Friday, August 19, 2022

NEO9R (1200 Lumens) & NEO1R (250 Lumens) Running/ Hiking Headlamps Review


Article by Jeff Valliere and John Tribbia

 Ledlenser NEO9R ($150) & NEO1R ($70) Headlamps

We very much enjoyed reviewing the Ledlenser NEO10R and NEO6R headlamps 2 years ago and now have the opportunity to review the NEO9R and the NEO1R, two of their newer, more advanced headlamps as we quickly move towards the ever shortening days of Fall and Winter. 

Packing much more bang for the buck with more lumens, magnetic charging, temperature control, flashing red safety lights, light weight, warm glow lighting  and high quality, these new offerings are among the best out there. Please read on to find out more.


Max 1,200 Lumens

7.25oz/208 grams

$149.95 Available now

Jeff V:  The NEO9R really packs a punch, with 1,200 lumens, all in a reasonable 7.2oz/ 208 gram package.  The 9R features 3 different brightness settings, operated by a single, easy to operate button, where you can select from 20 lumens/5 meters of light projection for 120 hours, up to a max of 1,200 lumens, projecting 200 meters for 5 hours (they did not list the stats on the medium setting, but would guess right in the middle around 600 lumens).  

Additionally, for safety/visibility, the band is reflective and there is a flashing red light on the back of the battery unit.

John: The 9R provides an incredibly bright and warm white light. What I love most about the brightness is the combined spot-wide beam that emits from the 9R. It means a hands free experience to see directly and periphery. The wide angle beam works well to see in front of your feet and in the broader obstacles ahead. The spot beam is always on and is excellent for seeing specific objects that are between 10-25 meters. On the road, the beam is strong enough to keep oncoming cars aware of your presence. On dark trails, the brightness and hue are perfect to illuminate obstacles near and far, thanks to the combination of wide angle and spot modes.

Jeff V: I prefer a rechargeable battery pack and the NEO9R delivers here with a magnetic charging cable that is easy to pop on and off.  While I like this method due to its ease, I would rather have USB-C or Micro USB instead of another unique, proprietary cable that I need to keep track of, not lose and yet another cable to remember if I travel. 

To keep track of how much battery is available, there is a handy indicator with 4 Leds on the head unit.

Comfort and fit are good, with the light unit being very lightweight for no bounce, though the battery pack feels a bit chunky and heavy (though you are getting a lot of brightness for a good duration, so there is a trade off here).

Brightness and hue are excellent, projecting a warm glow of light spotting both far ahead and wide, which helps provide better depth perception and visual acuity at night.  For most of my night running on technical trails, I find the mid setting to be more than adequate, though it is really nice to have that max 1,200 lumen setting when really needed.

John: I agree with Jeff on the magnetic charging cable. It is easy to use and stays attached if the headlamp is stored in a place where it can’t be moved. Similarly, make sure you have a USB-C compatible outlet plug or charger on hand when you get the 9R, because it only comes with a cord. 

As far as battery charge, I did the same test as I ran with the 10R by “forgetting” to charge multiple consecutive days. I found that the 9R, despite a heavier battery pack, could only handle about 3.5 hours on full beam before losing power compared to the 6 hours that the 10R was able to hold

The NEO9R features an ergonomic design with a removable overhead strap to give a customized fit. You can also choose to use the included chest belt as an optional wearing method, but I found the fit creates a lot of bouncing despite my efforts to tighten as much as possible. I think a slower, hiking cadence would generate less bounce. That said the traditional fit over the head is amazing!

1,200 max lumens full blast:

~600 lumen middle setting:

20 lumen low setting (this one looks deceptively good because my camera is compensating with good night shutter mode)


Max 250 Lumens

1.4oz/40 grams

$69.95. Available now

The NEO1R packs a nice punch in an exceptionally small, compact and light package.  At just 1.4 oz or 40 grams, the 1R puts off an impressive amount of warm light.  Like the 9R, it projects a nice warm beam which is adequate for urban running or even trail running for a short period of time, such as starting off in the dark when it will be light in a half an hour, or when you can’t quite finish a hike or run before dark at the end of the day.

The fit is amazingly comfortable, as the rubber anchors that extend to the band are flexible and wide enough to help keep the lamp from flipping or rotating.  The 1R is so light and fits so well, it is easy to forget that you are wearing it.

Like the 9R, a single button is employed for operation to turn on/off, toggle the 2 light brightness settings and switch from white to red light.

The red light option is nice for moving around camp or the house with less chance of waking/bothering anyone, although it is mainly intended to preserve night vision.

Max 250 lumen:

Like the 9R, the 1R also has magnetic charging:

Being so light, the 1R is very comfortable and nearly goes unnoticed while wearing and the super compact design allows it to fit in any running short pocket or vest almost entirely unnoticed, perfect for bringing along, just in case. 

John: The NEO1R is an ultra-compact headlamp and I love that it fits in any pocket. I really liked the ability to stash it in my short pocket or waist belt for walks in the dwindling evening light or starting out in a close-to-sunrise time where just a little extra illumination comes in handy. The 1R is light on the head, actually it is basically unnoticeable, and it stays stable thanks to the rubber side holdings. It has an adjustable tilt for uphill and downhill changes and a mostly broad beam that provides sufficient lighting for how minimal it is. As with the 9R, I love the magnetic charging. I found the battery pack holds a charge for about 2-3 hours on the 250 lumen output.

NEO9R & NEO1R headlamps are available from Ledlenser HERE

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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Jeff Valliere said...


Jon said...

Change your title. You have the same model twice
"NEO1R (1200 Lumens) & NEO1R (250 Lumens) Running/ Hiking Headlamps Review"
One should be the NEO9R

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks for the catch Jon! Much appreciated. Need new glasses! Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Does the 9R have an extension cable? I have the 10R, and the cable makes such a difference. I stuff the battery in my pack/belt with the cable tucked away, no bother on the head. Only thing they can improve on is the quality and functionality of the elastic straps.

Jeff Valliere said...

Anon, unfortunately not and I don't see a way for it to be done since the battery pack is not detacheable from the headband. This would be a great modification though, as this battery pack is much heavier than the one used for the 10R.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried mounting the Neo9R on the waist? Is it comfortable and does the light bounce at that position?

Jeff Valliere said...

Anon, waist mounting is comfortable and OK for slower paces/hiking, but bounces at faster paces. John has tested this more and will be adding his input very soon.