Headlamps are used by many people both at work and at play. However,light manufacturers have recently targeted outdoor enthusiasts (backpackers, hikers, hunters, fishermen and climbers)as a key demographic. Light-weight and efficient output lights are now commonplace in most outdoor retailers. Lights are available in different designs and configurations and can feature varying degrees of light output.
When choosing a headlamp, there are many different models. Initially, the most noticeable difference will be design. Some lamps come with nylon straps and fit over the head. These lights may either be self contained or rely on a separate battery pack, also mounted to the head assembly. Other lights may stand alone and feature a durable clip which is used to attach the light to the side or brim of a hat.
Headlamps will often be designed for a specific purpose such as providing a spot light or a general flood light. Other lamps may be designed for short range illumination for close up work by an individual. When delving into the world of illumination, one will quickly be confronted by such terminology as lumens, lux, and output. Measuring the output or efficiency of a light is a good way to determine whether a light is a good fit. Keep in mind that lumen output is used extensively as a reference for most lights. However, lumens are also calculated differently by manufacturers and are sometimes over estimated due to the lack of a universal means of determination. Lux is a better means of light measurement, as this indicates the amount of light thrown at a particular distance. This is important information if you are looking for a light to see close distances or farther away.
There are a few outstanding headlamps which many consider to be best bets. The Petzl Tikka XP LED Headlamp is an extremely bright headlamp which uses three AAA batteries. The unit is self contained and features a comfortable and adjustable harness. The light features multiple light output settings and has been chosen as a best all around light by outdoor reviewers. The Petzl MyoBelt XP is a go-to light for cold weather outdoor activities. Power for the light is contained in a separate, weather resistant housing which features a long power cord. This allows the user to clip the battery pack underneath clothing to keep the batteries warm and avoid power loss due to cold temperatures. Finally, the Mammut Lucido TX1 Headlamp is an award winning light that features a tight focused beam capable of lighting the trail far ahead while featuring good side to side light spill for close to mid range illumination. The light features variable power settings for power conservation and a separate battery pack mounted to the back of the head harness.