I went up into the attic today to check to see if our old shake roof was holding up to the heavy rains we have been receiving. This chore requires my getting onto a ladder and taking along a flashlight to look around. This time...instead of taking a handheld flashlight...I put on one of our headlamps.
While this may seem self evident to you...I was really struck by how much easier the task was when my hands were free to pull myself up without fumbling with a cumbersome flashlight. I also enjoyed just looking at what I wanted illuminated...and viola!...it was illuminated!
A short while back I experienced the same joyful epiphany while setting up a tent in the dark and having both hands free...as well as when I was playing doctor...taking out slivers. They are super handy doing car work and a host of other applications.
I have purchased a variety of the Energizer brand handlamps. Here are my thoughts on the pro's and con's of the brand...
1. They are inexpensive. You can pick them up at Lowes...Home Depot...Target...Walmart...for somewhere around $15.
2. Battery Life - Depending on which one you get...they can run for up to 150 hours on one set of 3 AAA's in night vision mode.
3. They are comfortable. They have a nice soft pad on the back that won't annoy.
4. They have LED's that can take a ton of abuse without breaking.
5. Red LED's to preserve night vision.
1. The plastic casing needs to be treated with care. What do you expect for $15!
2. They are not waterproof. While I haven't yet had a problem with one failing...they are not made to get really wet.
3. If it has a button on the top...you have to go through each lighting feature before it will turn off again.
4. The alternate version with a switch on the top can become loose over time...and is prone to get bumped and inadvertently turn on.
Another thing I will say is that bigger is not always better...especially with headlamps. I'd recommend getting the smallest one that will do the job. This one is 3.2 ounces and has 3 LED's...and here is one that is 6.4 ounces and has 7 LED's. That is DOUBLE the weight! While and additional 3.2 ounces may not seem like much weight...once you get it strapped to your head and wear it for any length of time...you will be glad that you got the smaller one. I use the bigger one that I have for around the house activities.
There are other headlamps out on the market that are well liked. Petzl get's great reviews. I just don't have a lot of motivation to pay the $43 to try one out when I have been pleased with the $15 Energizers. I could purchase almost 3 Energizers headlamps for the price of one Petzl!
There are also fancy pants headlamps that run on large battery packs and cost a lot of money.
I should mention too that I have purchased them when I have seen them on sale at Lowes...AND also used coupons that Lowes sends in the mail for double savings. We have purchased them and given them out to Scout aged boys for birthdays...and they were well received.
I store a few in my emergency evacuation bags. I put them in ziploc bags with 3 full sets of batteries...not installed. If you leave them in...you may come back to find that they energy has drained out of the batteries...or that corrosion has made your light inoperable.