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August 2019 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Headlamps

Ledlenser MH5



Our Rating:

At a glance
 Sharp and powerful light, rechargeable, battery life.
Minuses: Front heavy, beam focus difficult to use.

400 lumens / 180m / 92g

Features: With just two light functions – high and low – this is a simple lamp with the on/off button cycling between the two modes. The lamp can be detached from the headband – necessary to access the battery compartment – and comes with a belt clip. The lamp takes a single rechargeable lithium-ion or standard AA battery and has an excellent burn time on high of 4hr, though in my testing I found it to last up to 4.5hr (burn time on low is 35hr). Recharging is done via USB, but, inconveniently, the battery must be removed from the lamp to do this. It has a recharge time of 2hr07min.

Comfort: This is a front heavy headlamp that requires precise positioning on the forehead to avoid it jiggling up and down as you move. The headband can be adjusted on the go, but is not a smooth process and can be fiddly.

In use: The light is outstanding – sharp and bright. In floodlight mode and walking through the bush, with trees all around, you can see how the light creates a perfect circle of light ahead of you. It’s like looking at a hi-res image with no blurring or fuzziness at the edges. But that light doesn’t spread wide and it’s mainly directed straight ahead so it doesn’t provide much peripheral lighting.

The focus feature, which narrows the beam, is difficult to use. It requires twisting the lamp lens, but it is stiff and if your technique isn’t right, it won’t budge. The light can’t be dimmed and it always turns on at the lowest setting – not a major issue when there are only two light modes to choose from.
The light has a constant current and blinks rapidly in warning before the battery is completely drained. There is no battery charge indicator on the charging device or the headlamp to tell you how much charge the battery has.

Value: The quality and power of the light produced, and the battery life, are exceptional, but it has limited functions and seems costly for what you get.

Verdict: Easy to use and without the multitude of functions that can make some headlamps over-complicated. It has an excellent battery life for long trips.