by Brad Nelson 11/29/15
I’m trying to do a little catching up with the techie devices, large or small, that I’ve acquired over the last year or so. An LED headlamp for hiking was one of those acquisitions.
And this won’t be an exhaustive review comparing it to a host of other products. I did the best I could reading reviews at Amazon and looking at what was available at the local sporting goods superstore. There were two or three viable candidates but I decided on this one, mainly because it looked easy to use, seemed well constructed, and had very positive reviews online.
This light works well. It’s about 168 lumens. The average 60 watt incandescent light bulb is about 600 lumens.
The lumens of the Vitchelo V800 headlamp are concentrated into a spotlight instead of being cast in all directions like a light bulb. And this is fine although I wish the spot was about 50% wider. A narrow spot will put more light on greater distances. My use is to see the trail directly in front of me at dusk or dark. It works for that but it would be nicer if the field of lumens was a little wider.
The purchase of this $28.00 light was a shot in the dark from the get go. I had no idea how much 168 lumens was or if that was enough or too much (overkill). Well, it seems okay. And it has two dimmer settings as well if you want to save the batteries.
The next big question was how practical was this to wear as a headband. When jogging, would it bounce around on your head and maybe even slip off? The good news is that it works well as a headband. The band is wide and comfortable. It does have to be snug but is more than adequate for an hour or so use at a time. It takes two AAA batteries, but it’s still fairly light.
I haven’t used the red lights yet (presumably for map reading and to keep one’s night vision when hunting). But it’s there if I need it. Undoubtedly there are better products on the market with more lumens. But this one has the advantage of being easy to use and not over-complicated with features. You get the white or the red LED lights. You get three intensities of the white and the red can be either steady-on or flashing. And you get from one to the other mode by additional pushes on the button (one button for white, one for red).
The light assembly itself also tilts down. I can’t say that this hinge looks particularly rugged. But it does allow you to adjust the angle and it stays there. Battery time is supposedly 5 hours on the brightest setting which is more than adequate for my use. It also works as a convenient “candle” when the power goes out at home (although I typically carry it in the car). It’s just an all-around handy light. Thumbs up.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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