123

What headlamp do you like AND WHY? (Read 984 times)


Bruno

    I went with the Black Diamond Spot--I think I paid $20 for it.  Get's the job done, but digs into my forehead a bit.  I like it because it works and was cheap.  This forehead irritation is not a problem in the winter.  I used a friend's Petzl Tikka (sp) it worked a little better in that it had padding on it, but it was more expensive.

    Dimitri Minaev


      This year I spent a couple of fall months choosing a good headlamp for running in darker corners of the park. I've found out that the darkest roads are those with wet asphalt. I couldn't find a headlamp bright enough to light wet pavements. For all other conditions two headlamps worked wonderful — Silva Trail Runner Plus and Fenix HP11. Silva has a long cable from the battery compartment to the lamp itself, so you can keep the batteries in a warm pocket. Everything else that you wear on the head, is very lightweight. Fenix is not as well designed and the batteries are attached to the headband, but it's not a big problem and the lamp is significantly brighter than Silva.

      jdais


        I use a Princeton Tec Quad($30).  I also use a flashing bike light(red) and a reflective vest.

        Swim , Bike, and Run A LOT

        markrice


        Geezer trying for speed

          UPDATE - I bought a Black Diamond Sprinter... the newer 75 lumen version. Found it for a good deal at Outdoorplay.com. Shipping took a while, but no big deal. (Sent on the 3rd and arrived on the 12th.) It was the cheapest source so I'm happy. NOTE: They called it "green" which concerned me that it might be the older version (68 lumens) but the official color is Titanium on the box... it's the correct newer version which I wanted (because of the USB connector and it's slightly brighter.)  But the older version may go down in price too. They're basically as good so may present some good deals.

           

          I've not yet run with it, but cannot wait. I'm amazed at how light it is. The brightness is nice and the cross between spot and flood seems like a good level for running... can see to the sides yet more light is in the center.  Not as spot as my old one (which prevented seeing much to the side). The real WOW factor is in how light it is... just amazing.

           

          Good:

          • Bright rear flasher... my old one was way too dim.
          • Incredibly light and well balanced
          • Can keep it loose because it's so light it will not be prone to bounce at all.. (My old one had to be tighter than I like because of the weight).

           

          Bad (for some):

          • You must plug into a USB port... it did not come with a power adapter. (Not so bad for me, but some may not like that.)
          • If your head is large, it may not go quite large enough to eliminate the squeezing. I'm OK, but any bigger and it might be uncomfortable.

          If anyone is interested, let me know. I'll post a follow-up after a few runs.

          Anyone could see races, etc. on www.markrice.com/running.

          I believe in HR training: www.markrice.com/running/heart_rate_training.html


          Imminent Catastrophe

            I really like the Black Diamond Sprinter--the beam pattern is perfect for trailrunning. Unfortunately if you're running for more than a few hours it will run out of juice. So I got the Spot, which is also great, although too focused, and great battery life. My ideal headlamp would have the beam pattern of the Sprinter and the battery life of the Spot. I've put a couple layers of that Scotch translucent tape over the lens of the Spot and it spreads the beam out a bit.  At any rate, I have decided that carrying it in my hand at waist level is much better than wearing it on my head, because it throws shadows that give me much better depth perception on trail hazards. So, a good flashlight would do just as well.

            A note about battery life--the claimed battery life is way, way optimistic. The Princeton Tec specs claimed a 20-something battery life for their headlamp on full bright. Not even close. After 8 hours mine was just about useless. So take the battery life that the manufacturer claims and divide by 4. That's how many hours you can count on. And have spare batteries.

            Can you picture the scenario where you are in the middle of a night run and your headlamp fails, on a dark, moonless night, and you can't see even a few feet? That's my nightmare. With that in mind, here is my advice for night running:

            Always have a reliable primary headlamp with fresh batteries, and a reliable backup headlamp with fresh batteries ON YOUR PERSON. Not in your drop bag, but ON YOUR PERSON.

            Just spare batteries? Not good enough, what if the bulb burns out? Very unlikely but if you have that second headlamp in your pack it's no big deal.

            "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

             "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

            "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

             

            √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

            Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

            Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014


            A Dance with Monkeys

              How many lumens do I need?

              markrice


              Geezer trying for speed

                How many lumens do I need?

                 

                This will depend on what you're doing. For straight road running, the Sprinter's 68 (older model) or 75 (newer model) seems way brighter than needed, but nice. My older one is likely similar.  I used it on low power frequently and could see very well (and could how lowered it more). But I don't know it's lumen rating. My somewhat educated guess is that even 40 lumens will be adequate FOR ME...

                 

                The Black Diamond Sprinter is able to dim the light, so I may try that. But I won't know how good it will be until I try it for a while.

                 

                For trail running, brightness would be more important... and a wider angle it seems. Further, I'd immediately consider some of the suggestions that others (like ProfessorR) stated concerning mounting on the chest/stomach/belt... for the better perception it would offer. I personally would HATE carrying a flashlight, so I would like that option.

                 

                NOTE: I also like a head mounted lamp because I can see animal eyes easily that way... waist mounted will not allow the same detection in that area.

                Anyone could see races, etc. on www.markrice.com/running.

                I believe in HR training: www.markrice.com/running/heart_rate_training.html

                   This will depend on what you're doing. For straight road running, the Sprinter's 68 (older model) or 75 (newer model) seems way brighter than needed, but nice. My older one is likely similar.  I used it on low power frequently and could see very well (and could how lowered it more). But I don't know it's lumen rating. My somewhat educated guess is that even 40 lumens will be adequate FOR ME... 

