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The Best: LED Headlamp

What are the best LED headlamps?

Battery Junction's guide to buying the right headlamp for you.

What are the best LED headlamps?

LED headlamps are great tools for providing light for users who need their hands free to work or maneuver freely in the dark. While all headlamps share the distinction of being head-mounted lighting devices, variations in output, power options and interface separate the good from the greatest hands-free lighting tools. The intended use, value and comfort of a headlamp are all deciding factors for when choosing a headlamp.

This list of Top 5 LED headlamps was assembled using various points of data, including sales records, distinct product features and direct feedback from our customers. We have a wide variety of headlamps available, so if you don't see something here that suits you we have plenty more to choose from!

What to Look For:

With so many headlamps out there, it can be tricky to pick out the right one for you. But if you can pick out a few basic features that you need and know which ones to look for, you'll be wearing some high powered LED headgear in no time!

LED Headlamp output

LED Output:

When it comes to headlamps, lumen rating isn't everything but it never hurts to have have a bit more power available! That being said, a modern LED headlamp should be able to produce at least 500 lumens and be able to adjust to lower settings for close range or discreet work. Having lower light levels at your disposal makes it easy to adjust the beam to your needs and to control power consumption.

Power options

Power Options:

Keeping your headlamp powered up is important, so it is vital to know when and how you can recharge or refill the power source. Most modern LED headlamps make use of rechargeable 18650 Li-ion batteries or primary CR123A lithium batteries. Having a rechargeable light is a clear benefit that will save time and money in the long run (and it's good for the environment too!). However having some CR123As on hand is a great idea in a pinch if you run out of juice. Alternatively some heavy duty headlamps include rechargeable battery packs that can be belt mounted, and remove the complication of replacing batteries.

Anodized aluminum headlamp

Durable Materials:

A headlamp is an investment and a serious tool that you need to rely on, so making sure yours is built with quality and care is essential. Keep an eye out for lights constructed of lightweight yet durable anodized aluminum, which is the standard of high quality LED flashlights everywhere. You'll also want to make sure that the head strap is made from a light form fitting material and is fully adjustable.

Top 5 Recommendations:

#1 1. Jetbeam HR25

Coming in at number one on our list is the Jetbeam HR25, a light that's packed with a ton of features and value. To start things off the HR25 emits a respectable 800 lumens using a CREE XM-L2 T6 LED, plenty of power for either indoor or outdoor use. The light is internally rechargeable, meaning that any 18650 Li-ion battery can be recharged by simply plugging the light in using the included USB cable. On top of all that the package includes a Jetbeam 18650 battery, and considering that the HR25 has the lowest price point of any headlamp on our list, that makes it one hell of a bargain!

Turbo
800 lumens
4 hours
High
800 lumens
4 hours
Medium
260 lumens
6 hours
Low
70 lumens
15 hours
Moonlight
70 lumens
15 hours
Batteries
1 x 18650
 

2. Nitecore HC-30

The HC30 headlamp from Nitecore brings more to the party than its 1000 lumen output and ultra lightweight design. This uniquely styled headlamp can be removed from the included head strap and used and an every day carry angle light, making it a versatile tool that can assist users in a variety of low light areas. An included pocket clip makes it possible to mount the light on your clothing for an entirely different type of hands free lighting.

Turbo
1000 lumens
1 hour
High
400 lumens
3.5 hours
Medium
210 lumens
7.25 hours
Low
70 lumens
15.25 hours
Moonlight
1 lumen
330 hours
Batteries
1 x 18650
2 x CR123A

3. Terralux TLH-50

Tried and tested, the Terralux TLH-50 is the oldest model on our list, but that just speaks to how reliable and well received it has been by our customers. This headlamp's popularity is no surprise, and its value is enhanced by having 2 CR123A batteries included in the package. Rugged aluminum construction, a comfort minded head strap and 540 lumen output have kept this light a best seller and ensured its legacy as one of the finest LED headlamps to grace our warehouse.

Turbo
540 lumens
 
High
540 lumens
3 hours
Medium
250 lumens
4.5 hours
Low
20 lumens
65 hours
Batteries
2 x CR123A
 

4. Olight H35 Wave

This list wouldn't be complete without the inclusion of the Olight H35 Wave, a powerhouse designed to suit serious industrial work. This headlamp houses 3 CREE XM-L2 LEDs and emits a massive 1500 lumens, by far the brightest light in our top five. This is also the only light on our list that is powered by a belt mountable battery back that can be quickly charged via USB cable, and keeps users from having to worry about spare batteries. Yet another distinction of this light is a front mounted motion sensor that allows the light to be turned on or off with the wave of a hand, perfect for workers using heavy gloves that prevent them from manipulating small buttons or switches.

High
1500 lumens
2.5 hours
Med
550 Lumens
8 hours
Low
150 Lumens
24 Hours
Batteries
Battery Pack
 

5. Fenix HL55

Rounding out the top five is the Fenix HL55, an all rounder headlamp that has great output, interface and lightweight design. This light offers a maximum output of 900 lumens, as well as a series of lower modes that can be used to suit various situations. With an easy to use side switch interface and a head that pivots 160 degrees, the HL55 is perfect for everyday users as well as workers in industrial professions.

Turbo
900 lumens
5 Minute Burst
High
420 lumens
3.5 hours
Medium
165 lumens
10 hours
Low
55 lumens
30 hours
Moonlight
10 lumens
150 hours
Batteries
1 x 18650
2 x CR123A
Posted by BatteryJunction.com on January 29, 2016 | Share this article: