Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer’s Guide

Struggling to find a headlamp that would last longer and shine brighter? Or did you find many but all of them seemed way out of your budget? Being a hiker myself, I know the importance of having a bright and durable LED headlamp in your backpack. With a thorough research and a little application of logic, finding a good brightest headlamp is no big deal. Out of the never-ending list of products, I have carefully chosen only a handful. These are the brightest headlamps in my opinion and hope my reviews will help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Brightest Headlamps by Category

Brightest Performance Headlamp

Petzl Nao+ Headlamp

Petzl headlamps are characterized by their advanced technical features. For the extreme sports enthusiasts, their NAO+ series headlamps are an ideal choice. It uses Reactive Lighting technology to help the athlete adjust the luminosity according to the ambient light. The MyPetzl Light app lets you tweak the settings of the light and check the remaining luminous time with the help of your smartphone or tablet. This tech-rich headlamp will help you put maximum focus on your activity.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41LKNpRfE8L Excellent Light Output

It has a maximum light output of 750 lumens. It is bright enough to provide clear visuals at a great distance in dark environments. The brightness sensors are an added perk and work just as advertised. It immediately adapts to the ambient light and adjusts the brightness accordingly. They have further incorporated a Constant Lightning technology to make sure the quality of the visuals isn’t compromised during the entire lighting period.

Long Burning Duration

The Max power mode offers a lightning duration of 6 hours 30 minutes. If you need a longer burning duration, switch to its exclusive Max Autonomy mode and get 15 hours of lightning time. You can also choose the focused cone option to increase the range of beam distance.

Good Battery Life

The Reactive Lighting technology automatically optimizes the energy consumption according to the surrounding light settings. It uses a 2600 mAh lithium-ion battery which can be charged through the USB port. The charge indicator will alert you when the battery level is too low as well as when it is fully charged.

The NAO+ is not only the brightest but also the smartest headlamps in its league. It can automatically optimize the battery life and brightness, eliminating the hassle of manual adjustments. If I talk about just the basics like luminosity and battery, there’s hardly any room for complaint. Granted, the pocket-pinch is a bit high but you will get what you pay for.

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Brightest portable / compact headlamp

Fenix Flashlights HL50 365 Lumens Headlamp

Fenix flashlights are known for their affordable yet feature-packed flashlights. If you are on a shoestring budget and not ready to compromise with the quality of the headlamp, this one might be the ideal choice for you. It is made from premium quality alloy aluminum and stainless steel. It comes with a safety ring or safety clip which helps to keep the light secured in its position. The advantage of this is that you can position the headlamp at any angle you want. It isn’t heavy at all. I didn’t feel any fatigue or discomfort after wearing the headlamp for long hours during my camping trip last week.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41I6ZgvoXfL Great Light Output

It provides a 365 lumens output which is bright enough to let you view the road ahead during nighttime bike trips. You can turn on the light by simply pushing the power switch. Apart from the basic High, Low and Medium power settings, there’s another additional mode called the Burst Mode. You can switch it on by pressing and holding the same power switch for a second. You have to keep pressing the switch to maintain the optimal brightness.

Decent Battery Life

One of the key features of this headlamp is that it runs on two of the most commonly found batteries- AA and CR123. I always keep a couple of AA batteries in my backpack, a habit you know? But many law enforcement officers, campers, and hikers recommend using CR123s as they ensure a longer battery life. At the highest power mode, you will get a runtime of 3-4 hours which is quite incredible. On AA batteries, the average runtime would be around 1-1.5 hours. You will also get an adaptor with it.

Other Features

The lighting head can be unmounted from headband and use as keychain. As far as I could comprehend, the beam style is a mix of flood and spot beam. This is unique and works in its favor.

Fenix HL50 365 is comfortable to wear for long hours and super easy to adjust. Its burst mode works better than I expected. Plus, it won’t even heat up like most headlamps in its price range. I have to give two thumbs up to the option to use two types of batteries. The overall build quality is also quite up to the mark.

