PDA

View Full Version : Winter light



sethd513
12-02-2016, 21:11
What do you all prefer for the winter season at night for your headlamp/flashlight. I haven't been 100% pleased with any of my Amazon or black diamond lights.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Kaptainkriz
12-02-2016, 21:14
Zebralight H52W, hands down, the best light I've ever had.

nsherry61
12-02-2016, 21:23
I prefer no light most of the time with the lighter surroundings of snow . . . at least when there is snow. If I have to turn on a light, I've use earlier Petzl lights and more recent Black Diamond lights. I've found all of them perfectly adequate.

What are you not getting that you want or getting that you don't want?

Actually, I also used a Princeton Tec headlight, not long ago, and wasn't too impressed with it's quality or reliability.

bigcranky
12-02-2016, 22:36
+1 on the Zebralight H52W. Uses a single AA battery, easy to use, very bright when needed but six levels of brightness down to really dim. Easy to lock out with a quarter turn on the battery cover so it won't come on in the pack. Great smooth beam spread.

I've had a lot of headlamps, and this is the only one that I still use.

Storm
12-02-2016, 23:03
Many lights fail in winter with standard batteries. Always use Lithium, hold up much better in the cold.

Slo-go'en
12-02-2016, 23:40
I made my own headlamp with an ultra bright GREEN LED and a 4 AAA battery pack with four intensity settings. Green works really well in the snow as it doesn't reflect and blind you as much as white light does. Also, the eye is most sensitive to green and it also preserves night vision.

But if your just hanging out at night, an old fashion candle lantern is really nice and gives the illusion of warmth.

cmoulder
12-03-2016, 00:07
BD Storm with lithium batteries.

sethd513
12-03-2016, 09:16
Last time we were out this summer we had a long day out and we're hiking down to camp and my bd storm didn't seem bright at all. Fresh batteries and the light is fairly new. Maybe it will be fine with lithiums though since it does have a green light option


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

cmoulder
12-03-2016, 10:00
Well I must admit I've never run mine for more than about 15 minutes at a time (no night hiking with it), so maybe there's an issue. However, I have a BD Spot that I've used for night hiking and have run it for about 3 hours straight at times and it is working very well... very good battery life even with Duracell alkalines.

jjozgrunt
12-03-2016, 10:12
I use a Petzl Reatik headlamp. Not the lightest at 115 grams but add a spare battery to the Zebralight and they are about the same. It has a rechargeable lithium battery which if you are taking a battery pack, for recharging phones etc. makes sense, no spare batteries to carry. The model I have you can adjust the light settings with your computer and a downloadable program so the performance matches your activity. https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/PERFORMANCE-headlamps/REACTIK#.WELRM7J96Uk

Dogwood
12-03-2016, 12:01
Haven't ultra anal-yzed it but I like the Petzyl Tikka + and XP.

*Lithium battery compatible which is all I use and especially better for winter
*Multi beam settings
*Red light LED although green is also nice for hiking at night in winter snow
*Boost modes for battery life conservation and adjusting for close, longer distance, and wider angle lighting
*Good water resistance
*Not overly heavy for the features offered and not ultra minimalist which can be problematic for night hiking especially in winter snow conditions
*Easier to operate while wearing gloves with a decent sized push button panel compared to BD's Tap Touch system

Battery life is acceptable but I'm not going to gram weenie Li battery wt in winter so I'll bring an extra 3 set and especially since I thoroughly engage in and enjoy winter night hiking as being a magical experience that IMO more folks should experience especially with snow on the trees and underfoot.

sethd513
12-03-2016, 13:05
I use a Petzl Reatik headlamp. Not the lightest at 115 grams but add a spare battery to the Zebralight and they are about the same. It has a rechargeable lithium battery which if you are taking a battery pack, for recharging phones etc. makes sense, no spare batteries to carry. The model I have you can adjust the light settings with your computer and a downloadable program so the performance matches your activity. https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/PERFORMANCE-headlamps/REACTIK#.WELRM7J96Uk

I almost bought the reactik+ last night. It has 300 lumens and the recharging factor were a plus as I carry an anker battery sometimes. Would you say this line seems solid?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Leo L.
12-04-2016, 10:50
Just to throw in an opposite consideration:

I have a Petzl Myo which works on 3x AA batteries, and found out that it can use the half-empty batteries thrown out of the Gameboys and many other electronic toys by the kids, so the batteries for the Petzl come kind of free.

egilbe
12-04-2016, 12:27
Just to throw in an opposite consideration:

I have a Petzl Myo which works on 3x AA batteries, and found out that it can use the half-empty batteries thrown out of the Gameboys and many other electronic toys by the kids, so the batteries for the Petzl come kind of free.

Alkaline batteries freeze up here in the cold and wont last. How are you getting them to work half used in low temps?

