Olight H16 Wave Quick Review

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rookiedaddy
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Olight H16 Wave Quick Review





O-M-G...

I really do not know where to begin with this H16 Wave... I received it together with M2T Warrior from Olight and while M2T is in my opinion could well be one of the best tactical flashlight out there to date (yes, it's better than the M2R IMO for the intended application), this H16 Wave is... well, not what I would recommend to friends and family...

At first glance, it seems to be an updated model of last year Olight HS2:

  • A totally different UI
  • Higher max output: 500 lumens vs 400 lumens
  • Better accesss to micro-USB charging port (yes, there is a small issue with HS2 micro-USB charging port)
  • 4 fixed positions tilt angle (including the up-right position) compare to HS2 180-degree variable angle (not really an upgrade isn't it...)
  • Hand-wave sensor...
  • Improvement on runtime behavior

I guess you can now see where am I going with this as I have set the tone for the whole review this early...


after pulling the molded plastic container out of the box, this is what you see


the battery pack


the headlamp assembly


contents of the whole H16 Wave package. Everything...

Let's get down to each of the points above.

A totally different UI
Olight has decided it's a good idea to take away the ability to choose between flood and throw and let H16 Wave user to only have both flood and throw at the same time. So there goes the possible longer runtime for times when we need only flood beam, or throw. If you think that's bad, no, Olight didn't stop there, H16 Wave is now a simple 3 modes headlamp which has a Turbo mode of 500 lumens (with step-down to 350 lumens after 5 minutes), a Medium mode of 100 lumens and a Low mode of 5 lumens (detectable PWM). Unlike HS2, I can't detect PWM in Turbo and Medium mode on the H16 Wave. And how do you access that 3 modes? Click and cycle.
Turbo -> Medium -> Low -> Off
Yes, the only way to turn off the H16 Wave from Turbo mode is cycle through Medium and Low. Nope, no direct access to off for H16 Wave. No double-click nor triple-click. Olight take that away too.
In my not so humble opinion, this UI design alone is enough to put off many users... 



Higher Max Output

No complaint here, higher output is always welcome.



Better access to micro-USB charging port
Yes, there was an issue with the HS2 if your micro-USB cable male connector is slightly shorter, that won't make good contact and charging will not begin. Olight has address this with an easy to access micro-USB charging port covered by a removable rubber/silicone flap. The length of the connector is no longer an issue now.


charging at 1A. 

4 fixed position tilt angle
See below animation. 

Surprisingly, the headband is very comfortable to wear...

Hand-wave sensor
O-M-G! Why?! I'm still puzzle why Olight would want to incorporate a hand wave On-Off sensor on this H16 Wave. Except to live-up to the Wave model name. The problem is it works most of the time, and most of the time it works too well. You can turn On the Wave function by click-hold the switch button, and turn Off the Wave function the same way. However, you can't turn Off the Wave function when you wave H16 Off (to stand-by). The H16 Wave headlamp has to be light-on for you to turn On or Off the Wave function!
Also, you had better not turn On the Wave function if you are jungle tracking, as branches of tree comes in near proximity to the H16 Wave sensor will turn On/Off your headlamp. I kid you not.
And tips for using the Wave function with your hand: wave near the headlamp in single direction, actually, it's more like a swiping motion instead of wave, a back and forth waving action will just turn Off and then turn On (or vice-versa) the H16 Wave headlamp.
My suggestion? Just forget about the Wave function and you will be a happier H16 user.


When Wave function is turned On, the blue switch will glow...

Improvement on runtime behaviour

Ok, I never tested the runtime on HS2, but looking at the runtime chart of most HS2 review, it seems to shut-off the headlamp abruptly at the end of the runtime curve, this H16 Wave however doesn't do that in my testing. It gradually drops to Medium and then to Low mode at which point, it's time to recharge. Although Olight quoted a total of 125 minutes runtime in Turbo, I do get a good deal longer than that and the light doesn't shut-off abruptly but continue to run in Low mode for a bit... I manually stop the runtime test at approximately 156 minutes so that I do not deep discharge the battery.

I guess it's pretty clear whether I would recommend this headlamp or not...

still changing sig ::
Edited by: rookiedaddy on 02/12/2018 - 11:31
Newlumen
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I got one on Saturday. I like it. Weight 4 oz. very light. Not too much lumen. Hey we don’t need a lot of lumen in our headlamp. I will continue to use and give update. I got it for $42 plus $5 shipping.

Kalihi
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Nice review.

Olight made some really “what were you thinking” design decisions with this headlamp.

Boro
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Newlumen wrote:
I got one on Saturday. I like it. Weight 4 oz. very light. Not too much lumen. Hey we don’t need a lot of lumen in our headlamp. I will continue to use and give update. I got it for $42 plus $5 shipping.
Able to share the info on where you purchased ?
Newlumen
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Boro wrote:
Newlumen wrote:
I got one on Saturday. I like it. Weight 4 oz. very light. Not too much lumen. Hey we don’t need a lot of lumen in our headlamp. I will continue to use and give update. I got it for $42 plus $5 shipping.
Able to share the info on where you purchased ?

It was one day 3 hours sale from the official olight website.