If you have ever camped, walked, raced, climbed, cycled, walked on a footpath or any other outdoor activity, you may have used a lighthouse. Although this practical technology requires no introduction (everyone knows the benefits of hands-free lighting), the impressive advances in headlamp technology in recent years deserve recognition. The industry is in the middle of a tank war, with a single-volume design that offers maximum light output (in lumens) and battery options, and we, the users, are the lucky beneficiaries. Below you will find our best headlight choices for 2020. More information can be found in our headlight comparison table and in our purchasing tips.
Best lighthouse General
1. Black Diamond Spot 325 ($40)
Weight: Three ounces.
Maximum light output:325
Batteries: AAA (3)
What we like:Bright, user-friendly and weatherproof – all at a good price.
What we don’t have:No USB charging.
The latest Black Diamond Spot is the favourite of Switchback Travel editors and has a balanced ratio of performance, durability and price. The projector projects a powerful 325 beam and has a touch screen housing for quick brightness adjustment. You also have a wide range of lighting options, from a dual long-range LED to a softer proximity LED and red LEDs for use in your warehouse. And it is worth mentioning that Black Diamond has greatly improved the user experience – our main claim compared to the previous model is the addition of a second button that allows you to quickly switch between modes.
The lighthouse market is generally very competitive, but nothing can match Spot’s thoughtful design. It costs $40, and its new flat shape makes it easy to carry in the box when working or storing. In addition, the BD is resistant to 1.1 meters of water for 30 minutes, which gives you an extra safety measure when you have to walk in the rain. In general, for most outdoor adventures, the Spot 325 is a spotlight you should put on.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Black diamond spot 325.
Best rechargeable headlight
2. Petzls Acoustic Core ($70)
Weight: 2.8 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 450
Batteries: Rechargeable (also AAA compatible)
What we like: Rechargeable, shiny and light.
What we don’t do: Very expensive.
Rechargeable, battery-operated headlights are becoming more and more ubiquitous and Petzl is the class leader in this field. Your Core Series headlamps are fully rechargeable, but the hybrid design allows you to replace the battery pack with three AAA batteries. This is especially useful if you plan to stay in the field free of charge for several days. In the current range the Actik Core is a 450 lumen model between two white LEDs in an economical packaging. You benefit from stable performance throughout the entire burning time (12 hours at standard power) and easy charging via the micro-USB.
At $70, Actik Core is more expensive than its competitors for free and can’t keep up with other features. You get a red backlight and the same maximum brightness as Black Diamond and Storm, but without a dimmer (Actik Core has only three preset brightness levels). In addition, Petzl has a water resistance class IPX4, which does not protect it from dives such as Spot. But the ease of loading, the weight up to 3 ounces and the high performance give Actik Core a place in our list.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Petzl Actik Core.
Best Home Spot
3. Farah Petzla Tikkin ($20)
Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Weight! Three ounces.
Maximum luminous flux: 250
What we want: Easy to use and cheap.
What we don’t do:Average light quality and no options for red light.
For walks or for use around the house a simple projector like Petzl Tikkina is an excellent choice. This very popular design has recently been updated with a more powerful maximum output of 250 beams of a single white LED. We found that the central button is easy to find and use, and the bar is perfect for cooking at night and pitching tents in the dark. Like the Actik Core above, Tikkina is also compatible with Petzl’s Core rechargeable battery, although in this case it is an accessory purchased separately. If you plan to use Core technology, we recommend that you buy Actik Core for a similar price ($10 more) and with much more lumen. But if you stick with AAA batteries, Tikkina knows how to balance performance, weight and price.
What doesn’t Petzl Tikkin like? By today’s standards, the lighting is decent but not too impressive, and there is no dipped or red light function as with the Black Diamond models. In most cases, we recommend spending an additional $20 on the Black Diamond Spot, which significantly improves performance and versatility. But for real budget awareness, Tikkin understood the basics with the $20 package, and the increased lumens make it a good option. And if you want to spend real money, check out the Energizer Vision HD below.
Look at Petzla Tikkin’s lighthouse.
Best ultralight headlight
4. Nitecore NU25 ($36)
Weight: .99 ounces. (without belt)
Maximum luminous flux:. 360
What we like: Super light, but still very bright.
