If you look at the brochures of headlamps from different manufacturers and begin to study their declared characteristics, you will get the impression that they are all equally bright, powerful, and durable (no).
But one has only to purchase a specific model and walk closely with it for a couple of weeks, as all sorts of "jambs" and non-obvious shortcomings immediately begin to creep out.
Even the most eminent manufacturers have a lot of questions. They may be all right with hand-held flashlights, but not very well in terms of headlamps.
So what can you do to have a really good, high-quality flashlight on your head? Let's figure it out.
Metal or plastic?
The headlamp can be either plastic or metal (anodized aluminum).
Mistake # 1
Plastic is definitely better because it is lighter. After all, wearing a flashlight on your head is not at all like carrying it in your hands.
On the one hand, it seems that plastic is a good choice due to its lower weight and price.
This is true if you are professional cycling, jogging, or you need a headlamp for short-term household chores (going down to the basement or climbing into the attic a couple of times a month).
But in all other cases - hunting, fishing, long and short trips out of town to nature - look first of all at the aluminum case. In these situations, the disadvantages of plastic products outweigh all their advantages. The weight of a flashlight is often overestimated. You listen to some experts and one gets the impression that healthy men in an instant have become young ladies with swan necks.
Disadvantages of plastic:
First, due to poor heat dissipation from the LED, its lifespan is reduced. Sometimes the LED just falls off the backing. The LED overheats in the headlamp. Secondly, you will not find really bright and high-quality plastic lanterns. The honest continuous glow mode for them is 150 lumens. The best you can count on is 300Lm. Where much larger values are written in advertising brochures, this is just a short-term turbo mode. This is due to the worst heat dissipation of the plastic case.
Add the fragility of the material here. Sometimes it is even scary to put the flashlight in a backpack, so as not to accidentally crush it.
The loops at the strap attachment points begin to crack and break over time. The plastic headband is noticeably inferior to the silicone one. Therefore, for long-term use of your headlamp, always choose aluminum housing. In addition, if you look carefully, then in this format you can find excellent led headlamps that will practically not be felt on the head.
Monoblock or two units?
There are two types of forehead cases:
- in the form of a monoblock (LED + power supply in one case)
- in the form of two blocks (LED separately + power supply separately (on the back of the head or a long string in the pocket)
More versatile is the one that is made in the L-shaped body. It can be removed from the forehead at any time, taken in hand, and used as a hand-held flashlight. There are, of course, intricate Chinese designers, in which you need to unscrew the “head” from the front of the case, and then screw it onto the rear cylindrical block for the battery. But as you can imagine, this is very inconvenient. The L-shaped often has a magnet at the bottom. When you are repairing a car or something in the garage, by this place the flashlight can be easily attached to any piece of iron. During the hike, I stuck the knife into a tree and magnetized the flashlight to it without any problems - convenient! However, the classic T-shaped monoblock has a much shorter length and better heat dissipation, making it easier to integrate charging. Do not forget that you are buying in the first place, therefore, the classic is the best choice in this situation.
Models with a remote block significantly reduce the weight of the structure, which will hang on your forehead. In addition, in the remote part, you can place not one, but two, three or more batteries at once.
Mistake # 2
Just do not think that this will increase the brightness at maximum mode.
Due to its much smaller size, the forehead LED unit alone cannot cope with the increased heat generation. No matter how many batteries your plugin. Lightweight headlamp with external battery pack
In winter, it is convenient to hide the external unit in a jacket pocket, thereby increasing the operating time of the device. This refers to models with a long cord, and not those with batteries on the back of the head. Unfortunately, it is in this segment (battery on the back of the head) that low-quality flashlights are most common. In addition to poor light performance, this also applies to assembly. First of all, the wire from the external block fails. The lid fastening gradually loses and begins to close poorly.
Mistake # 3
It is on this parameter that the emphasis is placed in the first place when choosing.
The maximum brightness of a typical classic headband with a single 18650 battery is 1000 Lumens. This model is enough for you for any need, both amateur and professional. If you have a cheap Chinese flashlight, then most likely there is no thermal cut-off in it at all. The LED will begin to degrade from overheating. Therefore, you need to focus not on 1000Lm, but on the brightness value in continuous mode - 400-500Lm. More from a flashlight on the forehead in 90% of cases is not needed.