Black Diamond Flare Headlamp?

Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/15/21 09:21 PM

Anyone tried out the Black Diamond Flare Headlamp?

https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en...gBoCshUQAvD_BwE
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/15/21 11:41 PM

Haven't heard of it til now. Does look pretty neat, and possibly better alternative than the Petzl light.

Trying to think of alternatives... and closest is the Manker E02 II in terms of price/size/weight. 1xAAA but no red/SOS and have to get headband seperately.

http://www.mankerlight.com/manker-e02-ii-ultra-compact-pocket-edc-flashlight/

The Manker E03H is its 1xAA version.

Then there is Acebeam H40 and Thrunite TH20 which aren't angle lights so less flexible.

The above alternatives probably fail on ease of use too compared the Black Diamond too.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/15/21 11:44 PM

I hadn't seen it yet, thanks! I've had great luck with Black Diamond so I'll look it over.
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/16/21 05:15 AM

I have a few, It has become my go to for a small/compact or backup headlamp. Doesn't have a cool case like Petzl's e+Lite, it doesn't store as flat as an e+Lite and it is missing the dual off feature of the e+Lite. It is brighter, easier to use with gloves, and has a longer run time.
Posted by: roberttheiii

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/16/21 06:40 PM

Huh. No. But this thread prompted me to check if the Flare is regulated. I couldn't find any information on that, but I did discover that the new e+lite is regulated. Perhaps time to update my original e+lite.
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/16/21 10:23 PM

The Petzl e+LITE is a great emergency kit headlamp! I have a few stashed in kits and such, but somewhat bulky. I am looking for a replacement for the eGgear EQ headlamp series. Example:

https://sep.yimg.com/ca/I/theshorelinemarket_2618_604051195

It was inexpensive, bright enough, couldn't be turned on accidentally when packed up and very compact.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/16/21 10:43 PM

Consider the Knog Quokka (an Aussie company. obviously),available in the USA only from REI. Rechargeable without a cord(plugs directly into a USB), light (under 2 oz) and very compact. Can be locked.

https://www.rei.com/product/169056/knog-quokka-rechargeable-headlamp

I have a couple and find them useful, although I have not yet used them extensively.
Posted by: KenK

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/16/21 11:17 PM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Consider the Knog Quokka


Any idea how long it will hold a charge in storage?
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/17/21 12:59 AM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Consider the Knog Quokka (an Aussie company. obviously),available in the USA only from REI. Rechargeable without a cord(plugs directly into a USB), light (under 2 oz) and very compact. Can be locked.


Thanks. Rechargeable is generally not a good idea for something you're planning to stick in a kit for years. Plus, with some exceptions, like "dual fuel," then you cannot also include spare batteries. I prefer lights that are going to be stored take lithium primary batteries.

Also, while that's thin,perhaps, it isn't going to pack down compactly I don't think.
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/28/21 12:15 AM

Originally Posted By: roberttheiii
Huh. No. But this thread prompted me to check if the Flare is regulated. I couldn't find any information on that, but I did discover that the new e+lite is regulated. Perhaps time to update my original e+lite.


I emailed Black Diamond and they responded that the Flare is not regulated.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/28/21 11:06 AM

I don't mind an unregulated "battery vampire".
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 06/28/21 12:18 PM

The most important bit about any light source - when you push the button, is there light? Everything else is just details....
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/03/21 07:18 AM

Thanks for this thread: I found it while looking for info about the Flare. That's unfortunate about it not storing flat: I wondered about that from looking at the picture. I wonder if it's feasible to replace the headstrap with a plain bit of elastic.

I don't understand why there are so few ultracompact headlamps: they are basically just keychain lights on a strap, right? The hassle is that the head has to point forward and most keychain lights aren't made that way.

The e+LITE seems nice but is way expensive, the Flare somewhat more affordable, but now that we all have tons of Covid facemasks around, maybe I can repurpose the elastic from one to turn a Photon-style microlight into a headlamp, using a bit of plastic packaging material as a backing plate. I'll post a pic if I manage to do this.

