Moonlight Bright As Day 800 running headlamp: a seriously tough and dazzling little light

Very bright, robust and waterproof, the Moonlight Bright As Day 800 is a running head torch for extreme adventures in the dark

Moonlight Bright As Day 800 running headlamp
(Image: © Claire Maxted)

Advnture Verdict

A heavy but bombproof, fully waterproof headlamp that can cope with extreme temperatures and extreme weather, and allows you to quickly switch back to your GoPro when the sun comes up.


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    Very bright (up to 800 lumens)

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    Comfortable to wear

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    Fully waterproof to IP67

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    Rated to -20°C

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    Heat-dissipating aluminum lamp casing

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    GoPro QuickClip-compatible mount


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    Heavy at 248g / 8.7oz

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    User manual uses tiny font

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Moonlight Bright As Day 800: first impressions

The Moonlight Bright As Day 800 (available direct from Moonlight Mountain Gear) truly is the bright stuff. You can get away with 200 lumens of brightness from a running headlamp for exploring easy trails at night, but if you want to go faster, navigate more technical ground or compensate for poor eyesight (or a combination of any of these), you’ll find yourself reaching for a brighter light. 


• List price: $199 (US) / £145 (UK)
• Weight: 248g / 8.7oz
• Max lumens / beam length / burn time: 800 / not supplied by manufacturer / 2hrs
• Light modes: Emergency 40lm; low 200lm; med 400lm; high 800lm; beacon mode; SOS mode
• Water resistance: IP67
• Batteries: Rechargeable USB-C to USB
• Best for: Demanding, long ultras and night runs with difficult terrain and / or navigation in extreme conditions

In our experience 400-500 lumens is adequate for these activities, but 800 as provided by the Moonlight Bright As Day 800 provides that extra boost for scanning across a darkened field to find a stile or scrambling over a rocky section in the darkest hours without having to slow your pace. (Of course, some of you may be wondering, “Why not just run during the day like any sane and sensible normal person,” but there are some great reasons why you should try running with a headlamp).

There are four main lighting modes: emergency 40lm for 40hrs; low 200lm for 8hrs; med 400lm for 4hrs; high 800lm for 2hrs. There are also beacon and SOS modes available at a double-press of the on / off button.

At 248g this is not a weight you want on your head for any extended period of time, so that’s why the extension cable allows you to pop the battery in your running backpack. This is also great for keeping the battery warmer in cold conditions, and therefore working for longer. The Bright As Day 800 uses 1 cell type 21700 4,600mAh (3.7V) batteries. Moonlight's own batteries are available for €49. The battery indicator is also a very useful feature.

Moonlight Bright As Day 800: on the trails

Woman wearing Moonlight Bright As Day 800 running headlamp at night

(Image credit: Claire Maxted)

This headlamp really does provide “Bright As Day” (BAD) lighting from the maximum 800 lumen setting, it’s a fantastically bright lamp for night running, especially for crossing tricky terrain and navigating. 

Apart from needing a magnifying glass to read the tiny-fonted but otherwise very straightforward user manual, the only downside to the Moonlight BAD 800 is that it’s quite heavy. We don’t like to run with much more than 100g on our head, so it’s great that the battery can go in our running pack via the extension cable (which adds a further 47g / 1.7oz). However, it’s still about 100g/3.5oz heavier than the Petzl Nao RL which kicks out a similar 900 lumens for two hours (the Moonlight BAD 800 will light you up at 800 lumens for the same amount of time).

Moonlight Bright As Day 800 mount

The ribbed casing of the Moonlight Bright As Day 800’s torch unit helps dissipate heat from the intense bulb (Image credit: Claire Maxted)

So why go heavier? Well, there are some distinct advantages to the Moonlight for certain runners. If you need a bombproof headlamp that can survive extreme weather conditions, the BAD 800 can cope with temperatures down to -20°C; in contrast, the unique ribbed aluminum casing dissipates heat efficiently in hotter weather so it doesn’t overheat and reduce the light output.

Moonlight Bright As Day 800 running headlamp battery casing

The battery unit for the Moonlight Bright As Day 800 attaches to a really long cable, so you can stash the battery away in your backpack and reduce the weight on your head (Image credit: Claire Maxted)

I’ve worn super bright headtorches that I don’t want to touch without gloves on after a few minutes use, so this cooling design is a great feature. It’s also fully waterproof so it’s great for heavy rain or humid climates and should last a lifetime which is much better for the environment (and your wallet). And finally that GoPro QuickClip compatibility is a fantastic idea for anyone filming their activities.

Moonlight Bright As Day 800 running headlamp instructions

You don’t need a torch so much as a microscope to read the instructions (Image credit: Claire Maxted)
Claire Maxted

The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films about trail- and ultra-running advice, inspiration, races and gear reviews. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, Claire's first book, The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook (5k to 50k), is out now. Her second, The Ultimate Ultra Running Handbook (50k to 100 miles), is out Autumn 2024. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.