Customer Reviews: Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
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on June 24, 2011
I bought two of these headlamps to replace two older Black Diamond headlamps that had served me well for many years. The elastic failed and I thought replacing them with newer and brighter Black Diamond headlamps was a no-brainer. I immediately noticed that the thumbscrew for tightening down the battery cover was difficult to fully tighten. It was much smaller than on my older lamp. In addition, between the two I own, one has a smaller, more difficult to use thumbscrew. Furthermore, one of the headlamps I initially ordered was defective. Thankfully Amazon replaced it without much trouble. I have owned these headlamps for about a 1.5 years now and am not pleased with the long-term durability. On the headlamp with the smaller screw, the battery case is cracking all along the edges. It seems like the top cover is just a hair too small. Combine that with the fact that the plastic is very thin and overtime hairline fractures begin to form. I've put tape over the cracking areas to try and prolong the inevitable failure of the battery case at which point the product will become un-usable because the strap is connected to the battery cover on one side and the battery case on the other side.

I discovered that Black Diamond headlamps have a 3 year warranty, so I followed the directions on their website and mailed it to them. I wasn't sure what to expect, but within a few weeks, a replacement arrived at my door, no questions asked, no charge.
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on January 18, 2009
I work nights at a railroad. Typically we use the standard issue 6volt lantern for lighting and signals. I need to see id numbers and the train cars themselves at a distance. I judge all lights vs the railroad lantern with the halogen bulb- Bright and 8 hours+ usable light.
Well I can toss my lantern. The Black Diamond Icon surpasses the lantern in both brightness and burn time. I've used the same batteries for 10 days(3-4 hours per night). The 3 watt spot is a brighter and more focused beam. I'm able to read id numbers further away. The four led area light is bright enough for work up to about 100ft.Both the beam and area lights have 3 levels of brightness which helps with battery life. I also have the added bonus of both hands free. So far pouring rain, splattered mud and subzero temps haven't fazed it. I have two nit picks... The on/off switch is on the bottom of the lamp which makes it cumbersome to operate with a baseball cap on and the lens on the beam scratches easier than I thought it would. That's just nitpicky though. I highly recommend this light.
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on May 10, 2011
I enjoy competing in 100-mile trail ultra marathons. These races usually take me about 30 hours to finish, so there's plenty of running done at night. As I've learned more about what it takes to execute a race well, I was refered to the BD ION as the "best in class" for headlamps. I've run 3 races with it now and love how balanced and light it feels. It's by far the brightest lamp I've used and has significant battery life. I would recommend this lamp to anyone as I feel it will be the last one I will ever need to purchase.
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on June 17, 2011
I bought this headlamp from Amazon, and am very happy with it.
The brightness is unbelievable for some led's. The 7 settings/brightness levels took a bit to get used to,, I even had to get out the manual to learn how to do it, lol. After that its a breeze to change any setting on the go.
Another option that surprised me was that the top band is easily removable, I didnt know about that ahead of time, but it comes in handy when you want to put the headlamp on over a winter hat.
I havent yet been able to test the longevity of the battery life, but as we all know that have read about this lamp it has outstanding reviews for that. Im still on my original set of lithiums, and after about 80 hours of use, the battery meter is still at top.

I bought this headlamp for a Kilimanjaro trip, and was overwhelmed by its results. Out of 75 people going up during summit night, it was the brightest headlamp of any of them. It got to the point that the guide in front of me stayed close and turned his headlamp off to save his battery power; all that on the lowest beam setting!

