Headlamps [Archive] - Glock Talk

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RWBlue
06-15-2012, 21:43
We need a headlamp thread.

What do you have?

What do you like?

What don't you like?

What have you broke?

Anything new on the horizon?

Aceman
06-15-2012, 22:19
Energizer

I like that it works

uncomfy bands

nothing

don't know


I like a head lamp, but it's a luxury prep to me. Haut not necessatyndy in a couple of key way, b

Bolster
06-15-2012, 23:05
Big headlamp user here; my usage is biased for "trade pro who works with hands" usage, and I'm an AA floodie junkie. I've written a fairly extensive "what questions to ask before you buy" guide for headlamps on CPF here (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?313328), which lays out my "philosophy of headlamps," which emphasizes matching your intended use to the headlamp.

Headlamps I own:

Irix Icon II, about $20, 1AA, top lumen 50, variable dial. One of the better of the cheap headlamps, but tint is so-so and beam spread narrow unless you fix it with frost spray or sanding.

Zebralight H50, H501w, & H501r (let's see, I guess 7 of them). Obviously my favorite, $60 each, 1AA, top lumen 80 (H501w), waterproof, excellent tint, excellent even flood beam of 80 degrees, small, and tough.

Spark SD-52 Neutral, 2AA, top lumen 280 (although I suspect it doesn't get that high, maybe around 200) $120 with two lenses (flood and spot/spill)

Petzl something, a headlamp relegated to the toolbox, 3AAA. Yawner of a light with a nasty tint.

Energizer 7-LED piece of 3AAA junk, not worthy of even throwing in a toolbox, ringy narrow beam, must click through all levels each time, no brightness control, no moisture proofing, no regulation, but the tint is reasonably OK. It was lying around, and wife swiped it for reading in bed. Fine; not really useful for anything. (Would never buy another Energizer headlamp.)

PrincetonTec Bot, a 2AAA light for my youngster. Not bad for a kid's light. Nice because it's reasonably dim on lo and doesn't go very high.

On order: Zebralight H502c, a high-CRI 1AA headlamp that tops out at 140 lumen with 120 degree flood coverage. $70. Very likely to become my new favorite.

What's "hot" (popular, not temperature)? A batch of new Zebralights just coming out (several new ones, AA, CR123, 18650), the Sparks (also lots of new offerings), and if you're a diehard SureFire fan, they're putting out some versions of the Saint that range from OK to very good. The exciting evolution in LEDs, be the newly available high-CRI emitters that mimic incan (and daylight) pretty well, finally giving good color rendition from an LED. IMHO, good color rendition is MUCH more important than top lumens. I would give up half the available lumens to get good tint and/or high CRI, as would most flashlight enthusiasts.

But if you want to sort through the popular headlamps yourself, check my thread here (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?310856-Flood-Beam-Headlamp-List-2011).

quake
06-16-2012, 16:18
Last two or three years, I've settled on the coast H7. It has quickly adjustable variable spot-to-flood and dim-to-bright ranges that make it work for anything from spotting across a long dark attic space (high, spot) down to working in & wiring up control panels (medium, flood). I've broken one of them; they have some exposed wires where I wish they didn't. But at only $40 or so, I can live with that one issue. Another plus for me is that it uses AAA batteries which I always have in my work box, not some odd or coin-cell battery that I'd have to carry specially for it.

Two_Clicks
06-16-2012, 16:41
I use the cabelas Alsakan guide series a lot! It was supposed to be just a hunting rig but I wear it more and more for tasks in the attic and basement when I need some extra light. It takes 4 AA batteries stored on the back of your head and has two different light settings one very bright lamp and then some green LEDs that I use to get in and out of the woods. I like it a lot we get streamlight models at work that also strap on our hard hats they are a lot lighter since they take 3 AAA right behind the light but don't last near as long.


http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/cabelas/s7_519191_999_01?rgn=0,0,1695,1387&scl=3.2285714285714286&fmt=jpeg&id=0RiejV0k3pQscqdhJYEPyM


Mine is similar to this but they have changed up the head style a bit

Bolster
06-16-2012, 23:36
TwoClicks, you sure that's not a Princeton Tec Apex? Sure looks like it. Those'll do 130 to 200 lumens (depending on model) with a cool tint beam. Solid headlamp, they've been a favored standby for many years. The big rear-mount battery packs are fading away as years go by, but still useful for some applications.

