Wurkkos

What‘s your favorite headlamp?

Lynx_Arc

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2004
Messages
10,683
Location
Tulsa,OK
I've had several headlamps starting with cheap 3AAA with 5mm LEDs then 2AAA with a 1/2 watt LED then a homemade 2AA incan converted to 12 5mm LEDs with a boost circuit from a cell phone charger and after that a cheap energizer 2x5mm 3AAA LED one and my favorite for awhile was a 1AA Rayovac headlamp using a luxeon LED that put out about 30 lumens for an hour and a half off nimh cells. I now have 2 favorite headlamps a wowtac A2S and a Fenix HL60R both have close to the same modes with the fenix having a red mode and built in charging the wowtac USB 18650 battery. I like the wowtac better as it is a right angle detachable and about half the price and has direct access to turbo and the firefly mode you only need to cycle through 3 modes instead of 6 with the fenix with no direct access to any modes. I went 18650 for the runtime at low and medium modes primarily but having a 400 lumen high and a 900 lumen turbo is handy at times too.
 

parang

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
106
I keep three Petzl e+LITEs in various kits and packs. Affordable and ultra-light.

My most used around the yard is an old Black Diamond Ion. It's a bit broken, so I consider it a beater. But I like that it runs with traditional batteries.

The Armytek Wizard Pro Warm is my big 18650 headlamp. It's high CRI with a beautiful, even flood, so I use it for photography (headband removed). It's my most versatile light.
 

paulr

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,835
Black Diamond Ion
Interesting, it appears to have been a 2AAA ultralight headlamp of 40 lumens that weighed 1.9 ounces with batteries, now discontinued. There's instead now an Ion keychain light also of 40 lumens and slightly similar appearance, that uses 2x2032. The keychain light weighs 1.6 oz which is ridiculously heavy for a coin cell keychain light, but it includes a carabiner that might account for some of the weight. The headlamp looks nice and I think the world needs a 1AAA version of it right around now. The keychain is interesting because there is not much 2x2032 stuff out there, but I don't feel like I would buy one given its size.

* headlamp - https://www.rei.com/product/107917/black-diamond-ion-headlamp
* keychain - https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/product/ion-keychain-light/

I was unfamiliar with both of these. Actually it looks like there was another version too, with 80 lumens, but I think for superlight I'm looking for 1aaa or 1 or 2 coin cells.

Any opinion of Flare vs e+LITE? Here is the Flare page:

* https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/product/flare-headlamp/

Added (edited): I found an equipped.org thread about the Flare, that has mostly favorable comments but says it doesn't stow as flat as the e+LITE:

* http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=299129
 
Last edited:

Lynx_Arc

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2004
Messages
10,683
Location
Tulsa,OK
Pretzel actik core

This headlamp has a maximum power output of 350 Lumens for a continuous period of 160 hours and a maximum beam throw distance of 95 metres.
No 18650 can drive any LED at that output continuously for that long. My Fenix HL60R with a 2600mah 18650 claims 400 lumens for only 3 hours, the Wowtac A2S I have uses a 3400mah 18650 and claims about 400 lumens for 4.5 hours and 24 lumens for only 4 days nowhere near 160 hours only the firefly mode can manage at I think about 1 lumen at 59 days. I think both headlamps don't sustain the rated output but drop in output also. The HL60R uses an XML2, while the Wowtac uses an XPL which is slightly more efficient I believe. At 24 lumens for 4 days which is 96 hours either they are equating a lower mode from start to finish of the maximum mode drops to well under 24 lumens very fast in order to get 50% more runtime than 24 lumen mode can manage. 59 days on firefly mode is interesting but not very useful for the most part. 24 lumens for 96 hours likely dropping to a few lumens is useful as a power saving mode and I use this mode often but mainly the 50 and 100 or so lumen modes they are the most used with the 400+ lumen modes the next most used. I personally find the modes that will run 8-10 hours or more the most useful for me as I often use my headlamp for hours at a time and if I run it on low (not firefly) half the time and medium the other half and use sparingly I've got 3-4 days of partial use before needing
 

