Tired of floppy elastic straps, unsatisfactory yellow light, and dead batteries on your headlamps? There are some better choices on the market! The Klein Rechargeable LED Auto-Off Headlamp is one of them, so don’t stay in the dark! Let’s see how it performs.
- Silicon strap
- Excellent runtimes on its rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Excellent value
- Auto shutoff in bright light
- Excellent light quality
- No alkaline battery backup option
Klein’s rechargeable headlamp is great for close up work and its silicone strap holds better on hard hats than elastic. Its 200 lumens won’t replace high-power headlamps designed to light up an area from distance, but it’s great for the work at arm’s reach.
Most automatic shutoffs base themselves on time, but Klein takes it to the next level. A light sensor picks up when you move into bright light. At that point, the light will turn itself off in 3 minutes. It’s a fantastic feature when you’re moving in and out of powerless areas on a job site or you’re just prone to forgetting to turn it off when you step outside.
If your headlamp is going to spend the majority of its time on your hard hat, you can leave the strap in place and just remove the light from its bracket to recharge it. It’s a nice convenience feature that saves you some effort.
Elastic, Not So Fantastic
Elastic straps are comfortable, but they stretch out and become useless quickly in the Florida sun. Klein goes with a silicon strap that doesn’t lose its stretch like elastic. It also keeps a better hold on your hard hat and is perfectly happy on your ball cap.
The only downside is that a silicon strap doesn’t slide off of your hair as easily as elastic. Wearing a ball cap when you don’t have to wear a hard hat will make it more comfortable to put on and take off.
Everyone Has An Angle
For those times when the light doesn’t line up exactly with your eyes, you can pivot the light up to 64º to put it where you need it.
- Battery gauge indicates battery life with colored LED lights
- Rechargeable via micro-USB port (cable included)
- Drop-test rating of 10 feet
- Dust and water resistant (IP54)
To AAA or Not to AAA
I’ve never had a headlamp that ran anything other than AA or AAA cells until the Klein Rechargeable LED Auto-Off Headlamp. It’s powered by 3.7V, 1700 mAh lithium-ion battery.
There are some pros and cons here, of course. Lithium-ion batteries are powerful, long-lasting, and quickly rechargeable. But when they are depleted, you (obviously) need to charge them or have a replacement to swap. With its internal battery, Klein only gives you the option of charging or being in the dark. More expensive rechargeable lights sometimes have the option using AAA or CR123 batteries in a pinch.
However, lithium-ion batteries don’t have the memory that Ni-Cad does, so you can charge it up after every use without worry.
You’ll get 200 lumens on High (spotlight) with 12 hours of runtime and 100 lumens on Low (floodlight) with 22 hours of runtime. If you remain skeptical of an internal lithium-ion battery, the unit has a 5-light battery gauge so you can keep an eye on how much charge you have left.
While those lumen numbers may not sound terribly high compared to some of the premium models out there, it’s really plenty of light. Just keep in mind that this headlamp is designed to light up the area at arm’s reach rather than lighting up 300 feet away.
The runtime is fantastic. Even on high, there’s enough capacity to work your entire day plus some overtime without having to recharge.
The LEDs put out a crisp, white light that gives you a true color representation. As a brand that really caters to electricians, making sure that you can identify wire colors accurately is critical.
Price & Value
The $39 Klein Rechargeable LED Auto-Off Headlamp headlamp is positioned pretty well among the competition and represents a solid value.
The $20 DeWalt DWHT70440 is a “traditional” headlamp, featuring an elastic strap and powered by AAA cells. Kenny told you about the lithium-ion-powered $59 Milwaukee 2111-21 a while back. You can get more lumens out of it than what Klein offers (475 for two hours), but it has an elastic strap along with a fit and finish that doesn’t seem as refined. You could go to the high-end like the $280 LEDLenser XEO19R with up to 2000 lumens (but it still features an elastic strap).
I’ll still opt for Klein given the work I do and the budget I have.
The Bottom Line
The Klein Rechargeable LED Auto-Off Headlamp is one of the best values you’ll find in a rechargeable headlamp with an impressive feature set for the price.
Klein Rechargeable LED Auto-Off Headlamp Specifications
- Item Number: Klein Tools 56034
- Power Source: Internal lithium-ion battery
- Length: 1.38″
- Height: 2.25″
- Width: 3.13″
- Lumens: Flood/Low: 100; Spot/High: 200
- Battery Life: Flood/Low: 22 hours; Spot/High: 12 hours
- Temperature Range: Operating/Charging: 32° to 113°F (0° to 45°C); Storage: 14° to 131°F (-10° to 55°C)
- Drop Protection: 10′
- Weight: 3.7 oz
- Price: $39