Added: any idea how well these things work, as an alternative to an actual headlamp? It's just a headband with a holder for a small AAA light on the side of your head:

https://www.niteize.com/product/Headband.asp

Maybe I can make something like it that's even lighter, intended to hold just a 1aaa light. The Niteize one is fairly beefy so it can hold e.g. a 2aa Minimag.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/03/21 12:22 PM

When Iím using a headlamp, Iím most commonly underneath something on my back working on it, or Iím on my feet walking. Iíve owned the Niteize strap and itís marginal for the first use and basically worthless for the second ó you cannot angle the light effectively.

My favorite lightweight headlamp is the Nitecore NU20. From experience I can tell you it discharges very slowly while banging around in my laptop bag. My favorite lightweight headlamp that takes primary cells (instead of an onboard rechargeable battery) isnít made any more, it was the Fenix HL50, which could take either 1xCR123A or 1xAA. No affiliation with either company.
Posted by: pforeman

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/03/21 02:48 PM

Funny thing - was just writing about headlamps in another thread!

Anyway, I've got several of the Black diamond brand "storm" lights:
https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/product/storm-400-headlamp/

I like them as the fit me well and I can adjust the light angle on them to project the beam where I want it. The flood or spot or both setting is also nice for my needs.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/03/21 07:00 PM

Chaosmagnet, thanks for the info about the Niteize band, oh well. Pforeman, the Storm looks nice, but I think we're looking for very light and tiny lights here, like under 1 ounce including batteries and strap (the Flare and e+LITE both fit this). The Storm is over 4 oz so is more full size. The only thing wrong with the Flare seems to be that stiffener in the strap: I wonder if they really need that. Oddly, REI has a bunch of BD models but not the Flare, so I can't go look at one there.

I've gotten some nice tiny zipper pouches at Daiso that I use for things like earbuds. They weigh just a few grams and a Flare or a 1aaa light and strap might fit nicely in one.

Hmm, the Fenix HL10 goes a little over the 1 ounce limit (40g with L92 battery) and it may be discontinued, but it is a 1aaa right angle design like the Manker. I personally find it a bit ugly and would change a few things to make it smaller:

https://www.fenixlighting.com/product/fenix-hl10-headlamp/

Added: Fenix HL05 is another 2xCR2032 headlamp, now discontinued though you can find them if you search around, 29.5 grams including batteries and headstrap. Reviewed here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/42621

I think it would be a contender if it came back at the original $15. I wonder what it would take to get Fenix to bring it back. There is a surprising scarcity of this style of light.

Another addition: I'll mention another light not because I'm recommending it (it is a usb rechargeable and has various implementation flaws) but it seems noteworthy as a step in the right direction. It's the Nitecore NU05 which is basically a 1 inch square with SMT leds, an internal battery, and a belt loop-like thing on the back that can thread through an optional headband. There are tons of reviews etc. online.

The light weighs just 10.4 grams and the headband might add another 10g. It has 110mah 3.6v internal lipo cell and runs about 1 hour at 35 lumens, i.e. I wish they had added a 3.5 lumen 10 hour mode. It also has green and red leds with flashing modes etc. Because it is so small, rather than spare batteries you could really carry a whole additional light, so you'd have a spare if something went wrong (you probably wouldn't have a 2nd headband). A Photon Freedom weighs about 7g so with a second NU05-like light you could leave the Photon and its extra batteries out of the kit, and basically break even on weight.

What we actually need though is a CR2032 or (better) 1AAA powered version of this light, with saner modes.
Posted by: jshannon

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 09:52 AM

Nice choices, Chaosmagnet. The NU20 and 25 are popular with the backpackers too. I am also using a NU20 lately instead of my Fenix HL21 from years ago.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 10:59 AM

Yes, definitely could do with few more options in small headlamp area.
Here's a list of smaller headlamps, that should take lithium primaries.

