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Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Primus PrimeLite Compact Trekk > Test Report by Josh Cormier
Primus PrimeLite CT headlamp
Tester series by Josh Cormier
Long Term Report: 18-Nov-08
I joined the Boy Scouts when I was 11 and have been camping and backpacking ever since. I like to do challenging trips ranging from week long to weekend in mountainous areas. I would classify my gear as mid weight although now I am trying to move more toward lightweight. I now go backpacking at least once a year in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as monthly car camping trips with the Scouts.
Product Information: (information taken from Primus website)
- Manufacture: Primus
- Manufactures web site: http://www.primus.se
- Item Description: PrimeLite CT headlamp
- Listed Weight: 2.4oz (68g)
- Measured Weight (without bag): 3.6 oz (102 g)
- Measured Weight (with bag): 4 oz (113 g)
- Dimensions: 2'' x 2.6'' x 1.3'' (50 x 66 x 32 mm)
- Water resistance: Waterproof IPX7 (down to 1m (3.3 ft) for 30 min)
White diode: 6 White
Luxeon diode: Luxeon™ (45 lumens)
- Batteries: 3AAA (included)
- Year of Manufacture: 2008
- MSRP: $55.00 USD
- Item Received: 02-July-08
Initial Report - 7-July-08
The light arrived in a nice looking plastic cover showing of front and top of the headlamp.
Once I opened the package I found the headlamp with headband attached, 3 batteries, a carrying bag and a wad of instructions. The light has two buttons on the top and is white in the front and grey on the back. It has 6 LEDs divided into two groups surrounding a Luxeon LED.
The light was bigger that I expected from the pictures on the website. But once I re-checked the manufacture’s website I see that what I received is exactly what they show there. I put the included batteries in the light by opening the plastic snap on the rear of the headlamp. Once the snap is released the rear of the headlamp hinges open, exposing the battery compartment. The battery compartment is well labeled with which end of the battery goes in what position. Once I finished putting the batteries in, I closed the compartment which snapped shut securely. The battery compartment is surrounded by a small rubber seal that is supposed to make the headlamp waterproof to 3 feet (1 m) for 30 minutes. I have yet to submerge it and test if this seal keeps water out.
To turn the light on I pressed the power button (located on the top of the right side of the lamp if it is on my head). The lamp always comes on in the lowest of the LED settings which I find nice. To change the setting, I press the button on the top left of the lamp. Each press of this button will change from one setting to the next. Starting from the initial setting (25% LED) the next settings are 100% LED, 50% LUXEON, 100% LUXEON, and blinking LED. Turning the light off in any of these modes and turning it back on will reset the lamp back to 25% LED. The 6 LEDs give off a blueish hue and the LUXEON gives off a white light. The headlamp comes with a storage bag that can also be used as a light diffuser. The bag is way bigger than is needed to store the headlamp, but if it works well as a light diffuser it might be useful on campouts. I will be looking to see how useful it is on upcoming outings.
The headlamp fits comfortably on my head and has a small cushion where it presses against my forehead. There is a hinge that allows the headlamp to tilt down at different increments for use in illuminating things that are below eye level without straining my eyes or neck. I found that this hinge was a little loose and that by nodding my head up and down I could make the lamp tilt all the way down. I will have to determine if this could become an issue when I night hike or run. The headband on the headlamp has reflective trimming on the edges that make it easier to find in low light or using another flashlight. I can also see where it might come in handy for making me easier to be spotted when hiking in the dark.
Overall this headlamp seems to have some good design ideas put into it and seems to be constructed well. It is a little bulkier than I would have liked but we will see how that turns out.
Field Report - 16-SEPT-08
The bulk of use for this light was in the Santa Cruz Mountain, California. The elevation ranged from 100 – 900 ft (30.5 – 274 m) and the temperature ranged from 55 – 98 F (12.7 –36.7 C). There was no rain during this testing period, only some nightly moisture. For most of the testing it was clear skies with slight breezes. The area is hilly, mostly covered with grass and a few oak trees and brush interspersed here and there.
I carried this headlamp with me every time I stepped outside in the dark whether at home or out and about. I have used it while walking and running on dirt roads and trails and have used it to work on things outside in the dark. During this portion of the testing I have used this light for more that 24 nights.
I have found the 6 LED’s to be the most useful to me no matter what I am doing. I usually have them on their brightest setting unless using it for reading in the tent. I like the fact that the lamp always comes on in the lowest LED setting. This allows me to turn it on without worrying if it will blind me or someone else until I get it adjusted. When I want more light, which is most of the time, I simply press the second button to adjust the light to the desired setting. I have only used the spot light once and that was to look for an Owl I could hear hooting in the trees somewhere. The spot light is too focused for me to use for walking or running down a dark trail. It does not diffuse the light enough for me to see much too either side of the beam. This is as I would expect a spotlight to work, but since there is a lower setting on the spot light, it seems that the manufacturer wishes this to be used as a flashlight. If this is the case then a more diffused beam would be more useful for this function.
The light diffuser bag is an interesting idea; however I feel that the bag was made way too big for its function. One night I woke up and needed some light to find my water bottle. I put the light diffuser bag over the lamp and turned it on, this made the light a little softer so it would not wake up my hiking buddy. With the LED’s already on the low setting, the bag only seemed to change the direction of the light not dim it. Other than this one time, I have not used the light diffuser bag. In my opinion it is just too bulky and not super useful as LED’s are diffused light anyway.
