Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My new favorite tool

Petzl Tikka Plus LED Headlamp

from the why-didn't-I-think-of-this-before department

I'd been mulling over a new work light of some sort. We have a collection of flash lights, I've got a drop light on an extension cord, and even a blindingly bright halogen work light. They each work for different situations, but none is that great for working under the house, and lately I've been spending a lot of time there. I was considering a a Stanley tripod flashlight, or maybe a Dewalt 18v area light, but the basic problems with any of them is that one's (in my case, fat) head gets in the way of the light when you're working up between the floor joists, and if you need to look anywhere else, you need to move the light.

So back during our trip to King's Canyon NP back in October, someone in the neighboring campsite had a headlamp. We have a rechargeable fluorescent light we use for reading in the tent, and a classic Coleman lantern for cooking and eating dinner, but K and I admired the headlamp for cooking. At some point much later, a light went on (so to speak) for me: that would be perfect for working under the house. So yesterday after apheresis at the Red Cross, I trundled over to REI, and with the help of an associate (one of the great things about REI is that they use the outdoor gear that they sell so they know it), picked out the Petzl Tikka Plus LED Headlamp.

It's marvelous. Today I installed some more insulation, and then worked on running new wiring for the carport light. While it's still a pain in the butt to get into some of the tighter spaces under the house, the headlamp made it much less claustrophobic, and made me much more efficient because I wasn't always moving the flashlight around to point where I was looking. With the headlamp, I just looked, and there was the light. Turn my head to look for a dropped screw, and there was the light again.

It was magic. So why didn't I think of this a long time ago?


NV said...

That looks pretty cool. If I can ask, how much did it set you back? I'll have to link to you when I do my next round of DIY gift ideas!

Unknown said...

$34.95 @ REI. The Dewalt area light is only $27 @ Amazon, but doesn't include a battery. The tripod flashlight is cheaper still at $22, but both those suffer from the same basic problems as my existing lights. There are other cheaper headlamps, too, but I wanted to get something that would be bright enough for under the house work not just camping.

Not the cheapest option, but worth it for how well it works. And we can use it for camping, too.

Unknown said...

One downside I neglected to mention: you look like a complete and utter dork while wearing it :-)

Unknown said...

The Petzl is $30 @ Amazon, so even closer in price to the area light.

robkroese said...

That is cool. I could have used one of those when I was working on my house. I look like a dork anyway.

Laura-Jane said...

That looks very handy! Almost as good as a third hand. :)

And it's not's efficient; And efficiency looks cool!

Why S? said...

My husband started using one of these lights years ago when he was doing a lot of work in the attic and under the house. He loved it. The only downside was hearing me sing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go . . . " The upside to that is that I instantly become the dork.