[Review] Nitecore HA40 Headlamp ... 1k Lumens + 4xAA + diecast

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CivilGearReviews's picture
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Joined: 04/06/2016 - 12:55
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Location: San Jose, CA
[Review] Nitecore HA40 Headlamp ... 1k Lumens + 4xAA + diecast

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Hi all! Nitecore sent me an early release of the HA40 headlamp to test and I wanted to provide my results and overall thoughts. I recently acquired some new tech to measure light and temp over time so I have some retaliative light output plots and such. It will likely be a while before I feel comfortable checking the actual lumens but I wanted to start somewhere, so feel free to call me out if I got it all wrong foot-in-mouth


Here comes the next AA powerhouse for Nitecore’s line up and of all of their headlamps, this is only the second to use AA. Similar to the HA20, their other AA headlamp, the HA40 has diecast construction which is great for heat dissipation. Overall, I’m very happy to add this to my emergency bag, since my emergency stockpile includes AA batteries. If you like to be prepared, hands-free style, say hello to the Nitecore HA40!

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Nitecore HA40 Headlamp Review CivilGear 012


Here is the spec sheet from Nitecore, check out the HA40 on their website here. Notice signficant performance difference between NiMH and Alkaline batteries. For the full HA40 user manual click here. Also, it’s nice to see that they are starting to include how bright the special modes are.



Type: (1) XML U2 by Cree @ ~1,000 lm
Color: Overall cool spill with a moderate yellow-green center


  • Die-cast body for good heat dissipation
  • 1,000 lumen on AA’s
  • 90 degree beam angle
  • Freely swivels 360 degrees in headmount
  • Constant current circuitry (non-PWM)
  • Smooth reflector
  • Mode memory
  • IP66 rated water resistant (jets of water)


  • “Advanced” temperature regulation (ATR)
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Impact resistance of 1.5-meter drop
  • Aero grade aluminum alloy with HAIII hard-anodized finish
  • Optics lens with anti-reflective coating



  • Length: 2.20″ (56mm)
  • Width: 2.56″ (64mm)
  • Heght: 1.42″ (36mm)
  • Weight: 4.47ox (126.7g) (battery excluded)



This neat new look is the same as the recent HC70 but with a 4xAA battery pack strapped to the back of the head strap. The light features diecast construction which allows for a unique heatsink look even more pronounced than the HA20. I also love the button shape and placement. The button has a rubber cap which is fairly tactile. Left handed people might get annoyed with the chord coming out the left side; the light is not reversible. The cord is very thick and the coil is resilient. The rubber battery cover is easy to open and close.



Nitecore advertises the total beam angle as 90 degrees and I measured the spill to be 90 degrees but also having a bit of a hotspot having about a total 15 degree angle.




The HA40 is the big brother to the previous Nitecore HA20 which has been around a while. Both feature AA batteries (the HA20 uses 2xAA) and both have a diecast body. They also both have a similar throwy beam profile.

Nitecore HA40 Headlamp Review CivilGear 006


HA40 (left) vs HA20 (right)

HA40 (left) vs HA20 (right)



The UI is pretty much the same as my favorite UI of the HC30 series. The UI is quick to turn on and quick to change modes. It has mode memory, shortcuts to ultra low and turbo. The hidden modes are accessed by double clicking the switch, and single taps cycles to the next hidden mode. Below is a custom UI diagram made by yours truly.

Nitecore HA40 User Interface Diagram CivilGear


The light uses 4xAA batteries which can either be Alkaline or Ni-MH (basic rechargeable), or disposable Lithium Batteries. Below is a full list of compatible and non-compatible batteries for the HA40.

Nitecore HA40 batteries

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So I got some new equipment and I’m still very much a beginner with runtime charts, but to at least provide some info on performance, below are some runtime values and plots. It seems Amazon Basics AA batteries are pretty good compared to what Nitecore advertises for alkaline batteries.



Duration measured from beginning of test to 10% of max LUX between 30 sec – 2 min

 Test Results TURBO HIGH
Ni-MH(enelope 2000 mAh)  2h 50min 2h 40min
(Amazon Basics)
 1h 24min 1h 40min

Here’s the original specs again so you don’t have to scroll back to the top:



Below is a combined runtime plot I did using both Ni-MH and Alkaline batteries.



