- Adjustable Lighting Angles
- Up To 12,000 Lumens At Max Brightness
- Multiple Lighting Modes For Maximum Control
No matter what anyone says, a headlamp should be bright. The problem with those ultra-bright headlamps is generally the high price that comes with it. Generally, the brighter the headlamp, the higher the price. Someone must have forgotten to tell MOICO. The MOICO 7-LED Rechargeable Headlamp is absolutely one of the brightest headlamps on the market with a price tag that is more than reasonable. Additionally the multiple lighting modes as well as the various angles it offers make it the best headlamp for the average user.
For those looking for a value option, the EverBrite 2-Pack Headlamp(s) are perfect for you. They put out a good amount of light, one battery charge lasts quite a while, and most importantly they are a bargain. In fact, you get two for the price of one. If you don’t plan on using your headlamp on a regular basis or are just looking for something to let your kids wear on a camping trip, these are a great option.
With one of the longest-lasting warranties of the dozens of products we have looked at, the Cobiz Work LED Headlamp one is hard to pass up. It is feature-packed with more options than most other headlamps and while it may cost slightly more, it is worth every penny. The IPX4 water resistance rating and the overall great built quality really justify the higher price.
How We Picked
For the adventure, there is nothing quite as thrilling as being out in the dark … Until you hear something go BUMP and you cannot see it. Then the thrill changes into panic and fear.
Is it a bear?
Is it an intruder?
You stand as still as possible not knowing what is in the darkness. Only to find out later that it was nothing more than a skunk rummaging through some trash. You decide right then and there that you need a headlamp. Good choice!
If you have been searching for the best headlamp available right now, we have no doubt that you see hundreds that claim to be the best. They have plenty of marketing jargon and other fancy names/features to explain why they have the best product on the market. So how do you know which one is the best?
That is where we come in…
We have looked at hundreds of different headlamps and compared them using a set of parameters to help decide which one is truly the best. And, we were able to narrow it down to ten.
So, are you ready to see the ten best headlamps available on the market today?
#1 Cobiz Work LED Headlamp (LP006)
- Battery: Lithium-Ion
- Lumens: 6,000
- Weight: 13.6 Ounces
Anglers, hunters, campers all love the night sky. Everything seems different in the dark. And while there might be a different “atmosphere” when the lights are turned off, it can still make life a little more difficult when you cannot see what is in front of you. The Cobiz Work LED Headlamp is the perfect lighting accessory for any occasion. From work to play, it is built for business.
The Cobiz Work LED Headlamp is packed with power, blasting out a staggering 6,000 lumens of light from three LED bulbs. To control how bright the headlamp is, you have three options: low, medium, and high. In low, only the middle light is lit. In medium, the two outside lights work. And on high, all three lights work. Of course, you also have a strobe function which can help if you find yourself in an emergency.
As for fit, the headlamp is made to adjust to any head size. It has adjustment straps on the horizontal plane and the vertical plane, making sure that it does not move and/or fall off no matter what activity you are engaging in. Plus, the lights are adjustable up to 90-degrees, making it perfect under a work visor or hat. On the back, there is an added safety light that glows orange letting people see you even from behind.
A few other notable features of this headlamp include IPX4 water resistance, meaning you can use it even if it is raining. The batteries can be recharged without being removed using an easily accessible charging port. And finally, the light can be zoomed in/out to create a beam that is perfect for any situation. And if you need any more to make this one of our top picks, this comes with a three-year warranty from Cobiz.
What We Like
This is an extremely bright headlamp with plenty of adjustments and/or options. The multi-plane adjustments hold this in place under the heaviest of movements and the multi-mode lighting options give you the right amount of light every time.
If you are looking for one of the brightest headlamps on the market right now with a price that is not unholy, then look no further. Cobiz has built a headlamp for just about anyone. Even though the title claims it is a “work” headlamp, it can easily handle all your playtime too. If you find yourself in the dark a little more than you would like, get a Cobiz Work LED Headlamp and you will think it is daytime again.
#2 EverBrite CREE Rechargeable Headlamp
- Battery: Internal/Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
- Lumens: 300
- Weight: 6.2 Ounces
Looking for a durable, bright, ready-for-anything headlamp? A lot of the headlamps on the market cannot handle the stress of heavy-duty hikes and trail rides. But, EverBrite is looking to fix that with their CREE Rechargeable Headlamp. It is built to take some hits without blinking (unless you want it to).
