THE ULTIMATE HEADLAMP GUIDE
The design of outstanding headlamp technology starts with the human body
Anyone who has been shopping for a headlamp knows that it is easy to get lost in technical terms and features. It’s hard to understand the advantages for me as a user. At SILVA, we have our own philosophy. It differs a lot from others. We start with biology, not with technology. This means that we focus on the human way of moving, seeing, breathing, reacting and even sweating, in order to truly understand what it takes to create the perfect headlamp. Of course we use cutting edge technology, but all our products should first and foremost be viewed as an extension of your own body; a way to improve how it deals with external circumstances, such as weather, darkness, terrain and temperature. We believe that the best headlamp is designed after how your body works, reacts and moves.
How can we improve your ability to focus on the right things?
The optics in our headlamps are designed to avoid tunnel vision and unpleasant sharp contrasts by creating a fading transition from light to darkness. This gives a widened field of view that is more pleasant for the eye.
What is important for making you comfortable in the dark?
All our headlamps are designed to be small and nimble; striking the right balance between size, light and battery weight. The headband offers a good fit without having to be too tight, thanks to thoughtful comfort details such as the anti-slip silicone string on the inside of the headband, a compact battery or the stability- enhancing plate fitted on the back of your head.
How much time will you spend out there with your headlamp?
It’s a matter of battery time. More light output (Lumen) requires more battery power. If you only go for shorter runs/activities you can choose a lighter battery. But if you want to be out for long runs, or for several days, you should choose a headlamp that enables you to switch to extra batteries.
At what temperature will you use the headlamp?
This is of importance for the battery. The colder it gets, the less battery capacity you get. Our headlamps come with SILVA Connection System, so you can change batteries easily. Our multi-activity headlamps include an extension cable that enables you to wear the battery close to your body.
What type of light do you really need?
Great light is not only about having as much light as possible. Sometimes, you need more light close to your feet. In other situations, a long-reach spotlight is more useful. Red light is required to read a map and preserve night vision, etc. Our aim is to give you an optimized light for every activity by creating multi-mode headlamps that are designed around how the human eye works in darkness.
Will you use the headlamp for one or multiple activities?
Some of our headlamps are designed for multiple activities. Meaning that you can move the headlamp between headband, helmet, bicycle handlebar, etc.
What is the speed of your activity?
Different activities in different speeds require different types of light or light images. For running, you want most of the light close to your feet. When biking, to see what’s ahead, you need a long spotlight.
In what terrain will you use the headlamp?
The terrain influences your choice of headlamp. If you run mostly on asphalt and easy trails, you don’t need as much light (lower Lumen) as when running offroad and in places with a lot of stones, roots, etc. In these conditions, you need more light (Lumen) to see the obstacles clearly.
Are we working with advanced technology or human complexity?
The primary focus is not on technology. It is about understanding the user. This is how we find the answers that enable us to develop cutting-edge headlamps. You can be sure that all SILVA headlamps respond to questions on how to optimize your activity.
What is great light?
For some reason Lumen has become the standard not only for measuring light, but also for judging the quality of the headlamp. The truth is that you need a much wider perspective than just focusing on Lumen. Great light is about giving you perfect conditions in the dark – which depends on your specific needs. It’s a question of your choice of activity, your speed, how you move your head, just to name a few crucial factors. To be frank: the Lumen value is useful for the headlamp industry, but it could be totally useless for you as a user.
How do you compare Lumen?
First of all, the complexity of Lumen begins with how it is measured. Any headlamp manufacturer can measure Lumen in their own way; there’s no global standard. Secondly, Lumen only talks about power, which in case it is correctly measured, could help you, but the power is always affected by other factors such as the size and weight of the headlamp and how long the battery will last. The third and most important thing is what kind of activity you are heading for. Different activities require different amounts of Lumen.
Our response to this complicated issue is to use the currently most trustworthy method for measuring Lumen. We call this TRUE LUMEN.
The specified Lumen values are measured 30 seconds after switching the lamp on, to ensure that it reflects the light quality you experience out there in the dark. We measure Lumen according to the ANSI/NEMA FL1 flashlight basic performance standard.
Widening your perspective in a business characterized by tunnel vision
A SILVA headlamp will widen your perspective. The optics in all our headlamps are designed to avoid tunnel vision and sharp contrasts by creating a fading transition from light to darkness. This gives a widened field of view that is more pleasant for the eye.
It is hard to trust a headlamp manufacturer that won't look you in the eyes
The technology behind SILVA’s light source is no secret. Instead of just focusing on the technical aspect of light, we look through the human eye; aiming to create light beams that are adapted to how it works in darkness. This gives you an optimized light for your every activity. This is what we call SILVA Intelligent Light ®.
