Headlamps are rapidly gaining popularity for certain reasons. First of all, many people choose headlamps thanks to the possibility to put it on the head and use it hands free. Secondly, the scope of use of headlamp models is so great that there is no doubt in the relevance of this tool. Therefore, headlamps are widely used by tourists, hunters, fishermen, cyclists, climbers or other enthusiasts. It is also more convenient to use them in everyday life, for instance, when you need to replace a light bulb or repair your computer. It is much easier to wear a headlamp on the head, rather than to hold it in hands. LED headlamps will be useful devices everywhere – at home or while relaxing in the countryside.
Best LED Headlamps Comparison
Here is our list of the top 5 LED headlamps:
Surfing the internet, you can find out that the Petzl Tikka RXP is mentioned in most of the best LED headlamp reviews. This headlamp features an innovative reactive technology that automatically adjusts light output between 7 and 215 lumens without pressing the button and keeping your hands free. So it guesses when you need a high beam or low beam. This headlamp provides exceptionally good illumination and either for long distance or close proximity use. Now let’s take a look at the features of the Petzl Tikka RXP:
- Weight: 115 g;
- Maximum brightness: 215 lumens;
- Technology: reactive lighting or constant lighting;
- Beam type: Flood / Spot;
- Max beam distance: 110 m;
- Beam pattern: wide, mixed, and focused;
- Three modes of automatic regulation of brightness: max power, standard, max autonomy;
- Red lighting mode to preserve night vision (red LED and strobe mode);
- Lock function to avoid accidentally turning the headlamp on;
- OS by Petzl software for customization;
- Battery: rechargeable 1800mAh Lithium-Ion battery;
- Universal charging with micro USB;
- Battery charge indicator;
- Recharge time: 4.5 hours;
- Battery compatibility: alkaline, lithium, and Ni-MH, with the standard battery pack (not included);
- Burn time: from 2.5 hours in max power mode to 10 hours in max autonomy mode;
- Watertightness: IPX4 (water resistant).
Weighing only 115 grams and providing intelligent lighting, the Petzl Tikka is one of the best LED headlamps. Though it’s not a cheap headlamp it’s worth the money. Convenience, durability, and high performance make this headlamp one of the best-rated LED headlamps.
The headband is adjustable and comfortable to wear. It doesn’t slip down even while running thanks to 2 straps that support the weight of the headlamp at the back of the head. There are two switches which simplify use. One switch is to choose between reactive and constant lighting and the other to regulate the brightness: max power, standard, and max autonomy.
Thanks to the reactive lighting technology you can increase burn time and enjoy necessary beam with minimal handling. It automatically adjusts brightness and switches between flood and spot beam, so your hands will be free. Reactive lighting works well for trail finding and distance viewing as well as for close proximity use. It can illuminate from 2 to 110 meters, and the lighting will be even what is very important because lots of LED headlamps claim long distance but the beam is not so bright. Depending on the lighting mode, the Tikka RXP works from 2.5 hours (max power) to 10 hours (max autonomy).
The Tikka RXP also features constant lighting. It will be useful when you need stable lighting. There are 3 modes for constant lighting. For rapid movement mode, the headlamp shines at a distance up to 100 meters working about 2.5 hours, for movement mode, a maximum distance is 75 meters and burn time is 5 hours, a proximity lighting mode allows you to illuminate up to 25 meters with 10 hours of operation.
To preserve your night vision, the Tikka RXP features red LED which also extends battery life. You can also use red LED as a blinking light to increase your visibility.
To customize the headlamp, for example, to adjust light intensity, distance, burn time, create or choose pre-configured profiles (trail running, mountaineering, hiking, etc.), you can download OS by Petzl.
Lock function of the Tikka RXP helps prevent turning the headlamp on.
The Petzl Tikka RXP comes with rechargeable 1800 mAh Lithium-Ion battery which can run from 2.5 to 10 hours. The battery can be charged with a micro-USB cable. It can be replaced by 3 AAA batteries if needed. The headlamp recharges in 4.5 hours and it features a battery charge indicator, so you will know when it’s ready.