Leo L.
12-04-2016, 13:06
Honestly, until now I never had the situation of deep freezing cold and the need of constant headlamp light. While the headlamp is in my pack the whole winter, the most I've used it was for short glimpses or a downhill skiing or a very early start with 1-2hrs of headlamp usage, and so far the Alkalines (any brand) never failed.
Only once a battery pack failed when night-skiing, but this was a NiCd rechargeable already at the end of its life. The light I carried as spare (a pretty old Alkaline in a very old Petzl) worked as expected under the same conditions.
Remember the same very old Petzl with Alkalines working on Mont Blanc in the extremely cold morning before dusk (maybe -25C).

In severe cold I would wear the headlamp under the hood of the jacket thus the batteries not having the full freezing temps, as well as they will keep some reasonable temps inside the pack.

Interestingly, I'll do a full night hike next thursday in freezing cold (forecast is -5C) and we'll see how the Alkalines will hold.

Another Kevin
12-07-2016, 17:10
I still haven't heard what the original poster's problem was with the headlamps he tried.

I use a BD Spot with lithium batteries. In my experience, the choice of headlamp isn't that critical. I used a hardware-store one for several years. The choice of batteries is. Alkaline batteries are not reliable in the cold. The Spot is much brighter than the hardware store lamp, at some cost of battery life. I can dim it, of course.

I kind of like Slo-Go'en's idea of a DIY one, although I disagree about green light and night vision. (It is indeed good for mist and snow.) I might try that one of these months, despite not being the electronic genius that he is. (I'm a EE - he's a wizard.) Slo, what did you do for an enclosure, a reflector and a lens?

At some point, I also want to kludge up some better way to mount a headlamp at chest or waist level, so that it doesn't flatten features or blind me in dense fog. Anyone have suggestions about worry-free approaches to that?

cmoulder
12-07-2016, 17:53
Could probably rig up something similar to this (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IJ25NIO) easily enough using some elastic bands and a standard headlamp.


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/A14iVxNkRsL._SL1500_.jpg

Dogwood
12-07-2016, 17:58
Just to throw in an opposite consideration:

I have a Petzl Myo which works on 3x AA batteries, and found out that it can use the half-empty batteries thrown out of the Gameboys and many other electronic toys by the kids, so the batteries for the Petzl come kind of free.

The Constant Lighting technology of headlamps like the Petal Myo are nice in that they can, as you say, not gradually fall off in lighting intensity as many headlamps do during a long drain on battery life.



CONSTANT LIGHTING technology for Economic and Optimum modes:
- brightness does not decrease gradually as the batteries drain
- automatically switches to reserve mode when batteries are nearly spent

Dogwood
12-07-2016, 18:00
Cmoulder you must be a runner... or have a very slippery dome?

jjozgrunt
12-07-2016, 19:26
Just saw this one in the new edition of Trail Grooves http://www.trailgroove.com/issue31.html?autoflip=113 Half the weight of my Petzl but half the max lumens as well so only 150, which is heaps bright enough for walking. Rechargeable, adjustable light setting on the move, biggy about 1/3 of the price of a petzl rechargeable. Biggest con for me is no red light.

cmoulder
12-07-2016, 19:35
Cmoulder you must be a runner... or have a very slippery dome?

LOL, that's not me, just borrowed from the linked website.

Personally, I have very rarely had a problem with my headlamps in their usual location on my noggin (good point from AK about fog, though), and the little I hike at night I am not bothered by the shadows, or lack of same. But I know many are as this topic also comes up frequently on BPL. Maybe if I actually did run at night the problem would more apparent to me.

RockDoc
12-07-2016, 20:21
For Winter I would take two, a headlamp and a good tactical LED torch. Prefer torches that I can hold in my mouth...

cmoulder
12-07-2016, 20:38
.... Prefer torches that I can hold in my mouth...

OK, I'll bite... Why?

sethd513
12-08-2016, 06:46
I guess my problem is I feel like every time I turn on my headlamp it's got less juice then before. Even 30 minutes I feel there is a slight difference. I'm going to put either lithium or rechargeable batteries in my storm and I picked up the reactik+ so I'm planning to be able to recharge more items on the trail. I'm aware nothing last forever but I'm very easy on all my gear and the only thing I seem to find finicky are my lights.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

cmoulder
12-08-2016, 07:14
Super battery shoot-out here (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?64660-Alkaline-Battery-Shoot-Out) with charts. If you scroll down there is a chart that graphs alkaline and lithium discharge curves. Bottom line, there's no comparison... lithium wins, hands down.

