View Full Version : Black Diamond Spot - Horrible Battery Life

09-23-2013, 06:56
I picked up a Black Diamond Spot for my first 5 day section hike, and used it last week. Love all the features, but the battery life not so much. Our 2nd night was just an hour hike outside of Wise Shelter, which you might know has a lot of bear activity recently. So we hung our stuff, but also decided to leave my light on overnight attached to a white Nalgene bottle like a lantern so we could see if something did happen. Maybe a bad idea leaving it on for this reason, maybe not, but a discussion for another thread. Anyway I had brand new Energizer Ultimate Lithiums installed in the Spot. Battery life is advertised to be 50 hrs on high, 200 on low. The other two nights the light was just used for setting up camp.

Long story short, no bears, and a light so dead I could barely tell it was on 9 hours later when I got up. Thankfully I had spare batteries with me which I used for the next 3 nights of camp setup. So maybe 3hrs total max for those days.

When I got home, I turned the light on and left it in the kitchen. 5hrs later, 2nd set of batteries was dead. OK, maybe it doesn’t like Lithiums.

Tried last night with standard Energizer AAA’s. 8hrs later, it shows the batteries on red, and the light is nearly dead this morning.

Do I have a bad light, or is the advertised life on this piece exaggerated by about 5x? I don't see anyone else complaining about it, but I'm also not sure anyone is leaving them on the same way as me. Anyone have a recommended light that lasts as long as it’s supposed to?

09-23-2013, 07:20
A set of energizer lithiums lasted for the first 12 days or so of my recent JMT hike with use mainly in the early mornings and in my tent for reading at night for 30 minutes. I switched out to a third set the night prior to hiking to Mt Whitney (this time regular Duracell) since I anticipated 6 hours of use (I woke up at midnight and started hiking around 1:15am). The light was great in terms of brightness but after six hours at full blast, the battery indicator is "yellow" indicating that I'll probably have to switch out batteries on my next trip. I love the light but agree that battery life isn't all that great...

09-23-2013, 08:23
Very happy with my petzl e+lite

09-23-2013, 09:06
I used a Spot on the Pinhoti and Sheltowee Trace trail and like it a lot but agree it's not as easy on the batteries as many other choices. I dim it considerably when it comes on but I appreciate the way it lights up the night on the highest setting. Very handy for night hiking if you get to a place where navigation is tricky.

I wish it would 'remember' the last brightness setting when you turn it off, then back on - coming on in wide-open high beam every time is a bit annoying.

I toss a set of lithiums after 4-6 days of daily use during the winter when days are short.

Sarcasm the elf
09-23-2013, 12:03
I love my BD spot, but I agree that the advertised battery run times are a joke. I have no idea what magical batteries could possibly give 200 hours of run time for a headlamp.

09-23-2013, 13:18
Well I was kinda hoping I just had a bad unit that I could exchange for one that worked as advertised - guess it's just the nature of this light.

Anyone have one they recommend that is even close to this type of battery life / weight / styles, or is this one pretty much as good as any other - just pack plenty of spare batteries?

Another Kevin
09-23-2013, 13:58
I've never seen enough advantage in a name-brand headlamp like Petzl or Black Diamond to make the switch. I use a generic headlamp from a 'big box' hardware store - I think it was Home Depot's house brand. It has a rubber gasket on the battery compartment, so it doesn't get trashed by wearing it in the rain. It's got tight- and wide-beam settings at two brightness levels, plus red lights. It might be, oh merciful heavens, a half ounce heavier than one of the fancy ones. Now that I see other people's experience with battery life, I'm even less tempted. What am I missing out on?

I think in the winter, I can go a month or two running my headlamp on high a half-hour or so a day for my daily walk around town. That's no 200 hours but considerably more than 6 - maybe 25-30 (or half of what's advertised). Of course, that's with three AAA cells, rather than the one or two that some of the other headlamps take.

Last Call
09-23-2013, 14:33
I agree with Another Kevin, my daughter's $20 Enegizer from the check-out aisle at Lowe's outperforms my expensive 70 lumen Princeton Tec......I've tested them both side by side & the energizer is brighter, not sure about the battery life of either as I always replace with fresh before a trip & use the old batteries for TV remotes, etc.

02-12-2014, 11:20
I use duracells in my spot and the battery life is much better compared to the bunny batts. Also, be sure to dim when possible, even on the "low" beam.