Purchasing a new LED headlight can be tricky, so we've put together an informative blog post to help you make the right decision.
Advantages and Disadvantages
This is perhaps the most important factor. The light will add weight to the bridge of your nose, which, over the course of a day, can become very uncomfortable. This may limit the use of your light to only specific procedures, or cause you to resort back to the overhead dental light - a far inferior form of illumination.
It is important that the beam colour is as close to natural daylight as possible, to allow you to assess the 'true colour' of teeth. This colour is described in Kelvins, and the ideal loupes light colour is around 5500 degrees Kelvin, which is a bright white light. To assess this, shine the light at a wall and see what colour light it is producing.
LEDs are the most common light source in a loupes light, although some older systems rely on fibre optic illumination.
The intensity at which the beam is set is primarily dependent on personal preference. Most opthamologists agree that an intensity around 25-30,000 lux (a measure of light intensity) is ideal - and any more than will result in 'wash out' of the surgical field.
It is highly beneficial therefore if the intensity of the light can be changed by the user.
Battery systems vary in their battery life, recharge time, and on/off control. A long battery life is clearly desirable, and it will allow you to use the light all day, without worrying about charging it or having to swap batteries. A short recharge time (eg 2 hours) will allow you to recharge the light over lunchtime.
More advanced batteries offer handsfree control to turn the light on/off. This is advantageous from an infection control perspective, and also for ease of use.
The following brands are shown in order based on the Dental Town (Townie) product awards 2015 - where dental professionals have voted on the best dental headlights.
Source: www.dentaltown.com - Best Dental Headlights 2015
Feather Light - Ultra Light Optics
LED DayLite - Designs for Vision
Cost: $800 (£572)
MicroLine - PeriOptix
Cost: $720 (£515)