Practically, a headlamp is a light source that enables the user to use both hands and direct the light with a turn of the user’s head. The actual lamp may be fitted on the user’s head with some straps or with head gear that uses straps or mounting placements. It may even be called a headlamp if a flashlight is mounted on the user’s head or headgear with duct tape. So long as the light source is mounted on the head and creates a means for which the user can use both upper appendages - it’s a headlamp.
These days they are commonly battery powered but there were headlamps in the old days, from the 1850s to the early part of the 1900s, that may have used candle power and oil-wick configurations. At the turn of the century, Carbide lamps or acetylene gas lamps started out and became the headlamp of choice until the 1930s when the technology of battery powered headlamps, which started several years later after the discovery of carbide lamps, took over as the superior headlamp.
We have to thank the mining industry for the developments of these headlamps because they never would have gotten to the mainstream market for regular joes like us to use in our adventures.Today, headlamps are used for various outdoor activities in the darkness of night or in locations where illumination is required. Activities such as caving, orienteering, hiking, skiing, backpacking, camping, mountaineering, mountain biking and a slew of others are now safer, easier and more enjoyable as we now have the advantage over the darkness. Although they continue to be used in underground mining, other professions now make it standard equipment like search and rescue, surgeons, and by others that require hands-free lighting to better do their job.
I hope you got the heads-up on headlamps and you can look forward to more enlightening articles about various portable lighting systems.