Don’t look into the light…


My recent birthday present of a proper headlamp got its first outing this evening. It was an impromptu run, as I had planned to swim, but when I arrived at the pool it all looked suspiciously quiet. When I approached the desk and asked if there was a swim on, the receptionist replied “well, normally, yes, there is a swim on…”

It transpired some poor divil was moby dick in the pool so they had closed it as a precaution. One has to remain sanguine about these things (despite the 18km round trip).

What cheered me up on the way home was the chance to try out the new headlamp. I know. It’s the little things really, isn’t it.

The lamp is from LED Lenser, a German company that started out in a garage with a few tools, no money and big ideas. This I gleaned from the blurb on their official site, but it’s a good story, and one I like, not least as the bank refused them any money, and now they are a multi-million Euro enterprise and tell the banks to get stuffed. Anyway. I digress.

Back at base, I threw on some running gear and headed out the door up into the park where it was going to be nice and dark and an ideal place to test the lamp’s abilities.

The Neo is made for joggers. It’s their lightest offering, and simple to use. In other words, you have one bulb at the front with a fixed beam. There’s no guntering around with focus or additional bulbs (so if that’s your thing, then this ain’t your thing). It also has a red led at the back, and you can change the settings with a simple push of the button on top of the front unit. The back unit houses the three AAA batteries and rear light. Simplicity itself.

The beam is fixed in a wide, flattened oval. This seems to give an ample amount of light each side, and enough up front to see where you are going. Rumours of its brightness were clearly legendary in my household, having temporarily blinded my daughter in broad daylight when I innocently said ‘hey look at this cool present I got’.

As I was heading out the door this evening, I had said much the same to my son, who was generously cooking the dinner. He recoiled.

“That lamp! Keep it away from me!”

So yes, it does the job. The evening was cool and damp; in fact, the beam quickly picked up the moisture in the air, scattering the light under the trees amongst a myriad tiny droplets of water. And when it’s cold, your own breath is also a more immediate problem, so you need to learn to breath ‘down’ out of your mouth.

As I entered into the woods near the river, a bright light approached. Another jogger. As we neared, for an instant, I felt the urge to stop and ask what headlamp they were using. But the (geeky) moment quickly passed and we went on our separate ways with just a quick ‘hi’.

Up onto the top path and a quick glance into the deeper woods where I know there is an extensive badger sett. But then I realised I might be rewarded with a few pairs of reflected retinas, and, somewhat unnerved, I turned my attention back to the path.

The light is great. It will allow me to train in the dark evenings. I’d recommend one to anyone but then again I appreciate not everyone is comfortable rambling around a dark wood on their own.

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