Now, while this is not pumping out 6,000 lumens of “sunlight”, it is able to produce a respectable 300 lumens which is plenty for most applications, especially at night. While other headlamps have one to three light options, this one comes with TEN lighting options! Five for the front light and five for the rear safety light. And, it has a beam distance of 328 feet.
This headlamp has adjustments straps for the horizontal and vertical plane, just like most of the other headlamps on our list. However, the material is softer while pulling moisture away from your head. Once adjusted, it will not come off. The front light can be adjusted up to 45-degrees from center while the rear safety light can be fully detached. Even more, the light can withstand drops up to 3.28 feet without any problems.
Other notable features include IPX4 water resistance, washable headbands, removable rear safety light, impact resistance, red light for hunting, optic zoom, and a long battery life with USB charging capabilities. And to finish it up, this is covered by a one-year replacement warranty from EverBrite.
What We Like
Most headlamps are not built for abuse, but this headlamp from EverBrite is definitely able to take a few licks. With impact resistance up to 3.28 feet, it can handle the accidental drop or scrape. Having so many lighting options makes this one of the most versatile headlamps we have seen yet.
EverBrite is shaking up the headlamp industry with this one. If you like versatility, then you will love their CREE Rechargeable Headlamp. While it may not be the brightest, it will light up everything in front of you – up to 328 feet! That should be enough … right?
- Impact Resistant Up To 3.28 Feet
- One-Year Replacement Warranty
- Beam Distance Up To 328 Feet
- 10 Different Lighting Modes
#3 Bushnell H150L Rubicon Headlamp
- Battery: 3 x AA
- Lumens: 209
- Weight: 3.2 Ounces
Bushnell is well known for their optics, lenses, cameras, and hunting equipment. They have become a well-respected brand for quality and dependability in the hunting market. But now they are pushing into new territory. However, it is not really new territory as this could be used for hunting and tracking too. The H150L Rubicon Headlamp is ready to show you why it is a worthy competitor.
The H150L has a max brightness of 209 lumens when used in boost mode and a standard brightness of 173 lumens. Plus, there is a low-lumen mode that activates a red halo for enhanced night vision. So, you have three working light modes: low, high, and red halo. Maximizing the ability of the headlamp, you have two beam modes to work with: wide/flood or spot/focused.
In order to ensure a nice snug fit, the adjustable strap made from a slightly stretchable fabric wraps around the circumference of your head with just enough attention to still be comfortable. To ensure that the weight is distributed evenly, they have moved to the battery pack to the rear of the headlamp strap, making it easier to carry and/or remove as needed. While we are here, we need to address two things. One, there is no vertical strap to keep it from sinking on your head. Two, the light is not adjustable meaning you have to point it where you want it to shine.
Looking at some of the other features, we find out that this has a five-hour life expectancy, water resistance, impact resistance a lockout feature to prevent accidental powering, with high-quality optics from the Bushnell line, and a one-year limited warranty through Bushnell. And since it runs on AA batteries, it is easy to carry a few spares if you need to go longer than 12 hours.
What We Like
This is a lightweight headlamp with a significant amount of light for such a small package. The fact that it can run for up to 12 hours on a single set of batteries is just crazy. Plus, mounting the battery pack at the rear of the strap helps to balance out what little the weight there is.
It is hard to go wrong with a Bushnell product. They have been in the hunting and hiking market for years, creating products that people trust. The H150L Rubicon Headlamp is another example of their dedication to quality and dependability while still managing to keep the price comfortable.
#4 LETOUR COB Rechargeable Headlamp
- Battery: 3 x 18650 Lithium-Ion
- Lumens: 8,000
- Weight: 1.1 Pounds
For those who are looking for maximum light output and being distance, you cannot ignore this next headlamp from LETOUR. This is a massive headlamp that can blast out up to 8,000 lumens of blinding light. It is large, designed for open-air applications or use on the worksite at night/in dark rooms. It comes with two lighting modes of low and high with three color strobes of red, blue, or red+blue; this will cast light EVERYWHERE that is in front of you.
