Call me a kook, but whenever I see or hear about the old noggin-mount flashlight, I automatically think “crusty Old West miner.” You know, the kind of bent, grizzled old loner with a tobacco-stained beard and floppy hat that hides out in old mine shafts and tries to keep wandering tourists or kids away from the yet-to-be-found-nuggets (the gold kind, not chicken) that he has yet to lay claim to? The kind of guy who rides down rickety subterranean tracks in ore carts, with only the beam of his trusty head lamp to light the way?
Okay, apparently I spent way too many childhood summers mesmerized by the USA Cartoon Express and reruns of 1960s Disney live-action movies (albeit without any regret). It’s just slightly tainted my imagination, and maybe narrowed my mind as to actual uses for a head lamp. But I found out just last night that someone I know, and am in fact related to, actually owns and actively uses one.
Being a landlord, my father-in-law has no shortage of yardwork, both at his own house and his rental properties. Most non-winter weekends see him glued to a lawnmower and weed whacker, and if he’s not able to tame all the vegetation in his care on Saturday and/or Sunday, that usually means that he has to get his mow on on weeknights, after work. On a few occasions, darkness has begun to fall before the job was done, so he just fished around in his truck until he found his head-mount flashlight, then got right back down to business, without missing a beat. It’s also reported to have come in handy during more than one plumbing repair, when he’s had to crawl under sinks, but needed his hands free to wield tools.
A head lamp is starting to sound like a pretty cool idea, isn’t it? If you’re going to give it a go, I recommend the Pelican HeadsUp Lite, which is made just as much for hikers and campers as it is for handy types and pro contractors. You can choose from a Xenon or LED lamp, depending on whether you prefer intensely bright light or longer-lasting batteries, respectively. And whichever you choose, you’ll be automatically prepared to wear it directly against your cranium or around a hardhat with the two included cloth and rubber straps (both types are adjustable).
And here’s my favorite part: a special lens technology actually alters the color spectrum of the flashlight’s beam, so you see whatever’s in the light’s path with far greater sharpness, detail and clarity.