Best Headlamp 2019 • 0 Headlamps Reviews
What is a headlamp?
Headlamps are light sources that are attached to the head or a helmet. Headlamps are used in the leisure area and in many professions. Joggers, climbers, hikers, skiers, campers, skaters and mountain bikers use headlamps for orientation in the dark. For orienteering and night races, headlamps provide brightness and prevent falls. Therefore also miners, speleologists and rescue forces illuminate their field of work with headlamps. Many headlamps offer a headlight range over 100 meters.
In contrast to a flashlight, the wearer of a headlight always has both hands free, because the lights attached to the head follow every turn of the head and automatically illuminate the area in the direction of vision. The energy for the light is usually supplied by three or four batteries of size AA or AAA. Powerful headlamps with a heavy battery pack have the battery pack on the back of the head. Some models also store the battery in a pocket to be carried on the belt.
A headlamp is held by a headband at the head of the wearer. Heavy and demanding models are supported by an additional Holding strap that is led over the head. LED has established itself as a light source. These compact light sources have many advantages. They can be designed compactly, and they are bright and economical in energy consumption. More powerful LED lamps have a heat sink that dissipates the heat from the lamp to protect electronic components. An electronically controlled power supply ensures a largely even luminous efficacy for many headlamps, even with decreasing battery power.
Headlamps of the top category light up with a combination of LED and halogen light. Depending on requirements and environment, the two types of light can be switched. Headlamps are robust, fail-safe and can withstand large temperature fluctuations. LED headlamps are equipped with 1 to 5 LED lamps. The operating time depends on the performance and the size of the battery pack.
Many headlamps use different luminaires to illuminate close and far distances. They are available in many versions adapted to special applications. On the better equipped models, luminosity and light angle variable can be set. The luminous flux depends on the lamp used and the reflector.
Many hobbyists and collectors of models use headlamps to do work in nearfield and to recognize details better. wearers of glasses should check before buying a headlamp whether the scattered light of the headlamp causes disturbing reflections in the lenses.
Headlamps with high power consumption have a external battery pack that can be attached to the belt or stored in the backpack. Some models also offer red lamps in addition to white ones, which cause less glare and allow better dark adaptation of the eyes.
How does a headlamp work?
A headlamp is worn on the head, so the headband has an important holding function. On most models, the headband is adjustable to head size. A low weight significantly increases the wearing comfort. A good headlamp is balanced and does not cause any discomfort even when worn for long periods of time. A overhead strap on top of the head ensures a particularly secure fit on models with a rear-head battery.
Headlamps are designed for outdoor use and are therefore shockproof. The housings are made of unbreakable plastic such as polyamide. Aluminium is also partly used. The lightest headlamps weigh only 40g.
Headlamps have control elements that are adapted to the outdoor environment. Switches with depressions facilitate operation with gloves. The lamp holder is mounted on many headlamps rotatable so that the light angle can be adjusted variably. Some models have a sensor which makes a automatic brightness adjustment by measuring the reflected light.
The duration of a headlamp depends on the power of the battery and the brightness set . The luminous intensity of many headlamps can be adjusted in several stages, some models also have a separate dimmer circuit.
Comfortable are headlamps whose brightness can be controlled with wiping movements of the finger. Several reflectors are integrated in luminaires for ambitious night runners and trail runners. The sensor-controlled combination of close-up light, high beam and red light provides optimum illumination for any terrain and all lighting conditions. The reflectors of headlamps can be round, oval or square, and on most models the light cone can be narrowed or widened.
Headlamps with different light sources and reflectors can be adapted to the environment and to the existing residual brightness. The frames of some headlamps are fitted with reflectors or light strips to increase visibility from the side and rear.
On some models, the battery can be charged either via USB cable or via the board voltage socket of a car. Today, lithium-ion batteries are used almost exclusively as rechargeable batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are relatively light, last a long time and have no memory effect. Many headlamps can alternatively be operated with batteries. The charger and a battery pack are usually included in the scope of delivery. For longer tours it is recommended to carry a full reserve battery or batteries with you.
