Headlamp help.

9:01 p.m. on December 9, 2012 (EST)
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I would like to have a headlamp, and I would like it to do these things: red light and white light, spot beam and floodlight (if possible), high power and low. I would like it to be lightweight, rainproof, easy on batteries, and durable. MEC has 25 headlamps! Petzl, Black Diamond, Princeton Tec...I have no idea what I'm looking at, I know nothing. Recommendations welcome!

9:15 p.m. on December 9, 2012 (EST)
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you want everything! a flood is not going to be easy on batteries. I defer to others for recommendations. I have my petzl zipka and that's all I need. just meat and potatoes, no bells and whistles. good luck!

9:45 p.m. on December 9, 2012 (EST)
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My advice. Petzl & Princeton Tec are the best. I'll never buy another Black Diamond light, made way too cheaply. I would't worry about having both spot & flood. The best lights reach a happy medium between the two and you just up the brightness when you need more. Question is what do you plan to use it for?

The petzl Tikka plus two is a great light.

9:58 p.m. on December 9, 2012 (EST)
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i use petzl's tactikka xp adapt.  it has a red light and has multiple brightness levels.  it isn't the brightest headlamp in the world, but battery life is very good (use lithium for cold weather), and it has done the job.  i like having the overhead strap, too. 

i also have a very inexpensive black diamond headlamp that has done very well, i use it as a backup.  for something this small, it's worth carrying two if you have ever tried finding your way without a light. 

10:18 p.m. on December 9, 2012 (EST)
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Maybe take a look at Petzl's Tikka XP 2. 80 lumens, has the red light you are looking for and also has a diffuser so you can throw a long distance beam or have a flood option. 

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/petzl/tikka-xp-2/

Plus it won't kill your wallet. 

After a bit of thought this light seems to cover your criteria. 

Oh, it has different settings and can handle lithiums if you want to utilize it in cold weather(better battery performance.)

Here is a lil more from Petzl's page. 

Hope this helps. 

1:45 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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Plus 1 on the Tikka 2 Xp. I have the plus and I only miss having a flood, which is what the XP provides.

9:11 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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You guys are awesome. Rick, XterroBrando, that thing is exactly what I was looking for. And here I thought I had described some non-existent imaginary perfect thing. My fingers were tired from hopping in and out of product descriptions looking for something close. This one even has a whistle! How cool is that! Trailspace, I don't know what I'd do without you.

10:30 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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Islandess, I have owned one of the Tikka lights, and loved it. They are good lights, but for the money I would recommend something else. 

One of the most overlooked features for high quality lights is a regulated output circuit. Most lights do not have regulated output, which means the brightness of the light on a given setting becomes lower and lower as the batteries get weaker. At what point are the batteries too weak, or the light too dim? Output regulation eliminates that issue, and provides constant brightness until the batteries are "dead."  For me, that is a major plus.

I currently don't own a headlamp with regulated output, but I have four other high quality lights that do. I've had a Tikka for years, and two Princeton Tech for a while now. Neither of them are waterproof, and the princeton tech quit working properly even in the rain, which is not cool.  Getting a headlamp with controlled output is at the top of my priority list, so I've done a bit of searching. The one I plan to get is the Fenix HL30. It is far brighter that the Tikka only weighs a fraction more, is more waterproof, and has 7 regulated output settings.  

  • Regulated output: 200 lumens; 100 lumens; 45 lumens; 4 lumens; Red Light; SOS; Strobe
  • Run Times: 140hrs @4L; 10.5hrs @45L; 4.5hrs @100L; 1.7hrs @200L
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Throw: 150ft
  • 3.5 oz w/o batteries. 
  • Water resistant to IPX-6 standards (sustained high force water spray and momentary immersion)
  • $45 retail at multiple online retailers including amazon and REI http://www.rei.com/product/846395/fenix-hl30-headlamp

So, in summary- A higher quality light, that is more water resistant, that is far brighter, with more output settings, all of which are regulated, and it costs less than the other options.  The only drawback is you can't adjust between flood and spot, but at 100 and 200 lumens with a throw of 150 feet, I don't think the lack of spot option will be a concern. 

