Top 6 Things to Consider while Choosing the Best Headlamp
While pitching a tent at night or trail running at dusk, there can be nothing else as convenient as a headlamp that provides hands-free lighting. Nowadays headlamps use LEDs as their light source almost exclusively. LEDs are energy-efficient, long-lasting and robust.
Planning to buy a headlamp for your camping trips as you haven’t bought one yet? What should you consider? Headlamp reviews can be of a great help to find the best headlamp. Here are some more useful tips.
1. Beam Type
Flood (or Wide): Flood beam is useful for regular camping tasks, reading and up-close repair work. Flood beams typically don’t throw light for a very long distance.
Flood/Spot: Adjustable headlamps are all-purpose.
Spot (or Narrow or Focused): This is good for long-distance viewing. It’s the best choice to navigate a trail in the dark.
2. Light Output (Lumens)
Lumens are a unit of measuring the total amount of light emitted by a light source in all directions. Normally, a light having a high lumens count will use up more energy than that having a lower lumens number.
3. Beam Distance
The basic purpose of a headlamp is to channel light to a desired area. Headlamps are tested to find how far (in meters) they can throw usable light. Lumens show how brightly a headlamp will glow, whereas beam distance will show how far it will go.
4. Run Time
Run time is measured until a headlamp’s light source can no longer produce usable light at 2 meters.
Most headlamps, with batteries in them, weigh below 7 ounces and are of similar size. There is no noticeable difference between the size and weight of a headlamp until you begin checking some very high-powered models. Some feature external battery packs and top straps that add bulk. These types of models are designed for particular needs (e.g. climbing) and not routine adventures.
6. Brightness Levels/Modes
Most headlamps feature at least a low and a high mode. Others may offer 3 or even more modes.
- Flash (or Strobe) mode serves as an emergency blinker. Some models even offer a range of flash rates: fast and slow.
- Low is the standard mode meant for most tasks like walking on an easy trail at night or camp chores.
- Mid is featured on some models just to offer more choices to users.
- High (or Max) is a good choice for scenarios where you simply want or need more light.
- Zoom (or Boost) is featured on a very few models. It allows a super-intense beam to be thrown for a short period, i.e. around 10-20 seconds. This is a good feature when you are curious about a strange sound in nearby bushes. However, keep in mind that this mode causes high drain of batteries.
Consider these points and you will get your hands on the best headlamp for your camping adventures.