What we don’t do: Not as inclined as the other headlights.
For minimalists and true ounce gauges, our favourite ultralight beacon for 2020 is the Nitecore NU25. With a single hair that weighs less than a gram for the lamp itself (more on the belt below), the Nitecore is surprisingly bright with a maximum output of 360 lumens, easy to use and rechargeable via micro USB. For riders and those who want to carry as little weight on their backs as possible, the NU25 is brighter and cheaper than the Petzl Bindi below.
Remember that the Nitecore NU25 has four brightness settings: 360, 190, 38 and 1 lumen respectively. However, we want something more practical in the 60-70 lumen range, which is one of the disadvantages. Moreover, the NU25 is slightly tilted, but not as much as most of the models we tested. As for the belt, the included Nitecore option adds almost a gram to the 1.9 ounce equation. But if you’re really looking for ultra-light lighting, Litesmith makes a shoe-style headband for the NU25 that weighs just 0.18 ounces, giving a total installation of 1.17 ounces.
See Nitecore NU25.
Best traffic light
5. Black Diamond Printer ($60)
Weight: 3.7 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 200
What we like: Excellent beam and suitable for runners.
What we don’t do: It is not the best choice for general use.
Most of the headlights in this article are for general use – for starting, camping, climbing or as emergency lighting for storage in your home or vehicle. And although many of these lights can be used for running, it is best for specialist night runners to buy a model specifically designed for this sport. Our best fire is the Black Diamond Sprinter: It emits a strong and constant beam of light to see the track ahead, is well balanced with the battery at the rear of the belt and has a red rear light on the rear housing to increase visibility.
The intended use of the Sprinter is also the biggest drawback. A single beam at the front is ideal for jogging or walking along the path, but the lack of a beam nearby makes it much less useful to move around the camp. An extra tyre on the head and a separate battery increase the power and price of the lamp with a little weight and volume. If we were to choose a projector, that would be one of the above options. But for serious riders or those who appreciate a solid oval bar, a sprinter is a good choice. And if you’re looking for a super smooth ride, check out Black Diamond’s new Sprint 225.
Discover the Black Diamond Sprinter.
The best of the other
6. Centre of Coastal HL7 ($30)
Weight: 4.4 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 305
What we want: Amazing beam and easy adjustment.
What we don’t do: Short lifespan and slightly heavy battery.
Like the FL85 model shown below, the HL7 Focusing offers a high return for the dollar. With a retail price of $40 at the time of issue at $30, the HL7 offers a healthy luminous flux of 305 lumens. The focusing ring acts like a powerful flashlight as it is focused by the tide. This is a simple and absolutely painless feature to use – there is no need to go through different modes to switch between near and far. In full point mode, it projects a radius of more than 400 feet. For your information, the maximum height above the stain is approximately 260 feet.
Why is the lens in the middle of the package? The main disadvantages of the Coast HL7 model are battery life and weight. Even if you don’t maximize lumens, you can get through the AAA battery pack pretty quickly. And not everyone likes the bulky battery in the back of the belt. But all in all, the coast, like many others, has won us over with its impeccable performance and reasonable price.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Priority for the HL7 coast
7. BioLite 330 Headlight ($60)
Weight: 2.43 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 330
What we like: Easy to load, light and flat in shape.
What we don’t do:A small button can be difficult to operate; the tyre is too small to fit on a helmet.
Black Diamond and Petzl dominate the world of headlights, but we love what BioLight invented with its HeadLight 330. Launched as part of the very popular Kickstarter campaign, the super flat shape immediately attracts attention. In combination with a very soft and wide tyre, the light weight ensures excellent weight distribution and comfort when running and walking. In addition, the feather weight of 2.43 oz. and the maximum lumen of 330 lumens corresponds to our peak level of the BD Spot (3 oz. and 325 lumens). And finally, the BioLight costs a hefty $60 if the rechargeable battery is included.
What the 330 lighthouse has in common with the other one is the small knob, which requires a certain dexterity to turn it on and off. The access to the knot is partially covered with a visible plastic stool, so that wearing gloves (or in our case, even if the hands are very cold) is not possible. The minimum adjustment range of the harness also means that it is not large enough to be worn on a mountaineer, bicycle or ski helmet. It should be noted that BioLight is expanding its range by 2020 with a lighter and cheaper but less powerful 200 headlight.
