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Good LED headlamp for night hunting, or whatever?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by rcmodel, Mar 16, 2016.

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  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I find myself in need of a better LED headlamp.
    Inexpensive, but better then what I have now.

    I have a cheap Eveready now.
    But, the 'bug-eye' twin lens reflect badly off my glasses and make it difficult to see down while walking.
    I have it taped up on the bottom with black tape to cut the glair.
    (Pretty Bubba Engineering, and it cut down the light spread though.)

    image.jpg

    I'm looking for a reasonably priced good headlamp that will work with glasses.

    I think I have narrowed it down to the Coast HL7, and the Streamlight Sceptor.

    Anyone have experience with either??

    http://www.amazon.com/Coast-HL7-Focusing-Lumen-Headlamp/dp/B005NXPW5W

    http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-61052-Septor-Headlamp-Strap/dp/B00064YL7S

    Thanks!
    Rc
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  2. FastCut

    FastCut Member

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    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UAJ1W4E/ref=s9_al_bw_g468_i5

    No experience with either of those but my son and I both use this one and like it for hunting, working in the attic, and underneath the car. I owned mine for at several years and has always worked well. I just read some reviews and it sounds like the Tikka I have might be a better vintage. Most comments seem negative about the brand as of late.
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If you wear glasses you will always have glare from a flood style headlamp unless you mount it high on your head.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well, not so sure a better reflector design then the one I have wouldn't help an awful lot.

    I have a Streamlight Microstream with a cap bill clip and there is no glare on my glasses from it at all.

    But, it's really not adjustable to look down, or up without tilting your whole head up & down.

    I was thinking one of the two I linked with the recessed lens would put out less glare on my glasses frames then the 'Bug eyed Frog Eye' one I have now??

    Seems like it would anyway??

    rc
     
  5. another pake

    another pake Member

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    Headlamp technology? seems to change more often than you'd think possible. A light is a light, right? With the advent of LEDs everyone is in the game and you can buy them everywhere. But there is a difference.

    I buy a lot of headlamps cuz I've got 17 grandkids and they lose them. :(
    For the kids I buy cheap. For me I buy good and I don't let the others know where I keep it. ;)

    I wouldn't trade my 4yr old Petzl Tikka for anything I've seen recently BUT, I am certain that you can get one to suit you. As you've guessed, there is a difference in lenses. IMO raw LEDs are horrible for you and anyone else around you. A lens can soften and diffuse that considerably. And for my money a red function behind a good lens is mandatory because it doesn't destroy your night vision if that is important to you whether for stargazing or finding your way through the woods.

    Were I in need of a new lamp today I would make a dedicated trip to an outdoor retailer such as Cabelas, Midwest Mountaineering, Scheels or some such and try them out. Everyone has their favorite it seems but the models are intentionally obsoleted every season so my current model isn't available I'm sure.

    A well designed headlamp works with glasses without glare.
     
  6. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    That's because the light is out in front of your glasses and not behind them where it can reflect off the back side of your glasses back into your eyes.

    Look for something that mimics your electrical tape fix and sticks out from your forehead past your glasses.
     
  7. Tac. Gunner

    Tac. Gunner Member

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Tac. Gunner

    Your link doesn't work for me.

    I'd like to read it though.

    Thanks!

    rc
     
  9. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I have a few of the Streamlight Septors - well pleased with them.

    I wear glasses and have no problem with reflections - if you wear a hat, you can wear it over the hat. I use one of mine for yard work after dark - the multiple light outputs are nice, and really save batteries (I use rechargeable Eneloops).

    Due to the construction / weight, the extra band across the top of your head is a must.

    My first headlamp was the Streamlight Argo C4, but I much prefer the Septor.

    I see they now have the ProTac HL which is quite a bit more $$$$, puts out more light, but uses 2 CR123's.

    I prefer CR123's for my tactical lights / optics, but for steady / long use like yard work, I prefer using rechargeables in the Septor.
     
  10. macgrumpy

    macgrumpy Member

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    I've used a Princeton Tec Apex for several years and really love it. I live in the mountains of Montana and it works really well in the forest and open spaces. Battery life is great and I can change from low to high intensity.
    Apex-hero1.jpg
     
  11. Tac. Gunner

    Tac. Gunner Member

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    Link is fixed! I'm not used to how the insert link works here, on the CPF you can just copy and paste.
     
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I am a big fan of the NiteCore Cree XM-L2 HC50 565 Lumens Headlamp. It runs on 2 CR123s or 1 18650 rechargeable battery. I use the latter. It has low red lights or white light at 4 or 5 levels of brightness.

    I use the red lights in the stand, usually when I have dropped something, LOL. I use the red lights or low setting white light for walking. I use the medium setting for skinning/butchering and putting away gear. I use the high setting for searching for downed hogs.
     
  13. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    With so many quality LED lights running on AA's now, it's much better to go with one of those over CR123's. 123's are expensive, less commonly found, and are slowly falling by the wayside. I WISH i could magically convert all my 123 lights to AA.
    AA lithiums or Eneloop rechargables are hard to beat.
     
  14. Tac. Gunner

    Tac. Gunner Member

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    Didn't think about it until ML-DOT mentioned. It's best to run AA lights on either lithium primaries or eneloop rechargeables. You will get the best runtimes and outputs with those and you don't have to worry about alkaline batteries leaking.

    What are your intended uses and distances? How big of an area do you want to light up?
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Just general all-around use.

    I doubt I need a 400 lumen model.

