The Energizer LED Essentials headlamp is a small, good looking LED headlamp that fits on your head with a two point elastic, adjustable strap, and features two white LEDs with lenses to focus the beam, and a red LED that uses its own body to focus its light beam.
The white LEDs are supposed to be used for general lighting for whatever you need, and the red LED is supposed to be used to help preserve night vision. The whole thing runs from three included AAA cells, and the package claims a 50 hour runtime between battery changes.
The headlamp will need to be fed first (see below), otherwise it's ready to go right out of the package.
It fits your head by means of an adjustable elastic strap. The strap can be adjusted with a sliding buckle and loop arrangement; there is no loose end to get in the way or hang uncomfortably.
Once you have the light adjusted and on your head, the slide switch on top is used to turn the unit on and off.
Slide the switch to the right to turn both white LEDs on, slide the switch back to the middle to turn the light off, or slide the switch to the left to get the red LED to come on. The center switch position is always "off".
You can adjust the aim of the light by tipping the LED section down or up. The ability to aim the flashlight exactly where you need it is definitely a plus.
To feed your LED Essentials headlamp, hold it by the edges where the head strap goes in, turn it upside-down, and use a house key or similar article to push in on the battery door catch. The battery door should pop free at this point. Lift it off and set it aside. Remove the dead batteries (if any) and get rid of them. Install three new AAA cells, following the polarity markings embossed into each chamber. Take the battery door, and snap it on, being sure the back end of it goes all the way into the slots for it on the flashlight body. Once that's done, snap the front end (the end with the catch) into the flashlight body. The whole battery door should now be pretty much flush with the rest of the flashlight.
Battery life is quoted as 50 hours on the package. I don't know what Energizer defines as a dead battery, so I'll have to test this for myself.
The Energizer LED Essentials headlamp is made of the type of plastic that other inexpensive household flashlights are made out of, and really wasn't meant for heavy duty use. Treat it right, and it ought to treat you right. :-)
There's a slight ticking noise when the light is shaken or manhandled; this is completely normal though, and does not indicate a problem with the light.
A foam pad on the back of the light cushions your forehead, so the light is comfortable to use. And because the batteries are mounted way back in the holder, the light does not have that odd, front-heavy feel to it like some other headlamps have.
The Energizer LED Essentials headlamp is *not* very water resistant, so you'll need to be careful around lakes, streams, rivers, tubs, sinks, toilets, or other places where water might be found. It's fine for fairweather camping & hiking and for around-the-house, but might not do so well in rainstorms. Keep it dry, and it ought to serve you well for a long time.
The light from the white LEDs is focused by lenses moulded into the protective plastic window; this allows them to "throw" farther than white LEDs with no lenses in front of them. The light is focused into a circle-shaped beam with sharp edges, not too unlike that produced by a Brinkmann Long Life LED flashlight.
The light from the red LED is not focused by a lens; but is allowed to leave the flashlight focused by its own optic. The beam is a bit larger in diameter than the beam from the white LEDs, and also has some darker spots and other artifacts in its beam. This is a result of the LED's own optics, and does not in any way indicate a problem with the light.
Beam photograph (white LEDs) at 12"
Beam photograph (red LED) at 12"
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs (white) in this headlamp.
Spectrographic analysis of the LED (red) in this headlamp.
Ocewan Optics USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.
Beam cross-sectional analysis (white LEDs).
Beam cross-sectional analysis (red LED). Images made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.
Unit was sent by a fan of the website in January or February 2003, and (as of 07-06-03) is in its initial stages of testing.
From an email I received from a website visitor, is this:
I was just looking at your write-up on the LED Essentials headlamp (also saw the notice about the website becoming mostly an archive, but this is not a request for a new review). I'm assuming that the light that Energizer started calling the LED Essentials is the same one that I got a few years back at Wal Mart, but mine was just called "Pivoting 3 LED Headlight"--I guess that didn't sound exciting enough and someone decided to change the name. If these are the same lights (the one on your page looks identical to mine), then they are pretty water resistant. I only recently retired mine (it'll live on as an emergency light now) after using it for several years, every night, couple of hours a night out in my dark backyard (communing with nature in the form of stray cats, bugs, raccoons, possums and the neighbor's mostly ignored dogs). It's been through a good number of heavy downpours with no problems. I'd always just hang it somewhere so the elastic band could dry and use it the next night like nothing ever happened. It doesn't look like much, but it's pretty robust. I always figured it wouldn't be a great tragedy if rain destroyed it, since they're so cheap to replace (it's no $300 caving light), but it's never been necessary. The only thing I've never liked about it is the battery cover. Easy to get off, annoying to put back on. I don't know if they ever redesigned it. The only reason I stopped using it is because my father gave me a $60 Led Lenser that's many times brighter and can throw light much farther (can go from wide beam to spot, with a dimmer switch). The LED Lenser hasn't been rained on yet... *evil laugh*
Small and lightweight
Has both red and white LEDs
Adjustable aim of LED module
Battery change is more difficult than expected
Not very water resistant
PRODUCT TYPE: LED headlamp
LAMP TYPE: LEDs
No. OF LAMPS: 3 (2 white LEDs, 1 red LED)
BEAM TYPE: Focused with white LEDs, slightly diffuse with red LED
SWITCH TYPE: Slide switch
BEZEL: All LEDs protected by plastic & mounted inside a reflector
BATTERY: 3x AAA cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
WATER RESISTANT: Light splash resistance only
ACCESSORIES: 2-point headband, 3x AAA batteries
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