Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_supernovae_remnants_winners.thumb.jpg.a13d54fa405efa94ed30e7abd590ee55.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hi All, I'm looking for suggestions for buying a head light.  There seem so many types and prices.  What should I look out for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were to buy another torch I would get one that only shines in red light.

The torch I use cycles between red and white (and blue!). Sometimes I press the button too many times and blind myself with white light.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Theres an old thread here.

I bought the Princeton Tec Remix which I think is great.

Edited by Scooot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Princeton Tec Fred which defaults to dim red, but brightens at a second push and switches to dim white only if you hold down the power button for three seconds.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princeton-Tec-Headlamp-Lumens-White/dp/B007S3KMMI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1552518773&sr=8-4&keywords=princeton+tec+fred

Even when you turn it off after using white light, it will still turn on with dim red.  I think that this is the most important feature for astro use.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, AdeKing said:

I use a Princeton Tec Fred which defaults to dim red, but brightens at a second push and switches to dim white only if you hold down the power button for three seconds.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princeton-Tec-Headlamp-Lumens-White/dp/B007S3KMMI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1552518773&sr=8-4&keywords=princeton+tec+fred

Even when you turn it off after using white light, it will still turn on with dim red.  I think that this is the most important feature for astro use.

 

Reviews read, wishlist updated 😉

Ady

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just use a cheap small LED torch

Removed the glass or plastic lens, and brought red tail light paint from local auto accessory shop, and painted inside of the lens

Mid colour red wife/daughters nail polish would probably do same trick

Most times when use a red torch, is to find find something in my lens case

Even red, lot of the headlamps are still fairly bright, and have had other club members walk up to chat, and shines in your face, killing your night vision

See members wandering around the paddock with red headlamp flashing everywhere

With no light, your eye will adapt within 5 - 10 minutes

John

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just received Armytek Tiara A1 Pro that I plan to use as my astro headlamp. I have used acrylic red filter to cut out removable lens to cover the original one and convert it to red light. It is not cheap, but I am picky about UI and brightness modes spacing and it is going to be used for camping as well where other perks are worth it.

I didn't get to try it in the field, but general impression is good. It has access to lowest mode and last used mode from off. The lowest is low enough and the beam and wide and smooth - good for close up work. Second lowest setting is good for walking around. Other modes are well spaced for general use and camping and the magnetic tailcap may come in handy sometimes.

My main complaint is the battery indicator light. It says in the manual that it is disabled in firefly modes, but it still blinks green 3 times after you change modes before and it is a very bright green compared to lowest brightness settings. And any time you press the switch it lights up pretty bright red. Not a huge deal when the headlamp is on your head with switch pointing up and no people near you that try to preserve night vision, but I wish I bought the regular and not the pro version that doesn't have the indicator. I have contacted the manufacturer to see if there is a way to disable it in pro version. Other thing is that bezel is loctited in place and not removable, which makes it harder to pull the red lens out.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a cheapo Decathlon USB model. The Must Have feature of anything used for astronomy is the ability to go straight to red and back to Off without scrolling through bright white.

Olly

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find hand held red torches better, as they can be directed more accurately and are far less likely to irritate other observers who are trying to retain their dark adaption. Carrots are good too! ☺

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

I find hand held red torches better, as they can be directed more accurately and are far less likely to irritate other observers who are trying to retain their dark adaption. Carrots are good too! ☺

Perhaps we could then invent a third hand which attaches to our heads? 😀

Olly

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

... the ability to go straight to red and back to Off without scrolling through bright white.

 

That feature is SO important. Some of my society buddies have head torches that cycle through white before going to red or off and that is so annoying when they wander over to have a look through my scope. One blast of white light while they fiddle with their switches and thats messed things up for 30 minutes or so. I have to admit that I find even the red setting rather bright when I'm trying to observe fainter objects :undecided:. I don't use one myself - I just have a very small and rather dim red only torch which is just enough to read a star atlas with.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My preferred astro headtorch is the Energizer 315 lumen version

https://www.energizer.com/lighting/headlights#vhdflh

This has two buttons, the right one switches on red, the left switches on white.  Having two buttons is great because it doesn't rely on remembering whether you were on white or red last time. 

When in white light mode, there are wide and narrow focus modes available which some people might find useful.