11:08 a.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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You need a couple of different headlamps to chose from.  They are small and light, bring different ones.

2:34 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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gonzan said:

Islandess, I have owned one of the Tikka lights, and loved it. They are good lights, but for the money I would recommend something else. 

One of the most overlooked features for high quality lights is a regulated output circuit. Most lights do not have regulated output, which means the brightness of the light on a given setting becomes lower and lower as the batteries get weaker. At what point are the batteries too weak, or the light too dim? Output regulation eliminates that issue, and provides constant brightness until the batteries are "dead."  For me, that is a major plus.

I currently don't own a headlamp with regulated output, but I have four other high quality lights that do. I've had a Tikka for years, and two Princeton Tech for a while now. Neither of them are waterproof, and the princeton tech quit working properly even in the rain, which is not cool.  Getting a headlamp with controlled output is at the top of my priority list, so I've done a bit of searching. The one I plan to get is the Fenix HL30. It is far brighter that the Tikka only weighs a fraction more, is more waterproof, and has 7 regulated output settings.  

  • Regulated output: 200 lumens; 100 lumens; 45 lumens; 4 lumens; Red Light; SOS; Strobe
  • Run Times: 140hrs @4L; 10.5hrs @45L; 4.5hrs @100L; 1.7hrs @200L
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Throw: 150ft
  • 3.5 oz w/o batteries. 
  • Water resistant to IPX-6 standards (sustained high force water spray and momentary immersion)
  • $45 retail at multiple online retailers including amazon and REI http://www.rei.com/product/846395/fenix-hl30-headlamp

So, in summary- A higher quality light, that is more water resistant, that is far brighter, with more output settings, all of which are regulated, and it costs less than the other options.  The only drawback is you can't adjust between flood and spot, but at 100 and 200 lumens with a throw of 150 feet, I don't think the lack of spot option will be a concern. 

 Hey Gonzan.

Don't know which Princeton Tec lights you have but I have both the Quad & Apex which are both regulated output and both waterproof. My PT Quads see daily usage here at the house (I live in the woods) and are one of my favorite of five different headlamps. In fact I have three of them, cause I keep finding them on special for like $12.-. The diver in me likes the redundancy of 4 LEDs instead of one. Even though its rare, they can & do go bad.

The two older ones did crack through the case right above the lens but have not suffered in function at all and are guaranteed for life.

My Petzl isn't regulated but I have to keep double checking the literature to make sure, as the output curve is very flat. It's also hands down the most comfortable and durable headlamp I've owned.

Couple things to know about Fenix lights as I'm familiar with them from being popular in the home inspection community.

They are made in China and while they seem to be pretty well made, their customer service and warranty coverage, from multiple reports, are abysmal. So the cheap price, comes with a price, you can forget about warranty replacement/parts.

Their function on alkaline batteries is pretty poor but greatly improved with high discharge NiMH.

That said, I do have two Fenix MC10 lights that I got, can't turn down cheap, and like them a lot.

2:40 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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Islandess -

You might want to read my recent reviews of the Petzl Nao  and Black Diamond Icon Polar headlamps. In those, I discuss a number of the factors that are important to choosing a headlamp.

As I say in the reviews, over the years I have had a number of headlamps and flashlights for use in the outdoors. The best ones I have used for extended periods of time have been from Pelican, Black Diamond, and Petzl. Pelican mostly makes lighting gear for underwater use, though almost all of them can be used for other uses (I have one that has a bright headlamp, coupled with a red lamp on the back that works great for night bicycling). That's the Pelican Products that also has camera cases that you can drive a truck over with no damage ("Lifetime guarantee, except for damage caused by 3-year olds"), not the Pelican that makes kayaks. For some reason, you find them in dive shops, but not REI or EMS, even though their camera cases and small waterproof cases are in REI.

