Best LED Headlamps: Light Up the Night
Enjoy hands-free lighting with these LED headlamps
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019
A headlamp is the epitome of comfort as you work on your car in the garage or when hiking at night. You can keep your hands free as you illuminate the area around you when there’s insufficient natural light. If you are tired of holding a flashlight with your mouth or working with a single hand, consider using any of the headlamps in our buying guide.
- Best OverallDanForce LED HeadlampSummarySummary
A high-quality, 1,080-lumen headlamp with three adjustable LED lamps that offer four light modes.ProsPros
It comes with an adjustable and sweat-resistant headband. Waterproof and dust-resistant. Designed to resist all weather conditions. It has a zoomable focus for precision work. Runs on rechargeable batteries. It offers eight hours of run time. Designed for comfort. Suitable for tactical use.ConsCons
One of the bulbs may burn out in less than a year. May develop zooming issues. The lens may fall out when adjusting the bulb.
- Best ValueFoxelli Headlamp FlashlightSummarySummary
A super bright and powerful LED headlamp featuring CREE-3W technology, which provides more light while using minimal power.ProsPros
Lightweight and comfortable. Well designed for durability. IPX5 rated against water splashes or sprays from any angle. Power-efficient and offers 45 hours of continuous runtime. It offers three light modes: white, red, and SOS. Features an adjustable headband. The headlamp is tiltable by 45 degrees.ConsCons
The bright light produced may affect your long-distance vision. The headlamp swivel point is a bit fragile.
- Honorable MentionNITECORE LED HeadlampSummarySummary
A bright, rechargeable, 550-lumen headlamp with multiple light modes including spot and flood illumination.ProsPros
It has a maximum runtime of 330 hours. Can illuminate distances of up to 136 yards. It features an adjustable headband and uses rechargeable batteries. Offers four lighting modes to suit both indoor and outdoor activities. Feels light on the head. It has an easily accessible switch button.ConsCons
The headband may bruise your forehead when tightened. Its wide-angle beam is a little dim.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Cold weather can affect the performance of batteries. When hiking in cold regions, keep your batteries warm by storing them in wool socks. If possible, switch to rechargeable NiMH or lithium batteries, which are more resistant to cold.
- If your headlamp comes with rechargeable batteries, we recommend that you remove them after use and store them in a cool and dry place to protect them against discharging and corrosion.
- For long trips, always pack extra batteries or a spare headlamp for backup in case you run out of power and can’t find a place to recharge.
Q: What are lumens?
A: Lumens describe the level of brightness emitted from a single light source. It doesn’t necessarily describe the quality of the beam of light, but rather the total light emitted in any direction. This means that two headlamps with the same lumens can have varying performance mostly with regards to beam distance.
Q: How long do headlamp batteries last?
A: It depends on the type of batteries that you use. AA and AAA batteries can offer a continuous runtime of at least seven hours. For a longer burn time, consider upgrading to lithium batteries. They are also lighter than alkaline batteries. You can increase the battery runtime by switching to a low light setting.
Q: How do I prevent flying insects from swarming around my headlamp?
A: If you are not a fan of bug spray or applying bug repellent on your forehead, you should switch to red light mode if possible. Flying insects are typically attracted to white light. Also, the red light can help you move around stealthily at night. This prevents your pupils from dilating and uses minimal energy.
Our top pick is the DanForce LED Headlamp. It produces a well-balanced light that can increase nighttime visibility and helps you work in poorly lit conditions. It can also withstand harsh weather.
If you are looking for a cheaper yet high-quality option, consider the Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight.