Most helpful positive review
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
I got this locally at Meijer for $10. It's pretty good for that price.
The headlight uses five 5mm LEDs (all white) for output. They're arranged in a + shape, and all are on regardless of whether you're in high or low mode. High mode is 35 lumens and lasts 19 hours; low is 11 lumens for 40 hours. That's advertised. With the included Rayovac alkalines (the light runs on three AAAs) I got 38 lumens on high for 5 hours before dimming, with another 18 hours of useable light. Low mode tested at 14 lumens for the first 11 hours, then it dimmed for another 34 hours. So, runtime is accurate, and output is slightly under-reported (rather that than over-reported). The beam is usable to about 40 feet in high and 15 in low; it's very floody. The beam is nice and white, with no blue tint. It's smooth, with no artifacts. There's a smooth, shiny reflector; I have no idea what it's made of. The LEDs are protected by a clear plastic lens, slightly textured like a collimator lens over each LED.
The switch is rubber-covered and is on the right side of the headlight (if you're wearing it). It takes a little bit of effort to press, and might be too hard when wearing heavy gloves. The first press turns the light on high, the second press turns it on low, and the third press turns it off. You have to cycle through all the modes to turn the light off. The batteries are changed by removing the back of the head unit; it snaps on and off. The ratcheting system is nice and positive, but not overly stiff. There isn't a forehead pad, but this light doesn't need one. The elastic headband is decent for the cost, and it has a top strap. The top strap can't be removed unless you cut it, which bothers me. The straps are all adjustable, and will fit any size head. The 100-lumen version of this light includes a rubber strap for helmet use; this one doesn't.
I like this headlight. You can get a lot of cheap, crappy headlights for ten bucks, but this isn't one of those garbage lights. I've used mine pretty hard with no ill effects.
I have three of these now. At ten dollars each, I couldn't be much happier. It still bugs me that the top strap can't be removed without cutting it, but that's okay for the price. You can easily use the headband from another headlight if it bothers you a lot. The output and runtime are excellent. I used some frosted Scott's tape to cover the lens for a floodier beam, at the cost of a little bit of output. These lights are very good at this price.