Which Coast headlamps are best?
Headlamps are useful devices that allow you to illuminate the world around you while keeping your hands free. Often associated with rescue workers, miners, construction workers and others who use them under strenuous conditions, many are finding that headlamps are convenient and useful alternatives to traditional flashlights.
Coast is a noteworthy manufacturer of premium headlamps. Their penchant for brightness, power and durability has set a high bar for headlamp quality. Their Coast HL8R 800 lm Rechargeable Pure Beam Focusing LED Headlamp includes many of their forward-thinking features in a modern, high-tech package.
What to consider before you buy a Coast headlamp
Why purchase a Coast headlamp?
Coast has a storied heritage in providing working professionals with high-quality, dependable tools. Beginning as a manufacturer of knives for Oregon dock workers, Coast has a reputation for refining existing tools to mitigate deficiencies and create superior versions of what workers are already using. They have brought their decades of engineering experience to the world of LED and optical technology, creating some of the most reliable, powerful headlamps available.
Why use a headlamp?
Headlamps are the ideal lighting solution for anyone working in low light conditions either indoors or outside. Many people keep a headlamp in the glove compartment of their car in case of a roadside emergency. From unexpected power outages to performing close-up, detailed work in dim environments, headlamps have found a wide user base across all walks of life. Once someone experiences the convenience of having their hands free to work, using a traditional flashlight may feel cumbersome and inefficient.
While having a headlamp or two available as needed is a major convenience, those who have specific uses in mind should consider the work they will be doing and the conditions they will face while wearing it. Close-up jobs like soldering, for example, do not require the same degree of brightness that someone using a headlamp to light their path in the woods would need.
What to look for in a quality Coast headlamp
The brightness of a light is measured in units called Lumens. A higher Lumen rating means a brighter lamp. Coast provides headlamps with brightness ratings that start at 125 Lumens and reach over 2,000 Lumens. For most users, 300 Lumens is all they will ever require out of their headlamp.
As with all electronics, longer battery life is better. Some Coast headlamps can function for 12 hours with fresh batteries. Others can run for days at a time thanks to powerful battery packs. Consider your expected usage and select a lamp that will work as long and hard as you do.
Battery life indicator
The high-end headlamps in Coast’s product lineup feature a battery life indicator that lets you know when it’s time to charge or swap out your battery pack. A battery life indicator will prevent any surprise outages mid-job.
Some Coast headlamps require disposable alkaline batteries while others allow for rechargeable battery packs that draw power via USB. Those that run on disposable batteries require that you have spares on hand for when they expire. Swapping out dead batteries for fresh ones will immediately get you back to work. Rechargeable battery packs save money in the long run but require downtime while you wait for your lamp to recharge unless you have additional packs on hand.
All Coast headlamps are constructed with soft, adjustable straps that keep the device snugly in place. Most models are also hard hat compatible, meaning that they include clips to mount them onto a hard hat or safety helmet so they aren’t strapped directly to your head.
Most Coast headlamps feature a hinge that allows you to position the light to your preferred angle. This lets you perform close work comfortably and then simply snap the light into another position to see further ahead of you.
Many Coast headlamps feature a magnetic plate on the back of them. This powerful magnet allows you to affix the lamp to metal surfaces when you want to illuminate an entire area. The magnet also allows you to easily store your headlamp by sticking it to a locker, wall or any other magnetic material as opposed to tossing it into a bag or drawer.
Some of the models that Coast provides include a reflective head strap. This allows for greater safety in dark conditions and also makes it easier to find your headlamp if you happen to drop it somewhere or accidentally lose it.
How much you can expect to spend on a Coast headlamp
Coast’s headlamp lineup features basic models that range from $15 up to $150 units that include the brightest LEDs available and rechargeable battery packs.
Coast headlamp FAQ
Can I change the shape and characteristics of a Coast headlamp’s beam?
A. On some models, yes. Midrange and high-end Coast headlamps allow you to change the quality of your light. A twist of the lens will move you from a floodlight that illuminates a wide area to a beam that focuses tightly on a small spot.
Can I change the color of the light on my Coast headlamp?
A. Some Coast headlamps allow you to change the color of the light beam to red or green. Colored light allows you to preserve your night vision and prevents blindness in dim conditions.
Are Coast headlamps waterproof?
A. Coast headlamps are available in both water-resistant and stormproof models. While neither should be completely submerged in water, both configurations allow for use during inclement weather and wet conditions.
What are the best Coast headlamps to buy?
Top Coast headlamp
What you need to know: Coast’s flagship 800 Lumen headlamp is packed with features.
What you’ll love: This headlamp features a rechargeable battery pack and can also run off disposable batteries if desired. It has an adjustable lens, battery life indicator and can run for over four hours at its brightest setting.
What you should consider: This headlamp is bulky and likely includes too many features for most users.
Top Coast headlamp for the money
What you need to know: While not Coast’s least expensive model, this headlamp includes quality features at an affordable price.
What you’ll love: At 400 Lumens, this lamp is bright enough for almost any user. It allows you to change the color of the beam from white to red and can run for 13 hours on its lowest setting.
What you should consider: It requires disposable batteries and does not allow you to focus the beam.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This lamp features an incredibly bright LED.
What you’ll love: This lamp’s Turbo Mode feature allows it to produce 2,075 Lumens of lighting power. It runs off either a rechargeable battery pack or disposable batteries and also features an adjustable beam.
What you should consider: Turbo Mode drains the battery quickly, and is far too bright for most applications.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
- When removed from the strap, the actual headlamp unit is quite small. To avoid losing it, use its magnetic back to keep it stuck to a metal surface you encounter frequently, or keep it hung in a specific location.
- If your headlamp becomes dirty, gently wipe it off with a damp cloth. Dust can be removed with a can of compressed air.
- If you work long hours and require constant illumination, invest in a lamp that allows you to swap out rechargeable battery packs.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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