headlamps for starters?

I’m not too sure what to choose
Just me being greedy on testing out new area.

Is there like a starter headlamp like how Sipik SK68 flashlight for beginners?

I think you can go w a zebra light! Not sure which model but I’ve seen great reviews on them

Hello, I would say sipik sk68 would be a bad choice, it is not designed to be use as an headlamp at all, but as an handheld light.

What kind of batteries would you like to use, and what kind of usage scenario do you picture it would be used for the most?

LOLOL what he meant was the sipik is the first beginner flashlight everyone has. So what would be the sipik of headlamps.

Power, what sort of cells would you prefer to use? AA, AAA, 18650? How much would you like to spend? ( Spending as little as possible results in a low quality light —> hand held lights are a better value compared an equivalently priced headlamp)

I can’t vouch for the quality, but here are some interesting options for fairly cheap:


Honestly I’m fine with all battery options. Just curious with what to get as I am exploring new options.
In fact I am even okay to strap a sipik on a headband if such convenient options existed

Thanks sb56637
That’s quite a LOT of options to choose.

The BORUiT RJ-2166 and TrustFire Z2 looks really tempting

how about this one?


Nitefighter L1A

some discussion going on here: https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/28740

Here you go!


This generic strap has rubber rings that hold any basic smaller diameter flashlight. You could use it with right-angle Z2 style light or similar. I've used it with a normal flashlight, by wearing it to the side, and wasn't very happy with that configuration. I've also used a single-USB battery bank with a Mini-Style USB lamp connected as a headlamp.

My thoughts: I don't work in an undergound mine; I need my headlamp to be a low-brightness and very floody model. I only use it to illuminate was is nearby, or in my hands. For longer-range illumination, I would use a standard flashligh. As a result, my only true headlamp is a very cheap model that uses a handful of 5mm LEDs. It gives the beam pattern and brightness I need, so I've never looked for a replacement.

<Edit>I like the look of that Nitefighter! I've just added that to my favorites at GB...

How about this Xtar H2 for $25 (new)?

It is the cheapest "decent quality" light I can think of.

My first headlamp was the Cofly bendy-headed light that sb56637 lists. I don’t like it: it whines on low and clicks in strobe mode. The magnet is strong and it has a ton of attachment points, but it went straight into the glove box. The only time I’ve taken it out since was to steal its battery for my preferred headlamp…

The headlamp I rock these days is this Nightfighter (unnamed, but I assume it’s the L1A that ChibiM links to). It’s light, powerful enough when using Eneloops, and no whine. It has a clip and a headband. Some people have reported problems with the headband but I haven’t experienced any.

IMHO-Zebralights are well crafted, high performance lights= expensive

Not what I would recommend to get your feet wet

I’ve got this one:

It’s neutral white up to 900 lumens, runs a single 18650 or 2 primaries. Fenix quality is always great couldn’t recommend it enough. If you hold down the button for the 900L burst mode, 30 sec, it drops to the last used mode. High mode is 420L and really isn’t that noticeable of a drop. On a 3400mAh 18650 you’ll get 3.75hrs on High, 420L. For the money I don’t know what else would be better.

If you are looking for aa I’d go with ZL. But unless you are partial to cool white I’d get a neutral white emitter.

Very very good price for an HL55! Even for a starter...it is worth buying.

It may be considered to be much for a starter headlamp but as someone that never had a headlamp until last Christmas I will share my experience for the OP.


My first headlamp was a Nitecore HC50. Got a couple for a couple coworkers at Xmas, and of course one for myself. Illumn.com has a hell of a deal at the time so I figured why not one for me. My coworkers used their cheapo Streamlight AAA on regular basis. Mine stayed in my tool box because to frank it did not have enough output. The HC50 changed my thoughts on what I thought were truly useless lights where one could just as easily use a readily available flashlight.

I then went on a hunt looking for cheaper alternatives. I felt there just had to be. What i found was a multitude of lights with the following:

  • Bulky, really bulky lamp assemblies (Ok for walking through the woods but not conducive for "me" working comfortably)
  • Low output (I wanted at least 500 lumens to at least be on par with my flashlight not somewhat rare ambient light)
  • Cheap Li-ion powered units did NOT have Low Voltage Protection (A requirement for me since this was going to be on my head with 18650 batteries. No LVP meant that protected batteries were my only safety and I have already had a couple protected 18650 batteries fail)
  • Blinkies!! All cheap lights had strobes that had to be cycled through (I like hidden strobes or none at all)

In my hunt the cheapest I found with those specs were the Nitecore HC50 (and I would be willing to bet that CalvinIS would put them on special again) and the Skilhunt.

I have an Xtar H2 coming and although it is not as bright as I would prefer it looks like it will fit the bill for those that feel that my preferred lights are too heavy or needlessly too bright. It does lack LVP so protected 16340's must be used. For $25....not a bad price and probably easily recoverable if one does not like it.

Correction: According to this from XtarDirect the H2 headlamp DOES have LVP. I wrongly assumed it did not.

I am also waiting for an UltraFire H6.

Last, something that may be interesting for some.....

A couple coworkers despise headlamp bands. One took the rubber holder off the headband and bolted it to his hat and another used the available pocket clip (Skilhunt) and clipped it to the bill of his hat. This Xtar has a pocket clip :)

Now if only Convoy would make a headlamp :) (Simon says next year)

Fishy here!

I am surprised no one has yet mentioned the new ThruNite TH10 (NW). At $39.95, it may fit into your budget. It sports a Cree XM-L2 neutral-white emitter in a 1x 18650 format. It can also run on 2x CR123A or 2x RCR123. I think it is worth a look.

Be forewarned, however, although I have this on a short list of headlamps I am considering for purchase at the moment, I have never used a TH10. Everything I know about it comes from the ThruNite web site I linked above.

Note that the expected release date for this new headlamp is 2015-Jul-01.

Here is a selection probably out of your price range, but window shopping them should help you form your ideas of what you want in a headlamp.

I do think that when you buy your first headlamp, try to get one good enough that 2 or 4 years from now, you will still consider it as a good “second” headlamp if it doesn’t remain as your best headlamp, in other words don’t buy a $15.00 headlamp that in 6 months or a year, you feel was a mistake.

I did not know about that. Don't look bad for an MSRP of 39.95. If that were to be discounted, and I assume it will, it will be a decent buy.

Doesn't that count for flashlights as well?

It's a Starters light, why pay good money just to check out if something is useful or not. OP just called it a starter light, and then a sipik priced light is a good start I believe. He can always upgrade.

The minimum threshold for usability is a lot higher with a headlamp than a flashlight.

A starter flashlight doesn't have to have great ergonomics, beam quality, or efficiency to be usable. It really only has to be inexpensive and functional.

A headlamp on the other hand has to be comfortable enough to wear for a fair amount of time, have a usable beam, and needs to be efficient. A headlamp that can't check all three boxes inevitably ends up in the bin.