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Has it really been over three years?

When last we summarized LED headlamps the market was just hitting its stride, with several companies releasing mass-produced, affordable lights in a variety of configurations with an array of capabilities. While the groundwork for the future had been laid, what remained was the ugly truth about most of these early efforts: LEDs weren't yet ready to replace high-performance incandescent lights for very demanding conditions, high-power incandescent's great weight and fleeting battery life notwithstanding.

No more.


  • Introduction
  • Technological Strides
  • Who's Who; What's What?
    • Beam - Wide, Narrow or Both?
    • Intensity - Bright, Really Bright or Scorching?
    • Battery Life - Brief or Long-Term?
    • Batteries - AA, AAA or Button?
    • Battery Pack - Integrated or Separate? Plus Swapping Cells
    • Switchgear - Single or Dual-button? Ease of use?
    • Straps - Wrap, Bucket, Hybrid?
    • Waterproof?
    • Current Regulation?
    • About Those Batteries
  • LED Headlamp Specifications
    • TABLE: Headlamp Facts and Features
  • LED Headlamp Review Criteria
    • Weight
    • Output
    • Battery Life
    • Beam Quality
    • Modes
    • Switch
    • Fit and Comfort
    • Regulation
    • Battery Change Ease
    • Waterproof
    • Value
  • LED Headlamp Ratings Summary
    • TABLE: LED Headlamp Ratings Summary
  • Our List of Bests
  • Sizing Up the Manufacturers
  • Matching the Tool to the Task
  • Designing Our Dreamlight
  • What's Next?
  • Backpacking Light Staff Choices
    • Ryan Jordan
    • Mike Martin
    • Carol Crooker
    • Will Rietveld
    • Don Wilson
    • Roger Caffin


  • LED Variability
  • Lenses, Reflectors, Filters, Colored LEDs, Naked LEDs
  • Flashlight Electronics - Control Schemes
    • Linear Regulators
    • Step-Down (Buck) Regulators
    • Pulse-Width Modulation
    • So What?
    • Radio Frequency Interference

# WORDS: 7150
# PHOTOS: 16

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