Olight H16 Wave (Headlamp) / Full Review

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robo819's picture
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Olight H16 Wave (Headlamp) / Full Review

This is the Olight H16 Wave sent to me for review and NO other compensation other than keeping the light.

Light can be found at the main Olight site ….. https://www.olightstore.com/olight-h16-wave?search=H16
or on Amazon ….. https://www.amazon.com/Olight-Rechargeable-Activated-Headlamp-Organizer/... (links NON affiliated)

The light came in a padded mailing envelope with the Olight box inside that and everything is very neatly packaged in the factory box.
The H16 Wave is the newest in the line up from Olight and is a compact , light weight headlamp with what they call “wave” technology. The wave technology in this light simply means that once it is activated you can wave your hand in front of the light within 6 inches to turn the light on , or to put it in “standby” mode. When in standby or when the “wave” is active , the button will be lighted in blue.

It uses 2 emitters with 2 different TIR optics , one for throw and one for flood , combining the 2 for a beam that is useful both closer up and also giving some throw.
The H16 uses 2 XP-G3 emitters behind those optics.

The lights head can be adjusted to different angels , with 4 positive stop positions from 90 degrees out to 45 degrees. I have noticed however that the head can be positioned in other spots if you move it carefully and stop between those postitive stop points. This headband is also pretty comfortable to wear , stays put and does not dig into my head like many I have tried.

The battery pack is a proprietary Lipo pack , and it does have some pretty good run times. The design also helps keep the weight balanced out better than having the cell inside the head of the light , by putting that weight on the back of the headband. The cable is held securely via the clips on the headband. There are 4 blue indicator lights on the battery pack and a button you push to know the level of charge remaining and there is an audible alarm to warn when the battery pack needs charging. Charging of the battery pack is done via the built in USB port. There is also reflective safety striping on the sides of this headband.

The head of the light is made from polycarbonate and aluminum as best that I can tell , with the front being the polycarbonate and the back of the head being aluminum ( I am sure to help cooling) as the head of the light does get fairly hot at full power.

The overall beam is pretty good from the H16 and blends pretty well from the 2 separate optics with only a slight artifact / shadow at the very center of the beam when very close to a wall or something , where the 2 beams meet , other than that it really is not noticeable in real life use. Also I do not see much at all of the “olive” color around the beam edges that is present with so many of the XP-G3 based lights in the H16. The only detectable PWM I can find is in the low mode ONLY.

3feet / Medium Mode and 10 Feet Low / Medium / High

Gate 50 yards / High…..25 yards Medium / High ,,,,10 yards Medium / High

My negatives with this light………….
The UI is kind of disappointing in the H16 to me really , considering all the nice UI’s Olight has came out with in many of their lights , especially recently. The UI is a simple High , Medium , Low , and off , in that order and you have to cycle through the modes from high all the way back down to turn the light off, There is NO mode memory on the H16 and the “Wave” feature lets the light turn on or off if you get to close to an object such as trees branches or if you might be working in close proximity of something moving your head around or getting tools or something of that nature too close to the sensor.
I would also like to have seen the ability to use either the flood side or the throw side of the light as was done with the HS2. This would not only give better runtimes , but would also let you have all flood for the close up work instead of an intense beam.

Overall the light itself is built pretty well and the headband is comfortable , but the UI just isn’t up to par with the newer Olight products IMO.

Charts of the Lumens and the only runtime testing I have done on the light……….

There is a partial tear down and the live footage outdoors comparing the HS2 and the H1R Nova with this light in the video segment. For those who do not want to watch the whole video the beamshots and teardown start at 7:03 of the video timeline and the live outdoor footage starts at 11:22 of the timeline.

Video followed by listed specs…………


Beam Distance (ft) 328
Beam Distance (m) 100
Max. Performance (lumens) 500
Charge type Micro-USB
Compatible Batteries Customised Li-Ion Battery
Light Intensity (candela) 2500
Light Form Far-range focused beam and close-range wide flood combined
Lens / Reflector Type TIR bead lens (converged and wide beam)
Mode Operation Switch on the bottom of the headlamp
Form/Size Factor Small size (Car key / Zippo Lighter)
Series Series H (Headlamps, Multitasking)
Unique Characteristics Hand wave operation – This motion sense setting saves users the trouble of reaching for the power switch in the dark, and keeps the headlamp clean from dirty hands.
Wide area illumination – Dual LED light head paired with a custom lens delivering great close-range illumination combining both a wide and focused beam.
Great runtimes – The H16 features a 2000mAh LiPo battery pack that supports a runtime up to 25 hours of continuous use.
Smart power level indication – Four-level blue LED battery indicator and low-power audible beep warning at 10% charge to keep you updated on your power status.
Beam angle adjustment – The light head has three adjustable levels from 0~45 degrees.
Reflective head strap – reflective stripes on both sides of the head strap to improve visibility and safety for the user.


LEVEL 1 (lumens) 500
Run-time LEVEL 1
500 lumens (~350lm)
2h (5m).

LEVEL 2 (lumens) 100
Run-time LEVEL 2 9h30m.

LEVEL 3 (lumens) 5
Run-time LEVEL 3 160h.

Strobe No


Waterproof IPX4
Weight (g / oz) 115 / 4.06
Length (mm / in) 58 / 2.28
Head Diameter (mm / in) 24 / 0.94
Body Diameter (mm / in) 38 / 1.50
Led 2 x Cree XP-G3
Packaging Carton Box
Use fishing, climbing, cave exploration, outdoor activities, house activities
Package Contents Olight H16 flashlight x 1
2000mAh 3.7V Lithium Polymer Battery(built-in) x 1
USB-microUSB rechargeable cable x 1
headband x 1
Replacement Cable Clip x 2
user manual x 1

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Edited by: robo819 on 05/22/2018 - 01:49
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Location: France, Angers

If you’re wondering if the emitters can be replaced by Nichia, they can :

I puttwo 219C in mine, the tint and beam is pleasant although it runs hotter than with XP-G3

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