Purchasing a new LED headlight can be tricky business and, at L.A. Lens, we appreciate that. It’s for this reason we thought it would be a good idea to put an informative blog post together to help you make the right decision for you.
The first question is - why a LED headlight?
Color of the beam
When performing proceedures, it is essential to have the right type of lighting. A pure white LED headlight is recognized as the best light source to use for the level of detail required when practicing dentistry or surgery. This is because a pure white LED is 6000k+ and resembles daylight, allowing you to illuminate your area of focus while representing ‘true color’. Illumination in ‘true color’ means you will be able to identify the accurate color of the object in front of you without any color distortion.
Unfortunately, many LED headlights on the market display a blue beam, rather than a pure white beam. This blue beam will result in severe color distortion and is most commonly found in very inexpensive LED lights.
The second reason for using a LED light is because LED’s are considered the most energy-efficient light sources available – producing maximum foot-candles while using minimal energy. For a portable light source, this is key in ensuring the battery will not die halfway through your average work day. The L.A. Lens Starlight Mini headlight is a LED light, for example, and will last 8 hours plus - on high intensity - making it extremely practical and energy efficient.
What Intensity do I need: 45,000 Lux or 90,000 Lux?
While light is necessary for every medical or dental professional, the level of light intensity is entirely based on personal preference. Whether the intensity is 45,000 lux or 90,000 lux, a LED light will bring out a higher level of detail which would not have otherwise been seen. Additionally, a LED headlight will remove all shadows from the focus area, thereby increasing your sharpness of vision.
After extensive testing, we have found that the light intensity of a LED headlight should be over 40,000 lux to thoroughly improve the quality of your working experience and allow you to see every detail in your field of view. It is for this reason we created LED headlights ranging from 45,000 lux to 90,000 lux.
Take notice of the lux (light intensity) when comparison shopping, as the case is often the cheaper the light, the lower the lux.
Why do I need a Uniformed Focused Beam?
L.A. Lens provides specialized LED headlights which provide uniformed, focused beams. Uniformed, focused beams are extremely important because of the distortion free image they provide. When a light does not provide a uniformed, focused beam, one part of the beam will be more prominent than another, resulting in an image with distorted proportions and causing eye strain.
Does the Weight of the Light Matter?
The quick answer is yes. A portable LED headlight is deigned to sit on your loupes, which rest on the bridge of your nose. If you are working for long periods of time, the pressure on the bridge of your nose can build up and make you extremely uncomfortable. This will often result in your inability to continue working. This is why L.A. Lens has produced the Starlight Mini LED Headlight, which is one of the lightest weight LED headlights on the market. Weighing only 4 grams, the Starlight Mini Headlight allows you to work all day in comfort.
However, some medical and dental practitioners require higher illumination for their work. If this is the case, weight will not be your number one priority. Compared to our Starlight Mini at only 4 grams, the Spotlight LED Headlight weighs 20 grams, but provides a light intensity of over 90,000 lux.
If you are weight sensitive but also require higher illumination, a headband is highly recommended. Our Spotlight LED Light mounts seamlessly onto either of our two headbands and will ensure that there is no added pressure to the bridge of your nose.
What do I need to look for in a Battery System?
Two aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a battery system are the battery life and the recharge time. Regarding battery life, it is important to use a Lithium-Polymer battery as opposed to a Lithium-Ion battery. Lithium-Ion is dated technology. Similar to phone charging in the 1990’s, if you do not charge a Lithium-Ion battery 100% each time, the battery life will be radically reduced. Lithium-Polymer batteries, however, have a ‘charge memory’ that is much less sensitive and will not radically deplete due to half charges.
Additionally, if you are used to busy working days and need a light which will last all day, every day– you will need a battery that lasts. It is with this idea in mind L.A. Lens created lights with batteries that are designed to last the entirety of a working day, allowing you the charge them only at night. However, we understand that life isn’t always that simple and sometimes you need to recharge your battery at lunch, making the recharge time crucial. It is for this reason our batteries at L.A. Lens only have only a 2 hour recharge time, compared to the 3 hour charge time of many of our competitors.
We hope these pointers have helped you identify the right light for you. While we have identified why certain lights should be avoided, there is no universal ‘best’ light, as it comes down to personal preference. There is a trade-off between weight and light intensity when choosing your headlight. For those looking for the lightest weight solution, we suggest the Starlight Mini LED Headlight - at only 4 grams. For medical and dental practitioners who require maximum illumination, The Spotlight LED Headlight offers over 90,000 lux and is the headlight for you.
To purchase our Starlight Mini LED Headlight, please click here
To purchase our Spotlight LED Headlight, please click here
The L.A. Lens Team