The Petzl NAO and Black Diamond Icon Polar that I reviewed may be a bit high tech for your use, though the Icon Polar and similar Icon do match the specs you gave pretty well - spot, diffuse ("flood"), red, strobe for both the diffuse and red, adjustable brightness (4 to 200 lumens continuous for the spot, 4 to 35 lumens for the paired SinglePower LEDs which produce a diffuse light), waterproof (IPX 7). Black Diamond's Storm is a bit lighter and is 100 lumens with the same spot, diffuse, red, strobe, adjustable brightness, batteries in the lamp head (Icon and Icon Polar have a separate battery case). The latest version of the BD Spot (90 lumens max spot) is similar to the Storm, but not as water-resistant - similar features, including the continuous adjustment. The current version is quite a bit different from my original Spot and an in-between version.

The current version of the Petzl Tikka (the XP, which comes in a couple of flavors) is a lot like the BD Storm, except that the light levels are stepped instead of continuous. For practical purposes, stepping through 5 levels isn't a lot different from the continuous variation of the BD Storm. The earlier version of the Tikka that I still have sitting in the "retired" drawer was nowhere near as good. (take-away lesson - don't go by people's recommendations based on the headlamp they got even 2 or 3 years ago - LED technology is rapidly advancing and headlamp design is fast changing as well).

We have a couple Princeton Tech headlamps in the house as well, one about a year old. Despite the many fans of Princeton, my experience is that they lag well behind Petzl, Black Diamond, and Pelican (plus a couple other companies that you won't find in outdoor stores).

Of the lamps I mentioned here, the Petzl NAO, BD Storm, Icon, and Icon Polar are regulated. The NAO has a rechargeable Lithium battery and can take standard AAA Lithiums, while the BDs can use standard AA (AAA for the Storm) carbon, alkaline, and lithium, and rechargeable lithium, NiMH, and NiCd batteries. The lithiums are the best choice for cold weather (even if you have a remote battery case).

Something to consider - during my gear reviewing for the Black Diamond Icon Polar and the Petzl NAO, during my night hikes and runs in some of our mountain parks around here, I got a lot of complaints from on-coming hikers and runners about both of them being way over-bright. People were stopping, turning their backs, covering their eyes, and in one case I got a threat from one hiker to "rip that light off your head" (accompanied with some language not printable in this family-friendly site). You probably do not need the 355 lumens of the NAO or the 200 lumens of the Icon or Icon Polar. Of course, you can turn them down, and the NAO's automatic level adjustment does help (if you program in the right sequencing). In practice, I find my BD Storm to be plenty bright for the vast majority of my uses at 100 lumens.

Something also to consider - if you are reading maps during your night hiking, the red light distorts the color coding on the maps (unless you are using plain black and white maps). For example, if you are doing a night orienteering competition, it is almost impossible to distinguish the full range of vegetation mapping. There is a strong debate going on in lighting circles over whether the red light really helps preserve night vision, vs whether just using a lower lighting level works just as well or perhaps better. A really nice feature of the super high tech NAO is that when orienteering, just glancing down at the map drops the light level to what is needed to read the map while not hurting your night vision (which I did confirm in usage).

And since you are in super-cold Newfoundland, IIRC, having a remote battery pack as the BD Icon Polar and several Petzl models have is a tremendous advantage. I have had headlamps die more rapidly due to the cold (even Ultimate Lithiums on approaches to winter climbs and in Alaska that had the batteries in the lamp head itself or mounted on the back of the headstrap, and ones with a remote battery case inside my parka work just fine while companions were losing their light from the cold with an in-lamphead headlamp.

7:26 p.m. on December 10, 2012 (EST)
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This is wonderful, I am getting an education here. (The most important bit of kit you can have -- and totally ultralight, too!) This will no doubt save me buying four different things before I figure out the right one. You don't know what you don't know, and there are elements to this I would never have considered. Buy right, buy once, is my gear motto. And Trailspace is a fantastic resource for that.