Flashlights @ Parametrek.com

I disregard all plastic bodied ones, not a fan.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 03:35 PM

Looking at that Parametrik list sorted by weight, other than the Flare and e+LITE already here, the lowest weight non-discontinued, non-"tactical" model seems to be the Princeton Tec Remix Pro which uses a CR123A and weighs 66g and costs $45 and is plastic. It does seem like a nice light, and I don't mind plastic. But it seems like everyone wants high-lumen lights now, which use more battery power, which means bigger batteries and more metal mass to handle the heat. It is possible to select just the metal ones like this:

link

A lot more possibilities open if you can use 2aaa or 3aaa. The Black Diamond Wiz (2aaa, 56g, intended for kids) looks interesting because of features like a 2 hour auto-off to prevent the batteries from draining if the light is left on.

Doug, would you be buying 100s of lights at a time for those kits? Maybe you could convince Fenix to do another run of the discontinued HL05 or HL10 lights by offering a large enough order.

Addition: thought I'd mention I just got a couple of Litezall 3aaa headlamps at $3.50 each: https://sidedeal.com/deals/2-pack-litezall-mini-headlamps-3

They are lightweight (24g for the light, 6g for the strap, 63g total with 3 alkaline AAAs or maybe 50g with lithiums) and have an electronic switch which is sealed. They stow pretty small since the headband is just a piece of elastic with an adjustment clip, no stiffener needed. They have a hinged backplate to put in the batteries, so the seam around it is the most likely place for water to get in. I think they would withstand a good splashing as-is but they aren't truly waterproof. I haven't yet measured the operating current (to estimate runtime) or the parasitic current (which might matter for long term storage).

If there is parasitic current, that could be handled by putting a little slip of paper to insulate one of the battery contacts during storage, which would also protect from accidental turn-on. If there is no parasitic current and you want to leave the batteries in the light, you could probably seal the battery compartment with tape or clear nail polish around the seam. I like these lights and plan to stow one in my glove compartment.

Based on the 120 lumen claimed brightness on high, pending measurements, I'm going to guess power consumption at 1 watt on high or 0.5W on low (PWM), giving runtime of 6h high or 12h low with lithiums. They should also have a long reserve of lower brightness.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 06:38 PM

Not sure an auto off is a good idea.

I'd prefer to be able to set it to a firefly/moonlight mode (less than a lumen) so don't have to turn it off during the night, and battery drain is minimal.

Metal bodies lights tend to have mechanical lockout. Quarter turn or so on the battery cap usually breaks the electrical connection.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 07:37 PM

Not all of these lights have firefly/moonlight modes, unfortunately, and for a very small (coin cell) light, 1 lumen would take a significant amount of power. It is also a lot of light, maybe even enough to be annoying. If you are night adapted, 0.1 lumens goes a long way.

Would you want it just to be able to find the light? A GITD marker that you charge up in the daytime or with the high mode would work better.

It looks to me by eyeball like the Litezall's low mode is about 50% of high mode, but I haven't measured.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 09:53 PM

Just to make it clear, I'm not looking for a light.
Was just talking about my personal preferences.

GITD are no good for lights packed away in a kit most of the time, as they need to be charged. Though I do EDC a lumintop tool 2 aa that comes with a silicone GITD o ring installed and a GITD silicone difuser.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 10:37 PM

Well you wouldn't want to leave your light running in moon mode while it is stowed in a kit! You'd have to find it somehow to take it out of the kit, but after that you could charge up the GITD marker either with daylight (if daytime), or with the LED. There are also tritium markers, but they are on the expensive side for something like this, not so easy to buy, and they fade after some decades (H3 half-life=12 years).
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 10:47 PM

Want moonlight for when go to sleep at night, so can find it if needed. Zebralight is the obvious choice with it's best of class regulation, but expensive just to sit around not being used.

Can buy tritium vials over the counter here in the UK.

Also have betalight torches (large coin sized tritium source for map reading and the like), but have gotten really expensive especially new.

Link: https://www.betalight.nl/en/outdoor-tactical/torch.html

Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/04/21 11:20 PM

Yeah small tritium vials are great. Betalight is not really practical for this, besides being way expensive. Can you get 11mm tritium spheres there? I have an old light that needs one.

