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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Surefire makes a very light, very bright, very expensive headlamp.
    Strange way to describe an extremely heavy, bulky, underpowered, 1xCR123A headlamp. Unless you meant the Maximus, which is even bigger and heavier.
    The Minimus really is a well-built light, but it's huge, and 3-4x the weight of a headlamp suitable for backpacking.
    Feels like wearing a rhinocerous horn around. I had an older version with the same construction, and a warm emitter(Minimus Vision). Tried it out on some overnight trips and a long night hike, but its obnoxious size and lack of support for rechargeables were both dealkillers.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    I hate headlamps, carry a flashlight. Everyone with a headlamp no matter how considerate constantly blasts people in the face with them.
    Dont use white lite on trail at all and keep white light to a minimum, and watch where you are shining it.
    In the old days of backpacking (1980) we all used state of the art backpacking flashlights---MINI MAGS!! No decent backpacker back then wanted anything else like Mallory etc. We held Mini Mags in our mouths most of the time to set up camp at night---here's my buddy Johnny B in 1985 setting up camp on Upper Creek in Pisgah with his Mini Mag in his mouth---And we drooled spit water down the things---



    Many years ago I switched to headlamps---it's a no-brainer and so much more convenient---and purchased two of these---3 AAA fed---



    The Mini Mags had so many disadvantages---the little light bulb would burn out at the worst time---and replacing it at night on the trail was fun---getting the bulb's little prongs into the tiny holes---and not dropping the spring in the butt end to get the bulb etc etc. And how fast the bright bulb got dull. My Petzl lasts me easily 14 or 15 days with one set of batts---

  3. #23

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    So many memories of drooling on a Mini Mag. I'm glad to have moved on!

  4. #24
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    Then they came out with the rubber bite tips.
    Be Prepared

  5. #25

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    Yep, there were various workarounds. Bite tips, even clunky straps to hold the light next to your head. Headlamps were a huge improvement (especially LED so you got improved durability and battery life).

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    Strange way to describe an extremely heavy, bulky, underpowered, 1xCR123A headlamp. Unless you meant the Maximus, which is even bigger and heavier.
    The Minimus really is a well-built light, but it's huge, and 3-4x the weight of a headlamp suitable for backpacking.
    Feels like wearing a rhinocerous horn around. I had an older version with the same construction, and a warm emitter(Minimus Vision). Tried it out on some overnight trips and a long night hike, but its obnoxious size and lack of support for rechargeables were both dealkillers.
    So 4 oz. is obnoxious? I am usually wearing a helmet when needing a headlamp. The Minimus is nothing compared to some of Petzel's or Nite Lite's other offerings:

    https://www.huntsmart.com/products/n...MaAuLyEALw_wcB
    Be Prepared

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Then they came out with the rubber bite tips.
    I wrapped my Mini Mag with a fabric bandaid for mouth protection. Easily replaced.

  8. #28
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    Just wondering, if anybody else noticed a decay or fading of the LED brightness over the years?
    My oldest LED is a Petzl Tikka (like in Walters pic above), about 12yrs old and while it still works perfectly fine it seems to be much less bright even with a new set of batteries than it had been when new.

  9. #29

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    I haven't noticed it, but my understanding is that's reasonable for an LED in general. Slow decay rather than sudden burnout, especially when they're driven hard.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Just wondering, if anybody else noticed a decay or fading of the LED brightness over the years?
    My oldest LED is a Petzl Tikka (like in Walters pic above), about 12yrs old and while it still works perfectly fine it seems to be much less bright even with a new set of batteries than it had been when new.
    Probably true. Any LED experts out there?

    Question---you guys know of any headlamps that have "volume" brightness switches instead of click step-up switches? On a fresh set of batts I'd like to keep the light very dim but even on the lowest setting it's still too bright. (Mostly for reading in the tent). A volume knob could control light output better.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Probably true. Any LED experts out there?

    Question---you guys know of any headlamps that have "volume" brightness switches instead of click step-up switches? On a fresh set of batts I'd like to keep the light very dim but even on the lowest setting it's still too bright. (Mostly for reading in the tent). A volume knob could control light output better.
    As I recall, my older Black Diamond headlamp slowly adjusts brightness while you hold down the button. Not step by step, but a progressive adjustment like spinning a dimmer switch. I think it's a Spot?

    Edit - this video demonstrates how it works:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfyE...amondEquipment

    That's a newer model than I've got, so it must be pretty standard for them.

  12. #32
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    Walter, the other Petzl I have (a Myo XP) you can program the steps of brightness.

    Same idea here, to start with a very moderate brightness and then possibbly step up as needed.
    Usually, when nighthiking I like very low light, just enough to get a clue where the path is going.
    Same when having to get up in the middle of the night.

    Later:
    Just got a glimpse at the Petzl website.
    Oh man.. this is going through the sky.
    The more advanced models have multy-beam and can be monitored and modified by an app on your smartphone.
    It has an intelligent way of detecting your environment and by this is able to set a suitable brightness by itself.
    Looks like you're going to carry a computer on your hat.
    Last edited by Leo L.; 12-11-2020 at 17:38.