Apparently I have pretty good night vision (I didn't know this until I found out just how little most people can see in the dark), and I prefer to rely on that whenever I can, on a possibly misguided use-it-or-lose-it philosophy. But when it's moonless, overcast and full dark at 5pm, a good light is required. The little flashlight I've been using has a dim red lamp, enough to find something in the tent or the pack, and it does seem to preserve my night vision more than using the white light on low. Might be a function of its dimness, though.


The idea of wide-beam or floodlight comes from my wish to have peripheral vision on the trail. Once, in Nova Scotia, I was trucking along behind a flashlight that threw a focused beam barely the width of the trail. The first I knew about the ten-point buck was when he launched himself out of the grass beside me. I may or may not have slightly peed my pants.

12:53 a.m. on December 11, 2012 (EST)
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Black Diamond Spot should fill the bill.  Red and white lights.  Adjustable brightness.  Reasonable price too.  There are brighter lights out there for sure, but most are more expensive.  The Spot really hits the price-features mark.

10:56 a.m. on December 11, 2012 (EST)
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JerseyWreckDiver said:

 Hey Gonzan.

Don't know which Princeton Tec lights you have but I have both the Quad & Apex which are both regulated output and both waterproof. 

 I have the predecessor to the "Fred," which doesn't have a red mode. picked two of them up for $12 as well, and am happy with them for the price for around the house use. But using them while backpacking makes me nervous knowing they malfunction in the rain. The output falloff is pretty noticeable half way through the batteries, at which point it starts plummeting pretty fast. I end up having to replace the batteries long before they are really dead. 

My Petzl isn't regulated but I have to keep double checking the literature to make sure, as the output curve is very flat. It's also hands down the most comfortable and durable headlamp I've owned.

My Petzl Tikka was my go-to headlamp for years, but it definitely wasn't waterproof, and the back closure eventually broke. The output curve on that one was horrible. It only provided full brightness for maybe the first 15-30 minutes of use. But it was an early model I've had for probably 10 years. 

As for the drawbacks of the Fenix lights being made in China, those are definitely valid notes.  I haven't attempted to use their overseas customer service or warranty service, but have had the most stellar service from the US distributor I bought most of mine from. I've only had one issue, and they replaced the part, sight unseen, including shipping.

I hadn't heard of the poor alkaline performance, nor noticed it with mine, but the ones I've owned the longest are CR123A lights. 

6:41 p.m. on December 11, 2012 (EST)
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My vote is for the Black Diamond Spot, my favorite budget headlamp that does all of the things you want.

5:10 p.m. on December 12, 2012 (EST)
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+1 on the spot. that's a good little light.

9:02 a.m. on December 13, 2012 (EST)
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But, but it's not regulated! 

;)

1:01 p.m. on December 14, 2012 (EST)
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I think a regulator is just another piece of technology to fail. my petzl zipka is not regulated either and I have never had a problem with it. I think the batteries don't last as long on a regulated head light.

5:51 p.m. on December 14, 2012 (EST)
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I've used my Tikka on trail for a week straight and haven't had to change the batteries once during this time period.

Keep in mind this time frame consists of fairly heavy use and quite a bit of night hiking.

A regulated hl has it's pros for sure but is not a necessity.

My Myo RXP 2 is regulated.

12:57 a.m. on December 15, 2012 (EST)
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Go regulated...my vote is for one of the offerings at zebralights.com. AA's provide some the best weight to power ratio for being in a common size, and are very easy to source...

In these zebralights they're getting 230lm from a single AA...get a few filters to fit you're needs, and call it a day...

8:33 p.m. on April 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Hello all. I've resurrected this old thread (well, Seth resurrected it for me -- thanks Seth!) in order to do a follow-up and final report. Honestly, there was so much excellent information from smart people in this thread that I wanted it to pop up again for the spring new-gear shoppers to see.

