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HOW TO CHOOSE A LED HEADLIGHT

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EQUIPMENT by KRISS on 08 october 2015

HOW TO CHOOSE A LED HEADLIGHT Sometimes adventure takes you to places where you don’t necessarily have the luxury (or the burden) of city lights close to your home and bumping into the walls at night to go take a pee is not the funniest option.

Also, you might walk back from a nice sunset on the beach and if the moon is not at least half full or if the forest, jungle is dense, finding your way back home can have you struggle.

These are some of the cases when a headlight becomes a necessity (and also you might love reading a few pages of your favorite book before going to sleep without disturbing your neighbors).

Anyways for us, our next stop for a few months in Costa Rica has us choosing 5 headlamps this time.

Choosing the perfect headlight goes down to 5 key things:

The batteries

The longevity

The quality

The intensity

The price

Now if you are a professionnal cave explorer, you might already be equiped with state of the art headlamps that cost a leg and an arm but for the rest of us, the price can be one of the main concern, especially when you have to buy units for a large family like ours.

So we have tried lamps in the range of 10€ to 20€, the best value for money you can get.

As regards to the batteries, you need to find headlights that run on AA or AAA batteries because they will be easy to find and relatively cheap to buy wherever you are on the planet.
Also in that regards, you need to find a lamp that works with LED technology because your batteries will last an awful lot more than any other light.
A minimum of 50 lumens is advisable if the lamp is used outdoors to find your way back home for instance.

As often when we purchase equipment of any kind, we tend to look at professional brands that are known for the quality of their products and check for the entry products of their range.

We did that with 4 brands :

Energizer.
Varta.
Mammut.
Petzl.

Energizer and Varta did have headlights within our price range but the intensity of the light was either weak (below 30 lumens) or the batteries were odd CR2023 batteries that you are likely not to find in many places.
We thought these were not good value for money.

Mammut does quality headlamps but they are overpriced and we couldn’t find anything below 30-40€.

And then we found a series from Petzl, famous and reliable brand for climbing equipment.
The serie is called Tikkina and costs around 15€/unit.
The LED lamp works on 3 AAA batteries which is quite standard and should be already plenty of light to start with on the original batteries.
It is anounced at 80 lumens which is far more than all the other lamps we found in that price range.
We rely on the serious of the brand for the serious of the products and as a plus they come in different colors which will save us a few fights between the kids as to which lamp is whose !

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