Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
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- One Quad Power LED and one Double Power white LED emit 300 lumens
- Settings include full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red night-vision and lock mode
- PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
- Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power
- Waterproof; Protected against water immersion down to >1m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 8)
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BD's go-to headlamp for everything from midweek dawn patrols to all-night rappelling sessions, the Black Diamond Spot now features an incredible 300 lumens of adjustable light with a fully waterproof construction. In addition to its reliable, precise and powerful beam for spotting anchors or trail cairns, the Spotâ€™s redesigned lighting profile offers improved peripheral lighting for close-range activities like cooking, reading or sorting gear, while simultaneously increasing the overall brightness. The Spot also features Brightness Memory, which allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power. Seven different lighting modes, including red night vision, allow for fully custom lighting in any situation, and our PowerTap Technology makes for instant brightness adjustments.
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- It's bright enough to run safely on a moderately groomed trail in the middle of the night
- It's secure. No bobbing or straps coming loose
- It's cheap for 300 lumens
- The large yellow spot in the middle of the light is terrible. I caught myself focusing on the yellow spot instead of the trail. This is almost a deal breaker for me.
- The plate behind the lamp is not very comfortable on the forehead. I was ready to take it off after about six miles and plan to add my own padding.
- It's not for serious night runners. The BD Spot will work great for shorter jogs or the occasional late trail run, but I would not recommend this headlamp if you plan on regularly running at night.
1. White and red lights, only.
2. Dim-able, area/spot light switching
3. Simple mode switching and basic operation.
4. Waterproof enough for quick dunks or heavy rain
5. Light-weight and comfortable
Overall I do love this headlamp. It does all of the things above and is very bright with a wide dimmer range. The red light is a must for preserving your eyes' light adjustment. You can look away from your lighted area and not have to adjust to darkness again. I recommend this headlamp to anyone with working vision. It's great to store in your car, bag, bedside, anywhere really. I use it for camping and hunting myself.
-- Good spotlight mode that lights the way with seeing some of your perimeter without the small too-bright dancing spot effect of some headlamps. The spotlight put out a nice beam shape with a ~35 degrees center hotspot and ~60 degrees lower brightness zone. I like uniform, but this spot mode is much better than most headlamps. This is good for seeing the trail and most everything nearby you point it at, which is what is most important.
-- The flood light LED is a really wide angle, about 120 degrees. This is a great beam angle for working up close.
-- The continuous luminance adjustment is cool. I usually just need low and high power, and sometimes a medium level. The feature is not much value to me, but I would have liked more if it didn’t often change when touched.
-- Construction seems sturdy. Better than the cheap headlamps.
-- It handled 3 hours in medium-to-light rain OK. A little water got into the batteries, but it did not conk out. Any water still worries me so dry this thing out after any use in rain with the batteries out so the batteries and circuits don’t go bad. Described as IPX8, but IPX8 is a dive light. IPX7 is 1 meter under water for 30 minutes. But since I don’t plan on swimming with it on (intentionally anyway), not a biggie.
-- Touch changing from spot to flood or changing luminance is cumbersome. There is a learning curve, but even after a few nights out I have to take it off and fuss with it frequently to just get to a mode I want. Also, when I reached up to adjust the lamp position on my head, it often changed mode or brightness, which is really annoying. Adjust it gingerly.
-- The spotlight LED gets hot to the touch.
-- The light is a cool white light. I still need to pull out my old halogen flashlight to see tracks and most anything else other than easy to see trails. If you stay on well-worn hiking trails it is fine.
-- Hey, there is no padding behind the headlamp other than the strap. Not very comfortable for long term use unless on a helmet. The strap also slips a bit so I need to adjust frequently (see my comment about unplanned mode changes when it’s touched).
Overall, the Spot is worthwhile to have in my collection and will be useful for when I want both spot and wide angle lighting.
This would have been my second BD headlamp, but I returned it. I bought my first BD Spot last year, the 200-lumen-rated version which I believe was the first generation Spot (G1). My G1 is used frequently for walking near/past dusk on narrow neighborhood roads (no sidewalks), usually in flash mode. G1 is still like new after hundreds of hours of use. My G1 had a poorly molded body which made battery compartment closure insecure, so that batteries would fly out if headlamp was lightly tossed onto bed, desk, etc. The G1 produced a yellowish hue but I could live with it since my older Petzl headlamps were no better in this regard.
This product, the 300-lumen-rated second generation Spot (G2), improved on G1 primarily with a. better battery door closure, b. brighter high beam and c. the capability to save adjusted/custom output level on the high beam so that G2 would turn back on at last output level (G1 turns on at high level every time, have to readjust if desired).
G2 has a few negative points. First and foremost, the high LED beam is a VERY BLUE color with a VERY YELLOW CENTER spot. It's a terrible beam for seeing things - honestly I got better, more uniform, closer to white illumination from $10 flashlights - ten years ago! I can only guess that BD cut the cost of this headlamp with a cheap primary LED. I considered returning my G2 for a replacement, but decided I'd likely get the same blue/yellow light in the replacement, so I didn't try. It's possible I got a dud, but I doubt it.
Second issue was the battery compartment, which accepted the included AA cells (aka batteries) fine, but it was next to impossible to fit rechargeable Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloop cells, which I use in all my devices. Eneloops fit OK in my G1 Spot. The problem lies in the design of the battery compartment - it's too small in both directions (LxW) and the electrical contacts lack the little coiled springs so there is no give and next to no room to accommodate for varying cell dimensions. Cells vary a surprising amount in length and diameter - the average Spot owner will likely learn this once they start replacing cells.
The crummy main LED and battery limitations are my primary criticisms. Additionally, it seemed to me that the G2 had a weaker output on flash mode than the G1, so less suited for my primary activity. The G2's wide-angle LED is a bit too dim for my purposes. The tap-on-the-side switch for high output is a bit gimmicky, easy to forget operation months after learning. Switches should not be hidden. The night-vision red LED functions the same on the G1 and G2 Spots, which I rarely use (suppose it would be great for star-gazers).
The BD Spot G2 overall is a decent headlamp compared to others. If BD puts a better LED in Spot Gen 3, and provides more universal AA battery fit/compatibility, then it will have a great, economical lightweight headlamp. I may try the Spot again next year, if there is a G3.