M LED Headlamp REVIEW SUMMARY 2003: Petzl, Princeton Tec, Black Diamond, and Photon
by the Product Review Staff
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Article Summary:In terms of volume of units, LED headlamps will be the #1 outdoor specialty consumer item purchased this December. OVERVIEW. In this review, we review LED headlamps that weigh less than six ounces (170 grams), focusing on the highest unit volume sales headlamps in the U.S. and European market from Black Diamond, Princeton Tec, Petzl, and Photon. HEADLAMP MODELS REVIEWED. The range of headlamps includes those with 2 LEDs (Princeton Tec Scout, Black Diamond Ion), 3 LEDs (Princeton Tec Aurora, Petzl Zipka), 4 LEDs (Petzl Tikka Plus, Black Diamond Moonlight), Hyperbright LEDs (Princeton Tec Matrix 2, Black Diamond Zenix), and the Photon Fusion, a unique power-regulated 7 LED headlamp with sophisticated switching logic. PERFORMANCE DATA COMPARISON. This review provides information about measured weights with and without batteries (and where appropriate, weights with Lithium AA batteries), the measurement of beam intensity (lux) and flood-spot character at room temperature, comparison of beam intensity at cold vs. warm temperatures, and beam intensity decay at 38 °F over 24 hours of continuous use. HEADLAMP PERFORMANCE REVIEWS. This review includes an index of and links to individual performance reviews of each headlamp. These individual LED headlamp reviews include a specifications summary, usability assessment, performance summary, application assessment, and highlights of each lamp's strengths and weakneses. GEAR GUIDE LINKS. This review includes cross-referenced links between related lighting technology articles at Backpacking Light, individual headlamp reviews, and headlamp Gear Guide Product Index Cards (complete specifications) for nearly all LED headlamps currently available on the worldwide market. TRAIL'S BEST AWARDS. Herein, we award two headlamps, the Princeton Tec Matrx 2 and the Princeton Tec Aurora, with BackpackingLight.com's 2004 Trail's Best Award for their exceptional performance and usability in cold conditions. SUMMARY. This review provides a gateway to the most up-to-date and comprehensive collection of LED Headlamp information of interest to lightweight backpacking available anywhere.
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