Brightest headlamp available??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mtnwrunner, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Howdy all.
    In all the wordly experience available on this site----who makes the brightest headlamp out there??
    I have a Coast H7 that is 140 lumens and it is a pretty good lamp but was just wondering if anyone has one or has heard of one brighter???

    Randy
     
  2. FAL Shot

    FAL Shot Well-Known Member

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    I would check out Princeton Tec, Petzl and Black Diamond brands. They all build for mountain climbers and other extreme users. I use Princeton Tec myself. It's not the world's brightest, but it can be used for SCUBA diving, so it is totally waterproof. Many models available. Quart lamps tend to be brightest, but the new LED lamps give several times the battery life. I can swap out the lamp in a minute.
     

  3. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Send a P.M. to SenderoMan. I'm pretty sure if it has anything to do with a lightbulb of any kind, he'd know about it.
     
  4. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Apex | Princeton Tec

    I've had this one for several years. 200 lumens with the big LED lamp. Regulated circuitry (very important for LEDs apparently) Waterproof to IPX7 as I recall.

    I actually broke (pretty sure it was my fault) one of these a bit last year and sent it in and Princeton Tech sent me a new one no questions asked. It has several features that are very handy.

    Read the description and specs carefully. I really value the fact of having a powerful single beam LED to see long range (hey we could start a new website called Long Range Headlamps) and then several smaller LED's for low power consumption and 2 different power mods of those. Most of the time you obviously don't need the long range power, but when you need it, you really need it.

    I've needed it numerous times and now really try not to buy a headlamp without it. 20+ years of headlamp use for alpine mountain climbing, open ocean sea kayaking, wildland firefighting, hunting, backpacking, etc. has formed these opinions and going through probably a dozen headlamps has currently brought me to this particularly headlamp--probably others out there that work as well.

    You can buy it with AA or CR123 batt packs. I still prefer the AA's as they are the most universally available battery and so you'd be more likely to find AA's in some out of the way place so that your headlamp works. I'm very partial to the Energizer Lithium AA's as they pack alot more power than alkalines, especially in cold conditions, they probably weigh 1/2 or less than alkalines and have a shelf life 2-3x alkalines. I'm pretty anal with batteries I'll be using in backcoutry adventures, testing each one before they go in my pack to know exactly what I've got. Too many adventures ruined or changed dramatically due to folks not taking care of their batteries. Smokejumping also taught me the importance of this where the consequences of not being aware of the condition of your batts. could cause problems. Sorry for the battery diatribe, but reasons immediately listed above make it imprortant. YOU don't want to be the guy that causes those problems!
     
  5. FAL Shot

    FAL Shot Well-Known Member

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    jmden is absolutely correct on a couple of things. I only use LITHIUM BATTERIES in my important applications. In sub-zero Montana weather alkalines will fade back and become inoperable with high drain quartz/xenon high intensity lamps. If you go to BATTERY UNIVERSITY WEBSITE and get an education on the many types of battery chemistry available, you will find that Lithium is the best for cold weather and very high drains in a primary cell. I do not use secondary cells in my hunting gear. They are useful in cell phones and cordless headphones that are always needing recharging but used in temperate conditions.

    I use a red filter with my Princeton Tec headlamp that I cut from size from a military flashlight filter. I place it in front of the reflector, behind the waterproof lens cap. You generally get two red filters with an army/navy military flashlight. You use two filters when extreme filtration is needed, but one filter works better in general. The red filter saves your night vision so you are not night blind when you shut off the headlamp. If you use white light, you WILL be night blind if you lose your headlamp illumination. This can be very dangerous. Military flashlights with the red, neutral density and diffuser filters are available for chump change at army/navy stores. $7 last time I looked.

    You will still need a powerful beam on occasion as he states. I use the tactical light mounted on my rifle for that. It has a red filter as well, but it flips down and then you have high intesity white light. I use the Hawke LED Ray light that I bought from Airguns of Arizona. I have the two-cell 2xCR123 lamp, but a more powerful 4xCR123 lamp is available. The 2-cell lamp is good for 100 yard shooting. You can use the Hawke LED Ray as a flashlight or tactical light. With the optional red filter, you save your night vision, and it provides good illumination for night vision scopes, as they respond to red and infrared wavelengths. Red light does not spook animals nearly as much as white light, as deer for instance are blind in the red light region, as are many other animals. Hawke is an English brand and their LED lights are very popular for "lamping" in the UK. They are a much better deal than a lot of the insanely priced "tactical" lights sold in the USA, like Streamlight. They are machined aluminum with optional remote switch included, plus a 30mm and 1" scope ring mount and an allen wrench for mounting the rings. I paid $55 for the light and $6 for the red filter from Airguns of Arizona, so compare that to Streamlight prices. And the Hawke lights have o-ring seals as well.

    You can buy the Hawke LED tactical light and a cheap Russian 1+ Gen night vision scope for what the high end USA tactical lights cost.
     
  6. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    JMDEN and all,
    Thanks for the input. I think that i will give that apex a try. Ed Vestiers was just here in town recently giving a slide show on his climbing of all 14 8,000 meter peaks and i spoke with him briefly after that show about headlamps and he also said that princeton tec was the way to go. I also use the double a lithium batteries in all my camera gear and lights. It kills me to buy them but they last WAY longer.

    Thanks and have a great new year!

    Randy
     
  7. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Ed should know about as well as anyone.
     
  8. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Check out the Spark Technology ...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwPhuBS7Fw4"]Spark Tabletop Review Headlamps ST5 ST6 - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2lhrh4qs3o"]Spark ST5 ST6 Headlamp Outside Review - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWhgOJ14pSk"]Spark Technology Torture Test - YouTube[/ame]

    Good luck!
     
  9. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    A quick story about Princeton Tech! I had a 4 "AA" battery head lamp which was over 15 years old. However some of the pieces were broken off and the internal connectors were shot. Remembering it had a lifetime warranty I gave them a call and explained what was wrong. No questions asked, the guy said send it in and he will see what he could do.. About two weeks later, a box was at the door with a totally refurbished light! Awesome product, awesome customer service!
     
  10. KirschMJ

    KirschMJ New Member

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    Mar 13, 2014
    5.11 Tactical makes a 470 Lumen Headlamp that runs on either 3/6 AA or a rechargeable Lithium battery.

    5.11 Tactical S+R

    OVERVIEW:
    Cree® XP-G2 Spot Beam
    Dual LED floodlights
    High and low light modes
    90° vertical rotation
    LED battery charge indicator

    SPECIFICATIONS:
    Water resistant high impact polymer
    Runs on three (6) AA batteries
    Elasticized non-slip headband
    Lockout switch
    Aluminum heat sink
    High Mode Flood only: 229 lumens/18 hrs.
    High Mode Spot only: 360 lumens/15 hrs.
    High Mode All lights: 470 lumens/10.5 hrs.
    Low Mode, Flood only: 15 lumens/262 hrs.
    Low Mode, Spot only: 123 lumens/41 hrs.
    Low Mode, All lights: 134 lumens/37.5 hrs.
    - See more at: 5.11 Tactical S+R


    Found this 5000 Lumen one on Ebay

    3X CREE XM L XML T6 LED 5000LM Rechargeable Headlamp Headlight Charger Battery | eBay


    You can find some even brighter ones out there with Cree LEDs in them. The only thing is, you can never tell if they are blowing steam or not. Also they can be misleading when it comes to things like runtimes. Many lights say high lumens, X amount of life, but the life is usually rated for the lowest settings.

    The 5.11 light is the highest quality one I have found that actually lasts 10.5 hours on high like it says.