Keeping it on your head should not be a problem with the adjustable straps and padding that ensure a perfect/comfortable fit for hours. While it is designed to fit over a hard hat or, it can be worn without either too. The battery pack is stored at the rear of the headband, helping to balance out the weight of the front headlight. And, the battery pack even has a warning light to help people see you from behind.
Finishing this up, it comes with a zippered leather case that makes it perfect as a gift for your loved ones. Everything you need is packaged up nicely so you can take it with you wherever you go.
What We Like
If you want to light up EVERYTHING in front of you, then this headlamp should be next on your list. It is extremely bright with a wide beam cast. Amazingly, it can still last up to five hours when used at maximum light output.
LETOUR designed this headlamp to last longer than your next tour. There is no reason to go home just because the lights go out. Now, travel further and deeper than you ever have before with a headlamp that makes nighttime turn into daytime with the flick of a switch.
- Up To 8,000 Lumens At Max Brightness
- Lasts Up To 5 Hours When Set To Max Brightness
- Huge Beam Distance And Coverage
#5 MsForce LED Rechargeable Headlamp
- Battery: 2 x 18650 Lithium-Ion
- Lumens: 12,000
- Weight: 11.7 Ounces
If 8,000 lumens were not enough for you, we have you covered! Our next headlamp has an eye-searing 12,000 lumens – seriously! If you cannot see what is in front of you with this headlamp, you are blind. Amazingly, it still manages to work for up to eight hours of pumping out all this light. To control all this light, you have four lighting modes to choose from: low, medium, high, and strobe.
Keeping it affixed to your head is easy with the multi-plane adjustment straps attached to rubber mounting points. The battery pack is located at the rear of the headband which helps to balance out the weight of the five lights. It is water-resistant with an IPX45 rating and designed for small impacts too.
There is a safety light on the back to make sure that you are seen, even from behind. Plus, it comes with a one-year limited warranty so if it does stop working for any reason, you are good.
What We Like
Seriously, this is the absolute brightest light that we have seen on the market so far. And somehow, it still manages to last for up to eight hours on a single charge. Since it is rechargeable by USB port, you can use an external battery pack to keep it going even longer.
If you want a BRIGHT headlamp, then this is your only option. MsForce has created a 12,000-lumen beast that will light up the night sky as if the sun were out. While it may look a little bulky, you will quickly forget that as it weighs less than three-quarters of a pound.
- Up To 12,000 Lumens At Max Brightness
- Can Last Up To 8 Hours On A Single Charge
- Waterproof And Zoomable Lenses
#6 MOICO 7-LED Rechargeable Headlamp
- Battery: 2 x 18650 Lithium-Ion
- Lumens: 12,000
- Weight: 11.4 Ounces
We could not believe our eyes when we saw another 12,000-lumen headlamp. Of course, this is good for competition because it helps to keep the price down. MOICO is an extremely popular brand with plenty of happy customers.
This headlamp has a total of seven LEDs with any lighting modes to choose from. Plus, it even has a safety light built into the back to keep you safe from rear-advancing vehicles and/or people.
It is another multi-plane adjustment system that keeps the light affixed to your head no problems. Designed for all types of activities including running, cycling, camping, hiking, and more, assuredly you will see whatever is in front of you. It is waterproof and impact-resistant, meaning you do not have to worry about it if gets a little wet or bought. Plus, MOICO offers a two-year limited warranty just to give you a little extra peace of mind.
What We Like
This is another headlamp that absolutely outshines everyone else. With 12,000 lumens, you should be able to see your volts through your skin (not really; would be cool). Having the ability to adjust the light up to 90 degrees makes it perfect for almost any application.
If you want to go with a brand that is trusted and dependable, then you can not ignore MOICO and their 7-LED Headlamp. At 12,000 lumens, nighttime will turn into daytime whenever you want.
- Adjustable Lighting Angles
- Up To 12,000 Lumens At Max Brightness
- Multiple Lighting Modes For Maximum Control
#7 Energizer LED Rechargeable Headlamp
- Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
- Lumens: 400
- Weight: 2.4 Ounces
Everyone knows Energizer and the bunny that never stops. Now, you will get a chance to use a headlamp that will never stop. Built to cast over 400 lumens in the night, it will last for up to four hours on a single charge. Making sure that it has plenty of power, it is USB rechargeable which means you could use an external battery pack in an emergency.
