July 15, 2012
Everything is illuminated — Petzl's new self-adjusting headlamp
Excerpts from Michael Hsu's pretty much rave review in yesterday's Wall Street Journal follow.
For those making a nighttime expedition up a snow-covered mountain, across a thick of forest or into a very cluttered basement, Petzl's Nao headlamp is one of the most ingenious tools to light the way.
When it's dark, the ideal brightness for viewing objects far afield may end up blinding you when you look at something nearby (your pupils are dilated, remember), so the Nao has a sensor — similar to the kind used in cameras — that measures incoming light. This lets a built-in microprocessor adjust the brightness and the spread of the Nao's beam accordingly. Look out onto the open sea, and the Nao intensifies and narrows like a searchlight. Walk along a wooded path and the Nao diffuses and dims its beam to give you a more expansive view of the terrain. Bend over to tie your shoe and the Nao goes soft and wide, preserving both your night vision and its battery life.
The Nao transitions between its two LEDs — one with a wide beam, the other more focused — smoothly and on the fly. If you change your focus from near to far, the shift in light quality is almost imperceptible. And because the needs of a mountain climber differ from those of a hiker — or someone who just wants the ultimate headlamp for rummaging through a wine cellar — you can connect the Nao to your computer's USB port and fine-tune the settings using Petzl's software for Windows and Mac.
The Nao also has all of the features of its less advanced counterparts: water resistance, a comfortable and easy-to-adjust strap and a rechargeable Li-ion battery that, in a pinch, can be swapped out easily for two AAA batteries. Even if your most extreme activity is switching focus between a Kindle and a mug of herbal tea, it's a marvel to see how everything is illuminated — and so perfectly.
Interactive WSJ graphic here.
July 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink
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Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jul 15, 2012 8:42:36 PM
Already on order. I love their headlamps, climbing harnesses, and belay device.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jul 15, 2012 8:39:45 PM
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