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Brightest Kids Headlamp

Blitzu i2 Headlight Flashlight for Kids, Men, and Women

Toddlers and young kids often find it difficult to wear standard sized headlamps for a prolonged period. This lightweight headlamp boasts of a solid construction. Your kids can wear it during their camping trips. It has an integrated whistle which they can use to draw attention during an emergency situation. It eliminates the need of carrying a flashlight and the reflective headband ensures that the headlamp fits comfortably.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide518rdf9LGfL Great Light Output

Apart from the SOS and Flashing light modes, it also comes with a Steady (ON setting) night vision red light mode. Unlike most night vision lights, it doesn’t blink at all. The light isn’t super small per se and is bright enough for nighttime reading. You will also find a whistle in the head bracket that’ll come real handy during emergencies.

Good Battery Life

The unit runs on 3 AAA batteries. One good thing is that there is a battery life indicator that alerts you when the remaining battery is low. Remember that the product does not come with batteries. You will have to buy them separately.

Look and Feel

The reflective printing on the headband is quite bright and the headband itself is easily stretchable. Given the elasticity of it, it can be worn over helmet as well without compromising the comfort. What really makes it one hell of a headlamp is it’s rugged built. Dropped it twice accidentally and didn’t notice any damage on the body or in performance so far.

The material used in making these headlamps are completely safe for kids. They can use it for nighttime reading, during camping or craft purposes. I appreciate the motive behind including a whistle in the headlamp. Not just kids, these headlamps are also equally suitable for adults.

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Brightest Trail running Headlamp

Fenix HP25R CREE XM-L2 U2 LED Headlamp

Trail running is not a child’s game. You need a super-bright headlamp with a decent beam distance and a long battery back-up for this. It should weigh less and balance well on head. Fenix HP25R, apart from these basic features, packs a lot more to help you give your 100% to your activity.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide51wPsqb3p7L Long Beam Distance

One of its primary advantages is the 60-degree angle tilt adjustment that lets you adjust the beam shape and distance right according to your needs. The max beam angle of 90 degrees will be useful for workers at construction sites during the nighttime. The spotlight would work best at tight spots and distant vision. The turbo spotlight mode offers up to 614 feet beam distance.

Excellent Light Output

What makes it the best training running headlamp in this segment is its multiple lumen settings. The light is extremely bright, almost like daylight, even at the highest power mode. The turbo spotlight mode emits 1000 lumens.

Good Battery Capacity

It operates on common lithium ion batteries and can be charged using the charging cable provided with the headlamp.

It is a pocket-friendly headlamp for trail running. The flood light works exceedingly well at dingy corners. You can use it for patrolling around your property, working at construction sites, rock climbing, reading and much more. The built quality is almost indestructible. I know it because my little one dropped it quite a number of times and it is still going strong.

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Brightest Headlamp by Lumens

MSForce Brightest and Best 6000 Lumen Bright Headlamp Flashlight

If illumination intensity is what you will prioritize for buying a headlamp, this could be a keeper. MSForce created a huge buzz when they first rolled out the brightest headlamp of all time. Upon using the product myself, here are a few things I discovered about it.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide51kDQzKVgYL Brightest of the Bright

It devises 3 LED bulbs that give constant and super bright illumination of 6000 lumens. It would work great for patrolling the streets, mine workers, woodworkers, camping and so on. It has 3 brightness modes suitable for different circumstances.

Excellent Range of Beam Distance

It can give you a clear vision up to 600 feet. This is quite a remarkable achievement for a headlamp. Using the simple zoom in, zoom out feature, you can change the beam pattern to flood and spot light respectively.

Tough Exterior

This headlamp, comprised of 3 big LED bulbs, is surprisingly comfortable to wear. The headband can be worn over caps and helmets too and prevents the light from bobbing. The glass is waterproof. The aluminum alloy exterior effectively stands the test of time.

You will not need to carry a flashlight if you’re going to use this headlamp. It alone equals to two flashlights and two headlamps. Yes, it is that bright. Plus, the rubber construction on the body of the lamp keeps it safely locked into its position.

