116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
I was looking for a headlamp to use for trail running at night. There are several night trail races coming up, in addition to a lot of running on roads at night. I wanted a good quality, bright headlamp that would get the job done on trails, but not cost TOO much. I was mainly considering Petzl and Black Diamond lights. I purchased a Petzl Tikka Plus 2 and the Black Diamond Spot. I'd say the Petzl definitely has a higher quality of construction, but that doesn't mean I'm saying that the construction of the Black Diamond is bad. It still seems to be very solidly built and durable. I do have concerns about the durability of the plastic piece that holds the light at a tilted angle. I've heard that was an issue on the slightly older version of the Spot. After inspecting it in person though, it seems like it will hold up just fine. The overall quality and feel of the BD Spot seems great. The light pattern of the Spot is very good, with no weird shadows or spots, just a nice white round circle. And it is BRIGHT! I didn't think this would appear that much brighter than the Petzl Tikka Plus 2 (which is 50 lumens), but the Black Diamond Spot (which is 90 lumens) is much brighter than the Petzl. It's not even a comparison. As far as the strap and how the light feels while running, they are about the same, with a secure feeling and no bobbing at all. Both lights are great, but I just needed the extra light output for running trails at night, so I'm keeping the Spot, and returning the Petzl. The lower power white flood light, red light, and infinitely dimmable output is an added bonus. And I think the controls of the Spot are very easy to use. Hope this helps!
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
I use this for running in the mountains at night. I have tried many headlamps and for me this is the best. Light weight and does not bob on the forehead when running. Very bight light with a wide bright center spot that is free of aberrations or any rings. I have also tried out the Black Diamond Storm. The storms light pattern is the same as the Spot and any brightness difference not noticeable. I found that the Storm was heavier and more prone to bobbing. The Storm also did not rotate a full 90 degrees and the storms clear light cover protrudes from the case just a bit and light is visible out of the sides which is very distracting while running.
49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2012
I bought this headlamp for the sole purpose of taking late night walks with my dogs. I have two (2) large breed dogs, both of whom are rather young. The math works like this:
Poop bags + two (2) leashes + handheld flashlight + darkness + need to poop = TROUBLE
I decided to get a headlamp to free up my hands for doing my civic "doody" and cleaning up after my dogs. I considered several Petzl models and the Black Diamond Spot. After 2-3 weeks with the product, here's my thoughts.
The primary light (90 lumens) is great, even on foggy nights. It beats any incandescent flashlight that I have -- two (2) different models of MagLite. The ability to dim the primary light is great. Just press and hold the button until you get the right light level.
The secondary light (2 LEDs) is great if you don't want to look 100' up the street. I find that I use this light the most when I'm with my dogs because I don't want to blind them with the primary light.
The headband is comfortable enough, and it has plenty of room for adjustment depending on how big/small your head is.
The controls, contrary to many reviews here, are simple enough. 3 seconds alternates between the red LEDs and the primary / secondary white LEDs. 6 seconds locks and unlocks the headlamp function. Triple click and you get flashing secondary white LEDs or the red LEDs. Press and hold, as noted above, on the white LEDs to dim and un-dim them. Take 10 minutes to learn them, and you'll be fine.
The battery indicator is cool -- I forget it's there, though. After 2-3 weeks of evening use, I've not had any dimming of the headlamp, so I think the AAA batteries (included) are still going strong.
For $5 - $10 less, I got a headlamp with more functionality than the Petzl's that I considered.
The red LEDs are kind of useless unless you're in a confined space or looking at something up close. I don't find that I'll be using them much unless I'm reading a map or mail or something in the dark (???).
The secondary white LEDs are useless when dimmed all the way down. Maybe if I was reading on a camping trip or something -- they might be useful.
I checked all over the Black Diamond website, and I cannot find any replacement parts. I have to hope that the headband doesn't fray / break. Petzl offers replacement headbands and parts for their lights, so -- keep that in mind if you're planning on being rough with the headlamp.
As others have noted here and on YouTube reviews of this product, the tilt function is a little flimsy. I don't like using it, as I don't want the little notched portion to wear out over time. I also found that when I tilted it down 1-2 notches, it reflected light off the top of my glasses.
