- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 7/15/2021
A headlamp is a great tool for a variety of activities ranging from camping, hiking and jogging to working on cars, plumbing and electrical work. While any headlamp will give you the free use of your hands, different models will vary widely in terms of brightness, beam type and weight. Today we're going to break down these features to help you determine which headlamp is the best fit for your individual needs.
Brightness is the first thing most people think about when looking to buy a headlamp. The unit used to measure brightness is lumens, with a higher number of lumens indicating a brighter light. A brightness of 100 to 150 lumens is adequate for most tasks, however, activities such as hiking at night or working in a dark workroom may require something as bright as 300 lumens or higher.
Batteries Plus has headlamps with a wide range of lumens. If you're looking for the brightest headlamp possible, you'll want the NEBO TRANSCEND, which features a Turbo Mode that gives off an incredible 1,000 lumens. It's also capable of switching between low, medium and high modes, each of which features a different brightness setting. Some other headlamp models with alternate light modes include the Green LED Trident and the Protac both from Streamlight.
There's more to a headlamp than just brightness. The type of beam it gives off will affect how useful the light is in different situations. A wide or flood beam casts a broader beam of light that's more useful for up-close activities such as repair work or for situations where you need a lot of peripheral illumination. The Streamlight Protac HL 635 Lumen Rechargeable Headlamp is a great choice, featuring an ultra-wide circular beam that's designed for lighting up large areas.
A spotlight, on the other hand, gives off a more narrow, concentrated beam that travels much farther distances. Spotlights are a good fit for after dark activities such as hiking, camping or jogging. The Argo LED Headlamp features a super-bright, far-reaching spotlight with a beam distance of 190 meters.
Need something that does a little bit of both? No problem. Many headlamps such as the Streamlight Enduro Pro 200 Lumen Headlamp allow you to swap between a wide and spotlight setting.
When picking a headlamp, it's important to know how long it will last before you have to change or recharge the batteries. If you're planning on using it for repair work, you'll probably only be using the light for a few hours at a time. Hiking and backpacking, however, will require a light that lasts much longer.
One thing to keep in mind; if your headlamp has different light modes, using it on a higher mode will go through battery power much quicker than a lower setting. For example, the NEBO TRANSCEND mentioned earlier will last for 4 hours on high mode (450 lumens), 5.5 hours on medium (170 lumens) and 27.5 hours on its lowest setting of 30 lumens.
Weight is another factor to keep in mind when selecting a headlamp. Bulkier models with long run times might be fine for up-close work or night walking, but a poor match for something like jogging. If you're looking for something on the lighter side, check out the Bandit Headlamp from Streamlight. This compact light can be worn using the included headband or attached to the visor of a ball cap.
Another thing to consider is whether you want a headlamp that can be recharged or one that relies on disposable batteries. Some of the headlamps we've already discussed, such as the Streamlight Argo and Enduro, are powered by disposable batteries, although Batteries Plus does feature plenty of rechargeable options. Popular rechargeable models include the NEBO Rechargeable Headlamp and Cap Light and the LuxPro Pro Series Rechargeable LED Headlamp.
No matter what you plan on using it for, Batteries Plus has a headlamp for you. Shop our full selection of headlamps online or stop into any one of our 700+ locations. You'll also want to be sure you have plenty of extra alkaline batteries on hand to keep your headlamp running. In addition to the applications mentioned above, a headlamp is a great thing to have on hand in case of emergencies. Read up on other supplies you should stock up on for hurricane season.