Black Diamond Iota LED Headlamp

The manufacturer provided this product for the purpose of this review.

 By Jenn K.

The Iota LED Headlamp arrived in the denim color (blue) and right off I noticed how compact the Iota is. It fits in the palm of my hand. I have some older models of headlamps by various manufactures and any that are smaller than the Iota do not have as many lumens. The Iota packs a punch in a small package with a maximum light output of 150 lumens and a minimum of 4 lumens. The manufacturer indicates on the packaging that this is “a tiny rechargeable light for morning runs or post-work scrambles”. The Iota weighs in at 52 grams.

The Iota has many features in its compact design. First off it has a rechargeable/integrated Li-Ion battery. On one hand I find this to be a good feature to eliminate the use of disposable or rechargeable batteries, but I feel uneasy heading out into the wilderness for an overnight trips without extra batteries or a way to charge my light source. I usually bring extra batteries or another small headlamp. The Iota came with a USB cable that can be attached to my car, my laptop, or an outlet (with a plug) for charging. It would also charge with my phone back up battery. I am curious to see how long it takes to fully charge the Iota from various power sources. The packaging indicates there is a 3-hour charging time to become fully charged and there is an indicator light on the face of the Iota that it is charged or the charging status. A solid green light means it is charged and the light will flash green while charging. The indicator light on the face of the Iota also indicates how much juice it has. It comes on for a few seconds after the Iota is turned on. A green light means good to go, orange means there is 25-50% remaining, and red is the danger zone with less than 25% remaining. Maybe with the battery indicator I will be more at ease not having the ability to charge it in the field. My other headlamps did not have a battery indicator.

Some additional features the Iota hosts are a 20-hour burn time on the low setting and a 2-hour burn time at the maximum setting. Also the viewable distance indicated by the manufacturer to be 8 meters on the low setting and 40 meters(oval beam) on the high setting. It will be interesting to see burn time and general illumination distance. The on/off switch is located on the top of the headlamp and this also operates the dimmer if pressed down continuously, activate the strobe by pressing it three times, and the lock/unlock function is activated if the button is held down for three seconds. This is helpful so the Iota is not accidentally turned on inside of a pack. I know that has happened to me many times in the past with other headlamps. There is also a feature that is called PowerTap. This activated by pressing the side of the headlamp. This is designed to allow fast and simple transitioning between full and dimmed power in order to instantly increase illumination in distance or proximity modes-per the manufacturer. Both switches are easy to operate and press without excessive force.

The Iota has an adjustable headband, can be tilted via a hinge on the Iota headband attachment. The hinge appears sturdy and the headlamp stays in position when tilted. The headband can also be hand washed if needed.

This headlamp is not waterproof; it is listed as being splashproof. It has a IPX4 rating to protect against splashed water from any angle. The recommended temperatures for use is between 110 F and 0 F.

The Iota LED Headlamp retails for $39.95 and is available in the following colors: salt water, denim, octane, nickel, and black. For more information please visit The manufacturer also honors a 3-year warranty.

Check back next month to see how the Iota is working for me.