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#299208 - 06/28/21 11:06 AM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3126
Loc: Big Sky Country
I don't mind an unregulated "battery vampire".
ďI'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.Ē óRichard Feynman

#299209 - 06/28/21 12:18 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
The most important bit about any light source - when you push the button, is there light? Everything else is just details....
Geezer in Chief

#299875 - 09/03/21 07:18 AM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 496
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:


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.

Edited by paulr (09/03/21 09:39 AM)

#299879 - 09/03/21 12:22 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3796
Loc: USA
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.

#299882 - 09/03/21 02:48 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: chaosmagnet]
pforeman Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 236
Loc: Iowa
Funny thing - was just writing about headlamps in another thread!

Anyway, I've got several of the Black diamond brand "storm" lights:

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.

#299889 - 09/03/21 07:00 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 496
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:


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.

Edited by paulr (09/04/21 06:48 AM)

#299902 - 09/04/21 09:52 AM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
jshannon Offline

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 647
Loc: North Texas
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.

#299903 - 09/04/21 10:59 AM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Ren Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Wales, UK
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.

Edited by Ren (09/04/21 11:00 AM)

#299905 - 09/04/21 03:35 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
paulr Offline

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 496
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:


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.

Edited by paulr (09/04/21 06:11 PM)

#299908 - 09/04/21 06:38 PM Re: Black Diamond Flare Headlamp? [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Ren Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Wales, UK
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.

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