LED Headlights are a relatively new technology in the dental and medical industry. Halogen Headlights, which came on the market in the early 1960’s, dominated the headlight market until the mid-2000’s. The biggest complaint about Halogen headlights, was the fact the power cord had to be plugged into an electrical outlet. This was very cumbersome and literally tethered the practitioner to a wall plug.
With the introduction of the “portable LED Headlight,” which SheerVision introduced to the dental market in 2005, the practitioner was able to have total mobility. They were no longer tethered to an electrical outlet. The LED headlight pulls its energy from a rechargeable power pack, which can be dropped into the pocket of a pair of scrubs, and/or clipped onto a lab coat.
During the last 10 years, interest started growing in a “Cordless LED Headlight.” The power cord started to be considered cumbersome, and the original complaint of being “tethered” to an electrical outlet, transformed into being tethered to a power pack and/or battery pack. The problem is, however, that an LED Headlight requires a significant energy source to provide a powerful light beam. So, the question becomes, where does the LED get this energy. The only way a rechargeable Cordless LED can provide a light beam is through the standard battery packs that we are all familiar with (similar to AA and AAA batteries). A cordless LED is always going to be dimmer than a corded LED and will need to have the batteries changed 2 – 3 times a day. There is always going to be the proximity of the batteries to the source of the headlight. So, you will have rechargeable batteries on the bridge of your nose, at the back of your head, or behind your ears. If the batteries are on a headband, they are placed on the top of your head in many cases. And keep in mind that you will be continually changing out these batteries during the day.
SheerVision developed a Cordless LED Headlight in 2016. It was sleek (smaller than the competition), very bright and fit on the top of the bridge of the SheerVision sports frame. Even with a small footprint, and a single battery, it still added weight at the bridge of the nose. The SheerVision Cordless Headlight provided 3 hours of continual usage. SheerVision provided 4 batteries, so there were always batteries at the ready that were fully charged. There was an on/off button on the top of the cordless LED which also provided an intensity control. SheerVision introduced the Cordless LED Headlight at the CDA in May of 2016. We sold out the first day, and continued to sell high volumes of this Cordless LED Headlight in the months to come.
After 6 months of offering our Cordless LED Headlight, SheerVision discontinued it. Not due to any manufacturing issues, but because we felt it was not providing the level of cutting-edge technology we pride ourselves on. It was causing our dentists and dental hygienists timing issues with their procedures, many times having to stop in the middle of a procedure to change out a battery. It gets tiresome to have to change out batteries 2-3 times in a day. After 7 – 8 hours of wearing the Cordless LED Headlight on the bridge of the nose, the pressure could be felt. And the fact is, the Cordless LED was dimmer than our Mini Headlight, which is a corded headlight that only weighs 2 grams and one single battery charge lasts 8 – 10 hours. So, as a company, SheerVision had to stop and ask ourselves, are we providing a product that is really an advantage to our clients or are we just offering this Cordless LED Headlight because our competition is? Unless SheerVision can truly solve a problem for our clients, we felt we were doing a disservice to them and made the decision to discontinue this product. We felt then and certainly feel now, that the Corded LED Headlight continues to be a superior option over the Cordless LED Headlight for the following reasons:
- Consistent and Reliable Power: Corded LED headlights are directly powered by an electrical source, ensuring a consistent and uninterrupted supply of light throughout procedures. This reliability is crucial in situations where continuous illumination is essential, such as lengthy dental surgeries or medical examinations.
- Longer Operating Time: Corded LED headlights can operate continuously without the need for battery changes or recharging. This extended operating time is especially beneficial during extended procedures, as it eliminates the risk of the light dimming or going out at a critical moment.
- No Battery-Related Interruptions: Cordless LED headlights rely on batteries, and even the most advanced batteries may need to be replaced or recharged periodically. Using a corded headlight eliminates the need for monitoring battery levels and potential interruptions due to battery depletion, allowing for a smoother workflow.
- Lightweight and Ergonomic: Corded LED headlight systems are often designed to be lightweight and ergonomic, offering comfort to the wearer during extended periods of use. They can be easily adjusted to fit various headgear or loupes, reducing the risk of neck and shoulder strain.
- Cost-Effective: Corded LED headlights tend to have a longer lifespan, with fewer maintenance expenses associated with battery replacement and recharging.
- Simplicity and Ease of Use: Corded LED headlight systems are simple to operate. They typically involve plugging into a power source, eliminating the need to manage batteries or charging schedules. This simplicity can save time and reduce the chances of technical issues during procedures.
- No Cord Management Required: Corded LED models have a single cord that connects to the power source. The power source is small and can be stored in the pocket of your scrubs or clipped to a lab coat.
- Reduced Environmental Impact: Corded LED headlights are more environmentally friendly than cordless models because they don't rely on disposable batteries, which contribute to electronic waste. This aligns with sustainability efforts in healthcare settings.
- No Compatibility Issues: Cordless LED Headlights are often designed to fit specific headgear or loupes. This can result in added cost, as there may be a need to replace an entire loupe system. Corded LED Headlights usually have compatible attachments with other company’s loupe systems.
In summary, the advantages of using a corded LED headlight over a cordless LED headlight include consistent and reliable power, longer operating time, fewer interruptions, ergonomic design, cost-effectiveness, simplicity, and a reduced environmental impact. These benefits make Corded LED headlights a preferred choice for professionals who prioritize continuous and reliable illumination during critical medical or dental procedures. SheerVision continues to provide the brightest and lightest Corded LED Headlights on the market.
So Now What?