At this year's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, Petzl stole the show with its innovative Nao headlamp, a lamp that marks the introduction of the company's "reactive lighting." Unlike other headlamps, which either burn steadily for a short amount of time or burn with decreasing intensity for a longer time, the Nao automatically adjusts to your lighting needs. It does this by relying on a light sensor mounted just over the two LEDs. The light sensor measures ambient light and adjusts the size and intensity of the beam to your current activity. You get up to 355 lumens directed intuitively where you need it most.
If you're too much of a control freak to relinquish your light settings to a machine, you can simply flick the switch and get a steady beam. With OS by Petzl software, you can also program your own lighting preferences into the lamp so that it auto-adjusts more specifically to your needs. You can store up to four different profiles (think trail running, hiking, camping, etc.) to get just the right combination of light every time.
The Nao includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery but can also get limited output from two AAA batteries in a pinch.
The Nao will launch this July with a retail price of $175. In the meantime, you can get more information at Petzl's Nao Web page.