The Princeton Tec Aurora is one slick little headlamp. It
feels very solid in the hand, is comfortable on the head,
and sports very long battery life. Although redundancy is
always wise when going in the wilderness, I wouldn't be afraid
of taking this headlamp along camping with no spare batteries
due to its excellent battery conservation.
Fit and finish of the Aurora are very good. The two halves
of the unit snap together firmly and seal tightly. There are
no sharp edges or significant blemishes on the unit. The overall
quality seems very good as well.
Output and beam quality are both very nice. The beam is a
smooth flood of light which can be directed wherever the user
wishes due to the hinge between the strap and the body of
the light. The fact that the Aurora is adjustable for brightness
(and therefore battery conservation) and has 2 signaling blinking
modes makes this headlamp a multipurpose lighting tool. The
dim modes of the 3 LEDs are created by rapidly blinking the
LEDs. This creates the illusion in the eye that the light
is dim but constant, and conserves the batteries. If you move
rapidly you may see this stroboscopic effect while looking
Water resistance is very good, advertised as "waterproof"
with no depth rating. This translates to "dunkable"
in my ratings. Rain, bad weather, etc. should have no effect.
A dunk test demonstrated that it really is watertight. If
the Aurora is not closed properly water can get in. If the
unit does get water inside, open it, shake it out, and leave
it open to dry. If salt water gets in, open the unit, remove
the batteries, rinse with fresh water, shake it out, and leave
it open to dry. Using the Aurora with moisture inside can
cause the electronics to malfunction.
Drops, kicks and tosses have no effect on the light whatsoever,
except to mar the surface of the plastic. The clear plastic
lens protecting the LEDs protrudes and may become scratched
or cloudy from abrasion. For the perfectionists out there:
I have found that carefully polishing clear plastic with a
damp cloth and paste-type toothpaste will rub out most minor
Important things to note: The switch does take quite a bit
of pressure to activate. Don't be surprised if it takes a
good squeeze to activate the unit. On the plus side, it shouldn't
be necessary to take the batteries out of the unit if you
put it in your pack.
Improvements: Can't think of any... The Aurora is a great
little "around the camp" or "around the house"
headlamp. It's better than many of the headlamps I've reviewed.
I prefer 3 point headbands, but the Aurora is very lightweight
and the wide band holds it securely on the head.
4 Stars for feature circuitry, solid construction, light
weight, water resistance, and usefulness.
+ + + Pluses: Waterproof, Tough/impact
resistant, Long battery life, Bright, Lightweight, 5 operational
modes including dimming
- - - Minuses: No regulation, Battery
change requires a little coordination and care, Switch is