Troops can’t afford a spare hand to carry an LED emergency flashlight. And what with nighttime maneuvers, the need for portable, consistently bright light becomes clear. America’s latest military engagements have been especially demanding of reliable light. As former Marine Geoffery Ingersoll explains, “In Afghanistan, even in Kabul, electricity is not a guarantee, and when it gets dark, it’s really dark. An LED headlamp will make sure you don’t go falling into a hole.” For all of these reasons, an LED headlamp is critical to mission success. If you’re in the market for a military-grade LED headlamp, read on to learn what features you should prioritize.
1. Lightweight. Troops must be mobile and light on their feet – but they also must carry everything for survival on their backs. So every opportunity to lighten up is greatly appreciated. A military-grade LED headlamp should therefore be lightweight – like our HL4 model, weighing in at a mere 4.4 ounces.
2. Red light option. Anyone who has carried out a night mission can tell you that bright white light is the last thing you want when maneuvering in the dark. White light destroys our natural night vision. However, red light preserves night vision while also providing enough illumination to read maps and check other mission information. Red light is also less likely to attract the enemy’s attention. Many of our emergency LED flashlight and headlamp products offer the option to switch to red light mode. The HL4 LED headlamp we mentioned earlier offers this feature.
3. Long run time. There’s nothing as infuriating as running out of juice mid-mission. And batteries are heavy. So troops need LED headlamps that run for a long time on a single set of batteries. A dimming feature is a brilliant way to extend battery life. When only a small amount of light is needed, troops can select to dial back light output. This reduces energy usage and makes for longer run times. For instance, our HL6 headlamp can run for 75 hours and 30 minutes on its low light setting.
4. Water resistant. Anything that is headed into the combat zone must be tough. Water resistance is an indication of overall construction quality. Plus, you never know when you’ll have to spend a night camped out in muddy conditions, so it’s better to have a water-resistant headlamp.
5. Easy-to-operate switches. The ability to quickly adjust your light source could make the difference between life and death in the combat zone. So before you deploy, be sure to find an LED headlamp that is easy to turn on and off. Dimming switches and headbands should also be easy to adjust.
By the way, these are good traits to look for in any LED headlamp, even for those who aren’t heading into active duty.