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October 28, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp Hands-On Review | 120-Lumens

Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp

Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp Stays Comfortable and Compact

We use headlamps frequently around here. We particularly like the ones we can simply throw on a charger at the end of the day and not worry about keeping a constant supply of AAA batteries. Southwire recently released the HL12RSW Rechargeable LED Headlamp. With its lithium polymer battery, it ticks a lot of our boxes for convenient personal lighting solutions.


Pros

  • Comfortable to wear for longer periods
  • Magnetized light twists off strap for mounting to metal surfaces
  • Great for work in small spaces

Cons

  • 5-hour runtime requires some battery management

Recommendation

The Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp makes for a truly versatile work light. Wearing it over the course of the day doesn’t cause any undue discomfort, and the ability to disconnect it from the strap and slap it onto a metal surface is pretty helpful. If you find yourself in dark workspaces for longer than 5 hours, you might need a backup. But at less than $40 bucks, maybe that’s not the end of the world.

How Comfortable is the Southwire HL12RSW Headlamp?

One of the benefits of the lithium polymer battery is its lighter weight in comparison to, say, a larger 18650 Li-ion cell. In the case of the Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp, total weight drops to just half a pound. This makes it barely noticeable when wearing it for hours on end.

Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp

Helping out the comfort cause is the strap. Southwire uses a sort of brushed elastic band that feels soft to the touch rather than scratchy.

Southwire HL12RSW Headlamp band

Obviously, this design aims for bareheaded comfort, though there’s enough strap to accommodate a regular hat or even a hard hat. Just keep in mind that an oversized bill might get in the way. A pad on the base of the light provides some additional comfort against your forehead.


Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp Functionality

The Southwire rechargeable LED headlamp (model HL12RSW) fires off a 120° wide beam at either 60 lumens in the Low setting or 120 lumens in High. I found the light quality to be pretty even with no real hotspots. It does tend towards yellow around the outer ring of the beam, however. For lighting a small workspace, this light feels more than adequate.

Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp

Further, should you want an area light that isn’t subject to your head movement, Southwire made this headlamp removable. You simply twist it off from the base when desired. Because the base of the light has a couple of magnets, and the light naturally angles downward, you can stick it to any metal surface for convenient task lighting.

The Southwire HL12RSW rechargeable LED headlamp features IP65 protection against dust and water. While you probably won’t end up submerging it, damp conditions certainly won’t hurt it. It also has drop protection up to a meter.

How Long Does the Southwire Rechargeable Headlamp Run?

On the Low setting, you’ll get around 5 hours of constant light output. In High (the 120L setting) you drop that runtime considerably.

Recharging the HL12RSW via USB

This could present a problem for guys who need to work in dim conditions for longer than a few hours. Ideally, we like to see at least an 8-hour runtime to get us through the workday. Still, most folks don’t need a non-stop head light. Plus—everybody takes a lunch break—a perfect opportunity to throw the headlamp onto the charger for a quick top-off.

And how long does it take to charge? The Southwire HL12RSW headlamp recharges from 0 to full in just 2 to 3 hours.

Price

You can pick up the Southwire 120L rechargeable LED headlamp for $39.99. It comes with the lamp, strap, and charger, as well as a 3-year warranty.

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Our Recommendation

The Southwire rechargeable LED headlamp makes for one versatile work light. Wearing it over the course of the day didn’t cause any undue discomfort. Also, we liked the ability to disconnect it from the strap and slap it onto a metal surface for task lighting. If you find yourself in dark workspaces for longer than 5 hours, you might need a backup or a mid-day recharge. At less than $40 bucks, this headlamp looks like a solid choice for electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, or anyone who finds themselves working in dark spaces.

Southwire Rechargeable LED Headlamp Specs

  • Model: Southwire HL12RSW
  • Lumens: 60 / 120 L
  • Runtime: Up to 5 hours
  • Height: 1.46 in.
  • Width: 1.69 in.
  • Weight: 0.5 lb.
  • IP Rating: IP65
  • Drop Tested: 1M
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $39.99

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