This headlamp is weather resistant with the IPX4 rating, so it can withstand rain or snow, but it’s not recommended to submerge it.
All in all, the Petzl Tikka RXP is one of the best LED headlamps with great automatically adjustable brightness and long battery life. Consider it if you want to have a durable, high-performance LED headlamp.
Check out this review found on YouTube:
If you need a durable, fully waterproof LED headlamp with a bright beam, take a closer look at the Black Diamond Storm. This LED headlamp features PowerTap technology which allows you to transition between full and dimmed power in distance or proximity modes with just a tap of a finger on the side of the touch-sensitive housing. In addition to proximity and distance modes, the Storm features strobe, dimming, and red night vision modes to accommodate any needs. This LED headlamp also includes an intuitive lock to avoid accidentally turning it on when stored. Let’s take a look at the features in detail:
- Weight: 110 g;
- Maximum brightness: 160 lumens;
- Beam type: Flood / Spot;
- Max beam distance: 70 m;
- 1 Quad Power LED, 2 SinglePower white LEDs, and 2 SinglePower red LEDs;
- Red night vision mode with proximity and strobe settings activates without cycling through the white mode;
- 3 strobe functions to flash white light on high or low, or red light;
- Lock mode to avoid accidentally turning the headlamp on;
- Battery: 4 AAA batteries;
- Three-level power meter shows remaining battery power;
- Burn time: from 36 hours in high mode to 200 hours in low mode;
- Watertightness: IPX7 (can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes).
The Black Diamond Storm has 1 Quad Power LED, 2 SinglePower white LEDs, and 2 SinglePower red LEDs which emit up to 160 lumens and throw a beam up to 70 meters. The brightness of the Storm is quite good. The beam is even and wide. The PowerTap technology allows you to adjust the beam just with a tap of the finger. It is something like between the regular button and automatic adjustment like the reactive lighting from Petzl. This headlamp operates in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, and red night vision modes. There is also a handy lock mode which prevents accidentally turning on the headlamp.
The Storm comes with 4 AAA batteries which provide from 36 hours of use on high to 200 hours on low. So the battery life is quite high. The three-level power meter indicates remaining battery life for three seconds after switching on the headlamp. Green color indicates 75-100%, orange – 25-75%, and red – less than 25%.
The Black Diamond Storm is one of the few LED headlamps that has the IPX7 rating. So it can withstand bad weather and operate up to 1 meter underwater for 30 meters.
Overall, the Black Diamond Storm is a reliable LED headlamp which will be handy for those who love mountaineering, hiking, backpacking. It provides good illumination and though it doesn’t shine very far the light is wide and even. It is fully waterproof, so you can it in bad weather and don’t worry about it watertightness. The Storm will be essential for trail finding at night, reading maps or signaling. The price of this headlamp is fair and reasonable for its performance and quality.
Check out this review found on YouTube:
Another headlamp that we have included in the list of the best LED headlamps is the Fenix HL 55. It will be useful for those who need hands-free illumination for trail finding, reading maps and find checkpoints at night. Despite its small lens, the Fenix HL55 offers 4 brightness levels plus 900-lumen burst mode and up to 150-hour runtime from one 18650 battery or two CR 123A batteries. This headlamp comes with Cree XM-L2 T6 neutral white LED which means superior definition and penetration in high-humidity environments. Here are the features of the Fenix HL 55:
- Weight: 115 g (without batteries);
- 160-degree tilt mechanism;
- All-metal housing to shed heat and impact;
- Maximum brightness: 900 lumens;
- Max beam distance: 116 meters;
- Cree XM-L2 T6 neutral white LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours;
- 4 modes of output:
- High: 420 lumens (3 hours 45 min.);
- Mid: 165 lumens (10 hours);
- Low: 55 lumens (30 hours);
- Eco: 10 lumens (150 hours);
- Instant access burst mode (900 lumens);
- Batteries: rechargeable 18650 Lithium-Ion battery or 2 non-rechargeable CR123A batteries;
- Watertightness: IPX8 rating (waterproof).
