LED LENSERThe evenings are getting darker, earlier…For some, that means moans and groans. For others that means woops and high 5’s. For those who love trail running, the thought of not having to wait till the early hours to get some night trails in, is a mouth watering prospect.

So last night, a group of like minded enthusiasts, gathered up at Johnny Fox’s In Glencree and hit the trails at dusk on a 11.5km trek. Check out our relive video here…https://www.relive.cc/view/1150512852

We were trialing out a number of different headlamps which were kindly given by 53 Degrees North. If you have never used one before there is a lot to take into consideration, as well as new terminology. LED & Lumens, for example. I wont bore you with the technical stuff but LED lighting is basically a very high powered light, way more powerful than the conventional light of old. Traditionally when you bought a standard light bulb, you would have looked at the Watts. But in LED lighting, the strength is measured in lumens. The bigger the number the stronger the light.

So you’re probably thinking, why not get the highest lumen light out there? Well because your battery life would be chewed up and spat out in now time. So you have to think how long will your average usage be verses battery life. Some come with rechargeable batteries and also accept AA or AAA batteries. A lot to think about for an auld headlamp. 

Black Diamond Gizmo with 90 Lumen lamp.

An entry level, no frills, lightweight torch ideal for walking or camping..not suitable for any level of technical running. But good value for money at €22.

LED Lenser iSEO 5R – 180 Lumen

At 180 lumen makes its good choice for night time running. Sturdy and light weight. Takes 3AAA batteries and also a rechargeable USB battery. Stronger light beam from the rechargeable. Good for slow leisurely trail runs but where you require greater visual distance, it would be recommended that get a stronger lamp. RRP 50.00.

LED Lenser MH6 with 200 lumen lamp

At 200 lumen makes its great for night time running. Light weight and is very easy to wear, didn’t move, bounce or cause any head issues. Used on technical trail its ok, on the wide setting it loses some the brightness so I wouldn’t be confident running at pace on very uneven ground. The rechargeable pack appears to give more brightness than using the 3 AAA batteries. Has a halo effect when at its widest setting so need to adjust it in a bit and can’t use it on that setting. Only used for 2 hours and no reduction in light so not sure how long battery lasts. At RRP of €60. Its a really nice unit, I am happy with it….but for technical trail running I’d splash the extra few euro and go for the H7.2 model which is 300lumen.

LED Lenser h7r2 headlamp with 300 lumen

The daddy of trail running head lamps on test has to be the H7.r2. Light enough to wear comfortably for hours on end yet with the fire power to light up the night, literally! At 300 lumens this light is perfect for more technical trails and inspires confidence on the fast downhill sections.

This light is that good that I’ve used it for two winters as my “see where I’m going light” on my bike. We’re talking depths of winter, unlit country roads and late nights but this takes it all in its stride. I’ve had guys calling “CAR!!” while on night group rides only to be told that “it’s only me…. again!!”
The beam is adjustable from flood to beam and somewhere in between with the beam angled down slightly is ideal for trail running in pitch darkness. This configuration lights, not only the ground immediately in front of you, but far enough to ahead to plan your route well in advance.
If you plan on getting out on the trails at night get your hands on one of these, you won’t be disappointed.