The dark winter nights, have prompted me to write a review on a headtorch that I have been using for a couple of years now. The Gamma from Alpkit, is a Multifunction LED headtorch which has proved to be an excellent bit of kit, the price is a very reasonable £12.50 that belies its quality and performance, the cost includes free postage as well as Duracell batteries. http://www.alpkit.com/gamma
The head unit contains three 5mm LEDs and one 1W Luxeon LED. The unit pivots so that you can direct your light during use. The multi function lighting modes are controlled from a single multi operation button (SMOB). This orange SMOB gives access to two lighting modes each with multiple settings:
1W LED Mode - This is the large central LED, it provides the brightest light, in this mode the button toggles between 4 settings; High > Low > Strobe > Off.
5mm LED Mode - This mode toggles between the three 5mm LEDs and has 5 settings; White LED > Green LED > Red LED > Red LED (Strobe) > Off.
Why do you need different colours?
The different colours on the Gamma are for a few different uses, the main white beam lets you see loads, but to save on battery power the 5mm white LED will let you do most tasks in the dark. The solid Red 5mm LED is great to stop you losing your night vision, the Green LED is great for looking at the map while walking along and highlighting the contours, where the red one makes them disappear. The flashing red lights are great for saving on battery life, for use in an emergency or to scare the kids with a story about monsters and their one flashing red eye.
Bonus Backlight LED -
In addition to the two modes of the head unit, it also has a red LED light fitted onto the battery pack which is fitted with 3 light settings; On > Strobe > Off. A button on the side of the battery compartment cycles between these settings and operates independently from the button on the head unit.
With the elastic straps supplied I have found it was possible to mount it to a cycle helmet, rather than using this as the main light for cycling at night, it proved ideal for lighting any mechanical issues at arise. Normally at night the main lights are mounted on the bike and need to be removed to see anything needing attention on the bike. It also serves well as a emergency reserve light in case of lighting problems. The red light on the battery pack, when helmet mounted is a useful addition for overall rear lighting. I have now added to my lights and so have a helmet and bar mounted light, but still ensure that I have the Gamma headtorch in my back pack for emergencies, it is also invaluable when getting back to parked cars in the dark and changing and loading.
Conclusion – Excellent performance, and superb value for money -highly recommended.
For more information, links to tests and more reviews of the Gamma headtorch go to - KDCS Tested + Reviewed - http://kdcs-tested.blogspot.com/2011/12/gamma-multifunction-led-headtorch-from.html
Many thanks to Alpkit for allowing the use of their photo's in this review.