I’m referring to the Ledlenser MH11 headlamp, an amazing device with many uses and many features – not just for seeing in the dark, although it does that quite brilliantly (pun intended).
Easily store in the glove compartment of your car and very handy with ita SOS and strobe applications.
Night hiking and night riding
(Many of the pictures have links to eBay who offer a range of these headlamps at the best prices. I receive a small commission on purchases. It does not affect the price.)
I remember camping and hiking in Broken Hill country. Out in the semidesert if the moon was full there was practically no need for any extra light outside the tent. It was practically daylight.
I’ve also been surfing under a full moon, but full moons usually occur only once a month usually. For most other nights out in the wild, you need a torch (Australian for flashlight), or better yet a headlamp.
Night hiking is great. Everything is different at night. In Australia many animals only come out at night, avoiding the heat of the sun. Any headlamp is great for this sort of thing, but imagine a headlamp that didn’t take away your night vision, allowing you to see things illuminated by ambient moonlight, as well as things in the headlamp’s beam.
I have a Ledlenser MH11. On night vision mode, it projects a red beam that doesn’t take away your peripheral. This is great if you’re trying to locate a koala or a”moke poke” owl (named for the sound they make). As long as there is some moonlight this is a great feature.
Growing up in Broken Hill
I grew up in Broken Hill, a mining town (silver, lead, and zinc) in far western New South Wales, Australia.
At the height of its existence, it was a city of almost 35,000 people. Today there are less than half this number. 70 miles north of Broken Hill there is Mootwingee National Park. It is special because of its rock formations and walking tracks.
Family camping when I was young
As a kid, my family, after 2 or 3 day-visits, went camping there over a long weekend.
The night added a whole new dimension. We set up camp in the late afternoon and later that night I heard my first “moke poke” owl. My brother, sister, and I (I was the oldest) were able to finally locate one of these using dad’s semi-sealed beam torch.
To me, it was a wonderous thing – the torch that is; the owl on the other hand was rather disappointing because it looked much like any other owl. ” Ahh, it’s just an owl.”
After dinner on our second night there, dad announced that we would hike to Mushroom Rock that night to avoid the heat – there were no rock holes to swim in along the way. We’d done this trip before but, for me at least, it was so much more exciting at night.
The moon was either full or close to it, and so following the path wasn’t a problem. I think we all had a great adventure.
Thinking back, I imagine it would have been even better with a headlamp. Now that I have a headlamp, camping, hiking, and sometimes fishing at night is so much easier.
Imagine you want to add Friday night to your weekend camping trip, for example, setting up camp in the dark is easy under a headlamp.
A quick search online revealed many advertised night-hikes in Australia. I also know the Brisbane area fairly well – amazing countryside, many koalas and kangaroos – and can recommend the following (a free plug for Gizmo Adventures):
Overnight Hikes near Brisbane
In the Moreton Bay region
- CARAVAN & CAMPING
- NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
• • •
Home to the D’Aguilar Range, Bellthorpe National Park, Bribie Island, and many other great Natural Wonders (at least they’re Natural Wonders to us), the Moreton Bay Region offers many endless opportunities for overnight hikes near Brisbane. Thanks to our friend at Gizmo’s Adventures, we’ve now got the information and images to share our favorite walk-in only bush camps in north Brisbane.
Working under headlamp
There were three major mines operating in Broken Hil while I was there. I got an electrical trade apprenticeship with North Broken Hil Ltd. After the intensive training phase (apprentice annex), I often worked on the 32 and 36 Levels. The 36 Level was one mile down, and the winder chamber under construction was 2 miles out. I can assure you there were no full moons down there. It was hot and steamy and dark.
The point I’m making is that having a headlamp or in this case, caplamp, makes working in the dark no problem at all. These caplamps came with a hefty battery strapped on with a belt; there’s no such discomfort, however, with the Ledlenser 11 headlamp – even more amazing than my father’s semi-sealed beam torch.
The Ledlenser 11 headlamp
It has an extensive range of features and benefits.
It’s good for hunting – its red-light mode doesn’t take out your peripheral vision.
It’s good in fog – its green-light mode cuts down reflected glare
And it’s good for fishing – its blue-light mode doesn’t disturb fish
One of the many clever features built into this headlamp is its blue light function. It’s great for fishing at night because it’s less likely than white light to disturb the fish. The blue light can also activate fluorescence in some fish making them easier to see.
While most fishing is done under natural light there is a lot to be said for fishing at night. Apart from the charm and peace that comes with the solitude, fishing spots that have been fairly average during the day can become much more exciting at night. Nighttime can bring out the monsters hunting under the cover of darkness. Fish that are vulnerable to bird strikes, not seen in clear shallow water during the day, do not have to fear this at night.
