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Thread: Red headtorch for astronomy

  1. #1

    Default Red headtorch for astronomy

    I hope this is the right place to ask this question.

    I'd like a red LED headtorch for astronomy use. I'd like it to have different brightnesses (dim for round the scope, a bit brighter for finding things). I'd prefer it if it didn't have a white light option like my camping headtorches do. Turning on a bright white light in a field of dark-adjusted astronomers does not win you many friends!

    Can you buy red only headtorches?

    Would it be easier to buy a cheapish headtorch and replace the LEDs?

    Many thanks

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Gazerbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Hi AWR
    The red Photon Freedom Micro might suit your needs; check it out to see what you think. It comes with a multi-purpose clip that can be attached your hat brim and used as a headlamp. It also comes with a necklace, and quick release ring. The brightness can be adjusted from super low thru 10 lumens.
    Last edited by Gazerbeam; 04-07-2010 at 06:54 PM.
    Not to bright, but never in the dark!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Check this out, still has white, but sometimes it's nice if you have to walk from your car a ways with your gear.

    http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/tact...es/tactikka-xp

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Petzl E+Lite is a very nice little headlamp and also features a red mode. It is properly designed so that you don't have to go through all the white modes to reach it too.
    [gearcarrot.com] Collector and distributor of (mis)information.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Many thanks, I'll check these out.

    Andrew

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy


  7. #7

    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    I have ZL 501R for sale if anyone wants it. I only used it once. The red color just isn't for me. I would rather just use the standard 501. Will also consider trade.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    I modified a Zebralight H30 with a red LED for use with my telescope and it works pretty good. The multiple levels cover a nice range. The only drawback is that the flood beam of this light might be distracting to others in the area if you are at a star party or such. Anyone lokking in your direction is going to see the bare LED even if they are off to the side of you. I've only used mine once in that situation and didn't get any complaints.

    I had to modify my H30 to get the red because Zebralight only had white models at the time. The AA based H501R previously mentioned is now available with a red LED and would be my choice. Although if you want a CR123 based light you are stuck with buying a white H30 and modifying it with a red LED.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    I bought Zebralight H501R for just that purpose, and I find it very good. The lowest level of 0,1lm is good for close work, and with the highest setting of 33lm you will light up a large area around you.

    Regards, Patric

  10. #10
    Enlightened axd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Here's my personal comparison of some variables between the two I possess. Both lights have a clip.

    A few differences:

    ZLH501R: More robust (and a bit heavier) red-only light

    • has a very low brightness mode (4 brightnesses in total )
    • single AA
    • GITD headband to locate the light in the dark
    • larger beam (90deg), very smooth
    • easy to manipulate by hand

    Petzl e+Lite: Personal white + red backup light

    • (-) only one brightness mode
    • also white light
    • CR2032
    • headband+light pack in a small volume; comes with a container to store it all
    • clip offers two axes of freedom; is more easily "directable", can attach to e.g. a cap. the light is primarily intended to be used clipped to something, less as a "hand light"
    • (-) spotty, smaller beam (LED/lens artifacts)

    I don't use both lights enough (I occasionally use the ZL, while the Petzl is always stored away) but I would be inclined to recommend the ZL.

    I have a few Photons, but still need to get a red covert one - I'll post here once I have it (but that might take weeks). I expect it to be comparable to the e+Lite, apart from having variable brightness. When I look at the orange covert version, I notice a similar small beamwidth; I expect the normal ("non-covert") red LED to shine in the eyes, which is maybe not ideal.

    -alex-
    Last edited by axd; 04-24-2010 at 04:37 AM.
    SL SW | H50-Q5 | Petzl e+LITE | LF2XT/Sapph/3H | H501W,R | beta (H3O) | Photons | ACR FA-11 | Ficklampa 3 | Energizer NIght Strike | Olight O'pen | more
    betalight owners, have a look here

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    The Zebralight H501R that others have mentioned is a reasonable choice - I have one and use it at my telescope. (I used it all weekend, in fact.) The H501R is light and unobtrusive as a headlamp - I really don't notice it while wearing it.

    The only thing I don't find ideal about this light is that the UI is not ideal - switching between modes takes some practice, and the dim setting is somewhat awkward to get to:
    click and hold for just a sec - then double-click just so - and dim.

