Burrowed in my nightstand is a high-powered flashlight. It has three levels of intensity, from meh to my god this thing’s bright, and on more than one occasion I have scorched my retinas by accidentally staring at its beam. In short, I love it. I’m glad I have it when the power goes and I’ll be glad to have it when the government collapses. But it rarely leaves the comfort of my bedroom anymore because I recently realized something important: standard flashlights pale (heh) in comparison the one-true-king of personal lighting, otherwise known as the headlamp. And my new go-to is the Biolite HeadLamp, which has everything I want in a wearable light source.
I once thought of the headlamp as a piece of equipment specifically for climbers, spelunkers, or people who leaned into tide pools in search of bioluminescent creatures. All cool hobbies — just not something I find myself doing very often. And, because I’m generally self-conscious enough to bind myself to such constraints, I considered the headlamp part of the standard outfit of the dorkus malorkus and paid it no mind.
How wrong I was. You know what sucks? Trying to tighten kitchen pipe while biting down on the metal casing of a flashlight in order to direct the beam exactly where you need it. This realization hit me a few years ago as, guess what, I tried to hook a crescent wrench a leaky S-trap and couldn’t see a damn thing. I could feel something however, and that was four of my incisors being filed down against the hard metal flashlight casing. I also felt the same hot warmth of rage flow in me as, set on the highest rung of my step ladder trying to find the fuse box during a blackout last year, I toppled over because I couldn’t steady myself. My free hand was, you guessed it, trying to angle the damn flashlight.
Soon, I went to REI and bought a headlamp. And I saw the light — because I could properly aim it with the simple tilt of my head. From then on, I didn’t care and became Headlamp Guy. I still am Headlamp Guy. It’s what I grab whenever I have to do cramped work around the house, investigate weird noises in the backyard, ride my bike on dark nights, or search for things when the power goes.
Recently, I’ve been using a new headlamp from BioLite, simply called the HeadLamp. BioLite makes a variety of great outdoor products including several camping-centric stoves, lights, and this rad smokeless fire pit. The HeadLamp runs off rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that push out 330 lumens — plenty of shine. It lasts 3.5 hours at its highest setting or 40 hours on its lowest. It has a variety of beams to choose from, including a white spotlight, a white flood light, a white strobe light, and a red flood light.
The light variety and intensity are great. But the Biolite HeadLamp really succeeds thanks to its more thoughtful features. The strap, which the company says is made from 3D SlimFit fabric, is comfortable to wear, with a headband-like fit. The small battery pack sits on the back of the band so the whole thing is well balanced. It doesn’t slip, slide, or sway on my head. I’ve worn a lot of headlamps and this one is the most comfortable and reliable I’ve strapped to my dome. It’s my new go-to.
So, if you, too, want to become Headlamp Guy, I’d recommend the Biolite HeadLamp. It’s on Kickstarter right now, but has already exceeded its goal. It costs $50 and should be available soon. It’ll also save you on dental bills.