Olight H1 Nova

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Olight H1 Nova

Olight H1 Nova Review

Nova- “A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness.” That is a great description of the Olight H1 Nova. It’s a bright star in Olight’s lineup.

I love multipurpose gear items. The Olight H1 Nova is a great example of a multipurpose light. Using the headband and silicone adaptor, it can go from an angle head pocket light into a functional hands free headlamp in seconds.

Now let’s get into the real review with Otter’s 4 Paws of Applause.

1. Multifunctional Pocket or Head Light. As I mentioned before, this light is multifunctional. I love the angle head feature, aside from looking cool, it also works great for illuminating your workspace. When I’m working on a small project, I can tailstand the H1 next to me and illuminate what I’m working on or use the magnetic tailcap to stick the light to a nearby ferrous surface. I’ve pocket carried the light and kept the headband in my bag. I used the H1 while on a night hike this week and it was perfect. It’s so lightweight and unobtrusive on your head. It also works well enough while wearing a helmet.

2. Momentary. This light has a feature I have been waiting for! Momentary on! Hold the button down for a few seconds, similar to putting other Olights into “lockout mode.” The light will blink once, you are now in momentary mode. It’s a really great feature!

3. Size. When you have the H1 strapped to your head, you barely notice it. The amount of light it puts out for its size is great. Compare the H1 to the old incan Petzl headlights from a decade or two ago and you will be completely blown away.

4. Tailcap and Head. The tailcap is very well machined. The magnetic base works well, especially in a small light. Unlike my S2, the H1 is held tight to a ferrous surface with its magnet. The head is also machined well. In particular, the heatsink gives the light a wonderful “grippiness.” I do wish the switch in the head was a bit more recessed to prevent the light from being turned on accidentally.

I use rechargeable CR123’s with my H1. It is easy to eat through batteries in High Mode, but if you are conservative with your mode selection, battery life is excellent. In the lowest mode of 2 lumens, you get 15 days of light. That is more than enough light to see when it is truly dark. Paired with my S2 baton, I have a great combo. I use the S2 when I need more firepower and longer battery life. But when I need a small but bright and useful light, out comes the H1.

No review is complete without some cons. My biggest is the lack of a lanyard hole. A small thing I know, but I do like having the option of attaching a lanyard to my light. My only other con I mentioned before. I would prefer the switch in the head to be recessed more to prevent accidental activation. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful addition to my rotation.

I have enjoyed using my H1 Nova both indoors and outdoors. With the included clip, I have attached the light to the molle on the shoulder strap of my backpack. The light performs well in the rain, as well as in fog. Well, it performs just as well as I do when I’m mountain biking in the fog. Smile The switch in the head is very smooth and easy to find without fumbling. You can’t go wrong with a 500 lumen headlamp that approx. the size of a fun sized Snickers!

Thanks to Olight for this one. Check out the site-

Tech specs for the lumen junkies out there-

Level 1
500 lumens (180lm) – 170m (3m)
Level 2
180 lumens – 3h
Level 3
60 lumens – 8.5h
Level 4
15 lumens – 42h
Level 5
2 lumens – 15days
SOS mode

Max Output (lumens)
Low (lumens)
Max Run Time (hours)
15 days
Beam Distance
66 m
Peak Beam Intensity (candela units)
1,080 cd
Water Resistance
IPX8 (waterproof up to 2 meters)
Impact Resistance
1.5 m
Head Diameter
0.8 in. / 21 mm
2.3 in. / 58.5 mm
Battery Type

Utilizes CREE XM-L2 LED (NW/CW) paired with bead lens, creating clearly divided focus and flood with a smooth transition
High light transmission rate TIR optic lens to deliver a balanced and soft beam
Five brightness levels and SOS mode covering 1~500 lumens
Compatible with CR123A or RCR123A (16340) rechargeable lithium ion battery
Gradual brightness changes: When turned on/off on medium, high, and turbo modes, it will turn on or off gradually to protect the eyes from stimulation caused by sudden brightness changes
Low profile silicone switch located on the head of the headlamp for easy location and operation
Magnetic tail cap allows it to be attached to any ferrous surface for hands free work when being used as a standard light.
Runtime based thermal management program: Under the turbo mode, the headlamp stays at the maximum output for three minutes before gradually dropping down to the high mode after one minute.

Edited by: backwater-otter on 11/27/2016 - 18:16
crz6662's picture
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Location: PGH,PA.

No pics ?

-X3-'s picture
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Location: France, Angers

That’s more or less the info that Olight gives you on the website plus a little of personal feelings…
Sorry but this is not a review…

"-X3-, is there any place in your house without a flashlight ?" 

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Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 07/28/2016 - 08:11
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Photos are up. Sorry.

Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 07/28/2016 - 08:11
Posts: 8
X3 wrote:
That’s more or less the info that Olight gives you on the website plus a little of personal feelings… Sorry but this is not a review…

Thanks for your opinion.