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Brightest Rechargeable Headlamp

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp

It can be quite frustrating to deal with low battery problem when you are out on camping or fishing. Black Diamond specializes in manufacturing headlamps with rechargeable batteries. Granted, the pocket-pinch is a little high but that doesn’t take away its amazing perks from it.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41laNb2BD49L Rechargeable Batteries

It comes included with three black diamond AAA rechargeable batteries and a USB charging cable. You can recharge using USB cable so it’s easy to do recharge at remote locations using a portable power bank or solar chargers. But that’s not all. It also runs on standard AAA batteries so you have maximum possible options depending on your needs. This way, you will virtually never deal with battery shortage during long drives or camping at remote locations.

Multiple Light Modes

For the white light mode, you will have a Spot and a Flood mode. The Spotlight will give you a clear vision of the objects present right in front of you. The coverage area of the Floodlight is quite impressive. It can emit up to 300 lumens in high settings. There’s also a Red light mode with a nice dimming feature. One great perk is that you don’t have to cycle through the white mode to switch on the red light mode.

Good Beam Distance

The brightness and beam distance are improved in this new model of ReVolt. The beam can now reach up to 262 feet while old models supported 229 feet.

Long Battery Life

ReVolt is efficient and batteries last up to 25 hours on high setting and 180 hours on low setting when using Alkaline. As you know, the Alkaline batteries provide higher battery life than rechargeable with a difference of up to 20 to 40%.

ReVolt Headlamp with its dual power options could be a savior when you’re traveling to remote locations where you won’t easily find batteries or electricity. The illumination is not quite up to the mark for long distance vision. Nonetheless, it still emits enough light for campsites, tents and nighttime reading.

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Brightest AAA headlamp

Double AAA – Black Diamond Ion Headlamp

AAA batteries are easily available in almost every grocery and hardware store. What makes this stand out is its lightweight and compact design. I decided to give it a try for nighttime running and I didn’t struggle to see the road lying ahead of me clearly.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41QAL4elxlL Great Illumination

The LED bulb is small but I have no qualms about the brightness. The light adjustment is super easy. You just have to slide your fingers to dim or increase the brightness. It includes a number of lighting modes including a night vision red light mode.

Waterproof Exterior

If you accidentally drop it in the water, the headlamp will still work. Make sure to remove the battery compartment carefully and dry it out to prevent any lasting damage. It can survive for almost half an hour.

Comfortable to Wear

The headband fits snugly around the head, doesn’t lead to much sweat even after wearing for hours end.

It is a small and compact headlamp that is ideally suited for nighttime running, field inspection, hiking, and craftwork. The water resistance feature will keep the light functional even if you drop it in the water. For its price, it is quite a reliable choice.

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Three AAA – Energizer Vision LED Headlamp

Energizer Vision has been manufacturing feature-loaded, tastefully crafted headlamps for years. It sources its power from 3 AAA Energizer Max batteries and provides a runtime of 50 hours at the lowest setting. The HD+ provides 6 light modes to help you with various tasks.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41jApkI2BuuL Multiple Light Settings

The modes range from the basic white flood and spot light, dimming to the Energizer’s exclusive Memory recall mode. This special feature allows you to return to the last saved focus setting after switching on the headlamp.

Long Battery Life

You can easily replace the batteries by opening the battery compartments. Even at the highest power setting, the battery duration will be around 5-7 hours. The AAA Energizer alkaline batteries are included in the product package.

Solid Construction

The LED bulb can be conveniently adjusted to any direction without much toiling. The head strap doesn’t put too much pressure on the head. You can wear it for hours comfortably. The push button switch makes operating the headlamp a breeze.

The plus points of this headlamp are its fuss-free operation, easy adjustments, and a fairly long battery back-up. You can go totally hands-free while repairing electronic objects, going for a long walk at night or fishing. The super wide beam can effectively illuminate up to 80 feet and the light is brighter than standard LED lights.

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Four AAA – Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Here’s another skillfully crafted waterproof and dustproof headlamp from the Black Diamond. It runs on 4 AAA batteries and uses 3 different LED bulbs facilitating multiple power settings. You can switch from one mode to another using BD’s special Power Tap Technology.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41Z8yx7d1rL Great Illumination

At the highest power setting, it emits up to 250 lumens which mean a lot of brightness covering a huge area. There are numerous power settings to choose from depending on your needs. Even the night vision mode has two different power settings- dim and strobe. The best part is that you don’t have to cycle through the white mode to switch on the night vision light.

