Headlamp recommendations
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Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Re: Lumens vs PAR on 03/08/2014 03:49:11 MST Print View

I'm not sure I follow.

Edit: Nevermind, answered my own question, kind of... Carry on :)

Still not sure comparing hi cap li-ions to mediocre cap nimhs is an apples to apples kind of thing though.

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/08/2014 04:07:09 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Too many lights on 03/08/2014 06:33:59 MST Print View

Guess you'll just have to become an expert and build your own at which point you too will realize it's all a compromise.

Backpacks should come with power supplies built into the frame and a USB power supply ;)

Internal batteries are lighter and more efficient than cells since they're just wrapped in a thin film and have a couple wires.

Head lamps are so far behind I really can't find ANY I like. You lose too much value and tech going from a torch to a head lamp. It seems to me most headlamps are selling people overpriced straps and nothing more than a gimmick.

Shoulder light, ear clip light, or bust. I use head lamps to work not hike.

I've been searching for a head lamp to recommend for days now and can't find a single one that offers everything this thread cumulatively requires of a light.

Ever wonder why police don't use head lamps? They screw up your peripheral and balance, make your eyes tired because they never get a break etc etc.

Edited by tchilds on 03/08/2014 06:48:42 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Police on 03/08/2014 08:37:44 MST Print View

> Ever wonder why police don't use head lamps? They screw up your peripheral and balance, make your eyes tired because they never get a break etc etc.

That's odd...the military is positively wedded to headlamps & helmet-mounted lamps.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Police headlamps on 03/08/2014 08:45:11 MST Print View

Actually, police don't use headlamps because perps tend to shoot directly towards light sources. If a flashlight is carried and used near center mass, a bullet is more likely to hit armor.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
One weird trick eliminates headlamp problems on 03/08/2014 09:49:59 MST Print View

There is a government conspiracy to keep the best headlamps out of the hands of civilians, so that when the One World Order takes over at night, they have the upper hand. Read on for one weird trick that will keep you safe.

There is no perfect headlamp, just like there is no perfect pack, stove, or sleeping bag. And plenty of people will be happy without the item at all.

Sometimes I take a headlamp, sometimes I'm happy enough with a photon light on a clip, and on some trips I don't even use that.

People have discussed, compared, praised, and trashed headlamps for hundreds of thousands of words, on BPL, CPF, and elsewhere. The good news is that so much information is available, both good and bad, that you can totally geek out on headlamps in pursuit of "the one". Or you can walk into a store and buy the first one you see. Both will work OK most of the time. Both will fail to meet your needs some of the time.

In the whitewater rafting community, most people have cheap headlamps, because we can't afford expensive ones after spending $3,000+ on boating gear, or we're making less than minimum wage guiding guests down the river.

If you get 10, or 20, or 30 rafters around a camp at night, one problem comes up over and over again: Mutual Assured Blindness. You walk over to talk to someone, you look at each other to speak, and both are blinded by the other's headlamp.

So I'll share the one weird trick secretly passed to me by another raft guide.

  1. Turn off your headlamp.
  2. Take off your headlamp.
  3. Stretch out the headband.
  4. Slide the headlamp down until it is around your neck, not your head.
  5. Turn on the headlamp.
Voila, no more MAB. You won't get quite as dizzy from the beam zipping around when your head moves, and it points more-or-less where you need to see most of the time.

One more weird trick.

For those of you who believe flashlights are superior, because when the One World Order descends from their black helicopters at night, they will aim their shots at your hand or body armor instead of your head, I have one more weird trick.
  1. Turn off your headlamp.
  2. Take off your headlamp.
  3. Hold the headlamp in your hand, with the beam pointing forward.
  4. Turn on the headlamp.
Voila – you have a flashlight with a strap.

Thanks for your attention. Please keep up this entertaining thread.

-- Rex

PS - to learn more about the marketing psychology of "one weird trick" ads:
Prepare to Be Shocked!

Edited by Rex on 03/08/2014 09:51:44 MST.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: Re: Re: Lumens vs PAR on 03/08/2014 10:16:30 MST Print View

"I'm not sure I follow.

Edit: Nevermind, answered my own question, kind of... Carry on :)

Still not sure comparing hi cap li-ions to mediocre cap nimhs is an apples to apples kind of thing though."

Hi Glenn,

Yea sorry i did ramble on for a bit.
The thing is although they're different formats and often different chemistries it's really the choices that we are given.
A AA or AAA torch or a 18650.
Obviously there are other formats, but IMO they're even more of a compromise (e.g. CR123)

A lithium powered AA torch or 14500 is an option, but are you going to be able to find charged 14500 cells ore lithium AA's out where we tend to prefer to hike?

"Guess you'll just have to become an expert and build your own at which point you too will realize it's all a compromise."

Admittedly cynical i know, but i'm always wary of anyone that calls themselves a "expert" there are no qualifications or experience level required to be a self appointed expert, so it's not really worth anything in real terms.

I have modified and assembled several torches over the years i don't see how that's relevant on this thread though as it has absolutely nothing to do with recommending head torches.

It's equivalent to a taxi driver giving Jenson Button tips on driving a F1.
Both are professional drivers but there is a vast difference in experience and skill sets between the 2.

"Internal batteries are lighter and more efficient than cells since they're just wrapped in a thin film and have a couple wires."

In theory you are correct.
In practice though torches with "soft cells" will have to have tougher cases, regulators and charge points built into them, in real world terms this will often make a torch with internal batteries a fair amount heavier than a torch with a hard case battery.

Had a quick rummage through my photobucket and found a few pics of weights of a few of my torches to compare

LD01 with battery (Sanyo Eneloop) 26.4g
 photo IMG_1821.jpg

H502 with battery (Sanyo Eneloop) without strap 43.4g
 photo IMG_1747.jpg

H502 with battery and strap 66.6g
 photo IMG_1744.jpg

MKI H600 with battery (Eagletec 3400mAh)and strap 105.5g
 photo IMG_2139.jpg

MKII with battery (Eagletec 3400mAh) and strap 127g
 photo IMG_3163_zps532670cd.jpg


"Head lamps are so far behind I really can't find ANY I like. You lose too much value and tech going from a torch to a head lamp. It seems to me most headlamps are selling people overpriced straps and nothing more than a gimmick."

If you meant this phrase to be humorous then i'm sorry my friend i just didn't pick up on your humour.

If you meant it as a serious statement then please take a look at any half decent headlight.
Here is one example i recommend, the Zebralight H600
http://www.zebralight.com/H600-Mk-II-18650-XM-L2-Headlamp-Cool-White_p_130.html
Cree XM-L2
1090 lumen boost, 660 lumen high with decent lows and medium levels from 0.01 lumens.
PID thermal regulated outputs
Good UI
Battery capacity indicator
Built in over-discharging protection
soft-touch switch
Waterproof to IPX7

I'm struggling to see how think that is going to "lose too much value and tech" compared to the LD01 you recommended?

As i say i own a few LD01's they're great keychain lights and fantastic VFM, there is absolutely no comparison to any of my LD01's and even a H502 though.
Beam pattern, lumen output, UI they're all in a different league on the H502 never mind the H600.

"Shoulder light, ear clip light, or bust. I use head lamps to work not hike."

I work on pretty complex systems and use my LD01 most days at work, there is absolutely no way i'd use it clipped onto my ear though.
For one it would be unsafe (if i drop something into the system then it is powered down and unusable till it's found) for another it would be extremely uncomfortable.

If that works for you and the job you do then fantastic, it's still not a headlamp though and it's still not what the op requested.

"Ever wonder why police don't use head lamps? They screw up your peripheral and balance, make your eyes tired because they never get a break etc etc.""

Nonsense
LEO's have their lights in parallel with their guns so they can shoot where they shine

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Rex... on 03/08/2014 10:28:26 MST Print View

...loved the article on "One Weird Trick" and enjoyed your riff on same.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Police on 03/08/2014 12:18:48 MST Print View

"That's odd...the military is positively wedded to headlamps & helmet-mounted lamps."

That is, unless you are equipped with night vision goggles or something similar. Then, you do not want any headlamps or flashlights around.

--B.G.--

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
love it! on 03/08/2014 14:22:03 MST Print View

I'll never find the one now!

I'm still standing by my recommendation of an ld01 that accepts commonly found batteries and easily sits on your ear like a pencil.

I certainly have learned a lot though and appreciate the ideas behind the recommendation which definitely give consumers reading this thread something to think about!

My gutted ld01 "ultralight" model can be pinned anywhere on my pack or clothing and only weighs 5 grams.

I've smashed plenty of lipoly batteries and they still work fine trust me. RC air helicopters smash the he'll out of them and they are fine usually.

Edited by tchilds on 03/08/2014 14:26:37 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Military on 03/08/2014 14:22:20 MST Print View

No, they keep the helmet light, but turn it off, or if they think its safe, or necessary, will use NVG (night vision green). But those Surefire helmet lights stay clamped onto their heads at night regardless.

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/8800/dsc04730df.jpg

Edited by Bolster on 03/08/2014 14:28:07 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
lipoly/internal is lighter on 03/08/2014 14:34:13 MST Print View

Here are examples of lippy batteries without all the heavy bs attached to give you a warranty and protect companies from frivolous lawsuits.

Build your own it's much lighter. Gut a Chinese flashlight and enjoy.

Add straps if you want to call it a head lamp I guess.lipoly

It makes more sense to carry a battery system that charges all devices than it does multiple batteries to me since this makes every piece of gear multiple purpose/redundant and much cheaper/more valuable. All my devices charge off one USB cable that has 3 form factors to charge other people's various USB devices if necessary too.

