Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Southern Maine

    Default Headlamp Recommendations

    I'm looking for recommendations on BOTH rechargeable and normal headlamps. These are intend for general (non-tactical) use, but I am pretty rough on them. Could be used camping or shoveling the driveway, so could get wet. I don't mind paying for top end stuff if the quality/features make it worth it.

    I've had Petzls, Princeton Tecs, and Steamlights over the years, but mostly now have the cheap 3-AAA Energizer ones. Had/used a bunch overseas, and have lost, broken or given away most now. I know light technology has changes a bit in the last 10+ yrs. Just doing my research now and see what the Tribe has for advice.

    One that caught my attention was the Streamlight ProTac HL. Price point good; up to 1000 lumens; rechargeable, but also can take CR123's; water resistant and (somewhat) rugged.
    What do you guys have? Thanks, Jay
    We have to go in places no body would ever think of going into were it not for the necessities of war. ~ Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

    Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war. ~ Thucydides

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I've got one of these that I like a lot for general use.

    It's "only" 365 lumens, but it can take CR123A or AA batteries (and you can use rechargables in either size), and it can be used in several modes.

  3. #3
    I have been very happy with a similar light. I use the Fenix HM50R. It has a built in micro usb port for the included rechargeable battery and if that runs out you can use regular CR123. It has 4 brightness levels from 4 to 400 lumens and a useful beam. It has been durable and reliable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    The ones I have from Olight have worked out quite well. Their flashlights are also quite nice for everyday use around the house, when camping, and so forth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Check out NiteCore’s offerings, they are rechargeable. Their handheld lights have been great, internal 18650’s that charge onboard via USB and can also be swapped out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Been pretty happy using the Black Diamond - Storm for hiking etc.

    -White/Blue/Red/Green all with power settings
    -Runs off AAAs
    -No strap that runs over the top of the head so it packs smaller
    -Reasonable price

    -Can get warm after a few hours of use
    -Very faint hum on dimmer settings
    -No Strap that runs over the top of the head so occasionally needs readjusting

    Searched awhile before buying a headlamp. Wanted a good general purpose and outdoor headlight. Definitely happy with the Black Diamond Storm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Wild Wonderful WV!!
    I’ve been more or less neutral or slightly disappointed with the rechargeable headlamps I’ve tried! They work well, but have weird recharging (Black Diamond) or don’t last as long as the specs claim (Streamlight 50-60%) it should!

    Petzl has always made a good headlamp once they got the LED lights figured out years ago and remain my top choice for daily use! Princeton Tec use to be my top choice, but have had brittle plastic for a while now and I will not touch them now!

    Regular battery Black Diamonds are likely second behind Petzl, but I don’t find them as useful with gloves!

    Si vis pacem, para bellum!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Jay, my flashlight buying days were also 10 years ago, when i settled on Princeton Tech. I used to go to Candlepower forums for info and near the end of my buying there was a new technology, of HID lights.

    Their disadvantage was they took 30 seconds or so to power up, were a minimum 2D size (due to ballast type workings), and gave off UV that had to be shielded. That meant they were a non-starter as a tactical light or headlamp.

    So, if you will settle for mounted, handheld, or helmet mount then these would give extreme capabilities for about $250, used. If you just want everyday capabilities, theres great advice already been given here.

    If you want to select the beam color of an LED headlamp, I suggest mosey on down to your local cycle store and see what the cyclists are using for rechargeable headlamps, and compare each individual light with the others.

    Gas discharge technology (HID) gives twice the run time of incandescent, while maintaining more of its depth perception than LED, which is very important in caving and underwater.

    LED gets pressed into all these roles, and is okay if you are constantly aware of its limitations.

    If I were buying lights all over again, I'd buy a used canister style HID dive light, that is rated for use outside water. Typical price point $250. Also, a rechargeable LED headlamp, hand selected from the cycle store.
    Last edited by endsoftheearth; 12-03-2018 at 09:20 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Not sure where cycling came in, but I have a NiteCore BR35 for that. It’s 1800 lumens, rechargeable, with flood+spot beams but I’d still add a bright headlamp for off-road cycling or on-road at speed. The two lights together should help with your depth perception and ideally your headlamp is a warmer light.

    I have a Petzl Actik Core with the rechargeable battery pack, it’s worked very well for me so far but it’s not perfect. The NiteCore headlamps weren’t out yet or I would have gone with one of them. One major point is their NU32 is current controlled so no PWM unlike the Petzl I have with is very annoying on the levels below brightest. PWM is pulse width modulation, which strobes the light on and off supposedly faster than the human eye can see to achieve the desired brightness level. Problem is many people, like myself, see the strobe and it becomes very obvious and annoying when either you or what you are watching is moving.

    For “regular” and cheap headlamps it’s hard to beat the Energizer line. I have several scattered between hiking backpacks, travel bags, vehicles, etc. It’s hard to beat the utility of a headlamp and I usually got them on sale or clearance.

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