User Review: Black Diamond Spot
Price Paid: About $30
I bought the Black Diamond Spot headlamp some two years ago and have used it frequently ever since. I walk in all weather in all seasons from valleys to mountain tops and as a result I am very demanding of the kit I use.
The B.D. Spot is one tough little cookie to crack, over the last couple of years it has been dropped on rocks, kicked (not intentionally mind), bashed against countless branches and had more than a few baths and, surprisingly, it is still intact and has never stopped shining.
The batteries seem to go on for ever and even when almost depleted provide enough light to get to ones destination, then some. I find the max setting too bright for most of my exploits and tend to stick to the low or med proximity and only use the max if I am looking for something. The max beam setting gives a usable light for about 30-40m (7-9 car lengths).
Min provides a soft light that will not strip you of your much needed night vision but that will allow you to study a map or traverse a difficult patch of terrain. If you come across a cave you wish to venture into and investigate the max setting will serve you well enough.
The lamp tilts through about 60 degrees and is still comfortable to wear even at full downward tilt. As a guide to the size of this lamp it will fit neatly into a 6oz cup, strap and all, and at only 85g (INCLUDING batteries) it is feather light.
Sadly there are some con's to this great product. There is only one button that does all, on/off and adjusts the brightness. On and off is simple as is swapping between single and proximity lighting, what is not so simple is adjusting the brightness.
This is done by gently pushing the button about half way between on/off and released, with bare hands this is easy enough, with winter gloves on it can be infurating as you will inevitabley end up turing it off or missing the requried setting.
The second problem is that the settings are cyclical, so you have to go through everyone to get to what you want. This is fine if you are just doing your late night dog walk, but if you just wanted to check the map for a moment with the min setting you can kiss goodbye to your night vision for the next 20 mins or so because you will be dazzled by the other six light intensities.
NOTE: I have found that one can avoid the latter annoyance by turning the lamp on in your pocket or covering it up with your hand before you turn it on and then pressing the button 3 times, once for on, once for med and once for min. This is how I get by.
I am sorry to drop one star for the sake of a switch because in all other respects this is a surprisingly well built little beauty that I will not be easily parted from.