For $36 (shipped with Amazon PRIME membership), this is a great headlamp. I've already ordered one for a very late Christmas gift for my father-in-law to use on his boat and to walk his own dog at night.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
Bought this headlamp several months ago and couldn't be happier. The battery life is very good (I used energizer lithiums batteries). The brightness is unparalleled from any headlamp I have used in the past, the white light great and has really good coverage, the red light is better than average for night movements. My only critique is a very minor one and its that if you don't read the instructions you won't understand the full functionality of this piece of equipment. It has some great, very workable features that were incredibly useful in live-fire combat tactical settings, prolonged and intense military training environments, and while hiking and long distance pack-in camping. I have used this as my sole white and red light source in some very taxing and difficult situations and so far it has always come through as a great piece of equipment. Buy this, it is a tremendous value and a very useful bit of gear.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2013
I use the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp all the time for Cross Country skiing in the dark Alaskan winter nights. The high intensity setting produces a 15 foot diameter circle of light at 25 feet, I don't ever feel uncomfortable with terrain while I am using it. I typically ski for about an hour, and I've used the light 15 times this winter and have not had to replace the batteries yet. The elastic band is comfortable and maintains good pressure. I haven't had any issues with the plastic clip not holding the light in the position that I want it in. I would and have recommended this headlamp to my friends.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
I got the Spot about a year and a half years ago and have been extremely pleased with it ever since. I've taken it on about 12 camping trips since then, including 2 week long wilderness adventures. It is a lightweight and very bright light with excellent battery life.
The Spot has 3 light sources: a very bright, white main LED, 2 small white side LED's and 2 small red LED's. The power button activates the 3 sources in this order: short button press (less than 2 seconds) alternates between the main and secondary white lights; long press (about 2 seconds) puts the Spot in night light mode -red LED's. The Spot will stay in night light mode until another long (2 second) press on the power button, then it switches back to the white LED's. In addition to this while the Spot is in white LED mode (either main or secondary) and the light is on, you can push and hold the power button to dim the light. When the minimum dimming level is reach the light blinks and then by letting go and doing another push-hold it brightens back to full with another flash at max brightness. You can stop the dimming or brightening at any level desired by letting go of the power button. The red LED's are not dimmable.
The main LED is very bright, brighter than almost any headlamp on the market. The color of the main light is a nice, cool white, not the cold blue that cheaper LED's produce. It is bright enough to easily see objects 100 or more feet away. The beam is narrow but not too narrow; at about 10 feet in front of me the main focus of the beam is about 30 inches wide and the outer ring of light is about 9 feet wide - perfect for use while moving around on rough terrain in the dark.
Secondary white LED's
The secondary LED's are best for distances up to about 5 feet - they are perfect when looking at things in your hands. I don't use the dimmer feature on these because they are just not that bright. Beam spread is wide and fairly even without hot spots - that's good when the distance is short.
I use the red LED's like a night light so I don't ruin my night vision or when getting up for nature's call at 2am I don't get too awake from the white light. The red LED's have a beam spread similar to the secondary white LED's but they are even dimmer yet. I can barely see the ground when trying to stumble to the nearest tree in the middle of the night, but they do work and I get back to sleep easily when back in my bag. No dimmer on the red, but it wouldn't be much good anyway as they are already pretty dim. I like the fact that when going to bed, I push hold the power button (when the light is off) and then when getting up in the middle of the night I just push the button and don't have to cycle through the white lights.
Battery life is excellent! I change the batteries (3 - AAA's) at the beginning of each summer season and that's it! I probably use the lights (in various modes and brightnesses) for about an hour a day on trips plus an hour or two around home, so about 15 hours a year. There is a battery level indicator led on the side that lights up green or red for about 3 seconds when turning the light on - green for good, red for bad. The batteries are not dead in the spring, but the battery indicator shows red so I change the batteries. I haven't even bothered to take spare batteries on the last few trips.
There is also a lock off feature that is activated when the light is off and pressing and holding the power button for about 5 seconds or more then the power button is locked out unless pushed and held again for about 5 seconds. The battery indicator flashes blue when the power button is pushed in lock out mode.
The head band is just a standard elastic headband that is easily adjusted. My headband is starting to get that wavy look that elastic gets when it's starting to wear out - not bad but just beginning. The headlamp is adjustable for up and down by a plastic ratchet on the bottom. It's easily adjusted and holds its position well. Initially I was worried that the plastic ratchet would wear out quickly and would not hold position, but that has not happened at all so far. The plastic lens over the LED's has been very good at resisting scratches to this point. I haven't dunked in in any water yet (it's been rained on but not submerged) so I can't report on waterproof qualities except to say it's fine in the rain.
