ive been looking for a helmet light for a little while now but unsure on the pros and cons. i want something light and long lasting but bright and under $60. i know it narrows down the margin significantly but any feedback is appreciated.
I know LED has come a long way. I bought the Pelican Recoil single LED light way back in 03. Mostly though, LED's can not cut the smoke and haze we find ourselves in sometimes. For that, I am hard pressed to find anything better and more affordable than the Garrity Lifelight that has been ubiquitious in the Fire Service since the War Years. It is relatively low profile (doesn't make your lid any wider), good beam (even the newer LED has a focusing lens that helps some with that problem) and CHEAP! In 11 years of fire duty, I don't believe I have used up / bought enough Garritys to equal the cost of one Vantage. The Vantage looks awesome though, no doubt. We use what works for us, this is surely true. Be sure the helmet is not the only place you have a flashlight. Helmet, coat, pants, other one in the coat, the BIG one you took off the rig (right?) creates a nice overlap. One complaint about Garrity, it is no longer Made In The USA. That is a bummer. Stay Safe
I completely agree with the Garrity light….. I have used them since day one of my career (over 20 years), I too see that everyone likes the LED, they are bright, but I have become accustom to the Garrity, and that is one thing I will never change from (call me old school). As for how to mount them, years ago I did see a mounting bracket, not sure where or what it was called, but I have used the “rubber band method” (yes I use an old cut up tire), I know you can pay for them, but if I can do it cheaper than I’m going to. In my career, I have never and mean never had the band melt (so say that they will). I have had to replace it because it wore out, but it never failed.
So like Tim said I don’t believe that I have spent what would be equal to buying a more expensive type ( I found the Garrity for around $2.50 apiece). Hope this helps ya, good luck and stay safe out there.
Big rubberbands my man. Handy for keeping door chocks too. I have used store bought and salvaged innertube bands. The storebought cost money but last awhile. The salvage are free, and easy to replace, but tend to give up the ghost mid interior attack. Your call. I have worn these set-ups on both traditional and modern helmets. If your agency doesn't "allow bands" why would they allow any any style of light attachment?
Most of the guys on my department also use the pelican some use a similar light like that.Unfortunately I don't have the privelage of having one or a Nomex as far as that goes.lol maybe they'll get me one eventually.Seeing as we're volunteers I'll probably end up having to buy one myself.lol
The halogen recoil I personally think is the best. I used to use the halogen version before the recoil came out and it worked great in every situation I've been in. From heavy black smoke to training with smoke from burning hay bales. Nice tight strait beam of light. The recoil I saw on a fire four years ago and that's quality. This is the best light for the price, I've seen in awhile! And for uses on MVA's or water rescue calls, you cant beat the power!
If you use this light with the black plastic holder, snagging up isn't a concern, It simply breaks away. And if that happens, when the fire is in overhaul phase..... go and get it and ask the guys on the crew to keep an eye out for it.
I used this light in a mask confidence course. in one area of the confined space tube it's full of every type of electrical wire in a residential structure you can find, and it just broke away. Another guy in the class just put his SCBA cylinder on the ground, up against the wall and slid through and his bracket stayed intact. I have to admit I'm made because I haven't seen these advertised in forever and this was my favorite light.... with the exception of having to buy a new bulb and reflective mirror when it burned out.
Personally I'd spend the $$$ to get a black jack holder and a light that fits in it. I think both are in Galls. The light is up under the helmet brim and tight to the helmet. In fact..... here ya go $59.99. Black jack, helmet band and light.