I have not used the flashing feature of the lamp and hope to never need it. I don’t think that both the spotlight and the LED’s need to have a flashing feature. I would rather see an ultra low setting on the LED’s along with a flasher and have the spotlight with only one setting, full-on spot.
The headband stays nice and firm on my head and I have not had any issues with it slipping down or becoming loose. The plastic bracket that holds the light on the headband and allows my to adjust the tilt angle has given me some trouble. When I adjust the light downward the bracket has a hard time holding the light at that angle if I jump or nod my head. This does not always cause problems, but the times it happens have been an annoyance.
The battery compartment has not offered me any issues with opening or breaking and seems to be holding the batteries tightly.
Long Term Report - 18-Nov-08
I have used this headlamp on many occasions, outside the house at night, in the rain to shovel out culverts, hiking down dirt roads at night, and doing different camp chores at night. It has been my constant companion anytime I went out into the dark or needed a light. During the course of this entire test I have used this light in excess of 60 nights for various lengths of time and for various tasks.
I have used this light in the Santa Cruz Mountain, California. The elevation ranged from 100 – 900 ft (30.5 – 274 m) and the temperature ranged from 47 – 85 F (8 –29 C). There was some rain during this testing period and some nightly moisture. The area is hilly, mostly covered with grass and a few oak trees and brush interspersed here and there.
I also used this light on a 3 day 2 night camping trip at Half Moon Bay State Park. The elevation ranged from 0 – 100 ft (0 – 31 m) and the temperature ranged from 55 – 76 F (13 – 24 C). There was a slight mist one night during this testing period, and some fog. The area was a sandy beach with some small trees, shrubs, and a grassy area where I placed my tent.
I have to say that during my testing I found the 6 LED’s to be the most useful feature of the headlamp. I like the fact that the always come on in the lowest setting, but as soon as I turn it on I switch to the brightest setting. I still have not used the blinking function at all and find it somewhat annoying that I have to cycle through that phase if I miss the brightness I want. The other thing that bugs me is that the weight of the headlamp seems to be in front of my head making the headlamp feel unbalanced. This also causes the hinge to allow the headlamp to move positions if I jump or move my head up and down too rapidly.
There is one problem I have encountered several times while using this light. When pressing the power button, the light would not come on. Pressing the button several times with varying degrees of pressure and angle yielded no results either. I opened the battery compartment to see if the battery connections were corroded but they looked ok. On putting the batteries back and closing the compartment I pressed the power button and the light came on. Each time the light would not work I opened the battery compartment wiggled the batteries and then the light would work. I’m not sure but I believe this may be just a battery connection issue; however it could be a pain if it happened when out in the pitch-black with no other source of light.
Besides those issues the headlamp has served me well and has lasted through the entire testing phase in good condition. The lens has not clouded or become excessively scratched. The headband still holds in place and still retains its elasticity. The battery compartment and tilt hinge still perform the same as when new. The LED’s have not dimmed or stopped working altogether. I will continue to use this headlamp on some of my nightly outings or when wet weather requires its use.
Bellow you will find answers to the questions that I have considering during the testing of this item:
Does the headlamp headband stay tight?
- Yes, I encountered no loosening of the band during the test.
Does the headlamp headband stay in place?
- Yes, I have not had any issued with the headband slipping from its place.
Does the switch work consistently?
- Yes both switches continue to work consistently.
Does the hinge keep the light held in the current position even when walking?
- While walking or moving my head, yes. However if I move my head sharply up or down, the hinge sometimes slips.
Do the LEDs keep working after some rough use or accidental dropping?
- The LED’s are sill working fine.
Does the headlamp stay firmly connected to the headband?
- Yes, I have not had to worry about it becoming detached.
Is the headlamp waterproof or water resistant?
- I have worn this headlamp in the rain several times and have not had any issues.
Are there any connectors or closures that are liable to break?
- While I was somewhat worried about the battery compartment connections they have continued to hold.
Does the headband maintain its elasticity after constant use?
Does the headlamp really illuminate to 82 yd (75 m), using the Luxeon LED?
- With a fresh set of batteries yes it can, but I can’t give good measure of how bright it really is at that distance.
Is the illumination to weight ratio efficient?
- The 6 LED’s are nice to have and are what I use most of the time. The Luxeon was really not as bright as I would have liked for shining into the distance or diffused enough for close up work.
Do the batteries last a long time and how long?
- The included batteries lasted for many uses during all the testing phases.
Is the light good enough for reading?
- Yes the 6 LED’s turned on their lowest setting works well for reading.
Is the light good enough for walking around in the dark?
- Yes, the 6 LED’s turned to their highest setting works well for using the headlamp to illuminate a dark path.
Ease of Use:
Does the headband have to be so tight that it gives me a headache?
- No, the headlight stays in place without a need to be over tightened.
Is the headlamp heavy on my head?
- While the weight of the headlamp on my head is minimal, the design of the headlamp makes it stick out a bit from my forehead making my head feel somewhat front heavy.
Is the headlamp comfortable?
- Yes, the headlamp has foam padding on the bracket and the headband does not press into my head.
This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you to Primus and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test this item.
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Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Primus PrimeLite Compact Trekk > Test Report by Josh Cormier