Long Battery Life

It uses a Quad power LED that provides a maximum battery back-up of 150 hours. The SinglePower LED can last for up to 80 hours. Changing the batteries is a matter of a few minutes. Thanks to its three-level power meter, you can constantly keep the remaining battery duration under check.

Easy Operation

Despite being packed with plenty of features and control options, the operation is pretty straightforward. I especially loved the Lock option as it prevents the lamp from getting inadvertently switched on while resting inside my backpack.

If you want an easily adjustable and bright headlamp for nighttime hiking, reading or taking your pet for a walk, this could be a suitable option. The number of light settings can be overwhelming for general users at times. Above all, this advanced headlamp won’t even cost you and arm and a leg.

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Brightest AA Headlamp

Single AA – SmartLite Ultra LED Headlamp

It is a humble headlamp that can be used for various purposes. Its compact stature makes it a snug fit in backpacks and such lights come very handy during life-threatening situations.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide51clgN9G7L A Versatile Headlamp

It easily eliminates the need to carry a flashlight. It offers 6 light settings. The lowest setting works really well and helps you optimize the battery life. Plumbers, electricians, campers, boatmen and even kids could use it for craftworks. The red light mode can be activated without cycling through the white light mode.

Decent Battery Life

It runs on a single AA battery. At the lowest setting, it will easily last for 48 hours. At the max setting, you can expect a runtime of 10 hours approximately. For a headlamp that runs on a single battery, this is quite an amazing output.

Practical Design

Kids can wear this over their hats without any issue. Though there are several control options, these are easy to learn. The gray plastic cap helps to secure the light bulb in its position while you’re running.

Overall, a great bang for the buck if you’re looking for a bright yet lightweight headlamp. The multiple light settings and effortless adjustments make it suitable both for both kids and adults. The exterior is tough and will safeguard the light against weather elements for days.

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Double AA – Fenix HL30 Headlamp-200 Lumens

Fenix headlamps are all about quality and smart features. The HL 30 headlamps are one of their newest creations and it runs on only two AA batteries. At max setting, it can radiate 200 lumens which would brighten up your entire surrounding like a lantern.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41iU6VdonrL

Easy Control and Bright Illumination

It offers 6 light modes that you can use under various circumstances for various purposes. The dimming of the red night is particularly impressive. It will help you see the map during nighttime hiking and bike trips. The uniformity of the beam is excellent. You will have a clear vision of what’s lying in front of you even through dense fog.

Extended Battery Life

One of the best features of this headlamp is that even the lowest light setting, it provides enough brightness. So far, I have mostly used the lowest setting. After spending a week into the wild, the batteries aren’t still fully drained.

Diffuse Beam

I mainly bought this product because I needed diffuse beam for the area inspection at a construction site. The beam does tend to get softer at a medium distance. But it hasn’t given me any major trouble so far.

The red light night vision mode is certainly the best feature of the lot in this headlamp. Thanks to the waterproof structure, you can use it for skiing and river rafting as well. Although it’s a bit heavier than standard headlamps, the brightness and multiple light settings make it totally worth your money.

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Three AAA – CrazyFire 1600 Lumens Headlamp

CrazyFire is a budding manufacturer of hi-tech flashlights and headlamps. The product under question uses CREE LEDs which is hailed as the most durable and powerful type of LED bulbs. This semi-waterproof and ruggedly designed headlamp is a safe bet for a wide number of outdoor activities.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide51rdi5BDuCL

Multiple Light Settings

1600 lumens output translates to a crazy amount of brightness. At the max setting, the brightness level is high enough to give tough competition to tube lights. The brightness is easily adjustable. It has three basic modes. Zoom in to use the flood light mode and zoom out to activate the spotlight. As simple as that.

Tough Exterior

Although it’s waterproof, you shouldn’t really think about dipping it into the water. However, you can safely use it for activities like skiing, ice-skating and more such sports which involve a certain level of water hazard.

Easy Fit

The aluminum alloy casing is responsible for keeping the headlamp light enough to be worn for long hours. The strap helps to prevent the light from bobbing while you’re on the move.
It is a robust headlamp, specially devised for extreme outdoor activities. I have no complaints about the brightness or battery life. You can switch from one light mode to another in seconds, thanks to the easy control options.

