The Gerber Meridian headlamp consists of a three point headband system,
a rear 3 AA battery pack, and a front lamp assembly which contains
separate "pods" for a Luxeon LED, a green 5mm LED and a red 5mm LED.
A regulator circuit is advertised as included to help maintain
Body: "Unconventional" seems to be the watchword
for the design of many of Gerber's new lights. This headlamp
has a fully adjustable three point elastic headband system and a rear 3 AA battery
compartment which all seems pretty normal. The light is
made mostly of plastic, and a cable connects the battery compartment
to the light module in the front. The lighting module
on the front of the headlamp, however, is a bit different from most.
Bezel: Looking at the front of the Gerber Meridian you see
three "pods". The largest one contains a Luxeon LED and collimator lens, while
the other two contain reflectors colored green and red and each has a single 5mm
LED inside that matches the color of the reflector when energized.
Each pod has its own reflector. The Luxeon has its own switch while the
red and green LEDs share a switch. Selecting between the red and green
LEDs is done by clicking the switch in series. Holding the switch for
4 seconds causes the red LED to blink.
Output: The Luxeon LED puts out a heavily greenish-yellow tinted light
as can be seen in the fairly accurately-colored beam picture, below. The red and
green LEDs produce ringy beams. All three LEDs do produce a good
amount of light. The white Luxeon is the all-purpose light. Red
will help preserve your night vision, while green is supposed to be
less likely to spook game animals and is also compatible with electronic night vision
equipment. The Luxeon appears centered well in the lens and the green beam
overlaps the white, but the read beam is skewed hard to the left.
throw readings are in Lux
at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison
in the Comparison
Beam at one meter at target center; Luxeon, green and
Runtime Plot: The runtime graph is for the Luxeon only.
This was actually a big surprise - great runtime!
completed with Gerber brand batteries. More information
on runtime plots is available HERE.
Switch: The switches for the Meridian are small rectangles
protected by raised ridges around each switch. Cutouts in the
ridges allow easy activation while helping to prevent accidental
activation. The Luxeon switch is on the bottom of the Luxeon pod
while the red/green switch rests on the side of the headlamp between
the two pods. Both the Luxeon and the red or green LED can be active
at the same time.
Seals: I'm not too sure about this one. The battery pack seems
to rely on the rubber cover to seal itself against the hard plastic
battery case. I just can't tell about the lamp module. I'd say it's
splashable, but I'm not too sure how far I'd push it. If it gets wet inside
just open it up as much as you can and let it dry before next use.
Ergonomics: The lamp module is very small, and the headlamp is about as
comfortable as any other. Nothing bad to report in this area.
One problem that did surface is how the strap
is made. Looking carefully at the left side of the battery compartment
you can see that something appears wrong with the straps. Sure enough,
the folks who sewed the strap together put a 1/2 twist in the strap. The only
way to fix it is to completely replace the strap or cut the stitching and
re-sew. Poor quality control at its best...
Batteries: 3 AA alkaline cells power the light. To open the
battery compartment you have to loosen the straps (why do so many
headlamp manufacturers do this???) and then peel open the rubbery
compartment cover. Place the cells in as indicated on the inside of the
compartment, replace the cover and replace the straps.
Accessories: Batteries are included.
What I Liked: Three types of light output,
Impact resistant, Regulated/good battery life,
What I Didn't Like: Not sure about water resistance,
Poor color tint Luxeon, Red LED out of alignment and not adjustable.
Other Things I Noticed: Must loosen the
straps to change the batteries.
Conclusions: An OK headlamp. Not great, but
not junk either. Good light volume output, but the Luxeon has
a strong tint. Having three colors of light available is nice
depending on your circumstances.