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#300835 - 03/24/22 03:39 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: paulr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
The strap you suggest already is on the market, made by Niteize. It works, depending upon how yu place it on your head with any light that will fit within its two straps, basically either a AA tube or AAA tube.

I don't regard the H10 as too expensive. It is a quality, dependable light. I willingly pay more for more powerful, versatile lights

In many emergency situations, your light,usualy a headlamp, becomes a crucial gear item. Ask any caver....


Edited by hikermor (03/24/22 03:39 PM)
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#300836 - 03/24/22 08:28 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
paulr Offline
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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 499
hikermor, yeah, I know about the niteize strap. I asked about it further up in the thread, but chaosmagnet says it's not so great. So I was trying to think of something with more control. Maybe a simpler answer involves some velcro stuck to or wrapped around the light, so you can control the up/down angle. Also, the niteize strap is much too heavy when we are trying to keep the weight of the whole system under 1 ounce. The Niteize weighs 30g all by itself! (New url: https://niteize.com/headband-flashlight-holder ).

Re cost: there's a difference between an expensive light for frequent use, and an expensive light whose intended purpose is to sit unused in a kit for years and (like a fire extinguisher) hopefully never be used. In the second case you have to consider whether that is good resource allocation. Also, it may be better for this light to be mechanically switched to eliminate parasitic drain, so you can leave a battery in the light. I don't know how the HL10 is set up in that regard. This issue is not crucial since you can store the battery outside the light, but that's more fiddling before being able to use it, and more space and parts in the kit, so I'd rather avoid.

Added: for caving, a light and a backup are not emergency supplies, they're necessities, especially the primary! So you would expect to check both lights before going caving, i.e. you can use rechargeables for both and make sure they are charged. Plus the weight is less important. So that gets rid of several constraints of this thread (10 year shelf life, super lightweight, super compact). Plus you'd usually cave with another person, so that's two backup lights between you. Thus I think caving doesn't count in this search. I'd be interested in hearing caving stories involving multiple light failures, and other survival stories where lights were required. I'm a flashaholic obsessed with lights for their own sake, but I think we are overestimating their importance in practice. People did AT through-hikes with just a Photon II. And the incandescent lights of not that long ago tremendously underperformed any modern LED stuff, yet they sufficed.

Added 2: Sadly, the LRI/Photonlight accessory hat clip (the one with the swivel ball) seems to have been discontinued. It always looked a little fiddly (maybe they had breakage problems) but it would let you use the Photon as a handsfree light by clipping it to a hat, pack strap, or whatever. I never tried it but it might have made the Photon into a usable superlight headlamp given a thin elastic headband. Oh well.


Edited by paulr (03/25/22 08:57 AM)

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#300838 - 03/25/22 04:29 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: paulr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
Best wishes on your weight and cost parameters. I checked the current REI headlamp inventory and prices range from 19.95 to 274.95, all weighing more than 1 oz. If you are like me, sticker shock is fairly routine these days.

I am a tad compulsive about headlamps, based on many SAR operations dating back to the 1950s, most of which were conducted either partially or completely at night. I know more than I want to know about substandard lighting! Modern gear is worth the coin....

IMHO, emergency gear should not be put away, untouched, until needed. This is especially true of anything depending on battery power. My stuff is check on a regular schedule.

In addition, is is definitely useful, in an emergency situation, to handle gear with which you are familiar and in which you have confidence. Not a good time to be reading the instructions....
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#300841 - 03/25/22 08:38 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
paulr Offline
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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 499
Heh, thanks, yeah. It's just that the thread was originally started by Doug, who sells an emergency kit that has the usual stuff in it including a headlamp, but the headlamp he was using was discontinued, so he was looking for a replacement with similar specs (under 1 oz, long shelf life thus non-rechargeable). He didn't say cost constraints and the Black Diamond Flare is a really nice light, though imho on the expensive side for something that uses coin cells and intended to not be used. I had somehow thought that the kit cost in the $200 range so that the Flare's cost was a significant chunk of this. But it turns out to be an ultra deluxe kit costing around $3000 that includes some really nice gear like a custom made knife, so cost wasn't much of an issue. He did end up including the Flare fwiw. Anyway, I'm not the one who picked the constraints. I just tried to find lights that fit them or came close to what Doug specified.

The situation with small headlamps really perplexes me. There are a LOT of really nice tube-shaped 1AAA keychain lights that are under $10. All we need is one of those with an angle head, but instead we get these quite fancy lights like the HL10. My favorite small headlamp is Zebralight's earliest model, the H50, which is a 1AA flood that weighs 16g (w/o batteries or headband) and is tiny. They discontinued it in favor of bigger, heavier, fancier lights, maybe due to chasing more lumens, idk. So the flashlight nerd in me sees a simple technical problem that the manufacturers keep getting wrong. That must be what keeps me coming back to this thread: I've spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at headlamp specs because of it. I wish Zebralight would bring back the H50 and make a 1AAA version with an ultralight headband.