The HA40 is advertised as has having strobe when in actuality it is more of a flashling mode. I measure the flash to be about 1 flash per second, with 0.5 second ON with 0.5 second OFF.



As advertised there is no PWM. I have confirmed that there is no PWM on any constant output level. Below is a plot of the MID mode, which shows the LUX only varying by 8 over a 50 millisecond test sampling 3000 times per second. For comparison, the second graph shows PWM variance of 120 LUX used in the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.

Nitecore HA40 PWM Check



Nitecore R25 with PWM


In my tests, the outside of light body, near the LED, never went above 120.3 degrees Fahrenheit (about 48.8 degrees Celsius). The automatic temperature regulator (ATR) limits the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit so it’s seems to be working well. Conducted with no fan cooling, at room temperature of about 77 degrees  Fahrenheit. Light is measured in relative lux.




Below is Nitecore’s warranty statement. Worth mentioning that it is also important to purchase Nitecore products from authorized dealers so not as to jepordize the warranty.

All Nitecore products are warranted for quality. Dead-on-arrival or defective products can be exchanged for a replacement through a local distributor/dealer within 15 days of purchase. After 15 days, all defective / malfunctioning Nitecore products will be repaired free of charge for a period of 60 months (5 years) from the date of purchase. After 60 months, a limited warranty applies, covering the cost of labor and maintenance, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts.

The warranty is nullifed in all of the following situations:

  1. The product(s) is/are broken down, reconstructed and/or modified by unauthorized parties.

  2. The product(s) is/are damaged through improper use (i.e. reverse polarity installation).

  3. The product(s) is/are damaged by leakage of batteries.



  • Diecast body for good weight reduciton
  • 1,000 lumen AA type light
  • Great UI, quick to turn on and mode change
  • Protruding and tactile button easy to find and press
  • Thick battery cord
  • Holds 1,000 lumen TURBO for about 5 min
  • Very stable output (after turbo)
  • Very easy and straight forward battery compartment
  • Battery contacts are gold plated
  • Serial number is laser etched onto the light
  • Pretty steady output



  • The product info says there is strobe mode, but it’s really a slower constant flash, nothing like a tactical strobe like on the HC33.
  • The plastic head mount feels a little thin but it actually helps it conform better to the shape of your forehead.
  • The 4xAA battery pack feels heavy at first.
  • It’s a little difficult to adjust the position of the light on the strap as the plastic headmout sometimes catches the headband.
  • Wish there was a battery indicator.
  • There is no lockout mode, have to pull the batteries out for long-term storage.



All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO. I’ve also included my beamshots preview video which goes through all the output levels to help you get a real-world feel.


Nitecore HA40 Headlamp Review CivilGear 028

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The current price for the light is about $60 USD . If you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, amazon gives me very small % of their profit):

Amazon: NITECORE HC33 1000 Lumen AA Headlamp



Panasonic Eneloop Pro 4xAA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries with Charger


Nitecore HA20 300 Lumen CREE XP-G2 LEDheadlamp





  • CivilGear Reviews received this product for testing and providing an honest review
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for this review
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
Edited by: CivilGearReviews on 12/18/2017 - 15:53
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/12/2017 - 22:49
Posts: 21
Location: United States

Great review thank you. I really like aa headlamps, but there aren't many out there. I really like my thrunite th20 a lot but for really long trips this might be worth it. I noticed it gets more runtime on turbo than on high, 9 minutes more? I use eneloop nimh as well. Also how is the brightness on med 210 lumens? Is it bright enough to use for a long hike? Having 6+hours of runtime would be good switching to high whenever you need that extra burst of light to see that movement you hear in the distance.

Ilumenati's picture
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 01/07/2019 - 05:22
Posts: 152
Location: Mt Hood

I was wondering if anyone has tried to replace the LED in this light, or has any info if it is possible.

I am looking for a similar AA headlamp with high burst and longer run time but with a higher CRI LED.

It would be nice to see if a Samsung 351D 4-5000K could be used.