Bushflyr
06-17-2012, 12:02
I have one of the original Petzl duo's, good for very limited applications. The rear mount battery pack is way too heavy and irritating for general use.

On Bolsters rec I just ordered the Zebralight 502c. :supergrin: I'd been debating one a while back, but that was the nudge I needed to pull the trigger.

Bolster
06-18-2012, 10:49
By way of explaining "High CRI," the below distribution is of a typical "low CRI" white LED. Notice how it drops spectrum especially around the blue-green, and around the orange to red. And has a big spike of blue. This is what gives the typical LED that flat-looking illumination, and causes some people to say they're "hard to see with" regardless of how bright they are.

http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j435/Bolsterman/LED-spectrum.png

An incan would show a bell-curve shape across the spectrum (with the bell curve moved a bit left or right, depending on the tint of that particular incan). What an LED High-CRI does, is make the LED's output more similar to the bell curve of an incan, and less like the image above with its over-emphasis of blue, and "missing spots" for blue-green and orange and red.

Just remember that tint and high-CRI are different things (but often correlated, with most high-CRI having a warmer tint). CRI refers to the "evenness" of a bell-curve distribution, with the colors represented proportionately, as they are by the sun. Tint refers to whether that bell-curve is moved to the left or to the right.

Big Bird
06-18-2012, 12:09
I carry a headlamp in both of my BOB and any time I'm hunting.

I especially appreciate a headlamp when I'm waterfowl hunting. Setting decoys at 0 dark 30 without one would be miserable. Likewise, dressing a deer with a headlamp is a piece of cake. I had to replace the bearings (I ALWAYS keep an extra set of wheel bearings for my trailers in my toolbag) on the side of the road on my boat trailer at night once and the headlamp made it much easier as well. Basically, anytime you need to use both your hands at night... Its an essential piece of kit in my opinion.

I have a couple of Petzl's and they are top shelf. I also have a couple of Gander Mountain store brand lamps that get beaten to crap in my duck boat/blind. Petzl also makes a VEY compact emergency headlamp that folds into something the size of a zippo lighter. I have several of those stashed in my various prep bags.

shays4me
06-18-2012, 20:37
I have several units from princeton tech. I've used one continuously for multiple years on my hard hat at work and I love it. I finally updated it last week because the ratchet positioner no longer holds up to jumping off of stuff! It's going to work out great in the garage though....... I'm not sure of their cost, because they are provided by my employer, but my lights are much brighter than my brothers Cabela's light, he made me get him one! They run much longer on three AAA's and are much brighter than a AA mag light. They're also lighter than the AA mag-light, so I've been using them alone while backpacking. They're a necessity, IMO. This is a must have tool!

1canvas
06-23-2012, 10:31
I use the cabelas Alsakan guide series a lot! It was supposed to be just a hunting rig but I wear it more and more for tasks in the attic and basement when I need some extra light. It takes 4 AA batteries stored on the back of your head and has two different light settings one very bright lamp and then some green LEDs that I use to get in and out of the woods. I like it a lot we get streamlight models at work that also strap on our hard hats they are a lot lighter since they take 3 AAA right behind the light but don't last near as long.


http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/cabelas/s7_519191_999_01?rgn=0,0,1695,1387&scl=3.2285714285714286&fmt=jpeg&id=0RiejV0k3pQscqdhJYEPyM


Mine is similar to this but they have changed up the head style a bit

thats what I bought for hunting and have worked out the best so far. I first bought the one that had the green LEDs but Im not sure I like the green. I just bought one with the white LEDs to try this year.

