It’s time to hit the road… with a headlamp! Who turns the light off on a mountain excursion as the last one? The person who reaches the camp site after dark or maybe the one… with the most durable headlamp who isn’t afraid of pitch-darkness? Read our guide to learn about parameters of headlamps and how to choose the one suitable for your needs.
In the How to choose a flashlight guide you can find the most important features of hand flashlights and headlamps, here we want to focus exclusively on headlamps and their features. You will see the light for yourself.
They are perfect when you need extra light and have got to have your hands free, to comfortably do sports outside, fix things in the garage, clean the cellar or even… crochet.
Yes, nowadays there’s even a headlamp dedicated to crocheting, it comes in handy for professional tailors but also women who do it as a hobby.
Source of light is extremely important, whether you are a speleologist planning a cave expedition, an evening runner, or walk your dog to a park after dark – you need a headlamp that matches your needs. A headlamp for an alpinist is not the best choice for crocheting and the other way round, a basic pocket headlamp is not enough for a longer camping trip.
How to choose a headlamp? What features should be taken into consideration? We are going to share some light on these topics on the example of Ledlender products.
LIGHT INTENSITY – HOW MANY LUMENS ARE ENOUGH?
Ledlenser headlamps in our offer have from 3 to 1000 lumens, thanks to the feature of seamless adjustment of the luminosity from 15 to 100%. How to choose a headlamp of appropriate light intensity? Consider the fact that it should give enough light but not blind your companions.
Headlamps with light intensity of up to 50 lm are perfect for walking the dog and peaceful camping. The Ledlender H3 headlamp has luminosity of up to 55 lm and lighting range from 9 to 30 meters – it’s enough for illuminating area around your tent or a road during walking your dog. It’s also suitable for a runner who knows the running routes and that runs at a moderate pace.
A headlamp for intense mountain runs, mountaineering or visiting caves should definitely have a higher luminosity.
Luminosity of 200-300 lm is present, for example, in the following Ledlenser models: H6, H7.2 and HR.2. They differ in terms of the maximum lighting range and additional features, e.g. Rear Light – a red back light so that you can be seen from behind. It allows for locating a tourist but also signalising location of a biker.
Headlamps for advanced users may have luminosity of up to 1000 lm as the model presented below: Headlamp for speleologists and alpinists Ledlenser H14R.2.
Thanks to the minimal light luminosity of 60 lm this model can be used for everyday activities, but if you are not planning to explore caves or go mountaineering, you will be satisfied with a cheaper, lighter and generally more basic model.
There’s also a function of adjustment of the light emission angle so that the light not only follows your head but can be adjusted to illuminate a chosen point. In the Ledlenser H14R.2 headlamp the maximum adjustment of the head is 90°.
The brighter light you use, the sooner its power runs down, so you also need to take into account the following parameters:
- maximum operating time
- power supply
- number of modes of operation
OPERATING TIME OF A HEADLAMP – HOW MANY MODES SHOULD THERE BE?
Ledlenser tactic models may have as many as 6 modes of operation, including strobe mode (emitting dazzling, harsh light) and SOS (calling for help using Morse code). In case of headlamps, the basic ones have two modes: Power and Low (energy saving), more advanced – four.
Except for the Power mode (providing high light output) and Low Power (economical light for long battery life), there are also the following modes: Boost – short-duration maximum power for more brightness, and Blink – automatic emission of light impulses at regular intervals, helpful for localising tourists and giving your location.
Depending on what combinations of modes you use, the operating time of your headlamp may be shorter (for example when often using the Power and Boost mode) or longer (using the Low mode and adjusting light luminosity that may be diffuse with short range or focused with longer range).
Using modes is of individual preferences so real operating time of a headlamp may vary a couple of hours between two users, that’s why the Ledlenser manufacturer provides minimal and maximal ranges of battery duration.
POWER SUPPLY – WHAT FEATURES SHOULD A COMFORTABLE HEADLAMP HAVE?
Manufacturers give the minimal and maximal operating time to facilitate comfortable and stress-free usage. Some, like Ledlenser, introduce new features connected with power supply to their headlamps.
The Ledlenser H7R.2 headlamp with rechargeable Li-ion battery has not only the function of Transportation Lock preventing the light from being turned on inadvertently in your rucksack, but also the Energy Management System that consists of:
- Low Battery Warning – warns when the battery is low
- Charge Indicator – shows the current charge status of the battery
- Battery Indicator – shows the current level of the battery
Thanks to them user stays informed on the battery level of the device and will not be surprised by its sudden discharge.
You’re able to control the battery level and know when it’s time to recharge it or change for a new one and this can be done comfortably on a stopover and not in the nick of time during a demanding climbing. Moreover, thanks to rechargeable batteries, you not only save money but also care about the environment.
HEADLAMP THAT CAN BE OPERATED WITH ONE HAND
Ledlenser characterises the H6 headlamp as having maximum durability with providing optimal light intensity.
Seamless adjustment of the luminosity and concentration is possible with using just one hand thanks to the Front Switch located on the head of the flashlight. At the back there’s a small switch of the Dimmable function for adjusting the light intensity from 10 to 100%.
Another model – the Ledlender H7.2 headlamp additionally features the Multifunctional Switch for quick and easy control of individual light functions. User can choose the one that suits best.
WATER RESISTANCE VS. RAINY WEATHER
If you’re looking for a headlamp just for domestic use, you should pay attention to its durability to pollution and dust, but if you need a flashlight for the outdoor, especially for the summer period, you should definitely check the water resistance IP rating.
WEIGHT AND STRAPS – HOW TO CHOOSE A COMFORTABLE HEADLAMP?
A headlamp should not be functional only in terms of lighting but also in terms of wearing it on your head. If you have the possibility to try a flashlight on before purchasing it, check how it behaves during sudden moves with your head, in different positions, etc. This will allow you to test whether its weight is suitable and its mounting straps keep it still and are comfortable.
In the photos you can see that one of the headlamps – Ledlenser H14R.2 – has a strap that goes through the middle of the head and connects its front with back. Thanks to it the headlamp mounting is firmer. This solution is used in more advanced and heavier headlamps.
To compare – Ledlenser H14R.2 weights 340 g, whereas the lighter model for a walking a dog or evening jogging – Ledlenser H3 – only 114 g. But the more advanced device offers different ways of carrying it, thanks to additional clips you can mount the battery to your belt independently of the flashlight.
A different model, Ledlenser H7R.2 for mountaineering weights 165 g, similarly to H7.2, and headlamp for runners H6 – 132 g. So the weight may vary depending on the model and the comfort of use also depends on its user. Some differences in weight are minimal, bigger ones may occur in advanced models.
As emphasized by its manufacturer, the H6R headlamp has a replaceable and coated inside with rubber anti-slip band for forehead. It’s also worth mentioning that the casing is made of high-quality metal. In H14R.2 it’s durable aluminium to ensure especially light handling.
Durability of Ledlenser flashlights is one of their strong points. Your strong point may be a reliable headlamp that will be your guiding light!