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IR - Princeton Tec - Customized Spectrum Headlamp - Derek Hansen

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  • Derek Hansen
    Kathy, Here is my initial report for this headlamp. ... Best, ~derek # # # Photo courtesy princetontec.com Princeton Tec -- Fuel Headlamp Test Series by Derek
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2012
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      Kathy,

      Here is my initial report for this headlamp.

      > http://bit.ly/IFji7a

      Best,

      ~derek

      # # #


      Photo courtesy princetontec.com

      Princeton Tec -- Fuel Headlamp

      Test Series by Derek Hansen

      Initial Report: 1 May 2012
      Field Report:
      Long-Term Report:
      TESTER INFORMATION


      Name Derek Hansen
      Age 36
      Gender Male
      Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)
      Weight 170 lb (77 kg)
      Email Address
      City, State, Country Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
      BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

      I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical overnight pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      MANUFACTURER Princeton Tec, New Jersey, USA
      YEAR OF MANUFACTURE 2012, made in USA
      MANUFACTURER'S WEBSITE princetontec.com
      MSRP $35.00 USD
      LISTED FEATURES
      Customized design (color choice)
      43 Lumens
      3 AAA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable NiCad or NiMH)
      146 hour burn time
      4 Ultrabright LEDs
      Four modes: high, medium, low, flash
      1 switch operation
      MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDATIONS
      Never mix fresh and used batteries
      Remove batteries during long periods of storage
      MEASUREMENTS
      Specifications WHAT THEY SAY WHAT I SAY
      Weight (Large) 2.75 oz (78 g) 2.8 oz (79 g)
      Dimensions N/A 2.3125 x 1.75 in (6 x 4.5 cm)
      COLOR CHOICES
      SIZES One size, adjustable headband
      WARRANTY 5-year warranty

      INITIAL REPORT

      1 May 2012

      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

      The Princeton Tec Spectrum Fuel is an LED headlamp featuring four ultra-bright white LEDs that can be switched to four modes: high, medium, low, and flash on high. One unique feature of this headlamp is that the plastic body components can be customized by color at the time of ordering.

      The headlamp's elastic band is easily removable, allowing the light to be used or attached in different places like on a pack's sternum strap.

      The power button is located on the top, center of the light. Repeated presses on the button cycle through the different modes and then turn the light off. If more than two seconds elapses between presses, the next press will turn the light off.

      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS


      Here is a screenshot showing my color choices before ordering.

      ORDERING ON THE WEB -- My first task was to customize and order the headlamp. For this test, I was contacted by Princeton Tec and given a unique code to use at purchase time, plus instructions on ordering. The website is actually very easy to use and the customization process is straightforward.

      There are limited styles for the band. Most of the customization is for the plastic parts. There are a number of color choices for most of the components offering multiple combinations of color.

      I opted for a yellow-orange-green combination, although it was difficult to choose. I didn't opt to create an account, although I could save my choices and even share them to social networks. Instead, I went straight to ordering. The shopping cart and order process was done with minimal steps. I was very happy with how easy it was to order. I use a Macintosh computer and was running the Safari browser. I had no problems with any of the forms or fields.

      CUSTOMER SERVICE -- I was told it would take several weeks for the custom light to be manufactured and mailed. I was happy to hear that the parts are custom molded in the factory in New Jersey. While the website gives the impression of a big company, the knowledge that my light was being hand-made gave me the feeling that I was somehow unique and cared for throughout the process.

      Within a day or two I was surprised to receive an email from the company that told me my light was made and ready to ship. The message included a photo of my light next to the rendering from the website. While I'm sure the message is sent to all customers, I liked their personal style:


      The photo from the email showing the rendering and physical piece completed.

      Hello from Princeton Tec! We thought you might like to know that your one of a kind Spectrum headlamp is ready. Before we boxed it up, we took a photo so you could see what it looks like. Awesome color combination! We just might turn some of these into production color choices next year! If you are not in love, it may be our fault. The color balance on our camera could be a little bit off. Either that or you were not of sound mind when you picked your colors.


