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Petzl Nao headlamp automatically dims or brightens

Petzl Nao
The Petzl Nao automatically adjusts its brightness to the ambient lighting level.

Once in a while, a headlamp comes around that changes the game for others. Enter Petzl's Nao auto-adjusting headlamp, which dims or brightens according to the level of ambient light.

The Nao uses Reactive Lighting Technology, which is comprised of a sensor and an associated microprocessor. That allows the Nao's two LED's to dim — and for batteries to last longer — in brighter light, and to get stronger as it darkens outside.

Reactive Lighting Technology will prove especially useful for alpine starts, moonlit cloudy nights, or any other endeavor where ambient lighting changes over time. Plus, you won't have to fiddle around making manual adjustments.

The Nao also features an override mode that allows you to turn off the dimming feature.

If that isn't enough, the Nao has rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and Petzl's Core programmable interface, which permits the user to program the light's output levels in advance.

Petzl Nao

  • Weight: 187 g
  • Lumens: 355
  • Maximum Burn Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes
  • MSRP: $175
  • Available: July 2012

 


Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer

Comments

Callahan
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
January 22, 2012 at 12:14 p.m. (EST)

My control is in the tip of my finger

whomeworry
87 reviewer rep
2,221 forum posts
January 22, 2012 at 7:28 p.m. (EST)

Callahan said:

My control is in the tip of my finger

+1

A classic example of over engineering.  The last thing I want is making a fairly simple device dependant on unnecessarily complex electronics.  Too much temptation for Murphy.

Ed

Tipi Walter
210 reviewer rep
1,158 forum posts
January 22, 2012 at 7:56 p.m. (EST)

I have the old Petzl Tikka XP and like it so much I bought two.  My first is going strong.  OF COURSE Petzl discontinued this model for no good reason and as you say, obviously became overwhelmed with Model Dumping Due to Over Engineering-Induced Retardation.  And so we are left with Petzl headlamps which ARE NOT the Tikka XP.   

phraber
0 reviewer rep
61 forum posts
January 22, 2012 at 11:34 p.m. (EST)

Huh. Anyone seen the auto-dimming feature in Icon flashlights? They dim gradually over a few minutes of use as your eyes adjust. You can't really tell. Icon makes headlamps too (with headbands inferior to Petzl's) but I think they lack this dimming "feature".

I wish my car would dim its high beams for oncoming traffic.

Guyz
153 reviewer rep
235 forum posts
January 23, 2012 at 9:29 a.m. (EST)

I have to agree with most of the group.  The more you got, the more can go wrong.  I still like K.I.S.S.

gonzan
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,137 forum posts
January 23, 2012 at 10:57 a.m. (EST)

The last thing I want in a light is more potential points for failure. Complicated electronics and microprocessors?  Unless it is to provide regulated constant output, which is relatively simple thing, I don't wan't anything but a multi level output switch (if that) in my flashlight or headlamp. 

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
January 23, 2012 at 11:25 a.m. (EST)

Some of my previous headlamps dimmed as the batteries died...

Does that count?

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
January 23, 2012 at 11:27 a.m. (EST)

Tipi Walter said:

I have the old Petzl Tikka XP and like it so much I bought two.  My first is going strong.  OF COURSE Petzl discontinued this model for no good reason and as you say, obviously became overwhelmed with Model Dumping Due to Over Engineering-Induced Retardation.  And so we are left with Petzl headlamps which ARE NOT the Tikka XP.   

 Tipi, I have the XP+2. 50 lumens, pretty good burn time, and no diffuser. Its a decent little light for my use. 

Speaking of headlamps...

If anyone is looking for a high-power light at a decent price the BD Icon is now 200 lumens(max) from the previous 100...

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
471 reviewer rep
2,913 forum posts
January 23, 2012 at 11:56 a.m. (EST)

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Some of my previous headlamps dimmed as the batteries died...

Does that count?

 Ha ha!

f_klock
100 reviewer rep
762 forum posts
January 23, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. (EST)

The father of an old girlfriend had a '76 Cadillac El Eldorado that had auto-dimming headlamps. (We took it to my senior prom) the lights would dim by themselves when a car approached in the opposite direction.

Perhaps Petzl is thinking of the visual comfort of night hikers who may be approaching?

Seth Levy (Seth)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
397 reviewer rep
963 forum posts
January 24, 2012 at 10:48 a.m. (EST)

I'm curious to see how the light would react in a dark, yet icy environment.  There might be a significant demand for ambient light, but ice might reflect enough of the lamps output to dim it too much.  Who knows?  There is an override mode.  My feeling is that this light is targeted to the headlamp "connoisseur."

Stick13
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
January 24, 2012 at 4:46 p.m. (EST)

Don't get me wrong, this is an interesting light, however, there are a few things that turn me off to it:

Weight: IMO, at 6+ oz, this thing is way heavy for a backpacking light. Especially considering there are much lighter options that work very well.

Lumens: Do I really need that much light to see at night? I did try a Petzl e+LITE and I admit, it didn't cut it for actual hiking. But, OTOH, wouldn't 355 lumens blind people left and right? Really, I don't understand why that much light is needed on the trail. My Princeton Tec Fuel rated at 43 lumens is plenty bright enough for me to hike all night in.

Maximum Burn Time: Just under 5 hours?! Granted this thing has rechargeable batteries, but at less than 5 hours about 2 nights of normal use would run it about dead. As well, at this time limit, I would hope that I was close to camp if night hiking.

Price: Simply put, that is a lot of money for a headlamp (again, IMO).

For me, this is just hard to swallow. It seems like it is an interesting product, but maybe not applicable for the trail. Maybe to have around home, or maybe even a car camping trip, but I couldn't justify bringing this on a multiday hike. 

However, surely I am missing something. 

Limb Reaper
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
February 16, 2012 at 5:28 p.m. (EST)

As most, I agree this is over engineered and prone to failure, BUT it would likely be great for S&R, rope rescue, rope access, tower workers, etc. where you are near a home base.

DrPhun
21 reviewer rep
25 forum posts
February 18, 2012 at 9:32 a.m. (EST)

I have to say that if there is dim ambient light, I don't use the headlamp and let my eyes auto adjust..

Callahan
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
February 18, 2012 at 1:31 p.m. (EST)

Petzl

x1 - MYO XP (Lumens 85, wide/focused, 72m, 180h, 175g, AA x3, IPX4, )

x2 - TacTikka XP (Lumens 40, wide/focused, 35m, 120h, 95g, AAA x3, IPX4)

x1 - e-Lite (Lumens 16, wide, 19m, 45h, 28g, CR2032 x2, IP68)

Love my TacTikka XP.  It is always my go to light.

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