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Dim red head-torch, please recommend.


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Hi all, 

Any recommendations for very dim red head-torches?  So far, in the brief amount of observing time that the clouds have allowed, I've used my Petzl with it's single red LED. It seems really glare-y tho, so I'm curious as to how people get around this.

Thanks, m

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One solution for overbright red lights is to dim them with red cellophane or plastic.  

I've used bits of those red containers that Christmas puds come in, or sweet wrappers. Lots of other options too, including nail varnish.

For dimming too bright red dot finders you can fit a resistor in the circuit.  I've tried cellophane in front of the LED, but that's no good, makes for a fuzzy out of focus dot, instead of a precise dot. Nail varnish works for that as it flows to a layer before it dries.

Regards, Ed.

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You will get used to the "glare". Its not normal for us to observe the world around us at night using red LED, so it will seem strange and glaring at first. Very soon you will get used to setting up and reading star charts/books etc in red light.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Petzl taktika has coloured screens (including red) and variable brightness settings. Not the cheapest but they are bomb proof and last for ever. Highly recommended

I think that might be the way forward, combined with Chris Rowland's idea:

One thing that helps is to run them on rechargeable batteries, they are 1.2V each instead of 1.5V.  That cuts the brightness down a bit.

Chris

Also thinking that if I were to create a light shroud / dew protector type assembly, involving a cable tie and a short length of bicycle inner tube - it might help to cut down the lateral glare from the clear torch casing.

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I think that might be the way forward, combined with Chris Rowland's idea:

Also thinking that if I were to create a light shroud / dew protector type assembly, involving a cable tie and a short length of bicycle inner tube - it might help to cut down the lateral glare from the clear torch casing.

I just checked on eBay. I bought mine ten years ago and it's still going strong (despite huge downpours and being dropped in water once!) but the band is a little bit umm "unstretchy" from saltwater like my best underpants so I may buy a new band. Batteries need changing barely ever and I've used it on countless night fishing sessions. I was surprised to see the price of them now at circa £45 but you will not find a better head torch. It's one if those rare great purchases that I've made in my life where the thing seems to have survived beyond logic.

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I've also heard that using the thin brown packing tape over the light also helps to reduce the brightness. As it is so thin you don't get a brown glow but may need a few layers.

Never tried or actually seen it done but have heard about it.

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I just checked on eBay. I bought mine ten years ago and it's still going strong (despite huge downpours and being dropped in water once!) but the band is a little bit umm "unstretchy" from saltwater like my best underpants so I may buy a new band. Batteries need changing barely ever and I've used it on countless night fishing sessions. I was surprised to see the price of them now at circa £45 but you will not find a better head torch. It's one if those rare great purchases that I've made in my life where the thing seems to have survived beyond logic.

You are not supposed to mention your underpants on here  :grin:

The mods will be along soon...... :smiley:

Regards, Ed.

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Mine's a Petzl Tikka Plus. It's good, but the red was a bit too bright for my liking. But I prefer a really dim light - I feel like just 'cos it's red doesn't mean it won't trash your dark adaption.

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Yes that is true, I use the elite head torch for changing e.p's, adding filters etc. I also use it for looking at charts, but sometimes I have to employ an additional regulated and dim hand held torch for this task. The elite basically stays on my head / hat, being very compact it does not interfere when viewing through the eyepiece.

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