Run on sentences from hell I d c.

Add a hydrogen reactor, hand pump generator, solar, or Peltier device and you can now cycle these cells hundreds of times over 18 months without plugging in too.

I am now running wires to all my devices from one unprotected extremely light battery and carrying a second battery as backup that has a volt stepper circuit and pass thru as well with a charging switch just in case my primary shits a brick.

Edited by tchilds on 03/08/2014 14:47:15 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Military on 03/08/2014 14:38:50 MST Print View

Incidentally, you can see a lot more without using battery-powered devices if you just give it time.

While on a military training exercise, we were stationary just after sunset, but before the sky got very dark and before our human night vision was working much. About 60-70 yards out, one training person lit a cigarette, but we couldn't see it at all. Then we did some other activity in the dark. After 30 minutes or so, we went back to our original positions and the training person lit a cigarette again. Geez, everybody could see it in an instant, clear as a bell. Our night vision worked.

So, next time you are camped, keep things as dark as you can without tripping and breaking your fool neck. Let your human night vision develop, and then see what you can see. Due to the way our eyes are built, you might get best night results by looking slightly off-center at a target.

--B.G.--

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Re: lipoly/internal is lighter on 03/08/2014 15:02:29 MST Print View

My secondary battery is also a flashlight, vaporizer (ecig), emergency fire starter, bullet proof water proof case, and passthru/backup battery with 5 volt stepper circuit and regulator circuits built from old junked electronics like vcr and tape decks.

2600mahbackup lipoly

Oh and it's an ohm meter. Lol!!!


Anyway, build your own stuff and system for all powered devices and get away from marketing and BS solutions like headlamps and torches built to make profit not light.

Enjoy, learn, do. Keep it simple and get a simple light if you're not up to it like an ld01.

As for myself I'm more of a mac guy ver.

Edited by tchilds on 03/08/2014 15:14:07 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
7mm on 03/08/2014 19:34:36 MST Print View

Troy's posts are having the same effect on me as drinking a half dozen cups of strong coffee one after another, so I'm going to go enjoy a minor detox in another thread.

Bob makes a good point; lots of people with lights get impatient and use electricity when they could simply use a wider iris in their own eyes by waiting another 30 minutes. Let it expand to a full 7mm (if you're young; 5mm if you're a geezer) and enjoy the natural night vision.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Re: 7mm on 03/09/2014 06:00:48 MDT Print View

Lol sorry I don't talk to folks much but just trying to help people be lighter and think outside the box.

I agree to use your night vision but unfortunately that isn't always easy to do without going completely solo and or imposing on others.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
diy on 03/09/2014 06:08:41 MDT Print View

I guess I'll just have to make a diy thread to hold people's hands on lipoly tech since few want to learn on their own.

I seem to have lost people on my radical oversimplification of my system because the personal messages won't stop with such basic questions.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: Re: Military on 03/09/2014 12:56:40 MDT Print View

Good post Bob,

I much prefer hiking without a light if i can, i think there are few times when you feel closer to nature and the universe than hiking on a clear bright night without a torch.

Problem i tend to have though is tripping.
Partly because i'm usually near the end of a hike when it's dark so am absolutely knackered, and partly because the terrain here (Greece) is extremely rocky.

Was talking about retaining night vision with a friend of mine a few weeks back, he also comes from a military background so was really feeling exposed walking around with a torch on.

Problem was it was a very cloudy night with very little natural light, plus we were hiking through a intermittently heavily wooded area, so for me it just wasn't worth the risk of not using a torch.

At the start he insisted on having his headlamp on the lowest setting he could get away with, even then he was adamant that his was keeping 1 eye closed.
Problem was he ended up stumbling more than when he didn't have his light on.

So we sat for a brew and i asked him "what are you saving your night vision for?"
It's not like we could have safely hiked without the lights on (IMO), after a bit of a "debate" we set off again only this time he had his torch on max.
Once hed got over that initial nervousness about making a target of himself he really enjoyed seeing this well worn hike in a different light (literally).

Guess what i'm saying is, as adults we use our knowledge and experience to make a judgement call on if there is enough natural light to safely walk by, but IMO once you've made the decision to use a torch as long as you have enough batteries there is no reason not to use it on it's highest setting.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Re: Re: Military on 03/09/2014 22:41:15 MDT Print View

"keeping 1 eye closed"

Isn't this why the Pirate's wore an eye patch? So they had one eye dilated to see in the dark hold?

Maybe someone could market a hiker patch, call it an "eye gaiter".

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Military on 03/09/2014 22:44:38 MDT Print View

"Maybe someone could market a hiker patch, call it an "eye gaiter"."

Name it the General Moshe Dayan eye gaiter.

He was a very security-minded guy and became famous for his comment, "I'll be keeping an eye out for you."

--B.G.--