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Thread: Help picking a headlamp

  1. #1
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    Help picking a headlamp

    So I'm in the market for a new headlamp. So far, this one is at the top of my list: https://www.nitecorestore.com/NU50-H...-nite-nu50.htm

    Main reasons being are super-amazing runtime and rechargeable battery. 11 hour runtime on 600 lumens, which seems to be a pretty accurate number based on what I've read so far.

    The big con of this one is the spill. It's wider than I would prefer. I would rather have a more focused beam with a longer throw.

    I'm not an "operator" so replaceable batteries and weight aren't the top concerns. I actually prefer rechargeable, but if it's battery powered CR123 are ideal. I'm also not wearing a helmet, so mounts, etc., are not a concern.

    I would like something at least 500 lumen with the longest throw possible. I absolutely must have a red light.

    I typically buy Surefire or Streamlight but their offerings are not even close to what this one offers. I'm not too familiar with other brands; I just kinda just stumbled on this one.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by Bluto; 09-28-23 at 09:53.

  2. #2
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    I'm not aware of anything like that. The problem is that to get good throw, the optics will have to be dedicated, which makes for a very weird form factor if they're gonna cram in extra LEDs for the red. You're not going to get both in one unit, your most realistic option is to have two headlamps, or else use a headlamp for one thing and flashlight for the other.

    https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...eable-headlamp has okay throw (more than the Nitecore you linked, anyway) and red.

    I'll also note, those throw numbers are probably good for like 30 seconds before the light throttles its output down for heat management, and you're probably at like half the peak candela. Throw-specific headlamps in general are pretty rare (most headlamps with decent throw numbers are just outputting massive amounts of light in general, and those turbo mode outputs get throttled down real fast), given that most folks are using them for task lighting and a floodier light is usually more useful for that.
    Last edited by Defaultmp3; 09-28-23 at 10:54.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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  3. #3
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    10Kcd stock with red and green side led's.

    16Kcd if you want the modded version. The modded version is also 90 CRI and replaced the side green LED with a floody white.

    More details about UI and video review on page.

    https://skylumen.com/products/acebea...42286319894688
    Last edited by Adrenaline_6; 09-28-23 at 11:17.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defaultmp3 View Post

    https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...eable-headlamp has okay throw (more than the Nitecore you linked, anyway) and red.
    This the the headlamp i use the most often and i really like it alot. I like that you can also detach the light and use it as a handheld if needed.

  5. #5
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    I have been using the same Zebralight for years but they are not throw-oriented.

    For red light consider using a filter. You lose efficiency compared to a dedicated emitter but power levels are usually low anyway.

    I would not enjoy the weight of a 21700 single-unit headlamp; a 18650 model is heavy enough.
    "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

  6. #6
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    I would be hesitant to buy a Nightcore. I've bought several because I liked their performance/features mix, however, all of them failed within a year. The switches/buttons failed.
    I ran an Olight Prerun 2 when working. I loved the versatility of that light, especially the magnetic charge port, though I rarely needed to charge it. It just ran forever. But it doesn't have a red light option.
    I'm a flashaholic. I have lights stashed everywhere for different uses. I have several models (handheld and weapon mounted) of Surefire, Cloud Defensive, and Olights. Ran these brands for years with no failures.
    Ran several Streamlights with only 1 partial failure (original Protac lost 1 mode after many years of use, but low level still works)
    I've come to the conclusion simpler is better with lights. Trying to make one light fit all roles is a recipe for disappointment.
    Ive also like green beams better than red for night. Too bad I haven't found a durable one.

  7. #7
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    I have a Petzl from 2004 that I still use to this day.

  8. #8
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    First thing is what are you using it for?

    I have quite a few headlamps, and for the most part I would recommend a Petzl, as the just work well. But I have a $12 Energizer headlamp I use for hunting that's been dunked in the water I don't know how many times and it still works fine. It's awesome even though it's only got some 300 lumens, but when you're using it you're really only illuminating what's within maybe 15 feet of you, otherwise I have a actual flashlight that I use for anything further.
    I have a PrincetonTec 78 lumen light that I have in my tactical kit that has a red lens window ensuring that I cannot ND white light with it, and that's all I really need for patrol based movements.

    https://www.amazon.com/Petzl-Compact...8&sr=1-12&th=1

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000RLJZX0...roduct_details

    https://www.amazon.com/Energizer-Mid...1zcF9hdGY&th=1
    Last edited by Hank6046; 09-28-23 at 16:33. Reason: LINKS
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  9. #9
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    Thank you all for the suggestions. I really didn't factor weight so much but after reading around and wearing my el-cheap-o home depot headlamp for a few hours I definitely felt the weight aspect. I went ahead and ordered the nitecore NU43. The NU50 I was originally considering is about an ounce heavier with a very minimal difference in performance. 11 hours vs 10 hours for an extra ounce isn't really worth it and even with the thermal stepdown the runtime is a worthwhile tradeoff. Will try it out and go from there.

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    I really like this: https://www.petzl.com/US/en/Sport/Headlamps/IKO-CORE

    Super light weight, can use core rechargable battery or 3x AAA, and fits on a helmet well. It replaced a ~6-8 year old Petzl thats switch finally gave out.

    Downside is it looks goofy AF. Can be had for ~$60 on sale.

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