The best headlamps in the UK 2023

The headlamp offers many possibilities of use. Some people use it for sports and outdoor activities (camping, hiking, mountaineering, fishing...) while others use it for DIY or work. Black Diamond, Silva, Petzl, Omeril... not easy to decide. To find the best headlamp of the moment, follow the guide.

Petzl Actik Core

Best value for your money

Petzl Actik Core

The best headlamp in 2021

The Petzl Actik Core hybrid headlamp, with a power of 450 lumens, is specifically designed for outdoor activities requiring discretion such as hunting or fishing.

47,92 £ on Amazon

Whether you're a hunter, hiker, climber or just a nature watcher, the Petzl Actik Core headlamp will be your best friend. It delivers a satisfying 450 lumens of power that it combines brilliantly with a wide or mixed beam of light. You have 3 lighting modes at your disposal, namely proximity, displacement and distant vision.

The Petzl Actik Core works with a rechargeable Core battery via a USB port as well as with alkaline, lithium or Ni-MH batteries. Its added bonus is that the latter can be used without the need for an adapter. Its red light, ideal for reading among other things, does not interfere with the view. Its reflective strip, on the other hand, increases the level of safety during your night outings.

Omeril 650942

Best value for your money

Omeril 650942 140 LM

The best entry-level headlamp

No matter what nighttime activities you engage in, this headlamp will fit right in. Lightweight and rugged, the Omeril 650942 140 LM is a great gift or gift for yourself.

4,30 £ on Amazon

The Omeril 650942 140 LM, with its 140 lumens of light output, is a relatively modest battery powered headlamp. Of course, its brightness seems lower compared to the other models in this comparison. And if you think it doesn't light up, it doesn't! Its lighting zone reaches 30 m. Even better, the headlights are adjustable over a 60° angle, making up for its lack of power.

The headlamp comes in handy during work and all kinds of night activities. It offers 3 lighting modes, including strobe (distress signal or SOS), each adjustable according to your needs. In addition, it is suitable for both children and adults because of its elastic headband.

Petzl NAO+

Best value for your money

Petzl NAO+

The best high-end headlamp

The Petzl NAO+ headlamp is easily controlled via a smartphone and a dedicated app. It stands out for its light power, its robustness and its multi-beam aspect.

96,80 £ on Amazon

The Petzl NAO+ headlamp, worthy of the brand's reputation, offers a battery life of well over 5 hours and a range of 85 to 1000 m thanks to the prowess of Reactive Lightning technology with the Trail running profile activated. It adjusts the intensity of the light, up to 750 lumens, according to your needs automatically. This model also impresses in the field with its 4 lighting modes.

Powered by a 2600 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it fits perfectly on your head thanks to its washable and adjustable headband. You will find stability and even your comfort level will be improved. By installing the dedicated MyPetzl Light mobile application, it is easily controlled via Bluetooth.

Omeril 200 LM


Omeril 200 LM

A great headlamp for the price

Suitable for a wide variety of outdoor activities and sold in packs of two, the Omeril 200 LM headlamp is a very pleasant model to use. Its range reaches 100 m.

15,19 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best headlamp

Any specific needs?

The best headlamp in 2021

The best entry-level headlamp

The best high-end headlamp

A great headlamp for the price

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best headlamps

Petzl Actik Core
Omeril 650942
Petzl NAO+
Omeril 200 LM
Petzl Actik Core
Omeril 650942 140 LM
Petzl NAO+
Omeril 200 LM
The Petzl Actik Core hybrid headlamp, with a power of 450 lumens, is specifically designed for outdoor activities requiring discretion such as hunting or fishing.
No matter what nighttime activities you engage in, this headlamp will fit right in. Lightweight and rugged, the Omeril 650942 140 LM is a great gift or gift for yourself.
The Petzl NAO+ headlamp is easily controlled via a smartphone and a dedicated app. It stands out for its light power, its robustness and its multi-beam aspect.
Suitable for a wide variety of outdoor activities and sold in packs of two, the Omeril 200 LM headlamp is a very pleasant model to use. Its range reaches 100 m.
Light output
450 lumens
140 lumens
750 lumens
200 lumens
Power supply
1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery or three AAA/LR03 batteries
3 AAA batteries
3100 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery
1000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery
95 g
90 g
185 g
86 g
Lighting performance
5 to 90 m
Up to 30 m
85 m to 1 km
Up to 100 m

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Buying guide - headlamp

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How to choose your headlamp

For night activities, nothing beats the convenience of a headlamp. The headlamp? Too heavy and cumbersome. The lantern? Difficult to use outside a camp and no directed beam. To find the right headlamp for your needs, here are the criteria to consider.

