Gear Scout: LED Lenser SEO 7R

Over the last several months I have been evaluating many of the newer headlamps to hit the market. While many of them have been rather uninspired additions to an already crowed field, a few have stood out as impressive discoveries. The SEO 7R from LED Lenser falls into that latter category.

With a maximum output of 220 lumens at five hours of burn time, and a minimum of 20 lumens at a burn time of 40 hours, the SEO 7R produces respectable performance numbers. They are not outstanding, but they’re not all this headlamp has to offer.

Like a growing number of headlamps, the SEO 7R is rechargeable. That too is not anything to write home about except for the fact the light has been engineered to use either the Li-Ion power pack or three AAA batteries. This gives the light added versitility, particularly when a recharge source is not available. Other useful features include a small red LED light, a comfortable and adjustable headband, and an easy to actuate primary power button. All of the above are fairly standard features these days, but the SEO 7R has one more significant trick up its sleeve.


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They call it OPTISENSE Technology. In short, the SEO 7R is capable of automatically adjusting light output to save power and to produce only the amount of light required for a given usage. As an example, when pointed towards a big dark expanse, the lamp automatically dials up the power to the full 220 lumens. As soon as you look down at a book or map, the lamp senses the amount of light being reflected and dials the power down to the lowest setting. That may not seem like a radical advancement, but it works, and it is very convenient.

With an IPX6 rating, the SEO 7R is respectably water resistant, and the overall build quality is consistent with our expectations at this price point. The 5-year warranty is better than most, and the $90 entry point, while not cheap, seems more than reasonable.

At 3.28 ounces, this isn’t a light––light. I wouldn’t call it very compact, but it is comfortable to wear. The light pattern it produces is clean with no dead spots and features LED Lenser’s Advance Focus System which creates a nice flood pattern of light and an impressive spot pattern with long reach. There’s a lot to like about the SEO 7R. Full featured and nicely made, it will see a lot of action in the months to come. So far, I’m very impressed with its performance.

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Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.