To ensure excellent performance and quality for each product, all Petzl headlamps undergo different mechanical, electrical and optical simulations during their development. These tests adhere to rigorous protocol, with requirements that significantly surpass those imposed by the common standards. This particularly strict process ensures that each technical solution is inspected during use, and that the relevance of the product is checked.
Beyond laboratory tests, the first prototypes undergo numerous field tests, allowing true-condition verification of the ergonomics, the comfort of use, and the reliability of the headlamp over time.
The product will receive final approval only after many months of development and testing.
Lighting performance and mechanical resistance tests are performed in the lab. These tests are first carried out at an ambient temperature of 20 °C, and then at extreme temperatures between -30 °C and +60 °C.
Just after switching on, the lighting performance of the lamp decreases in a systematic way. Regulation technology allows performance to be stabilized over a given duration. To give the user realistic data, Petzl communicates only about stabilized or "useful working" values. Petzl measures luminous flux, lighting distance and burn time.
The lighting power, or luminous flux is the total quantity of light emitted in every direction from a source of light. Luminous flux is expressed in lumens (lm). This value is measured in the lab with the help of an integrated sphere device.
Examples of luminous flux values:
- candlelight: 10 lumens
- PIXA 3: 50 lumens
- household lighting: 100 to 200 lumens
- ULTRA: 350 lumens
According to Petzl's protocol, lighting distance corresponds to the distance to which a headlamp illuminates at 0.25 lux or more.
Burn time is measured on a testing platform equipped with a luxmeter. This device measures the brightness provided by the headlamp.
The resulting burn time corresponds to useable lighting, i.e. the duration during which lighting remains stable. After that period, the user has reserve lighting that guarantees 0.25 lux (over a length of time that varies according to the model).
Note: The threshold of 0.25 lux is measured at a distance of 2 meters (a minimum lighting level that corresponds to the light of a full moon).
Also consult the "Constant lighting" section.
The mechanical strength of headlamps is verified with fall, shock, and crushing tests. These tests are performed twice on the most fragile parts of the six faces of each product: lens, rotator dial, etc.
- fall tests: headlamps fall 10 m, 5 m, 2 m and 1 m
- shock tests: tested with a weight of 500 g dropped from a 40 cm height
- crushing test: a mass of 80 kg rolls over the lamp
Function tests verify the mechanical endurance of the moving parts of each product. Each function is tested with the help of a series of automatic tests in order to ensure their proper functioning and reliability over time:
- selector dial
- battery pack
A supplementary test subjects the headlamp to strong vibrations.
Before being removed from the assembly line, all Petzl headlamps are inspected individually. These operations include a measurement of lighting performance carried out with a specific digital camera, and a test for water-tightness.
Any product that does not satisfy these tests is permanently removed from the production line and sent to Petzl's R&D department for evaluation. An in-depth analysis is performed in order to establish technical solutions for correction.
LEDs used by Petzl meet precise requirements established by the R&D Department. These same LEDs are then randomly tested before the headlamps are assembled, in order to verify the light color, the electrical consumption, the luminous flux, and the light output.