Today, I am going to discuss the Petzl Tikka Improved Lumen Output Xp 2 Headlamp (currently $39.98). I got one of these for Christmas and it has been amazingly versatile. Below are just a few ways I have used it in the short time I have owned it:
1. Cleaning up - When cleaning up the rat’s nest of cables in my office, the headlamp allowed me to keep my hands free while wrapping cables, routing cables, and plugging stuff in behind my desk.
2. Troubleshooting - I had an issue with the PC that is under my desk. This allowed me to craw under the desk and figure out what was going on while providing light and allowing me to use both hands to fix the issue.
3. Cooking out - I often use a Big Green Egg to cook out at night. This allowed me to be able to pick up a pork butt and put it on the grill while putting light exactly where I wanted it. It also helped when I needed to adjust the amount of airflow later in the night.
4. Pool problem - we had a problem with the pool pump in the middle of the night. I was able to put this on and see what was happening without using one of my hands to hold a flashlight.
5. Attic - we have some dark spots in out attic, but I knew I had put some power cables up there. This allowed me to search through boxes with ease.
In the short time I have had this product, it has proved to be invaluable. I could see how it could be beneficial for photography at night since my 5D Mark III doesn’t have a pop up flash for auto-focus as well. Heck, anything that is useful for someone sitting in an office and at the same time for a coal miner in a cave has to be one of the most versatile pieces of tech out there. Since it is so small, it gets a place in my backpack anytime we go out of town. You just never know when you will need to look for a power socket under a bed or need light during a power outage.
Below is Amazon’s product description of the lamp I have been using:
"TIKKA XP Headlamp with 1 high-output LED, 1 red LED and five lighting modes (three continuous and two blinking) and Wide Angle lens The TIKKA XP headlamp integrates two light sources as well as a Wide Angle lens with a simple open-close feature, allowing the user to choose between a long distance focalized beam and flood beam proximity lighting. This headlamp is equipped with a white high-output LED and a red LED. The white LED delivers 60 lumens in maximum mode and lights up to 60 meters. In economic mode, it can reach a burn-time of 160 hours. The red LED provides lighting to preserve night vision or to become a blinking light for increased safety, for example in an urban environment, etc. TIKKA XP can be used with lithium batteries to decrease weight or increase performance in cold weather."
Needless to say, I give this my highest recommendation because it is something I have used so often that I am beginning to wonder how I ever lived without it.