[Review] Nitecore NU10 Headlamp ... external power for the win!

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[Review] Nitecore NU10 Headlamp ... external power for the win!

>Mobile Friendly Version<

Lets get back to fundamentals, do you need the power of the sun or do you need the endurance of a mountain? OK a little dramatic, but I think many have skipped over the NU10 because of the ‘lowly’ 160 luemen output and did not read the rest of the story. The secret is that the NU series can actually RUN off of (and be charged by) your average external USB power bank! Yes the same one you use to charge your phone 3 times a day with. That’s the big reveal, if you’re interested, say hello to the NU10.






Here is the specs from Nitecore’s website. I ran the light on HIGH and got a total rundown time of 8 hours; and on MID I got 10 hours and 45 minutes. So far it seems that Nitecore is being very conservative on their runtimes and their numbers are seem like actual ANSI FL-1 rated runtimes. If I’m able, I’ll also test the red light runtime.



Max Output 160 lumens
Max Beam Distance 35 m
Max Beam Intensity 310 cd
Max Run time 150 h 0 m / 6.25 d
LED High performance LED
Battery 900mAh, Rechargeable Li-ion
Special Modes Location Beacon, SOS
Beam color White light
Length 60.5 mm / 2.38 in
Weight 65 g / 2.29 oz
Feature Dual – Output, Rechargeable
Activity Gear, Outdoor/Camping

There is no specific specs on the multiple LED but it does have a faint purple/pink tint.



I’m still a novice youtuber, but here’s a quick video overview which includes discussing special features of the light, the user interface, and my overall thoughts.




First of all, the NU series has a WIDE range of exterior color options, for both the light housing and the strap. with total of seven options you will definitely be able to match what every your work or play outfit.

The buttons are large, are very easy to press, give a good click feedback noise, and can easily be used while wearing heavy gloves.

The headlamp tilts by using plastic tension, and has 3 different angles to a max of 60 degrees down. If you need to tilt up you can either hike the strap on to the crown of your head or you can turn the whole thing upside down (with the buttons facing the ground) and tilt it upwards.

Since the NU headlamp series is much lighter, there isn’t much need for an over the head strap but it would help it from sliding down during vigorous activities; however, I found that using the proper tension or using a hat beneath the light helps .

The headband is soft and comfortable; however, sometimes when holding the light in the air, the strap hangs down and the buckle slides and makes a loop, so check that your strap buckles are positioned where you want them to be.



The beam profile is very floody with little to no defined hot spot. The beam angle is advertised as 170° and by using a printed protractor I measured and got the same angle.




If you’re wondering how the NU10 compares to some other Nitecore headlamps, here’s a few beamshots from the NU10, HC30, and HC50. The HC50 as overall wide beam with a little bit of spot and the HC30 has less spill and more spot. Of course each light have different preset lumen outputs so it’s sometimes hard to compare but you can get an impression of the overall beam profile.



So the light has a 2-button interface and is realitivley simple, the only tricky business is learning at firs how to cycle through the hidden modes.The power button is used to access the primary mode which always cycles up from low to mid to high. A separate “R” button is used for turning on the red light. The hidden modes are accessed by holding down the power button for 3 seconds, but if you want to cycle to the next hidden mode, be sure to single click the power button within 3 seconds, or you will turn off the light. Btw, if you wait 3 seconds in any mode, the next time you press that same button again, the light will turn off; it takes a little getting used to. The NU10 also has a battery level check and a lock out mode, which are a little unexpected for this economy headlamp, so that’s great to see.



The light uses an integrated 900mAh which is a rather large batter for the lower rated lumen output. The battery only takes about an 1h 30min to charge which is pretty quick for lasting a little over 8 hours of light output. The best part of the light is being able to plug in an external power bank!



To charge the light, simply plug in the micro USB cable into the side of the headlamp and a red indicator light under the power button, will turn on steady; once charged, the light will turn steady green.


Charging with Nitecore F1 powerbank


Nitecore NU10 Headlamp Review CivilGear GLT
Green light indicates full charge


Because the light has an integrated battery, the warranty is only for 1 year for free repair (cost of parts not included), so make sure you only buy from an authorized dealer (you can contact Nitecore’s customer service to find one) or you will possibly waive your rights to the warranty . Also, take care to store your light properly, as the warranty does not cover damages caused by batter leakage. Check their website for their full terms of service.



  • Has fantastic runtime
  • Quick recharge time
  • Can use external power bank for super extended runtimes!
  • Very easy-to-use buttons
  • Very light weight
  • Lots of color options
  • Full flood beam
  • Secondary red color is great for preserving night vision or for safety lighting
  • Actually comes with a micro USB cable!



  • Cycling through hidden modes is confusing at first
  • Some may not prefer that no matter what, if you wait 3 seconds, the next tap will turn the light off
  • Can sometimes slide down your head if not properly adjusted
  • The tiliting head takes a little bit of pressure to adjust, and is a bit noisy
  • USB port cover sometimes pops open


Nitecore NU10 Headlamp Revew CivilGear 177
Checking fluid levels
Nitecore NU10 Headlamp Revew CivilGear 185
Inspecting construction staging area
Nitecore NU10 Headlamp Revew CivilGear 192
Inspecting backhoe breaker attachment


The going rate is about $30 USD. If you appreciated my review and like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link:

Nitecore NU10 160 Lumens USB Rechargeable Headlamp



  • CivilGear did not recieve this product for free or at a deep discount.
  • 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 03/14/2017 - 18:26
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
Joined: 05/04/2016 - 17:11
Posts: 489
Location: USA

Excellent review, thank you!!!