Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

A bright and lightweight LED headlamp from battery giant Energizer that offers several attractive features at $30 and 3.1 oz with a lithium battery (as weighed by BPL).

Print Jump to Reader Comments

by Rick Dreher | 2009-07-22 00:15:00-06

Editor's Note: This article was opened to the public on July 22, 2010. To subscribe and see Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 articles as they are published, click here.

Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 1
The new for spring 2010 Energizer Micro Headlamp weighs just 3.1 ounces and puts out 60 lumens of light.

Key features: Single, white, variable intensity LED claimed to emit a maximum of 60 lumens; separate red LED mode; two pushbutton switches that control the white and red functions independently; pivoting lamphead; waterproof.

The Micro is a relatively simple single-strap headlamp design, complicated somewhat by a remote rear-mounted battery pack that connects to the lamphead via two cables. The main white LED is centrally mounted and collimated to focus the beam. There’s no diffuser option. The white LED is flanked by two small red LEDs. Energizer tells us main LED output is adjustable but does not note the number of steps or whether the light defaults to high between uses. We presume there’s just one red output level. That they’re individually operated via separate, top-mounted buttons is good news to folks concerned with preserving night vision. The buttons look large enough to operate wearing gloves. Strap circumference is adjusted with Velcro, not slide buckles.

Based on the scant data available, we can presume the Micro steps up the AA battery’s voltage to operate the light, a strategy that keeps weight and bulk low while allowing users the most affordable battery option extant. The circuitry may also regulate output. The separate battery compartment and wiring make the light a little heavier and more complex than an integrated design, and similar battery cables sometimes get snagged in branches, but a 3.1 oz weight with battery still puts the Micro in league with the lightest 3xAAA lights (a design we wish headlamp makers would abandon for simpler and more frugal options like this). A lithium cell would cut the Micro’s weight slightly and provide maximum performance.

Energizer provides no battery life data, and we can’t comment on beam pattern and the light’s color temperature, but there’s a good deal of promise in this new offering. Most truly miniature headlamps rely on short-lived button cells or expensive CR123 cells, so the Micro warrants further investigation as an alternative.


Citation

"Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)," by Rick Dreher. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/orsm09_energizer_microLED.html, 2009-07-22 00:15:00-06.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

New Visitors: Create a new account
Username:
Password:
Remember my login info.

Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)
Display Avatars
Sort By:
Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/22/2009 16:39:03 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Energizer Micro Headlamp is Powered by a Single AA Cell (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/24/2009 13:30:39 MDT Print View

I happen to love the design as it separates the weight almost 50/50 front and back.
Battery life at 60 lumens should be 4-4.5 hours.

This means you will only need one spare battery for most all-night runs, or one battery should last you on a weekend trip.

2 thumbs up for me...

William Webber
(micwebbpl) - F
All night RUN? Man you guys are more extreme than me! on 07/30/2009 11:04:19 MDT Print View

My idea of night hiking is getting caught out late and struggling back to camp!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Good design EXCEPT... on 02/10/2010 13:00:04 MST Print View

It's a good design except for the rear-mounted battery and needed headband wire. That's where the extra weight comes from. Back-of-headband battery cases are for one thing only, to place a large battery case AWAY from the headlamp, thus keeping the headlamp light. In this case that placement is not only unnecessary but creates extra weight.

Instead the skinny little single AAA battery should have been housed in the headlamp itself. This saves on extra housing and the headband wire. The whole reason for going with one AAA battery is WEIGHT REDUCTION. That is entirely lost with this headlamp's setup.

Back to the drawing board. And maybe this time with a single AA battery instead, and, of course, with circuitry that will handle the voltage of a lithium battery.

Edited by Danepacker on 02/10/2010 13:00:40 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Good design EXCEPT... on 02/10/2010 13:04:18 MST Print View

I agree with you Eric. Adding extra stuff by having a remote battery housing just complicates things and adds weight. I could see if they were running some Double D batteries back there, but its a stinkin' AAA!!!

Edit: AA battery, not AAA. But the point still stands.

Edited by T.L. on 02/10/2010 13:05:17 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
I Like It... on 05/21/2010 22:38:10 MDT Print View

Just bought the Energizer Micro LED Headlight at Tarzhay today - $29.99 plus tax.

Comparing it to the cheaper ($15) 6 LED Headlight:

Micro:

1 white LED, 2 red LEDs
1 AA in a separate housing
2.4oz net, 3.4oz with battery

6-LED:

4 white Leds, 2 red LED's
3 AAA's integrated housing
1.5oz net, 3.0oz with batteries

The Micro with battery is half an ounce heavier -- barely noticeable. However, its one white LED is far, far brighter (both brighter spot and brighter and wider peripheral) than the second model's 4-LED's!!

One of my dislikes of the 6-LED Energizer is the discomfort I feel on my forehead. The Micro -- with the battery housing on the back of the head both lessens the weight upfront and counterbalances it. Comparing the two really brings home just how much more comfortable the Micro is.


More about the Micro:

Changing out the battery is a cinch. No tools required -- just twist the round cover 1/5th of a turn to open and close. The LED housing has 2 switches. One control the bright, white LED. Clicking once turns the light on. Holding down the switch dims down the light to a minimum and then brightens up the light again. To adjust, you simply hold down the switch until the desired light level is reached -- then let go. The second switch controls the two red LED's and is just a simple on/off switch. Turning on the red will turn off the white (and vice versa).

Reading earlier comments, I can see a slight chance where a twig might snag the two wires connecting the front LED with the back battery housing. But the two wires include a spiral section -- meaning a lot of elasticity -- so wire snapping is quite unlikely.

Edited by ben2world on 05/21/2010 22:46:08 MDT.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Pivot? on 05/21/2010 22:59:00 MDT Print View

Ben, does the light section pivot at all, and if not, is this a problem?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Pivot? on 05/21/2010 23:53:31 MDT Print View

Rod:

Yes, it does pivot - 4 clicks -- straight out plus 3 different tilts downward.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Good design EXCEPT... on 05/23/2010 07:42:12 MDT Print View

like this?
Headtorch

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Good design EXCEPT... on 05/23/2010 11:04:42 MDT Print View

The band looks like a clever home adaptation. Looks really good!! Brand and model?

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Good design EXCEPT... on 05/24/2010 04:28:16 MDT Print View

Not just the band, it's all home made. It runs off a single lithium AA with a current regulated boost circuit driving a 1Watt LED. The solid optic collimator gives a really nice beam.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Good Design on 05/24/2010 22:13:14 MDT Print View

I am impressed!! Wish I could make one...