Wearing a head torch is an effective way to directly light up your front area, whereas freeing up your hands for others. This makes the gadget a great option for working or walking in your garden at night or in low light conditions. The right unit for you will depend on the tasks at hand or the time when you often use it. To give you more insight and useful tips, I’ve written this UK buying guide with key information about what potential buyers should check for in a head torch.
What You'll Learn Today
- Benefits of using a head torch
- Key considerations and features to look for when purchasing a head torch
- Top 5 best head torch reviews
- Frequently asked questions
Benefits of using a head torch
Perhaps the most important reason why everyone uses a torch or head torch is that they can light up the way at night with free hands. Whether you want to grow a few more plants in your garden or check the backyard at midnight, this device can be a lifesaver and keep you away from any troubles of dropping or breaking your lighting source.
Don’t forget that you can easily take the head torch off the head and hold it to use as a regular one. This means there will be more flexibility and versatility in a variety of working conditions. A head unit can turn with your head so that you can shine a light wherever you are looking.
Key considerations and features to look for when purchasing a head torch
Head torches can vary greatly in their features. You should take into consideration the following things before deciding to buy one:
The brightness of head torches is measured by lumens rather than wattages. This is the total lighting output of the units. A range from 200 to 300 lumens is sufficient for most basic tasks in your garden. For brighter devices, you should look for 1,000 lumens or higher. They would work perfectly in foggy and dark conditions, but higher lumens also drain your batteries quicker.
When it comes to durability, you should ensure the chosen torch is impact-resistant and waterproof. Make sure it sturdy enough to survive a drop from your head. Also, it should be rated for water resistance so that you can use the unit safely in heavy rain or snowy conditions. Some models can even be submerged for a short period. However, you need to check the maximized depth for these applications.
If you plan to use the torch for an extended period, then make sure it can rest on your head comfortably. This can be ensured by checking its adjustability and material. The best strap should be crafted from soft and elastic fabric to keep the unit from moving or sliding around. Also, it is better to choose a lightweight unit to reduce fatigue.
d) Light modes
Many head torches come with various light modes for use in different cases. The high, middle and low modes enable you to enjoy a lighting boost in darkness or save energy. Strobe modes are mainly used for signalling, making them ideal for seeking aid. Red light functions ensure you can see at night without blinding by keeping the peripheral vision.
e) Beam type
Most less expensive head torches might only offer one-beam option, whereas more advanced models come with flood and focused modes. The focused function enables users to illuminate a confined spot, usually at a longer distance. Also, it can be a great option when you don’t want to disturb other people around. Flood mode can enhance the beam width to reach a greater area in a shorter distance.
Top 5 best head torch reviews
1. Schneider IMT33113 LED Head Torch Top View
The Schneider IMT33113 head torch is designed with many advanced features to cover many applications and users. It is a hands-free unit that can light up the whole space from above without turning your head. The angle beam is wide to ensure that you can focus on the working spot. With the built-in sensor, this light would be turned on or off conveniently without touching. This offers optimal flexibility and freedom during use.
There is a flexible and adjustable strap that can fit your helmet or head perfectly for ease of operation. The construction is waterproof and dustproof so that you can use it in any weather conditions without hassles. Its user-friendly and sleek design makes the light more attractive to touch, look at, use, transport, and carry. The headlight is powered by a rechargeable battery to provide maximized operative lifetime. To enhance comfort when wearing, the manufacturer integrates a foam strip against its head.
What I like about it:
- Up to 50,000 hours of lifetime
- Foam strip to improve comfort on the head
- Energy-efficient and safe LED bulbs
- Endure harsh and tough conditions
- Waterproof and dustproof construction
2. Petzl One Size Black Actik Head Torch
Featuring a brightness level of 300 lumens and mixed beam, the Petzl ACKTIK head torch is a perfect option for outdoor tasks and activities. It can produce red lighting to preserve night visibility and prevent blinding other people at night. The reflective headband ensures that you can be seen even when the unit is switched off. The packages include 3 AAA batteries to allow for long-lasting use. However, this head torch is also compatible with CORE rechargeable batteries, which can bring more options for users.
You can choose and switch between some lighting modes and 2 beam patterns: mixed or wide. Everything can be done with the touch of a few buttons on the panel. Also, the headband is fully adjustable to ensure ultimate comfort and security when wearing. The construction is IPX4-rated to resist water and other weather conditions.
What I like about it:
- Provide up to 60 hours of burn time
- Lightweight and compact to wear
- Include 3 AAA batteries for long-lasting use
- Mixed beam patterns for different applications
- Ideal for both indoor and outdoor tasks
3. Ledlenser 500768 H3.2 Black Head Torch
Weighing only 133 grams, this Ledlenser 500768 head torch is one of the lightest options available out there. What’s more, it is a fully adjustable unit that allows you to change the light angle with a 75-degree angle. The strap is specially designed with soft and breathable fabrics to be gentle on your neck or head. Provided with 3 1.5V AAA batteries, this gadget can operate up to 60 hours constantly on low power.
