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Nov 25, 2003 at 11:00 pm #1215634Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
So, a question to LED headlamp users:
What initially governed your decision(s) to purchase the LED lights you currently use?
LED flood brightness for closeup work?
Long-beam projection for night navigating?
My ideal headlamp has a low weight and tiny size with no sacrifice in short range flood brightness or long range beam projection.
My favorite light is still the Black Diamond Gemini, because of the excellent range of its xenon beam and the battery life/short range brightness of its LED. New technology means they can certainly do better on the LED side, and the BD Zenix is a step in the right direction, but its main light still not as bright as the Gemini’s xenon beam. I used a Gemini on an all-night ’emergency’ descent of the Middle Teton (10 hours of rappelling down a rotten rock couloir in a storm), so we have kind of bonded. My highest priorities in my “headlamp of the future” is to retain the functionality of this lamp, while improving LED short range flood brightness and shaving weight and bulk.
Your ideal headlamp?May 27, 2004 at 6:10 am #1334498Arapiles .BPL Member
I bought a Princeton Tec Aurora last year and it is probably the worst piece of gear I’ve ever used. Mine was replaced under warranty but I threw the replacement into a corner and don’t use it.
– the pivot …] coming loose so that the headlamp hung down and shone into my forehead; the only way to fix this is to carry a micro-screwdriver (I wrapped a rubber band around it until I got home). Petzl’s ratchet is a much better design;
– the rubber cover on the switch coming off in the pocket of my day pack, I got the cover back on and then realised that there was a tiny spacer (less than a centimetre long) between the actual switch (buried in the body of the light) and the rubber cover – this took ages to find, even though I knew it was somewhere in the back pocket of my day pack; an appalling, cheap and stupid piece of design;
– the light is advertised as water-proof – not water resistant, water-proof: I stuck it under a running tap and it immediately stopped working. I then spent several minutes cleaning and drying this “water-proof” light;
– the brightness dropped off spectacularly quickly: I have a number of torches and head-lamps and this was the worst I’ve seen.
The local importer replaced the light quickly once I complained but the point is that this light was out there, on sale, with a number of very serious design flaws. Yes, they addressed the flaws eventually – but not before I spent my hard-earned cash on one. Given the above, and the rock-solid reliability of Petzl torches you can imagine my surprise that the Aurora won your award as the best headlight out there.
P.S. you need to reset your “profanity detector” so it doesn’t object to normal technical wordsSep 8, 2004 at 4:35 pm #1334513Kevin SawchukBPL Member
@ksawchukLocale: Northern California
Please see comments on my 12/1 posting and Gary Lewis’12/16 posting about holding headlamps in hand while hiking/running. Yes it works much better.Sep 10, 2004 at 9:04 pm #1334514Jeremy BestMember
It seems no surprise that most people have overweight packs, because they can’t give up the kitchen sink!
I carry two Photon II white led’s that combined weigh 2/5 oz., and have never had a problem. Give up the straps, the tiny bit of convenience and save you back! If you do this, You will make it to your next destination before sun down and will not need to walk with a light. If you stick a piece of velcro to the light and then to your beany it becomes hands free!
Shoot, carry 5 Proton II’s and you will still be lighter than those 5,6,7 oz. head lamps!Oct 9, 2004 at 1:56 am #1334534Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
The reason many headlights use 3 * AAA is to get enough volts to power a white LED, which needs between 3.0 and 3.6 volts.
I use a single AA or AAA battery and a micro switch-mode power converter (a few grams). I find about 50 mW of power is enough around the tent. A single AA lasted eight weeks continuous this way.
Roger CaffinJan 17, 2005 at 10:23 pm #1335198Mike StoresundMember
I really like the Petzl TacTikka with 3 ‘AAA’ Eveready Lithium batteries (2.3 oz. total). It has a red lens, so night vision is not impacted, that can be flipped down to offer white light when needed.
I also carry the Princeton Tech Eclipse (.4 oz.) as a backup. This 5-position light comes with both a hat visor clip and small key ring clip which are interchangeable. I use the key ring clip to clip it to the drawstring on top of the backpack for ready use when looking for gear.
Now the Lithium triple ‘A’ batteries are readily available at Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Best Buy, Circuit City and many others. I found Target or Wal-Mart offer a better buy than the specialty stores. They may be here, but I have not seen them here yet.Oct 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm #1453646Kevin ShusterMember
@drshusterLocale: Northern Arizona Alpine
I used the Princeton TEC that uses 2 lithium CR123, for over a year. I recognize that this is a relatively heavy peice of gear BUT.. It seems all thorns need to be removed after dark, and fun reading happen in the middle of the night.
I have numberous items that use the Li CR123 and though expensive… they are relatively light for the amount of charge they store (charge density). So I carry a couple extra CR123 batteries to replenish one or more items that might get extra use.
I am in the process of re-evaluating all my gear with an eye toward weight saving but this headlight keeps making "the cut" trip after trip. Especially in winter months, having such reliable, adjustable, infalable light… means something to me in the way of problem solving.
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