One thing I’ve noticed is that walking my dog in the evening is not the easiest thing now that it’s dark out when I get home. I’m lucky enough to have a path behind my house that allows for some good dog running, however there’s no way I can let my dog off the leash without being able to see him. He simply runs around too much! I’ve been able to remedy the situation, but it has taken me a few experiments to figure out what works the best. Here’s what I’ve tried and my little review of each way to light up your walking experience.
Rayovac Floating Lantern
I had this beast kicking around my closet forever and had never used it for anything. I was pretty impressed with the way that it lit up the woods, however it’s large. I’m okay this, but I need something that I can use with just a tad more mobility. This flashlight is a pretty decent workhorse. While it’s not as bright or durable as the Coleman 4D XPS LED flashlight, it’s also about five times cheaper. Great for multipurpose, but not for my needs.
Neiko Superbright 9 LED Heavy Duty
This tiny but powerful LED flashlight lit up the trail in front of me like a boss, however had very limited distance in the night sky. Offered all the mobility I was looking for, but was a bit heavy and got very cold. It also died after about 20 minutes in the cold. Could have just been bad batteries, but I paid like $4 for it, so I can’t complain. Great to leave in your house drawers for when the power goes out, not so much for walking the dog during winter in Maine.
Energizer Trailfinder LED Headlight
I love idea of this headlamp. It’s small and so light that I forget that I am wearing it. It lights up the area in front of me pretty good, however has no adjustments to move the light once it’s on my head. This means I’m losing about 50% of the beam intensity upward, when I would want it angled down at the ground ahead of me. This is a major design flaw, and renders the light all but useless for what I need it to do, which is light the ground in front of me. It also only has one LED light. I tried the Energizer Trailfinder 7 LED Headlight and noticed a substantial difference in light amount, as well as weight, so it was a good trade. This light is more suited for indoor use, like reading at night. Still doesn’t have quite the power I need to penetrate the area around me.
Streamlight Septor LED Headlamp
I almost didn’t buy this one after already trying out other 7 LED headlights, but this one is by far the most versatile. It offers three levels of brightness, and on high, it’s very bright. Only weighs 4oz and will last up to 150 hours on the low setting. Not bad at all.
Camping Hiking CREE LED Headlamp
This thing is so bright that there’s no comparison. It’s 300 lumens! Not that I really know what that means, but trust me, it’s very bright. Works for the entire walk, no issues with distance, however it does have a separate battery pack, making it more bulky and delicate as it is connected by a wire. If they could combine the pack and light and just have a head strap, this thing would be the best.
Dorcy 115 Lumen LED Headlight
This one is the one that I end up supporting. It’s light enough to not notice you’re wearing it, and bright enough to do the job. It’s small and adjustable and the battery pack and light are together, so no wires to deal with. Overall this one fared best in the field.
Night Ize Dog Light Collar
Ordered this off Amazon, it came fast, but was far too small, despite having ordered a large. It also needed to be unscrewed to install the battery, which was not easy. Then it wouldn’t turn off. Maybe this one was just defective, but I was not pleased. It was not LED, it was a large flat piece of fiber optic plastic, which looked pretty, but did not really light all that much. I would like to see this done a little better. I did order another one, so we will see how that goes. I was surprised at the relative lack of light up collars on the market. Hopefully someone (I’m looking at you Lupine) will kick it up a notch and make one that is really great and super bright!
EDIT: I received my new collar that was ordered directly from the company and now that it actually works, I love it. it doesn’t light up the ground, however it is great for identifying your dog if for some reason you’re out at night off leash.