See the BioLight 330 projector.
8. Fenix HL60R headlights ($76)
Weight: 5.9 oz.
Maximum brightness: 950 (range); 400 (high)
What we like: Ultralight tear adjustment and robust construction.
What we don’t do: Poor battery performance.
With a large 950 lumens LED looking directly at you and a second band to keep it above your head, the Fenix HP60R is very present. Its all-metal housing and waterproofness up to IPX8 (submersible up to 2 meters) make it one of the most durable and weatherproof lamps. We also love the unique mode change, which is much easier to learn than comparable Black Diamond models.
Phoenix is an incredibly powerful punch, but don’t expect the pleasure to be long-lasting – the high-bandwidth modes quickly deplete your battery. The 950 lumens mode will be clearly visible in less than an hour, and the high 400 lumens will only adjust the grids you use for 3 hours. In addition, the weight of almost 2.5 kg is on the heavy side for a quick and easy ride. But with the most powerful beam on our list, the Fenix HL60R has a place for those who need more light.
See Fenix HL60R headlights
9. Black diamond symbol ($100)
Maximum luminous flux: 500
What we want: Clear and waterproof.
What we don’t do: Excessive and overweight for backpacks and campsites.
We’re entering the summit area with the black diamond symbol. This projector is designed to last, shine all the time and treat the elements. Thanks to its IP67 classification, the BD can withstand harsh weather conditions and a removable battery keeps it warm even at low temperatures. Clearly, the icon is overloaded for most ordinary walking and backpacking tours, but it is not a popular outdoor community for serious adventures.
With an output of 500 lumens, the Icon is the most powerful Black Diamond projector on the market. You also benefit from a powerful battery, even at the highest settings, and a fully waterproof housing that protects the headlight to a depth of 1 meter. The biggest disadvantage of the icon is that it weighs 10.6 ounces, and the rear carrying bag is bigger than the less powerful options. In addition, the lamp shows its age, and brighter models are now available for less money. But for a bombproof lamp that can do it all, we recommend the black diamond symbol.
You see the black diamond symbol…
10. Bench light FL85 ($47)
Weight: Four and a half ounces.
Maximum light output:615
What we want: Incredibly clear; the focus ring works very well.
What we don’t do: Heavy and high-discharge batteries.
The Oregon Coast Guard Company stands a bit behind the Black Diamond or the Petzl, but has a powerful range of quality headlights. An excellent example is their FL85, which has an impressive maximum output power of 615 lumens from a single beam and an easy-to-use focus ring for setting between near and far modes. The light just blew us away with its brightness and a maximum distance of 600 feet (the above point is about half that distance), but the lower power modes are still functional enough to be used around the camp and for track lighting.
The penalties for purchasing such a powerful lamp are the weight, volume and life of the battery. With 4.5 oz, the rib looks heavy on your forehead and takes up a lot more space than the Spot of Actik Core in your backpack. What’s more, your AAA batteries will be depleted at full power in 2 hours. It is a common problem with powerful headlights: The Fenix HL60R above offers an enormous light output of 950 lumens, but with an operating time of less than an hour. By maintaining maximum power only when you really need it, the FL85 offers amazing performance at a reasonable price – and is often for sale.
See the Coast FL85 projector
11. Black diamond spot 160 ($27)
Weight: 1.9 ounces.
Maximum luminous flux: 160
Batteries: AAA (2)
What we want: Lightweight and very waterproof.
What we don’t do: Low power for a price.
As the name suggests, the Black Diamond Spotlite 160 is a shortened and simplified version of the top segment Spot 325 mentioned above. The main differences are a smaller maximum lumen (160 vs. 325), one AAA battery less than needed for operation and a significant price drop from $13 to $27. They have the same high-quality appearance and excellent IPX8 water resistance, which is rarely the case with a budget-focused design. With a weight of less than 2 ounces and a compact shape, the Spotlite is light enough to sit almost invisibly on your head or in a bundle.