You can choose to dim the beam intensity with a built-in level, thus making it easier to adapt to every situation. The available range of lumens is from 5 to 120. On full power, the torch can light up a distance up to around 100 meters. Thanks to its patented optics technology, you can instantaneously and seamlessly alter the lighting beam from the spot for far illumination and flood for rear illumination. At the same time, the light is still uniform and clear without dark spots.
What I like about it:
- Very comfortable and lightweight to wear
- Fully adjustable lighting angle
- Work constantly for up to 60 hours
- Integrated digital dimmer to meet your needs
- Up to 7 years of warranty
4. Energizer HD Vision 315 Lumens Focus Headlight
Light your way out of the darkness with this powerful and innovative headlight from Energizer, one of the most trusted brands in the market. It features a thoughtful design that enables you to select between 5 different light modes: night vision or red, full flood, full spot, low, and high. The band is fully adjustable and super comfortable, making it a great option for people of all sizes and ages. After each use, you can wash the band to ensure hygiene and cleanliness.
With an advanced memory, this head torch can return to working quickly with the last mode. Its pivot head provides you with the ultimate freedom to direct illumination precisely wherever you want, even in tight areas. Just by pressing and holding the integrated buttons, you can transition between different beam widths and focuses. The construction is durable enough to resist damage and shock from 1-meter drops.
What I like about it:
- Resist damages and shocks due to drops
- Pivoting headlight for a wide range
- Easy to switch between five light modes
- Powerful beam with 315 lumens and 85 meters
- IPX4 weather-resistant design
5. Alien Scout Portable LED Headlamp
If you are looking for a powerful and energy-efficient, yet inexpensive, head torch for your tasks, then this Alien Scout model might be one of the best options available out there. The unit allows you to switch between 5 different light modes: red light, SOS, low, medium, and high. This makes it a great option for various applications and activities, both indoor and outdoor. The package comes with a hard case featuring a mesh pocket, making it easier to carry around or store when not in use.
With up to 168 lumens and the upgraded CREE XP-E technology, the gadget can produce light in a distance of more than 110 meters. In full charge, you can expect this torch to operate up to 120 constant hours. The construction is shockproof and weatherproof to ensure long-lasting use. Its lightweight and adjustable design ensures a universal fit for everyone.
What I like about it:
- Available in 5 lighting modes
- Sleek and lightweight construction
- Machine washable and comfortable headband
- Ultrabright illumination with 168 lumens and 110 meters
- IPX6 waterproof design
Frequently asked questions
How many lumens do I need for a head torch?
Lumens equal brightness. The higher the lumens, the brighter the torch. Your best bet is to decide what you want your head torch for and decided how bright you need it to be. Do you need to see a long way ahead of you? Are you looking for a short term brightness or a sustained length of battery life to keep seeing for long periods of time?
- 10 lumens is idea for putting up tents, cooking around a camp fire, or reading in your sleeping bag.
- 150 lumens is what to go for if you are trail running, ideally on familiar routes at a steady pace and not having to look too far ahead of you.
- 400 lumens is what you are after if you are navigating in winter or picking out unfamiliar landmarks.
Why do head torches have red lights?
You may have noticed that your head torch has a red light function and have never used it, or wondered why it is there. Well, wonder no more!
- Red lights preserve your night vision. As opposed to the bright lights that we normally associate with head torches, a red light can help you to see while still preserving the ability to see in the dark.
- It won’t blind your friends. If you accidentally look someone in the face while wearing your head torch, it can temporarily blind the and leave them with spots in their vision for a while afterwards, Red lights do not have this effect.
- You can use your head torch f you are camping with a baby. Bright, white light is guaranteed to wake up any child. A red light is proven to be more conducive to sleep, so you can find your way into your sleeping bag whilst not waking the sleeping dragon.
- It saves battery. Red lights are far less draining for the battery, meaning that you can keep a bit of light going for longer before you have to charge up your torch or replace the batteries.
- Red is less attractive to insects. We’re not saying that you won’t be bitten by mosquitos if your torch is on the red light setting, but chances are the creepy crawlies won’t be so attracted to your red torch as they are your bright white one. If you’ve tried all the bug repellents then this is at least worth a try!
What are the best uses for a head torch?
Head torches are great for seeing your way about in the dark when you need your hands free. Farmers who need to check stock in the night and need to open gates; people carrying logs inside the house during the winter; checking the engine of a broken down car in the dark.
Being able to see in the dark without having to carry a torch in one hand is incredibly useful. The only downside is that if you look at someone in the face you may end up accidentally blinding them!