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LED headlamp reccomendation ?

9:48 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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on a good lamp with a good power beam if needed for like night skiing,camping etc.. Had a Princeton Tec which I liked,but it finally gave out on me.

12:36 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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I'm a big fan of the Princeton Tec EOS.  70 lumens, waterproof, durable, and a large single button.

2:33 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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The three companies making LED headlamps that I have found give variable brightness, variable beam spread, good battery life, and will stand up to the bashing around demands of climbing are Black Diamond, Petzl, and Pelican (the Pelican camera case people have an "underwater" division). BD's old faithful SPOT has continued improvements every year, with the current version having 75 Lumens (tight spot beam, broad diffuse beam, red diffuse beam, and all with a continuously variable brightness). They have a completely submersible waterproof lamp as well. Petzl has similar models, plus a rechargeable battery version. One of my Pelican headlamps is intended for cyclists with lights front and back. If you are willing to put up with a handheld lamp (which I always find awkward for real backpacking, skiing, and climbing use), there is a very small, light lamp that is included in the American Red Cross emergency kits (don't know the manufacturer) that puts out 90 Lumens. It is about a half-pound and slides into a pants pocket.

The Princetons that I have tried have failed pretty quickly, so I don't get them anymore.

I always have two headlamps or more on any extended trips (except for Alaska and Antarctica during their respective summers), because I seem to have a propensity for misplacing those small but powerful headlamps. I usually find the missing headlamp at the bottom of the pack when I get home, but I need it when I need it. Sometimes a headlamp goes missing, so I buy a new, more powerful one, only to find out later that my old one is in the possession of spouse or Young Son.

6:57 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Have had good luck with petzl and black diamond. Lithium batteries help in cold.

7:01 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Eh, had a few Princeton Tecs(they weren't bad,) now I use Petzls. Petzl makes a good head lamp. Like the red low battery indicator, red led etc in my Tikka Plus 2. 50 lumens is enough for my use and battery life is good. 

Definitely a good little light.

+1 on the lithium in the cold. 

6:00 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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Look for models using CREE LEDs.  Some shine up to 200 lumins, good for about six hours on three AAA bateries.  Double the life on low setting.

Ed

12:39 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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I've been looking for a headlamp also, and the best one I found so far is the MYO RXP by Petzl, it uses three AA batteries, is wide zoom, 6.2 oz with batteries, and it has 10 programmable light levels from 8-140 lumens with boost mode 160 lumens, I think you program them into 3 modes that you can change from though. Now I never used the thing but there are alot of reviews about it online, mostly good ones! Worth taking a look at

2:00 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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In all truthfullness this all boils down to how much you want to pay vs how much headlamp you need. You mention night sking, this IMO requires significantly more light than some other tasks.

As others have mentioned the Black Diamond Spot is an awesome budget headlamp. I own a spot and really like it for general use.  Think they go for 30-40$, and can be purchases at many outdoor retailers. The spot IMO is perfect for around camp, night hiking where there is some ambient light already, and general other headlamp tasks. The down side of the spot, and other headlamps that are similar is the lumens vs battery life. Running on high the spot for example with run through batteries like candy. For around camp use it will last days. It is also not a regulated output so as the batteries are worn down the light gets dimmer and dimmer. The Spot is 75 lumens on high and 4 lumens on low with a stated battery life of 50 hours on high, and 200 hours on low.

Ok, so your like WOW, that battery life is AMAZING! Well, hold on a moment before you get too excited. Manufacturers like to bloat their numbers as I am sure you know. This is not a regulated output headlamp so these numbers are way off. On High with the spot you get really about 4 hours of 75 lumen light, and if on low you get about 150 hours of the 4 lumen output. As you use the batteries the light will get dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. Yes, the light will physically operate for 50/200 hours but the useful light is gone far before that. So bare this in mind when choosing a headlamp. IMO it is worth it to get a regulated output light. Same thing with the Petzl Tikka 2, and most other headlamps under the $75 mark.

On the far end of the spectrum, I had the luxury of testing the Light and Motion Solite 150 for Trailspace. This is a 150 lumen headlamp with an effective range out to 100 yards with a battery life of 3/6/40(high/med/low) hours at maximum output thanks to regulated output circuitry. It however retails for around 170-180.

Not saying to go out and buy a Solite 150 , just making you aware of the two distict types of headlamps. Regulated output vs non regulated output. For night skiing or any other activity that involves you moving at faster than a walk I would want something around the 90-110 lumen range at least. But, thats just me. Good luck in your headlamp search.

11:03 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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Check the gear reviews on this site.

Ed

4:18 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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I've got the Black Diamond Storm and love it.  Very versatile light and bright as all get out when used on full power.  Has the ability to dim though b/w the main light and the secondary LEDs to save power. 

12:24 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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Like my Black Diamond Spot with LEDs and it also has a low battery indicator light. It also has a red light for camp use at night or early morning. 

12:31 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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Black Diamonds Icon is now 200 lumens from the previous 100.

Should work well for spotting deer. May have to use sunglasses at night if on the white stuff though. :p 

1:53 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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I've always been a fan of the Tactikka Plus by Petzl. Not overpowering light, but plenty of it for the activities mentioned in the original post. I dislike lights that need a rear mounted battery pack, so this little wonder does the trick in one small, lightweight, low profile, and easy to use package. I've owned (at least) one for years. Shop around. I've seen them for anywhere between 35 and 45 bucks.

2:56 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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I have 2 BD Spots, the original and the updated version. I find the original much easier to use. The button on the updated version is fiddly and especially with gloves on I find it hard to locate the exact place to push.

My recommendation is the original BD spot if you can find one, I've had mine years and it's never let me down. I mislaid it once right before a trip and hence the purchase of the updated version. Once I re-found my original, the updated version sits in a drawer most of the time.

4:48 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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I had very bad times with BD. The  switch broke after 6 months at a very bad moment. Now I use Petzl. I like there core batteries. 

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