I'm finding it surprising given the huge variety of tiny handheld flashlights available, including dozens of kinds of keychain lights, that there are so few options in the ultralight headlamp space. There are several "obvious right ways" to make a keychain flashlight and all of them are well represented by products. But in headlamps, lots of that space is unpopulated. A lot of headlamps also almost get it right, but then mess it up somehow. That's why I keep dwelling on the topic.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/05/21 12:25 AM

Believe no one makes spheres any more, and haven't for at least several years now.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/05/21 07:55 AM

If you want to find things in dark you could do as I did = buy glow in dark tape and mark things with it.
I have taped a 4x4 inch area on bedside table to find my eye glasses in pitch dark. Also patches here and the on the walls so that I can navigate my appartment in pitch dark.
I bought the proffessional grade that they use to mark fire exits and so on. It is expensive but worth the money. Itīs amazing how bright it is when your eyes are adjusted to dark.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/05/21 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Herman30
If you want to find things in dark you could do as I did = buy glow in dark tape and mark things with it.
I have taped a 4x4 inch area on bedside table to find my eye glasses in pitch dark. Also patches here and the on the walls so that I can navigate my appartment in pitch dark.
I bought the proffessional grade that they use to mark fire exits and so on. It is expensive but worth the money. Itīs amazing how bright it is when your eyes are adjusted to dark.


Interesting! I'll have to look for that product.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/05/21 09:48 AM

Countycomm has GITD tape: https://countycomm.com/products/maraspec-glow-tape

I don't know how it compares with the professional stuff that Herman30 mentions, but I've found that even not-so-great GITD stuff works pretty well.

I've instead been wanting to get some of these little markers, which have been out of stock for a while, but will supposedly come back sometime: https://countycomm.com/products/ugm-mini-markers-pack-of-15

https://www.technoglowproducts.com/ is supposed to be a good source of high quality GITD powder, which is strontium aluminate with other exotic materials like yttrium added. GITD markers and the like are made by mixing the powder with epoxy resin, letting it harden, and slicing it up. I have no idea of the toxicity of the powder and for now am reluctant to mess with it. I'd rather get ready-made-markers, maybe even the kind in sealed glass vials.

I haven't felt the need to mark out stuff in my room with GITD tape since there's always a flashlight near my bed, and enough stray light that I can find a light switch when dark adapted without stumbling around too much.

For tritium, search on "glowring". The green color is by far the brightest and most visible for a given size vial. Be careful to keep the vial well protected since they are breakable. They are relatively expensive and these days I think I'd rather use GITD stuff in most situations due to lower hassle. I have a headlamp with a GITD holder and I can easily find it at night even though it's just sitting in my room, not getting daylight or anything like that.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/05/21 10:09 AM

I have some of CountyCommís glow in the dark markers on the lanyards of flashlights, making them easy to find in the dark. No affiliation.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/05/21 02:29 PM

Originally Posted By: paulr
Countycomm has GITD tape: https://countycomm.com/products/maraspec-glow-tape

I don't know how it compares with the professional stuff that Herman30 mentions, but I've found that even not-so-great GITD stuff works pretty well.


Judging from the photo it is as good as the one I bought. I bought from a hardware store webshop. One could choose varietys based on how long you want it to glow, was from a few hours to 30 hours. The longer glow time the more expensive. I took the 7 hour glow time. Enough to get through the night.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/08/21 08:50 AM

Doug, I continue to obsess a bit over this weird anomaly but this light might interest you:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32823244215.html

It's a 1AA plastic headlamp that claims to weigh 26g, presumably without battery. Lithium AA is 15g so it clocks in a bit heavier than the coin cell lights, but it uses the totally common AA cells which hold tremendously more energy than coin cells. It has red and white leds with low/medium/high modes, claims IPX5 water resistance, and is $3.65+shipping, making it pretty affordable for your kit. I'm sure you can work out an even better quantity deal.

I have no idea of its quality and wouldn't expect too much, of course. But my venerable 1AA Zebralight H50 weighed 16g without the battery or strap, and it was made of metal, so adding 10g for the strap I can believe this plastic light is the same weight. I might order one just to play around with it.