For those who prefer features over full performance, the Black Diamond is a reliable option. In the wider market, however, it has certainly fallen by 160 lumens. For your information: Petzl Tikkin at the top of the list produces 250 lumens and reduces the Spotlite to $7. But what you get with the extra money are useful extras like the red light option, the dimmability, the lighter weight and the increased seal as mentioned above. Finally, the lower exit pushes it to the bottom of our list, but the Spotlite is still a good choice for emergency use or storage.
Look at the black diamond spot 160.
12. Petzl NAO + ($200)
Weight: 6.5 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 750
What we like: A very strong and very technological light.
What we don’t do: Very expensive and the technology is not improved.
Let’s start with the obvious: You can buy a basket of headlights for $200. However, what sets Petzl NAO+ apart from other models is its strong performance and responsive technology. The lamp is designed to respond to the object you are looking at. It automatically adjusts the distance and intensity of the beam, reducing energy consumption and eliminating the need to change modes. In addition, NAO+ has a compatible phone application that allows you to check power levels, save settings and adjust light output.
With a maximum light output of 750 lumens, the NAO+ is incredibly powerful and is powered by a powerful 2600 mAh Li-Ion battery. This makes it an excellent headlamp for those who demand the highest performance, but the headlamp technology is not yet perfected. The sensor can be swindled by dust or rain, and battery life is disappointing. Because of the price, NAO + has a relatively limited appeal, but a further improvement of the jet design is promising.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Petzl NAO +
13. Nathan Neutron Fire ($28)
Weight: 3.1 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 115
Batteries: AAA (2)
What we want: A cheaper beacon than Sprinter’s comic book.
What we don’t do: With a belt he tends to bounce when he runs.
Nathan’s neutron fire is one of the simplest and least powerful models on our list, but for runners it’s worth seeing. This place covers the basics of night jogging: A central headlight will illuminate the road ahead, and two side turn signals will turn off red, blue and green lights for safety on the road ahead. In general, Neutron Fire is easy to use with special buttons for each lighting mode, has a long battery life and is reasonably priced: You can find it regularly on Amazon for about $25.
The neutron fire is a good price less than half the price of a higher black diamond sprinter, but you lose on some features. First of all Nathan has a strap (the Sprinter has an extra strap on top of his head), so that he tends to feel the front of his head and swing up and down. That’s, frankly, exactly what you don’t want in a traffic light. Secondly, 115 lumens is considerably less than the Sprinter’s 200 lumens. But the light beam has to be strong enough for some people, and if you are looking for a cheap light with working functions, then the neutron light is a good place to start.
Look at Nathan’s neutron fire.
14. Princeton Tech Wizz ($48)
Weight: 3.2 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 420
What we want: Full set of functions.
What we don’t do: Less reliable than the competition.
Vizz is Princeton Tec’s answer to the universally applicable black diamond spot, Petzl Actik, and the FL lights above it on the coast. It is equipped with special illumination for close-ups, a radius of 420 metres and a robust, waterproof IPX7 housing. A simple button on top of the lamp is not as easy to find as Spot, but the operation is quite intuitive and doesn’t take as much time as the somewhat confusing Black Diamond (although the latest Spot 325 is a big step forward in this respect). And it’s impressive what Wizz is still doing in the United States.
The Princeton Tec Vizz has been set in motion with other 40-50 dollar models, as well as the BD, Petzl, Coast and Phoenix, due to its strong radius, watertightness and reasonable weight. However, it does not have the same reliability as the big brands and the battery life is still short. With its current price of $48 and without any functionality Vizz is at the bottom of our list.
See the Princeton Tech visa
15. Farah Petzl Bindi ($60)
Weight: 1.2 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 200
What we like: It’s light, but it fits well.
What we don’t do: Honey, the battery life is short.
Petzl’s latest and most elegant headlamp offers 200 lumens with a tilt of just 1.2 oz. With its slim, snug-fitting, lightweight and miniature battery, Bindi is ideal for runners who need to keep their headlights on, and the slim design fits perfectly around your neck. The IPX4 rating is nothing special, but it should be enough to leave the lights on when working in light rain.
What’s wrong with the bindi wires? First, the prize. For $60 you can get a 325 litre Black Diamond spot more expensive with $20 change, and an equally light Nitecore NU25 spot costs just over half the price. We are also concerned about the service life of the Bindi battery – it only burns for 2 hours at full power, which is only 200 lumens. But for city walkers and other minimalists who have daily access to the USB charger, it’s a comfortable and well thought-out beacon that’s definitely worth a look.
