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Old 09-09-2019, 03:24 PM   #1
Skybird
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Default Headlamps

I am searching for one and am looking for tips and advise.


I want a headlight with these special specifications:


1. it must have red light that is bright enough to really allow you walking in a forest at pitch-black night. Not some 1 lm gimmick that is meant to be used stationary to check the map or adjust the astronomy telescope, but a walker's and hiker's red light.


2. It shall not be limited to Li-Ion batteries , NiMH-batteries, but I want ordinary, non-rechargable AA batteries. CR123 batteries are okay as well.



3. It must be stable, durable, and water-proof. The new production standard of Petzl for example - its terrible. They once made good lamps, and then dissappeared in the gutter, maybe because they now produce in China? Clearances between hull and lid in the battery compartment on the top are up to 2-3 mm (!!!), so that in rain water drops for certain must be expected to reach the inside and the electronics - what are they thinking when producing such garbage?


White light must not be a killer laser application, must not do 500 or 1000 lm, 200 lm or even slightly less would be good enough. Also so that battery life is reasonable.


I own the Nitecore NU-25, which is close to perfect, its brilliant, its tiny, it has three types of fanstic white (focussed cold white at three levels and colour-neutral dispensed white) and very bright red light, its ultra-lite - but has an in-build battery that must be charged via USB. Still, it is a fantastic, an idela headlamp (weighing less than 50 gr). This light, especially this red light, I want - but with CR123 or AA batteries!


The Nitecore HA-20 I checked, it has AA batteries, and very good red light - but is heavy, is clumsy, has design issues, is not stable and does not win my trust.


All other headlights I checked so far and that were meeting my specifications (not many there were left), were rechargable only, did not allow AA or CR123 batteries. Fenix is a company I check by habit for torchlights, since they make very good ones, I own three of theirs, but their headlights also do not seem to cut it regarding my demands, but then they do not present the many models they have in an easily comparable fashion, so maybe I miss somethign there.


Has anyone a recommendation that meets my asked-for details?
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Old 09-14-2019, 05:12 AM   #2
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I finally found almost 100% exactly what I was looking for. Its so to speak the big-big brother of the NU-25, which I praised before, its the Nitecore HC-65. It comes with a 34000 Li-Io battery which can be loaded in the lamp, but can also be completely replaced with two CR-123, both one-use and recharagable (CRC123) version. That is not the AA-battery I wanted, but I use CR123 a lot already and can fully accept the tradeoff in battery availability versus the better performance of CR123 versus AA batteries.

The lamp features a similiar LED array like the NU-25, just the brighter levels are a bit brighter than the NU-25. It has five brightness levels of cold white light as well as SOS, position beacon and tactical strobe from the first LED, the second LED offers something that sets the Nitecores apart, a warm-white, candle-like colour-neutral LED (CRI>90) with diffusor in front of it that is meant for reading or watching printed images without the colur aberation usual flashlight LEDs would cause, and then it has a red LED with dim for positional reading a map at night when being stationary, bright, which really floods the path in front of you for a few meters, and signal again.

The lamp is also capable to signal remaining Voltages and does that right to the first number behind the decimale. 3 flashes and then 7 flashes for example means 3.7 V. Cool feature.

Almost exactly what i wanted, for headlights I turn to Nitecore like I turn to Fenix for torchlights. Fantastic headlamps.








They are verxy similiar in functionalöity, the differences lie in weight, battery, and maximum lumens, whcih arew not important since turbo modes consume batteries way too fast anyway. I use the diffused CRI secondary white LED a lot when working in the garage, its much more friendly to the eye than bright, blinding spotlight. The CRI mode imo is a very strong asrgument in favour of thes elamps, plus the really usable, bright red loights. Other comoanies have red LEDs, too, but way to often leave them so dimmed that they are almost useless.



-----


I also found a nice and compact camping light, the CL-20, which i fell in love with immediately, it was the first throw of Fenix at this market segment, and for various reasons I consider it to be still their best although they have done several newer models since then. It has a magnetic base, and a loop, and a stand, which makes it very versatile to mount. It allows five levels of bright white light and somehow the diffusor allows the brightness to spread that well that it really is an unbelievablly bright light in the near range , and it has a very bright red light again (and a low level red light as well). It has two advantages over later Fenix camplights, first, the lamp allows projeciton of light from top to bottom when it hangs above the head, the later models do nto do that, and second, it uses batteries, is no must-recharge lamp with inbuild battery. It allows alternative use of either two AA batteries or one CR123. Perfect camping light or emergency light to have in your car, due to its nice light throw and the magnetic mount. - Not to be mistaken with the CL-20R, which is rechragable and has an inbuild battery. The non-R version has become to be a scarce commodity.


The video is leaving out the versatility of mounting the lamp. So again, it has a magnet and a metal loop on the bottom. It can stand upright, can be attached to a metal wall or hook on the wall, or can hang from the ceiling on a line, a hook, or again a metal ceiling element. More cannot be asked for.


I find it idiotic to have outdoor lamps enforcing the use of rechargable, inbuild batteries. If you can replace the R battery with a one-use-battery - fine, but when they are fixed in place, then you are screwed if you do not find a tree or bush with a power charger. As long as you do not want to carry a solar panel and a power bank, which weighs more and takes more time again.
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Last edited by Skybird; 09-14-2019 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:15 AM   #3
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For the sake of completeness, I add the main torhclight I use all the time over here, the Fenix PD 35 TAC. I do not have the verison 2 to which the tAC is comaored in this brief overview. Beside what the video says, the difrferenc eis that the 2.0 seems to have a narrowerr focus, and thus creatzing a longer, but narrower throw. Since I think the TAC gets this detials right about "perfectly", I dont feel I miss anything. Also, it makes no sense to spend twic eon almost oen and the same thing.






Fenix is one of the examples when an original Chinese company makes product that easily play in the top league of products woldwide. The manufacturing quality of their lamps is excellent. I know several of their lamps, since years. All where excellent. fenix also probaly is the company that triggered a price war many years ago that brought down the isnane price levels at that time that were fixed by Americna companies. Fenix did ignite competition by offeirng same and soemtime superior quality - for just a fraction of the prices demanded by Surefire and others. Today, prices between European and American and Chinese brands do not vary that insanely anymore. Nitecore is an originally American brand.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
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Pocket knives and torchlights I could talk about all day long! Saying that just in case you have not noticed
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If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law. - Edward Abbey
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:47 PM   #5
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I have the Fenix HL55 since six months or so, and can only recommend it. It is too bright at third (max) setting at 900 Lumen, but it lats a Long time in any other setting. It is also very practical for automotive repairs.. and waterproof for speleology
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