I ended up with the Petzl Tikka XP2. As Rick says above, it matches all of my criteria. High beam, low beam, spot light, flood light, red lamp. 80 lumens, not that I'll need it full power (68 metres) very often, and 190 hours of battery life at the lower setting (21 metre beam). It's quite water resistant: the instructions say that if I drop it in salt water, I should rinse it in fresh, and it can be washed with soapy water, so it'll manage rain just fine. It's light and comfortable, 88 grams with the 3 AAAs in. I like the many degrees of tilt on the lamp, and the widest beam setting is almost 180 degrees, so there shouldn't be any more surprises from animals dozing beside the trail.

I like it as a piece of emergency kit, too: there's a whistle built in to the strap, and it'll flash white for 365 hours, red for 850. The white is visible from a kilometre away.

Best of all, it remembers where it was when you turned it off. So no cycling through brightest-bright-flashing to get to the red at night, I can just set it and it'll be red when I turn it on. This sounds minor, but it's actually pretty key -- no sense trying to preserve night vision only to blind yourself at the first push of a button. (If all of this sounds much like a review, well, true, and you'll probably be reading it all again elsewhere on this site once I've put a few more trips on it. :)

I was very interested in some of the other lights mentioned, by Gonzan and Bill S. particularly, but in the end I wanted to spend $50 or less, and I wanted to spend it at MEC. (Much like your REI, MEC will take care of me forever, even after Petzl's quite respectable 3 year warranty runs out.) The Tikka XP2 was $51 at MEC, and I'm pretty happy to have gotten everything I wanted, plus some bonus features, for that price.

But I couldn't have done it without you, Trailspace! Thank you all once more.

8:57 p.m. on April 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Islandess, if you want you could always replace the batteries in this unit with the CORE rechargeable adapter(provided you have a way to charge it in the field such as solar or just plug it into a computer via included usb cable.)

http://www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/headlamps/universal/core

You can also program the headlamp(customize light output) with the Petzl software if ya want to get all techy and stuff.

If it wasn't for this community I would be mid winter trekking in flannel outerwear, a leather duster, and packing everything in a military duffle(hey it has shoulder straps.)

Okay, maybe not but close to it. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that the knowledge here is priceless. 

I learn a little more from all of you everyday regardless of one's skill level. 

12:17 p.m. on April 20, 2013 (EDT)
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In the construction world there is a new comer that may give others a run for their money.

At a LOWES i bought one of these last Fall. It won't do red light, but it will do a good job of everything else.

http://www.coastportland.com/hl7-led-headlamp.htm

IMO on the high power setting it is brighter for bad trail weather in focused or flood than many other lamps.

There are many other models. At Lowes it was about 40 USD.

Battery time spec is based on hi power mode, and in dim mode you get more time and the light isn't blinding to read a map.

Still red light would be nice. I carry a back up lamp that is hand held that is just super bright white and muted red. I also bought this one at lowes 

http://www.cheaperthandirt.net/product/3-1606417?utm_source=GoogleShopping&utm_medium=organic&gclid=CMTwnMPS2bYCFQef4AodflsAdw

11:52 a.m. on April 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick, that Accu Core battery pack is indeed a nifty thing. I don't have one yet, but knowing I had the option to turn the headlight into a regulated lamp or to tweak the outputs by spending another $25 was one more selling point on the XP2, for sure. I bet Gonzan would vote for it! :)

Lodge Pole, I can't make your link work. I think the problem is theirs, not yours, because while I can get to their site, anything I click is 404 (or MIA, as we used to say).  Also -- I'm pretty sure you can buy headlamps that are red-only, meant to be 'brake lights' for cyclists, so you might be able to add on one of those to have your red light hands-free.

As a single female, hiking is really my best chance to get out and enjoy the moon and stars. I'm a great deal safer walking the woods alone at night than I would be walking the streets (not to mention it's a lot more beautiful). So it was worth investing in a proper headlamp. And I do find the red light saves night vision, so I can find the oatcake I dropped in the grass and then immediately count all Seven Sisters of the Pleiades again. :)

7:01 p.m. on April 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Buy your first headlamp at walmart for less than $20.  Use it a few times, then if you are not happy with it retire it for use at home when the lights go out.  You will then be better prepared to prioritize the features of your next headlamp.