#1 - The type of beam

Headlamps today almost exclusively use LEDs as their light source. LEDs are rugged, energy efficient and durable. Now, you need to pay special attention to the type of beam used.

  • Spot beam: With a spot beam, your headlamp will illuminate the path far in front of you, which is essential for covering dark, uncharted territory on a run, hike, or a night or twilight bike ride.
  • Wide Beam: Many headlamps will produce a scattered light at a wide angle to illuminate nearby objects. A wide-beam headlamp will be very useful for general tasks on a campsite, close-up repair work and reading. Wide beams generally do not cast light over a long distance.
  • Variable Beam: Variable beam headlamps are the most versatile. You can adjust the type of projection between a spot beam and a wide beam.

#2 - The luminous power or lumen

Lumen is a unit of measurement that determines the total amount of light emitted in all directions by a source. As a general rule, a light with a higher lumen count consumes more energy. But does this mean that the higher the lumens, the brighter the light? In most cases, yes, but not always. How the manufacturer focuses and directs that light can have an impact on how those lumens are used. Typically, the number of lumens is listed on the packaging of your headlamp. The power range of headlamps varies considerably, from about 50 lumens for a compact model, to 1000 lumens or more for high-powered models.

#3 - The range of the lighting

The fundamental purpose of a headlamp is to channel light to a target area. Light beams are tested to determine how far they can project usable light. While lumens tell you how bright a light is, throw distance tells you how far it goes. For those who run, hike, bike and climb in low light conditions, the longer the distance of the light beam, the better. Of course, you won't be able to see exactly what your future together holds, but you'll be grateful to be able to see as far away from you as possible.

#4 - Lighting modes

Most headlamps offer at least one "bright light" mode and one "low light" mode. Others may offer three or more modes. Here are the brightness modes you can find on a headlamp:

  • The strobe mode acts like an emergency flasher. Some models even offer a flashing intensity setting (slow and fast).
  • Low light mode is the standard mode used for most camping or hiking on an easy trail at night. It is generally the most energy-efficient light setting.
  • Medium light mode is offered on some models to give the user more choice.
  • Bright mode is a good option for darker areas. This brightness mode allows you to use the brightest light possible. This setting also consumes more power.
  • Red light mode helps the user maintain night vision. Red light does not dilate the pupils while providing a small amount of illumination.

#5 - Autonomy

Headlamps designed to run on lithium batteries are a good choice for use in cold weather. In fact, these types of batteries outperform alkaline batteries in extreme conditions. Rechargeable (NiMH) batteries also work well with headlamps and hold up very well in cold weather. Rechargeable batteries tend to lose power when they are inactive. So it's a good idea to always carry batteries with you. In fact, many headlamps have a hybrid power supply, running on both batteries and rechargeable batteries. On average, a good headlamp will last for 10 hours at intermediate power.

How bright should your headlamp be?

The best headlamps 1

Lumens are the standard unit for measuring brightness. You'll see headlamps ranging from 20 lumens to 1500 lumens or more.

The optics of the headlamp focus the lumens, which translates directly into the amount of light that goes where you want it. When looking for a headlamp online, the number of lumens is a sure way to gauge the brightness of a model. Lesser-known entry-level models that boast high lumen counts may not seem as bright due to the quality of the light's optics.

The amount of lumens you need depends on what you plan to use the headlamp for. And the brightest isn't always the best. Almost all lights have a high, medium and low mode, so a high output light can still give you low output options. Here are some tips for finding the perfect brightness:

  • Low lumens (<25): Great for setting up camp in the dark, reading in the tent, doing close-up work, walking the dog, etc.
  • High lumens (<200): Ideal for running in the dark or hiking at night.
  • Higher lumens (<600): Ideal for mountain biking or skiing at night.
  • Really high lumens (<1000): Ideal for hiking on poorly marked trails, skiing or biking at high speed, or for search and rescue.

The different types of headlamps

Most headlamps are powered by AAA batteries or a lithium-ion battery. These rechargeable batteries have become ubiquitous in recent years and are valued for their convenience and cost savings. Let's take a look at what they really are.

Battery operated headlamp

The vast majority of headlamps use AAA batteries. The batteries are usually housed in the front with the main body, but some are located on the back of the strap. Headlamps with rear-mounted batteries will usually have a two-strap system for added security and stability. The advantage of using AAA batteries in your headlamp is that you can easily carry more if you are planning a multi-day hike away from any power source. The downside is that replacing AAA is not very environmentally friendly, and buying batteries can get expensive over time.

Headlamp with rechargeable battery

On the

market today, we are seeing more and more headlamps with built-in rechargeable batteries. These batteries are charged via micro USB wiring and can be recharged via a powerbank. The advantage of a rechargeable battery is quite clear: there is a big reduction in unnecessary waste, which also saves you money in the long run. If you're going on a weekend camping trip, pack a solar powerbank so you have a way to recharge on hand.

Hybrid headlamp


has led the way in headlamp battery innovation with its Core Hybrid technology, which allows the user to choose between a USB rechargeable battery or AAA batteries. Hybrid batteries are ideal for extended use, when you want the convenience of a rechargeable battery but can't risk your battery running out in the middle of nowhere. The only real drawback to hybrid batteries is the cost. Hybrid battery headlamps are the most expensive models on the market today.

Headlamp or flashlight?


A headlamp is an essential accessory to take with you on a hike, especially when walking at night. It is a hands-free flashlight that allows you to use both hands on other activities and still have light. The flashlight is attached to elastic straps that are fastened to the head.

Headlamps allow you to have your hands free to read a book, climb into a cave, dig through your backpack at night, or do any other activity that requires you to use both hands. Headlamps are extremely lightweight. They weigh no more than a few grams. They are also very compact and can easily fit in a backpack. On the other hand, you should be aware that headlamps are usually not as powerful as flashlights.


Flashlights cover a wide range of power levels and styles, and because of their versatility, they are a go-to option for a variety of extreme sports enthusiasts and professionals. Most flashlights have adjustable strength and beam length. They are extremely versatile and produce good quality light. In addition, flashlights are more versatile than headlamps.

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks to consider. First of all, a flashlight can't stay attached by itself. You will always have to hold it with one of your hands. You should also be aware that the light produced by flashlights can seriously damage your eyes if you, or someone else, looks directly at it.


Due to the high functionality of most models, and the fact that it keeps both hands free during use, the headlamp remains more versatile, but making the choice between a flashlight or a headlamp depends largely on your personal preferences.

For active outdoor people (night hikers, trail runners, climbers, canoeists, cavers, skiers), the headlamp is the most natural choice. It allows you to keep full use of both hands. Buy a flashlight when you need more power and versatility.

It doesn't matter what you choose, or if you decide to get both. Just make sure you invest in a high-quality accessory that will do the job perfectly and consistently.


Choose the lightest headlamp possible

There will always be a balance to strike between weight and performance, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the weight of your headlamp and maximize your comfort. For general use around the campsite and tent, opt for a USB rechargeable headlamp with a built-in li-ion battery. If your headlamp runs on removable AAA batteries, look for models that minimize the impact of weight; that is, models with a top strap to balance the weight on the head.

Look for a headlamp with a "red LED" mode


different wavelengths are difficult for animal eyes to detect. So by using red light, you don't scare animals or attract mosquitoes and insects. Red also helps preserve night vision, which means you can use it once your eyes have adjusted to the dark and you don't have to worry about the blurry glare spots created by white light.

Use removable batteries for extended use


you're hitting the trails for long hikes, consider a headlamp that uses removable batteries to extend overall runtime. You'll add weight when you carry extra batteries, so plan carefully. You can also save battery life by avoiding operating your headlamp in the highest modes unless it's really necessary.

Power your battery with a power bank or solar charger


your headlamp is USB rechargeable, add an external battery or solar panel to really get the most out of your gear. Charge your batteries during the day with a solar panel or with a powerbank at night to keep your light going long after the internal battery is depleted.

Use minimal lighting in small spaces

What if

you were sharing a tent with other people? Look for a camping headlamp that defaults to low mode or can remember the previously used brightness. As impressive as a 1,000 lumen or 1,800 lumen headlamp may be for the great outdoors, turning on a bright headlamp in a tent doesn't require as much brightness. With a default ultra-low mode or memory mode, getting up in the middle of the night minimizes disturbance to others sleeping in the tent.


What is the best headlamp?

The best headlamp depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best at the moment.

Can I use rechargeable batteries with a headlamp?

Yes, you can use AAA rechargeable batteries. The capacity of a battery is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). The higher the capacity, the longer the device will operate, i.e. a 2300 mAh battery can be recharged 1500 times and will last for approximately 12 hours.

Is there an indicator when the batteries are low?

No. Currently, there is no headlamp model with a charge indicator. In order to know if you need to put in new batteries or if you need to recharge the battery, you will have to check if the intensity of the light is lower than normal.

Can I wash the elastic strap of a headlamp?

Yes, the elastic headband that holds the lamp to your head is removable and can be hand or machine washed.

Is a headlamp waterproof?

Headlamps are not waterproof, but most can withstand water. This means that it can withstand splashing or splashing water. Some high-end models can even be worn in a downpour.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Petzl Actik Core
Petzl Actik Core
Omeril 650942
Omeril 650942 140 LM
Petzl NAO+
Petzl NAO+
Omeril 200 LM
Omeril 200 LM


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