      TRYING IT OUT -- Getting the headlamp was much quicker than anticipated. One thing I love is quality packaging. There is something about the attention a manufacturer pays to the delivery of their product that gives hints about its quality and use. The Fuel headlamp is packaged in an unassuming black cube with the company's logo and tag lines printed on different panels. Opening the box revealed the Fuel "staring" back at me. The box is actually ingeniously designed with little cutouts that hold the light in place while in the box. Behind the light and beneath a flap in the box were the instructions, batteries, and elastic band.


      Without reading the instructions, I attempted to install the batteries. The battery cover is obviously marked and it looked like a coin could easily open the panel. Sure enough, my coin worked and I was able to identify the polarization marked on the case.

      The instructions also indicate that the plastic buckle doubles as a tool to easily open the battery compartment. I was delighted to see this design detail worked into the light. This will really make it easy to change batteries in the field if necessary.

      The light swivels stiffly up and down on the casing, meaning I can direct the beam in a certain regard.

      My initial tests pushing the button proved that the light is easy to operate and switch between modes. The light is very bright in these first tests.

      INITIAL SUMMARY

      I love that I can pick and choose the color design on this headlamp. I feel it is more personal and distinctive. I like the simplicity and attention to detail on the light.

      PRO--Customized colors, bright, easy-to-use

      CON--None so far

      Please check back in approximately two months for my field report.

      I would like to thank Black Diamond Equipment and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.
    • sull0294
      Hi Derek, This is a nice report. Someone at Princeton Tec read my IR and informed me that they recently increased the brightness of the fuel headlamp from 43
      Message 2 of 2 , May 2, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Derek,

        This is a nice report. Someone at Princeton Tec read my IR and informed me that they recently increased the brightness of the fuel headlamp from 43 lumins to 70 lumins without decreasing the battery life. It appears that the change in the specs on their website occurred sometime after I began my IR and before yesterday. It looks like you got the same information that I had.