    This isn't THAT difficult in practice, but for astronomy it would be better if it had a simple linear progression:
    super dim, low, med, high, repeat.

    I find I use the low and dim settings most frequently, followed by "high" (for walking back into the house.)

    The photon freedom microlights are great - I've got a red one of those as well, although I find hat mounted lights to be abso-freaking-lutely useless at the scope - the brim of the had gets in the way when I go for the eyepiece. But it might work for you - the UI on the thing is absolutely ideal.

    I would avoid a light with a white option *at all costs* because if you can accidently trip the white mode, then I can assure you that you will. This will cause two unpleasant things to happen:
    1. You will totally lose the dark adaptation you just spent 45 minutes getting. This is annoying.
    2. You will ruin the dark adaptation of those around you - lynching is a real possibility at this point, at least in Oklahoma...
    Last edited by MrBenchmark; 04-12-2010 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Thought of something else

  12. #12

    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy



    ...but "AWR" brings back bad memories .... you might want to change your name.... hmm






  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Quote Originally Posted by aosty View Post


    ...but "AWR" brings back bad memories .... you might want to change your name.... hmm





    LOL I was just thinking that.
    No worries, unless he starts making custom lights
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  14. #14
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Quote Originally Posted by AWR View Post

    Turning on a bright white light in a field of dark-adjusted astronomers does not win you many friends!
    I remember a trip me and my wife made to Grand Canyon about 13 years ago. We passed by a group of astronomers with all this custom made telescope. I was so impressed with their telescopes I decided to take a picture of one forgetting about their dark adjusted eyes. As soon as my camera flashed all of them started screaming at me. I then apologized. I was lucky they didn't threw me off the cliff. LOL This was the picture I took.



    556man
    Last edited by 556man; 04-13-2010 at 02:57 AM. Reason: picture

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Moka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Inova 24/7 with the accessories pack works well =D

  16. #16
    Enlightened axd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Quote Originally Posted by 556man View Post
    I remember a trip me and my wife made to Grand Canyon about 13 years ago. We passed by a group of astronomers with all this custom made telescope. I was so impressed with their telescopes I decided to take a picture of one forgetting about their dark adjusted eyes. As soon as my camera flashed all of them started screaming at me. I then apologized. I was lucky they didn't threw me off the cliff. LOL This was the picture I took.



    556man
    But OTOH - judging from the pic - they were happily expecting a picture being taken
    SL SW | H50-Q5 | Petzl e+LITE | LF2XT/Sapph/3H | H501W,R | beta (H3O) | Photons | ACR FA-11 | Ficklampa 3 | Energizer NIght Strike | Olight O'pen | more
    betalight owners, have a look here

  17. #17
    Enlightened axd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    Quote Originally Posted by axd View Post
    I have a few Photons, but still need to get a red covert one - I'll post here once I have it (but that might take weeks). I expect it to be comparable to the e+Lite, apart from having variable brightness. When I look at the orange covert version, I notice a similar small beamwidth; I expect the normal ("non-covert") red LED to shine in the eyes, which is maybe not ideal.

    -alex-
    A quick comparison between the Photonlight Freedom (red) and H501R:

    H501R

    • Smooth, wider beam
    • lens better protected because recessed

    Photonlight red

    • (-) spotty beam
    • smaller beam
    • lower minimum brightness
    • note: the covert version offers good LED lens protection

    I couldn't decide on which one had the max. brightness, based on a ceiling bounce test.
    SL SW | H50-Q5 | Petzl e+LITE | LF2XT/Sapph/3H | H501W,R | beta (H3O) | Photons | ACR FA-11 | Ficklampa 3 | Energizer NIght Strike | Olight O'pen | more
    betalight owners, have a look here

  18. #18

    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    +1 freedom red

    Much more flexible than the 501R, the ability to adjust to any brightness is fantastic in the freedom. Its lighter, and only a cool $15. Besides you can swap the 620nm led for a 660nm very easily.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Red headtorch for astronomy

    I recommend the Zebralight, even though I don't own it, because of its sturdy design and floody pattern (would suit your job much better). Also, I believe the Photon uses button cells, is very small and easy to misplace (now you don't want to shine a TK40 across a huge grassy field where you lost it).

    Since the Zebralight is a headlight, it would also be better for your needs.

    BTW 33 lumens in RED is, to the human eye a bit brighter in real life than on paper.

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