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Old December 3, 2007, 10:33 PM   #1
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Location: The Toll Road State, U.S.A.
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My new miner's headlamp - Black Diamond "Helion"

I had two other headlamps, a Streamlight and a Browning brand, but was disappointed in the output of these, so I went searching recently for a better one. Luckily, Sportsman's Warehouse had about a million and a half items to select from in this category. I wanted more output than what LED can provide. After looking at some Petzls, I ended up switching brands and snagging the Black Diamond "Helion", which has the battery pack in the rear of the head and the lamp in the front, which allows it to hold three AA batts - which is great because I try to standardize on AA for my flashlights.

These lights are designed for rock/mountain climbers and/or "cavers", but I was very pleased with it while hunting on Sat. I used the lower LED output for normal navigating, and switched to the Xenon bulb for when I felt a little lost and wanted to look further through the woods. It doesn't say the Lumen output, but I gathered that it was the brightest or one of the brightest for sale. It is well made, also, it seems. Comfortable, too.

I'm looking now at the much more expensive Vectra IQ, and I don't see how it can be brighter than the Helion as claimed, with the same bulb. Black Bear, can you tell me?

What's the best and brightest out there in the miner's light category - anyone know?

Here, this $80 Princeton Tec brand model says up to 60 lumens of output:

Last edited by FirstFreedom; December 4, 2007 at 12:04 AM.
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Old December 4, 2007, 12:01 AM   #2
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This $193 Brunton says it's the brightest LED lamp in the world, but it doesn't have the top-of-the-head strap, which I don't like. I'm going for the upside-down jockstrap look. And I don't want the brightest LED; I want the brightest, period, without having to resort to a belt-clipped battery pack (i.e. a self-contained simple unit for the head only). I don't need ultra long batt life, just high output for short times, with a low-output choice or two to switch off to as needed.

Or if you want to get really crazy, here's a $310 lamp.
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Old December 9, 2007, 09:23 AM   #3
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Anyone? What headlamp do youse guys use?
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Old December 9, 2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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I have a Petzl that I use for hiking and camping - can't say I've had any problems with it. However, when I go backpacking, it's usually with one or two other people, one of whom invariably brings a small lantern, limiting the amount of time I need to use the headlamp.

When backpacking during the summer, I try to time the hike to the daylight hours fo two reasons, the first being that negotiating trails and rocks at night is a good way to twist an ankle or worse. Even more, though, I like to enjoy the quiet and dark of the night in the woods, especially when hiking solo, so I try to keep the lamp off - your eyes adjust (sort of) after awhile.

Of course, hiking is different than hunting, so YMMV.
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Old December 9, 2007, 01:34 PM   #5
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Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
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Believe it or not, FF, I still favor an old fashioned carbide light for a lot of uses. I'm a long time caver (although not very active over the last few years ) and find these more reliable than electric.

Underground, light = life .

They're simple, require only a handful of carbide and water, and they provide a nice warm, even light, and they make a nice hand warmer .

Downside is they need cleaning frequently, spent carbide is not exactly eco-friendly, they don't work well in wind, and of course, there's the fire hazard.

Still, I guess I just an old school purist .
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Old December 10, 2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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Headlamps Rule!!! I started using a Petzl in the mid-90's (on the left). It had some problems turning on while in the backpack and sometimes when it got wet the battery would corrode. But still better than my Mag-light because I had both hands free. I think Petz was king until Princeton-Tec came along - I picked up the middle one (2 double A's battery compatibility) and it was completely waterproof. Soon after LEDs came out - I had a Princeton-Tec LED only which walked off on a mountain biking trip. The LED doesn't break like a Halogen or Xenon bulb and the burn time is phenomenal and it doesn't go from dim to out right away - I like to read in the tent when the sun goes down (saving $$$ and weight on spare batteries). Could it get any better - Oh yeah - the dual-headlight: Xenon and LED headlamps. I bought a Black Diamond. It was so highspeed, it too walked off on it's own. I replaced it with the Princeton-Tec on the right. I always carry a backup LED light (keychain or single AA). I have lost count of the number of hikers I have helped down a mountain trail, after dark, in Colorado.
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Old December 10, 2007, 12:50 PM   #7
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I keep my Petzl Tikka Plus next to my bed, especially this time of year when the power in my area goes out if the wind blows more than 15 knots
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