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Four AAA – BLACK DIAMOND Icon Headlamp

Nope, I’m not biased. Black Diamond does have a wide collection of multipurpose headlamps of various categories. You can enjoy complete hands-free operation under adverse conditions, all the credit goes to its programmable brightness memory.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide517dmK1LGmL Amazing Brightness

At the highest setting, the headlight emits 500 lumens. It is good for hiking, camping, walking, jogging and even for mine workers. It uses a DoublePower LED light in addition to a QuadPower LED spotlight to multiply its usefulness.

Several Setting Options

For trail runners, the Long Distance light option will come quite handy. It also maneuvers an RGB night vision option, probably the best feature of this device. The touchpad lets you adjust the brightness with utmost simplicity.


The detachable battery option helps to keep the headlamp lightweight. The head strap is comfortable to wear. You can remove the light from the elastic strap whenever required.

It is one of the best night vision headlamps I have come across in this segment. The RGB light option provides a broad spectrum of light while you’re out on a nighttime hiking or having the time of your life at an obscure campsite. The illumination at 500 lumens can get you through even the most gruesome of circumstances.

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Brightest 18650 Headlamp

ThruNite® TH10 CW 825 LED Headlamp

ThruNite has pioneered in producing some of the most technologically superior emergency lights of this era. With the several light modes, great brightness and easy controls, nothing can simply go wrong with TH10 CW.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide413ycR0iIUL Great Light Output

The thing I like the most about ThurNite lights is the coolness of the light. At 825 lumens, it is bright as daylight but the brightness won’t fry your pupils. You just need to press and hold the power button to cycle through various light modes.

Long Battery Life

This high-performance headlamp uses 18650 Li-Ion battery. I used it for 6 camping trips and I haven’t had to change the batteries yet. You can also use two CR123 or two RCR123A batteries. Check out! you may need to buy batteries separately.

Additional Features

It also comes with an SOS signaling mode, a feature you will come to appreciate if you ever get stuck in a dangerous situation. Also, the device is smart enough to remember the last brightness setting you used when you switch on the headlamp.

The smart features and excellent light output make this product worth every penny you pay for it. You can make the most out of this headlamp by using it for trail running. Although it is a tad heavier than its counterparts, the unbelievably long battery life makes up for it.

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Brightest Headlamps by Price

Brightest Headlamp under $15

Shining Buddy LED Headlamp

This feather-light headlamp from Shining Buddy is a perfect choice for those on a shoestring budget. Your kids can use it for camping and DIY projects. I have seen my electrician using this product for a while now. The brightness is at par with products twice its price range.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide51kl2c2B9PpL Long Battery Life

It runs on 3 AAA batteries which work like a beast. It delivers a runtime of 12 hours which is almost unbelievable for a headlamp costing you less than $15. The batteries are included with the product.

Great Light Output

The premium grade LED bulbs integrated into this headlamp has a massive lifespan of 100,000 hours. It also has a night vision red light which is powerful but not blinding. You can optimize the battery life by using the regular light setting most of the times.

Waterproof Exterior

The headlamp will remain fully functional even if you expose it to heavy raining. All you need to do is to sun-dry the elastic band and towel-dry the headlamp afterward.

Apart from being water-resistant, it can also withstand accidental slips from a good height. The overall functionality is pretty straightforward. If you’re looking for a really cheap headlamp without compromising on the brightness, your search might end up here.

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Brightest Headlamp under $25

Vitchelo V800 Headlamp Flashlight

Vitchelo is a brand recognized for manufacturing quality low-mid budget flashlights and headlamps. The USP of this model has to be its runtime of 120 hours. On top of that, the red light can effectively illuminate up to a distance of 110 feet.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41SbZrU2rL Multiple Light Modes

Apart from the basic high and low settings, there’s a Boost mode in it which works great when you need a lot of brightness without letting the battery drain too fast. It uses 3 separate types of LED bulbs. Switch from one light to another is a breeze as there are separate switches for each light color.

