I’ve had a headlamp for several years, an old Petzl LED model. Fenix’s HL60R Headlamp is something quite different. Here’s a list of the features to begin with, then I’ll talk about the practicality of using the HL60R:
- The main body is constructed from aluminium and that makes the lamp feel bulletproof – Note: that’s a figure of speech and I haven’t tried shooting at it – let’s just say it feels very durable.
- The lamp is supplied with a comfortable head strap and over-the-head strap for a secure fit.
- The lamp itself can be adjusted in the vertical access and is held in position by a nicely positive clicky mechanism. I’m sure there’s a technical engineering term for this but you know what I mean.
- The lamp is a high brightness LED producing a neutral, daylight beam and has a claimed life of 50,000 hours.
- The lamp is fully waterproof.
- Two additional red LEDs act as charging indicators or can be turned on for use as a rear-facing light when you’re walking on dark roads perhaps. Not very bright at 1 lumen but it would add to your visibility.
- It has a 5 year free repair and limited lifetime warranty.
- Comes with a high capacity rechargeable Li-ion battery giving you a battery life of anything from 100 hours at its lowest intensity to 48 minutes in “Turbo Mode”.
- One switch controls the lamp on/off and intensity.
- It can be recharged from the supplied micro USB lead using any number of standard chargers (not supplied).
- Weighs just 121 grams (excluding battery) or 227 grams with battery and head straps fitted.
In the box you get the lamp, the head straps, the battery and a spare o-ring for the battery compartment, plus the small instruction manual.
Charging can take up to four hours, the charging state being indicated by the two red LEDs on the front of the lamp. The Fenix HL60R Headlamp comes shipped with an insulating disc which has to be removed before you can charge it for the first time. What you use to charge it is up to you but a phone charger, solar charger with USB output, a car adapter with USB plug or even your PC will do. Be careful if you use a PC that you don’t overload it (this applies to any use of USB power from a PC), if you have a lot of devices connected to it and drawing power from the USB ports the charging might not work.
As mentioned above, battery life is dependent on the lamp setting you use. At full intensity the headlamp is incredibly powerful and does become very warm to the touch when you’re indoors where the ambient temperature is higher. However you’re unlikely to need it that bright when doing DIY because when used for close-up work you’ll find 950 lumens too dazzling. Reducing the brightness extends the battery life considerably. Built-in thermal protection means the unit will not overheat, even if you are using the Fenix HL60R Headlamp on the higher settings for extended periods
This lamp is apparently popular with cavers because of its dependable, durable and waterproof design because as you’d imagine that’s the last place you want to have a light fail on you. And it’s useful in so many other ways:
- Walking in the evening, both on the moors and even around our village which doesn’t have a single street lamp.
- DIY, because it’s easily directable and leaves your hands free I’m always using it, especially in confined spaces.
- Catching mice … yes you read that right. Our cat is a mouser and when the unfortunate rodents are alive they often run under furniture or into dark corners in the house. The Fenix HL60R Headlamp is great for illuminating these places when I’m trying to catch them in the middle of the night.
- Caving, obviously.
- Cycling, both for visibility, illuminating the road ahead and fixing mechanical breakdowns in low light.
- Car Maintenance.
I could probably think of even more but you get the picture
Fenix HL60R Headlamp Summary
Recognising and appreciating the features of a product you are reviewing is one thing but with the Fenix HL60R Headlamp I’ve found myself wondering what I did without it. That says more about this headlamp than anything else I can write here. It feels durable, dependable and is useful in so many ways that it’s now always to hand, at home or when we’re out walking.
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