It would be great if they made a 1aaa version...
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/09/21 02:48 PM

Speaking of 1aaa lights, the one I mentioned in the 2nd post on this thread is currently 30% off on aliexpress. $16.06

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001208648428.html

Doesn't come with a headband, have to order separately

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001208710551.html
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/10/21 03:37 AM

Yeah the Manker headband costs extra and is supposedly not taht nice, and I believe that the light itself is heavier (despite being 1aaa) than the 1aa headlamp that I linked. It is brighter though. I'd tend to go for the 1AA for Doug's kit since he wants something cheap, and you get much more battery energy for just a tiny bit more weight.

For Manker discount codes, try also the links from here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/55867
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/12/21 12:28 AM

Quote:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32823244215.html

It's a 1AA plastic headlamp that claims to weigh 26g


If anyone cares, I have ordered one of these. It might take a month to arrive from China. I'll post a report if and when.

It occurs to me that I have another plastic 1AA headlamp around here, made by Icon, Paul Kim's old company. (Paul Kim was Surefire's chief flashlight designer, and I think the Icon company is gone now). I don't remember what the model was called but I do remember liking the light. If I can find it I can weigh it, I guess. I had two. I used one for a while and now don't know where it is, and the other is unopened but I think I can find it. I have no real reason to keep saving the unopened one, so I may as well open it.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 09/12/21 12:53 AM

I'll be curious to see how you like it! grin
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 10/24/21 05:25 AM

My 1AA light was supposedly delivered, and as far as I can tell, the UPS store at my end lost it along with another package. Neither package was expensive but this is kind of annoying. I may order another light, and maybe end up with two if the original one turns up sometime.

I spoke with a guy online who has one of the 1aa lights. He said it is not waterproof but otherwise is good value for the price. Maybe it can be sealed up with tape or something.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 10/24/21 03:36 PM

Cheap way to pot it is to use clear nail polish on the electronics. Assuming can get it apart without breaking.
I imagine the light doesn't generate much heat, so should be fine.
Posted by: paulr

Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? - 10/26/21 04:32 AM

Update: my 1aa light package has been "un-lost" so I have it now. The other package is still missing.

The light itself is very lightweight and cheap. I guess it is ok as an emergency light but it doesn't seem durable enough for regular use. Weight is about 18.5g for the light by itself, 6.5g for the headband (about 12mm wide), 31g including the minimal cardboard box that it came in. I can post photos if anyone wants to see them. According to the box, the light is 100 lumens.

Figuring out how to insert the battery was confusing. The light is in a little bracket that you can pry off with your fingers, and after that, there is a battery cover that slides off. It seems to me there is a possibility of breaking little parts while doing this, but it should be ok if you are careful. The switch is a clicky pushbutton on top of the light underneath a membrane cover that looks reasonably sealed, but the battery compartment sealing is not that great.

I'm hesitant to suggest inserting the battery before putting the light into a kit, since it's a microprocessor light that may have parasitic current drain even when switched off. I'll try to measure this if I get a chance. Doing this in every kit before shipping would add maybe a minute to the assembly time for each kit, but would allow the light to be tested, and the waterproofing could be improved with a bit of tape or clear nail polish as someone suggested.

The light does have virtues for use in a semi-mass-produced emergency kit. It is cheap and lightweight and uses the most common battery in the world, with tons more energy than the coin cells in the old light. With an L91 lithium AA it is around 40g weight, maybe 10g more than a coin cell light. Its reliability probably isn't great, but the kit contains a second light (Photon Freedom) that can serve as a backup. If the Freedom includes the little mounting clip, then it can be used as a headlamp too, bu clipping it to the AA light or its headband.

I'll put in a battery and test the light later, and maybe write a little more of a review, but for the original purpose of including it in a kit, I think it is worth a look. Doug, you can order one from the link I gave, or I don't mind donating this one to ETS if you want to evaluate it. It might be a week or so before I can send it out though, so it may be about as quick to order from AliEx. I think it took about 12 days to reach my mailbox from them.