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There are many jobs where being able to use both hands to do the work is pretty much necessary, so it’s not possible to hold a flashlight in either hand. For people whose work involves surgery, search and rescue, mining, and many other occupations, using a headlamp is a brilliant way to have hands-free lighting.
Here, we provide a clear buyer’s guide and briefly go over several of the best headlamps for work, to help you decide which one is best for you.
To those of you in a hurry, here’s a list of them, with our choice of the best headlamp for work being GRDE’s LED Headlamp:
- GRDE’s LED Headlamp
- Streamlight 61702 Bandit
- LETOUR LED Headlamp
- ODEAR LED Headlamp
- PETZL PIXA 3 Headlamp
- DEWALT HT81424 Headlamp
What to Look for in a Headlamp
Before you pick your new headlamp, you must bear several things in mind to find the best headlamp for your needs.
They measure the brightness of LED headlamps in lumens. The higher the lumens are, the brighter the light is. Naturally, a more brilliant light will shine further, but that extra power drains the battery’s life quicker.
It’s always better when a headlamp has several brightness modes that you can switch between easily. This allows for more versatility, as well as being economical.
When it comes to what maximum brightness is needed, this will mostly depend on your needs.
For white light illumination, we would recommend, in most cases, that you choose a lamp with a high lumen output on maximum power, somewhere above 1500 lumens, and a good range of lower modes—some lights come with four or five and go as low as 2-lumens.
Our Lumens, Lux, and Candela article is a great resource to learn more about Lumens and light output
You can then use the most suitable mode for the task at hand, so it covers every scenario.
Colored light options are not as varied, so if you want red or green light for night vision or emergencies, take notice of the lumen output for those modes.
Depending on their design, headlamps project either a focused or a wide beam of light. Focused beams shine for long distances straight ahead, whereas wide beams provide brightness over a broader, but a shorter area.
Some headlamps have both options or can be zoomed to provide both types of beam from the same LED. This can be quite a bonus when it comes to the versatility of use.
With some headlamps, you can adjust the lamp over a vertical axis by several degrees. The more degrees, the further you can angle the light. This can be useful when you want to change your lighting in tight or awkward positions.
Headlamps with strobing modes can produce flashes at very high brightness. In jobs such as police, security or military, where you’re more susceptible to hazard, having a headlamp with a strobing function can disorientate an assailant and be a lifesaver. They are also useful in emergencies for those working in remote locations.
Battery Type and Life
Headlamps use batteries that are disposable, rechargeable in a charger, or charged via a USB cable. Choose the one that works best for you. A product should indicate how long the battery lasts, from fully charged, in the flashlight’s various modes. Runtimes can vary massively, so check it’s up to the job you want it for.
If you have access to power, running out of juice shouldn’t be a problem, so rechargeable is best and will work out more economical in the long run.
Learn everything you need to know about Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Batteries!
However, if you work where finding a power source can be challenging, use a headlamp that runs on replaceable batteries and make sure you have enough spares with you to keep it running. Some flashlights can use either type of battery, which may be the ideal choice.
Nobody wants a headlamp that is fragile or easily damaged by the changing weather or surrounding environment. It would be problematic losing your only light source when you’re under the ground or out in the wilderness.
Note your future headlamp’s impact resistance capabilities, a measure of vertical distance in feet. There are also IPX ratings, which verify the headlamp’s ability to resist damage from both water and dust.
How durable is it? What does IPX6 mean? Read our Ultimate Guide to the ANSI/PLATO FL1 Standard symbols!
For a headlamp to be of outstanding quality, the straps are almost as important as the lamp itself. The straps should provide comfort by being padded or having plates—being elastic can add to their flexibility.
Having adjustable straps is a plus to fit different head sizes, making it a feasible option to use for more people.
Some headlamps have straps resistant to slipping that can be attached to hard hats—making them an ideal option for miners or construction workers.
Click to see all of our other Headlamp reviews!
Here are our recommendations for the best headlamps for work:
Best Overall Headlamp for Work
For those who work in caves or the outdoors at night, this is a superb choice. You can also use the 2181F headlamp as a waist lamp or a desk lamp.
With a maximum brightness of 1800 lumens, and three different lighting modes, including a strobe mode, Its runtime ranges from four to seven hours, depending on the light you use.
A useful, tiltable light, can also be rotated up to 90 degrees. It’s able to provide either focused or wide illumination with its zoomable beam.
The headband is elastic, and the rubber battery box in the back houses two 18650 rechargeable batteries, which come with the product. Also included are car, wall and USB chargers. You’ll also find a manual for the product.
With a water resistance rating of IPX4, the lamp can handle naturally splashing water and rain, but not submersion. Its dimensions are 6 x 4.8 x 3 inches, and it weighs 12.8 ounces.
- Strobe mode.
- It comes with all charger types.
- Zoomable and rotatable.
