One item I always have with me when I am camping or backpacking is a headlamp and recently I had the chance to try out the YKS adjustable beam headlamp.
The lamp is sold through Amazon.com by the firm Bsyexcellent and I was asked to give my opinion on the light.
If you read my stories, you will remember that just recently I also tried a great little stove, the Dpower stove (see link below) from the same company on Amazon.com. It seems they are trying to make an entry into the outdoor gear market in the U.S. and are supplying test items to many writers across the country. I must say, that with the prices and quality of the items they are offering, they should do well.
Now on to the headlamp and its specifications.
- LED : 1 Q5 emitter
- Power: 3W
- Lumens: 300lm (A bit optimistic in my opinion)
- Lifetime: 100,000 hours
- Powered by 3 × AAA Batteries (not included)
- Basic Material: ABS
- Support Material: Aluminum Alloy, Polyester
- Net Weight: 2.6oz (74 gr.)
The YKS headlamp, which sells for $14.99, is a light weight unit utilizing a single high output LED emitter. It is focused by sliding a lens forward or back which allows the user to adjust the coverage area from a wide flood light to a focused spot. The light has three modes, high, which is good for really lighting things up, low, which is what I used most around camp and a strobe setting that would work well for signaling and getting someone’s attention.
On the high setting, the light is rated at 300 lumens, which I think is a bit optimistic. It is bright, but not as intense as a 200 lumen tactical light I have, but then again, my light cost four times as much as the YKS. One odd thing about the light is that fact that the way the LED emitter is set up. When you zoom the lens out to a spot, you get a perfect image of the LED. It looks a bit odd, but in no way does it interfere with the usefulness of the light. I am sure that it is just a characteristic of the LEDs used and to correct this would greatly increase the cost.
One thing I did not like was the red translucent collar on the rather long lens barrel. When the light was on, the red illumination proved distracting to me at times. It is not a big problem and my wife who also used the light was not bothered by this at all.
The YKS Headlamp is powered by three AAA batteries, which to me is a plus in that they are easily available and reasonably priced, unlike some of the other units on the market that use specialized power cells.
When it comes to wearing the light, it is very comfortable utilizing rather soft elastic in the straps. When I was using it recently in the backcountry, I had the light on for quite a long time and it sat nicely on my head. The one drawback to the straps was there was not a lot of adjustment available, but if it fit me nicely and I wear extra large hats, it should fit about anyone.
Over all this is a very good basic headlamp and it is well worth the cost.
There are some drawbacks when it comes to the design, but nothing that truly affect the normal operation of the light. First, the light is not waterproof, which I would prefer to see on any light. So if it is used in the rain, you had better check the batteries once you get into shelter. Secondly, as I said, the push-pull lens barrel that allows you to focus the light is a bit long and has a translucent red plastic ring on it. It may look “cool” when it is on, but it was distracting for me. This is as easy to fix as taking a piece of duct tape and covering this portion of the lens barrel.
One reviewer I read made the point that to turn it off, you must cycle through the light settings each time you use it, from high to low and then strobe. But again, this is a $14.95 light and having any logic board in it to remember what setting you were on or for it to go from one setting to off with a single click would just add cost. My tactical light that does do this, allows you to turn it off after a few seconds on a single setting, but it cost four times as much as the YKS. So I will live with having to click the switch three times.
The bottom line is this, sure it is not one of the big brand name, expensive headlamps, but it does what it is supposed to do and will not break the bank. I really liked the lamp in floodlight mode, I wish my other headlamp offered such a wide coverage. I could walk the trails around our campsite and do work at the campsite with the large coverage area offering more than enough illumination while on low. There are literally hundreds of headlamps on the market and this is not a quantum leap in technology, but very few if any other lights offer the options the YKS does for the price.
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