Headlamps – GearGuide

What do you do when you need to all hands on deck in the dark? Whether setting up a tent, reading or finding the way in untouched terrain; a headlamp always shines where you look and you keep your hands free.

Nowadays most headlamps use LEDs. These use less power than a light bulb with the same light output and they last longer. With the current generation of headlights, you will not soon have to replace the batteries.

Previously, headlights were mainly used by professionals such as rescue services, expeditions, and miners. In the last few years, you have also encountered them in the luggage of the traveler and the outdoor / action athlete. At the outdoor sho, you have a wide choice of lights nowadays.

Headlights can be divided into different categories:

  • Light bulb
  • LED
  • Ultra Bright LED
  • Halogen
  • Xenon
  • Krypton


Because a light bulb gets very warm, you have a low efficiency of the available energy, i.e. the batteries. A headlamp with a light bulb is relatively inexpensive, but it is important to replace or charge the batteries more often. In addition, the beam of light is not extremely strong and the range of the beam decreases rapidly as the batteries become depleted.


LED technology has been available for many years now and the use is till growing. Led is an abbreviation of Light Emitting Diode, which means as much as luminous resistance. The light range of a regular LED is not large, you will see quite clearly what’s drectly in front of you, and it offers good visibility in a range up to about 10 meters.

This is prefect for normal use when setting up the tent in the dark. The light is quite white, with a blueish hue to it. An ordinary LED does not produce a light beam as such, whereas an Ultra Bright LED does. This is because we are dealing with a larger LED that is about equally energy efficient but with a sharpened lens or omore power. You will often see an Ultra Bright LED is placed in a reflector, which makes the beam even more powerful. This technology produces tens of meters of sight and is often so bright that you can blind someone. Often, Ultra Bright LED is combined with a regular LED so you can choose your setting.


Halogen light has a particularly high light output. It is, in fact, the modern implementation of the bulb. Only the lamp is filled with a special type of gas and the glass is treated with an infrared heat coating, which significantly increases the light output.


Xenon technology is also used in car lighting, it is very bright and powerful light that is not formed by a glow coil but through a gas discharge arc. When using an accurate reflector, the light beam illuminates objects up to tens of meters.


gearlimits-hoofdlampen-Krypton-Light-Bulbs-Z-Series-DiamondCrypton lamps are not used very much in headlights due to the high price of the lamp. CKrypton is a noble gas that illuminates white and, in the models it is processed in, provides a very powerful light beam.

Thanks to current technologies, headlights are safer in use. For a number of models, the user has an internal emergency battery that can provide the LED or LEDs power for several hours. Chips control the power supply to make optimum use of the available energy. Models are sometimes also available with a battery pack that can be worn under your clothing. This prevents the depletion of the batteries at very low temperatures. Spare lights are sometimes included in the battery pack. Preset filters prevent night blindness and due to blinking settings you can get hundreds of hours from just a few batteries. Very handy if you want to be seen in an emergency situation.