Simple Headlamp for GP Use

kilogulf59

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Greetings. I'm looking for some input on headlamps as the switch on mine is starting to go. My uses are household repairs, reading, and some light mechanic work. I've had Black Diamond units before. My current one is an Astro, 150 lumens, dimmable, the light tilts (a must), one switch, and runs on three AAA cells (yes, I use Eneloops). Slightly brighter wouldn't be bad but most of my work is close so elevendymillion lumens is not required. Also, I don't need a heavy, tacti-cool light with a lot of bells and whistles and a head harness. Since these things only seem to last four to five years or so (and I do take care of my tools), I'm looking in the below $50 range. One light that crossed my mind was a Petzl Tikkina. It seems to have the simple features I require, it's 300 lumens max, and it runs about $25. However, I only have experience with Black Diamond so I'm uncertain of the quality. There's so many headlamps out there is mind-boggling and that's why I'm asking.
 
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If you want to keep using Envelopes or other rechargeable 1.2v cells, or even primary alkaline or primary lithium cells for that matter, I recommend the Zebralight H53C. It uses a single AA cell; produces a neutral white light at about 4000K at 90 CRI; offers three output levels (that can each be toggled between a dimmer and brighter setting at each of the three levels), at a price point that is just a few dollars higher than your suggested ballpark price. Using an Envelope cell mine outputs about 260 lumens at the highest level. The lowest output setting is less than one lumen. Lots of forum members endorse Zebralight for the brand's excellent construction, operation and reliability.

Take a look and let us have your thoughts.
 

kilogulf59

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Thanks for the assistance, there's a lot to look at.

It would appear that I'm more accustomed to a lamp akin to the Fenix HL16 style.

I have no experience with setups like the Zebralight and ThruNite. How well do the hold the light in place and how long does that last? (Reference pic below) The BDs that I've had positively click into place for the angle adjustment. Actually, my only problem with the BDs seems to be the switches, they don't hold up well at all. BTW, I am not a heavy user. If it gets used twice a month that's a lot. Flashlights and headlamps are tools to me, I'm really not "into" them, which explains my ignorance.

61ijhtFa1kL._AC_UL232_SR232,232_.jpg


The Zebralight H53C is, I think, out of production. I found one and it was $80. What's the difference between that and the A6 anyway?

Honestly, of the lamps suggested, I'm leaning towards the ThruNite TH20 Pro. Though that seems a bit much for my needs. What confuses me it it uses "type C charging", yet doesn't come with a battery (rechargeable cell), and is compatible with AA cells like Alkaline, Li-ion, and NiMH. Therefore, in order to get the claimed performance out of it I need to get a special battery?

I'm beginning to think my buddy's right. He gets the cheapest lamps he can at the home center and always has a spare on hand. If they break he just gets another one. He says they're bright enough for his needs and he uses rechargeable cells so he doesn't care about run times. He can thank me, Candlepower Forums, and Eneloop for the latter 😀.
 

kilogulf59

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@jabe1 thank you. Apparently my eyes are going as well as my mind. I ordered it and with a coupon got it for less than $23 out the door.

@DaveTheDude the Zebra light looked great but for half the price I had to go with the ThruNite TH20 Pro. Perhaps the Zebra is better but I'm not a heavy duty user.

Thanks to everyone for your help, I am much obliged. I'll comeback here and comment on the light after I get it.

Oh, to add, I also ordered it now because I have one headlamp and the switch is about to go. While I have a few flashlights, I'm spoiled and did not want to get caught without a functioning headlamp. People who never used them have no idea how handy and useful they really are.
 

NRiyo3

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There is just something special about Zebralights. If you can ever just get one I think you will see what the fuss is all about. I got one and now I have a small herd.
 

