One of Dave Canterbury’s “10 Cs of Survival”is “candle”. No, not necessarily the wax stick with a wick in it — any light source will do. If you’re going to be doing anything at night or in the dark, you’re going to have to be able to see what you’re doing. I mean, that’s just common sense, right?
Everyone has at least one flashlight in their kit — most people have two or more. Some folks include solar lanterns (including me with my inflatable solar lantern). Then there are those people that have gotten wise to the headlamp.
Let me tell you right off… when I first saw someone with a headlamp, I laughed — but only initially. Once I really thought about how useful a headlamp would be, I had to have one for my own pack.
When Divine LEDs offered to send me one of their XE Series Headlamps, how could I turn them down? After using it for a while and really getting used to it, I’ve decided to share my Divine LEDs headlamp review with you.
According to Divine LEDs, the XE Series Headlamp is made of military grade materials. The main body of the light is plastic, and in all reality, when I first pulled it out of the box, I thought it was going to be a poorly made piece of junk. However, the more I played around with it, the more I realized I was wrong. To be as lightweight as it is, it’s super sturdy! Amazon says the shipping weight is 0.2 pounds, and I can’t imagine it’s much more than that, if any. At under 4 ounces, you won’t even feel it. Even with the 3 AAA batteries it takes to power it, the unit is extremely light!
I’ve had it on my head for long periods of time and have actually forgotten it was there. Not only is it lightweight, but it’s also pretty comfortable. The adjustable elastic band is very soft and doesn’t dig into your head. You can make it as tight as you want, or just tight enough that it will stay put.
The lamp portion actually tilts about 45º, so you can focus the light on exactly what you need it to be on without having to crane your neck into awkward positions just to see what you’re doing.
When I got out the little instruction sheet that came with it, it was printed so small that I had to put on my reading glasses (which is rare for me). The instructions weren’t extremely clear on how to get the light into each mode, either. I kind of had to figure it all out on my own.
The Light Settings on the XE Series Headlamp
The light settings include a flood, distance, red and SOS mode.
If you push the button on top once, it turns on the flood (dual outer leds), push it again to turn it off. Push again and the distance light (single inner led) comes on, and again to turn it off. That part is pretty straight forward.
Both settings are very bright up close, but the single light gives you more of a focused spotlight-type beam over longer distances. I have stood at one door in the apartment and read a piece of paper with no problem at the other door with the distance light (that’s about 28′ from back door to front door). It’s still visible with the flood setting at that distance, but it’s harder to read.
The technical parameters listed on the instruction sheet says The distance light is good at 40 meters, while the flood is effective up to 24 meters.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
There are no other buttons on the XE Series Headlamp, and the instruction sheet only mentions pressing and holding the button for 1 second. That only turns the light on and off. However, if you turn on either mode (distance or flood), and then press and hold the button (for longer than a second), the light begins to dim!
Ok, so now I have figured out how to get flood and distance lights, and I’ve also figured out how to dim them both. The instructions mention something about an SOS/strobe mode. I found out by accident that if you rapidly push the button three times while the light is off, the headlamp goes into the strobe mode. The two outer leds (the ones for flood mode) flash about twice a second.
Now I had to figure out how to get the red light on. I saw it, but I still couldn’t figure out how to make it come on. Again, sort of by accident, I found out that if you press and hold the button for 3 seconds while there are no lights on, it will turn on the red light. If you push the button again, it turns the red light off… and push it again to make it come back on again. Now you’re kind of stuck in “red light” mode. If you turn the red light on and “double click” the button, the red light will strobe!
Now I have it all figured out! To get back to the “white light” mode, turn the red light off, press and hold the button (the red light will come on), and in about 3 seconds, the white light will come on and the red will turn off.
Difficult to figure out — the instructions were not clear on the light settings, but now that I have it figured out, hopefully you’re reading this learning how to work your own XE Series Headlamp.
What are the different light modes good for?
Each light setting has a fairly specific use where it shines the brightest. (I know… bad pun…)
Flood – Since flood beams don’t throw light long distances, the flood setting is good for close-up tasks like reading, working on something directly in front of you, or searching for something in your general vicinity.
Distance (Spotlight) – Tight, focused beam that is good for distance viewing. Best used when navigating a trail in the dark.
Strobe – Use this mode in case of emergency. Someone who sees a light at night may not think much about it, but a flashing light usually garners more attention.
Red – Like the flood setting, the red beam is also good for work up close. The red light is not as harsh on the eye, so if you’re doing something at night when others are asleep, this setting will not disturb them.
Whether you’re camping, hiking, biking, running, boating, reading or doing some home improvement, this headlamp comes in very handy!
Final Thoughts on the XE Series Headlamp
I really like this headlamp. It’s really lightweight and extremely bright. Fully dimmable white lights will let me do pretty much anything I need in any circumstance without having to rely on someone else to hold a flashlight for me. The red light will be good for camping — especially if stealth is ever a requirement. It has definitely earned it’s spot in my bug-out bag. Bring on the SHTF — I’ll still be able to see!