Olight H2R Nova Quick Review

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rookiedaddy's picture
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Olight H2R Nova Quick Review

Maximum 2300/2000 lumens
Good runtime on High mode (600/550 lumens)
Improvement to the included headband

Same old Olight's slow magnetic recharging system

For those who thinks you have read all there is to read about H2R Nova, you can stop right here and move to another thread because what comes next is gonna be boring or you might actually find my review quite offensive if you are a fan of Olight (as a matter of fact, just for your information, Olight recently launch their Friends of Olight fan-club).

Gonna try a different approach for this review, less pictures... hehe

After Olight released H1R Nova back in January 2017, approximately 6 months has passed and no new releases from Olight. Between showing up at trade-shows, moving their Head Quarter and celebrating their 10th Anniversary, it's no wonder new releases been slow and repeated missed dateline... M1R, M2R, X7R, X9, etc...

H2R Nova is Olight's attempt to waken the market as it's touted as the brightest headlamp in the market today. While this is true to a certain extend, it does comes with a few "perks".

About that 2300/2000 lumens
Yea, it's bright as daylight if you lit it in a small room and need it for just about a minute. Other than being marketed as the brightest headlamp in the market because they can do it and they are doing it, well, I don't know about you, but it serves me no real practical purpose. Oh! I'll spare you the need to school me on that Turbo mode is for short burst when you need that extra output. Well, tell you what... if I've been running the H2R for an hour+ on high mode, and I absolutely, positively, urgently and immediately needed that Turbo mode, IT IS NOT AVAILABLE!!! Yup! It Is Not Available if and when needed in most of my outdoor usage scenario!
Honestly, it would be more practical if it is made to 1000-ish lumens and is truly available as short burst output.
Moreover, running at 2300/2000 lumens, the heat is unbearable even if you wear it on your head with the included headband. It is burning hot if you hold it in your hand, I measure the head in excess of 60 degree Celcius after 30 seconds.
*here you will find your first perk for the survivalist in you: you might be able to lit an ember from charcloth

About the rest of the modes
Now, this is where H2R really shines, compare to H1R, due to H2R bigger body, the high mode on H2R dissipate heat faster and doesn't run as hot as H1R's 600 lumens maximum mode. Having 2.5 hours runtime on the 600/550 lumens high mode is really sweet too. For those who think the 2 lumens moon mode is too bright on the H1R, Olight has lower the moon mode to 1 lumen. Which is still plenty bright and not as glaring as the H1R moon mode.
There is electronic lockout, activated from OFF mode by holding the switch down for >= 2 seconds. To get out of this electronic lockout mode, repeat the same holding the switch down for >= 2 seconds. Alternatively, you can get out of this lockout mode by loosening the tailcap, wait for a few seconds, and tightening it. The electronic lockout will be released. Note that engaging lockout will slowly drain your battery ever so slightly.

About the Neutral White H2R tint
Good news for the incandescent tint lover like myself... the Neutral White version of H2R Nova is not really Neutral White, it's warmer, much warmer than Olight's usual Neutral White tint...
Bad news for those of you who hated the yellow incandescent tint... because it's warmer, much warmer, much much warmer... so stay away... innocent

Oh, btw, the picture above, from left, Olight H2R Nova Neutral White, Olight H2R Nova Cool White, Olight H1R Nova Neutral White.

About the H2R Nova headband/head strap
The head strap included in H2R Nova is a vast improvement over the older H1R, not only have Olight lengthen the head strap, but the inclusion of magnetic-based mount is very useful and convenient. The magnet is really strong and even without fastening the silicone strap, I doubt you will have much trouble in your everyday use. Of course, if you are using H2R Pro for night hiking or night running races, it's highly recommended to fasten the silicone strap. But on a side note, this H2R is really hefty and will likely weight you down in your races.

About Olight Magnetic Charging System
Olight SxR, HxR (including this new H2R Nova of course) that's release between 2016-2017 all uses the same magnetic charging system. Most includes a USB Magnetic Charging Cable to charge up the customized battery (read proprietary) that's included in the light. For smaller 16340-size battery with less than 800mAh, I think the USB Magnetic Charging Cable is fine as the maximum charge rate is 750mA and it usually doesn't' charge at that rate unless your battery is empty, but for bigger 18650 light with 3000mAh and above, charging at 750mA is just too slow.
With the Magnetic Charging Tailcap, you will find your second perk for the survivalist in you: if you ever found yourself with a damage H2R switch, and can't switch on the H2R, you can use the tailcap to light up a bi-pin bulb or LED, provided you carry some in your BOB or GHB... heck, zak.wilson even manage to power up a Astrolux S41! Now that's impressive hidden feature... isn't it.
As your third perk for the survivalist in you: pairing it with fine steel wool, and you can use Olight's Magnetic Rechargeable Tailcap as a fire-starting tool, this has been proven to work 100% of the time. Yes, it works on your S1R, S2R, H1R, S10RIII, S30RIII too... except the R50 Pro Seeker.

About the Ultra High Drain 3000mAh ORB-186C30 LiIon Battery
Some potential users are concern that Olight is using such a high drain battery that connects to exposed contact at the tailcap may cause a thermal runaway when shorted. I honestly don't think shorting the tailcap will cause a catastrophic event/failure to the H2R Nova... but on the other hand... the hidden feature as a fire-starting tool is a real concern.

For some reason, Olight decided to remove what I think is a protection feature that's available in other older models, that is, if you shorted the exposed positive and negative contact point, the light will just switch off and required breaking the tailcap contact (loosening the tailcap and tightening it back) to work again.

Following video shows the difference of shorting the tailcap between H1R Nova and H2R Nova.

Did you notice the small sparks in the second part of the video? Yea... there is that...

OK, a bit of grand-mother story from this points onwards... skip this if you are not into gossiping or more into grand-daddy story... please skip this... else... be warned...
These review units are the second delivery from Olight, first delivery was asked by Olight to hold back on the review due to some cosmetic imperfection and it was kept with my local distributor. A month passed and I finally received the new batch, but shockingly, what they updated is just the user manual,

however, confirmation from my local distributor is that they have indeed fixed the switch boot cosmetic issue.

picture shows the fixed switch boot
In multiple occasions since the S1R, Olight was contacted to explain the exposed live contact issue and has been shown with picture the live Voltage reading as well as the side-effect of the exposed contact lighting up a 5mm LED and a bi-pin bulb. the only consistent answer from Olight is they are aware of what we can do and do not think it's an issue... well... not until a user posted in their facebook early this year showing how his S2R "accidentally" cause some steel-wool to burn and the magnetic tailcap was "actively" attracting metal dust/particle and was heating up the S2R tailcap.
I was a "little" disappointed to say the least that they continue to release H2R with the same Magnetic Charging System. After some follow-up (including the R50 Pro LE R Dok issue), I finally see lights (pun intended) at the end of the tunnel. With a pretty reliable source from Olight, they've confirm that the coming MxR series already fixed the issue. Now, as a sceptical nerd, I guess we will have to see it to believe it... LOL!

Links to other Olight H2R Nova Review in the forum:
viperxp: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54862
Bc412: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54820
muakka: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54834
robo819: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54884
mattlward: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54845
budda: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54836
scrumpypaul: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54989
unknown00101: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/55169

still changing sig ::
Edited by: rookiedaddy on 07/14/2017 - 10:13
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Thanks for the review Beer . That tailcap Facepalm