Advantages & Application areas
A headlamp illuminates the path brightly and keeps the Hands free. This is advantageous when both hands are needed to work or carry objects. In professional use headlamps are indispensable. For mechanics, rescue workers and forestry workers, headlamps increase safety at dusk and in the dark. A headlamp also helps precision mechanics, doctors and archivists with their work.
Security services and forestry workers use powerful headlamps with high headlamp range and a luminosity of over 1000 lumen. The bright floodlight of these headlamps allows outdoor work such as felling a tree even in the dark. In many buildings that are still under construction or are no longer in use, there is no electricity available. Often there is also no construction site power distributor available. For such spontaneous work, a headlamp is helpful.
Headlamps have also become increasingly popular in the leisure sector in recent years. Camper sometimes arrive at the campsite after dark and appreciate the mobile light source when setting up the tent. Headlamps are used particularly widely by hikers and climbers. Joggers, Nordic walkers and cross-country skiers use headlamps to avoid falls and injuries. Inline skaters also benefit from a headlamp in the dark and avoid painful falls.
Mountain bikers can be illuminated in rough and poorly lit terrain by a mounted on a bicycle helmet headlamp the route. On climbing tours in the mountains, darkness can fall quickly – a headlamp helps in the search for a suitable place to sleep. Some models also offer a red taillight, which increases safety especially in road traffic.
For emergencies, many headlights can be set to a flash or SOS mode.
The bright LED light makes the lamps visible from a distance. But a headlamp is also an ideal reading lamp in a tent or on a trip. For this purpose, many reading lamps could be switched to near field illumination. Models in bright neon colors make headlamps even more visible.
In many houses, cellars, chambers and attics are poorly lit or sometimes not lit at all. A headlamp facilitates orientation and the reading of electricity and gas meters, which are often located in poorly lit areas of old buildings. For repairs under the sink, in the caravan or under a vehicle, a headlamp illuminates the working area brightly and leaves both hands free. Burglars are driven out by the dazzle of bright headlamps.
Most headlamps offer different illumination modes and illumination. The weakest setting of a headlamp is often a economy mode or an emergency mode. This stage is useful when the battery is running low in order to achieve the longest possible remaining battery life.
The highest luminosity is produced by a Boost mode, which provides maximum illumination for a limited period of time. The illuminated sector can be determined using a zoom ring or a combination of the light sources integrated in the headlamp.
The more enger the light cone is selected, the brighter is the illumination of the sector.
What types of headlamps are there?
When choosing the right headlamp, it depends on the planned use.
If the headlamp is only to be used as part of a weekend trip or to clear out a cellar room, an inexpensive model is sufficient. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a headlamp for your regular early morning forest runs, you should ensure high quality and variable illumination.
Many athletes use headlamps during regular training. The practical lamps illuminate the path for cross-country skiing, hiking, Nordic walking, jogging, mountain biking and inline skating. The optimal light character of the headlamp depends on the sport . A wide illumination of the near field is required for cross-country skiing. Soft floodlighting is an advantage in the snow and only minimally dazzles the athlete in the dark. A mountain biker, on the other hand, needs a far-reaching, brilliant light that clearly highlights the contrasts of the surroundings.
Many headlamps are optimized for the illumination of the near range, so that you can also find a wide range of inexpensive models here. LED lamps offer a flat and bright illumination that is sufficient for many applications.
These compact luminaires are robust, durable and can withstand hard impacts without complaint. Another advantage of LED lights is their low power consumption.
Ambitious athletes should choose a powerful and versatile headlamp that offers a wide range of illumination and has a long light range. Headlamps with a combination of LED and halogen light use the advantages of both light sources. With these headlamps, the LED light is used at close range, the halogen light at a distance. The right light mixture of flood and spot can be put together for every environment. The higher price for a versatile headlamp pays for itself quickly with regular use – quite apart from the larger safety that these combination lights offer.
But light and compact headlamps are inexpensive and take up little space in your luggage. They are the ideal companions for camping at the weekend or in the allotment garden. These headlamps have an elastic band and are usually equipped with 1 to 3 LED lamps. Basic headlamps are also a good choice for hobbyists and collectors.
The popular average price category is occupied by headlamps with good all-round properties. These Stin lamps can be operated with batteries or rechargeable batteries, have a high luminous flux and a large light range.
