I originally bought the Black Diamond Spot headlamp for use on winter backpacking trips where I need extra light for melting snow after dark, but I like it so much I use it the rest of the year. It is great for cooking after sunset, walking back to my tent in the dark, writing in my journal before bed, and planning out the next day’s route.
The Black Diamond Spot is a Super Bright LED. To put this in perspective, the Spot casts a beam 70 feet while a Petzl e+LITE casts one 19 feet (measurements provided by REI.) Similarly, the Lux of the Spot at 2 meters is 306 vs. 23 for the e+Lite. Lux is a measure of the quantity of light the falls on an illuminated surface and is measured using a light meter. On flat surfaces, like a trail or map, the light of the full moon shines at an intensity of 0.25 lux, so 1 lux at 2 meters is 4 times brighter than the full moon.
The Black Diamond Spot has 4 LEDs in it, arranged in two independent arrays, or modes, for different purposes. The Spot array has 1 LED, housed in a reflector (aluminum well) which projects as focused, piercing beam for walking at night. It has can be set to full, medium, economy, or strobe by depressing the switch on top of the light which cycles through these modes. The proximity array has an additional 3 LEDs which are good for cooking or sitting in your tent after dark. They also can be set to full, medium, economy and strobe modes. I think having the two arrays is rather clever, because it’s like having two headlamps in one.
I like this headlamp a lot and it is now a standard part of my 4 season gear list.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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