7dayshop used to sell them until recently for about £10, but doesn't seem to have them at the moment. :(

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using my LEDLenser with a self installed red filter since 2016, and it works a treat.  variable brightness and focus give low level light but instant brightness when needed.  i see that amazon has them for £18.99 at the moment,  less than 1/2 the price i paid for mine!

The Red Gel filter is a circle of acetate cut to fit the lens module

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N324CAA/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_0eJICbZX82G0T

 

headtorch.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, there is also the claim that our red light preference belongs in the urban myth category and that we'd be better off using fainter green... It's been discussed before but, being set in my ways, I use red.

Olly

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, AdeKing said:

I use a Princeton Tec Fred which defaults to dim red, but brightens at a second push and switches to dim white only if you hold down the power button for three seconds.

£30 for a red light! The world has gone mad.

Think that I’ll stick with my cheap hand held one and lust keep on juggling those expensive eyepieces one handed.

Errrr. Think that I may have just talked myself into a new head torch that I didn’t know that I needed.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Paul

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New headlamp on the way! 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

6 months in and I’m very happy with my red light head torch. The original recommendation came from @DirkSteele. Think Matthew reviewed it for one of the Astronomy mags too. 

On my iPad so hard to scroll to find his review at the moment. Purchased mine from the nice folks at Tring Astro, I won’t buy from Amazon unless there is absolutely no alternative.

Chris

Edited by Cjg
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

5 minutes ago, DirkSteele said:

The review Chris mentions is on my site for anyone reading this thread considering a new head lamp:

http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2017/03/26/princeton-tec-remix-red-led-headlamp-review/

 

That's a good in-depth review. You have highlighted that the 'Remix' version of this Princeton-tec head torch is a bit bright in red LED mode, which is the same problem I have with my LED Lenser  SE03. It is fine for me on my own, but if I am with company and look at them, the red LED is too bright.

The Princeton-tec version that @AdeKing suggested (the oddly-named 'Fred') seems to have overcome that problem. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Paul73 said:

£30 for a red light! The world has gone mad.

Think that I’ll stick with my cheap hand held one and lust keep on juggling those expensive eyepieces one handed.

Errrr. Think that I may have just talked myself into a new head torch that I didn’t know that I needed.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Paul

 

Trust me, torches & headlamps can be oddly addictive (like scopes!).  There's an entire forum dedicated to this subject in the USA.  I have also developed the 'sickness'' and own quite a few headlamps  / flashlights / torches now.  Some of them aren't cheap either... 

The headlamp I use for astro is the Black Diamond Spot.  It has a variable output in red light (very useful)  and you can turn it on in red mode, without going to white light.

At the other end of the scale, there is something quite fun and satisfying when using a modern, pocketable, high power handheld light to illuminate something across the field at 300 metres.  LED technology has really advanced.   Just don't do it at an astro event though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well thanks folks.  Some "illuminating"  comments and advice, which is appreciated.  Headlight ordered!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll +1 the Petzls - I've been using a https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/PERFORMANCE-headlamps/REACTIK for a long while now and been very happy with it. It has a switchable white or red light mode with a simple button press, but it also has a sensor which adjusts the light output - this is very handy if you're nipping back indoors frequently as it basically turns out the light when you go somewhere brightly lit, and also dims if you're looking at a computer screen etc. Very comfortable to wear and the battery endurance is great. You can also adjust the light levels and reactive curves in software, which is rather nice. Bit pricier but they'll last decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently bought a Petzl Tikka (it was the cheapest red light switched Petzl I could get in my local Blacks).  It does exactly what I need i.e. once selected to red light the switch operates between red and off, no cycling through white.  However it is very bright.  As I'm always observing on my own, this isn't a huge difficult (although referring to my notebook can be a little dazzling for a few seconds) it would probably be quite annoying if there was anyone else nearby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, jadcx said:

I recently bought a Petzl Tikka (it was the cheapest red light switched Petzl I could get in my local Blacks).  It does exactly what I need i.e. once selected to red light the switch operates between red and off, no cycling through white.  However it is very bright.  As I'm always observing on my own, this isn't a huge difficult (although referring to my notebook can be a little dazzling for a few seconds) it would probably be quite annoying if there was anyone else nearby.

IMO the most important is the brightness level. A really dim white light will hurt your dark adaptation less than that bright red.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.