The light from many of these lamps can be variably bundled and electronically controlled.
Because of the good price-performance ratio headlamps in the middle price segment are popular with many hikers, athletes and outdoor fans.
The best performance can naturally be expected from headlamps in the Top category.
These devices are designed for highest demands and semi-professional use.
They shine over 100 meters far often have several illuminants. The combination of halogen light with LED light achieves the best possible illumination in any environment. The headbands of these lamps offer a particularly firm fit.
A powerful, detachable battery ensures high reliability even during long journeys. High-power headlamps of this type are also used by cave explorers and rescue teams.
So we tested the headlamps
The headband should provide the light with good hold and sit securely without cutting in unpleasantly or causing pressure sensations. If a headlamp has a headband, it should still be easy to put on and take off. The retaining straps should be washable and easy to clean. The wearing comfort is essentially determined by the weight and the weight distribution of the headlamp. We weighed all devices and used them in conjunction with various activities.
A headlamp should at least illuminate the near field well even after a few hours. A rapid decrease in luminous intensity led to a deduction of points.
If the battery or set of batteries breaks down prematurely, this can have unpleasant consequences. A headlamp must still provide a usable light output even when nearly used upbattery. The Lighting power was graded on several levels. Luminous intensity, headlight range, floodlight, spotlight and adjustment options were included in the assessment. It was noted positively if the battery can also be recharged at a car socket or via USB connection using the supplied adapters.
Headlamps are outdoor devices, which means that they are often operated with clammy fingers or gloves. The controls should therefore be foolproof and not to be confused. An intuitive handling also increases the fun of handling the device. In outdoor use, headlamps have to withstand one or the other impact or kick. The headlamp test showed which devices are particularly robust and resistant. When soiled by rain, snow and mud, a headlamp should be quick and easy to clean again.
Also the optics plays a role for most buyers. Headlamps should show a coherent design concept. Ideally, the design of the headlamp should be function-oriented and elegant. Plus points were awarded to devices that, in addition to the white light , also offer a red light and an emergency light function . The switch to red light is easy on the eyes in the dark, as the long-wave light of the iris of the interlocutor does not require any unpleasant adaptation. A flashing light is already noticeable from a distance and draws attention to an emergency.
The combination from laboratory and field tests showed which headlamps achieved the best performance in the headlamp comparison 2019.
What should I look out for when buying a headlamp?
Before buying a headlamp you should consider for which purpose the lamp should be used. Who uses a headlamp presumably sometimes, can reach to one of the favorable models. However, even with the inexpensive mobile luminaires, care should be taken to ensure ordinary processing quality.
Special attention should be paid to the energy storage of the lamp.
Headlamps in which optionally rechargeable batteries or with batteries can be inserted are advantageous. Headlamps with high luminous power should preferably be operated with Lithium-ion batteries, since batteries promise only a short running time due to the higher power consumption. The lid of the battery compartment should close securely and should not open accidentally in the event of movement, vibration or shock.
The brightness of the headlamp should be adjustable in steps or stepless. It is important that the individual brightness ranges can also be easily adjusted with gloves.
For high-quality headlamps with higher light output, higher weight is acceptable, as the battery must be larger. However, the weight should be evenly distributed. Ideal are devices that carry the battery in a holder attached to the back of the head or store it in a belt pouch.
Some headlamps offer sophisticated lighting programs that are designed depending on the battery status either for maximum light output and or for maximum light duration. Some models also have illumination settings for close-range and distance illumination. However, the operation of these light programs should not require a lengthy study of the manual, but quickly learnable.
Many models offer a setting of the inclination angle. It should be possible to change the angle of inclination without great effort and the luminaire should hold the angle of inclination set once securely.
If you want a temporary extremely bright illumination, you are grateful for a boost function. The top models among the headlamps offer a light output of over 1000 lumens in this setting.
A Battery indicator is useful to give the user an overview of the remaining battery power. It indicates the remaining capacity optically or acoustically and is activated via a button.
When the headlamp is temporarily not in use, a Hold clip will help attach it to your belt or backpack. Some devices also have a magnet holder which allows them to adhere to the bicycle or car.
Short information on leading manufacturers of headlamps
- SIGMA Sports
- Black Diamond
- LED Lenser
In 1968 Mammut was taken over by the Heberlein Group and the name Mammut became brand for equipment and outdoor clothing. In the 80s and 90s, products such as backpacks and sleeping bags supplemented the range offered by the supplier. Since the turn of the millennium, the Swiss manufacturer has also included electronic outdoor products in its range, including headlamps.
The light output ranges from 25 lumens for the LED Lenser H5 model to 2000 lumens for the LED Lenser XEO 19R model. Occasional users will find their headlamps as well as ambitious inline skaters, speleologists or bikers here.
The luminaires have been constantly improved and awarded several times for their design and functionality. Professionals and amateurs can choose from many models for sports and outdoor.
Internet vs. specialized trade: where do I buy my headlamp best?
The user expects a headlamp to fulfil its function for the area of application in question. The technical aspect is in the foreground for most users, but also the design of the headlamp – from the shape to the color – plays a role in the choice of the headlamp.
Since the headlamp should be easy to use during an activity, the purchase in a specialist shop is obvious. Here the prospective customer can take the headlamps of his choice in the hand , put them on and in the ideal case even test them out. Unfortunately, the buyer quickly comes up against limits at the latest when trying out, which are either drawn by the seller or by the premises. Some sellers do not like it when customers take equipment out of its packaging to check its processing. If the headlamps are in a sealed blister pack, this is almost impossible. A good outdoor specialist shop often has demonstration models ready and has customers check and fit one or the other headlamp. Only – what is the benefit for the customer?
Full rechargeable batteries or batteries are rarely available in specialist shops. The luminous intensity cannot therefore be checked by the customer. In addition, the lighting conditions in a retail store do not allow a meaningful first impression of the performance of the headlamp. Fluorescent tubes and spots on the ceilings provide bright scattered light. Thus only the first and right superficial impression remains for the customer. Although he can judge haptics and wear comfort, he still does not know how heavy the lamp is on his head after wearing it for one or two hours.
Neither can you see how long the battery lasts or how strong the dazzling effect is in the dark. What remains are technical data, which he can have confirmed by the seller. Given the large number of articles in an outdoor specialist shop, however, not expected is to be expected that the seller has well-founded background knowledge in the area of headlamps.[/box]
The other purchase option is the Internet. First of all, many people think of the disadvantages here: they cannot touch the headlamps or put them on. But many pictures and written information give in the Internet comprehensive information to all available headlamps at the market. The prospective customer can inform himself about the advantages and disadvantages of individual models and light technologies in relevant Online-Magazines and forums.
A headlamp test 2019, in which the most popular models are extensively tested, is particularly meaningful. Who decides for the comparison winner, goes surely to receive a qualitatively high-quality headlamp. Once the decision has been made after studying the models and data, the selected headlamp can be ordered directly online. Shipping is simple, because a headlamp has a small packing size and fits into any packing station. And if the headlamp doesn't please the buyer, it's not a big problem. The customer possesses with an on-line purchase a legal right of revocation , from which he can make use without indication of reasons. He simply sends the headlamp back and receives the money back from the provider. So there are good arguments for buying online a headlamp.
The History of the Headlamp
The beginnings of the headlamp lie with the pit lamp, which has been used for centuries in mining. Precursors of the electric miner's lamps were still operated with oil and petrol and used as hand lamps. At the beginning of the 20th century, with the switch to electric light, the lamps were attached to the helmet of the miners.
In this way the miners always had both hands free to work, and the electric light drastically reduced the risk of a firedamp explosion. Since the lamps – and especially the batteries used – were still large and heavy, the energy source was housed in a box, which had to be carried by the miner. The technical inadequacies of the first headlamps led to their slow assertion. The poor light quality could only be significantly improved with the introduction of halogen bulbs. However, the heavy and low-power batteries remained the weak point of headlamps for a long time. To extend the service life, undersized light sources were often used in the reflectors, which, however, reduced the illumination.
The advantages of the headlamp were also recognized in further professions. The devices were soon used by the fire brigade, the Technical Relief Agency, the military and for caving. Industry also used headlamps in many areas.