- Batteries can sometimes pop out of their rubber box.
Click here to see the Best Headlamps reviewed!
Best Small Headlamp for Work
If you’re looking for something compact and lightweight, at 1.6 ounces, and dimensions of 2.7 x 0.75 x 1.13 inches, you will find the Streamlight 61702 Bandit more than up for the job.
It produces 35 lumens of light for 9.5 hours or 180 lumens for 2 hours and also comes with a strobe mode, which flashes at the highest brightness. The beam is evenly diffused, so it’s perfect for close-up work.
The polycarbonate body and lens are resistant to an impact of up to 6.6 feet, and it’s also wet weather tolerant, with an IPX-4 rating. The power source is a built-in rechargeable battery, which has a USB charging port under a tethered cover for protection.
An adjustable head strap comes with the product, and there’s also a removable clip which you can use to attach it to your cap or hard hat, without the need for the strap.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Resistance to impact.
- It can be attached to hats without straps.
- A charging port can be covered.
- It gets warm with prolonged use.
Best Floodlight Headlamp for Work
For those whose work involves braving the wilderness and who need a dazzling light as their ally, the LETOUR LT-W608 headlamp will impress.
It can shoot out a blinding 8000-lumen light. which can cover a wide angle of as much as 120 degrees and keep running for as long as five hours. The headlamp is also adjustable over a range of 150 degrees. There are three modes of lighting, a high and low mode as well as a strobe mode, which flashes red and blue lights.
The lamp is powered by three 18650 rechargeable batteries, which are charged fully, in about 30 minutes, through a built-in USB charging port. A rear light is also present, which serves as both a warning and a signal.
With a water resistance of IPX-4, everyday splashes of water won’t damage the light. The headband is adjustable to fit most heads, and there’s a zipper leather case that you can use to store the lamp when it’s not in use.
- Has high brightness and strobe.
- It comes with a case for storage.
- Light is highly adjustable.
- Provides lighting at wide angles.
- Adjusting the lamp requires using a screwdriver.
Best Outdoor Headlamp for Work
The simply designed ODEAR headlamp is a superb choice. The battery case is directly attached to the light without the use of any wires in between.
Turned on, it lights up the way ahead as far as 500 yards and can switch between low and high brightness modes. The lamp is also rotatable over 45 degrees, giving you some flexibility with lighting.
Powered up by two 18650 rechargeable batteries, it can keep running for as long as 12 hours when fully charged. A custom USB cable comes with it, which you directly attach to the lamp.
There’s no rating for lumens on this product, but reviewers estimated it at about 500.
The lamp has an IPX-5 water resistance rating, so it can withstand exposure to rain and small jets of water without damage.
- Long run time.
- No wiring.
- It has excellent water resistance.
- The beam is too narrow.
Best Rechargeable Headlamp for Work
The PETZL PIXA 3 headlamp is not short on versatility and durability. It features a multi-beam headlamp that can produce a 20-lumen wide beam, a 100-lumen focused beam, and an 80-lumen mixed beam.
The lamp lights up a distance as far as 98 yards. There’s a reserve mode to save battery power, which produces 10 lumens of light for about 13 hours.
A rotatable knob on the side makes it easy to access the headlamp’s different modes, even with gloves on. A storage mode prevents accidental turn-on. It is powered by 2 AA batteries or lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries, with a red light indicator to let you know when they run low.
The product is durable with resistance against impact and crushing. With an IP67 rating, it’s impervious against submersion up to one meter for 30 minutes, and dust. They also rate it suitable for use in explosive environments and is resistant to chemicals.
The straps are adjustable to provide a comfortable fit. They are also washable.
- Several beam modes.
- Side knob for easy use.
- Battery life indicator.
- No strobe mode.
Best Mining Headlamp
Ever thought about having a lamp that uses a motion sensor? The DEWALT HT81424 does just that, saving you the time you’d otherwise spend finding a button.
You have between 50 and 200 lumens of brightness with this product. The runtime ranges from 6.5 to 24 hours. However, it does not use rechargeable batteries. Three AAA cells come included.
Click here to see the Best Helmet Lights reviewed!
Its strap is designed to be resistant to slipping and can be secured on hard hats, making your work all the easier.
The product is also durable, capable of withstanding drops from as high as 6.6 feet. It is both water and dust resistant with a rating of IP54.
- Operates through motion sensors.
- Slip-resistant straps.
- Not comfortable when worn directly on the head.
Click to see all of our other Headlamp reviews!
A good headlamp can make a world of difference to working conditions. It needs to be robust and versatile. For this reason, our choice for the best headlamp for work is GRDE’s LED Headlamp.
This headlamp provides high and low brightness modes and narrow or wide light beams. The strobe mode also makes it very handy in dangerous or emergency situations.
Share this article with your work colleagues, so they can finally see the light.