FrontaLED Trekker

FrontaLED Trekker, retail $185.00 (
Manufactured by FrontaLED (
Last updated 08-14-09


The FrontaLED Trekker is a unique, 10-LED headlamp made in Switzerland. It sports dual brightness, fully regulated circuitry, an all-epoxy housing for the LEDs & electronics, adjustable headband, "remote" battery pack, and a magnetic reed switch.


To use the Trekker, first get some batteries in that sucker. See below for that info.
The Trekker is fitted with a 3-point headband system made from an elastic material. All three belts are equipped with an adjustment slide buckle so the unit can be adjusted to fit any head and I would assume many, if not most helmets as well.

A rubberized foam pad on the back of the Trekker's light module prevents the hard case from gouging you in the forehead with sharp points or uncomfortable edges. The battery pack is mounted on the rear portion of the headband, so the light has a more balanced and less front-heavy feeling when wearing it than other "all in one" lights that have the battery and illuminator all up front.

To turn the Trekker on, just tip out the large blue epoxy block (it's on hinges), and it automatically comes on. A magnetic switch inside the block is activated when it is swung away from the small disk magnet mounted on the frame.

The light has two brightness settings; to change brightness, just turn the light on, off, and back on within 5 seconds and it automatically changes modes regardless of which mode you are currently in.

Some yahoo testing yet another headlamp. ;-)

And here is the Trekker on a Phoam Head Phred.

The Trekker needs 4 "AA" batteries. They fit in a flat, tray-type battery holder located in the pouch on the rear portion of the headband. The pouch has a flap with a velcro closure; open it up and slide the tray out.

battery tray

The battery tray is similar in most aspects to the kind you buy at Radio Shack for projects, but there are a couple of differences - read about them in the next section.

Load in your batteries, with the flat (-) side facing the spring in each compartment. Then slide the tray back into the pouch, close the flap, and get back underway.

Battery life needs to be metered... I'll try to do this after I finish up with the Action Light. The Action Light is a loaner, so I can't take my time on it.


The fully-encased LED & driver module in the Trekker is about as sturdy as they come. Everything is encased in a solid block of blue epoxy, and epoxy is one of the most indestructible materials on the face of the planet. Some archaeologist is gonna dig one of these suckers up 50,000 years from now, and assuming his portable microfusion generator doesn't smoke it, the thing will probably still work!

However, there are a couple of weak points.
  1. The battery case is (or looks & feels like) the same type you can buy at your local Rat Shack. The cord is tied off with an improvised strain relief, so at least the lead wires won't be easy to break off.
  2. Then there's the cord itself. By the looks of things, if you have an accident with the cord, the whole battery pack & cord assembly will have to be replaced.
That said, there does appear to be a provision on the epoxy module for attaching a new cord while only defacing the unit slightly - by removing the silver label and exposing a screw to what I believe is the cover to a terminal gate block. So at least you don't have to throw the entire $200 light in the garbage if you somehow mutilate or sever the cord. This is probably a job meant for the manufacturer though, unless you're really screwed, out in the middle of nowhere, with only the wire ripped from your car's courtesy light.

There is also the issue of the magnetic switch. Since you have to tip the light block downward to turn it on, you may have some problems if you need to look up, as when climbing or seeing what's eating the food you slung over that tree branch.
To solve this problem, simply place a thin piece of magnetic metal (iron, mild steel, cobalt, or nickel) over the magnet, and the unit will stay on even when you flip the block all the way up. FrontaLED makes a special "badge" expressely for this purpose; you may want to consider dropping the extra two bucks for it at the time you purchase the light itself. That way, you won't be as likely to be caught with your pants down when you really need to look up. :-O

That curious looking cord is there for a reason. When you pack the Trekker away for your trip, close the unit (turning it off), and stick the end of this cord in the hole provided for it, and push it in by hand as far as it will go. This will prevent the unit from turning on in your bag.
When you're ready to use the light, just pull the cord out and let it hang there until you pack it away for your trip back home. The other end is knotted & glued inside, and will not become lost.

spatial distro chart
This is the spatial distribution chart - a cross section of the beam. Nice curves there!!

contour chart
And here is the photometric beam contour chart. Brigher areas are in the center
in reds & yellows; dimmer outer areas are in blue.
Both of these made on the ProMetric System, by Radiant Imaging.

63,100mcd on high, 25,000mcd on eco mode (low).

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this headlamp.

Spectrographic plot
Same as above; newer software & settings used.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Does not feel "front heavy" when used.
Bright enough to be truly useful.
Tough illuminator casing.
Reed switch can be "locked out" for storage & transport.

Battery holder & cord doesn't appear that tough *or* submersible.
Purchase cost seems a bit high.
Difficult to look upward without shutting light off, but there is a cure.

          MANUFACTURER: FrontaLED
          PRODUCT TYPE: Head mounted hiking/task light
          LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 5mm
          No. OF LAMPS: 10
          BEAM TYPE: Wide spot with soft fall-off
          SWITCH TYPE: Magnetic reed type, digital switch handler
          BEZEL: Annular "barrier" surrounds lamp assembly. No lens.
          BATTERY: 4 AA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Not yet measured
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: Illuminator is, battery case is not
          ACCESSORIES: Unknown
          WARRANTY: Yes, duration unknown



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