You realize you need a headlamp, but it’s hard to know where to start. What are the best features in a headlamp? It depends on how you’re using it. There are several different styles, designs and features the accommodate any project, adventure or hobby.
Headlamps for Outdoors
If you love camping, hiking, hunting or any other outdoor activity, when looking for a headlamp, consider the following features:
- Night Vision
- Red Flash
- UV Light
- Compact/Lightweight design
- Comfort straps
- Detachable lantern/flashlight
Into stargazing? A red light may just be the tool you need when you’re out with your telescope and star charts.
Red light also known as night vision, allows you to see while not being as bright or blinding as a white light. A typical flashlight or headlamp LED can make it more difficult to see the stars at night, although you’ll need light to navigate your trail and look at maps and charts. Red light is the best alternative. It’ll allow a better opportunity to gaze the stars as it won’t cause your pupils to shrink when it’s on like white light does.
Night vision is also useful when hunting or hiking, so as not to be detected by predators.
Red flash can be used in emergency situations to alert those to your location but not attract unwanted attention when you’re outdoors.
UV light can come in handy to detect certain types of substances or even bodily fluids. It’s especially useful for blood tracking when hunting or hiking. Also, it detects scorpions if you’re venturing in an area they’re commonly found. Beyond outdoors, UV lights detect different types of fluid in the automotive or HVAC industry and can come in handy when you’re cleaning your home, to make sure things have been thoroughly sanitized.
Depending on where you’re going or how far, you might be traveling with a backpack and you’ll need to make sure it’s light enough to carry for a long distance. Choosing a compact and lightweight headlamp can help in this instance to not take up too much space and feel comfortable while using it.
Making sure your headlamp includes all the features you want or need will help make your experience better, no matter how you’re using your headlamp. Specifically for outdoor use, a removable lantern can be extremely helpful, limiting the number of lights you’ll need to carry with you, creating more space for other types of gear when camping or going on long hikes. Our MORF L300 even has a carabiner hook so you can hang the lantern and get 360 degrees of light wherever you are. Not to mention, the backlights come on immediately when the lantern is removed from the base of the headlamp, so you’ll still have light from your headlamp and the additional light from the lantern.
There are also headlamps with removable components. Any of our MORF™ Removables have patented technology so a backlight comes on once the head is removed revealing two light sources. The R230 is our rugged version great for work or everyday use. It’s also IPX7 waterproof so if you accidentally get it wet from the rain or dropping it in water, it’ll be all right.
A pivot feature is also often helpful to angle light right where you need it. Our MORF™ P300 model has the same removable and backlight features and the other MORF headlamps and includes a pivot head.
Slide focus is another feature that can be useful to easily direct the focus of the beam on something in the distance.
Headlamps for work and DIY projects or emergencies
If you use headlamps regularly you may find yourself working in a cramped area and you need two sources of light. Finding a headlamp with a magnetic feature will help as well as back lights which will provide two sources of light hands-free.
It’s also helpful to find a headlamp that’s hardhat compatible or comes with hardhat clips, so you can be safe on the job and get the extra light you need.
Sometimes things happen – like a power outage, inclement weather or car trouble. If you’re broken down on the side of the highway or searching for the breaker box, having hands-free light can be helpful. With the MORF, you can use the magnetic light as an additional source of lighting to work on your engine or while you’re looking to see which switch to flip in your breaker box.
Rechargeable headlamps are great and can be used for just about anything. Our Blackout-R headlamp has 850 lumens of brightness and a 5.5-hour runtime. It also has a slide focus and pivot feature, to help when you need light at a particular angle.
Many rechargeable headlamps use a micro-USB charging cable and can easily be plugged into your car, computer or outlet. That makes charging easy anywhere.
Taking into account the features you find most relevant for your needs will help you find the model that’s right for you, whether that’s a unique innovation, a particular style or mode.