Also, almost never should a headlamp be set to full power. Obviously, longest battery life when the minimum amount of light necessary to get the job done. Once our eyes adjust, 30 lumens at night will often work fine... don't need a 200 lumen kleiglight for hiking. The nice part about the Storm (and Spot) is the ability to easily fine-tune the output from high to low, with the quick tap for full power if you need maximum light momentarily, and then back to your lower power setting.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/SilverFoxCPF/AAALiAlkComparison05A.jpg

colorado_rob
12-08-2016, 10:29
Those lithiums are the way to go, and occasionally one can find them on sale for less than 6 bucks for a 4-pack, normally over 10 bucks. Still darn expensive, but worth it. I swing by the battery stand every grocery trip, and when on sale, I stock up. As a bonus, they are just slightly over half the weight of alkalines. I splurge and carry them on long hikes, even in warmer weather.

Thanks for sharing that link and graph, cmoulder.

By the way: last night was our earliest sunset of the year.... from now on until early July, we have more and more afternoon/evening daylight! Woohoo! This is the single most important astronomical event for me, as I love the daylight (and morning daylight is of less importance).

theinfamousj
12-08-2016, 11:38
OK, I'll bite... Why?
Thanks for the chuckle.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Leo L.
12-08-2016, 11:55
...
In severe cold I would wear the headlamp under the hood of the jacket thus the batteries not having the full freezing temps, as well as they will keep some reasonable temps inside the pack.
Interestingly, I'll do a full night hike next thursday in freezing cold (forecast is -5C) and we'll see how the Alkalines will hold.

Had this night hike happen, of the 12hrs hike there was some moonlight for 2-3hrs, enough to hike with headlamp off, the rest was pitchblack dark in the forests, and some roadwalks, where I kept the lamp on for security. All in all there had been about 9hrs of constant use.
The temps were in the -5C range.
The old Alkalines had had about 1.2xV at the beginning, and dropped to 1.07V at the end. The lamp still gave some light good enough for hiking on easy ground.
I carried spare Alkalines in the pack, they didn't get used and didn't drop voltage.

OK, -5C is not terribly cold, but under this conditions I think its safe to use Alkalines, and with a lamp like most Petzl (and other high-end brands) having a decent voltage regulation you can save some money by using used Alkalines from other electronic devices that would work on new batteries only.

orthofingers
12-08-2016, 14:01
I've got the Petzel with the reactive light technology. Is that the XRP? I first thought that reactive thing was a gimmick but I think it is helpful when you're looking down at the trail so that the reflected light doesn't blind you but then, can glance upward and the light brightens automatically to see what's in the distance. Also I like the neoprene(?) adjustable strap much better than the simple elastic fabric straps on most headlamps. It's rechargeable from a (very short) USB cable. I'll never go online to program its brightness steps or whatever that's about. Downside is it was expensive, it's a bit bulky and I don't have the weight handy but I'm sure there are lighter lights out there.

After saying that, my son just bought the newest version of the black diamond Spot. I've played with that a bit but haven't had it on the trail. Like my Petzel, it's plenty bright with a spot and a flood LED, has a red LED for night vision preservation but the light is infinitely adjustable on any of the LEDs but also has a tap feature where you can instantly get a bright burst of light by tapping it if you need the light. It's waterproof to one meter so it should be ok in the rain or if it gets splashed but probably not for SCUBA diving. Best of all, I think it was something like $34. I don't know the weight but, once again I'm sure there are lighter lights.

sethd513
12-08-2016, 22:26
I've got the Petzel with the reactive light technology. Is that the XRP? I first thought that reactive thing was a gimmick but I think it is helpful when you're looking down at the trail so that the reflected light doesn't blind you but then, can glance upward and the light brightens automatically to see what's in the distance. Also I like the neoprene(?) adjustable strap much better than the simple elastic fabric straps on most headlamps. It's rechargeable from a (very short) USB cable. I'll never go online to program its brightness steps or whatever that's about. Downside is it was expensive, it's a bit bulky and I don't have the weight handy but I'm sure there are lighter lights out there.

After saying that, my son just bought the newest version of the black diamond Spot. I've played with that a bit but haven't had it on the trail. Like my Petzel, it's plenty bright with a spot and a flood LED, has a red LED for night vision preservation but the light is infinitely adjustable on any of the LEDs but also has a tap feature where you can instantly get a bright burst of light by tapping it if you need the light. It's waterproof to one meter so it should be ok in the rain or if it gets splashed but probably not for SCUBA diving. Best of all, I think it was something like $34. I don't know the weight but, once again I'm sure there are lighter lights.

Yea I'm about 2 hours into figuring out the petzl reactik+ and I just finally figured out the steps and thought behind the programming through Bluetooth. I'd say the bd storm is a solid light and would go head to head with this petzl but the petzl has 5 or 6 different beam patterns and the reactive lighting so once I get my head wrapped around the program and user buttons it's going to be a great lamp. The only reason I got it was a 50$ off coupon


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Alex Blain-Laider
12-09-2016, 20:27
Lithium-Ion and NiMH would be a better comparison.