The Black Diamond 'Moonlight' (hereby referred to as just the Moonlight) is a head-mounted light that uses 4 really bright white LEDs in a plastic piece on the front, three AAA cells in a plastic and rubber tray in the back, and features three brightness settings and a blinking mode, all selectable with a single pushbutton switch underneath the light's front.
The Moonlight has a three-point elastic strap system so it stays affixed firmly to your head no matter what you get yourself into. Well, it'll probably come off if you get snagged in some rose bushes or something (probably pulling some hair out along with the Moonlight), but I think it'll stay on during normal activities you might use a headlamp for.
To use the Moonlight, remove it and its included Energizer AAA cells from the package. Then install the batteries (see below). THEN it'll be ready to use.
Like I've said before, I don't get too many headlamps to review, so please forgive me if I make some eggregious error in describing a buckle or a strap.
To put the Moonlight on, place it on your head so the illuminator (the part with the LEDs in it) faces forward, and the battery pack faces backward. The two side straps should go above your ears, and the top strap goes over your head from front to back. The Moonlight can be adjusted to your head or helmet size by sliding a buckle on the side and another buckle on top forward or backward.
To turn the Moonlight on, press the round button on the underside of the illuminator portion of the headlamp. Press it firmly until it clicks. The Moonlight will come on in "high" mode. Press it again until it clicks to turn it off.
To decrease the brightness to "medium", start with the light turned on. Press the button PARTWAY in (not so it clicks) until the light goes out. Release the button within 1 second, and the Moonlight should come back on in "medium". Repeat for "low", and repeat again for "strobe" (more like a slow flash - all LEDs come on and then go out with a cycle of approximately 1.7Hz).
Like the shampoo bottle says, "lather, rinse, repeat".
The LED illuminator itself is on a pivoting mechanism, so you can tilt it up or down to suit your needs. From what I can see, it appears to be made from a standard head screw and a captive nut; should this pivoting action become loose, tightening the screw slightly should fix it. I can't confirm this though (since this Moonlight is a loaner sample), so your results may vary.
To change the batteries in the Moonlight, turn it so the rubber piece on the back is facing up. Gently pull the strap that's over this cover through the loops in the battery cover's sides a few inches, until it clears the rubber portion. On one end of the rubber cover, you'll find this little tit that fits your thumbnail - lift up on it until the rubber cover comes all the way off. The back end of the rubber cover has the upper strap going through it, so you can't lose the cover or get it on backwards if you really aren't paying attention.
If there are dead batteries in there, remove them and dispose them as you see fit. Install three new AAA cells, negative (-) flat side facing the spring in each chamber.
Place the rubber cover back over the opening, closing it by pressing it down over all the edges - it should be pretty much flush with the rim of the plastic battery tray on all sides when you have it on right.
Finally, pull the strap through on both sides, so it once again lies flat against the rubber portion of the battery holder.
The batteries can be a bit difficult to change (especially in the dark), but it's not impossible by any means.
Advertised battery life is as follows:
180 hours on "low"
100 hours on "medium"
70 hours on "high"
110 hours on "strobe"
I won't have the sample long enough to run through my battery destroying satanic robot death machine, so these figures will have to do.
Black Diamond 'Moonlight' affixed to a flashlight tester's head. :-O
Because this is a loaner light, I won't bash it against a steel rod, throw it in the potty, stomp on it, slam it into a toolbox or garbage can, or run over it with a 400lb electric wheelchair.
It does appear to be relatively sturdy, but since it's made predominantly out of plastic and rubber, it might break if you step on it - but I don't think it will become damaged if you drop it or have other common flashlight accidents with it.
The brightness adjustments are easy to use, and appear to use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) to achieve the two dimmer brightness levels (beyond the full-power mode). This allows for the possibility of some degree of regulation, and the LEDs should remain pretty much the same color for most of the battery life. They certainly won't turn an ugly yellow as the batteries poop out.
Like I mentioned earlier, the illuminator head pivots up and down so you can place the beam exactly where you want it to be. I also found it easy to adjust. You can adjust the illuminator so far down it almost goes in your face (it lights up your chest if you look down), and so far up its usefullness is...shall we say...limited. :-) You can also adjust it to point any place in between.
Beam photo at ~12".
44,000 mcd on high
14,000 mcd on medium
10,000 mcd on low
Light was loaned to me by a website visitor on 10-01-03, so I won't have it for too long.
I heard from a user of this product tonight (10-02-03) that the wire going into the battery holder can become broken. It is fixable, but I hear it's a pain to do.
Small and compact unit
Bright enough to be truly useful
Battery pack is not very water resistant
Batteries can be a bit of a pain in the toilet muscle to change
Cord from batteries to illuminator could get snagged in something
MANUFACTURER: Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd
PRODUCT TYPE: LED Headlamp
LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
No. OF LAMPS: 4
BEAM TYPE: Soft spot
SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton clicky on LED module
BEZEL: LEDs recessed in plastic headpiece
BATTERY: 3 AAA cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
WATER RESISTANT: Splash-resistant only
WARRANTY: 3 years
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