Best Headlamps: See More Clearly and Be More Visible
Be a bright beacon at night with these high-quality headlamps
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON October 19, 2019
If you run, hike, walk, or bike outside at night, then you need to be seen, as well as be able to see the path ahead of you. To help you do just that, you should consider a bright and powerful headlamp. They go around your head like a hat and leave your hands free to carry a water bottle, carry your phone, or hold your dog’s leash. We put together a list of some of the best headlamps to check out for your next outdoor adventure.
- Best OverallFoxelli USB Rechargeable HeadlampSummarySummary
A stylish headlamp that stands out with its unique aqua color and ultra-bright light.ProsPros
USB rechargeable. Charges in four hours. 40 hours of consistent light. 180 lumens. 300 feet beam. Red and white lights alert others and let you see more clearly. Waterproof and durable.ConsCons
No battery indicator light. Unable to focus the light beam. Cover for charging port is flimsy.
- Best ValueShining Buddy LED Headlamp FlashlightSummarySummary
An easy-to-operate headlamp with four settings and swivel ability.ProsPros
Lightweight. Features high, low, red, and flashing light modes. Swivels down to 45 degrees. Comfortable. Non-bobbing or wobbling. 110 lumens. Bulb lasts up to 100,000 hours.ConsCons
You have to cycle through the light modes. Snug fit. No off switch. It can get warm on your head.
- Honorable MentionLuxolite LED Headlamp FlashlightSummarySummary
A powerfully bright headlamp that comes in several colors, features six different modes and is simple to use.ProsPros
It includes two separate buttons to select either a white or red light. No cycling through modes required. Triple LED light with four cool white modes and two red night vision modes. Lightweight and waterproof. 165 lumens.ConsCons
Narrow beam. Buttons are small. Adjusting the light can be a hassle. The case doesn’t feel sturdy.
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.
- The plastic casing around the headlamp can get warm if the light is left on for an extended amount of time. However, it should never get dangerously hot. You should always turn it off when not using it, or you can wear gloves if you have sensitive hands.
- The strobe setting is more useful to alert others of your position. If you run or jog at night or ever go camping, consider using this setting to signal someone else.
- You should consider where and when you will be using the headlamp. Runners should opt for ones that are more lightweight and wobble-resistant, while campers should look for brighter headlamps with longer-lasting batteries.
Q: Are all headlamps water-resistant?
A: Not only will the majority of headlamps be water-resistant, but they should be waterproof, as they are designed to be used outdoors. However, this does not mean they should be submerged in water. A large amount of water can damage the batteries or ruin the light. However, using them in light rain or snow should be fine.
Q: What is a lumen?
A: Lumens are the measurement of the amount of light emitted per second by a flashlight or headlamp. More lumens provide you with a brighter and more powerful light. One downside of having a headlamp with increased lumens is they will wear down the battery faster.
Q: What types of batteries do headlamps take?
A: The majority of headlamps will typically run off of AAA batteries or lithium-ion batteries. Many also use rechargeable batteries, which allows you to save money.
Q: What is the purpose of the red light?
A: Our eyes are sensitive to light, especially at night. Red light puts less stress and pressure on our eyes. It takes longer for eyes to adjust after seeing white light, while a red light impacts them less but still allows us to see clearly. You will often see members of the military using red light to read at night.
For one of the best headlamps with a bright light and many settings, consider the Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp.
Save some cash with the Shining Buddy LED Headlamp Flashlight, which offers a long-lasting and powerful light.