In the hobby and leisure area the lamps were not used for many decades – they were too heavy, too big and too expensive. Only the miniaturization of the lamps and the availability of compact, high-performance batteries cleared the way for the headlamp.
Headlamps are a further development of headlamps. They are smaller, considerably lighter and in most cases integrate the battery on the headband or directly near the luminaire. Halogen light bulbs are more compact and brighter than conventional light bulbs and are used for a range of headlamps. The today's popularity of headlamps in the leisure sector is however due to the development of LED lights. They are insensitive to vibrations, provide bright light and are economical in power consumption.
Figures, data, facts about the headlamp
Even simple headlamps of the lower price category should function reliably under changing weather conditions and must not quit their service prematurely during prolonged use. The operating time is essentially dependent on the outside temperature. Temperatures below zero degrees Celsius can shorten the flash time considerably, as the chemical processes in the battery or rechargeable battery require greater resistance to be overcome. In winter it is advisable to store the battery in a warm place until immediately before use in the headlamp – body heat as well as a heated car is possible.
Moisture is another environmental factor that a headlamp has to cope with. The waterproofness of the headlamp housing is indicated by the IP value. An IP value of 1 only protects against splashing water. The IP maximum value of 8 means absolute waterproofness, so that the lamp can also be used under water.
With some headlamps, the light cone can be adjusted with a focus ring. In this way, it is possible to switch between two-dimensional floodlighting and narrowly defined spotlighting >change. A Auto dimmer detects whether a near or far target is illuminated and adjusts the brightness.
Although this function also consumes some power, saves more power by preventing over-bright illumination of nearby objects. The automatic system is advantageous when walking through ruins or caves – areas in which you often switch between near and far objects. For most athletes and outdoor fans, however, the function is superfluous.
Some powerful headlamps outsource the battery into a mini backpack worn on the belt. This relieves the head of the high battery weight. Professionals, who expect long operating times, equip themselves with two belt batteries.
Care and cleaning
Most headlamps consist of plastic. More expensive models also have aluminium parts. Regardless of the material used, the cleaning and care of a headlamp is not a big problem. The lighting unit itself is encapsulated and therefore does not need to be cleaned from the inside. The transparent lens in front of the illuminant should be wiped clean regularly in bad weather conditions in order to achieve full luminous power. Contamination and fine droplets cause scattered light and can significantly reduce the headlight range.
Even though a headlamp is designed as a robust outdoor device, sensitive electronics are also inside. Many devices have a control unit. The luminaires should therefore not be subjected to unnecessarily hard shocks. The headlamp should not be placed on the floor, as there is always a risk that a person may accidentally step on it. The headband can be removed from many models and cleaned separately. Special attention should be paid to the battery and the battery recording. The compartment should always close tightly to prevent moisture from penetrating.
Many headlamps can be charged with batteries or rechargeable batteries. However, batteries should only be regarded as an emergency solution and are not recommended for regular use due to their low cost and lower performance.
Modern Lithium-ion batteries are more powerful, relatively light and have no memory effect – they can therefore not be overcharged. Each LI battery contains a processor that controls the charging process and interrupts the power supply when the battery is fully charged. Therefore, the battery in the charger can be fully charged overnight without hesitation, even if it is still half full. A reduction of the operating time is not to be feared nevertheless.
However, lithium-ion batteries have a service life that depends on the number of charging cycles. If the operating time decreases noticeably, the battery should be disposed of and replaced. In this way the outdoor fan can be sure that he is never in the dark and can always benefit from the full light output of his headlamp.
Technical terms (lumens, etc.) briefly explained
Lumen is used to measure the luminous flux emitted by a lamp. The lumen unit replaced the candela unit in 1979. The higher the lumen number, the brighter the luminaire shines. When conventional light bulbs still provided the majority of the light sources, consumers could deduce the light intensity from the wattage indicated on the packaging. Therefore, light bulbs with 40 and 60 watts were also called household light bulbs.
With the advent of further light sources such as energy-saving lamps, halogen lamps and LED luminaires, the lumen specification has become more and more popular in order to make it possible to directly compare different light sources. A conventional light bulb with 40 watts produces a luminous flux of 400 lumens. For the same luminous flux a LED-lamp needs only 5 Watt, so it works much more effective.
