By Bob Difley
I like flashlights. All kinds. From the tiny keychain type to the super-powerful beam multi-LED lights. I find that if I have a flashlight handy, I will use it far more often than if I had to go open a drawer or cabinet, then search through it until I found it, then return to where I wanted to use it, by which time I likely had forgotten what I wanted it for. Therefore, I tend to keep multiple flashlights stashed in convenient places – bed stand, outside locker, on RV dashboard, toad glovebox – for instant use.
A few mornings ago my alarm went off, with an annoying screech and a woman shouting “Fire! Fire!” Fortunately, I had a headlamp on my nightstand, provided by OxyLED for a review (which I hadn’t gotten around to yet). After my initial startled awakening and a quick scan I could see there was no reason to panic and assumed that the batteries needed changing. The alarm was mounted on the ceiling in a dark area that didn’t get much light but to change the batteries I had to look straight up, read the instructions, and use both hands to open it blah blah blah.
The point is that wearing glasses and looking directly over my head I can’t read the minute imprinted instructions. The headlamp provided a bright (I mean BRIGHT) light on the instructions, casting a deep shadow that enabled me to read it. Now that’s a long way around saying how much I like a good, sturdy headlamp. I don’t have enough room in this article to list all the uses of a headlamp – reading in bed, looking into dark lockers, finding lost articles in the night – but its primary feature is putting the right amount of light where you are looking while leaving your hands free.
This OxyLED headlamp also, with successive clicks of the ON button, reduces the brightness from BRIGHT, to MEDIUM, to LOW. Hold the ON/OFF button and the light turns red, another click to a flashing red emergency light, and then an SOS. The head strap is easily adjustable and the light snaps securely (no slipping) into seven different positions to put the light just where you want it.
The other light OxyLED sent me was a sturdily built, small MD50 (5 1/2 inch long) flashlight with super bright LEDs. And it also has the button click features of the headlamp (intensity changes, red light, etc.) with an added feature that was mind boggling. By pulling out the barrel of the light the beam zooms to a spotlight, capable of illuminating owls in the trees and other night critters in an intensely bright light. Slide the barrel in and the beam zooms back to a wide angle light capable of lighting a broader area.
Both lights come with rechargeable lithium batteries (you can charge the headlamp without removing the batteries and the flashlight has its own cradle for charging the battery).