Your headlamp should fit comfortably over your skull. It will allow you to run, cycle, or climb, while it illuminates the way. It is crucial to find "the one", just like any good relationship. This guide will show you how to select the right headlamp for you.
BEST TYPES BY ACTIVITY
No two headlamps will be the same, just like people. It is important to pick the right one for your needs based on what you will be using it for. It's easier to find the right match when all the details are available. Be clear about your needs and select a headlamp with the features you want. Let's see what we mean.
Running: Prioritize the weight, fit and beam distance of your headlamp.
Backpacking and Hiking: Consider the weight, battery life, and beam distance of your headlamp.
When climbing, consider the light output and beam distance of the headlamp.
Cycling: Prioritize the light output and beam distance when using your headlamp.
Paddling: Prioritize the light output and fit of your headlamp.
Travel and Camping: Prioritize beamwidth/area, battery lifetime, and the price of your headlamp.
SHOPPING BY WEIGHT
There are many sizes and shapes of headlamps. Here's a simple equation to help you remember. Your headlamp should weigh less if the activity is more intense. This is evident in trail running. A headlamp that is too heavy or bulky will make a mockery of your every move. If you cycle on a smooth, well-paved road, your headlamp's weight will be much less apparent as it will remain put.
Headlamps can be measured in grams or ounces. They can range from 12.5 ounces up to just under 2 pounds. You'll need a headlamp that is lightweight, between 2 and 3 ounces. You should also consider the weight of top straps and external batteries.
FINDING THE RIGHT SIZE
If you are going to be with it for the long term, you need to love the way your headlamp fits. You can get unique weight distribution with some headlamps by placing the battery pack at the back of your head.
Some headlamps have a strap that runs from the front to the back, across your top. A top strap might be the best option for someone who is more adventurous, but it can cause irritation to others. Many headlamps have tilt options, which allows the light to be manually moved up or down. This allows you to see different areas. You can feel more in control with tilting headlamps.
Because LED bulbs are durable and last longer, most headlamps are now made with them. They are also more efficient than traditional bulbs. You need to decide whether you want a wide beam or a spot beam when it comes to bulbs.
Spot beam: This will illuminate the path ahead of you and is useful for running, hiking, or cycling in dark areas.
Wide beam: A wide range of headlamps can produce diffuse light at a wide-angle to illuminate close objects or campsites.
Variable beam: This is a nice feature that can be toggled between a wide-angle throw and a spot beam in one headlamp.
Beam Pattern: A high-quality headlamp will produce a uniform beam with no dark rings or splotches. High-quality reflectors and lenses are key to this effect.
IMPORTANT LIGHT OUTPUT
It is essential for you to understand the language of your headlamp. So forget about watts and think in lumens. Latin for "lumens" is "light". It's a measurement unit that comes from any light source. Lumens are a measure of how brightly your headlamp glows. This number is printed on the package of your headlamp. Headlamps have a wide range of power ratings. They can be as small as 50 lumens for compact models, up to 1,000 lumens for larger high-power units.
The beam distance on your headlamp packaging indicates how far it can project light. This is equivalent to the brightness of the full moon on a clear night.
The longer the light beam distance is, the better for those who run, cycle, or climb in low light. While you may not be able to see the future, it will be something you will be thankful for.
BRIGHTNESS LEVELS AND MODE OPTIONS
A headlamp with a variety of brightness levels is a great choice if you believe that variety is the best thing in life. You can choose between high or low brightness settings, which is useful when you alternate looking at your hiking partner and the trail. Some headlamps have three settings, while others offer a strobe or red light setting. Let's find out what each setting is like.
High: This setting is ideal for dark places. It allows you to use the brightest possible light. This setting uses more power than low and mid.
Middle: Although only available on certain models, this middle level can be ideal.
Low: The lowest light setting may be enough to continue trekking on a dark evening. This setting is usually the most efficient in terms of energy.
Flashing lights can be useful in emergencies. It never hurts to be visible and alert for anyone who is passing by. Your headlamp can be used as a distress signal, whether you are thru-hiking alone or out on an evening run.
Red light: The red light mode allows the user to maintain night vision. While red light does not cause pupils to shrink, it provides a very small amount of illumination.
AVERAGE RUNNING TIME
This indicates how long your headlamp battery can last. This number is often displayed on packaging alongside a clock symbol. The average run time of your headlamp at its most efficient setting (typically low) will be displayed if only one number is shown. Some headlamps have average run times for high, low, and middle settings. It all depends on the brand's choice.
Standard batteries are used to power headlamps. The size of the battery that you choose will determine how big it requires. When it comes to battery safety, remember to bring extra batteries with you when you go out with your headlamp. You won't get lost in the dark if you do this.
Rechargeable batteries can be reused many times. However, rechargeable batteries may lose their power over time, which can be a surprise. Every one to two months, recharge batteries or use them.