Look at Petzla Bindi’s lighthouse.
16. HD Vision Power Controller ($9)
Weight: Three ounces.
Maximum luminous flux: 200
What we want: Brilliant for the price.
What we don’t do: Not for a serious man on the street.
Energizer Vision HD is an incredibly powerful and child-friendly headlamp at an affordable price. With a brightness of 200 lumens, but only at a distance of 50 meters, Vision is best suited for close-up lighting, perfect for setting up camp, cooking at the end of a long day or reading in a tent. This projector is powered by three interchangeable AAA’s, is splash proof and has both projector and projector functions.
For this price you will inevitably have to give up several functions. Here Vision HD has no flash mode and the red LED does not turn on. And despite its top performance, the Vision HD has a high beam and low-cost plastic construction that’s not hard to believe for serious off-road driving. All this shows that it is an enormous value and a great option to keep in the car or at home.
See Energizer’s HD vision.
17. Petzl e+LITE ($30)
Weight: .92 ounces.
Maximum luminous flux: 50
Batteries: CR2032 (2)
What we like:Large emergency lighting: ultra-light and simple.
What we don’t do: Low light output.
Petzl e+LITE is sporty and minimalistic in appearance and is the perfect ultra-light reversing light. Weighing less than a gram, it even reduces a standard tape to a miniature size. If the light were heavier, it would cause discomfort, but once you are immersed in an ounce, you can turn away from these things. The fixture has an IPX7 waterproof protection and batteries that are designed to function even after 10 years of storage.
Super easy to use, which is ideal for items that can be stored for a long time. Turn the switch on the front of the e+LITE to go from red and white light to the strobe position. Realistically, this light is a bit expensive if you aim for maximum light output (only 50 lumens), but it is the perfect beacon for emergency equipment or a day trip.
See Petzl e+LITE.
18. UCO Lighthouse ($30)
Weight: 1.6 oz.
Maximum luminous flux: 150
What we like: A lightweight lighthouse with a unique appearance.
What we don’t do: It’s a very short deadline.
Many of the above mentioned headlights are performance oriented by nature, but there is time and space for something more causal. UCO Air is just what you need: This affordable headlight weighs just 1.6 ounces, making it the third lightest model on the list. It comes with a rechargeable battery and even looks good, technically less advanced than any other model on the market. For $30 it is a nice option for the RV to make short trips in your backpack and in a drawer as emergency lighting.
In terms of actual capacity, UCO Air has its advantages and disadvantages. Battery life is very short – less than one hour at high frequency and five hours at low frequency, but when turned on, it actually outperforms other ultra-light headlamps such as the Petzl Bindi and e+LITE in terms of range. Since UCO Air is half the price of Bindi and much brighter than e+LITE, it’s a viable option for everyday use, especially if you have an easy way to charge nearby. Don’t forget that the headlight contains a battery, but no charging cable, which is a strange omission – many of us have these cables from other devices, but not all of them.
View from the UCO lighthouse
Comparison table of lighthouses
Tips for buying headlights
- Brightness: How much lumen do you need?
- Battery types: AAA, rechargeable and others
- Specified battery life
- LED types: Spotlights, traffic lights, coloured lights and bar lamps
- Waterproof and IP-rich
- Cold Weather Performance
- Belts and comfort
- Use of headlamps for work
The weight of the headlight varies from discrete (0.92 oz. Petzl e+LITE) to heavy (14.7 oz. -Princeton Tec Apex Extreme). In general, the more powerful the headlight and the more serious the design, the heavier the lamp. The lightweight headlights are made of a thin plastic housing and require fewer batteries, while the heavier versions use aluminium or thicker plastic to provide better impact resistance. If you don’t want the most extreme lighting options, it’s best to buy a lightweight lamp. They are more comfortable to wear, they do not suppress movement, they are easier to slide into a tutu.
The coastal FL85 is much larger than the compact and light Petzl Tikka.
