1. #1
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    Default Which kind of helmet light - Halogen, LED, ?

    I have been out of the trade for a few years, and am back in with a new department. I need to buy a helmet light. I know we all have opinions, but from those who have used them, what kind of bulb is better in heavy smoke?

    I think I want to go with AA or C batteries, as the CR123's get expensive.

    Thanks for your help.
    Sleuth

    P.S. I tried using a candle on my helmet, but the Chief did not like that idea. Superglueing a Maglight on top also did not go over well.
    Last edited by Sleuth; 02-11-2010 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I started a review on some of the lights with pictures:

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...=helmet+lights (Helmet Light reviews with pictures.)

    And another thread asking about them:

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110262 (Helmet Torches)

    I agree with you on the 123 batteries. But they can be had cheap online if you look. I prefer AA since you can find them anywhere, 24 hours a day.

    As for LED vs Halogen. It really comes down to the make and model of light. I have seen poor quality versions of each from many companies. The nice thing about LED's is they last forever so not only do you never have to worry about changing bulbs, you never have to spend the money to buy one either. And they are impervious to shock and vibration. They also draw so little power that batteries tend to last a lot longer.

    Personally, As much as i like the color and throw of a Halgen bulb, the fact they are so fragile keeps me from using them. Dropping a helmet is not that uncommon. They fall off whatever you put them on and even off your head at times. Glass bulbs do not like sharp impacts. LED's will not break.

    So for me, the LED's durability is worth it. There are plenty of models to choose from. The UK Nitex light is what i am using now. It's rechargeable OR it will take CR123's. My light review thread shows the light output. It's tiny and works great.

    They can be had around $100.00 online if you know where to look. My local dealer has them for $99.00.

    http://www.opticsplanet.net/underwat...r-without.html

  3. #3
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    Default

    LED all the way. BUT make sure they are SEALED units. One of our crew picked up a couple of the Duracell 2AA units. Nice beam and BRIGHT, BUT the first time they got hit with a hose they died.
    I had lights on my old helmet and liked them most of the time. They were NO fun when crawling through tangles of junk though.
    I think one of the companies has LEDs molded into the helmet but not sure who it is. I wouldn't mind a helmet with a halo around it of red LEDs. Would make one more thing to stand out when working inside. I LOVE the NFPA reflective requirements BUT there are a LOT of times when there isn't enough light to make the trip to the reflector and back...

  4. #4
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    Have been using the blackjack helmet light holder with a streamlight pro polymer light for 2 years now and have been very pleased with no problems. We have also outfitted 15 of our firefighters with these and they love them. Available at the Fire Store.

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