around...if you do, it WILL grow legs and walk away. At about $60, it's also just a bit above your stated budget, but it's oh so worth it. If you can swing it, you won't be disappointed.
 

Dave_H

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Some practicality concerns with headlamp cells:

(1) Non-removable rechargeable e.g. 18650 can be an issue if and when cell(s) run down; you have to swap out the light itself, or wait for recharge (up to several hours).

(2) Mixing up AA with 14500 could be an problem as they are same size. 14500 spares are not commonly available on short notice. Lights which take either would work, as long as they don't get mixed up with those which can't! AA/AAA gives several options down to zinc-carbon in a pinch.

(3) Cell recharging overhead/management may or may not work out, given the users/environment; Lithium particularly.

I've built up an oddball collection of cheap headlamps, all under $10, including some dollar-store. They are all pretty good, some better than others (e.g. band comfort) although most not waterproof. My use is casual and not demanding. Convenience of 3AAA is good, would like to find good 2AA. Just acquired a dual-lamp 18650 (removable). Anything running on CR2032s or similar is a short-term, last-resort in my mind.

Dollar Tree sells a nice 3AAA COB (flood only) headlamp for $1.25 ($1.50 in Canada). It's light and fairly comfortable, fairly solid but not waterproof. High/low brightness though I wish they'd dispense with the flash mode.

Dave
 

Dave_H

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Olympia 31821FL available OTC here for $10 or less (a.k.a Farpoint FLHR35206) has 1200mAh 18650 (non-removable) with spot/flood and no flash modes, and push/hold dimming on both lamps; but no "memory". It's discussed in another thread somewhere on CPF. The Farpoint brand is available for $4.25 OTC in Canada (Dollarama), can't beat that!

Charging is micro-USB. Claim is "weatherproof" but not waterproof or water-resistant for what it's worth. Head rotates; light detaches from clip making it a flashlight or mini-worklight (magnet on one end).


Dave
 

Hooked on Fenix

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