Wednesday, 13 January 2010

“If you buy cheap, you buy twice…”

said a fellow runner, after I bought a cheap head torch he had recommended to me for running in. A few of the people I run with have purchased the “Hope Vision 2” and compared to the torch I have, it’s like running in daylight. However at over £160 there is no way in gods earth I would ever be buying one, I could buy over 10 of mine and strap one to each foot, one round my waist, one on each shoulder etc…! Running on Winter Hill on a clear night with it is fine and it provides enough light to run with assuming you use freshly charged batteries each time but one night whilst running though the clag, my torch was relatively useless and I became a little frustrated.

So one night whilst browsing I noticed LED lights (the actual LED’s and circuit boards) on a website I use and started to look at the types of LED’s used in these super bright head torches. I found out that the Hope Vision uses an LED made by CREE and that my head torch claimed to be 51Lumens (the measure of brightness) bright. The Hope Vision 2 claimed to be about 460 Lumens, then I stumbled upon a head torch which claimed to be 150 Lumens (3 times that of mine) and also used a CREE LED light (not the exact same one as the Hope but a bright one none the less). Most of the junk on these websites I would expect to be overstated with the actual brightness being about 1/2 that of the stated however it had a couple of good reviews and best of all it was only $16 with free delivery. I couldn’t turn it down at that and it would do as a spare so I ordered it.

Eventually, after about 3 weeks, it arrived. I threw batteries into it and shone it out of the back window. It lit up the front of the house in the street behind me. I was already happy with it but the proof would be in the running. Last week I ran twice at night. Once to Billinge Hill and once up on Winter hill with the usual crowd. I was very happy with my new purchase, it performed really well and if I had to criticise it I would say that the bright spot in the mind of the beam is too narrow. However it shone a good 100m from where I stood and lasted for a good two hours without issue. As long as the cheap plastic housing holds up, I’m quids in! Might even order a couple more as spares!

Anyway I bought cheap and paid twice but I’ve still paid less than £160 so I’m happy! and I have a spare I can use when we go camping.

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