One of the favorite things about my job is discovering all the new technologies being developed for the construction industry. This includes everything from software apps and building materials to heavy equipment and tools and gadgets. New products are coming to market everyday so when the opportunity to test out The Halo Light™ came up, I jumped at the chance.
I received my demo unit last week and the package included the light, a rechargeable Lithium ion battery pack, wall charger and user manual. The oval shaped light is specifically designed to be used on hard hats. The outer ring of the light is embedded with LED lights encased in clear plastic. The inner ring has six rubber-coated, metal tension clips that allow the light to be securely attached to a hard hat.
The battery came partially charged so I was able to plug the light in and cycle through the four lighting modes, Halo, HI-Alert, Task and Dim, by repeatedly pressing the button located on the back of the light. The light can be powered off by either disconnecting the battery pack or holding down the mode button for two seconds.
Halo mode provides full brightness in 360 degrees. I tried it out in Halo mode in a darkened room that was roughly 420 SF and it was bright enough to illuminate the whole room. In HI-Alert mode the LEDs fade up and down in a spinning pattern. A former general contractor that I showed it to said the HI-Alert mode would be great for a flagger or others operating in a work zone at night. When switched to Task mode, additional LEDs light up at the front to provide a more focused headlamp-style beam. Even in Dim mode the light is bright enough to illuminate your general vicinity and allows you to maneuver around without bumping into anything.
The weight of the Halo Light is distributed well and I was able to wear it for a long period of time without it feeling heavy on my head. The back end of the light is slightly heavier due to it housing the circuitry, mode button and the plug for the battery pack. I was able to rotate my head in all directions and it never felt like my hard hat was going to slip off due to the weight. The power cord was long enough that it allowed for a full range of motion while wearing the light.
The battery pack is roughly the size of a tape measure and it felt fine being clipped to my belt or stuffed into the back pocket of my jeans. I slipped the power cord down the back of my shirt to avoid snagging it on anything. The quick-release plug snaps snugly to the battery cord giving it the feel that it won’t disconnect at every little bump but that it would breakaway should you get it seriously caught on something while working.
I wanted to test some of the features of the light like the personal visibility distance and the battery life. The manufacturer states that the light can be seen up to a quarter mile away and the battery lasts 12 hours on full power. I set the light up at night and measured off a quarter mile with my truck and the light was clearly visible in both Halo mode and HI-Alert mode. After fully charging the battery I turned the light on in Halo mode to see how long the batter would last. After a little over 13 ½ hours the light flashed three times and switched to Dim mode. When the battery gets this low it stays in Dim mode permanently, flashing three times every three minutes to remind you that the battery is low. It took another 2 ½ hours for the battery to die completely and the light cut off.
The manufacturer also states that the Halo Light was designed to fit on the majority of hard hats being sold today. I took the Halo Light down to the nearest building supply store where they had a both full brim and cap style hard hats from a handful of manufacturers. The light fit snugly and securely to every make and model of hard hat in the store. I can even grab the light from both sides when it’s on my hard hat and shake it up and down without it slipping or sliding out of place.
ILLUMAGEAR is billing the Halo Light as a Personal Active Safety System™ that allows the wearer to “see and be seen” from all directions and in all directions in order for them to safely do their job. The Halo Light has an International Protection (IP) Rating of 67 which means that the product is dust-proof and can survive being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. I decided not to dunk mine in water but the folks at ILLUMAGEAR have a YouTube channel set up with videos where they submerge a unit along with other tests showing the ruggedness and durability of the Halo Light. You can check out ILLUMAGEAR’s YouTube channel here.
Overall I think the Halo Light is a great product and I enjoyed testing it out. The innovative design combines functionality and safety together into a low-profile design that contours nicely to the shape of a hard hat. I’ve looked at a lot of headlamps over the past week in hardware stores, outdoor recreation and camping stores as well as online and couldn’t find any that had the 360 degree illumination that the Halo Light offers.
I’ve shown it off to a few contractors and construction workers over the past few days and the reaction has been positive from everyone I’ve shown it to. The only thing that I would change is I would have two separate lights on the charger to indicate if the battery is charging or charged instead of the one light that illuminates either green or red. I, like roughly 8% of the male population, suffer from red-green colorblindness so I had to have my wife tell me when the battery pack was fully charged.
The Halo Light is currently available for purchase on ILLUMAGEAR’s website, www.illumagear.com, and retails for $229. They also sell additional batteries, wall chargers, car chargers and replacement clips.