The best headlight for those who want to see light at the end of a tunnel

🕒 5 minutes

You have probably seen bulky devices in films with which the main characters make their way in dark tunnels, with disturbing music sounds in the background, and the light of the flashlight going out at the most stressful moment? For this not to happen to you in real life, you need to know how to choose a headlamp so that it works properly.

Tourist headlamp

How to choose a headlamp for fishing, tourism, and house?

Despite the abundance of manufacturers – foreign, domestic and Chinese (this is a separate issue) – there are still only two materials for making the frame: plastic or aluminium. There are no other options, since only they meet the most important requirement for the low weight of the product.


Headlamps from China are almost entirely made of plastic, which also varies. For the cheapest types, the manufacturing materials used are also cheap and wear out quickly. But there are also “expensive” China models, which are not inferior in quality to American or European counterparts.

Why not make all models plastic, if it is so profitable in terms of cost, and the weight is clearly lower than that of metal ones? The biggest problem is heat dissipation. Plastic cancels it out. And you won’t find a good headlamp with a brightness of more than 150 lumens in standard operation, and 300 lumens in turbo mode (if it is provided as an option). The exceptions are products of top brands, in which the maximum brightness bar is raised to 500 lumens. Yes, and this super-turbo mode will provide for a very short battery life.

But if you need light to reach only at arm’s length, then a similar LED flashlight on your head is a great solution. Almost all models are powered by AAA / AA or a built-in battery.

Plastic headlight


Here you can already look for a powerful headlamp: metal is an excellent conductor of heat, so you do not have to worry about excessive heating. Manufacturers offer 2 shape options:

  1. A T-shape is considered a classic. It is characterized by short length, good heat dissipation, keeps high brightness for a long time. These LED headlamps allow you to play with optics, complementing the design with control buttons and a few more diodes.
  2. An L-shape is lighter but longer. A significant advantage is the ability to use it as a manual flashlight. The best headlamps include models that have a magnet on the battery cover: very handy in case of house or car repairs.

By the way, an L-shaped headlamp is also a good idea for fishing, because due to the magnet you can easily attach it to one of the poles of the tent under the ceiling, if it is metal and the design allows it.

Headlight with a battery in a remote unit

The remote unit is a handy thing that significantly reduces the weight and dimensions of the unit on the head itself. It also allows placing two batteries in the battery compartment, which increases the duration of headlight work in standard mode. Why is this not applicable for a turbo mode? Because the remote unit has to independently deal with the heat that the LED headlamp emits. The second undoubted advantage is that you can keep the block in your pocket in winter so that it does not freeze.

In terms of brightness, for most cases, the maximum power of Chinese products is enough – up to 500 lumens. This will illuminate the path ahead and will be enough for you to look around. The only case when a really powerful unit may be needed is for fishing: a headlamp for such events can produce 1000 lumens. But the cost will be appropriate: get ready to fork out.

headlamp for fishing

Where would you require a headlight with red light?

If you are planning to go night hunting and you know you will be moving at night, choose a diode headlamp with the ability to switch to red. This is critical if night vision devices are used: normal white light will interfere with the equipment.

Wearing a headlamp with a red diode, you are less likely to be detected. In addition, our eyes eventually get used to the dark, but the inclusion of white light will knock down this biological “feature”. In the case of red light, this will not happen.

headlight with red light

Summing up

So, if you need a headlamp for domestic needs, a rechargeable one will be an excellent solution: the capacity of modern batteries is greater than that of standard ones. But if you are planning on a long stay away from the outlet, then it is better to select a product with batteries: you can just take a battery set with you and not worry that the light will go out of charge at the most inappropriate moment. Moreover, the set of batteries takes up a minimum of space. Here are a couple of tips for you:

  1. Don’t chase after too many zeros in lumens: 300-500 lumens are enough for most tasks. The greater the brightness, the more expensive the headlight will be.
  2. Low-power models can be made out of plastic. You can find an inexpensive plastic headlight with batteries, the power of which is enough for several hours of work.
  3. If you want to get a universal solution – a headlight and a torch in one – choose L-shaped lights with a magnetic battery compartment. Although it is slightly heavier, you will definitely appreciate its convenience.

We advise experienced travellers to take a headlight with a built-in red light switch: if you don’t even need it right now, you will definitely need it if you decide to travel or hunt at night. An alternative is to buy an additional filter for an existing headlight. The main thing is to find the right one for your model.
Also, on the sports luck blog, you will find articles about sleep mats and how to lighten backpack?

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