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Buy a LED Headlamp Online - Petzl, Black Diamond, Princeton Tec

Updated on August 15, 2009
A typical LED headlamp
A typical LED headlamp

Headlamps - One of the most valuable tools on any outdoor trip

 Any outdoor trip that involves an overnight stay needs a reliable light source. Headlamps provide hands-free illumination centred on your field of vision. The previous problem that greatly limited their use - poor battery life - has been solved by LED lights.

LEDs provide light with minimal energy wasted through the production of heat. Halogen bulbs previous used in headlamps quickly drained any power source. Modern LED headlamps can offer 150 hours of illumination from 3 AAA batteries.

Other innovations in LED headlamps also increase efficiency. Many now come with multiple output settings to cover everything from close up reading to the higher levels of light required for hiking at night. Emergency strobe functions are also becoming more popular and some have a  red filter that makes the light invisible to most game animals.

As these headlamps are so practical and efficient, the question is not "Do I need one?" it is "Which one should I buy?"

The best Headlamp for you

 First you need to determine what your lighting requirements are. For general hiking and camping use, reading and moving around camp, a basic 4 LED headlamp will meet all of your needs and not cost a fortune.

At the other end of the scale is the Expedition style headlamp that is weather and water proof and has numerous power settings to avoid overuse. They often have more batteries for longer life and due to this extra weight the battery pack is separated from the headlamp device and held on the belt.

Here are some of the most popular on the market...

Economical all round Headlamp

 The Petzl Tikka Plus 4 LED Headlamp is a great lightsource for general camping and hiking. Its feature include:

  • 4 Light settings : High, Medium, Low and Strobe
  • Water resistant casing and adjustable headband
  • Lightweight - only 2.75 ounces including batteries
  • 3 year warranty

It runs off 3 x AAA batteries and has a life of up to 150 hours. Unless you are heading off on a really long trip through tough weather and conditions, this headlamp should be more than enough.

Great Combination at a reasonable price

The Black Diamond Cosmo

 This offering by the famous Outdoor equipment company is another contender in the all rounder category. It comes with a half Watt LED combined with 2 super bright LEDs. This gives a choice of 8 different settings. The 0.5 Watt LED produces a beam to 38 metres while the 2 super bright offer a range of 15 metres.

This useful feature combines a campsite headlamp with one suitable for the trail.

The battery life of the 3 x AAAs is between 120hrs and 140 hrs.

Princeton Tec's Economical offering

Princeton Tec Quad 4 LED

 This is the lightest headlamp in Princeton Tec's range but it does not lack sophistication. With 4 LEDs packed into a casing waterproof up to 1m, this headlamp can run off either alkaline or lithium batteries, again in a 3 x AAA format.

It has a wide beam to aid peripheral vision around camp yet is still bright enough to light the trail if you are late setting up camp. Battery life is competitive at 110 hours.

Serious Equipment

The Princeton Tec Apex Pro is a fully featured headlamp designed for big adventures.

Featuring a 3 watt LED combined with 4 Ultrabright LEDs it provides both long range and close quarters light through 4 settings. It is both shock proof and waterproof to 1m and its Lithium batteries can survive 150 hours.

As a flagship product, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Winning Outside Magazines Gear of the Year Headlamp category in 2007,this headlamp can probably deal with more challenges than you.

Petzl's top offering

 For the headlamp that does everything, look no further than Petzl's Duobelt LED 5. Combining a traditional halogen bulb with modern LED technology, it can cast a beam up to 100m. This hybrid is waterproof to 5 metres and the belt battery pack reduces weight on the head while increasing battery light.

The halogen lamp has a burn time of 11.5 hours while the LED option keeps going for an impressive 350 hours.

This is a very serious bit of equipment and if this headlamp can't handle a situation, nothing will.

LED Headlamps - Don't leave home without one

 I am yet to meet someone who has not been extremely happy with their LED headlamp. Have a think of the features you are after and you will be sure to find something reliable to fit your budget. A headlamp needs to be right at the top of the list when it comes to packing for your big trip.

Happy hunting.

Video review of the Princeton Tec Quad


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    • albc profile image

      albc 7 years ago

      no less than cool gadget!