Olight H2R Nova CW/NW(WW) review. Update 10 Anniversary sale like added!

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mattlward
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Olight H2R Nova CW/NW(WW) review. Update 10 Anniversary sale like added!

UPDATE – Just got a note from the folks at Olight. Big 10th Anniversary sale June 24th – June 27th! 10th Anniversary Sale!

Let me clear the air first with some business. The lights for this review were provided by the folks at Olight.

I must apologize for the sub-par pictures… I just could not make magic this weekend, one of my Olympus flashes died and I forgot to take my light box to the shop this weekend!

Olight has finally made the move into an 18650 sized 90 degree angled headlamp. These new beasts sport the XHP-50 led and only run with a single 18650 cell, not designed or rated to handle pairs of CR123A or 18350 cells.

Here are the ratings from Olight:
Manufacturer’s build specifications
Battery: 18650
Input voltage: 2.8-4.2V
LED: Cree XHP50, built in both cool and neutral white
Waterproof: IPX8
Impact resistance: 1.5 meters
Mode memory: yes

Manufacturer’s output specs
Maximum output: 2300 lumens (CW), 2000 lumens (NW)
Other output levels
CW: 600/150/30/1 lumens (love the 1 lumen moonlight mode)
NW: 550/140/27/1 lumens (love the 1 lumen moonlight mode)
Beam distance: 153 m

Mode operations:
One click will activate the light in the last used mode, including turbo.
Once on, hold the power switch to cycle between low/medium and high.
One more click to turn the light off.
A double click from off or on will activate turbo.
A triple click from off or on will activate an SOS beacon.
A hold from off will activate moonlight mode and moonlight mode is a memory inclusive mode!
Electronic lockout is activated from off by holding the power button until moonlight turns on and back off. To disable electronic lookout, hold the power button until moonlight blinks and comes back on.

Packaging:
From the front both the CW and NW units appear to be the same.
pkg_front

The boxes are marked on the side panel to designate CW or NW.
side_panel

The back panel lists the basic specs of the light.
pkg_back

Inside the outer sleeve is a very handsome box that contains the light, headband and charger.
Box1box

I know… lets see the light!!!

Both of the samples I received were perfectly anodized. They have updated the clip to enable it to attach to a pocket, belt or hat brim.
pair_front
H2Rside1

As with other Olight’s, this light includes thier USB charging system. Seen here is the tailcap that makes it possible. I know that there has been some concern since these contacts can supply full battery voltage and current. The center conductor is well recessed. I carry several Olights and have yet to have an issue with any of them in a pocket. Not to say that it is not possible, but also not a big concern for me.
chgcap

It is a headlamp, so it must have a headband… I like this new headband, it has a magnet in the front mount that will retain the light if the clip is attached. I really like this since I will likely leave the clip on for general use. But, if you are a clip off kind of person the front mount has a rubber buckle that locks the light in perfectly. This system is much easier to use than the old dual ring mount of the H1R Nova. The magnet is removable and Olight included a foam pad to replace the magnet… I will leave the magnet in, it fits well and does not hurt when wearing the band. Also included in this photo is the Olight USB magnetic charging adapter. This is the normal charger that has a red glow while charging and a green glow when completed.
headband

Current readings taken with a UNI-T UT210E and a short loop of 12AWG wire for sensing. I used a different high drain cell, I was afraid I would short the cells +/- contacts together since the cell is set up for tailcap charging. As you can see, on turbo these lights are very current hungry, I would not suggest a low current protected cell as you would likely trip the protection circuit. I did test with the Xtar high discharge protected 18650 and they worked well, but would not be chargeable in the light!

Turbo timeout is 1 minute, after that the light drops output to 750 or 700 lumens depending upon tint.

Both lights performed well with similar current draws.
NW
Turbo = 9.01 amps = 2000 lumens
High = 1.20 amps = 550 lumens
Medium = .36 amps = 140 lumens
Low = .13 amps = 27 lumens
Moonlight = .08 amps = 1 lumen

CW
Turbo = 9.47 amps = 2300 lumens
High = 1.29 amps = 600 lumens
Medium = .39 amps = 150 lumens
Low = .16 amps = 30 lumens
Moonlight = .10 amps = 1 lumen

So… How did the perform in the field?
My camera was set to a white balance of 5000k. The CW version appears to fall into the correct color temperature range. I kept the same camera settings for the NW and as you can see it appears very yellow. I bumped my camera up to 4000k and it still appeared yellow. I am a little concerned that the tint is more in the 3750k range and would make this a WW emitter. Mind you, I do not mind that. But, may folks would not like this tint. These lights on turbo are crazy bright and heat up very quickly. I am not sure how the boost driver works in the turbo section, but it is very voltage dependent. Any drop in input voltage has a noticeable effect on lumens output. Other than the OMG effect, I am not sure how often I would use the turbo mode. But, the other modes are spaced well and will get used often!

CW on turbo:
CW_turbo

NW on turbo, still set to 5000k:
WW_turbo

Closing thoughts?
I really like these lights. The versatility of headlamp with a very good headband, a good pocket clip and a tailcap magnet will be hard to beat. The light is very grippy and has a good, large power switch that will activate easily. It has a good moonlight mode, something I look for in every light and electronic lockout that is easy to use. I was disappointed in the fact that it does not come with a dedicated carrying case. I am a devout user of the H1R Nova and love the case. I can keep all the bits and parts together along with an extra battery.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

Edited by: mattlward on 06/16/2017 - 15:45
SteveMidwest
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Thank you for the great review mattlward Thumbs Up

I agree too, on your comment of the NW being much closer to WW, in the 3750k range. Cool

maukka
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Thanks for the review and tail amp measurements!

mattlward
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The draw kinda surprised me!

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C