Of course, you have the ability to adjust the light modes with a low, high, flood, and strobe option. The headband is stretchy and adjustable making it perfect for all types of activities including hiking in running.
The light is not adjustable meaning it will only shine wherever you look. It is IPX4 rated (water-resistant) and impact-proof for up to one meter. Of course, this is protected by a one-year limited warranty through Energizer so you will be good if it stops working for some unforeseen reason.
What We Like
First off, it is from Energizer which is an extremely trustworthy brand. Next, it is exceptionally light at only 2.4 ounces. And finally, it puts out a lot of light for such a small headlamp.
The Energizer bunny never stops, proving the durability of the Energizer brand. This is a brand that has been around for quite a while. This simple, yet durable, headlamp is a little pricey when compared to some of the other options on our list, but it will probably outlast all the others in the long run.
- 400 Lumen Output
- Stretchy Headband For Perfect Fit
- 4 Hour Battery Life With Built-In, Rechargeable Battery
#8 Vekkia CREE LED Headlamp
- Battery: 3 x AAA
- Lumens: 160
- Weight: 1.6 Ounces
When it comes to headlamps, longer-lasting ones tend to weigh a lot. But, the Vekkia Headlamp is bucking trends with a headlamp that weighs less than two ounces while still lasting up to 30 hours.
They managed to pack in three LEDs: one large white LED and two smaller red LEDs. The white LED is used for visibility over long distances which is perfect for running and hiking. The red LEDs are used to enhance your night vision without making you known to predators (i.e. animals). There are five different lighting modes to choose from:
- Full Light w/White LED
- Low Light w/White LED
- Strobe w/White LED
- Full Light w/Red LED
- Strobe w/Red LED
Keeping this in one place should not be difficult with the adjustable, stretchable headband. Plus, the light can be adjusted up to 45 degrees making it easy to see what is directly in front of you rather than what is down the road which is perfect for running and/or hiking. Built to use three AAA batteries, it is surprising that it can last for up to 30 hours. And while this is a “new” brand, they have a kind of positive reviews and a solid, one-year limited warranty.
What We Like
This is a no-fuss, grab-and-go headlamp. Weighing less than two ounces, will probably never even notice it while you are out (unless the battery dies for some reason). Having the ability to adjust the light up to 45 degrees makes it easy to see what is in front of your feet rather than what is down the road.
Even though Vekkia is not a well-known brand like Energizer or Bushnell, they have still managed to create a competitive headlamp at a price point that is hard to ignore. The headlamp is water-resistant and impact-resistant while managing to put out a respectable 160 lumens. While it is not our budget pick, it is a close second.
#9 EverBrite 2-Pack Headlamp
- Battery: AAA-Carbon
- Lumens: 30
- Weight: 6.4 Ounces
For those who want a headlamp that will be there for them forever, this might be the one for you. In fact, you get two when you purchase one – now that is a deal! EverBrite has created a headlamp that will live up to their name and there is no doubt it will probably live longer than you.
The EverBrite 2-Pack Headlamp is equipped with eight LEDs that emit a small amount of light. The total output, when used on high, is 30 lumens. While this might not seem like much, in the dark of night, this is sufficient. In fact, you have four lighting modes in total: low, medium, high, and strobe. Here are the light output specs for each mode:
- Low: 7.5 lumens (2 LEDs)
- Medium: 15 lumens (4 LEDs)
- High: 30 lumens (8 LEDs)
- Strobe: 30 lumens (8 LEDs)
As for uses, this is designed for runners, hikers, fishers, campers, cyclers, night safety, and DIYers. To ensure a snug fit, it comes with adjustments on the horizontal and vertical plane. As such, it will not slip off during your nightly jog or a rain-soaked hiking adventure. Of course, it has a light spread of approximately 20 feet, so you might not want to run too fast or you will outrun the light. The light can swivel up/down up to 90-degrees, giving you plenty of control with where it is pointing.
If the power runs out, all you have to do is swap out the AAA-Carbon batteries and you are back and going, though we doubt you will ever wear these out. After doing some calculations, you could leave this running for 24 hours a day all year long and you would end up dying after 11.5 years! To wrap it all up, this comes with a one-year replacement warranty in case it does quit working for some unforeseen reason.
