Yes, headlamps come in two basic varieties. Those that are rechargeable via a USB cable, and those that use batteries (typically 3 AAA batteries).
The key advantage to USB rechargeable headlamps: they are generally lighter and less bulky. And you avoid the battery replacement expense, which can add up if you use it frequently.
What’s the downside to rechargeable headlamps? They don’t last as long as those that run on alkaline batteries. The latter can run 40 to 50 hours on low . . . compare that to the three to five hour run time for a rechargeable headlamp.
Of course, depending on how you use the headlamp, that may not matter as much. For example, for those that use a headlamp to walk a dog at night, a rechargeable headlamp is probably a great fit.
After looking at 9 different rechargeable headlamps—including some pricey name brands—we decided the simple Soft Digit’s Headlamp Flashlight is the best bet for most folks. Good quality, decent run time AND a price that doesn’t break the bank.
What We Liked
• Good battery life for most uses. In the real world, this headlamp works for about three to four hours before dimming. Good for walking the dog or crafting.
• Comfortable to wear.
• Two pack = easy on the wallet.
• Motion sensor turns unit on/off.
• USB rechargeable = no batteries to replace.
• Head pivots by 45 degrees. That is most helpful when doing home repairs or hand work.
• 8 light modes, including strobe, red beam on low and SOS.
What Needs Work
• No memory function. That means it won’t remember your last setting.
• To shut off the unit, you must cycle through all the light settings first.
• Motion sensor can be too sensitive.