Experienced linemen understand the value and safety that comes with a strong and proper headlamp. While a quick search online will show a variety of options that are also marketed to bikers, hikers, cave-explorers and camping; power lineman must take into a variety of factors. The lineman's choice of an appropriate headlamp is not online a selection of convenience and comfort but a selection of safety. We reviewed over 200 industrial headlamps currently on the market and took into account the reviews and experience of lineman working today to give you the top 8 headlamps for lineman in 2022.
What power linemen need to consider when buying a new headlamp
Power restoration does not stop for sleep. Lineman need to have strong visibility when working the early morning and late nights. Experienced journeymen would tell you when selecting a good headlamp consider the following factors: beam strength and spread, adjustable brightness levels, weather resistance, and weight.
Headlamp beam strength and spread
Most headlamps today use lithium batteries that can be recharged (often with a USB cord). Some handlamps will still use traditional AA or AAA batteries. Lithium batteries perform better in the cold conditions that lineman are often exposed to. Most headlamps offer at least two beam types: spotlight and floodlight. Spotlight mode creates a narrow beam that allows you to spot objects at great distances, whereas flood mode diffuses the light into a wider area. Lineman know electric power better than anyone but for the record lumens are a measure of a lamp’s light output. The more lumens the brighter the headlamp.
Headlamp adjustable brightness levels and modes
There is a trade off however, when using a mode with high lumen count this will drain the battery quicker. For lineman that need to have a focused bright light for a short period of time and then do not want to blind an apprentice when they turn around, it is nice to be able to adjust the brightness level. Some headlamps also offer a strobe or a pulse mode.
You will read about some headlamps offering a red, blue, or green mode. This is irrelevant for most lineman work settings. While it may help reduce the attraction of bugs lower visibility is a burden on safety.
Headlamp weather resistance and weight
Lineman know that when duty calls it doesn't matter what mother nature is up to. When a manufacturer claims a headlamp is waterproof, it must be assigned an IPX code. IPX codes range from 4 to 8. Four means it can repel water while eight means the headlamp can be submerged for 30 minutes and be as good as new. Look for a headlamp that has a strong and flexible strap, ideally with a silicon in-lay to make sure it doesn't slip off your helmet. Heavier headlamps for linemen often leverage a top strap to add additional stability into their design.
8 Best Headlamps for Lineman in 2022
Illumagear S100010-101 White Halo SL Light
The Illumagear Halo throws the traditional headlamp style out the window with its 360° rim that attaches to the hard hat. This 360° safety and task light is visible over a quarter mile away and eliminates shadows no matter where you move. The Illumagear provides 276 lumens of power in Halo mode. This version has a new 50 foot spotlight feature and is compatible with any hard hat. The spotlight mode has 406 lumens of power.
· Weight: 10 ounces
· Durability: Submersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
· Power/Charging: 18650 Lithium Ion battery that lasts an average of 15 hours
· Control options: Halo, high-alert, task, and dim modes
Fenix HP25R 1000 Lumen USB rechargeable CREE LED Headlamp
The Fenix HP25R is a popular choice headlamp for linemen in 2021. The headlamp’s top strap can be removed if needed but probably not recommended for linemen. One complaint that often isn’t relevant for lineman wearing this on a helmet is the heat that is put off by the headlamp. This is a very strong headlamp with the turbo spotlight mode giving off 1000 lumens and the flood mode giving off 350 lumens. Like most flood modes the max beam angle is 90°
· Weight: 6.5 oz
· Durability: Water resistant with a IPX-6 rating
· Power/Charging: Micro-USB charging port (5V/1.3A)
· Control options: Dual switch controls the spotlight and floodlight separately
Streamlight 61435 Enduro Pro USB Rechargeable Multi-Function Head Lamp
The Streamlight Pro is a popular choice for lineman who want to place a priority on durability and longevity. The headlamp has an unbreakable polycarbonate lens; recessed to prevent scratches. The headlamps push button is easy to access even with gloves on. Spotlight mode on high gives off 200 lumens while flood on high gives off 145 lumens. Unlike many of the other headlamps we recommend for lineman, this model does not have a low battery indicator.
· Weight: 5.6 ounces
· Durability: IPX4 water-resistant; 2m impact resistance tested
· Power/Charging: USB. Flood mode on high runs for about 7 hours
· Control options: Multi-function push-button switch from spot and flood beams
NEBO Rebel 600 Lumen Rechargeable Head Light
The NEBO Rebel is often seen as an economical choice for lineman looking to purchase a new headlamp. The power of the headlamp ranges from 240 lumens on high to 60 lumens on low. Linemen that purchase this headlamp also end up having to purchase an additional clip or strap as the grip on this headlamp is average.
· Weight: 8.7 ounces
· Durability: Very little information provided on longevity
· Power/Charging: USB charging, usually only last around 3 hours.
· Control options: Side toggle to switch modes
Milwaukee 2116-21 USB Rechargeable BEACON Hard Hat Light
Many linemen have a strong loyalty to the Milwaukee brand and that includes their line of headlamps. The 2116-21 USB Rechargeable BEACON Hard Hat Light from Milwaukee has five modes ranging from a 600 lumen spot mode to a 25 lumen broad flood mode. This model is a favorite for long shifts based on its quick ability to recharge. This headlamp for lineman is a bit on the heavier side. The elastic strap, has a silicon grip and includes two universal hard hat clips making it as durable as they come in regards to not falling off a lineman’s hard hat.
· Weight: 12.3 ounces
· Durability: Water and dust resistant and can withstand up to 2M drops
· Power/Charging: REDLITHIUM USB Rechargeable battery
· Control options: Button toggle between five modes
Black Diamond Storm 375 Headlamp
The Black Diamond Storm has multifaceted optical lens design that gives the light a strong reach. Some linemen enjoy the fact that it is a bit traditional in the sense that it uses AAA batteries while for others it is an immediate disqualifier. While many headlamps require you to turn the lamp off while toggling through modes The Black Diamond allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting to full power.
· Weight: 16 ounces
· Durability: Sealed housing withstands immersion over 1m for 30 minutes
· Power/Charging: 4 AAA’s batteries
· Control options: Full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red, green and blue night-vision
Nitecore NU25 360 Lumen Triple Output - White, Red, High CRI - 0.99 Ounce Lightweight USB Rechargeable Headlamp with LumenTac Adapter
The Nitecore uses a built-in rechargeable battery to reduce the size and weight of the unit and to create a compact and comfortable headlamp users can wear for hours at a time. This headlamp for lineman is composed of anodized aluminum. It is important to note that this model is capable of 360 lumens, but only for 30 seconds, it's a 190 Lumen lamp with short burst capability to 360 in "Turbo Mode" which steps down in 30 seconds to avoid overheating.
· Weight: 1 ounce
· Durability: IP66 Waterproof rating, 1.5M impact resistance
· Power/Charging: USB Charging
· Control options: Button toggle through regular, wide beam, turbo and red.
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