What We Like
So, this is not the brightest option on our list, but it is one of the longest lasting on our list. With more than 100,000 hours of use on a single set of batteries, there is a good chance you will die before the headlamp does. The low-output light is still enough for most applications, though we wish they would have doubled the light output and halved the battery life.
EverBrite made sure that they had a headlamp that would last “forever”. With 100,000 hours of operational life, these two headlamps are sure to become your new best friend at night. And while the light output is low, it works effectively within a 20-foot radius. So, if you want a budget-friendly pair of headlamps, you cannot pass up this amazing deal from EverBrite.
#10 Cobiz 1-LED Durable Headlamp (LP014)
- Battery: Lithium-Ion
- Lumens: 6,000
- Weight: 12.0 Ounces
At times, you just want a headlamp that will last longer than your night out. Unfortunately, most headlamps fizzle out after a few hours. From small batteries to ultra-bright LEDs, they just cannot keep up with you. But, Cobiz has you covered. Their 1-LED Durable Headlamp is built to last, and last, and last … for up to eight hours on a single charge.
While it might not have three, five, or seven LEDs in it, it can light up the night sky. Amazingly, this is another 6,000-lumen offering from Cobiz, but while only using one LED. To keep everything visible, it comes with three lighting modes: low, high, and strobe. Low would be good for close up work, high would be good for outdoor navigation/running, and strobe would be good for emergencies and scaring away intruders.
The LP014 comes with multiple straps to custom fit the headlamp to you, no matter how big or small your head might be. It has one strap that wraps around the horizontal plane of your head while the other connects from the front to the back. This level of adjustability ensures that the headlamp will not slip out accidentally, even if you are sweating severely from your last night run. The LED is adjustable up/down up to 90-degrees, allowing you to fit it under a hat, helmet, or visor without any issues.
Of course, it still has more to offer with a rear safety light built-in, an easily accessible on/off/mode switch on the side of the light, an IPX4 water-resistant rating, and a USB charging port for easy charging no matter where you are. And if that was not enough, it comes with a three-year warranty from Cobiz.
What We Like
Even though this is not a multi-light setup like some of the others on our list, it still manages to pump out a staggering amount of light. The low/high adjustments make it easy to adjust to up-close/far away environments without being overpowering. But what makes us love this is the fact that it will last for up to eight hours on a single charge.
Cobiz has proven themselves as one of the best when it comes to headlamps. If you work in dark and dusty places, take a few night runs, hike when the lights go out, fish when nobody is around, or anything else you can think of in the dark, this LP014 will be there for you. With up to eight hours of usable time, you might run out of energy first.
- Three-Year Warranty
- Lightweight And Fully Adjustable
- Battery Lasts Up To Eight Hours On A Single Charge
Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best Headlamp
Knowing what to look for in a headlamp can be quite confusing. There are hundreds of options on the market today, with “unmatchable” features. Marketing departments work overtime to convince you that they have the best product in the world. However, our buyer’s guide will help you look beyond all the marketing jargon and focus only on what truly matters.
One of the first factors that should be considered when looking for a new headlamp is the beam type/types. When looking at headlamps, there are two primary beam types: wide and narrow.
Most headlamps only offer one type of beam to help keep costs down. The being type will determine how much area is lit in front of you. Depending on your situation, you may want a wide beam so that you can see what is around you or you may want a narrow beam to focus in on what is in front of you.
If possible, you truly want to find a headlamp that offers multiple beam configurations. Generally speaking, these will be more expensive. However, these are the best as they give you more configurations to work with and lighting options for those “unprepared” moments.
The next factor that you should consider when looking for a new headlamp is the beam distance. The point of a headlamp is to light up the area in front of you enough that you can see where you are going and what is possible in front (i.e. intruders, predators, etc.).
A good headlamp should cover a minimum distance of 250 feet in front of you. Of course, this can be affected by the beam type which we discussed previously. Narrow beams will be able to cover this distance with less effort when compared to a wide beam.
One thing to remember is that your application will determine how much being distance you truly need. If you are fishing at night, a being that shines over 250 feet will probably be too much. However, if you are hiking in the woods at night, 250 feet is just a good start; understand and plan for your application.