For the $10 more that it cost for this headlamp than the other same brand (or competitors), its a no-brainer to buy this one instead.
Definitely recommend!
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on October 14, 2010
We need very good light, >100 lumens, for our work, which involves looking deeply into horses mouths while providing dental care! It is very dirty, physical and difficult work. We have gone through so many headlamps in the last several years I shudder to think of the money spent. After thorough online review I selected this lamp based on all features but with a slant towards strongest lumenosity vs. price.
Wow, this lamp is awesome, providing plenty of light while strongly holding it's position on my head whether I wear a hat or not. The fit is very comfortable despite the battery pack. The weight is nothing to worry about as I can wear it for hours with no discomfort. The batteries are clipped firmly in place by a very well made, xlnt fitting door. I purchased the rechargeable battery pack as well and have used it in addition to the regular batteries. Both work great. I can even use the pack while it is charging which makes the light even more useful for my circumstances. The charge port is well hidden and quite dust and saliva proof! Lots of dental dust and saliva get all over this lamp. It remains to be seen how it holds up after months of all this abuse but the headlamp seems to be made very well. I have high expectations based on what I have experienced so far. I never felt like anything was "cheesy" about the "Icon" when I removed it from the box, fitted it to my head, and began using it under my rather un-ordinary circumstances. I can honestly say, if this lamp holds up to the abuse I have put it through, then a few crashes on my moutain bike, several clunks in the head while rock climbing, or the dust of a night ORV ride should be no problem.
I love the Icon and highly recommend it! In fact, I'm buying more for the practice today!
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on October 6, 2015
This headlamp just brought me through the whole night in my first 100 miler. It is amazing not only for how incredibly bright it is (I felt like the brightest person on the trail!) but also for its dimming setting. When my eyes were too tired for the super bright setting, I was able to give them a break by dimming the light to exactly the brightness that I wanted. The functions are easy to use, and even while slightly delirious I was able to find the setting I wanted with ease. This light is a little heavier than other headlamps, but it's completely worth it. It is well balanced, and had very little bounce. the straps stayed tight through the whole night. Although I changed out the batteries after about 6 hours of use, I hadn't noticed the light dimming at all, I just did it as a precaution. I fully believe that one set of batteries would have lasted through the whole night, even on the bright setting. I heard several other people on the trail complaining of their lights "browning out" just a few hours into the darkness. I was glad to not have that experience with this headlamp.

I also like that this light feels really sturdy. It isn't some cheapie plastic thing, the light housing is metal and feels like it could really take a beating. I've already recommended this headlamp to some of my other ultra-runner friends. This light is a little champ, and I'll definitely be using it on my next 100 miler in January.
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on October 12, 2011
First off, this headlamp is bright! 100 lumens on a headlamp is really brighter than you might think. I have seen other, off-brand, headlamps that sell for less money and claim to have slightly more lumens, but I have a lot of faith in the Black Diamond brand. I have heard and read that Black Diamond has great customer service and routinely replaces broken pieces and parts. I think that is worth the extra money.

I have used it camping, bike riding, and for tasks around the house and it has not let me down yet.

Some details to note:

--Because the battery pack is located on the rear of the headlamp, it is not easy to wear a baseball hat over the headlamp.
--The center strap is removable, but once removed it is awkward to wear the headlamp because of the weight of the battery pack. Wearing the headlamp without the center strap is not impossible, just awkward.
--It does not have a red-light mode, which some people find useful.
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on January 26, 2012
When shopping for a headlight I had a couple of criteria in mind. It had to use AA batteries and at least 100 lumen. This light satisfied both of those criteria and then some. The price for this light was great. Since I purchased it the priced was lowered, so I called Amazon and they gave me a credit for the difference since it was less than 20 dollars. Otherwise I would have gotten a refund. How great is that?!

The light has an external battery pack that takes AA batteries. I love this feature because I can use rechargeable batteries for this light. The light output is excellent and with 2 different settings and dim feature. I use this light to do repair work on my motorcycle and car, which works great. The straps makes the light very secure and won't move at all. I love this thing.
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on November 19, 2013
I did a lot of research before purchasing this headlamp. The reviews were mostly good. I would agree with most other reviews. The AA batteries are a plus in my opinion, cheap and easy to find. I have used this lamp a few dozen times between home projects and deer hunting. Still have the original batteries in. The super bright center light is about all I use. The smaller side lights are ok when the batteries are fresh but after that they are a little dim for me. Also some other reviews talk about the lack of down angle adjustment, and I do see that it could be improved to allow for more downward tilt, but its not a deal breaker for me. This headlamp seems to be very high quality compared to other headlamps that I have been able to actually put on. The head strap is comfortable and the rear battery pack is a plus to me.
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on August 30, 2012
I use headlamps frequently. In Central Oregon, the winter days are short enough that if I want to run, it's in the dark. I tend to push hikes on either end of the day, showing up before dawn, or getting back after dusk. The Icon deserves it's name: it's simply terrific. The batteries last a stunningly long time, and the light output, in several of it's many modes, is outstanding. The rheostat function, which allows me to smoothly increase/decrease the light output to fit the circumstances, might seem like a useless "bells and whistles" add on. It isn't: low level is perfect for me reading my Kindle or book in bed without disturbing my wife, higher levels are great for trail running in the dark hours, medium light level perfect for running on paved paths/roads. Down sides? Only one that I've noticed. The light can be tilted up and down, but Black Diamond erred by not giving a greater range of motion in terms of tilting the light downward. Works just fine for ambulation/skiing/biking, not quite so well when one is stationary and trying to focus on something in one's hands. Hopefully the next iteration will incorporate a fix for this. Meanwhile, this sweet instrument fits in the "Wow!" category.
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