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.
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.