Black Diamond Spot LED Headlamp Review

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

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 a 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.

Comparable headlamps

Make / ModelLumensDual PowerRed ModeWeight
Petzl Actik Core600YesYes3.1 oz
Biolite 325 Headlamp325Yes1.8 oz
LEDlenser MH10600Yes5.6 oz
Black Diamond Astro 300-R3002.65 oz
Fenix HM50R700YesYes2.75 oz
Nitecore NU 33700Yes5.3 oz
Biolite 800 Pro800Yes5.1 oz
Nitecore NU 25 UL400Yes1.59 oz
Nite Ize Radiant 300300Yes3.2 oz
Princeton Tec Axis Recharegable 450Yes2.9 oz

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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  1. I really like the new look of your webpage. It looks really organized and functional. I feel like my happy little blog is trapped under the predefined formats which just plop information anywhere and ultimately merely make it a mess. Good work.

  2. Thx – my old layout was getting really hard to navigate, plus I had to upgrade to the latest version of wordpress. I hope this new layout will make it easier for people to find some of my older posts.

  3. +1 on the new layout, I really like it, very clean, simple, intuitive, & a great design too.

  4. I've had this one for 4 years. It's the multi-tool of the head lamp world. I was able to see animals in the dark before others in my group. I use it at home all the time also to run out in the yard or garage, etc.

  5. For me it is a very good LED headlamp Pange Y-9 with 800 lumens Cree XM-L T6.

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