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PaladinNO

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While I have a few flashlights, I'm spoiled and did not want to get caught without a functioning headlamp. People who never used them have no idea how handy and useful they really are.
In case you haven't already, please let this opinion be known in this thread:

I've been using both a flashlight and a headlamp for almost equally as long. My first "decent" headlamp was a quad-AA Fenix HP10, with an outrageous 225 Lumen. Supports diffuser and colour filters. Of course it wasn't actually that good of a light, but I immediately saw the usability of a headlamp.

As to your question regarding the mount, the 2 rubber straps holds the light firmly(!) in place. Almost excessively so, as I often find myself unscrewing the light (on lights where the head can be separated from the battery carrier) instead of wiggling the light body out of the straps.
But if a secure fit is important to you, stay clear of the ones with a metal clamp. I borrowed one such light from a friend to test, and the light got bumped out of the clamp almost all the time during use.

I do not have any personal experience with Petzl or Black Diamond, but I have looked at several models from either brand, and to me Petzl enjoyed a proprietary battery solution too much, and Black Diamond seemed overpriced for the Lumen output they offered.

I know a decision has been made here, but for ease of use, regardless of price, I can recommend the Acebeam H15. The rotary switch is so simple to use, even with gloves. For a more budget-conscious option, I would suggest the Nitecore HC30 / HC33. No personal experience with Zebralight, but I see that name mentioned here so many times, it seems I need to get one...

EDIT:
Regarding the "USB-C charging" part, my guess is the light has a built-in USB-C charge port that you can hook a phone charger to, to charge the cell inside.

Random stolen image:
1709819574256.jpeg
 
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kilogulf59

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@NRiyo3 I have no doubt that you're correct. Honestly, I ordered the ThruNite TH20 Pro because it was half the price and I'm not a heavy user. Now, if that doesn't hold up well, then I'll pop for the Zebralight and undoubtedly become sold on them.

@PaladinNO I'll head over to that thread in a few and add my 2¢ worth. 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. And how great to have one during a power outage. I cannot say enough about headlamps (in all but a self defense/home protection situation). If I was forced to choose between a flashlight and headlamp, no contest, headlamp hands down every time.
You're right about Black Diamond, their prices are high for what you get nowadays. That's why I didn't buy another. Nitecore seems to have good stuff. My son's got a couple of lights from them and they very nice. and seem well made.
Thanks for the tip on the C-charging. I also have a charger that will accept those cells, which is nice to have the option.
 

PaladinNO

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Thanks for the tip on the C-charging. I also have a charger that will accept those cells, which is nice to have the option.
Could you please link to the exact model you bought. I found several Thrunite TH20 models.
If it's this one:

...a battery is included.

As for the USB-C charge option, it seems I was mistaken. Without knowing for certain which headlamp you purchased, it seems the C-charge port is on the included battery itself (14500 cell - similar in size to an AA, but higher Voltage).

1709835513446.jpeg

I am personally really not a fan of this solution. I much prefer removing to battery to charge in a dedicated charger for better control.
And in the case of the Thrunite TH20, it seems you have to take the battery out of the light to charge it anyway, as I didn't see any mention of a charge port on the light.
 
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kilogulf59

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You have the correct link except I bought mine on Bezos' Circus with a discount coupon. Less than $23 out the door.

I do have a charger. The various built-in chargers in things are nice but I prefer a dedicated charger.

To add, I got the neutral white. I do not like anything past 3 to 4,000 K.
 
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PaladinNO

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I do not like anything past 3 to 4,000 K.
1709838062276.jpeg


I fully agree. I've tried 2700K, 3500K, 3800K (perfection), 4500K, 5000K and 6500K (not directly comparable, as it's been different LED-chips).
But anything below 3000K feels too yellow, and everything above 4000K feels too cold.
 
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kilogulf59

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OK, she arrived yesterday and I charged up the cell. Simple, easy to use, very bright (for my needs), and seems comfortable to wear. I like it so far. I would like to get a backup 14500 cell or two. I think I'm going to like this style of headlamp and there may be a Zebralight in my future.

I'd like to say thanks, once again, to all you kind and knowledgeable folks who (always) help me. This forum is the bestest.
 
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