8:53 p.m. on April 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Islandess. The links work fine for me. Not sure why they don't work COAST Portland is the first link

Home page this time,

http://www.coastportland.com/ the lamp model I bought is HL7 you can tilt the lamp mounted on the head band and turn it to focus. The switch is large and good for mittens. The battery pack rides on the rear and has a power lever from dim to very bright. Not just 3 settings but any light from very dim to very bright.

Just no red at all..... I had assumed you wanted red for map reading. I don't pedal bike.... So I need no red rear lamps at all unless I am on the motorcycle which will be soon. it has a mess of rear red lights I added.

THIS: is the other light I oftn carry

LED LENSER V2,  Dual Color Red and White LED 100 Lumen 3 AAA 880039

 

I googled this name and see other sources 'LED LENSER V2' This is a hand held lamp, bith red for map reading and bright, but hand held.

 

Didn't think you had trees where you are. Well no trees taller than knee high anyway. I don't often hike at night with light, only when i just can't see period do I use a light. But I sure do carry them.

9:52 p.m. on April 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks, Lodge Pole.

My 'night' work actually happens in the mornings (I sometimes get distracted by owls or northern lights during midnight pee hikes, though). I get up in the dark, make coffee and have breakfast, and start walking before the sun is up, because I don't want to miss any part of dawn.  My own night vision plus a red lamp booster is often enough, but if I'm off-trail and trying to get down to a beach two hours before sunrise, or if there's no moon and I'm trying to pack a tent, a headlamp sure is useful. But of course the light someone needs and whether it's handheld or head-mounted depends on what they're doing in the dark. I wonder if a person might wear one of those 'taillights' backwards and have enough for some jobs.

Anyway. Yes, big island, much variety, 42 000 sq miles of woods, barrens, lakes and bogs, large and small, high and low. And finally the snow is starting to melt so we can tell the difference again. :)

10:53 a.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Yup, socked in moon less nights can be tuff with no light. We don't share the same time of day a bit. I much prefer seeing the sun set than i do seeing it rise.

Well I like pictures of the sun rise, you know a golden mist over a pond in some deep forest glen. But not in person... ;-)

In order for me to see that in person, I need to be there and wake up to pee.

maybe by the time I get to be 23 gain????????

Right now i am feeling what I did to myself yesterday. It's not pretty..

In a few hours maybe i will call someone do a bit of bragging Eh?

OH! I see now ...... You want to walk by red light. I am not sure if there is a led type lamp bright enough for that. I don't think it would be wise either.

Just reading a map you can make errors are things don't appear as well under red light on maps.

I am far from sure what walking by red light would be like.

I do know there are white light flash lights with red, blue and orange filters though. There are also flash lights with a red/green filter or lens cap for mounting on small boats.

Besides construction stores look at commercial fishing stores,  auto parts, and tools stores.

Speaking from the view point of a x foreign car tech I used to have a vast collection of lamps. So far there is no such thing as a 'Good' work lamp for techs.

You either get burned, blinded, or it hits you in the eye :-)

11:47 a.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey Lodge Pole. Just to clarify, because I wouldn't want anybody to try it: no, don't walk by red light. Well okay, full disclosure, I sometimes do, but only on a clear and familiar trail where all I need is a little extra light for a rocky patch where the moon is hidden by trees. In other words, I'll walk by red light for short spurts under conditions when I don't need any light at all 90% of the time. But I wouldn't recommend it in general.

If you've got good night vision and a nice reflective ocean nearby, you can see an awful lot at night, it just looks like a black and white movie. Then the red light is good for detail work and finding stuff. Sometimes I'll make the morning coffee just using the red light to pour alcohol in the stove and water in the pot. I tend to avoid using a light as much as I can, because once it's been on, I'll need it.

