Headlamp advice wanted

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Headlamp advice wanted

Postby Pitzikul » Sep 22, 2013 4:29 pm

Hi all – first post,

I am looking to upgrade my lighting equipment, and have come up with the following parameters (prioritized).
Would love to have your thoughts about models that you think may be suitable.
The types of activities I’m currently interested in: mountaineering, kayaking, bouldering and (new!) caving :-)

1. Rechargeable (preferably by a simple electric wire with USB connection that plugs to wall/computer)
2. AA Batteries (as many as needed)
3. IP68 (or IP67 but no less)
4. Illumination: 50 meters for 50 hours.
5. Led: White and Red.
6. Two head straps.

Cheers, Pitzi
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Re: Headlamp advice wanted

Postby Cody JW » Sep 23, 2013 9:07 am

I do not really see cavers here in The USA use a light with a red option to it. Many cavers here that use a AA light will use a Princeton Tec Apex ( around 60 Us dollars) that have spot or flood with a max on spot of 200 lumen. There has been much debate on this forum on this light but it appears they are not designed for submersion but they will replace defective lights. Fenix makes The HP 10 and HP 20 that is IPX -8 rated for submersion in 3 meters of water for 30 minutes and run off AAs. These lights come with two straps , one on top the head and one on the side. Fenix also makes other models that are IPX -6 rated that is designed to be resistant to a splashing of water from all directions . More and more cavers are using 18650 lith Ion lights that are brighter . If you insist on AAs those lights along with Petzl Duo seem be be the most used by cavers around here. Duo is rated to 5 meters for 30 minutes but you really need to update to a modern aftermarket LED set made by several manufacturers. These are all production lights that are lower cost that use lots of plastic . Apex and Fenix are sport type lights designed for multi purpose and Fenix may offer a red cover for some models. Duo is designed for caving but the platform itself is 20 years old ,hence the need for modern LED aftermarket inserts. There are a few high end caving lamps that run off 18650 lith Ion ,some are dive rated and all are resistant to dunking and have optics that are more specific to caving but cost several hundred dollars or more. These lights include Scurion, Rude Nora , and El Speleo and I suspect some other small batch custom builds made by cavers. Some lower cost but cave worthy 18650 lamps are gaining popularity such as Spark and Zebra . These lights can go to 1000 lumen on high ( most between 500 and 1000 lumen) but are single optic where you chose a model with either spot or flood. These are small and very light and I have seen some use two at once on the helmet .James Mooreshire has a list on this forum that gives specs to many common lights suitable for caving. Light preferences seem to generate spirited debates on this forum and others. For caving there are many nice choices out there right now . Cavers desire optics that can be different than what is found on common sport lamps. Many lights cavers use offer both a flood or spot or a combination of both flood and spot.
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Re: Headlamp advice wanted

Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 23, 2013 9:18 am

This thread with a link to a spreadsheet may give you some info you want.
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Re: Headlamp advice wanted

Postby Pitzikul » Sep 23, 2013 11:58 am

Thank you Cody for that detailed answer.
The Red light I use for map reading at night (you don’t lose night vision with a red light).
What are your thoughts about the Petzl Pixa 3 Headlamp?
Cheers, Pitzi
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Re: Headlamp advice wanted

Postby Cody JW » Sep 23, 2013 5:31 pm

I do not have any experience with The Pixa 3. I have 20 years experience with Duo and have lots of positive things to say about it and have argued with many on this and other forums on my thoughts. I have always used such lights for just caving so my preference has been a caving specific light designed for caving from the drawing board up. Check out James list, it is impressive and James is very smart ( much smarter than I ) on lights. Many nice choices out there.
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Re: Headlamp advice wanted

Postby snoboy » Sep 23, 2013 8:53 pm

I do not own a PIXA3, but I do get to use one at work. It is a decent light, but not all that bright for a modern light, and the battery life is not anything special. I would not choose one for caving.

I really like my DUO with a custom duo insert from http://www.customduo.co.uk/Pages/cdshop.aspx Likely one of the best budget lights around, IMO.
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