Great, thrifty ultra-headlamp: Magicshine 900
January 26, 2010
The folks at Geo Man Gear offer the stick type flashlight that I really like, the one with the SSC-P7 emitter and chubby 18650 LiPo battery -- it gives a great flood for outdoor action PLUS supermaxhigh power -- maybe 500 lumens for about $50 for all you need. I got mine from DealExtreme.com but these guys have it, too.
But, what's more, they also offer a HEADLAMP with this same emitter and level of power...but with about 3X the runtime...coz it uses SEVERAL of those big batteries. For about $90 out the door.
Now, that $90 compares to HID lights at $300, so it's still a deal.
A main point is that these lights cast a FLOOD beam, not a "throwy" spot. Of course, sometiems a spot is what you want. Maybe someday they'll add a zoom. Now, they DO cast out nicely for 50 yards, but they don't put that hot, bright spot out there at 100 yards. Also: you can't get this kind of power from any combo of AA/AAA, so if it's bright you need, you gotta use a pack or a chubby like this. Probably even CR123 don't even come close. Also: they get hot. If you'll use them for long periods make sure you're moving or that it's chilly out. However, they are multi-level so if you're reading, you can just dial it down to the lowest power and you've still got lotsa brightness.
These lights are known to be "darn good," but it's likely that the $300 lights are better in fit'n'finish. Still, it's good to know Magicshine is out there...