Wiz is our Top Pick for kids. Easy to use. Not too bright, diffused light at about half the brightness of the Flood mode of the Spot. Fun color mode. Dimmable, and remembers last setting to avoid blasting siblings eyes. It is hard for kids to get the batteries out, presumably to kid-proof them for safety, which seems like a great idea to this Dad.For parents, the Wiz is a safer light for use by younger kids, that is fun and easy to use.
Black Diamond Wiz Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Thoughtfully designed for use by young kids, child-proof battery area, not too bright, fun color option
Cons: Not a great light for grown-ups or even older kids, poor battery life
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Compare to Similar Products
Black Diamond Wiz
|Price||$24.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$89.00 at Amazon||$50 List||$28.00 at Backcountry||$28.74 at Amazon|
|Pros||Thoughtfully designed for use by young kids, child-proof battery area, not too bright, fun color option||Bright wide beam, good battery life, durable design, rechargeable||Excellent trail finding and close proximity beam, waterproof, above average battery life||Excellent spot light capability, wide evenly lit flood beam, above average in most ways||Excellent brightness and beam control, often available online at discount|
|Cons||Not a great light for grown-ups or even older kids, poor battery life||Expensive, 18650 Li-ion battery is not included, heavier than average||More expensive, heavier than average, claimed battery life is very misleading||Below average battery life, claimed battery life is wildly misleading, single button hard to use, lame waterproofing||Average battery life, heavier and bulkier than most|
|Bottom Line||Just the ticket for younger kids who want their own light, but would get in trouble with most lights||A stunningly bright light that offers impressive battery life. If you can afford it, it won't disappoint||You can't go wrong with the Storm, high performance, quality optics, and durable design||Offering excellent optics, a bright wide beam, and strong performance for the price, the Spot is one of our favorites||We used to love the Coast, but competing lights have stepped up, while the HL7 is unchanged|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Wiz||Zebralight H600w Mk IV||Black Diamond Storm||Black Diamond Spot||Coast HL7|
|Trail Finding (35%)|
|Close Proximity (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Wiz||Zebralight H600w...||Black Diamond Storm||Black Diamond Spot||Coast HL7|
|Measured Beam Distance||7 m||121 m||91 m||94 m||112 m|
|Claimed Distance||20 m||Not specified||85 m||80 m||119 m|
|Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI)||3.3 hrs||3.1 hrs||5 hrs||2.9 hrs||3.1 hrs|
|Claimed High Mode Run-time||5 hrs||2.9 hrs||40 hrs||30 hrs||1.5 hrs|
|Measured Low Mode Run-time||3.3 hrs||232 hrs||42 hrs||9.7 hrs||25 hrs|
|Claimed Low Mode Run-time||120 hrs||203 hrs||120 hrs||175 hrs||70 hrs|
|Measured Weight||2.3 oz, 65 g||4.5 oz, 127 g||4 oz, 112 g||3.1 oz, 89 g||4.5 oz, 127 g|
|Battery Type||2 AAA||18650 rechargeable Li-ion||4 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA|
|Water Resistance||IPX4 splash proof||IPX8 waterproof to 2 meters, 30 minutes||IP67 waterproof to one meter and dustproof||Splash proof (dubious IPX8 claim)||water resistant|
|Manuf Claimed Lumens||30 lumens||1400 lumens||350 lumens||300 lumens||285 lumens|
|Red Light||kids multi-color||no||yes, red/green/blue night-vision modes||yes||no|
|On Switch Lock||no, 2 hr auto-shutoff||yes (tailcap lockout)||yes||yes||no|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Our favorite thing about the Wiz is that it offers a very diffused flood beam that is not too bright. Nothing is more of a buzzkill on your fabulous family camping trip, when you are just about to break out the Smores, than a sibling crying because their brother or sister blinded them with their headlamp beam on full-bright. And, this issue of one kid blinding another just keeps happening, more so now than ever before, because headlamps today are just so amazingly bright.
The Wiz is unique in offering a beam that is not very bright, only shining about 7 meters (or 23 feet) at its max setting, which is plenty bright for use around camp, yet not so bright that it hurts your eyes (much) if you look right into it. Even better, you can dim it a bit, and it remembers the dim level setting (which we definitely recommend for younger kids, since the default max level is brighter than necessary).
It is very easy to use, with a single large button and no fancy features. One click turns it on, and a second click switches it to color. Press and hold activates dimming, which is intuitive and easy. The one trick that you might not guess, is that if you switch to color lighting, a double-click activates a cycling through the full rainbow spectrum of colors; once you find your favorite color a single click locks it in. The Wiz remembers the dimming level and color you last used, making it easy to lock in the right brightness and color for your kids.
The biggest performance issue for the Wiz is battery life. It is powered by just two AAA batteries, which doesn't quite seem enough. Most lights offer a powerful spot mode with relatively short run-time and a low-intensity flood mode that offers longer battery life. The Wiz works only as a floodlight, and even when set to maximum brightness it puts out about the same brightness as other lights in their low mode. Yet while the Petzl Tikkina lasted an amazing 223 hours in low mode, we found the Wiz lasted only 3.3 hours in our low mode run-time test. That is a disappointing run-time any way you look at it and very poor when compared to other headlamps as you can see in the chart below. Bottom line: bring extra batteries.
Another issue is the inability to use this headlamp as a kids nite light. We like to use a headlamp as a nite light by dimming it down to a low level, and/or switching to the red LED on lights that offer that feature, to provide a comfortable ambient lighting all night. The Wiz disables this functionality by building in an auto shut off after 2 hours. They do so, to avoid leaving the light accidentally on and draining batteries. But, for us, the issue of kids being afraid of the dark is a much bigger concern than the risk of dead batteries.
Last, and really not a problem from our point of view, the Wiz weak beam throw, only casting a 7-meter beam. This is not so much a dislike, as a feature, since it is by offering a soft lower intensity and well-diffused beam that the Wiz spares kids from accidentally blinding each other's eyes. The light level is plenty bright enough for walking down a smooth path or taking the dog for a nighttime walk, but this does limit the Wiz from offering similar all-around that other low-cost general-purpose headlamps deliver. One implication is that your kids will outgrow the Wiz overtime, when they are old enough to responsibly use a more powerful headlamp (i.e. not blind the eyes of their siblings), they will both want and love to use a light with a more powerful beam.
The Wiz is not perfect if you consider it as a general-purpose headlamp. But, when you think of it as a light just for young kids, the Wiz is a tour de force of thoughtful design. It is a great choice, our Top Pick for Kids, that will make for happier family adventures such as camping, family travel, or sleepovers. Just bring some extra batteries.
— RJ Spurrier