                   

                  I have the Petzl Tikka 2, which I'd bought for camping, but now use running after faceplanting in the dark last month.

                   

                  The "hi" mode is 40 lumens, and its more than enough for roads and NJ trails (how dark does it really get in NJ?).  I see advantages to a brighter one for high glare mornings and other infrequent occassions, but am okay with what I have now.

                   

                  The Tikka 2 (base model) is about 30 bucks and works great.  I get excellent battery life but I do oscillate between high and low modes.  Its comfortable on my head, but I can slip it over my head and down around my waist if I want.

                   

                  I'd say its "low" mode (10 lumens) is a little too dim for most conditions, I do use it to retain my spelunking fashion cred even in moderately low light conditions.

                  Dimitri Minaev


                    How many lumens do I need?

                     

                    80 lumen of Silva Trail Runner seems to be the absolute minimum on darker paths of the city park. Especially on rainy days. The wet asphalt is the worst surface to  run in the night.

                      I've used a 40 lumen lamp running through single track, in the dark and the rain.  I suspect there's significant variability in needed light.

                      "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
                      Emil Zatopek

                      markrice


                      Geezer trying for speed

                        I've used a 40 lumen lamp running through single track, in the dark and the rain.  I suspect there's significant variability in needed light.

                         

                        Good point re variability. Not only will this vary from person to person, but the degree of spot/flood can make a difference. My current light is far better than my prior and I like that it has more flood aspects (the other was strictly spot), yet the required lumens goes a little up because of the additional flood aspects. It doesn't shine as far forward (which is fine... I don't need it) so it really fits my needs, but if it were more flood, I might need brighter. The use will also make it vary (trail/road) and the way it mounts likely affects it too (although I've stuck with headlamps so far).

                        Anyone could see races, etc. on www.markrice.com/running.

                        I believe in HR training: www.markrice.com/running/heart_rate_training.html


                        Imminent Catastrophe

                          How many lumens do I need?

                           

                          For what? Running PWP at night? Or a rocky, technical trail? Big difference.

                          "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                           "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                          "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                           

                          √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                          Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                          Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

                            Has anyone tried the Cree LED XM-L T6 lights? Those things are like car headlamps and open up a whole new world for offroad running. I have a Petzl Tikka 2 and although that is a good little light it is nowhere near the power of these.

                             

                            They are often advertised as bike lights but you can get bundles that include a head fitment too. I have one that has a battery pack (2x 18650 Li- ion) at the rear of the strap and it seems nicely balanced enough and not heavy. The most I have used it for so far is 2 hours on full beam (also has low and strobe). I guess it might last for 3 hours on full and ?? on low. This may be a limiting factor for some although I have seen some with a separate 4-battery pack which would give longer life or carry spare batteries. I bought one of these direct from China for £18 GBP (inc postage) which is about $28. There is a risk in doing that of course (postage to UK was about 8 days) and I'm sure there will be some US suppliers albeit at higher cost but with more consumer safety.

                             

                            The claimed lumens (1200-1600 lumens) for these lights are probably "optimistic"  but I have seen tests online that suggest real values of between 600-900 lumens depending on the quality of the batteries. This is still (I believe) x10 the value of a Petzl.

                             

                            We have just formed a local head torch group for night time offroad running and for the one I organised we had over 50 runners. Great fun and a good social event with refreshment in the pub after!!

                             

                            I have posted a picture of a headtorch similar to mine. If you check eBay, Amazon ot other sites i'm sure you will find many examples of this type of light. We also had one runner with two cree led torches attached at waist height which seemed to work well but I'm not sure how they were fitted.

                             

                            2013

                            3000 miles

                            Sub 19:00 for 5K  05-03-13 Clee Prom 5K - 19:00:66 that was bloody close!

                            Sub-40:00 for 10K 17-03-13 Gainsborough 10K - 39:43

                            Sub 88:00 for HM

                             


                            barefootin'

                              I got one of these 700 lumen bike lights from REI and mount it to the head band arrangement from a clear plastic face shield, with the shield removed.  Twist knob on the back to tighten the headband.  Works great, the beam may be a little tight (because it is for a bike) but you can see everything.  Can't see much when snow is falling because of all the reflected light.  Recharge is USB.  One piece, no battery pack.

                               

                              http://www.amazon.com/Expilion-700-USB-Rechargeable-Headlight/dp/B0090Q5CTY/ref=pd_sbs_sg_5

                               

                              face shield

                               

                              http://www.harborfreight.com/adjustable-face-shield-46526.html

                              Bill Wagnon / stl


                              CT JEFF

                                HI - I just bought a Black Diamond Sprinter recently. The 75 lux are great - can see well at my pace (9-10 minute miles) but I can see how you might need a brighter light if bike riding. A couple times the light seemed to bounce off the fog a bit, but not too badly. This is at the highest setting, I have not found the need to lower the setting.

                                 

                                I like this light for its light weight and rechargeable battery. The best feature is the rear red-blinking light.

                                 

                                The worst feature is the docking station. Its easy to use, but Id rather the option to exchange AAA batteries or at least be able to plug the USB directly into the battery.

                                 

                                rear red blinker   USB  front

                                RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28

                                 

                                - TOMORROW! Litchfield Hills OLY TRI  --8/17 Canton Lobster Loop 5k -    10/11 Hartford ING FM   - 11/15 FENWAY Spah-tan Race  - 11/27 THANKSGIVING Newman 10K

                                123