If you're like me, and I don't see why you wouldn't be, you've probably wondered who the bonehead was who decided nighttime would be so dark and so long. It was probably a decision reached by committee, am I right? Like, hello, I have eyes. They need to see stuff. Nighttime kinda interferes with that. Ever think about that while up there in your ivory tower? Sheesh! What bozos! They're all bozos!

 

Anyways, headlamps. That's right, headlamps, and I'm not talking ol' timey, prospector-type candle-tied-to-your-forehead-lighting. I'm talking powerful, rechargeable, LED, push-button lighting. What those 49ers, with all their hopes and gold nugget dreams, would have done to get their hands on the kind of lighting we have today.

 

Like this, the ReVolt from Black Diamond.

 

 

DSCN1968

 

You might look at that and say, "Hey, that looks like some sort of futuristic space monocle for a cyclops."  You might say that, and if you did, you'd be wrong.  What we have here is a box, which contains 130 lumens of light-up-the-night, or mineshaft, if that's how you choose to live your life.

 

"What's a lumen?" you might ask.  Fair enough.  Ever been to a birthday party for a one year-old? You know the scene. Someone turns out the lights and dances around the highchair carrying a cake topped with one birthday candle. You with me so far? That candle lights up the little tike's surprised expression with a warm, yellow glow that you capture in a photo and cherish for years?  See it now? Good. You've followed me that far, now follow a little farther.  Consider this: if that little tike's face had a surface area of 1 square foot, and was positioned 1 foot from the candle, the amount of light that illuminated the expression that gave you warm fuzzies was 1 lumen.

 

This little headlamp, weighing in at 100 g, puts out 130 lumens of LED white light.

 

DSCN1983

 

Now let's talk about weight. 100 grams? That's foreign, SI units of measurement. Talk 'Merica! OK. Do you have a pocket full of change? You know, analog money. Loud money. That stuff you plug into antiquated parking meters or vending machines. 20 nickels, not even enough to get you that Charleston Chew you're craving, weigh the same amount as this headlamp when it's packed with its 3 rechargeable NiMH batteries.

 

I'm getting ahead of myself. Pretend you didn't see the ReVolt's dazzling high-powered beam already. I am NOW going to unbox this puppy.

 

DSCN1969

 

Pretty great, right? But wait. There's more!

 

DSCN1970

 

That's a lot to take in. Let's...

 

DSCN1971

 

Oh, boy! Um. First off, let me say this: if you're harboring hopes of repacking the ReVolt in its packaging once you've unboxed it, good luck. I hope you're an origami master, or really good at Tetris.

 

Let's see what we got here. 3 AAA batteries. Weird. This is a rechargeable headlamp, after all, hence "Re-Volt," and yes, it comes with a full compliment of 3 rechargeable NiMH batteries, too. Consider the 3 AAA batteries backup batteries, I guess, or what they're more likely to become, garbage that will corrode and crust-up in some junk drawer before they're discovered years from now when you won't know how to properly dispose of them so you'll leave them till you dig around in that drawer in another couple years. So, really, the 3 AAA batteries are kind of like an object lesson for why you'd consider buying a rechargeable headlamp in the first place -- you don't want to add hazardous waste to the junk heap, let alone your junk drawer. You're practical.  You'd prefer to minimize complications and waste.

 

DSCN1977 DSCN1978

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USB power cord? Check. USB port? Check. And the connection is made! But, uh, there's no batteries in it yet.

 

DSCN1973

 

Here's some instructions. But that looks like a lot of words, so let's ignore those and just do what you'd do naturally -- pry at the headlamp until you see how the casing can be opened so the batteries can be inserted.

 

DSCN1999

 

Erg.  Arg.  Um...

 

DSCN1973

 

I knew it!

 

DSCN2000 DSCN2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, yeah, the design on the ReVolt is so sleek that opening it isn't super intuitive. But you won't be doing that often, anyway, since once the batteries are in, they can be recharged over and over, rather than need to be replaced over and over. Nighttime is long, after all, and dark. The ReVolt is in it for the long haul.

 

Check this out!

 

DSCN1989

 

Don't get distracted by the supremely powerful Optiplex 790 desktop computer (eat your CPU out HAL 9000) or the ailing office plant behind it. Focus. What you see is the ReVolt recharging via its USB port when connected to a computer.

 

What, you're one of those free-range, computer-free people who don't work behind a desk all day? I've heard about you. Don't worry. If you own a USB phone charger, you can charge and recharge this bad boy.

 

 

Settings? ReVolt gots settings.

 

 

It blinks, it dims and raises illumination, it switches from low-bean to high-beam, it gives you night vision-saving red light, all with the push of its one button.

 

DSCN1981DSCN1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are more powerful headlamps out there (BD's Icon -- $89.95 -- puts out 320 lumens!), but for $59.95 the ReVolt is plenty, and hassle-free. I wear the ReVolt nightly while walking my dog through a rural-ish neighborhood with no streetlamps, and not only can I see where I'm going, I can illuminate deer, house cats, opossums, and raccoons at a distance that allows me to identify them and startle them well before they startle me. Plus, the light is strong enough that passing cars see it as they approach me without a problem.

 

It has a range of between 66 and 70 meters when set to high-beam, and a burntime between 190 and 300 hours (NiMH batteries vesrus AAA batteries).

 

And, I can't stress this enough, it's rechargeable. No more trips to Walgreens to buy a pack of over-priced batteries before heading out on a trip, only to have half those batteries go to waste. No more wondering how much charge is left in the batteries already in your headlamp or those stored in a drawer (how long have those batteries been sitting in that drawer?). Charge it. Take control. Be sure. ReVolt.