The distribution of weight is also important. Black Diamond Spot and Brother of Sister Storm carry batteries at the front, but the 3 ounce piece looks much lighter on the head than the slightly heavier 4.2 ounce storm. What looks like a slight weight loss is very important to use: Spot is handy to do almost anything, while Storm swings up and down when you start running. The installation of a battery in the rear part of the belt becomes necessary if the weight continues to increase.
The weight distribution is crucial, especially in applications such as execution.
Brightness: How much lumen do you need?
It is difficult to answer this question because manufacturers are constantly increasing the maximum luminous flux, which makes the headlights of the past (or even of recent years) seem weak compared to them. Let’s take the example of the diamond-shaped black spot. A few years ago it was the 90 lumens that shone in the highest unit. The next version went to a maximum of 130 lumens, then to 200 lumens and now to 325 lumens. As former owner of an earlier 90 lumens model, I was absolutely satisfied with the performance at the time. A sideways comparison shows a striking difference.
Black Diamond’s Spot increases the distance with each new model.
When determining the correct number of lumens, keep in mind that in most situations you should not plan the maximum number of lumens, as this will quickly discharge the battery, but only if a strong beam is useful. In general we have found that 25-150 lumens are excellent to use around the house and as a reserve for hiking, excursions and camping. For a navigation aid in complete darkness, you need to switch to category 200 plus lumen. For extreme situations, such as a spell, or when travelling at higher speeds, such as a night ride or an ATV ride, you should start searching at 250 lumens.
It is important to note that the lumens do not perfectly reproduce the brightness and quality of the projector. What the lumens really measure is the amount of visible light that these lamps can produce, which doesn’t always translate into a good illumination of a road or a campsite. The good news is that the above selections are quality headlights with advanced optics (and we make no exceptions), so lumens remain a useful indicator of the brightness of your headlights. Don’t forget to consider the beam distance, beam type and brand reputation, rather than just relying on this specification.
Lumens are only part of the brightness equation.
Battery types: AAA, rechargeable and others
Most standard LED lights are powered by AAA batteries located in the main part of the light or at the back of the harness. The batteries are well packaged and accessible through the valve. This is the most common and simple design found on many of our advanced headlights.
Most headlights install their batteries in the headlight body.
The separate rechargeable batteries built into the back of the belt appear larger, but can easily redistribute the extra weight. This model is often equipped with an extra strap that runs directly over the head to provide support and a good fit. Higher wattage lamps designed for more extreme activities, such as the iconic black diamond, use this design. The disadvantage is the extra weight, which takes up more space on the head and in the packaging. Some headlights, such as the Princeton Tec Apex Extreme, have a disconnected battery that allows the battery to be carried close to the body, preventing it from discharging at low temperatures.
Rechargeable headlights gain power with the obvious advantages of not having to change batteries. Instead, use the USB port to charge before driving, in the car on the way to the race track, or in the back seat with a solar pack or battery. In addition, Petzl has started developing some of its headlights with a hybrid function, where you can use the rechargeable CORE packs or take them out and use AAA batteries instead. This is a phenomenal option for those who want to use rechargeable headlights, but expect to be without power for a long time. For all rechargeable options you pay a small surcharge, but for some it’s worth it. The cost and waste of AAA batteries can certainly increase.
Shellfish holes for easy access and battery replacement
Specified battery life
Speaking of batteries, let’s think about the lifespan of these headlights. We have included the specifications of the manufacturers listed, but to set reasonable expectations, please note that the stated battery life for the highest lumen does not guarantee that you will pump the maximum lumen during this time. If the light is not adjustable (as with the Petzl Actik Core), where you get an almost constant light output before it falls off a cliff when the battery is low, the numbers can be misleading. Whatever it looks like, expect your once impressive maximum of light to change quite quickly into a shadow of its former self – often in just a few hours.
Given the predicted battery life, it is preferable to be cautious.
More and more headlamp manufacturers are reporting on these specifications, but sometimes some research is still needed to get a complete answer. Look for diagrams showing the operating times near the lumens or, if the light is not adjustable, check that the manufacturer indicates the maximum distance of the light beam over the life of the battery. This will give you a better comparison.
So how do you get the most out of your inimitable headlight, apart from turning the door to replace the battery? A simple tip for getting the most out of your battery is to use only the amount of light you really need. Do you really need 275 lumens to burn a hole in the side of your backpack if you’re looking for a luxury jacket? Probably not. Dimming the light at any time significantly increases battery life.
