Are you looking for a new headlamp but are confused which is the right light for you?

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Are you looking for a new headlamp but are confused which is the right light for you?

Here’s a list of the key factors you should consider when choosing a headlamp:

  • What is it going to cost you, to run the light?

Battery life is the duration of usable light per set of batteries. These days, most manufactures are able to produce high output lights. However there are very few who can provide high output AND give you a long burn time from each set of batteries. The outputs of many lights in the market have a very steep output curve – they are bright for  only a short period before dimming to low levels.

Example:  the table below shows 3 lights that are on the market and lists the stats provided on the packaging. While all 3 units have similar lumen outputs, the last 3 columns show how dramatically different are the costs incurred when running each of the lights. While the Spot will use about 18 batteries for 100 hours of burn time – one of the others uses 150 batteries!

Not only will that hit the user in the pocket – but it has a massively greater impact on the environment!

Hint: compare the burn times of different lights before buying and work out the batteries consumed per 100 hours of light.

  • How bright does the light really have to be?

In general – the brighter the light, the more you will pay; so you need to decide what you will be using the light for. No point buying a very powerful light if you are only going to braai, read or walk around the camp site. Running and hiking at night will require a stronger output while bike riding and mountaineering / rescue activities will demand the best output you can find.

Lumens gives a good indication how much light is provided at the source of the LED. However that does not determine how effectively the light is captured & used. The quality and design of the lens is very important in determining how far the light will shine. Equally, while a well-focused lens may require a relatively small amount of light to achieve a good beam, the tight beam that results may not suit your purpose.

Many running lights are designed to give a broad wash of light, but will not throw the beam that far.

Hint : consider what the light is designed for, compare the Lumens AND the beam throw.

  • What battery configuration will suit you best?

If your primary use of your light is for running after work, the USB rechargeable configurations will probably suit you best as you can use it over and over without having to go and buy batteries. This is also the more eco-friendly option. If however, you like to take the occasional trip into the mountains where there is no access to re-charge power; you may want to buy a unit like the Black Diamond Revolt which can operate on re-chargables or regular batteries. Yet again – your requirements may be brighter output & more flexibility – so you may choose to opt for a regular battery configuration & carry spare batteries with you

  • What brightness configurations do you need?

Do you want flexibility; or do you prefer to just choose one option and stick with it? Lights generally come in two primary options: 2 or 3 brightness settings (low, medium, and high) or dimming as required providing the user complete control for the brightness intensity that you require. The Black Diamond PowerTap option give a bit of both – you can use the dimming function to set the output suitable for your activity; but if you happen to need immediate extra light, you can tap the side of the light to pump it up to 100%; then tap it again to restore it to the previous setting.

  • Button lockout function – prevents the headlamp accidently switch on whilst storing the headlamp and run the batteries flat
  • Water/dust proof – how water proof is the headlamp:

IPX4 – splash proof including driving rain

IPX7 – waterproof, submersible down to 1m for 30minutes

IPX8 – waterproof for multiple submersions to 1m plus for 30 minute.

(Water could enter the battery compartment but will not affect the performance of the headlamp, however, ensure that the battery compartment is dried correctly before storing, if not, water can cause battery leakage which could damage your headlamp and is a user error not warrantee issue.)

IP67 – dust resistant and waterproof to the same standard as IPX7

Black Diamond continuously redesigns and improves their already market leading headlamps, and the current range is no exception.

Black Diamond’s new updated models for 2017:

  • The Icon is for the person who requires the ultimate in performance.

2017 increases the lumen output to an impressive 500 Lumens. It includes Black Diamond’s unique PowerTap technology providing total control – from your predetermined brightness to 100% output with a simple tap on the headlamp housing, tap again to return to your predetermined brightness again. It offers green, blue and red LED’s to maximise your night vision. The unit includes a power extension cable that provides the flexibility of detaching the battery pack to store the battery inside you jacket to increase battery performance in cold climate or placing your battery pack in your pack/hydration pack to reduce weight from the head strap. IP67 dust and waterproofness. Powered by 4AA batteries. A rechargeable battery pack is an optional extra.

  • The Storm – a high performance headlamp ideally suited for high altitude, cold and foul weather conditions.

The Storm offers a blinding 350 lumen output, including PowerTap technology. Red, green and blue LED’s for improved night vision/map reading etc. The internal heat sink increases the performance in low temperature conditions and a clever lock secures the battery compartment from any moisture allowing the 4 AAA batteries to provide excellent run time and IP67 dust and waterproofness.

  • The ReVolt is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast that requires rechargeable power and still needs the backup option to insert regular batteries if the expedition extends beyond your charging opportunities.

Convenient USB recharging port eliminates the hassle of removing the lithium batteries before charging. 300 lumens power including diming and PowerTap technology, programmable brightness setting memorises the last brightness setting before you last switched it off, red led night vision.

  • The new Iota was launched in February 2017 for the urban adventure requiring a fast easy to use rechargeable headlamp. It is the smallest lightest rechargeable headlamp Black Diamond has manufactured weighing only 56g. The 150 lumen light is projected in an oval pattern providing great distance without compromising your ability to navigate the immediate obstacles. Includes full dimming and PowerTap functions as well as an emergency strobe if you are stranded in the koppies. The lithium battery will power the Iota for 2 to 40 hours depending on your brightness requirements. Charging is via an easy to use fast charging USB power cable directly into the headlamp, charger included. The Iota can be charged via powerbanks, solar, or plug in vehicle/home power. IPX4 water resistance.

The new Black Diamond headlamp updated products complement the existing high performance Black Diamond headlamps in 2017.

The trusted Spot (200 lumens) is iconic, Cosmo (160 lumens) never say die weekend warrior and the compact reliable Ion (100 lumens) is ideal compact headlamp for emergency backup (inside your chalk bag or jacket pocket)

Click here to view the full Range

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