parang

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
106
Interesting, it appears to have been a 2AAA ultralight headlamp of 40 lumens that weighed 1.9 ounces with batteries, now discontinued. There's instead now an Ion keychain light also of 40 lumens and slightly similar appearance, that uses 2x2032. The keychain light weighs 1.6 oz which is ridiculously heavy for a coin cell keychain light, but it includes a carabiner that might account for some of the weight. The headlamp looks nice and I think the world needs a 1AAA version of it right around now. The keychain is interesting because there is not much 2x2032 stuff out there, but I don't feel like I would buy one given its size.

* headlamp - https://www.rei.com/product/107917/black-diamond-ion-headlamp
* keychain - https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/product/ion-keychain-light/

I was unfamiliar with both of these. Actually it looks like there was another version too, with 80 lumens, but I think for superlight I'm looking for 1aaa or 1 or 2 coin cells.

Any opinion of Flare vs e+LITE? Here is the Flare page:

* https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/product/flare-headlamp/

Added (edited): I found an equipped.org thread about the Flare, that has mostly favorable comments but says it doesn't stow as flat as the e+LITE:

* http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=299129

I think the Flare and the e+LITE are comparable.

What I like in the headlamp version of the ION is that it is controlled by touch. No moving parts. The first Ion was already like that many yeas ago. And it's still rare today.
 

3L3M3NT

Active member
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
40
I'd have to say that my favorite headlamp right now is the Fenix HM61R. The reason I like it is its versatility of it. It uses a 18650 that can be charged using a magnetic charging cord that connects to a magnetic "port" near the head of the headlamp. It has a good spread of light output for each level, with the maximum being 1,200 lumens.

It also has a red LED that has 3 different outputs of 1 lumen, 5 lumens, and 5 lumens flashing which is great when you don't need a ton of light or when you're trying to make yourself visible when it's at that dawn or dusk time of the day where it's not dark enough to need the light, but not light enough to go with nothing, so you can put the 5 lumen flashing on to make sure vehicles can see you.

It's nice that it can be removed from the head band to be used as a right angle flashlight. Another great feature is that the tail cap is magnetic, so you can stick it to any ferrous metal that you might be working around, such as a car or construction equipment.

If you need any other reasons, check out this thread. https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/fenix-hm61r-ticking-all-the-boxes.463821/
 

paulr

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,835
Thanks. I haven't often wanted a headlamp for outdoors, except for setting up a tent which doesn't need much throw. If I'm walking outside and need some throw, a handheld light is ok for me. I mostly use headlamps for fixing stuff or other close range uses. So I like a floody, relatively low lumen headlamp. The HM61R does sound great if you need something with more punch.
 

Dave_H

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
589
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
As I typically use mine around the house outside for short periods, collection here is of cheap ones mostly of obscure brands, no sexy names or high prices. They all pretty much run from 3xAAA, alkaline or NiMH.

They are useful for close-in lighting inside where both hands are occupied, and fixed worklight or flashlight is not convenient.

One nice older one, still for sale I think, is the Dorcy LED headlamp 41-2093 with eight white 3mm LEDs plus a green/red in the centre, not exceptional but cost around $10. Headband is pretty comfortable. It is more of a close-in flood, cool white.

I avoid most Lithium coin-cell lights which are either underpowered or have short run-time, plus cost of small primary cells. Exception is older Dorcy (again) UV headlamp using three 5mm LEDs.

Somehow I'm not ready for anything with Li-ion cell(s) mounted close to the head; but maybe LiFePO4.

The remainder either use discrete LED(s) or COB and most under $5. COB is useful more as a flood versus beam. Just picked up another for $2.49 OTC which has white high/low plus two red LEDs solid/flash, 3xAAA.

So for me the best headlamp is a cheap one, within reason of course.

