Headtorch upgrade

A few off road night runs recently have had me doubting my alpkit gamma headtorch. It’s 88 lumens weren’t cutting it on the trail, both at distance when I needed to pick a path through terrain, and up close the spot style beam had very little peripheral illumination – I’d be ducking it back and fore to my feet more than I thought wise, and ending up tripping on the odd stump and dip .

I started pondering upgrades, but before I got the card out thought I’d try using one of my mtb lights and a head strap. The light in question is a ‘Real Yinding YD 2xU2′ which is a Chinese copy of a gemini duo (another light I have but which is semi permanently fixed to a helmet). The real part indicates it’s an original yinding as opposed to low quality copies that quickly appeared when it became successful.

I worried that it’d be too heavy / floppy / unstable. Right enough, you do look more of a prat with this fairly prominent appendage on your head, than a regular light.

I put the 2 cell battery from my gemini in a chest pocket, adjusted the headstrap and set off. Once I’d fiddled about with angle, and tucked the strap out of the way, it was all good, barely noticed it was there on an 8k trial.

What I did notice however was the massive improvement in illumination – of course it’s to be expected that a light with far more lumens is going to be better, but what is underestimated is how the beam shape (smooth and wide graduated with no obvious hotspot and a lot of peripheral scatter) and tint (warm side of neutral) make a more pleasant experience.

I’d taken the alpkit with me too to snap a few shots in comparison (phone camera auto exposes so probably doesn’t accurately show the difference in overall brightness but certainly does with regards to beam shape)

Alpkit gemini beam shape

Alpkit gemini – quite a spot type beam with little spill. Makes good use of its available lumens but needs to closely pointed at what you need

Yinding beam shape

Yinding – wide smoothly graduated beam, less attention necessary as there’s always some spill

Even on lowest power it’s more than enough. For £30 it’s a win (for the head unit only with no battery, shipped from China and took a few weeks to arrive) and glad I can repurpose it away from handlebar duties. On higher powers I need to pay attention to duck my head when beside roads and cars pass in case it dazzles drivers!

Leave a Reply