|The 2016 Fenix HL10: Small but mighty.|
Without a doubt, no collection of lights is complete without a good headlamp. I've been meaning to pick one up for quite some time, but the choices are pretty overwhelming. As much as I'd like to say I'd be using it to climb Mt. Everest, explore jungles or navigate dangerous caverns - my uses are much less exciting and more along the lines of dog walking, light jogging, working around the house, emergency use and things of that nature. Alas, I'm just an average user but I can still dream at least.
|Small enough for EDC.|
With 70 max lumens it might not be the best choice for treacherous wilderness adventures, but it's still quite bright. This makes the 2016 HL10 a great choice for basic outdoor tasks. The wide angle beam profile spreads light out well and effectively, so for close up and medium range use this is a really excellent, lightweight headlamp weighting only 1.2 oz without a battery.
The light has 3 settings, controlled by a single clicky switch, with the typical long press on/off and short press to cycle through the modes. As always you'll want to use an Eneloop or Eneloop Pro for best performance with this as Fenix rates the run times higher with NiMH rechargeables versus disposable alkaline batteries. Low mode is 4 lumens with a 26 hour run time. Medium is 30 lumens with 3 hours and 10 minutes of run time. High is good for 70 lumens and a 1 hour run time.
|You can remove the HL10 from the casing for a tiny pocket or keychain light.|
One interesting feature on the HL10 is the flood and spot setting. By design the lamp is quite floody but Fenix made this with 2 beam modes for added flexibility. Removed from the plastic case, the light is essentially styled like a lantern. The clear plastic rotating lens has two parts: the spot setting is smooth and the flood setting is rough plastic - effectively making the beam more uniform and even. It's a subtle difference, nothing dramatic, but I've found the spot setting best for outdoor use whereas the flood is more diffused, eliminating the hot spot and making a more even beam - best suited for close up jobs where softer, less intense light is needed.
|Simple clicky switch to change modes and a rotating lens for 2 beam styles.|
On high the battery is only good for an hour. That is the trade off with such a small, compact 1x AAA light. With any extended use you will want spare batteries and changing them isn't fast or easy in something this small. But again, it's a sacrifice you make with the size. Medium offers more efficiency with a bit over 3 hours while still being able to navigate in the dark, which helps with battery conservation.
The HL10's beam is useful but it's not a thrower by any means. It's not going to be lighting up objects 100 yards away - this is strictly for seeing a wide area right in front of you.
However it does succeed in ease of use, portability, battery efficiency, and comfort. It does have it's limitations where bigger, brighter lamps might be a better choice. But being under $30 it's still a wonderful light that runs on a common cell and throws a very wide beam in front of you.
For the price it's definitely a rugged, reliable option for someone who needs a no frills, hands free light source but doesn't need the long range power of more expensive lamps. Another winner from Fenix!
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Lastly, a big thank you to Fenix for providing this light free of charge!