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Preview: new Black Diamond 300-lumen Spot headlamp

The new BD Spot headlamp (bottom model). Notice how its flood bulb (the upper-left one) is bigger than in the current Spot (top model).

The new BD Spot headlamp (bottom model). Notice how its flood bulb (the upper-left one) is bigger than in the current Spot (top model).

The new Black Diamond Spot headlamp will produce 300 lumens, which is a 50 percent increase over the current version (read my review). Its weight and size appeared unchanged, as does its single control button, unfortunately.

The current Spot will become the new Cosmos, which represents a 25 percent increase in light output (to 200 lumens from 160). I’m uncertain if prices will change.

The new Cosmos (bottom model) appears to be the old Spot (top model). Size, weight, and power are identical.

The new Cosmos (bottom model) appears to be the old Spot (top model). Size, weight, and power are identical.

But I wonder whether the Spot’s added power will be as beneficial as it might sound. When the new and current Spot are compared side-by-side, it is clear that the flood bulb (upper-left) is bigger, and presumably more powerful. The primary bulb could be brighter too, but it’s not as obvious.

So, really, the new Spot will have a more powerful flood light, and perhaps a marginally more powerful spot light. When used together, they will produce 300 lumens, but that output is divided between flood and spot.

Personally, I would rather have a single high-powered bulb with adjustable brightness and adjustable focusing, such as with the Coast HL70. (Read my long-term review of the Coast HL27, which shares these features.) With this type of light, I can have a 300-lumen flood or a 300-lumen spot, or some combination of the two.

BTW, for all those who are skeptical of BD’s claims that its headlamps are water-resistant up to 1 meter, you might appreciate this display at their booth:

Are BD's headlamps truly water-resistant? This display seems convincing: the three upper lights are being rained on, and the three lower lights are completely submerged.

Are BD’s headlamps truly water-resistant? This display seems convincing: the three upper lights are being rained on, and the three lower lights are completely submerged.

10 Responses to Preview: new Black Diamond 300-lumen Spot headlamp

  1. hunter hall January 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    Weight? I’m currently rocking a BD Ion (100lumens/2oz w batteries) and a Petzl e litght (30 lumens/1oz w batteries) as backup. 3oz total.

    Thoughts?

    • Andrew Skurka January 14, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Assume it’s about the same weight as the current one:

      1.9 oz (no batteries), 2.6 oz (with lithiums), 3.2 oz (with alkalines)

  2. Jay C. January 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm #

    I don’t really get the need for that kind of water resistance in a headlamp. Surely there are better underwater solutions if that’s what you need. I’m usually trying to get out of the rain/keep my head dry if I’m hiking in the rain anyway, so my light being all kinds of waterproof is kind of overkill.

    I bought an HL7 after your review of the HL27. The HL7 isn’t quite as bright and the battery doesn’t last quite as long, but it’s lighter and cheaper, but 285 lumens is still a lot, and the battery lasts plenty long at low power. It might not be as useful for route finding in the dark (because of the shorter battery life), but it’s fine, and it’s more than adequate for around camp. I couldn’t be happier with it and can’t imagine bothering with another brand at the point.

  3. Caps January 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Only tangentially related… I just picked up a HL27 based on your review. My wife plans to use it running on the LOBO trail at night with the dog. Testing it in the house already made us happy with the investment. Thanks.

  4. Jeff Cate January 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    When is this new 300-lumen Spot supposed to be available? I don’t see it on the BD website yet… unless I’m overlooking it. Thanks.

    • Andrew Skurka January 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

      At the latest it is a fall 2017 product. But if may be spring 2017. Not sure when they first showed it at OR, last August or this Jan.

      • Knut Korczak February 11, 2017 at 3:09 am #

        It’s a Fall 17 product available in July/August timeframe. The Spring 17 Spot is unchanged from last season.

        • Andrew Skurka February 11, 2017 at 7:36 am #

          Thanks for the clarification.

  5. Mick May 19, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    The 2017 Spot does not have a 50% Increase. The 2016 model was at 200 lumens, the 2017 300 lumens.

    Seems better but is it really. Do we really need 100 more lumens? The 200 lumen one already lit up the entire forest for me. I guess the real topic would be battery life. I keep getting different numbers from different sites but its seems that the 2017 Spot gets extremely less battery life than the 2016 model.

    • Knut May 20, 2017 at 3:36 am #

      Well, there is always the option to run it at less than full power. 😉

      For hiking, I agree that 300 lm in most cases are overkill. However, for trail running it’s just sufficient for non technical trails.

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