SILVA INTELLIGENT LIGHT ® - our secret recipe for creating light images
SILVA Intelligent Light ®, which is based on how the human eyes work in the dark, is a double light beam technology featured in all SILVA headlamps. The unique combination of a long reach spot light and a close flood light results in less head movement, better control, improved balance, less fatigue and higher speed.
How your speed determines your need for light
Different speed requires different light beams
SILVA FLOW LIGHT - a feature for multi-athletes
SILVA Flow Light is an ingenious feature that gives you several version of SILVA Intelligent Light in the same headlamp. Developed for multi-activity users, it enable seamless tuning of the light image for different activities by simply tilting the light up or down.
When pointed downwards, the light beam becomes wider and optimized for slower activities. Pointed forward, the light beam gets longer and optimized for faster activities.
The difference between SILVA headlamps with preset light and SILVA Flow Light
Trail Runner 3X
Customized with a preset light for running activity.
Trail Speed 3XT
Flexibility with SILVA Flow Light; allowing you to switch between different activities.
Three LED colours
In addition to white light, some SILVA models have a red light mode that preserves night vision as well as an orange light mode that enables you to see contours on the map and still preserve night vision. A perfect feature for night sailing, orienteering etc.
Explore has red and orange light modes
The perfect headlamp is unnoticed by the user
You can talk about light quality for ages, but if the headlamp isn’t comfortable, you’ll be totally unhappy with it. The starting point for all development work at SILVA is how your body reacts and moves. We aim to develop an extension of yourself; well-balanced headlamps with a comfortable fit. The list of details includes an anti-slip silicone string on the inside of the headband, a compact battery or a stability-enhancing plate fitted on the back of your head. Just to name a few.
As a result of studying natural head movements, all SILVA’s headlamps are designed to strike the right balance between size, light and battery weight. Our ambition is to offer greater light in smaller size in every headlamp we make.
Your body is designed to sweat, so is our headlamps
No matter how sweaty you get, the headlamp should stay in place. SILVA’s anti-slip silicone string on the inside of the headband is designed to give you this perfect comfort and fit. Regardless if you have started your activity, or have
been on the move for hours.
Why your ears are important when choosing a headlamp
The best feeling of having a lamp on your head is to feel nothing at all. The lightweight plate on the back of your head and adjustable headband make it easy to get a comfortable fit; without pressure on the ears that could lead to a painful experience or in worst case even blisters.
Multi-activity (when you don't want to choose)
Since the user and the activity is our focus, we have developed a unique range of attachment possibilities. SILVA headlamps are modular and can easily be shifted between the headband, a helmet, a belt or a bicycle handlebar by using the attachment in our range.
It may not look much to the world. But it's an important piece of your equipment
The extension cable from SILVA enables you to move the battery to a pocket, your backpack or bicycle handlebar. It also gives you the opportunity to switch between different batteries with different burn time.
Our battery line-up gives you the opportunity to find the right balance between burn time and weight. The power range covers a wide span of activities, from a small head-mounted battery for a fast run to a powerful pack for a long hike. All rechargeable batteries are equipped with USB charging.
SILVA Connection System enables you to use a SILVA Li-Ion battery from 2008 and onwards. If the cable fits, it works.
The battery capacity could depend on your body heat as well as the outside temperature
The long cable from SILVA gives you the option to wear the battery close to your body. This could be crucial in many ways. Keeping the battery as warm as possible in cold weather extends the burn time.
The table describes how the balance between battery burn time and the reach of your light image changes depending on which light mode you choose. Note that there is a difference between battery burn time in cold and warm climate.
The moment of truth
The headlamp is one of your most important safety details, so there is no room for compromise, no matter if we are talking material, light or burn time. SILVA has experienced all aspects of nature since 1933. We know that it’s only one thing that matters when you’re out there in the dark. The moment of truth.
All headlamp models have to prove their durability and reliability in Scandinavian winter conditions. There are also several examples of how we integrate reliability into the design, such as a couple of quick flashes with the headlamp to warn you when the battery capacity is down to 25%. Some of our headlamp models also have a reserve mode that automatically adjusts the light to a setting that guarantees you another hour of use.
To ensure that your are unstoppable also in wet conditions, all our headlamps are certified according to either the IPX5, or the even tougher IPX7 standards for electronics.
Different activities require different abilities. The same goes for our headlamps
Since every activity comes with its own needs, you can rely on that our headlamps are equipped with the right features.
Battery warning/Reserve mode
A low battery warning function notifies you with a blinking and the headlamp automatically switches to reserve mode when 15% battery time remains. The reserve mode in some of our headlamps ensures that you have at minimum 1 more hour of light.
Ensures that you can keep track of how much power that remains in the battery.
IPX7: Fully waterproof and dustproof
Fully waterproof; can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
IPX5: Water resistant
Water resistant; withstands heavy rain and water from any direction.