Dave
 

Bicycleflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
439
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
My favorite is my Black Diamond Zenix IQ. Yes, I know it’s outdated, but still a favorite of mine. But I just ordered two Fenix headlamps. The HL18R and preordered the HM70R..
 

paulr

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,835
If you want cheap, lightweight 3aaa headlamps for occasional use, it's hard to beat these (2-pack for $7):


They have a wide floody beam and comfortable headband. They are minimal but mostly well thought out. The main annoyance is that the modes are high-low-strobe which means to turn the light off after using it from high, you have to click the button 3 times, going through the two other modes.

I think this would get more and more annoying as you use it more, rather than being something you get used to. So I'd say get a better light if you're going to use it a lot. But this is great as a backup, glovebox light, occasional use semi-EDC, etc. Weight with 3 alkaline AAA's is around 62g which is one of the lighter non coin-cell headlamps out there. Unfortunately most lower-weight lights now are discontinued, since everyone wants more lumens which takes heat management and power, so more metal and more cells.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
14
It would really depend on what activities you plan on doing while using the lamp. I like my Streamlight Bandits for short projects or as a book light. Very small, and rechargeable. For longer general purpose stuff I use a Fenix HL60R. For work I have a Fenix HM65R in a mount on my hard hat. Really like that they are USB rechargeable. Never had any issues with any of them.
 

paulr

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,835
Yeah the Bandits (I'd get the slightly bigger one with 2x the battery capacity) look really nice. I almost bought one. But I now think the Litezalls must be similar in terms of lighting, yet a lot cheaper and use AAA's.

The Fenix HM65R sounds good and people have recommended Skilhunt H03 or H03 Mini to me too. I don't remember if they had built-in USB charging.
 

wade11a

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
102
I use my ZebraLight H600Fc Mk IV 18650 XHP50.2 Floody 4000K High CRI every night at work. I work graveyard doing aircraft maintenance. On a busy week I can run through 2-3 batteries. It is used a lot, every night. I have had this particular headlamp since January 2019 and have had no issues at all.
 

Jeff H

Well-known member
CPF Supporter
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
70
Location
NW Ohio
Great info in this thread!

I've been retooling and upgrading headlamps in my kits ("emergency bags") and for home/shop use from some really cheap, plastic (nothing wrong with cheap or plastic in general, but these are not great lights) and am back from a long absence here.

The lights I am replacing are very compact and light-weight, but have a tendency to turn on in the bag and use coin cells, which are great until you have to change them in the dark, especially if the light takes two. They are also not very durable or the least bit weatherproof, so I started looking.

I think I found my favorite of all time in the Sofirn HS05, using eneloop AAs for daily (nightly?) use and lithium AAs for long-term stowage in kits/glove-boxes. Not really one of those exciting, kick-butt lights that get people all worked up, but it fits what I need SO perfectly. The beam quality and brightness levels with NiMH AAs are perfect for my applications; working on vehicles, home facilities, taking the dog out at night, keeping my distance from skunks, etc.

Not having the extensive experience many of you do, I just flat-out got lucky. After folks here directed me to the Sofirn C01S to do for me what the Fenix E01 did, I looked to Sofirn first for headlamps. I found the SP40 first and it has been amazing, but the new cell format put me in the position of considering a new charger, new cells, etc. The HS05 cell format, using the ubiquitous AA, means I can source cells just about anywhere, take advantage of my stock of NiMH cells and benefit from the very low self-discharge rate of lithium primaries, in all of which I am already vested. Fewer lumens from the AAs is not a problem for how I use the light, in fact, it's better, as I won't blind myself.

Light-weight (enough), compact (enough), long-running (enough), excellent brightness levels and beam qualities for my uses. They are cheap enough that I can afford to upgrade several kits and get my family and friends into a very good, however mundane, emergency light. I hope they keep this one around. I've looked at headlamps for years, waiting for the right combination of function and value.
 

vicv

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,239
Location
Southern Ontario
I have a streamlight Enduro pro which is alright. Myself I don't care much for the floody nature of headlights. But doing plumbing or something on your back under a sink is might handy.
Also have a Petzl Mega headlamp. Now I like this one. Throws well
 

Latest posts

Top