Bushflyr
06-26-2012, 16:49
Holy crap, I just received the Zebralight 502c I ordered above. It's pretty awesome. Super light, very bright, a gazillion programming options, all in all the best I've ever handled. Will have to wait till tonight to try out the high CRI vs. other LED's.

Dexters
06-26-2012, 18:47
Big headlamp user here; my usage is biased for "trade pro who works with hands" usage, and I'm an AA floodie junkie. I've written a fairly extensive "what questions to ask before you buy" guide for headlamps on CPF

Nice and helpful people on CPF.

For alpine starts I use the Petzl Tikka Plus head lamp.

I like it because
it take all kinds of AAA batteries
long battery life
good light selection
lite
simple to use with gloves on.

I have 2 of them - I take the second on overnight trips.

http://www.rei.com/product/829550/petzl-tikka-plus-2-headlamp

Spikehorn11
06-26-2012, 22:55
I bought a Primos headlamp because it runs on double AA's plus it has a red and green lens filter.

http://www.primos.com/products/lighting/top-gun/

My next one is a Rayovac that was only $12 at Home Depot. Shoots a tight bright beam.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&locStoreNum=4647&productId=202968174&storeId=10051

My walleye fishing rig is a Streamlight with he green LEDs so it doesn't spook any fish that follow my lure up.

http://www.opticsplanet.com/streamlight-buckmasters-camo-trident-led-xenon-headlamp-61070.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=plusbox-beta&gclid=CNmek-_P7bACFUff4AodQmloxg

I use headlamps more than any other lights I have.

BMH
06-27-2012, 02:40
The poorman's headlamp

Amazon.com: Blue Ridge Product Solutions 5 LED Light that Attaches to Hats and Caps: Home Improvement@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31AYp-TEFtL.@@AMEPARAM@@31AYp-TEFtL

Bolster
06-27-2012, 08:55
Holy crap, I just received the Zebralight 502c I ordered above. It's pretty awesome...

Bam! Now try going back.

2bgop
06-27-2012, 09:12
The poorman's headlamp

Amazon.com: Blue Ridge Product Solutions 5 LED Light that Attaches to Hats and Caps: Home Improvement (http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Ridge-Product-Solutions-Attaches/dp/B002GWJ2V8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1340786335&sr=8-2&keywords=baseball+cap+light)

I have a bunch of those. They are super cheap and work pretty well.

DrSticky
06-28-2012, 10:43
I have this in "sand":
Amazon.com: Princeton Tec Lightweight Quad Tactical Headlamps Ultrabright LEDs: Sports & Outdoors@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ezXtMPcFL.@@AMEPARAM@@41ezXtMPcFL

On both sides, there is a joint that allows you to pivot the light and point it more up or down. I had it in my vest and after several hours of hitting the dirt and rolling around I had snapped the little loop on the side that holds it in place. I took a small stick and used 100mph tape to secure it in place. I still use it, but I should buy another. I still carry it in my load bearing equipment.

Other than it breaking, I like it. I like the integrated red lens. I know when I switch it on, if it is going to be red or not. There is no surprise and I don't have to take it off my head to do it. I can press the button to make it brighter if I need to. I don't trust the click three times for red type systems.


I also carry a gerber recon flashlight.
Amazon.com: Gerber Recon Flashlight - White / Red / Blue / Green LED - Black Body 22-80016: Sports & Outdoors@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31NiYmG1gPL.@@AMEPARAM@@31NiYmG1gPL

While not strictly a headlamp, the clip works well on the bill of a hat. I have used it in that configuration quite a few times. This thing takes a beating, and I normally carry it in a pocket on my calf when in the field. Again, knowing if I am going to put out white light is a big deal. Having green light is a nice to have as it allows me to see further without totally destroying my night vision.

Bushflyr
06-28-2012, 11:19
Bam! Now try going back.