I think you are right that it is best to be familiar with one's equipment, and maybe cycle out any stored batteries for fresh ones 1x a year or so. But, people are naturally forgetful and their emergency gear should work anyway.

I've only been in one "emergency" that needed flashlights, the 2003 east coast blackout (about 3 days without power, though in nice summer weather). I was in a pitch dark apartment building so needed a light to get around. Luckily I had several and had fun playing with them. But, a simple keychain light really would have been enough.

Did you use carbide headlamps back in the day? I've never seen one of those up close. I imagine wearing one to be an adventure in its own right wink.


Edited by paulr (03/25/22 09:03 PM)

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#300842 - 03/25/22 08:56 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Ren Offline
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Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 532
Loc: Wales, UK
Did you see Manker has no new production plan for the EO2 II & EO3 II angle lights. Citing rising price of one of the components* by a factor of 20.

* Guess the boost driver, to get the voltage from the cell up to the forward voltage of the LED.

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#300844 - 03/25/22 10:24 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Ren]
paulr Offline
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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 499
No I didn't see that about Manker! Boost drivers are in almost every single cell light, so we are in big trouble if they have suddenly become unavailable or greatly more expensive. I'll check the flashlight forums.

For some reason I was never that excited by the E02 series and was just thinking of ordering an HL10 right after complaining about its price (with 20% off coupon and free shipping it's fine I guess). But these lights are still too big and complicated. I want something like a Skilhunt E3A but right angle, 1 or 2 levels, mechanically switched, no parasitic drain, no microprocessor. Manker E02 is 21g without battery or headband, Skilhunt E3A is about 8g and is 12mm shorter. With an ultralight headband ( https://imgur.com/a/8bkJSMZ shows one for Nitecore NU20), an E3A-style headlamp can probably come in under 1 oz all up (10g light, 8g L92 battery, 8g shock cord headband). The 1oz is an arbitrary boundary but the E02 and HL10 will both end up exceeding it.

Ok, maybe I will order the HL10. If I do, hikerman talked me into it wink.

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#300845 - 03/25/22 10:31 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2997
How small does it need to be? I'm liking the Snap but princetontec now, its handy to just stick to things or hand on something like a pack strap
https://princetontec.com/product-category/outdoor/?subcategory=Headlamps

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#300846 - 03/25/22 11:03 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: paulr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
In thee 1950's I began caving and was introduced to carbide lamps, then the standard for caving, also frequently used in night hiking.

they are superb gadgets, providing dependable, bright light, and they make it easy to start a fire. They were far more dependable than the lights of that era (pre-Maglite).

The big drawback to carbide lamps is that the fuel easily degrades when exposed to even tiny bits of moisture. They also aren't appropriate around plane wrecks or similar situations. Ask me how I know.

i still have a lamp kicking around somewhere, but the carbide fuel has long ago turned to powder...

I have a later model AA Zebralight (53?), which is fairly small, and quite versatile. With a couple of additional batteries, it will run a looong time. I also admire their 18650 lights, fairly light and bright, and ultra dependable, though not cheap.

As you can see, I valuable dependability uber alles. II really sucks to lack light when you need it.
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#300847 - 03/26/22 01:37 AM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
paulr Offline
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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 499
Eugene, the PT Snap is a 3aaa light at 3.5 oz, so not ultralight by most standards, but 3aaa is a very popular format and its size is fine in practice. My lingering doubts are about using that style of light with NiMH cells or lithiums (L92) because of differences in the cell voltages. For frequently used lights I believe rechargeables are best, and for long storage I like lithiums.

I obsessed for a while longer today about those two 1AAA headlamps (Manker E02 II and Fenix HL10) but ultimately resisted temptation. Both are electronically switched, and someone measured the Manker's parasitic current at 0.009mA, which is about 78mAh per year, so not suitable for storing with a cell in the light. You could insert a paper insulating disc, but who remembers to look for that if the light doesn't work, especially during the stress of an emergency? It's best to have a light that you can turn on and use immediately.

I decided my Zebralight H50 suffices. It weighs 31g including an L91 AA cell, so weight with battery is about the same as those AAA lights with an L92. The headband is kind of bulky and heavy but I might try swapping it out for an ultralight band made from elastic straps scavenged from covid masks (I'll buy some actual shock cord some other time). The trouble with carrying a headlamp I've found is the strap flopping around and tangling stuff, rather than the weight. So I don't know why the Petzl Zipka style hasn't been more popular. Apparently there was a version of the e-LITE+ that used that system, but they went back to a conventional headband, no idea why.

If anyone cares, the e-LITE+ in a supposedly new 55 lumen version is $30 at brightguy.com. If I had tons of cash I suppose it would be cool to have one, but I'll skip it for now.

Hikerman, thanks for the info about carbide lamps. I always imagined those things as being one spark away from taking off like a rocket ;-).


Edited by paulr (03/26/22 01:41 AM)

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#300848 - 03/26/22 02:42 AM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2997
Thats why I was asking how small/light it needed to be.
They do work fine from NiMH, I use them all the time.

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