Next, beam type and beam distance are greatly affected by the lumen output of the headlamp. A lumen is a measure of light output where one lumen is equivalent to one candle. The higher the lumen count, the brighter the light will be.
Why this matters?
Again, if you are hiking at night, a 1000-lumen headlamp will not be as effective as a 6000-lumen headlamp. While both may have a beam distance of 500 feet, the 6000-lumen headlamp will give you better visibility. However, it should be noted that you can have too much light which could cause a form of blindness where you cannot distinguish what is in front of you due to washout.
Most headlamps are used in situations where the weather might be a little unpredictable. For instance, headlamps are used for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and even working on vehicles. A headlamp needs to be able to withstand small rainstorms without any issues while also being able to last if dropped into a pool of water (i.e. it falls off, you take an unexpected swim, etc.).
Next, you need to pay attention to the power source for your headlamp. Some headlamps are powered by internal, rechargeable batteries; these are generally the longest-lasting and most dependable. However, most are powered by rechargeable batteries that can be replaced as needed. In most cases, they are either AA or AAA batteries; some will use a smaller CR123A lithium-ion battery.
The brightest light output generally comes from high output batteries such as lithium-ion. There are other power sources such as alkaline and nickel-cadmium, but they do not tend to last as long or put out as much power/light.
If possible, look for headlamps with internal lithium-ion batteries. If you cannot find a headlamp with this option that works for you, then find one that works with lithium-ion batteries. Again, these are the most efficient and effective.
Battery life is affected by several factors. Primarily, battery life is affected by the light output and the battery type. Alkaline nickel-cadmium batteries will not last nearly as long as lithium-ion batteries.
For the most part, you want a headlamp that can last at least four hours. However, this is where having a removable battery helps. If your headlamp runs out of power, all you have to do is replace the batteries and keep them; internal batteries can be replaced. If you think you might need more power, find a headlamp that can provide enough light for your planned activities.
We have already talked about beam type (i.e. wide or narrow), but there is more to it than just that. Operational mode covers other modes like a flood, spotlight, SOS, greenlight, redlight, strobe, and more.
Having the ability to adjust your operational mode gives you more flexibility while you are out. You never know when you might need the SOS feature. Being able to enable this would make it much easier to be found by searchers, even if you were passed out (i.e. fall, dehydration, etc.).
For the most part, headlamps are rather affordable, especially for what they do. However, there is a wide range of prices from as low as $10 to as high as $200.
There are many factors that affect the price. Brand (which we will discuss momentarily), materials, durability, warranty, light output, operational modes, and more all factor into the final price. Most of the headlamps on our list will fall between $15 and $100.
Even so, consider your needs and application. You may find out that you do not need all the “extras” which can help keep the price down considerably. However, you may find out that you need more than what you expected, which could raise the price considerably.
Now, we are not saying to become a “bandwagon brand follower” just because everyone else has to have a “certain brand” does not mean it is the best brand, just that it is a popular brand. Of course, popular brands do tend to have fairly high-quality products with a high price tag to boot.
Long-lasting brands tend to use high-quality materials that make them worth their price. Brands that have not been around long generally try to cut corners in order to save money and be competitive (i.e. lower priced). Long-lasting brands also have trustworthy warranties that cover you in the event that their equipment breaks.
And finally, it is important to look at the reviews of any product you are considering. In most cases, a customer review will highlight any potential negatives quickly. Most people tend to leave negative reviews, making it easy to see if a headlamp is suffering from a chronic issue or possibly just a one-time issue. However, you should also pay attention to all the good reviews as these tend to highlight where people were beyond impressed.
Marketing departments do their best to keep you focused on their product without ever looking elsewhere. We want you to look at everything, including customer reviews. Our goal is to help you find the best headlamp for you. And that is exactly why we have provided this buyer’s guide.
Frequently Asked Questions About Headlamps
We have scoured the Internet looking for the most commonly asked questions concerning headlamps. These kept coming up on our scans, so we decided we would answer them for you. Hopefully, this will answer your questions (if you have any). If not, please let us know so that we can answer your question as well as any of our future visitors.
Q: How many lumens do I need?