You guys are right about maps and colours, yeah, don't do that. And if you've got, say, water, fuel and pee bottles colour coded, don't do that either. :)

12:05 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
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I don't have ocean I have snow and ice covered mountains. It works about the same.

If I need a map in the dark i still use white light but am careful to not point the lamp at the map directly. That almost never happens. usually i have looked long and hard at a map before I head out and and have a idea of how things are.

I go off trail all the time knowing which way i want to go and which way it is back to the trail.

Did that yesterday and after a while my wife said ' are you sure this..... is the trail?'

I said of course not this isn't the trail i got off it about 0.5 tens back where the trail zigs and is covered in boiler plate...

(At that point i was standing next to the real trail again)

So I added 'Don't worry, I know where the trail is!' She glanced at the ground and slapped my shoulder..

Boiler plate is blue ice and with out spikes on yer boots is difficult to deal with on a steep pitch.

12:40 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
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I have yet another tiny coast lamp a lot like a Maglite aaa single cell but better. The only reason i won't recommend it is that changing out the batteries is the Devils own work.

In the doing each battery wants to flip over and get gagged in the bore. Inside the bore is a paper tube not very long for the world either, that shows how these batteries need to be installed by polarity.

With a typical pencil eraser you get to drag that paper out of the bore and then place each of the 4 batteries into that roll of paper and slip the that whole thing back in the bore with some care.

This is the sort of light you need for a few seconds to quick check something and it can live in a front pants pocket and you won't know it's even there.

I carry this everyday all day and use it all the time, but i sure wouldn't carry batteries for it on the trail.

3:26 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Red light has two advantages. First, it doesn't seem to affect your night vision. The same principle is used on submarines; the minute you have a look outside at night, your eyes are already adapted, and you're getting the best vision possible.

Second, when crawling in and out of a tent at night the red light is much less likely to wake up your tentmate. 

5:48 p.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
4 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

I recommend the Princeton Tec Remix Pro, its a slightly more expensive version of the Remix or the Fred.  I like the Pro mainly because it takes the Lithium CR123 battery (1), whic makes it lighter with battery that the AAA (3) headlamps, plus it has better cold weather performance.  Performance is about the same with new battery, but the Lithium battery has better voltage versus drain capacity (it keeps its design voltage longer as it discharges). Other than that, you can't go wrong with the Remix or the less expensive Fred, both of which meet your requirements for having red and white light...

9:06 a.m. on June 14, 2013 (EDT)
145 reviewer rep
15 forum posts

i use the petzl taktikka xp and am very pleased with it. it's water resistant (for rain), it has 3 brightness settings, and another button for super bright mode (must hold button in, lasts only 20 secs to avoid damaging the bulb). the buttons take a little to push in (reduces the chance of accidental turn on), and if you hold the button in for a bit, when you let go it will turn off (another anti-accidental lighting feature). it comes with 4 sliding lense covers (only able to use 1 at a time, and store 1 on the head strap), red, green, blue & clear (to dispurse the beam better). there's a battery life indicator light on the side. it advertises that when used on the low setting, the batteries will last 120 hrs. i've had mine for a few months and have used it a good amount of times, usually on the bright setting (makes the red lense usable for night walking) and the batteries that came with it are still giving me a green light. the construction seems pretty solid too. i don't feel the need to baby it at all, and i do get pretty rough with some of my gear when trudging through the wilderness. im a hunter, backpacker, fisherman, and all around outdoor adventurer who loves "crappy" weather, and this light works great for me. the only thing that i can find on this thing that i don't like is that when you engage a colored lense cover over, a mininal amount of white light escapes out the little hole on the left (as you look towards the light), but this doesn't effect anything. i'm just trying to come up with something negative to say about it to be fair. it's just barely noticable off to your right as you are walking, but again, i don't see how this could effect anything, or realisticly be called a negative. nothing is 100% perfect, but this light tries real hard.

September 19, 2014
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