Weatherproof Design

I have had the opportunity to test it during a heavy snowfall. The unit is well guarded against water splashes. Being made from quality materials, the headlamp is ultra-lightweight.

Easy Controls

You don’t have to cycle through all the modes to activate the night light. Changing the beam shape and brightness are a breeze as well. With this headlamp, you can enjoy hands-free operation which is a necessity during demanding outdoor activities.

This little yet high-performance headlamp can survive the worst of mother-nature. The brightness and beam distance are quite decent for the price too.

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Brightest Headlamp under $50

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Yet another smart and powerful headlamp from the industry giant Black Diamond. The biggest plus of this product is definitely the night vision mode. For law enforcement officers and security guards, this one would be a befitting choice.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41G9bGJn6HL Excellent Light Output

At the max setting, it emits 200 lumens. The brightness isn’t overpowering yet good enough to help you inspect every nook and cranny of your property. The best part is you can get straight to the night vision mode without wasting your time cycling through all the other modes.

Tough Exterior

The headlamp slipped off from my hand and fell right on top of a rock twice. I thought the game would be over then and there. But no! While I am typing this review, it is still resting by my bedside, working fine as ever.

Well-focused Beams

Another major highlight of this product. The beam in all light modes is nicely focused. Also, the diffuse beam of the red light will help you get a clear visual of the surrounding without damaging the pupils of people in front of you.

To sum it up, I would say the controls are really simple to learn and the brightness is well up to the mark. With its astonishing resistance against impact, it does raise the bar high for its competitors.

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Brightest Headlamp under $150

Coast HL8R 800 lm Rechargeable Focusing LED Headlamp

Coast headlamps primarily cater to athletes, patrolling officers, mine workers and people in the defense service. This rechargeable headlamp comes with uber cool features like Bull’s Eye spotlight, light control and many more. It allows you to adjust the beam focus and brightness right according to the demand of the situation.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41atwB6mqgL Twist Focus System

You can adjust the beam distance just by twisting the head of the light bulb. The same feature lets you switch from the floodlight to spotlight with almost zero effort. There’s a micro-ratcheting tilting beam adjustment head as well that will let you navigate the beam into whichever direction you want.

Light Control Dial

Another feature worth highlight. Using a simple knob, you can adjust the brightness of the light. At the highest setting, it provides 800 lumens. I would dare to compare its brightness to that of daylight on a partially cloudy day.

Decent Battery Life

The battery compartment is located on the backside of the headlamp. It might take you a bit while to get used to it, but this helps to keep the weight balanced on your head. With normal usage, the battery will easily last for a whole day. The dimming switch is a great addition to help you save the battery life during emergencies.

Though the headlamp consumes battery like a hungry monster, the brightness kind of justifies it. The ergonomic design, swift controls, and the durable construction make it worth every bit of what it costs. You won’t need to carry a flashlight as long as you have this headlamp to accompany you.

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Brightest Headlamp under $400

Petzl Ultra Rush Belt Headlamp

If you have the means to afford a high-end headlamp, Petzl has the ultimate collection of the brightest headlamps in store for you. Everything, right from the light output to the beam distance, is crafted to perfection for heavy-duty usage.

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide514HfPMEJRL Mixed Beam

Petzl Ultra Rush lets you prioritize between the run time and light output according to the demand of the situation. The beam distance ranges up to a whopping 170 meters. There are 4 different power modes. When the battery goes too low, the unit will automatically switch to Reserve mode to optimize the runtime.

Extended Battery Life

The headlamp operates on a rechargeable 5200 mAh battery. For emergencies, it also includes the Quick charging option. It will let you fully charge the battery within just 5 hours. Being detachable, you can keep the battery under your clothes to prevent it from getting damaged in cold weather

Comfortable Design

The headband comprises of front and back comfort plates. This elastic band is wider than what most other products in this segment. It fits tightly around hard hats and helmets.
If you are fussy about your hiking gears, Petzl is the ultimate headlamp for you. Designed to withstand the roughness of weather, the gear is a very practical option for trail runners, electricians, mountain bikers and security officers.

