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Full Version: Rechargeable headlamp for reading, etc.
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I'm looking for an LED headlamp that can be recharged from a car lighter with the aid of an adaptor (recharging via USB would be OK too). This sort of product looks promising:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LAEZEN8/?tag=thewire06-20&linkCode=xm2&ascsubtag=WC6037

My main question is whether these things are too blindingly bright to use as a close-range reading light -- they seem more suited to finding our way in the woods, nighttime tire changes, etc. (And of course that's useful too.)

Anybody out there have a head-mounted lamp that they can personally recommend (or warn against)?
That technically isn't a rechargeable headlamp - it comes with rechargeable batteries.

I haven't tried the Black Diamond brand but it's a well known brand in the industry.

My Petzle headlamp gives me 12 to 15 hours of light on high before I need to replace the batteries. I don't know what the use would be with rechargeables - would guess that depends on the rechargeables more than anything.

Most all the headlamps have high and low beam functions. I use the low beam for reading in bed if I'm not using the van battery system for some reason.

I've never seen a 12V charger for rechargeable batteries but then I've never looked. In any case a $20. 100W Black and Decker inverter would solve the problem anyways.

The only recommendation I can give is to get a headlamp with the red lens feature. I can't begin to tell you how many people I've blinded with my headlamp when returning to the campfire after a trip in the dark.... Rolleyes
I use a nitecore HC50 whose lowest setting is 1 lumen, highest is 585 lumens

1 lumen is fine for reading, 585 lumens would be good for racing a mountain bike at night through trails. the second brightness setting pf 100 lumens is too bright for reading in my opinion
It takes 1 18650 lithium battery.

https://www.amazon.com/NiteCore-XM-L2-Lumens-Headlamp-Black/dp/B00GNJM3AM/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1474572402&sr=1-1&keywords=nitecore+HC50

I use this charger, which can operate off of 12 volts. It can also recharge Nicad and Nimh AA and AAA and many other sizes of Lithium battery like 14500.

Beware of any lithium 18650 battery claiming more than 3400 mAH capacity.

Please beware of any cheap lithium battery charger, and headlamps which come with '5000mah' batteries, and charger included. Find the cheapest headlamp and use its battery and its charger and the likelyhood of a battery, 'venting with flame' is significantly higher than a quality panasonic cell charged to only 4.2v and no higher.

i had one cheapo headlamp whose charger would take the battery to 4.56 volts, and these batteries were destroyed.
I have two of these now and they are excellent.

One of the batteries went bust when I was backpacking so I contacted Black Diamond so they just sent me a new headlamp no hassle. By that point I had already bought some Eneloop batteries to match the "special" BD ones. When they arrived I popped them in and no ball. BUT WAIT! The BD batteries have an extended negative pole for in-lamp charging so all I needed to do (thanks lovely youtube instruction video man!) was remove a bit of the plastic sheath and they worked nicely. The Eneloop batteries are fantastic. I tested the difference with a light meter and they put out a whole extra f stop with that headlamp so that's double the brightness.

My other favourite thing about this lamp is that you can lock it. The amount of times I've had a headlamp turn on in my pack and drain itself is unreal.

Edit: To answer your actual question, you can reduce the brightness in both modes (one is a spotlight and one is softer / more spread out) so you can always find a perfect level to read with.
I 'heart' this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RCO99SQ
well balanced, stays on without squishing my braiin, charges quickly, multi function, and the low-setting light is super skosh on power.