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Thread: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Shrug Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    And my take on them.

    The Streamlight Clipmate and the Clone NightBlaster are very nice headlights but rather big and cumbersome. Both my SL and NB have smooth blueish beams.

    The Garrity 3AAA 2LED is ok at best. My example has one white LED and one Blueish LED. When used as a reading light I see both colors.

    My somewhat older Energizer 3AAA 3LED (two White and one Red) has a similar issue, in that I see some pretty funky coloration when I read with it. Also the red LED puts out a splotchy beam full of yucky.

    The only other Headlight I currently own is the River Rock 2AAA, and it is superb! It's a bit blueish but at least all one color! It is lighter than the the others with the possible exception of the Energizer.

    I understand from another thread that the Energizer now has "new" brighter LEDs. I think if mine had the same tint from both LEDs, it could be my fave...

    But for now the River Rock ROCKS!!!

    What say yee?
    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2640/usflaghalfmastmdwht.gif

    PBJS



  2. #2
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    I agree with you about the River Rock (from Target). It may be blue, but at least it's consistently blue! There's nothing worse than fumbling around in a dark basement looking for colorcoded wires illuminated by an LED that can't decide if it's blue, white, yellow, green or puce. All right, migraines are worse, but the shifty colors of some otherwise well-beloved headlights drive me crazy.
    I think of the River Rock as a kind of poor-man's Streamlight Argo. Its build quality puts it far above all the other lights listed and makes it the best buy... and as you pointed out, it's very small and light. Not for folks who need a flood style headlight, though.

    The Optronics Night Blaster clip-on (from Wal-Mart) does appear to have the new brighter LEDs, and at Wal-Mart it's cheap enough, but the switch is so clumsy that I've relegated it to a "bin light"-- it lights up the deep bins in which I keep my soldering gun and very miscellaneous parts boxes.

    I appreciate the Energizer, but if you don't like the spot of the River Rock, you'll hate the hard-edged circles the Energizer's lenses throw. Plus those lenses are unprotected, so you have to be careful how you stow the unit. Frankly, even equipped with the new 35K/Nichia CS, I think the Energizer would still be outclassed by the River Rock. Now, if they could only add a little more yellow phosphor...
    Last edited by wualta; 11-05-2005 at 01:40 AM.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    Funny Wualta... my Energizer has Writeright over each LED and STILL has sharply defined spots. It's really strange how the beam appears.

    My River Rock also has Writeright and while it ain't a lot of help, it does help some in spreading out the light.
    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2640/usflaghalfmastmdwht.gif

    PBJS



  4. #4

    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    I sure hated that Energizer beam unmodded. Frosted scotch tape helped it a lot though.

    I wish someone would make a lightweight 1AA headlamp. That is all.

  5. #5
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    Where did you place the frosted tape?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    Go to Target and look at the holiday gifts on the endcaps... I just saw some 3AAA 3LED headlamps for $5 each. I got 3 of these last year on clearance for $2.50 each and they are a bargain at that price, at $5 the ones I got are decent as you can pull them out of the headband and attach them to a surface with the magnet. The touch button is a lot nicer than many headlamps and the light weight is nice. The only drawback is the fixed angle of the beam which can be annoying over long periods of time in some instances.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    I'm a big fan of the Nuwai 1w lux headlamp 712. 3 power settings, blink mode, and a batterypower indicator.
    Spark headlamp,712-L headlamp,D25c mini,Fenix PD35, E+Lite, Zipka, Novatac 85T.

  8. #8
    Enlightened Donald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    I don't know if it qualifies as inexpensive, although certainly good value, or ascommonly available, but I like my Princeton Tec EOS 1w headlamp. The low is lower than the River Rock .5watt. It is about twice the price. As someone stated in another thread on these, the EOS does take an odd number of batteries (3) if you are buying by 2 or 4 pack on a trip, but I figure I could use the extra in a backup Dorcy/Peak/Arc 1XAAA light. Further, on low I get 44 hours versus 25. Mine is still going strong on the batteries it came with and I used it for a little under a week after Hurricane Wilma. That included reading and finishing a book at something like 4 in the morning. The clock was out of power, I did not have the battery one turned my way, my watch was out of reach and I really did not care, lets just say it saw a lot of use on low, some on medium, and a little on high when checking food doneness on the grill.

    My daughter got good use out of her River Rock .5 watt. My wife used her River Rock .5 watt some and then took it to work where they were without power. When she pulled it out of her purse to loan to someone, the battery compartment came open and the battery contacts came off. I probably could have cobbled it back together in an emergency, as long as I had light to work by, but I just took it back and got a replacement.* I did not want to have it fail in the future. It appears that the battery contacts which swivel on the battery cover are pressure fitted onto a post with a ridged top that is on the battery cover. I came back to add that when I first inserted the batteries in my wife's River Rock it did not assemble as well as my daughter's, which I had done previously.


    (*People have not all learned how useful headlamps can be when you need long term illumination so they still had 3 for me to choose from, even though Target was cleanded out of many lights and lanterns because of the widespread power outage. I know they had 6 the day before and 3 of those were gone, so someone appreciates them. Since they did not have 6 before, perhaps they had some in the storeroom or they got some new stock.)
    Last edited by Donald; 11-05-2005 at 11:26 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    I recently bought the new Energizer headlight. FlashlightReview's comments still apply - It's a light duty indoor light. The new Nichias are quite bright compared to my old Rayovac or 3A ARC light, and should be with double the LED's and two more batteries. It's almost too much light for reading in bed and not disturbing your spouse. The beam seems narrow, not bad for playing a handheld game, but will only illuminate one page at a time. Mine tends to color toward bluish if I tried to discern it, but not as much as the ARC showing hints of yellow.
    The balance wearing it is better than the Rayovac, less bulky, and doesn't bob as much moving around - it doesn't need a second strap over the head. And without the energy wasting incandescent rubber framed bulb, battery power will last longer if my youngest borrows it - after he burns up the 3A's in the Rayovac I gave him.
    At 10.88 Walmart's price point is pretty effective compared to a Petzl - but I know a Tikka is a much better light. Perhaps if I drown this one delivering mail after dark in the rain I'll be able to justify the higher quality and water resistance. For now the form factor is a close look alike and I'll enjoy the similar ergonomics.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cheap, Commonly available Headlights...

    While on a recent backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon, I had to hike up a crumbly loose shale slope with a 300 ft slide to injury or death facing me. I had 2 headlamps with me to choose from: A Petzl Tikka XP ($49.99), and a River Rock .5w 2AAA ($14.99).

    Guess which one I ended up using for that trail? The River Rock. It's beam and spill (on high) gave me much more usable light than the Tikka XP. The Tikka XP is a great 'around camp' light and a good reading light, but the River Rock did much better at allowing me to see further up the trail.
    Fenix L1P, L2D CE, L0P SE, Zebralight Q5 CREE headlamp, Huntlight ft02x, Tikka XP, PT Aurora & Eclipse 2, SL ProPoly 4aa Lux and Twintask 1L, Inova X1, Dorcy 1aaa, MagLED 2AA, Nuwai HLX-712L, Akoray K-106 AA, Rayovac 1AA headlamp.

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