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.