Why we should have bought a good quality headlamp that uses common batteries:
A few months ago, my family and I did an off-grid, nine week, crisis response training replicating living in a disaster zone while ministering to others. While doing this training, we realized the importance of good lighting — especially when the light switches do not work. We had to do homework…after dark. Who wants to read with a flashlight in their hands or with indirect light from a lamp night after night? It's a pain and really puts a strain on your eyes.
That being said what did we use? What do we use now?
For the training, to start with, we used a Harbor Freight headlamp that was only $3 … plus the necessary batteries and batteries and more batteries. After about halfway through, Carrie and I agreed that we should upgrade our headlamps. The cheap headlamps would go through a couple of AA batteries with every four hours of use. The headlamps did have a couple of positives, though – it was easy to change the batteries and each came with an extra bulb.
While we were at the training, we started comparing equipment with the other people there. After talking to most everyone, we determined that the ideal headlamp would have the following features:
- The light (lumens) would be able to be adjusted in intensity.
- It would use common batteries.
- It would run for at least ten hours on one set of batteries.
- It would use multiple bulbs so if one burned out it would still provide some light.
- It would be lightweight.
- It would not cost an arm and a leg.
We ended up settling on a Coleman headlamp. How does it measure up to our criteria?
- It has three light intensities for the white light, as well as a blue light and a red light. (It puts out more than three times the lumens of the Harbor Freight model.)
- It runs on three AAA batteries.
- On the lowest setting, it has a run time of thirty hours and six hours on high.
- It weighs in at just under four onces.
- At our Wal-Mart it goes for the nice round number of twenty-four dollars and eighty-eight cents.
Yes, I did find headlamps that were "better" but they also knew it (i.e. way more $$$). Being a family of five, they were not really an option for our budget, so we went with this Wal-mart special. With our limited use, it has worked great so far!