Crawling through a dark crawlspace? Working under the hood of your car on the side road? Going for an evening jog? Or do you just not want to trip over a fallen log as you wander off into the woods to relieve yourself in private. In all of these examples, a LED headlamp is the ideal tool. It leaves your hands free and directs the light just where you need it. That is it directs the light exactly where you are looking. Headlamps are essential for any hiker or jogger, and if you are not worried about potential snipers knowing the exact location of your brainpan, there is no reason you should not own one.
Headlamps have been around since miner's were putting the stub of a candle so they could see their way down in the mines. However, with the invention of the LED light headlamps became light enough for commercial and everyday use. The LED light is bright enough to light the way on even the darkest roads, and it offers a measure of protection to the lone night time runner.
What to look for when buying a LED Headlamp:
Comfort and fit: You want the head lamp to fit well and not shift as you move around. No one looks good with a big blister in the middle of their forehead. So move around, shift, and try to shake it loose before you buy it.
Power: A 1-Watt bulb is ideal for most people. It can illuminate whatever you need and doesn't drain the battery. A 3 Watt bulb can illuminate a 12x12 spot a hundred feet away, but you sacrifice battery power. Some 3 Watt bulbs will only last 1.5 hours on the high setting.
Variable Power Setting: Sometimes you don't need to illuminate the entire street or forest. It's good to be able to dial down the intensity to conserve battery power.
Diffuser and multiple lights: Single bulbs are great for most mundane tasks, but if you wish to light an entire area, you really need a headlamp with either multiple lights, a diffuser, or both!
Voltage Regulators: This will greatly improve battery life. It will also increase the price. It's up to you if it's worth the extra expense.
It's up to you to decide how much headlamp you need. High quality LED Headlamps can go from $60-$120, but there are serviceable LED headlamps that can easily serve the average person's needs for as little as $5.
Some notable manufacturers are: Coleman, Brunto, Petzl, Black Diamond and Princeton.