Arrangement of various headlamps

Why we are testing Headlamps

Because We are Headlamp Designers

We’ve been developing headlamps and flashlights from the early 2000s on. Which may explain our natural interest in almost everything which has to do with headlamps and flashlights. From performance to handling, to design, to human factors, to marketing…

Designing and developing products also implies, that we need to keep ourselves up to date. We want to know what’s on the market and where the market is going. And we want to know what companies are developing and where trends are emerging. Having a good overview here is our key to innovation in our next projects.

Lens of a headlamp and headlamp parts

And that’s a pretty good reason for testing and reviewing the most interesting headlamps.

Unhappy About Performance

Quite frankly, sometimes we’re unhappy about a few headlamps we developed. Why? Because their light just doesn’t perform as we wish. This sometime happens when our clients don’t involve us in the design the electronic components. The choice of LEDs, the programming of the electronics and a few other features.

Although good designers can really enhance the customer’s experience. Not only by designing a pretty product, but also by designing and improving the visual performance of the light and it’s behavior. Which is extremely important, because this is a matter of ergonomics.

Instead, nobody competent cares about visual artifacts or other lighting effects, which may be stressful for the human eye. Not knowing, that such distractions can be very annoying or even lead to early fatigue.

Please see below a couple of examples how different the visual experience of a headlamp’s light can be.

Headlamp output no1
Headlamp output no2
Headlamp output no3
Headlamp output no4
Headlamp output no5
Headlamp output no6

Most times it’s the Lux and Lumen numbers that play a bigger role for companies than any visual experience of light. Yes, we understand the specs are an easy marketing tool. But instead, we’re missing some actual research on visual perception of light. Simply because we know that a stronger light is not always a better light.

Let’s say a head lamp with a 70m beam seems more powerful than one with 50m – of course! Just like a lamp with 60 Lumen output is more likely to land on your wish list than one with 30 Lumen only. We know that. But we also know that subjective visual perception is a whole different thing. We have played with stunning 180m beam lights, or products with enormous battery life. And yet, some of our most favorite products are inexpensive 30.00 EUR products…isn’t that paradox?

Typical marketing messages on headlamp packaging

Image above: Typical marketing messages on a packaging

Because we’re tired of bogus Marketing Messages

We want to change something here, simply because we are sick of marketing lies and faulty commercial messages. Companies take too little responsibility in being fair and honest to their customers. Like car companies telling people their cars would use 5 liters on 100 km, knowing it uses 7 liters in real live.

Well, headlamp manufacturers are not any better. Most of them are misleading their customers with specifications which don’t apply in real live. Or, better say only in the very first minutes of usage. And that’s not OK we think.

Light meter for testing headlamp performance

The problem is, customers cannot test drive a headlamp in a store. They have to rely on manufacturer’s claims. So we decided to share our headlamp testing with you and write about it. So that you can get a better idea of the different products and how they perform.

Please note: We are doing this absolutely independent from any manufacturer or client and as neutral as possible – because it’s an interesting journey for us too.

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