    Just something that doesn't glare off my glasses like the cheap on I have now.

    rc
     
  16. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Falling by the wayside? I dunno about that.

    Personally, I prefer CR123 for anything used intermittently - I went with AAA rechargeables on my Streamlight Septor headlight as it sees a lot of continuous use, so rechargeables are probably the most economical.

    Reasons I prefer CR123's for intermittent use devices:
    1. They have been increasingly available in my area over the last few years (buy in the flashlight / hardware section - NOT the photography sections).
    2. More power in a more compact package.
    3. When you compare apples to apples (lithium to lithium), I can buy CR123's cheaper than I can buy Energizer Ultimate Lithiums, although I do buy in bulk / group buys over the 'Net.

    Folks that tout AA's as being cheaper are rarely comparing lithium AA's to CR123's - they're usually talking alkaline AA's.

    I'm putting nothing but lithiums in my high priced toys (sights, tactical lights, etc.) as they're supposed to be less prone to leakage and temperature extremes.
    AA's go in my headlight, various remotes around the house, clocks, etc.
     
  17. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    My biggest consideration is the switch, I always carry spares but many times I've either found my light on or the battery dead from being turned on while in my fanny pack.
     
  18. Tac. Gunner

    Tac. Gunner Member

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    While basicblur does makes some good points for CR123A cells, I have to say if you use Eneloop rechargeable AAs you don't give up much performance compared to a CR123A and have an even lower operating cost. They don't have quite the extreme operating temp range as a lithium primary cell but it is still sufficient for the average person. Eneloops are the best AA and AAA rechargeable batteries on the market and are well worth the money. They last for years, hold a great charge, don't leak like alkaline and can handle a higher current draw than an alkaline cell. A pack of those plus a Nitecore D4 charger and you will be set. I have about 30 of the AAs and 15 of the AAAs as well as that charger and they are great. I use them in all my flashlights.

    As for the headlamp, I would definitely take a look at the HL35 I recommended above. While I have no experience with the Streamlight, I did have the same Coast headlamp for a couple of years. The Coast isn't horrible and it served it's purpose but there are several improvements that could be made. My two biggest issues with it was the lack of runtime and the output adjustment. It is a direct drive light which means the output is based on the battery voltage. As the battery depletes the light dims. On the highest setting it would run about 30 minutes before it started to dim. The output adjustment is very easy to bump and change. There were many times I would be laying underneath a truck and when I moved my head it would change outputs, I always having to fiddle with it to get the correct setting. The flood to zoom feature is nice but it's all or nothing. You either have a focused hotspot and no spill (the floody beam around the hotspot) or all flood with no hotspot and a range of 25 feet. If you tried to set it in the middle you ended up with a very ringy beam that wasn't very useful. I ended up giving it to my dad after I got my Fenix.

    Based on using both the Fenix and Coast side by side I can say the Fenix is hands down a better ligjt. It does cost a bit more but the increased performance is worth it IMO. The HL35 is a solid built light that doesn't feel cheap (it's a solid chunk of aluminum), it has great runtimes (at least 3 hours on the 30 lumen mode and 2 or 3 on the 200 lumen mode before I change batteries), it is very simple to use, lightweight (I wear it 3 to 4 hours at a time and forget it's there), stays in place really well (the coast always seemed to move around no matter how it was adjusted), neutral tint (shows colors better than a cool white or blue tint which will wash colors out, the Coast has a blueish tint), and the beam is a good mix of throw and flood. I have been using my HL35 extensively over the past two weeks while remodeling and it has proved invaluable. Anything from close up electrical work to lighting up an attic, to work in the yard the light has filled every need. I have used the headlamp with both clear and tinted safety glasses and never experienced any glare.

    And if you want something even simpler the Fenix HL23 is a single AA headlamp with fewer modes and no red outputs.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
    That is the headlamp compared to my Eagletac D25A2, also highly recommended.

    received_1126550660712554-800x600_zpsncpv1e1s.jpg

    received_1126550670712553-800x600_zpsfcwrwyfb.jpg
     
  19. JohnhenrySTL

    JohnhenrySTL Member

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    I don't much about lights, so I loosely throw this idea out there. My lights I buy from bicycle shops never glare off my glasses and last for years and years. As opposed to the cheap generic products often found nowadays at the chain stores, much of my bike shop stuff carries into my outdoor life and promotes success and comfort. They are bright, and have lasted for years.
     
  20. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    In my experience, LED flashlights just suck, the light is so soft it seems to just get soaked up by the dark......

    I know, not any help, but I feel better anyway
     
  21. mantawolf

    mantawolf Member

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    +1 for a petzl tikka, I love mine. I also bought the rechargeable battery for it.
     
  22. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Also check out the Fenix HL 23. Three simple modes, 150 lumens, and runs on one aa for a long time. Like mine a lot and run eneloop bats in it.
     
  23. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    RC,

    I have expensive and Everready cheap. If you pull the lamp up high and tilt it in the direction you're looking I don't have glasses glare.
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think my problem is, I'm trying to point it more down in front of me to see where I'm walking, and not tripping over stuff on the ground.

    But, the bug eye lens on mine sure isn't helping any.

    It works fine tilted up working overhead like for electrical boxes and such.

    Still haven't ordered a new one.
    Too many other more pressing things going on here everyday lately.

    Thanks for everyone's help though!!!

    rc
     
  25. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    You know, that was the case about 10 years ago, but things have changed a lot since then. My LED lights put my Xenon lights to shame, and run a lot cooler.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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