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Red LED Head Lamp

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#1 Digger54

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

Hello Cloudy Nights! This is my first post, so don't beat up on my too badly. Does anyone know of a source for a good LED headlamp that uses red LEDs? The only ones I can find require you to switch on a blinding white LED before you can get to the red LEDs. It sure would be nice to have something that frees up your hands and doesn't destroy your night vision.

#2 bherv

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

I use a white light version covered with red rubylith plastic used for covering computer screens. I took off lens covering and put a piece on inside of it. Red lens tape available at auto parts stores would work also
Barry

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#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

hello and welcome to cloudy nights :waytogo:

I have some that were made by Brinkman, I believe . they have both red and white , and the red is to one side of the switch, the white is to the other side. Like any head lamp or normal red light, these are too bright to maintain deep dark adaptation but they are a lot better than a white light.

Jon

#4 bherv

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

A little brighter than I would like. My previous one had a single LED setting but this one has 4 lights at minimum setting
Barry

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#5 csa/montana

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:47 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! We don't beat new members up, we simply lock the door so that they can't leave! :lol: Seriously, glad to have you join us!

I've got an older model of this one; you flip the red shade down, so that you have red light on all the intensities, without having to go thru the white light, first.

One thing about this brand, I've had mine for so long, that the strap had lost all it's elasticity; well, I was able to order a new one for it; so parts are available for this brand.

PETZL

Pricy, but I use it around the house all the time also, so it's a dual-functioning headlamp! :)

#6 davidmcgo

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

I use the same Tactikka Plus from Petzl. I found the straight red shade wasn't dark enough so I added a layer of tail light repair tape. That diffused and deepened the red enough to be good for reading charts and not dazzling those nearby.

brightness is adjustable in three increments and I like the flip shade because I can physically feel it is down before turning on the lamp.

Dave

#7 John Kuraoka

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

I got an inexpensive headlamp from Energizer that has red and green LEDs. What's nice, is that the colored LEDs are operated by their own switches, while the main white LEDs have a separate central switch, so there's not much chance of making a mistake and blinding yourself.

However, I have a flashlight in the same series (it, too, has red, green, and white LEDs), and the switch failed after less than a year of very minimal use. Reviews of this flashlight seem to indicate that the switch is problematic. I'm currently seeing whether Energizer follows through on its limited lifetime warranty.

The Energizer lights aren't on the level of my near-antique Petzl or somewhat newer Black Diamonds, and I wouldn't trust it in a cave, but it's decently made (if the switch lasts), comfortable, lightweight, and quite cheap.

#8 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

I recently bought a red/white LED headlamp from Walmart that switches to the left for red and to the right for white, with off in the middle. I believe that it is an Energizer brand.

#9 roscoe

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

Welcome, Digger!
I use one of the energizer red/white ones also.....the trick is remembering which way to push the switch! For star-party use, I've stuck a little piece of duct-tape on the white side, as a safety measure. Alone, it's not quite as important.....
Russ

#10 starrancher

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

I recently bought a red/white LED headlamp from Walmart that switches to the left for red and to the right for white, with off in the middle. I believe that it is an Energizer brand.



Bought a couple of these about five years back . They work great and for ten bucks a piece you can't beat em . The batteries seem to last forever . You just need to remember what direction to push the switch so you don't get the white light . Every now and again I'll ..................

#11 Agatha

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

I also have the Petzl Tactikka Plus headlamp. As Carol said, it is very useful for other things as well. The flip lens works well so you never have to see white light by accident. And it tilts with ease. I love mine.

Best, Linda B.

#12 jerwin

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

I too have a pretzl, i added 2 strips of tail light repair tape to dim it a little further. It's very nice.
I also have an energizer, but sometimes flip the red off a little too far turning on the white light. That is NOT very nice.

Jim

#13 stevetaylor199

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

I see I'm not the only one with the Taktikka Plus. I've added a AAA dummy battery (see eBay) so that it runs at 3V. (It won't light at all at 1.5V.). It's still too bright, though, and I'm going to add some red material myself. The flip-up shield, while a *great* feature, is too orange anyway.

I don't think it should have to be this way. Here's what a real astronomy headlamp should do: start out at dimmest and/or last-used settings, in red, with no chance of triggering a white bulb by mistake. It should also have truly dim settings, too; I have seen a light with a "moonlight" setting of 0.2 lumens, and I'll have to take a closer look at that.

The light that comes the closest to having those features is the 9V unit with rotary on switch and dimmer control that has been out for a long time. Its form factor is far from what's required for a headlamp, though.

#14 DaveJ

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:40 PM

The light that comes the closest to having those features is the 9V unit with rotary on switch and dimmer control that has been out for a long time. Its form factor is far from what's required for a headlamp, though.