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A Must-have Emergency Headlamp

Petzl e+Lite 26 lumens

Brightest Headlamps of 2019 | Buyer's Guide41Qc1O4rb8L Though this article focuses on brightest headlamps, I would like to recommend a must-have emergency backup headlamp that everyone should always have with them. Petzl e+Lite is ultracompact and ultralight emiting 26 lumens that allows you to move around in the darkness.

The biggest advantage of this headlamp is it can be stored with batteries for 10 years. Being just less than 5 cm in length and just 27 g in weight, this is very compact and ideal to store as a backup emergency headlamp in your emergency kit. It also has red light for night vision and strobe lighting to signal an emergency.

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Buying Guide for Headlamps

Headlamps come with a lot of features that you have to look out for. There might be something you are looking for in particular. Or maybe you just want a good one with a good performance on all levels. Nevertheless, some features cannot be compromised. Usually, the brightness is the most relatable factor. However, other factors like range and runtime should be taken into account as well. To ensure safety and longevity, we should check for impact and water resistance features. And of course, as you can see from the reviews, size and weight does matter when it comes to headlamps. Batteries determine the lumen at times. Here are a few things to look for.

Headlamp Features

Light Types

Flood Light: The flood light mode in headlamps is mostly used for illuminating a wide-open area. It has both on-road and off-road applications. When you opt for the Floodlight setting, the beam shape broadens considerably and brightens up the surrounding. The headlamps are equipped with a special type of lens to expand the beam. You will need it mainly for property inspection and work at construction sites.

Spot Light: The beam remains focused upon a particular spot when you switch on the spotlight. The direction of the high-intensity, narrow light beam can be adjusted in some high-end headlamp models. Spotlights are mainly used for illuminating the objects or area lying right in front of you.

Red Light: The red light is used to preserve the night vision. Military personnel, nighttime hikers use this light to read maps. Red lights have been used in night vision flashlights and headlamps since decades. Some top-of-the-line headlamps also include a green light bulb as it provides a better visual accuracy. With green, you are also able to differentiate between colors. It is not possible with red. Switching to the night vision mode also helps you save on battery life. Rescue teams, wildlife explorers, and hunters have often seen using red and green light.

Fog Light: Fog lights are usually placed below the headlamp. As the name suggests, they help you see through dense fog. The beam pattern for fog lights is known as cut-off. The beam shape is vertically narrow and horizontally wide. This is to avoid illuminating the objects floating in the air.

Headband / Strap / Mount type

Always look for a headlamp with an anti-slip, elastic headband. The best ones are moisture-resistant as well so that you can wear them for a prolonged period without making it soaked it sweat. If you’re a trail runner or an athlete, make sure the strap has clasps to keep the headlamp tightly locked into its position. Top brands like Petzl and Fenix use super-stretchy, sweat-absorbent straps that can be worn over hard hats and helmets. Some models also include a top strap to enhance the stability.

For outdoor sports activities and other labor-intensive tasks like construction work, it is best to choose a headlamp whose battery compartment is placed around the neck. If the battery housing is placed at the rear side of the lamp, you might feel a little comfortable due to the heat-up issue. Having said that, most headlamps have their battery compartments located at the backside. In a quality product, you will most likely find a cooling fan that’ll disperse the heat.


Size does matter when it comes to headlamps. You can’t really afford to wear a heavy headlamp while rock climbing or biking. There is no dearth of ultra-light headlamps in the market, fortunately.

Switch Types

A good headlight lets you switch from one light mode to another, navigating the beam and adjusting the brightness with ease. Many manufacturers incorporate different switches for different light modes. E.g, separate switches for white light and red light. The biggest perk of this is that you don’t have to cycle through all the available modes to activate the night vision mode. It will save you a lot of you precious time. On the other hand, if it features a single switch, you will have to cycle through all the available modes (high, low, strobe etc) to turn off the light or switch on the RGB light.


I have done my best to narrow down the options for you. To select the brightest and most efficient headlamp, you have to figure out how you intend to use the product. New and improved technologies are hitting the market every other day. Do your due research, trust your intuitions, read as many reviews as possible before finalizing your decision.

Additional Buying Guides

You may also be interested in our Brightest Flashlights Guide, LED Headlights Guide, LED Light Bar Guide, Jump Starters Guide and Multimeters Guide.

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