hand held VS head flashlight

just wondering, why do headlight are less popular :quest:

i will always choose a headlight over a regular flashlight, and im not talking about the 1k + lumens lights wich are heavyer, biger and produce more hit.
assuming they got the same output, imo, they are way more practical to use for most needs.
but still, there are way more hand lights then heads, more models, more designes, more mods…
i mean, why would anyone will prefer to put a flashlight in his mouth when he can conveniently wear it on the head.? :open_mouth:


Have you ever tried to take your headlight out of your pocket with one hand busy holding something else? Some people don’t like to have a headlight on their head at all times just in case they need a light for a few minutes here or there.

There is nothing wrong with a headlight and find them very useful, but every form has its purpose.

Headlamps are better if you need both hands to work with, handhelds are more powerful. Headlamps also mess up your hair and look worse on the head if you care about things like that.

A headlamp that has a detachable rotating clip and a detachable headband is still more versatile compared with a handheld flashlight of the same size and power because of the 90 degree offset head.

good point.
sure headlamps are less easy to carry as they have the band, but on the other hand, if you are in the dark wearing headlamp then you wont be in that situation in the first place.
situations like you described when you need fast accessible light for a few moments while your other hand are busy are less common (like a mechanic need to see the inside of the motor for a sec)
but in most situations you actualy need to use the light because its dark outside, so wearing the light while goin outside is an act that should come naturaly,
and that is why i think headlamps should be the main lights, or at least equal, but they are realy not :frowning:
and even though, i will glad to have some AA/18650 in my poket ofc at any time :slight_smile:

Personally I would never wear a headlight that held lithium batteries close to my head.
I have a couple that use AA and I’m fine with those.
A lithium rechargeable battery or batteries in a battery pack worn separately I wouldn’t mind.

I have tons of lights both stock and modded. Most of my lights are pocketable EDC lights. I’ve spent tons of time and effort modding them.

I only have one headlight: a cheap zoomable aspheric that I modded with a 4D tint XML2 and a 3-mode 1.5 amp driver. This was a really quick and dirty mod on my part too: I didn’t file the bezel retaining ring down for wider flood. I didn’t replace the stock driver wires with 22 gauge silicone. I don’t recall if I even put thermal grease under the star.

Despite this, of all my lights my headlight gets the most actual use… by far. I’ll spend more time carrying around my EDC light, but checking at the end of the week which light had the most “on” time, and its the headlight. My headlight is also the only light I have that I’ll use up the entire 18650 cell until the driver dims the output. It gets that much use.

For any hobby type activity including flashlight modding, and for household chores like vacuuming, I wear the headlight. The aspheric lens gives a nice even spread of light, and if I need a wider beam I can take off the lens and use it as a mule. I can swivel it down to aim at whatever I happen to be working on. And it’s LOADS more comfortable than what I used to use (Olight S10 carried in the mouth).

Headlights aren’t “sexy” like the latest and greatest EDC lights. But they’re tremendously useful.

If I need light, and the use of both hands for any length of time, such as setting up my tent or cooking in camp, or even working repairs on my car, I always use a headlight.

But for everyday immediate lighting use, I do not have a headlight in my pocket! I always though, do have a tiny aaa light in my pocket (such as a Fenix E01 or Fenix LOD-CE or a Tank007 E09), and that can be handheld or easily held in my lips for a quick few seconds of needed light.

Headlights are not less popular, they do have there use’s.

It’s all in what you are going to do with the light. Ninety-five percent of the time I use a handheld light because I’m only going to be in the dark a minute or two, walking from the house to the shop(which has lights), feeding animals, etc… In situations where I’m going to be using the light for a long time and working with both hands, I use a headlamp. A couple of months ago I cut down two large hardwood trees, cut up and removed them from yard the after dark and used a headlamp. I was out there a couple of hours and could have never operated a chainsaw using only one hand but I don’t do things like that very often after dark.

90% of the time I’m using a light, its a headlight. I’m a field service tech that works on fitness equipment and I keep a zebralight h602 in my tool bag. It gets used on almost every job all day. I’ve grown so used to it I use them all the time at home now. At home I use my custom triple nichia 219 headlight mostly. I like my headlights to be full flood, so if I’m going outside at night I’ll grab a handheld for more throw. My passion for flashlights grew out of the need for a good worklight. I got sick of holding a maglight in my mouth.

I agree that headlights seem to be unappreciated. But I think that’s changing. A couple years ago there was not many choices for a 18650 headlight, that’s why I started modding my own. Now there are a lot more options, and some really good choices. I’m surprised there are still no nichia 219 headlights though. If you want high cri goodness you still have to mod your own.

Here’s about half my collection of headlights,

Its just the tasks and personal preference that dictate which you use. Walking my dogs around in the city and taking a light for dark areas, it seems a bit silly to have a headlamp on, plus headlamps are not as comfortable as a small strapless tube in my pocket is. In the forest when I hike, I take a headlamp, but I prefer the much more powerful handhelds I have that throw further, produces more light, I dont have to turn my head to illuminate things and they have more modes/levels. Many times I’ll also have a headlamp on with me on a hike, but the handheld is the primary unless I’m setting up camp or wanting to conserve power. For throwers on a walk, I’m also going to prefer a handheld. For a backup in the car or on a trip, I prefer a handheld because I’m not going to want to use the extra space or spend the time to monkey with straps off and on for a headlamp.

For working on something, headlamps are preferred. Not much else that I use lights for, really.

So yes, in general, handhelds get way more use from me. Its task driven though, if I was a caver or a mechanic or had a dark garage to play around in, or if I had a hobby I could use one for, I’d use headlamps more.

Being a climber and a cave/mine explorer I of coarse use headlights. But when you’re looking around for anchors or descent paths a hand held is better. Having to always move your head to point at want you want to illuminate is sometimes very tedious.

Others have made good points as above, and I don’t have much to add.

There are some really powerful headlamps out there, which can easily kick the a of most LED flashlights. :bigsmile:

maybe I’m just paranoid…

I just prefer handheld so I can punch people(or glass) with the crenelated bezel.

Headlamps are super useful but it gave me headaches when stuffs are attached on my head (I don’t even want to wear a baseball hat)

Want to learn why I don’t like headlights?

Put one on your friend’s head and try to work together in the dark. In the middle of the job, look at them and call out their name.


(You won’t see very well, I’d wager, for several minutes!!)

This is why I invented “handlights”, which sit on the inside of your wrist and put a ball of light around your hands, where you’re actually working, without blinding everyone else around you.

Just my 2 cents…


I hate it when other workers wear them and keep blinding me 10 times a minute. I usually have to tell them to turn it off.

Maybe a better subject would be, why are wrist lights so rare?

This might be useful.

Is there such a thing? The only ones I’ve ever seen are on Star Trek

I use headlights quite often, think they are great , but only in certain situations which for me tend to be when I’m working on the car, boat etc or caving, headlights leave your hands free and the light goes where your looking.
But I wouldn’t wear one to walk the dog or if out with a group of people, too much of a hassle having to cover the light or turn it off every time you meet some one coming the other way, or you want to speak to someone in the group with out blinding them, but then your plunged into darkness. It’s so much easier in most day to day situations to use a handheld torch you can just point towards the ground