Thomas Edison would be proud of us, either that or really jealous. Within the past two years LED (light-emitting diode) technology has flourished. LEDs were very costly in the 1960s but today their affordability has made them synonymous with consumer goods. You can find LEDs in such frivolous things as colorful Christmas lights or higher end products like high definition televisions and computer monitors. Petzl, a manufacturer of professional and enthusiast outdoor gear, has incorporated the LED into a practical item, the headlamp.
On first hearing about the headlamp I was reluctant to buy the hype. What can a headlamp do that a flashlight can’t? It’s essentially a light bulb stuck to your head right? The actual usefulness and simple design speak volumes as soon as you start to use it. The Petzl’s Tikka 2 comes with an adjustable elastic headband so fitting it over a head cap or helmet isn’t a problem. I found the headband to very snug and comfortable. After a few minutes you start to forget that you’re even wearing a LED on your head. It redirects the focus of aiming a light beam to the focus of what you’re actually trying to accomplish or enjoy.
Operating Tikka 2 is as simple as pressing a button. The first push brings up the maximum light, every push afterwards dims the light, while the final button push option is the strobe light. The light button sits right on top of the round light mechanism so each button press is like squeezing a small lemon. Tikka 2 has an adjustable light mount as well. This is great when you’re around other people because a direct shine into the eyes is blinding.
Tikka 2 has four LEDs that shine at a maximum of 40 lumens or 29 meters. Replacing the lithium batteries and LEDs is easy since there is only one compartment for both. You don’t really have to worry about the batteries unless you’re on an extended trip. The lithium batteries last up to 120 hours. Not only that but the Tikka 2 is water resistant. Using the Tikka 2 is a dream especially if you need the use of your hands. If there was one thing to improve on, it’d only be more color options. Wiring gear in the dark, hiking at night, or biking in the city, the Tikka 2 is multi-use item that is a smart investment for anyone.