The Fenix HL 55 is made of durable aircraft aluminum alloy with a premium Type III hard-anodized and anti-abrasive finish, so it can withstand harsh weather. An elasticized headband firmly stays on the head and keeps the LED centered on the forehead even when while running. There is no automatic beam adjustment but you can adjust the beam by tilting the headlamp up to 160⁰. You can also remove the headlamp from the strap and use it as a regular flashlight.
The Fenix HL 55 comes with a Cree XM-L2 T6 neutral white LED which outputs a blazing 900 lumens up to 116 meters in burst mode. The headlamp features 4 brightness modes, so you can choose an appropriate one for your needs. The runtime of the headlamp depends on the mode. For example, it can operate for up to 150 hours in eco mode but the beam is not bright here (10 lumens) and up to 3 hours 45 minutes in a high mode providing 420 lumens and a bright beam. To access the 900-lumen burst mode, press and hold the button for over one second (even when the headlamp is off). After 30 seconds, the headlamp automatically returns to the previous output.
The Fenix HL 55 offers a flexible option concerning the battery. You can use either one rechargeable 18650 Lithium-Ion battery or 2 non-rechargeable CR123A batteries. One 18650 battery equals the power of 4 AA batteries. The headlamp features a reverse polarity protection which guards against improper battery installation.
Overall, the Fenix HL 55 shows good performance featuring powerful LED and waterproof design. It is a good value for adventurers who need an all-around performer for a reasonable price. If you are looking the best Cree LED headlamp, the Fenix HL 55 can be your solution.
Check out this video found on YouTube:
The Coast HL 8 LED headlamp is a high-performance headlamp that has all the features to satisfy your lighting needs. It is one of the best LED headlamps with a versatile beam and super brightness (from 25 to 390 lumens). It has a Pure Beam Focusing System which produces extremely large beam and allows you to switch from an ultra-wide flood to a narrow spot. It features high, medium, and low output modes which you can control with the light control dial on the side of the front. This headlamp is impact and weather resistant, and its LED is virtually unbreakable. Here are the features of the Cost HL 8:
- Weight: 362 g;
- Maximum brightness: 390 lumens;
- Beam type: Flood / Spot;
- Max beam distance: 217 meters;
- Pure Beam Focusing Optics with Twist Focus Technology;
- 3 operating modes: high (390 lumens), mid (125 lumens), and low (25 lumens);
- Light control dial;
- Hinged beam adjustment (vertical);
- Removable battery pack with 3-foot extension cord;
- 4 AA batteries (included);
- Burn time: 2 hours in high mode, 7 hours in mid mode, and 83 hours in low mode;
- Watertightness: water and impact resistant.
The Coast HL 8 LED headlamp has a powerful high-quality LED. It is made of a durable aircraft aluminum alloy and has an adjustable elastic strap which doesn’t slip while running. The Pure Beam Focusing Optics works well and makes the process of switching between the modes very easy. The brightness is one of the best in the category.
With 4 AA alkaline batteries, the Coast HL 8 also runs for 2 hours in high mode illuminating up to the 217 meters, 7 hours in mid mode with 121 meters range, and up to 83 hours in low mode shining up to 55 meters.
Keep in mind that the headlamp weighs 362 grams, so it’s rather heavy. But you can remove the battery pack and attach it to your belt or backpack with a 3-foot extension cord.
