Nitecore NU30 review

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Lumeniac
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Nitecore NU30 review

NU30 is a top model in NU line of headlamps. Other couple NU10 and NU20 seems to be not that useful as this one.

You can buy Nitecore NU30 at
AMAZON
ALIEXPRESS
BANGGOOD
NITETORCH they generously offered 20% code HJK5KDNQ valid for all the items in store, including other brands
=================

Stated characteristics are

Features:
Multi-purposes lightweight headlamp
White and red dual outputs
A XP-G2 S3 primary white LED capable of outputting 400 lumens
Incorporated Precision Digital Optics technology
Two auxiliary LEDs with high colour rendering capability: CRI ≥90 provides output at 35 lumens
Red light illumination
Built-in 1800mAh Li-ion battery
USB rechargeable with onboard charging circuit
Dual switches design offers easy one-handed operation
Built-in power indicator
4 brightness levels and 2 special modes available
Flood beam profile with 60° adjustable angle
Made from durable PC materials
Compact and lightweight ·
Impact resistant to 1.5 metre

Specifications:
Output and Runtime:
Turbo: 400 Lumens / 1 Hour 15 Min.
High: 180 Lumens / 22 Hours
Medium: 36 Lumens / 25 Hours 15 Min.
Ultra-low: 1 Lumen / 330 Hours
Auxiliary LEDs (High CRI): 35 Lumens / 12 Hours
Red: 19 Lumens / 13 Hours
Battery: Built-in 1800mAh rechargeable battery
Beam Intensity: 1600cd
Beam Distance: 132 yards (121m)
Waterproof: IPX7
Impact Resistant to 1.5m

Dimensions:
Size: 63× 31 × 43mm
Weight: 89g
Body Material: Durable poly-carbonate material

Contents: Nitecore NU30 headlamp, adjustable headband, USB cable

APPEARANCE
NU30 has regular nitecore package which includes flashlight itself, headstrap, manual and warranty card, USB-cable.



This flashlight is really compact and completely similar to 2xAA Fenix HL15.


This headlamp has a lot of different LEDs:
primary XP-G2 S3 in SMO reflector, pair of auxiliary hi-CRI LEDs and pair of red light LEDs.

Headstrap can be removed. This one is a not bad regular one, but the one from Fenix HL15 is better, as it has kinda of gel-strap that prevents strap from sliding down.


You can adjust angle in range of 60 degrees, with 4 intermediate positions.

USB-charging port is covered with rubber plug. Waterproof is IP67, what has to be enough for most of regular sitiations.

2 buttons have well-know red-green indicator feature and can also shows rest of charge.

Build quality is good. Unfortunately both halves of NU30 are glued, so there is no way to safely disassemble it.

UI
Quick convenient. I got used to it in minutes. The only disadvantage I see is that there is no way to change brightness without turning light off (except starting turbo)

But, again, you get a really lot of different functions with easy acces without overloading UI.

PERFORMANCE
No PWM-shimmering in pensil\shower test

Beamshots from all LEDs

Difference between primary and auxiliary LEDs can be easily seen. Visually, side light of auxiliary LEDs is way brighter. My camera lense couldn`t catch it.


These pair of Hi-CRI LEDs are great for near-range work within 2m distance.
Being discharged, NU30 cuts off upper modes, so in deep discharge you can just choose between 1 and 36. And here is a great feature – you can just plug USB and use all the modes while headlamp is being charged.

I evaluate capacity likely to be stated, really about 1800, which is so cool for such size. Charging amperage from included packed is 0.9A, not bad at all. It took about 2 hours to fully charge.

Red light is really, really bright. Technically you can use it while walking outdoor in debris and not break legs.
I don`t know any situation when you really need central LED and red light LEDs working simultaneously, but NU30 supports this. Here are rest of modes except primary light.

Live example, the rest one is mixture of red and primary light.
About 5 meters

About 7 meters.

180 lumens are totally ok for most of cases, that`s enough for about 10-12 meters distance and provides best runtime as well.
400 lums (30 sec stepdown) at turbo give enough light to see what is going on at 30-40meters distance.

What about turbo and stepdown – here a good review with detailed explanation of stepdow

OVERALL.
Nitecore managed to fit a lot of good features in such compact size: 1800 mah battery, red\hi-CRI\XP-G LEDs for most of situations, fully work when being charged, no PWM-shimmering.
I`m positively impressed with this headlamp and really want to compare NU30 with new Fenix HL15.

Edited by: Lumeniac on 02/07/2021 - 11:51
The Kwan
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Thanks for the review, it looks decent but also wonder why the main LED and red LEDs would be illuminated together, I always use red at night when camping to save waking everyone up when visiting the lav Smile

Shame it is a sealed unit too so you cannot get to the battery.

Lumeniac
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it`s better to have an unessesary option and don`t use it, rather than not have it and wish to use )

after some years, when battery will be down, i`ll risk to disassemble this stuff

The Kwan
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I dont really agree with that, more unessesary modes just complicate matters, I really would like to see more headlamps with less modes, particularly without SOS, beacon and strobe modes, just some straight forward modes high, low and red would be perfect and it would save faffing about scrolling through lots of options to get a simple operating mode and also save blinding everyone in a group and giving them stroboscopic disco lights when just trying to switch the thing on Smile especially with wet or muddy fingers or gloves on.

