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The Ultimate Night Vision Headlamp

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Written by Conner Flynn | June 6, 2016

Almost 10 years ago, Dan Goldwater of MonkeyLectric made one headlamp to rule them all. Go figure that Instructables just shared it in their newsletter this week. Guess it’s just that cool.


He even put it to test by using it in the Gold Rush 24-hour Adventure endurance race in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Apparently, it was a hit. Everyone wanted to know where they could get one and commented on its extreme brightness.


It uses a blue-green light source, which runs at the wavelength most human eyes are most sensitive to, making it seem even brighter.  This headlamp just blows away just about anything else, and it’s inexpensive to make.

Here’s what Dan has to say about the specs:

  • brightness: 500+ lumens / 7 million+ mcd @ 15 degree
  • weight: 120 gram headlamp + 60 gram electronics + 280 gram battery pack = 460 gram total
  • cost: $60 including batteries
  • lifetime: 3, 6, 12, 24 hours (4 brightness settings)
  • size: headlamp portion 5cm x 5cm x 2.5cm
  • rechargeable: Ni-MH or Lithium-Ion batteries (your choice)
  • unbreakable: LED technology, Cyan (or Green) high power/high efficiency LEDs, high-transmittance TIR lenses, high-efficiency DC/DC step-down converter

This is a pretty cool headlamp, and the price is just right. You can see the full build instructions to make your own over on Instructables. Given the fact that he actually posted this almost 10 years ago, I wonder if new LED tech would make any of this even cheaper or easier to build.