Daylight runs thin this time of year, but with a new breed of lighter, brighter LED headlamps on the market, the dark night is no reason to stay out of the woods. Here are four headlamps that turn night into day. Petzl Zippka Plus2 headlamp The single high output LED sheds 50 lumens of light, which is plenty bright for trail running, night hiking, or taking care of campsite business. But what truly sets the Zippka apart is the retractable cord. Instead of a traditional strap, you’ve got a zippy cord that you can cinch around your head, wrist, tent pole, handlebars, or trekking pole. Our tester strapped it to his forehead beneath his bike helmet for extra lighting on a night ride—something you can’t do with bulkier strap systems. Later, he strapped it to his seat post for added visibility on the road commute home. Bottom line: Different mounting possibilities make the Zippka far more versatile than most other headlamps. $42.95. petzl.com Princeton Tec Remix Princeton Tec went back to the drawing board with their most popular headlamps (the Fuel and Remix), building brighter, longer burning lamps without adding additional weight. Our tester liked the Remix, which combines three small LEDs with a Maxbright Rebel LED to put out 45 lumens in a featherweight package (2.9 ounces). The Remix distinguishes itself with its burn time. Switch the lamp to economic mode and you’ll get 200 hours of light—almost twice as economic as most comparable headlamps. Bottom line: It’s light, bright, and burns forever. $44.99. princetontec.com Brunton L3 Imagine strapping one of those police-issue spotlights to your head. That’s the sort of power you’re getting with the L3--one of the brightest LED headlamps on the market. Brunton uses a single 3-watt Luxeon LED with external battery packs (C batteries) to put out 85 lumens. The total package is brighter than most commuter bike lights, giving trail runners and adventure racers more power in the woods without being weighed down by a traditional bike light’s battery pack. The lamp and strap are balanced well on your head, but can be a bit heavy for running (8.7 ounces). Look into Brunton’s compatible Runner’s Belt if you’re looking for a super-bright running option. Bottom line: It’s pricier than other headlamps, but almost twice as powerful, so you get what you pay for. $152. brunton.com Mammut TR1 with Ambient Light Mammut’s TR1 features four LEDs, and it's crisp and light at 2.5 ounces. But what impressed us most was the attachable Ambient Light, a flexible casing that clips onto any Mammut T-series headlamp to diffuse the light, turning the headlamp into a camping lantern. The TR1 is light enough for trail running, but the Ambient Light addition made this package ideal for backpacking, lighting up our tester’s campsite without the hassle of lugging a traditional lantern. Bottom line: Combine the TR1 with the Ambient for one of the lightest headlamp-lantern combos on the market. Ambient Light $10.95; TR1 $35. Mammut.ch What the heck is a lumen? Since the invention of the light bulb, light manufacturers used “candle power” to rate their lights, but it was a subjective, and often manipulated, rating system. In recent years, “lumens” have become the industry standard unit of measurement. Manufacturers use a hollow sphere to capture all the light from a lamp, then measure the output with a light sensor. Measuring the total light output with the enclosed sphere eliminates subjective measurements based on lamp “hot spots.” The higher the number of “lumens” the brighter the lamp.