LOL yeah. The only thing I'm not really sold on yet is how wide the beam is. 120* :wow: Intellectually I know that's probably best for a headlamp, but it's just so different than others I've used.

Flashlights for throw, headlamps for flood.

DrSticky
06-28-2012, 11:33
LOL yeah. The only thing I'm not really sold on yet is how wide the beam is. 120* :wow: Intellectually I know that's probably best for a headlamp, but it's just so different than others I've used.

Flashlights for throw, headlamps for flood.

Does it come with a red lens?

Bilbo Bagins
06-28-2012, 11:47
I have a Petzel Tikka Plus 2. Great headlamp

I have also bought those cheap 4 pack of headlamps in Home Depot. Bought the pack on sale for $12 after Christmas and kept them in with the Emergency stuff. I figured everyone in the family will have a headlamp in one spot.

Well I dug the pack out recently since my daughter had her friends over for a sleepover and they decided to camp in the backyard. Only 3 out of the 4 worked out of the package, and two were broken within a week.

Bolster
06-28-2012, 19:17
LOL yeah. The only thing I'm not really sold on yet is how wide the beam is. 120* :wow: Intellectually I know that's probably best for a headlamp, but it's just so different than others I've used.Flashlights for throw, headlamps for flood.

Right. That's been the main criticism at CPF, primarily from the "trail hikers," who say it lights up too much peripheral vision. The previous H501w (still available) spread 80 degrees. The "taskers" such as myself love the ultrawide; I can see tools in my peripheral vision! No flopping about looking, the light is there. A better light for night hiking would be the H51w or H51fw. (Or no HL at all, due to bugs.) ZL seems to be pursuing a path of "specialty lights," and they shun dual-purpose, which is the holy grail of Energizer-type lights, "spot flood and red" (none of which they do well IMHO).

Does it come with a red lens?

With their "specific purpose" philosophy, you might guess that they make red-only lights, and you'd be right. (I own one.) And they are very nice. But they don't multitask. If you want red/white ZLs, you wear one of each!

I have a Petzel Tikka Plus 2.

Also a good one. One of the best of the 3AAAs IMHO. They don't do neutral or warm or high CRI but they give you a hardy, bright light.

Dexters
06-28-2012, 19:32
Right.

OK, you are a light nut. What other kind of nut are you?

S&P
Gun
Knife
EDC
You might like this forum:
http://edcforums.com/

I kind of dip into each category but don't get crazy with a lot of stuff. I'm looking for the ONE that works for me.

Note to others reading about the other forums I posted about. Generally, they are not used to the ruff and tumble posting style you sometimes see on GT. So, I'm always cautious how I post there. They really are nice people. I've seen people go out and buy something just to test it out and post about it on the forum.

bdcochran
06-28-2012, 19:42
Another Plus 1:wavey:

Bushflyr
07-01-2012, 12:20
Right. That's been the main criticism at CPF, primarily from the "trail hikers," who say it lights up too much peripheral vision.

OK, quick follow up. I used the 502c to crawl under the house and inspect it for termites yesterday. The wide angle is REALLY nice for moving around and keeping me from bashing my skull on posts and beams. The ability to move my eyes and look around vs. having to move my whole head is very nice. It wouls also be great for reading.

The down side is that anything over about 8-10 feet away wasn't quite bright enough to really inspect. I could see the objects just fine, but trying to see if there was a 1/4" wide brown termite tunnel on a greyish brownish cinder block was difficult. I had an Innova X5 that provided plenty of light to see things at that range.

So, in general, I'm really happy with the Zebralight. It's small, light, extremely well built, and the flood beam allows it to be used as a head lamp without getting a sore neck or clipped on to a vest or pack and provide good area lighting. The lack of throw is noticeable if you're looking for detail at a distance, but that's a better use for a flashlight.

I have a Maratac AA (http://countycomm.com/aaworldssmallest.html) on order (love CountyComm shipping. You HAVE to tack more things on to your order to amortize it out.) So that should be a perfect companion to the 502c.