Lupine Spe-Lu vs StenLight S7 Headlamp

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Lupine Spe-Lu vs StenLight S7 Headlamp

Postby nmemm » Jan 25, 2006 5:07 am

:hairpull: I'm looking for a new lamp, which one is better?
What do you guys think?

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Postby caverdoc » Jan 25, 2006 9:22 pm

I'll vote for the Stenlight b/c I own one. I've caved in Wind Cave SD with some Lupine users. The Sten has more options for power, I bought the extra adapters that allow 9v batteries or AA cells to power it. I'm planning a trip to Canada this summer and between the two battery packs, a couple 9v cells and some AA's I should have enough juice for a couple weeks caving, even if I don't recharge the cells.
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Postby steelwool » Jan 26, 2006 8:48 am

I vote stenlight.
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Stenlight vs. Lupine

Postby verticaver » Jan 26, 2006 11:31 am

I was in the same spot a few weeks ago as to which one to buy. I did my research & ended up getting the Stenlight.

when you compare the two, the Lupine puts out a great light, but it's still regular LEDs. The StenLight has much better power options & the battery should last much longer. Additionally, you can switch out optics in the Stenlight to change the type of light you like to cave with. now that I have the Stenlight, I've never regretted or wondered what the Lupine would be like. The Sten is built like a tank, small, very efficient & can punch a beam well over 200ft without a problem. I'll never buy another light.

Also, now, I'm making converts out of the rest of the team I cave with. They are all buying Stens having seen what I can do, especially on Turbo, you've got to see it to believe it.
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Postby Steven Johnson » Jan 27, 2006 1:30 pm just did a review on the Stenlight: ... ght_s7.htm

Though he repeatedly refers to our activity as "spelunking" [sic], it's still a good review... the guy is admittedly not a caver, but he DOES seem to know flashlights :-)

I'm now coveting one of these even though I have <i>absolutely no need whatsoever</i> for such a freakishly high-powered light...
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Postby Rick Brinkman » Jan 27, 2006 1:49 pm

How much does the magnetic switch deflect a compass while surveying?

Would you have to take your helmet completely off for each shot or could you get away with tipping the helmet back on your head?
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Magnetic switch effects

Postby verticaver » Jan 30, 2006 8:08 pm

I have heard that the magnetic switch on the sten does affect instrument readings up to 8 inches from the head. So, yeah, unfortuanately, I've had to remove my helmet while taking shots to keep the readings accurate. I admit this is one drawback to having a light with a magnetic switch.
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Postby steelwool » Jan 31, 2006 8:37 am

It only effects instruments if you hold the compass above the unit. It does not seem to effect the compass when the compass is below the stenlight. When you have the stenlight mounted on your helmet the compass will always be below the stenlight.

While on a two man survey crew, I sketched and read backsights with a suunto tandem. We were always within 2 dergees of each other and usually right on. I did the trip without taking off my helmet once and with the stenlight on the whole time.
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Postby cave rat » Jan 31, 2006 10:12 pm

Sten-Light. I will be getting one this year.
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Postby NZcaver » Feb 1, 2006 8:26 pm

OK, I haven't tried the Spe-Lu or the Stenlight - but something just occurred to me. :shock:

Take another headlamp for example - the Princeton Tec Apex. With all the favorable reports it has been getting recently, is it really worth spending 4 times as much on a Stenlight or 5 times as much on a Spe-Lu?

Sure, the big dollar headlamps are probably "better", but are they 4-5 times brighter and/or will last 4-5 times as long? Can you efficiently use standard AA alkaline or NiMH batteries with them? (I don't think so.) I've only tried an Apex in the store so far, but it's got the dimming 3 watt LED plus the 4 dimming regular LEDs, and it's fairly compact and waterproof. For $60-80, it seems like a reasonable deal.

For now I'm happy with my current main headlamp (a trusty 8 LED Duo, with a 1 watt LED on the high beam side) - but one day I'll probably upgrade to something new. I'm currently leaning more towards getting a headlamp like the Apex, and using all that money I save for gas/airfare to get to caves, new kneepads, excessive vertical gear I don't really need, etc, etc... Comments? :-)
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Light comparisons

Postby pacaver » Feb 1, 2006 8:40 pm

I went caving with someone who has a P-T Apex and it’s a really nice light. The 3 watt beats my Duo which is equipped identically to yours, i.e. 8 led and 1 watt LED, but the 8 led array compares favorably with the side LEDs on the Apex. I really like the Duo because of the caver-friendly on/off switch, as opposed to the tiny buttons that many of the new LED lamps have, but I think that in terms of bang for buck, the Apex is a tough light to beat. If I was hunting for my 1st legitimate main light source, I’d buy one without hesitation. I’ve seen one Stenlight in action and it’s impressive, but I cry when thinking about forking over the $$. Nice diffuse light, easy to operate switch, very compact and waterproof. It’s up the user as to whether it’s worth the money, but I don’t think purchasers will complain about the performance. I just got an email from Karst Sports indicating that a new line of Petzl products are on their way and I’m hoping they have a good competitor for the Apex and maybe even the Stenlight. Competition is good, keeps the choices up and the prices down. :-)
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Postby Adam Byrd » Feb 2, 2006 2:29 pm

I've seen all three of these lights, and my Sten still gets my vote. To be fair I only saw the Apex outside in the night - a sweet light for the price.

I can definately understand not wanting to shell out the bucks for a Sten, but it is justified in my head since I expect it to last for years.
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Postby MaryNeedsSleep » Jan 24, 2007 7:41 pm

I'm pretty attached to my Spe-Lu. I have 2 older batteries, and was shocked to find that the price for a new Lupine battery is $199. Now I have to decide if I want to buy a new Spe-Lu battery or to save up for a Sten light down the road.

The new Lupine batteries are Li-ion. With the NiMH batteries, 1 or 2 days after charging, the light is noticeably less bright. Freshly charged, it lasts at least 16 hours in-cave. I bought mine 5 years ago and they seem to have lost some capacity over time. Other than that, my only other problem with the Spe-Lu involved the ChargerOne in the wall (the default charger that ships with the Spe-Lu works great, and the ChargerOne worked in the car).

The Sten-Light is definitely brighter on Turbo, its power options are nice, and it is smaller than the Spe-Lu.

A friend's Sten broke yesterday -- the battery cable broke. Fortunately it is still under warranty. Anyone else had quality problems with the Sten? Haven't heard of any quality issues with Lupine.

If you can borrow borrow friends' lights, I would try both the Spe-Lu and the Sten -- you might find that you have a definite preference for one beam pattern over another.
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Postby Mark620 » Jan 24, 2007 10:48 pm

My sten light battery crapped out already and the extension cable does not make a good connection which causes the light to flicker.
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Postby paul » Jan 25, 2007 7:57 am

I've been using my Stenlight regularly since I bought it while on a trip to the US last March and have had no problems whatsoever.
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