A: So, this is a highly subjective subject and constantly argue about. Some people will say that a range of 200 to 400 lumens is good for others will say you cannot have enough. In short distances and/or proximities, a range of 200 400 lumens is more than enough. However, 200 to 400 lumens would not be good for long-range applications as it would not give enough light to adequately cover distances.
Please understand that lumens do not represent the quality of the light but rather the brightness of the light. The beam pattern will affect the quality of the light more than the lumen output.
At the most basic level, we would suggest that you look for a headlamp with a minimum of 200 lumens. During that day, 200 lumens would almost be ineffective, but at night it would be almost blinding to another person (i.e. attacker, intruder). Of course, you could just get the brightest one on the market and cover all your bases too.
Q: How much light will a headlamp put out?
A: So, this is affected by more than just the brightness of the headlamp. Of course, the brighter the headlamp, the better it should perform. However, this can also be affected by the operational mode and/or beam type.
If the beam is set to a narrow field of view, then a lower lumen output will still work well. But, a wide field of view with a low lumen output would not work very well at all. While the area in front of you might be “lit up”, it would not be easy to distinguish what is in front of you easily.
At the minimum, you want a headlamp that can at least light up an area of 25 feet in front of you.
Q: How far will a headlamp work?
A: Again, this is affected by more than just the brightness of the headlamp. Of course, the brighter the light output is, the further it should technically be able to go. But this is affected by the beam type and the optics/zoom. Another aspect that can affect lighting distance is the mode that is being used.
With all, a good distance to start at would be a minimum of 25 feet. However, some can easily be used to light up areas more than 100 to 200 feet away with the right zoom and/or beam selection.
Q: Do headlamps get hot?
A: In the past, headlamps did get hot. They used older lights/lamps that produced tons of heat. The light output was not nearly as effective, and they wore batteries down faster. However, newer headlamps now use LEDs in the place of these older lights/lamps. While LEDs still put off heat, it is almost unnoticeable when worn.
The older headlamps would have to be taken off and/or turned off in order to be used continuously due to excess heat. Newer headlamps like the ones on our list do not have to be taken off in order to use continuously.
Q: How long will a headlamp work?
A: So, this is another one of those “it depends” situations…
Depending on the battery type used (i.e. Alkaline, Nickel-Cadmium, Lithium-Ion), your battery life can be affected tremendously. Lithium-ion is the most dependable and longest-lasting battery on the market right now with alkaline being the least dependable and having the shortest expectancy.
If you are using your headlamp at full brightness/power, your battery life will be shortened tremendously. Under normal operating conditions, you should expect at least four hours of continuous use from your headlamp. Some headlamps can operate for more than eight hours on a single charge (even at full power).
If your headlamp uses removable batteries, make sure to carry a few spares just in case the battery does not last as long as you would need.
Q: Are headlamps waterproof?
A: Most headlamps are considered water-resistant with some carrying waterproof ratings too. For the most part, headlamps are not designed for swimming, but they can handle the occasional rainstorm. If you drop yours in water momentarily, it will probably still work. If you expect a lot of water contact, then you should look for a headlamp with a true waterproof rating.
Q: How heavy are headlamps?
A: Most headlamps are light, weighing under two pounds. Of course, the weight only becomes a factor if you intend to wear it for a LONG time. Some headlamps weigh less than one-half of a pound.
Q: Why do headlamps use LED lights?
A: Lighting manufacturers have found out that LED lights are more effective and efficient than the older style lights/lamps. They are able to put out as much light (or more) while using less power than their predecessors. Plus, they do not generate nearly as much heat as their predecessors did. And finally, LEDs are less expensive and easier to install, making it more cost-efficient for them and for you.
As you can see, there are plenty of great options on the market for you to choose from. If you did not notice, we covered a wide array of headlamps styles and designs. When looking at all the different models, we considered different uses and scenarios. You are unique, and so are your needs. Hopefully, we were able to show you a headlamp that met all your unique needs.
To help you understand how we compared each of these models, we included a buyer’s guide that highlighted the most important features and factors regarding headlamps. If you had a question while reading through this buyer’s guide or our list, then the frequently asked questions section should have helped. If it did not, send us your questions so that we can help you and all our future visitors as well.
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