Petzl Rechargable Headlamp

Petzl Tikka XP2 Headlamp and CORE rechargable battery
2.9 oz. (83g) with CORE battery
$55 (headlamp), $40 (CORE battery), www.petzl.com
Headlamps have come a long way since the days of the old Petzl Zoom with its bulky
battery and adjustable light beam. Much of the credit for higher quality headlamps can be
given to LED light technology. LEDs burn brighter, longer and use less power – a perfect
combination for small headlamps. Hands down one of the best small headlamps on the
market is the Petzl Tikka XP2. The XP2 is small enough to take anywhere and bright
enough to facilitate real activity. With a single button, the XP2 offers two beam intensities,
one high and one low, and a wide angle diffuser that turns either beam into a broad light
beam for map reading or general use. In addition, the light offers a strobe mode and can
toggle to a red LED (strobe or continuous).
On paper, using three AAA batteries, the Tikka XP2 boasts 80 hours on high beam with a 60-meter range and 160 hours on low beam with a
17-meter range. Functionally, the high beam setting offers plenty of light for dawn patrol trail breaking, late returns and even modest night
skiing. The wide angle diffuser, a simple lens that slides over the light, dramatically broadens the light beam, and creates enough light for a
wide variety of tasks.
Take all of this and add Petzl’s new CORE rechargeable battery system and the Tikka XP2 becomes a game-changer of a headlamp. The new
CORE system is a Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable battery for the new TIKKA and Zipka line of headlamps. The CORE battery snaps into
place on the back of the headlamp and can be charged via any standard USB charger: a cell phone charger, a multimedia device, cigarette
lighter charger, a computer or even a solar panel. The unique piece of the CORE battery is that, when charged with a computer, the battery
can be programmed with Petzl’s free proprietary software, Petzl OS, to perform as you like. The software is used to determine the type of
lighting: when regulated, the light intensity remains constant during use; unregulated, it diminishes progressively to optimize battery life. The
software is super easy to use, and you can save different battery profiles. For example, for dawn patrol use when you know your time window
for needing light is relatively short, you can maximize brightness for a short duration. Or, for longer applications, you can maximize burn time
at a moderate brightness level. Each profile can be saved for future use.
The CORE battery retains full functionality for 300 charge cycles (beyond that, its capacity is approximately 30 % lower than its initial
capacity). It is equivalent to more than 900 AAA batteries (approximately $500 worth, not to mention the environmental impact). It is hard to
argue with the cost savings. The CORE battery is the best thing to happen to headlamps since LED technology, and it mates to one of the best
headlamps on the market. Of course the technology comes with a price tag higher than most headlamps, but considering the future savings
on batteries, the damage is not too bad.