Do you know how sometimes, when you get a new piece of equipment, it’s so Shifta La Paradigma that you can’t even THINK about working without it? You get a little anxious about the possibility of it failing and having to go back to the old way of doing things. What do you do?
You get yourself a backup, right? hoping that your original will keep going until FedEx arrives with your precious cardboard salvation. But then you realize that the backup is so Next Generation, your OLD one ends up becoming the backup. And that’s where I am with my Lumadent headlight. I have the old, the new, and opinions about them both, which are the real reasons you’re here. So let’s get to those, shall we?
Opinion #1: It’s Bright, Baby.
Not only is the Lumadent headlight well-focused and a good color, its shadowless light means that more photons are hitting your retinas, therefore the mouth that you’re looking at may be ACTUALLY MORE GROUNDED in reality. If you can’t see something, it’s not there.
Since I haven’t used any other lights except the Lumadent consider this a broad endorsement for headlights over any other sort of overhead illumination. Just about all of them have some sort of knob that will allow you to adjust the intensity, and I find that I rarely turn the Lumadent’s control any more or less than to the halfway position. I’ve learned how to control my head so that the light doesn’t shine in my patient’s eyes (unless I’m gesticulating wildly, then they might see a few blinding streaks) and the super bright just isn’t necessary most of the time. Also included is a flip-up composite filter to keep your accidental light curing to a minimum. I’ve heard some concerns about LEDs damaging user’s eyes over time which is one reason I tend to keep the power down, but don’t seem to have any problems with eyestrain in the two years I’ve been using one. The new model seems to be just as bright and as clear as the older one, so no change in this most important feature.
Opinion #2: Cords are better. And worse.
But mostly better. I’ll explain. The cord replacement is much easier now that the light detaches completely from it. They’ve also switched to a longer initial cord which means that I don’t have to keep a too-long extension hanging around or knotted up in a tie wrap. You’ll notice that the plug-in at the battery has changed to a right-angle which should keep the tension off the cord. I was KILLING my extensions contacts and the light would flicker and just short out and be a huge pain.
What I’m less than thrilled with is the way that the right-angle attaches to the light itself. If you end up with a short in the new cord now, all you do is detach it right there, loupside, leave the light on the loupe, and plug in a new cord. But the cord sticks up at a weird angle and I’m forced to use yet another tiny tie-wrap to keep those wires from getting tangled in my hair and attached close to the frames. The other thing I do like is that the lens is easier to access and clean now that it’s not recessed. It’s the one on the left in this image.
Opinion #3: This battery pack is serious.
My original battery pack served me well and would stay charged for a whole day, but its slick case in a sassy leather pouch clip probably caused the short outs due to occasional detachment problems. Not the clip, just the battery itself would skittle across the floor when I had a “way to go, Grace” moment.
Now that I have two batteries I forget to charge the new silver one, but I have yet to have it clunk out on me and switching back to the black one for backup. Once you go silver….
So this pack is so serious, it’s like Chuck Norris, it has it’s OWN clip built in. A very tough clip. One so tough that if you wear those cute scrubs with the flared legs and the knit waistline you can forget trying to spread the clip enough to get it to attach to your pants. But I adapted by figuring out how to wear it on a waist-level pocket. Now my biggest issue is leaning close to patients and inadvertently turning the light off at the black side switch. I really think it was better on the top when it was red and adjacent to the intensity knob.
Opinion #4: There’s no excuse for not using a headlight.
I’m just going to think I’m better than you if you don’t have one. That’s my throwdown. If you use the excuse that headlights cost too much? Compare the Lumadent with its “better” competitors, it’s so much less expensive, you can buy one for you AND your assistant. And for your higher power loupes, for that matter. What about the problem with wires and bulk? The Lumadent is so lightweight that once you adjust your behavior a little (all I did was to begin wearing a strap on my loupes instead of taking them on and off so that they hang around my neck when I’m not using them) they will become a much easier part of you than having to reach up and adjust a mounted light somewhere over your right shoulder, in space. And patients stop anticipating the bright light and never squint anymore when it’s time to open their mouths. PATIENT ACCEPTANCE IS AMAZING, and in my opinion, the BEST reason why you should get a Lumadent.
This is my parting shot for you, a side view of the Lumadent attached to a pair of Through-The-Lens shielded SandyGrendel loupes with the custom mount that came with the light. See how it sticks up a little too high, and there are two tie-wraps, and a cord management doohickey making this all such a mess?
No? I don’t see it either, actually.
For earlier insights about Lumadent and the company, click here to go to the DentalBuzz original review.