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#146840 - 08/31/08 03:29 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: nurit]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I have a Petzl Tikka that's nice, but for day to day its the Doug Ritter headlamp that costs $15.95 and runs on CR2032 batteries. It proved superior to the Tikka hanging a bear bag on thursday, my hiking partner's Black Diamond could barely shine enough light on our tree branch target, the DR model cast a bright spotlight in the dark. Great also for hiking in the dark, which we did for 2 hours. And the extra 2032 batteries were light and small in my pocket compared to 2-3XAAAs for the Tikka. Honestly, I'm a broken record but for cost, durability and overall convenience I like the Doug Ritter light the more I use it.


Edited by Lono (08/31/08 03:31 PM)

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#146841 - 08/31/08 03:38 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: JohnN]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Originally Posted By: JohnN


Keep in mind that with the little coin cell batteries this isn't a light you are going to want to use for long duration use.




I don't have an axe to grind when it comes to head lamps, I'm just satisfied with my coin cell battery Doug Ritter model. How long of duration should these coin cell batteries last? I'm still on the original set of batteries on at least a few of my DRs, and have replaced the set in my main headlamp once now, which means at least 20-30 hours of use along the trail. I really like the effective light of the Doug Ritter especially the nice tight spotlight, the light on my Tikka while good seems to dim considerably for a good portion of the battery life. The DR works, and is cost effective if you buy your CR2032 batteries in bulk (10-20) from somewhere like lighthound. I can't recall but I think the cost of their cheap Chinese 2032s was something like 16-25 cents per pair in smallish quantities, which was a significant savings at the time, now I see they're still available at 29 cents *each*.

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#146843 - 08/31/08 04:01 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: Tjin]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
+1 Tikka Plus for more active use like predawn bike rides, hiking at night, true outdoor illumination for active use.

+1 Petzl e+lite for stationary uses like reading in bed, map reading in car or outside, beacon attached to clothing, tent or pack for people close by to see at night.

I couldn't get by without one of each but if had to have one would have the Tikka first. I do carry the e+lite in my EDC due to its low volume
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#146845 - 08/31/08 04:14 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: ]
TheSock Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 471
Loc: London England
What sums up Mr Ritter to me is he gives good reviews to rival products. Anyone can tell you their product is the best.
The Sock
_________________________
The world is in haste and nears its end Wulfstan II Archbishop of York 1014.

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#146846 - 08/31/08 04:20 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: ]
TheSock Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 471
Loc: London England
What sums up Mr Ritter to me is he gives good reviews to rival products. Anyone can tell you their product is the best.
The Sock
_________________________
The world is in haste and nears its end Wulfstan II Archbishop of York 1014.

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#146847 - 08/31/08 04:23 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: Lono]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

No offense intended. I'm not saying the coin cell powered lights aren't super handy, inexpensive and that can't provide *useful* light for a long time.

But, the coin cells don't have a lot of power in them and since they are typically unregulated lights, they have a tendency to slowly taper off in output over time. Since it is slow, you don't notice the drop off in performance.

Take a look at the runtime graph in this Photon 3 Microlight review to see what I mean (The P3 is probably better than most lights in this class due to it's multi-mode electronic control -- most other lights in this class only have one mode and their performance will look like the 'high' mode on this graph):

http://ledmuseum.home.att.net/pho3.htm

The Photon 3 has three light output modes, and on every mode except for low you see the tapering effect.

Basically, it only gets 18 hours on "high", but you'll note that the performance drops off radically in the first two hours, then slowly tapers after that. In use, it is hard to notice because the effect is slow.

'Low' mode gets pretty even performance due to it's very low draw on the battery, but while 'low' mode on a 5mm LED is 'useful' light, it isn't a lot of light.

Compare that to the runtime graphs on the Zebralight H50 (like the H30 but AA powered) where 'low' mode output is probably higher than the 'hi' of the P3, and you get rock solid output for over 3 days:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=191362

Even 'medium' mode on alkaline batteries (worst performers) nets you around 16 hours.

Part of this is there is just a lot more energy in a AA or 123A cell than the coin cells. Part of it is you gain lots of benefit from running a high output emitter at low outputs. Part of this is the regulation.

I'm not saying the coin cells aren't useful, and agree with you that they are cheap to run when batteries are purchased online. They have an advantage of being cheap to purchase and small, so you can get them for various kits.

But when it comes to long term task lighting, bigger batteries just have more energy. The H30 and H50 are a pretty sweet spot since they are small and take a single cell so are much smaller and more compact than old style AA lights. The H30 and H50 also use very modern LEDs which have come a long was as well.

Again, the coin cell lights are great. I have an e+LITE in *each* of my first aid kits for example. But my H30 is my task light.

-john

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#146849 - 08/31/08 04:35 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: JohnN]
bmisf Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 185
I like the Tactikka and had used one for a couple of years, but early this year I got two headlamps from Mammut that I like even better; the Lucido TR-1 for general use and the TX-1 for mountaineering and winter. I've retired the Tactikka to my BOB as a backup, and use these others exclusively now for outdoor activities.

They take standard AAA and AA batteries and have a really long battery life for the amount of light they pump out. The TX-1 is super-bright on its high setting, but both are good for hiking or trail running. They swivel to adjust where the beam points and have positive lock-outs for keeping them off in a pack or pocket. Finally, they start on the low setting rather than the high, which I really like (most headlamps seem to do the opposite).

http://www.rei.com/product/775033

http://www.rei.com/product/775029

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#146909 - 09/01/08 02:41 AM Re: Headlamp [Re: JohnN]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Interesting, thanks for the informative post JohnN. It goes to show there's a headlamp out there for everyone. I've tried headlamps with 2-3 brightness settings, I prefer the simpler single brightness models. And I like the price of the Doug Ritter - I can buy two and have some change in my pocket for every Tikka I could buy. And I would rather go CR2032 or AA rather than CR123s. None of which is to diss other lamps, they work great for other folks. Face it though, I'm naturally cheap. One thing I like about the Petzl e+Lite - red light mode, I do wish I had that at times.

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#146916 - 09/01/08 03:30 AM Re: Headlamp [Re: Lono]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Lono
It goes to show there's a headlamp out there for everyone.


Indeed. We live in good times in that respect.

Quote:
And I would rather go CR2032 or AA rather than CR123s.


BTW, note the Zebralight H50 is AA. I just prefer the H30 since it is smaller and 123A powered.

Quote:
One thing I like about the Petzl e+Lite - red light mode, I do wish I had that at times.


Yah, the e+Lite is nicely designed. Personally the best thing about it I like is how flexible it is in regards to position and mounting options. Well, that and the decent waterproofing. Heck, I like it all. Multi output, blink modes for both white and red. Pretty slick little light.

Cheers,

-john



Edited by JohnN (09/01/08 03:31 AM)

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#146965 - 09/01/08 02:46 PM Re: Headlamp [Re: Tjin]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2191
Anything LED, AA powered and waterproof. Beyond that read reviews...

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