The brightness of headlamps varies quite a bit, from certain models that will only illuminate a few feet directly in front of you, to those that will make it seem like daylight out as far as the eye can see. And while a low output headlamp will be useful for conserving battery power, bright headlamps have their uses too. When you’re moving fast in the outdoors at night, for instance, you want something that will illuminate a wide area, so that there are no surprises waiting in the dark for you.
Bright HeadlampsWhat to look for when you're looking for bright headlamps.
- Lumens – The main thing you want to pay attention to, when shopping for a bright headlamp, is the lumens, which are a measurement of how much light a headlamp produces. The higher the lumens measurement, the more light you can expect your headlamp to give you, and the brighter everything will be.
- Power Settings – Sometimes you want a bright headlamp that will illuminate the whole forest, and sometimes you just need a headlamp that is going to give you enough light to find something at the bottom of your bag. A headlamp with different power settings is ideal, because it does both jobs as efficiently as possible.
Best Bright HeadlampsSome of the very best and brightest headlamps.
- Princeton Tec Apex Pro Headlamp - With a full 200 lumens of light at your disposal, this is a very bright headlamp. That brightness comes from a very powerful 3-watt LED. It also has a few lower power LEDs that make the 4 different power settings usable. At the lowest power, it will last for an impressive 100 hours. It's also waterproof, and weighs a total of 6.1 ounces, or 172 grams.
- Petzl Ultra Headlamp - The Ultra can put out an impressive 350 lumens on the highest power setting, making it one of the absolute brightest headlamps on the market. It has two other brightness levels, but putting out so much power drains the battery quickly, and even on the lowest power setting you only get 17 hours of use, while the 350 lumens setting will drain the battery in just 2 hours. However, the Ultra comes with its own rechargeable battery, so you at least wont have to buy batteries in bulk. The whole thing weighs 12.2 ounces, or 345 grams.
- Mammut X-Shot Headlamp - The X-shot is one more very bright LED headlamp, this one with 200 lumens at its disposal. It has four different power settings, but what separates the X-Shot from the other two above is that it's the lightest of the headlamps on this list, at just 5.2 ounces, or 150 grams. So while it's not as bright as the Ultra, for instance, it at least wont feel like you're wearing a weight on your head. It will also last for an amazing 500 hours on the lowest setting, which is a low powered red strobe.