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Good night


While in B&Q yesterday I noticed that they sell nice looking LED head-torches. For the night activator they have the facility of using a single red LED which will not spoil night vision. That is a useful facility that most cheap head-torches don’t have. The torches were £8.

More expensive (£20) is the new Petzl Tikkina which looks very similar to the torch in B&Q. It has two light level settings but no red LED as far as I can tell.

A more comprehensive review of an outdoor lighting system is here:





In reply to G3CWI:

Once I did night orienteering with a red/white Tikka using the red filter. I recommend the white light for normal activities and orienteering. It is however useful to set the level low to optimize the use of ambient light from moon, nearby city and the reflections from the clouds above.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL


In reply to G3CWI:

I have a number of the Energizer LED headsets and would advise anyone to think twice about buying one. Although they do the business of providing light well enough they have a nasty habit of coming on inside the rucksack so that by the time you need them the batteries are flat. They are also a complete pain to get into to remove or change the batteries. I suggest having a good look at other makes that may have similar issues before deciding to splash out.

Regards Steve GW7AAV

The review is very amusing, great find.


Dear all

Energizer Headlight LEDx3

I finally decided to buy one to check it out - having thought twice as recommended by Steve.

The construction is fairly cheap and cheerful. I had no problem opening the torch to install the batteries (a large screwdriver is perfect for this although a 1p works nearly as well). Closing the torch was simple a matter of locating a tab in the correct place and snapping it shut. The on-off switch is a rather flimsy slide-switch and I can see that it could come on accidentally in a rucksack. However, this potential problem is easily solved by cutting a thin strip from the plastic packaging the torch is sold in and sliding it between the battery contacts before closing the torch. To use the torch, it is them simply a matter of gently pulling the plastic strip out (no need to open the torch) which restores the battery connection.

The light from the torch looks very good as does the red LED. If the weather is okay tonight I may try a night activation to test the torch.

Incidentally, it gets good reviews on various fishing websites. There they note that while the construction of the torch is clearly not waterproof, it works fine in the wet. I am sure that the Petzl equivalent would be much more substantial - but also more expensive.




In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard,
Been using one of those head torches since I started SOTA. It has been fine and perfectly reliable. It’s seen me off quite a few hills in the dark. I take the precaution of placing a short length of insulating tape (plastic) across the slide switch to ensure it does not switch on in the sac. Very good light from it and very good staying power on the internal battery. Enjoy your walk.


In reply to G3RMD:

Thanks Frank

I weighed Steve’s suggestion to think twice before purchase against the fact that he said he has a number of them :wink:

Could have been a moment of “multi-buy madness” I suppose!




Test report

Arrived at the parking spot for The Cloud just before 8pm. Sky was overcast but fairly light with hazy moon. Started out with old head-torch. This is a Petzl design that is around 25 years old. At the top of the steps I swapped to the new LED torch. Wow - what a difference. Far brighter, much better beam shape, much more even illumination and better colour balance. Tested the single red LED which was too dim to walk with (as expected). At the summit I did the activation with just the red LED which proved perfect for logging and radio operating. Inevitably I was not alone for long and two mountain bikers appeared. They had serious head-torches - the sort that cost well over £100! Once the activation was over I switched to the main beam for an easy descent.

Chatting to someone while activating we could not think of a single down-side to LED torches as compared to the old incandescent types. I doubt that I will use my old Petzl head-torch again on a hill.




In reply to G3CWI:
Richard your old head torch is a Petzl, this is a incandescent type? I didnt realise how long Petzl had been around!

I did some experimenting with LED lighting last year with the intention of using LED’s at home as well as on summits. I like the return of ligthing hours you get from LED’s as compared to incandescent lamps which are now ancient technology. LED lighting is far more efficient as they mainly give off light where as incandescent give off heat as well as light … what a waste! Sean M0GIA