Self-Adjusting Headlamp Knows If You Want To See Near Or Far

When you're trekking through the great outdoors in the middle of the night, you need your hands free for reading maps, clearing obstacles, and fighting off bears. So Petzl's new Nao headlamp makes all the brightness and focus adjustments for you.

Billed as one of the first intelligent headlamps, the Nao (pronounced now) features a set of LED lights—one with a wide beam and one with a spot—that are automatically controlled by a large light sensor located above the two. While you're hiking (or fleeing) the reactive lighting system—as they call it—measures the ambient lighting and continually adjusts the beam for optimal visibility, and prolonged battery life.

Illustration for article titled Self-Adjusting Headlamp Knows If You Want To See Near Or Far

So when you look down at a map, the headlamp's wide beam takes over as the LEDs are dimmed to as low as 7 lumens so they're only illuminating what you're focused on. And then when you look back up at the trail, the spot beam takes over, with the light increasing to a maximum brightness of 355 lumens so you can see off into the distance.

While the reactive lighting system is touted as being particularly beneficial when it comes to stretching out the headlamp's battery life, the rechargeable battery it uses ranges from just 4 hours and 40 minutes to up to 8 hours depending on how it's used. So for real world applications, you're probably looking at closer to the 4 hour mark once these become available in July for $175. [Outside Online via UKClimbing]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


John Goodson

This is simply terrible. For real hikers and climbers it really comes down to reliability and simplicity. Why you would need something like this over say Black Diamond's $50 (max) Storm Headlamp is beyond me. It even gets you 50 hrs. of use on high and 200 hrs. on low. Extremely important if you doing backcountry for a few days or weeks. Sure you could say that the ridiculous light output would be great but in reality you never need that much lighting. Not to mention what that kind of brightness would do to inhibit your natural night vision in your peripherals. Most of the time you are trying to look maybe 5 to 10 feet ahead so you can see what's immediately in front of you so you don't trip or misstep. Furthermore, rechargeable packs are a definite no no on the trail. I'd rather carry a few packs of regular batteries for emergency backup than be stuck with a dead rechargeable and no outlet for hundreds of miles.

It's seriously not that hard to adjust the brightness on a regular lamp by hand. This lamp is meant for rich folks that never do actual hiking and camping and think their getting the best because of the ridiculous price tag.