Lightweight & compact
Very bright main beam
Secondary white LED's (great for tasks)
Red light LED's
Excellent battery life
Power button lock out
Main and secondary beams are dimmable
None so far
This headlamp is worth every penny I spent on it and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2012
I have 5 headlamps: coleman max, Dorcy 145 lm, rayovac sports 3 in 1, energizer trailfinder 6 led and Black Diamond Spot. I can say Black Diamont is the best: very long battery life, nice funtions as dimmer and strobe, powerful Triplepower led with real 90 lumens and lock mode. I probed it last weekend and the spot light reach the 80 meters in complete darkness. Very light weight and strong headstrap. I don't like red mode because is very low; Coleman Max has a better red light and more focused. I would like to buy Storm model and a Pezlt headlamp. I definitively recommend Black Diamond Spot headlamp for hiking and all outdoor activities.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2012
I've owned this head torch for a few weeks now and used it many times for running at night. All round I'm happy with it's performance. On high beam it is excellent for running on the road, though I'm not sure if it would be suitable for trail but I haven't tried. The ability to angle the beam I've found unnecessary as clipped right back seems to be perfect. There is a strong core of light and enough surrounding weaker light so that you have a good idea of what is coming.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
The Spot 90 is also a darn good headlamp, and I have owned one for over a year. I also recently purchased the "new" Black Diamond Spot 130 headlamp, and I am writing a review about both the Spot 90 and 130. If you were thinking of getting this headlamp, give the newer model Spot 130 a look too - I paid the same $30 for each... your call! You get 40 more lumens and a couple new features, read on! Either way, the Spot 90 is still a darned bright, well made headlamp!!
I have owned a number of headlamps over the years, and for $30, Black Diamonds have become my "go-to" choice because of the price to value ratio - not many headlamps possess the same quality for such a great price! These do "retail" for $40, but Amazon has them for $30 and now that the Spot 130 is out, getting the Spot 90 for $30 is easier.
Here is what I like about the Spot 90:
-- The quality - these lamps are well built, and built every bit as good as a Petzl. My Spot 90 is over a year old, has seen heavy use and looks like new.
-- The large on / off button - although still not perfect with gloves on, it is easy to operate and does not require too much pressure and fumbling around! The Petzls I own have a smaller button, and sometimes it takes just the right pressure to turn it on, and can be a little harder to locate instantly.
-- The fact it has a red / night light mode - I like to do astronomy, and this is invaluable to maintain night vision!
-- The head band - good adjustability, comfortable.
I am still trying to find out what I don't like about the Spot's - for the price, it is hard to find anything wrong with this headlamp. I guess maybe three levels of brightness instead of just two - high and low.
I use my Spot 90 (and now will use the 130) for MANY uses, including:
-- first, for night bike riding. We have a handle bar mounted Cygolite for the main light source, and the Spots for the head lamp. When you are riding, and turn your head to the side of the trail to look, you want to be able to see what you are looking at. Handle bar lamps always point straight ahead...
-- Camping - of course... when there are no city lights, a bright headlamp is a must!
-- Daily chores around the house - my 50 yr old eyes constantly need a back up when doing virtually every chore - just yesterday I had it on my dome as I updated the plumbing valves on all my sinks. I always have one close by, for even the simple chores of more light to read fine print, etc. An invaluable tool, and have made my flashlights obsolete!
Comparing tee Spot 90 to the Petzl line of headlamps from a cost perspective - consider the Petzl XP 2 retails for $59.99 and gives you about 80 lumens of light. And to surpass the output of the Spot 90 in the Petzl lineup, you are going to shell out $89.99. Petzls are FINE lights, I own 4 of them of different types, but with the price / per lumen and the quality level of the Black Diamond Spots, my last four headlamp purchases have been the Black Diamonds.
So what are the differences between the Spot 90 and the Spot 130?
-- How about an additional 40 lumens of light!! And you can really tell the difference between the two.
-- When you power on the Spot 130 it defaults to the high intensity beam. To get to the low power beam, you have to push the button twice rapidly. When the Spot 90 is powered up you randomly get low or high power, depending on which mode it was on the last time you were using it. If the 90 does not power up in the mode you want, you have to press once for off, then once more to turn it back on for the correct mode. I like the new 130 defaulting to high intensity beam - most of the time it is the mode I want. On the Spot 90, it is annoying to potentially have to press it three times to get it there - obviously someone at Black Diamond agrees!
-- The hinge system on the new Spot 130 seems to be beefed up and more substantial - on the Spot 90 it just seemed to loose.
From a technical spec perspective, the Spot 90 and Spot 130 are very similar:
-- Both weigh 3.2 grams;
-- Both have a rated burn time of 50 hours on TriplePower LED, 200 hours on SinglePower LED;
-- Both have a rated distance of 75m on TriplePower LED, 15m on SinglePower LED;
-- Both run on 3 AAA batteries, both have a 2 LED red light mode
-- One has 130 lumens, the other 90 lumens max output
Thanks for reading!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2014
Bought this for my man whom is an electrician in august 2013. 3 year warranty on their headlamps, figured they must be good.
Great light, focus and flood
First one broke just over a month (just past amazon's warranty), contacted black diamond and they replaced it. I just had to pay to ship it to them (which was almost a quarter of the product cost), but not bad.
Fast forward to January 2014. Different break. Don't feel like paying to ship them the product -again-. So... gonna write it off as a loss, and say enough is enough. Time to find a different brand.
It's a shame, because it really... REALLY is a nice headlamp. If not for the cheap components.