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I've been using an ebay 3watt led headlamp for a while. They are ok providing they are only used when needed. Running on aaa batteries they will flatten it fairly quickly. I have fished for about 20hrs on a single set of 3 standard aaa maplin batteries. At this point the 2nd brightest setting is dimmer than the 1st. It's still very usable so I don't know how long it will last but 900mah rechargeables should extend it by a factor of about 3. I bought it because I need a bright light to tie a hook or stick a worm on. It's great for that - I don't need to use a pair of reading glasses anymore. They come from China but are well under the import duty limit.

As it's been successful I've just bought a better headlamp. The silva L1. I went for that one because silva specify a water proof rating and a working temperature range that's more usually associated with the automotive industry. On that basis I expected it to be well designed. I'm not disappointed. It's very well made too. A long push on the button turns it on and off from any setting. Unlike the ebay one it also has even steps of light output. The low setting should be fine for general use and it will drive that for 200hrs according to the blurb. It uses 4 AAA batteries so the light output shouldn't fall off until it automatically switches to the lowest power mode. It also comes with a belt pack that will take 4 C cells. I've just ordered 4 5000mAh nimh rechargeable cells for that. These are much lighter than their lead acid equivalents and a lot easier to look after too. All in all I think I have a bargain at an all up cost of £50. Normal price for the lamp is £60 and the batteries are £13 inc postage off ebay.

I don't expect the beam spread to be as great as a halogen headlamp but I can cope with that. As both of these lamps use a single led there's none of the flattening odd shadow effect of multi led headlamps and both give good white light. I should be able to have a session with the silva in a couple of weeks and will write a review good or bad.

John
 
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