All in all, the Coast HL 8 Headlamp offers superb functionality for a reasonable price. It is packed with essential features that provide exceptional performance. This headlamp also comes with a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Check out this review found on YouTube:
The Xtreme Bright LED Headlamp is a powerful, hands-free portable LED headlamp with a lightweight adjustable design and great features. This headlamp is a budget option for those who need LED headlamp with good illumination. Here are the features of this headlamp:
- Weight: 136 g;
- Maximum brightness: 250 lumens;
- 3 operating modes: high, medium, and strobe for longer battery life;
- 5X zoom;
- 3 non-rechargeable batteries;
- Water resistant;
- 100% satisfaction, money-back guarantee.
The Xtreme Ultra Bright Headlamp is comfortable to wear with its adjustable elastic strap. The maximum brightness of the headlamp is 250 lumens. The beam is bright, consistent and even. The headlamp has 3 lighting modes which help you save the energy. 5X zoom feature ensures that your path will be illuminated as you need it.
Overall, the Extreme Ultra Bright Zoomable Led headlamp is a bright and comfortable headlamp that will be a useful tool for camping. Despite its low price, it ensures good lighting. The manufacturer doesn’t mention watertightness rating, but it is said the headlamp is water resistant. The Xtreme Ultra Bright Headlamp comes with 100% satisfaction, money-back guarantee.
Check out this video found on YouTube:
Before you buy a headlamp, experts advise to try it with inserted batteries to feel its full weight and comfortable fit on the head. If you want to buy a headlamp through the Internet, make sure the seller gives the possibility to return the goods. The most important feature of a headlamp is the ability to direct the beam in different directions. In addition, experts advise to pay attention to the following features:
- A brighter headlamp is not necessarily the best choice. The excessive brightness can produce too bright glint on the page you are trying to read, or to create inconvenience to other people and impair night vision. Lots of LED headlamp reviews say that the brightest headlamps that produce narrowly focused beam are well suited for lighting at a distance, but not for lighting during work.
- Buy LED headlamp with adjustable brightness. A minimum brightness mode will help you extend the life of the battery. The bright light is only required to perform some specific tasks. If you need a headlamp to illuminate mainly during your work, choose LED with scattered beam and to illuminate a distance, choose a spot LED. Some headlamps have both modes.
- Try to buy LED headlamp with high-quality batteries. If you have a permanent access to a power outlet, then consider buying a headlamp with rechargeable NiMH-battery. Just keep in mind that these headlamps are usually not too bright. It is better to buy a headlamp with lithium-ion batteries. They are very light, work well in cold weather and retain a charge for a long time. Lithium-ion batteries can be stored up to 10 years. However, if you plan to travel frequently, alkaline batteries may become a good option as they are easier to buy and they are cheaper.
- Flashing or strobe modes are also useful because they may be required for signaling rescuers. The majority of headlamps have these modes. These modes are not necessary to work at home, but if you go on a journey, it may happen that they will be able to save your life.
- Red LED is a good solution to preserve night vision.
- Watertightness. In some cases, you cannot do without the waterproof headlamp. “Waterproof to one meter” means that a headlamp can operate after being submerged up to 30 minutes at a depth of one meter. “Waterproof” headlamp must withstand rain. Divers and cavers need even more waterproof headlamps.
The Bottom Line
The headlamps reviewed above have shown high performance and that’s why they were chosen as the best LED headlamps. Of course, there are lots of other nice LED headlamps on the market and it is impossible to test all of them, so we tried to choose the best headlamps among the best. We have also analyzed tons of LED headlamps reviews to decide which LED headlamp is worth consideration.
If you are not sure which LED headlamp is the best for you, try to think about the purpose why you need it. Pay attention to the number of LEDs, for example, there is no need to pay more for red LED if you don’t need it though it’s really useful to preserve night vision. But some features are really essential for any headlamp and it’s better to pay more and not regret in future rather than to choose a cheaper model with lower performance. Runtime of the headlamp is very important, so think for how many hours you plan to use the headlamp. If you want a headlamp with a rechargeable battery, think whether you will be able to charge it or not. The weather can be unpredictable, so take care about the watertightness of the headlamp.
We hope that our review was helpful and you will find your perfect LED headlamp. Happy shopping!