  13. #33
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    It was called the Jackstrap and I still have two somewhere.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Yep, there were various workarounds. Bite tips, even clunky straps to hold the light next to your head. Headlamps were a huge improvement (especially LED so you got improved durability and battery life).
    It was called the Jackstrap and I still have two somewhere.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Just wondering, if anybody else noticed a decay or fading of the LED brightness over the years?
    My oldest LED is a Petzl Tikka (like in Walters pic above), about 12yrs old and while it still works perfectly fine it seems to be much less bright even with a new set of batteries than it had been when new.
    LED's tend to fade with age so your's is normal

  16. #36
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    Hey everyone. I had the same problem with the Mini mag, especially when the bulb went out at the wrong time. When the LED conversion kit came out I ran to get it.

  17. #37

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    ssems to be the case with all LED's, false advertising IMO. Claim to last for years but really they dont. Put them in my garage and yep super nice for a year or two now they are duller than the old school florescents they replaced. Same thing in the Kitchen and also on the boats I work on. Ones a few years old and the engine rooms look like a dungeon.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    So 4 oz. is obnoxious? I am usually wearing a helmet when needing a headlamp.
    Is 4oz the size?
    What kind of backpacking helmet do you have?
    Do you wear it all the time, or just around camp, and in your tent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Probably true. Any LED experts out there?

    Question---you guys know of any headlamps that have "volume" brightness switches instead of click step-up switches? On a fresh set of batts I'd like to keep the light very dim but even on the lowest setting it's still too bright. (Mostly for reading in the tent). A volume knob could control light output better.
    I used to be an "expert". Haven't really followed the development of LEDs very closely, or modded or built any lights, since they overtook incandescents in terms of practical brightness and runtime. That was the goal back when "bright" factory LED lights were putting out 15-30 lumens.
    Nowadays, there's not much point in following every new development, and my soldering iron just gathers dust. I've got a little light that weighs less than the battery that powers it, puts out ~1300 lumens for a few minutes, has a fantastic tint and beam, and can run for 2.5 weeks at the level I actually use most before needing a fresh battery. Amazing.


    Anyway, for reading in a tent, a floody headlamp with neutral tint and a mode/level with very low output is what you want.
    I suppose the first step is deciding what kind of battery to use, and how much money you're willing to spend.

    My idea of "cheap" is a $60-80 Zebralight flashlight or headlamp, and those are far and away the best overall lights in their price range, IMO. My "serious" lights have different priorities(and a different price range), but for hiking/backpacking needs, I'm all about the floody Zebralights with neutral emitters.
    They have programmable modes, so you can get very low output from them-like tiny fractions of a lumen.
    The current H53Fw model automatically gets my recommendation, since it uses a AA battery.
    http://zebralight.com/H53w-AA-Headla...ite_p_197.html

    This version, with no reflector, is best if you want something strictly for use in the tent, reading, etc. It is pure flood, as opposed to the "floody" of the other light.

    http://zebralight.com/H503w-AA-Neutr...amp_p_237.html

    All lighting supplied by my H52Fw.
    Maybe you can see why I like the broad beam, and neutral tint...
    20201013_200352.jpg

    FB_IMG_1607842777917.jpg

    FB_IMG_1533051112072.jpg

    ...and the floody vs.
    20201207_062840.jpg

    ...the normal reflectored beam.
    20201207_062758.jpg

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    ssems to be the case with all LED's, false advertising IMO. Claim to last for years but really they dont. Put them in my garage and yep super nice for a year or two now they are duller than the old school florescents they replaced. Same thing in the Kitchen and also on the boats I work on. Ones a few years old and the engine rooms look like a dungeon.
    Maybe it's just the brand? I must have gotten really lucky because my very bright garage LED's have worked fine for 3-4 years now, since I replaced my bank of fluorescent lights. I think I usually buy Phillips brand. I got roped into a cheap brand, "Reit" or "Leit" or something like that and had numerous LED bulb failures (my entire house now uses LED's).

    But yeah, LED's do fade over time, the main culprit is heat. with that said, running a 200 lumen headlamp at 200 lumens will probably make it fade a lot faster. Running it at 100 or 50 or whatever would probably make it last over twice as long, just a guess.

    I used to hike with a mere 30 lumen lamp, and even did a lot of night hiking with it, though only on fairly easy terrain. I sure like having that 200 lumens available though for technical climbs at night (rare).

    So far, I've yet to notice any fading on my nitecore NU25, but I hardly ever run it on high, mostly on the medium setting. Best overall headlamp I've ever owned. I think I've had it about 2 years.

  20. #40

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    Wouldnt surprise me on the boats as they are state and I am sure installed by the lowest bidder. Probably buy some new shop ones soon and will look at the brand.
    Thing about it is, it is so gradual you dont notice till you buy a new bulb.

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