        Cheers,
        Katie



        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, Derek Hansen <derek.hansen@...> wrote:
        >
        > Kathy,
        >
        > Here is my initial report for this headlamp.
        >
        > > http://bit.ly/IFji7a
        >
        > Best,
        >
        > ~derek
        >
        > # # #
        >
        >
        > Photo courtesy princetontec.com
        >
        > Princeton Tec -- Fuel Headlamp
        >
        > Test Series by Derek Hansen
        >
        > Initial Report: 1 May 2012
        > Field Report:
        > Long-Term Report:
        > TESTER INFORMATION
        >
        >
        > Name Derek Hansen
        > Age 36
        > Gender Male
        > Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)
        > Weight 170 lb (77 kg)
        > Email Address
        > City, State, Country Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
        > BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
        >
        > I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical overnight pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.
        >
        > PRODUCT INFORMATION
        >
        > MANUFACTURER Princeton Tec, New Jersey, USA
        > YEAR OF MANUFACTURE 2012, made in USA
        > MANUFACTURER'S WEBSITE princetontec.com
        > MSRP $35.00 USD
        > LISTED FEATURES
        > Customized design (color choice)
        > 43 Lumens
        > 3 AAA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable NiCad or NiMH)
        > 146 hour burn time
        > 4 Ultrabright LEDs
        > Four modes: high, medium, low, flash
        > 1 switch operation
        > MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDATIONS
        > Never mix fresh and used batteries
        > Remove batteries during long periods of storage
        > MEASUREMENTS
        > Specifications WHAT THEY SAY WHAT I SAY
        > Weight (Large) 2.75 oz (78 g) 2.8 oz (79 g)
        > Dimensions N/A 2.3125 x 1.75 in (6 x 4.5 cm)
        > COLOR CHOICES
        > SIZES One size, adjustable headband
        > WARRANTY 5-year warranty
        >
        > INITIAL REPORT
        >
        > 1 May 2012
        >
        > PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
        >
        > The Princeton Tec Spectrum Fuel is an LED headlamp featuring four ultra-bright white LEDs that can be switched to four modes: high, medium, low, and flash on high. One unique feature of this headlamp is that the plastic body components can be customized by color at the time of ordering.
        >
        > The headlamp's elastic band is easily removable, allowing the light to be used or attached in different places like on a pack's sternum strap.
        >
        > The power button is located on the top, center of the light. Repeated presses on the button cycle through the different modes and then turn the light off. If more than two seconds elapses between presses, the next press will turn the light off.
        >
        > INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
        >
        >
        > Here is a screenshot showing my color choices before ordering.
        >
        > ORDERING ON THE WEB -- My first task was to customize and order the headlamp. For this test, I was contacted by Princeton Tec and given a unique code to use at purchase time, plus instructions on ordering. The website is actually very easy to use and the customization process is straightforward.
        >
        > There are limited styles for the band. Most of the customization is for the plastic parts. There are a number of color choices for most of the components offering multiple combinations of color.
        >
        > I opted for a yellow-orange-green combination, although it was difficult to choose. I didn't opt to create an account, although I could save my choices and even share them to social networks. Instead, I went straight to ordering. The shopping cart and order process was done with minimal steps. I was very happy with how easy it was to order. I use a Macintosh computer and was running the Safari browser. I had no problems with any of the forms or fields.
        >
        > CUSTOMER SERVICE -- I was told it would take several weeks for the custom light to be manufactured and mailed. I was happy to hear that the parts are custom molded in the factory in New Jersey. While the website gives the impression of a big company, the knowledge that my light was being hand-made gave me the feeling that I was somehow unique and cared for throughout the process.
        >
        > Within a day or two I was surprised to receive an email from the company that told me my light was made and ready to ship. The message included a photo of my light next to the rendering from the website. While I'm sure the message is sent to all customers, I liked their personal style:
        >
        >
        > The photo from the email showing the rendering and physical piece completed.
        >
        > Hello from Princeton Tec! We thought you might like to know that your one of a kind Spectrum headlamp is ready. Before we boxed it up, we took a photo so you could see what it looks like. Awesome color combination! We just might turn some of these into production color choices next year! If you are not in love, it may be our fault. The color balance on our camera could be a little bit off. Either that or you were not of sound mind when you picked your colors.
        >
        >
        > TRYING IT OUT -- Getting the headlamp was much quicker than anticipated. One thing I love is quality packaging. There is something about the attention a manufacturer pays to the delivery of their product that gives hints about its quality and use. The Fuel headlamp is packaged in an unassuming black cube with the company's logo and tag lines printed on different panels. Opening the box revealed the Fuel "staring" back at me. The box is actually ingeniously designed with little cutouts that hold the light in place while in the box. Behind the light and beneath a flap in the box were the instructions, batteries, and elastic band.
        >
        >
        > Without reading the instructions, I attempted to install the batteries. The battery cover is obviously marked and it looked like a coin could easily open the panel. Sure enough, my coin worked and I was able to identify the polarization marked on the case.
        >
        > The instructions also indicate that the plastic buckle doubles as a tool to easily open the battery compartment. I was delighted to see this design detail worked into the light. This will really make it easy to change batteries in the field if necessary.
        >
        > The light swivels stiffly up and down on the casing, meaning I can direct the beam in a certain regard.
        >
        > My initial tests pushing the button proved that the light is easy to operate and switch between modes. The light is very bright in these first tests.
        >
        > INITIAL SUMMARY
        >
        > I love that I can pick and choose the color design on this headlamp. I feel it is more personal and distinctive. I like the simplicity and attention to detail on the light.
        >
        > PRO--Customized colors, bright, easy-to-use
        >
        > CON--None so far
        >
        > Please check back in approximately two months for my field report.
        >
        > I would like to thank Black Diamond Equipment and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.
        >
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