These are the ones you're talking about. I have, and use, three of these lights. They're the best, by far, in my opinion.

#15 salientbunny

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:33 PM



I have the WalMart Energizer model mentioned above with red to one side of the switch and white the other. I would invariably switch the white light on by mistake or push it all the way over to white when switching off the red. I opened it up and snipped the white LEDs off with a pair of side cutters. Problem solved. It will only operate in red now.

#16 stratocaster

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

I've tried two different petzl headlamps with white and red LEDs. I consider them very high quality. However, I find the red LEDs to be far too bright. Sometimes when my red headlamp is on and I'm talking to a fellow astronomer at a dark sky site the light is so bright they need to turn away. So if you get a petzl I think you'll need to count on having to dim the light with tape, or something like that.

Another issue I found is that the headlamp just doesn't quite point to where I'm looking when I scan thru charts - it points too high. I need to lower the headlamp down my head quite a bit (just above my eyebrows) or have to manually point the headlamp towards my charts with my hand.

I just recently purchased the "Astronomer's Eye" headlamp from astrogizmos. The LEDs are dim enough to not blind others (or myself) and the headlamp swivels up and down. I find both features to be invaluable. I would say the build quality is not up to the petzls, but I feel it is plenty good enough.

There are three intensity settings - 2, 4, or 8 LEDs. I haven't yet had a chance to use this headlamp at a dark sky site yet. But from my backyard I don't see a whole lot of difference between the settings. My intent was to use the 8 LED setting for setup and/or teardown, and either the 2 or 4 LED setting for reading charts or note taking. Based on my "bright" backyard experience, the lack of a significant delta in the intensity between the three settings may be the only drawback I've seen so far. However, at a dark sky site the increase in intensity may be more noticeable.

For me the issues I pointed out on the petzl were deal breakers.

#17 nevy

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! We don't beat new members up, we simply lock the door so that they can't leave! :lol: Seriously, glad to have you join us!

I've got an older model of this one; you flip the red shade down, so that you have red light on all the intensities, without having to go thru the white light, first.

One thing about this brand, I've had mine for so long, that the strap had lost all it's elasticity; well, I was able to order a new one for it; so parts are available for this brand.

PETZL

Pricy, but I use it around the house all the time also, so it's a dual-functioning headlamp! :)

I have one of them , I find them very good for me ( the user ) when reading charts but they are not so good for your fellow observers as they get dazzled , I found that out at a star party when some chap came over to talk to me , it was really annoying as they look at you to talk they don't realise it's shinning in your face , I was also very paranoid when he was looking through my eyepiece with it on his forehead ( still switched on) I was waiting to hear that horrible noise of his headlight banging on my eyepiece , I'm glad I didn't have my ethoses in , I keep a spare Meade smoothie for situations like that , although I wonder what his view was like as that eyepiece has no eye guard , he must have seen red reflections caused by the light.

#18 GeneT

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Walmart has one that you can switch back and forth without having to go through the white light cycle.

#19 Doc Willie

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

AstroGizmos has a few all-red headlamps. I have their Astronomer's Eye that has 3 levels of brightness, and is tightly focused.

#20 Tom and Beth

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:32 PM

Somebody had a thread going late in 2012 about modding the Energizor type Head Lamp using red party balloons over the LED.

#21 demiles

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

I use one from Streamlight, not cheap but will last a lifetime. The tactical version always comes on at its lowest setting which is pretty dim.

Streamlight

#22 stevetaylor199

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

The light that comes the closest to having those features is the 9V unit with rotary on switch and dimmer control that has been out for a long time. Its form factor is far from what's required for a headlamp, though.


These are the ones you're talking about. I have, and use, three of these lights. They're the best, by far, in my opinion.


That's the same concept. Do you have the mini version or the water resistant version? Any preference?

#23 stevetaylor199

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:46 PM

AstroGizmos has a few all-red headlamps. I have their Astronomer's Eye that has 3 levels of brightness, and is tightly focused.


Are they dim enough for use in dark sites? Thanks for the tip.

#24 stevetaylor199

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

I have found a manufacturer named Zebralight with some promising models. This catalog page has several models ending with the suffix "r" that have incremental brightness settings as low as 0.2 lumen. Has anyone used these?

#25 stratocaster

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:30 AM

AstroGizmos has a few all-red headlamps. I have their Astronomer's Eye that has 3 levels of brightness, and is tightly focused.


Are they dim enough for use in dark sites? Thanks for the tip.


I find the astrogizmos red LED headlamps to be much dimmer than the petzls. I've only used it so far in my bright backyard, but it looks like it will be the perfect intensity for reading charts and not blinding anyone else. I just wish the high intensity setting were a little brighter for setup and teardown. Though once I use it at a dark sky site I may find the highest intensity to be bright enough.






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