During the tourist season, popular spots may become crowded during the day, but most holidaymakers pack up and are gone by nightfall.eBay: Ledlenser MH11
At 750 lumens on full power, this headlamp is very powerful and its host of functions can be customized using Bluetooth
Ledlenser Connect App
Ledlenser Connect app can be downloaded to your cellphone. You can have up to 8 customized settings for 8 different scenarios. Your cell phone interacts directly with the MH 11.
Activated through Bluetooth the strobe function is a good warning signal while changing a car tire on the side of the road at night, or attracting attention in large open public places, or even for self-defense because it has a strobe function.
Also activated through the app, the MH 11 can send out an international SOS alert in case of an emergency.
It’s very light weighing 179g, the equivalent of just over one-third of a 500ml bottle of water, which means comfortable, much more so than the cap lamp and hard hat I had to wear underground every day. The lens diameter is only 39.5mm.
- For close-up purposes, 120 lumens is all you need
- The brightness of the MH 11 can be cranked up to 750 lumens lighting a distance of 300 m and has a 10-second boost feature to give you 1000 lumens for when you need clarification or to see further.
- Using the optisense control in the app you can program the headlamp to adjust to surroundings to avoid glare making it good for reading and closeup work.
Different Colored Light Feature
- Blue beam: This is a feature for fishing. less likely to disturb the fish and is good for reading maps and charts.
- Red-beam: This allows you to maintain night vision so that you will still be able to notice things in your peripheral vision that are being illuminated by moonlight – when hunting for example.
- Green-beam (opposite): The fog penetrator. Penetrates fog without the reflected glare of white light. This makes fog obscured shapes sharper than white light does.
Interval and Alarm Function
The Ledlenser Connect app allows you to set your headlamp like an alarm clock. The light will activate at the time you set and it can be set to come on gradually. Similarly, it can be programmed to fade off gradually when used for reading at night, getting to sleep on time.
The app can also be used to blink at intervals set by you. You can have it blink once at the end of the first interval, twice at the end of the second, and so forth, a little bit like have a personal trainer. Your headlamp will continue to shine throughout the session.
- Travel lock: this will prevent accidental activation and the loss of battery life while in transit.
- Advanced focus system: the MH 11 app can also be used to zoom from floodlight to spotlight.
- You can manually adjust the angle of the beam through 120º. The focus can also be adjusted manually and there is an on-off button.
Recharging is simple, the MH 11 has a magnetically connecting recharge system. It charges the lithium-ion battery giving you a running time of 4 hours without using the power saving options. There is also a low battery warning, letting you know when it’s time to recharge or change batteries.
The charging cable connects magnetically to the headlamp. Replacement cables can be purchased directly from Ledlenser.
I had to have one
I first saw this headlamp on a camping and hiking expedition in Mootwingi National Park, NSW, Australia (Aboriginal rock art and etching, interesting rock formations, rock holes, and thirsty wildlife, especially kangaroos) one of the other guys had one. I had always used handheld torches (flashlights) in the past. I bought one for myself not long after. I like to go mountain biking at night with this thing, it is quite brilliant.
That extra night
Imagine, you’re going to camp somewhere that you can’t quite drive to. You have a full-time job Monday to Friday, but rather than start out before the sun comes up on Saturday morning, you’re packed and ready to go as soon as you get home from work. You can drive and either park or get dropped off around sunset, and then hike in and set up camp under a headlamp. Now you have two nights instead of one.eBay: Ledlenser MH11
Who makes the Ledlenser range?
Harald and Rainer Opolka founded the company Zweibrüder Optoelectronics in 1993, in a garage with around 1,000 Deutschmarks.
Today their company is an international flashlight and headlamp producer, the biggest on a worldwide scale.
With over 1,500 employees they say they getting better every day. Also, they are careful to invest profits in training programs and they provide company housing for employees in China, where Ledlenser management has its products manufactured; high-quality manufacturers of many things from sporting goods to business attire.
Most of their engineering is done in Germany, but they also have sites in Italy and Switzerland.
Before the final production of a new Ledlenser come months of research and development work. In total, more than 100 committed employees work at our headquarters in Solingen.
The outside of the picturesque red-brick building is deceiving. Behind the thick walls, you’ll find extremely modern offices, a light research center, and spacious workshops with the latest high-tech facilities.
Here spread over 3.218 m2 our employees are inspired, conceive, and discuss ideas, and produce countless prototypes. Our headquarters are where we direct the entire company, carry out our research, plan marketing, and manage every activity around the world. In short: This is the place where all of our expertise comes together.The home of Ledlenser: learn more
In so many ways the Ledlenser MH 11 was a good acquisition. At one point I was living in a small country town on the east coast of N.S.W. in Australia. With daylight savings, the sun didn’t come up till around 7 am in spring and autumn and much of my jogging route was very dark. The MH 11 comes in very handy.
These headlamps are often on special on eBay (currently $199), check and see + the different colors, prices, and other products by clicking here.eBay: Ledlenser MH11
I trust you enjoyed this article. Any feedback or questions you may have are very welcome. Please leave something in the comment box below.
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