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Red flashlights... what do you use?

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#301 james7ca


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Posted 14 October 2019 - 11:04 PM

...The best I've found are some of the 2019 Black Diamonds.  Confusingly, although the model name (but not the number) remains the same, many have been totally redesigned for 2019 with two buttons instead of just one...

I have a question for anyone who has one of these Black Diamond headlamps. Is the hinge that allows for the tilting of the light well-made and strong? I assume that this is plastic and that it attaches to the part of the housing that holds the head strap. I had a similar looking unit (but NOT made by Black Diamond) where the plastic that supports the hinge broke after a few months of use and I don't want to buy another headlamp that will suffer the same problem. Now, I have to use electrical tape in order to keep this headlamp upright and secured to the strap. And note, two other reviews on Amazon reported the same issue with this other headlamp (and again, here I'm NOT talking about one of the Black Diamond units, although the head strap/hinge design looks similar).


Here is a picture of the broken plastic on the other light, I wonder whether the Black Diamond has a similarly weak design. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Broken Headlamp.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 15 October 2019 - 03:26 AM.

#302 prototype3a


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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:02 AM

I got a Nitecore Tube RL and found it really annoying until I disassembled it and added a black heatshrink sleeve to the 5mm LED.  Now it is just about perfect.



Edited by prototype3a, 15 October 2019 - 12:02 AM.

#303 Sp0nG3Bo8


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Posted 15 October 2019 - 02:45 AM

i used the celestron firecell elements flashlight , handwarmer and power bank(2500mah) which i got for free with a purchase. i think the handwarmer part is what i use the most tongue2.gif Only issue i have is when you want to turn the light off you need to cycle trough the "mode"  including the bright white leds and flashing leds...  not great i also have a cpl of fenix light ( super great quality) i just need to buy the filters for my uc 35  or maybe find a small red filter and change one of them. 


i also got olight E3Eos and a fenix E12 for other purchases and i already had a fenix uc35 (very nice flashlight) mentioned above

Edited by Sp0nG3Bo8, 15 October 2019 - 02:46 AM.

#304 Second Time Around

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 05:47 AM

James, the hinge on all 3 Black Diamonds I've tested is made from toothed plastic.  They seem OK, but I've not had them long.


There were complaints about older versions of these products having a weak closure on the battery compartments.  This appears to be rectified nicely in the new models that have a firm, precise click action.


I'd add that, here in Europe at least, these Black Diamonds have a 3 year guarantee.  That doesn't of course prove anything, but they're expected to last at least that long.

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#305 Lister85


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Posted 15 October 2019 - 08:40 AM

I've got that cheapie Celestron single-purpose red light. I followed the advice of several other folks and put some Scotch tape on the inside of the lens to diffuse the light from each of the LEDs a little better.


It works fine for star chart reading. I also switched out the lanyard because the one it came with seemed a little flimsy. Got that at work for free!


If I had it to do it over again (and on a pay week instead of an off week lol.gif ), I'd get something a little more pricey and nicer. But overall, I'm not dissatisfied. 

#306 DeWynter


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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:04 AM

Based on August '94 S&T article and very successful flashlight by kfiscus I built my own. There are only two differences from the original design:

  • Two different night vision lights:
    • Traditional red with 640nm light;
    • Amber with 600nm light based on two articles in S&T - June '16 and August '19.
  • Two LED's for each light. Just in case. Used 10K potentiometer so it could be dimmed quite well.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DIY-Red-Orange-Flashlight-01-s.jpg
  • DIY-Red-Orange-Flashlight-02-s.jpg

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#307 bmurphy495



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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:28 AM

The best headlamp I have used for astronomy is the Photon Freedom Micro. It can be had with a covert cover (costs an additional $2) that shields the actual LED and directs the beam so you don't blind your friends. It also has a variable intensity. 


If you order from Photonlight.com you can get them with a hat clip, that also has magnets if you want to stick it to somthing ferrous. They can be had in numerous colors including yellow if you like to dabble with that. I would not order from Amazon as they sometimes ship them without the hat clip, even though the picture on the Amazon page shows a hat clip, and previous orders also include a hat clip. 


I have found that the white light version that I use when I'm not doing visual, can benefit with an additional shield, so I stuck a piece of a red plastic straw over the covert nosepiece. Colored tape is my way of securing the lamp to the hat clip.


They are pricey, but well worth it. 


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#308 fred1diver


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Posted 30 October 2019 - 05:36 PM

I have 2 red bicycle lights that I use and a PETZL E+lite that I can use in red light mode, pretty dim so nice and it's really small so easy to carry and store.

#309 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 10:34 AM

I made a nice little discovery on my Black Diamond headlamp - Scotch Blue Painters tape!


After trying 8 layers of regular translucent tape and not getting satisfactory results, one piece of blue painters tape gave a very acceptable result.


When you try this, be sure to do it at night - in daylight (standing in a dark room) it looks like too much blocking. But under real night conditions, the illumination strikes a very good balance.


I even stood in front of a mirror to take a full dose to the eyes and it was not painfully bright like a normal red LED. I would not want to make a habit of that, but with respect to dark adaptation the experience was downgraded from Heinous Crime to Minor Annoyance.

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