Use only as much power as you really need to extend battery life.
LED types: Light points, spotlights, coloured lamps and bar lamps
Your average headlight has a number of lighting modes and by default most lamps use a powerful LED headlight (the maximum distance they can reach is shown in the Beam section of our specifications). Although not necessary in all circumstances, high beam can be useful to control a distant trail or even extreme targets, such as a collapse. And, as we’ve seen, Spot mode works at its best on a high quality headlight, like the Black Diamond Spot, as well as a backup option for a mountain bike.
It is best to use a floodlight to illuminate nearby objects.
A headlight with a headlight option is required for wide-angle coverage. The best way to camp or pitch a tent is not designed for distance, but for maximum visibility right in front of you. The medium and high quality multifunctional headlights also have red (and sometimes blue and green) LEDs. We found them useful for reading or for going out at night, because the soft light doesn’t blind your friends and doesn’t disturb your neighbours. Those with special nocturnal needs will notice that blue and green LEDs have their place (hunters will use blue for detection, for example because it allows them to distinguish green leaves from the animal’s red blood). Another advantage is that these lights do not let your students read when you turn them on, so they can easily orient themselves in a dark tent. A number of options also have a kind of emergency shutdown, which is both clearly visible and less quickly absorbed by the batteries.
Using the red light function in the overflow
Waterproof and IP-rich
For heavy outdoor use and prolonged exposure, the weather resistance of the projector is taken into account. Some cheap headlights offer little or no protection – as soon as it starts raining, it’s best to take shelter and go to the tent. However, most designs in the middle and upper classes provide a higher level of protection. The weather resistance of the electronics is tested on an IP scale: In the lower range IPX0 means no protection, while in the upper range IPX8 means the product will survive a long dive. Our best choice, the Black Diamond Spot, gets an impressive IPX8 rating, which means it still has to work after 30 minutes underwater. Most of the lighthouses on this list are at least IPX4 certified, which should be sufficient to withstand most rain and snow. The fact is, if you plan to spend time with items, you should check the IP rating of your lighthouse before buying (it’s the right-hand column in our handy comparison table above).
Cold Weather Performance
It can be difficult to maintain and operate your electronics in the cold (we know that when we take batteries for the cameras in the back seat). As far as headlights are concerned, the first consideration is the type of battery. Traditional alkaline batteries are worst in the cold, so it is best to use lithium or rechargeable NiMH batteries for best performance. In addition, the effect of cold can help to discharge any type of battery, but there are ways to reduce this effect. If possible, keep the lighthouse in a relatively warm place (we like to pack ours in woolen socks). And if you sleep in extreme cold, you can keep the headlight in your sleeping bag and close to the heat.
headlight battery properly in cold weather.
Be sure to store your headlight battery in a cool place.
Belts and comfort
Depending on the weight of the headlight, the belt can be either minimalist or strong and resistant. There are two main belt structures: a simple elastic nylon, which is wrapped around the sides of the head, and a two-piece system with an additional belt that runs around the top of the head. The double strap style is popular for more serious helmet adventures, such as caving, climbing or mountaineering, but a safer fit may also be useful for everyday use. And with many headlights, the upper tyre can be easily removed when you don’t need it. However, most people still opt for a simple circular design. They are generally compatible with helmets, easy to put on and suitable for most home or outdoor applications.
Most headlights use a simple single-belt construction.
Use of headlamps for work
Only three of the above headlights are specially designed to work, but some will work well in an emergency. Lightweight headlights such as the Black Diamond Spot or the BioLite HeadLight 330 are suitable for anyone looking for versatile options. However, if you only drive with the headlights on, we recommend the Black Diamond Sprinter. In terms of features and characteristics, this headlamp is inferior to multifunctional units, but its good weight distribution (with rear battery pack), excellent low beam and rear-facing flash distinguish it from multifunctional units. On the other hand, Petzl’s new Bindi is a fascinating innovation for those who want an ultra-light, rechargeable headlamp. And if you want to keep the price low, try the Nathan neutron lamp – a cheap projector with excellent visibility but less power.
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