Less complicated.

Lumeniac
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when it comes to making UI too complicating – you are right.
another side when it is like low-mid-high-strobe-sos (cheap variant that i hate)

but i speak about this model. here are a lot of modes, but that doesn`t fell any inconvenient in using at all.

jjp888
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Is it having a glass lens with antireflective coating??

Half knowledge is a Dangerous thing!.

Lumeniac
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jjp888 wrote:

Is it having a glass lens with antireflective coating??


looks like it does

glass has usual for AR blue tint

jjp888
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That will be good.plastic tend to scratch easily and  will make close up beams worse.

Half knowledge is a Dangerous thing!.

Lumeniac
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of course i’m talking about primary light. side LEDs have plastic cover

djozz
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Very nice insightful review, thanks for posting! That looks about a perfect headlight. Especially the high CRI flood seems really useful.

Two downsides for me, I admit they are rather personal:
1) I think it looks really ugly (i.e. my Thrunite TH20 is much better looking)
2) my wife will stop sleeping in the same bed if she ever sees me wearing a headlamp.

Lexel
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180 lumens for 22 hours cant be right, its most likely 2.2h

dekozn
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djozz wrote:
That looks about a perfect headlight..

Far from it, it looks good on paper and screen but to me it’s crap. Good thing I didn’t pay full price. I’m too annoyed to write something decent now but it ain’t worth the price. This will probably just end up as a taillight for my bike.

Idiot proofing something only creates improved idiots.

RobertB
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I really like mine. The head strap is also reversible. If you don’t like the nitecore zebra stripes, you can undo the straps from the clips and turn it around so the black side is showing.

I also like the fact you can run this light with a powerbank. Excellent light IMO.

Blue garbage can and small tree is about 80ft or 24.5m away

sac02
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I was all excited about this light for the main reason that it would be smaller and lighter than my current 18650 right-angle headlights like Skillhunt H03 for example.

I mean, the NU30 is plastic, has a smaller (and non-steel-encased) battery…

H03: 44g light + 45g batt = 89g
NU30: 89g

Pass.

RobertB
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The NU30 is not for everyone, not even meme’s. Tough plastic won’t break or dent when you drop it on the cement.

The weight of the Skilhunt H03 is actually more than shown. I cut the top strap off along with part of the silicon rubber holder.

The NU30 is 84g

The Skilhunt H03 is 122g with a LG unprotected flat-top

The Skilhunt H03 is 128g with a protected GA

sac02
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Is it possible to weigh the NU30 alone without strap?

Nitecore should specify the weight of just the light with no strap, I think. Because that’s what everyone else else does it, and it leads to fools like me declining to buy a light because the specs appear to say one thing but actually mean another (total weight w/ strap = 89g).

RobertB
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sac02 wrote:
Is it possible to weigh the NU30 alone without strap?

Nitecore should specify the weight of just the light with no strap, I think. Because that’s what everyone else else does it, and it leads to fools like me declining to buy a light because the specs appear to say one thing but actually mean another (total weight w/ strap = 89g).

Sure, without strap is 65g. They all should be showing weight with strap and battery since that is how it is being used. If it’s in your pocket instead of on your head, then weight doesn’t matter so much.

Stereodude
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Has anyone confirmed this doesn’t have excessive current drain in lockout?

RobertB
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Stereodude wrote:
Has anyone confirmed this doesn’t have excessive current drain in lockout?

I just set mine to lockout mode. We’ll see in 5 days. I will say though, this light doesn’t need a lockout mode. There no way this would accidentally turn on while on your head, or in your pocket. The buttons are flush, and takes a bit of pressure activate.

Stereodude
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RobertB wrote:
I just set mine to lockout mode. We’ll see in 5 days. I will say though, this light doesn’t need a lockout mode. There no way this would accidentally turn on while on your head, or in your pocket. The buttons are flush, and takes a bit of pressure activate.

That’s a good point. Lockout probably isn’t very necessary on a headlamp with flush buttons.
Dutcheee
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I just got my green sample in yesterday. Nice light! I like the L-M-H mode order and able to go to red without cycling through white. Too bad red is one intensity only.

Runtime on High is way off, it decreased to 100lux after about 5.5hrs. At 5hrs still very bright. Only Low & Medium still worked. High cri & red appeared as bright as normal. After switching several modes it went dead. No response whatsoever until the charger was connected. Battery capacity tested at 1799mAh.
I received an email from Nitecore stating: “Usually it can last 1 to 2 moths when it is in standby mode.”

So considerable parasitic drain.. But nice headlight overall!

Stereodude
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Dutcheee wrote:
I received an email from Nitecore stating: “Usually it can last 1 to 2 moths when it is in standby mode.”

So considerable parasitic drain.. But nice headlight overall!


UGH!!! So basically if you’re not using it regularly (and thereby charging it regularly) you have to charge it like once a month or you’ll find it dead with an overdischarged battery that you can’t replace.

I think I’ll pass on this one.

Dutcheee
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Yes, unfortunately unusable for back up lighting or keeping it in your toolbox for sporadic use. I might have bought more if the drain was none existent.

For hunting it is a nice light though.