In addition to luminous flux, light distribution is also decisive for the subjective light impression. The unit Lumen gives no information on whether and how the light is scattered or directed. Point light sources without any stray filters produce a higher glare effect and are perceived as more unpleasant. These disadvantages of compact light sources such as LEDs can be eliminated by attachments and filters.
Another factor that influences the perceived brightness is the light spectrum. The visible electromagnetic wave range is between 380 and 780 nanometers. Luminaires whose light colour is in the medium range are perceived as particularly bright.
In the long-wave, red area, however, the sensitivity of the human eye drops sharply. Many manufacturers of headlamps take advantage of this effect by switching to red light and offering more pleasant illumination for the near range with a switch to red light.
Some manufacturers of LED luminaires maximise luminous flux by restricting the luminaires to a narrow wavelength range by means of a coating. However, this leads to a strong yellow-green cast, which is perceived by most users as unpleasant and is also undesirable in most cases. When purchasing LED luminaires, care should be taken to ensure a neutral, white light colour.
A headlamp is supplied by the manufacturer with all parts required for commissioning. The scope of delivery includes a user manual, the charger and the battery. Other accessories may include a USB cable, a battery bag, or a replacement headband.
Owners of a bicycle can benefit from a bicycle helmet holder in which the headlamp can be inserted. This holder can be ordered separately for different models . Alternatively, a Stin lamp can also be attached to the bicycle helmet by adjusting the headband. Another sensible additional purchase is a second battery pack, which quickly pays for itself on longer tours. Those who travel in cold temperatures in winter should remember to keep their batteries warm until dark warm. A battery warmer keeps the battery warm and maintains its performance.
LED lights rarely fail, but halogen bulbs are somewhat more sensitive to shocks. Users of headlamps that are equipped with an additional halogen lamp for high beam should always have a substitute bulb ready.
For storage of the headlamp the bag provided by the manufacturer can be used. If no bag or box was supplied, any other container that can store the headlamp safe and dry is also suitable. In combination with a headlamp, athletes can use a variety of electronic assistants to provide information on physical exertion and speed.
Those who are travelling in the dark should be prepared for emergencies. If the headlamp refuses despite all precautions its service or gets lost, a favorable replacement headlamp performs good services. For these purposes, some manufacturers offer their own emergency headlamps with extremely small pack sizes, which accompany the user safely through the night. These special headlamps weigh less than an egg and can be stored in a backpack for up to 10 years. Like a spare wheel, they are only used if the main headlamp fails or is not available.
Alternatives to headlamps
The big advantage of a headlamp is its great mobility. Your user always carries the light with him and has both hands free. A headlamp is dispensable wherever a stationary light source is available or can be installed. On construction sites, luminaires can be connected via the site power distributor. These lamps can illuminate a large area of a construction site, so that in most cases the additional use of headlamps can be dispensed with. However, in shaded areas the additional use of headlamps can provide additional safety.
The classic mobile light source par excellence is the flashlight. Flashlights are available in a wide variety of models and power ratings. Thanks to modern light sources, they provide bright light and can illuminate large areas. The most powerful models offer almost daylight illumination. The disadvantage of the flashlight is that only one hand remains free.
If both hands are to be used for one job, a Storage option must be found for the flashlight. Some torches have a tripod thread, so they can also be mounted on tripods. Other models can be attached to the side of a bicycle helmet or helmet to mimic the effect of a headlamp.
If you find wearing a headlamp unpleasant or annoying, but don't want to do without its advantages, you can reach for a belt lamp. The light from a belt lamp is at the point where the belt buckle is otherwise located. A red reflector is often attached to the back of the belt to increase road safety.
Some belts have additional light strips on the sides. The battery is integrated in the belt and may also be a little heavier with a belt lamp, since the higher weight is not as negative as with a battery worn on the head. Belt lamps are particularly suitable for walking and hiking. Joggers can also use a belt lamp, if they get used to the slightly wriggling light of a belt lamp.
Continuing links and sources
Headlamps – Tips and advice
Brighten the night: Tips for the right headlamp
Questions and answers about LED light
Lumen and Watt
Tips Before Buying a Headlamp
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- XCSOURCE headlamp
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