Nitecore UT32 (1x18650 headlamp, Cool and Warm emitters, Running)

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Budda's picture
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: 01/18/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 607
Location: Italy
Nitecore UT32 (1x18650 headlamp, Cool and Warm emitters, Running)

I recieved the Nitecore UT32 from Nitecore for the review.

The UT32 is an innovative headlamp that features 2 emitters (a CREE XP-L2 V6 cool white and a CREE XP-L V6 warm white) with 2 different reflectors but in the classic form factor of the 1×18650 headlamp segment.

With the UT32, I got a special 18650 battery to test, the Nitecore NL1829RLTP, a micro USB rechargeable 18650 with 2900mAh that is able to perform in the cold, up to -40C.

The UT32 reminds me of the Greek god Janus, since they both have 2 faces.
On one side we have the Cool White XP-L2 emitter, on the 2 sides next to it we got 2 electronic switches (one with the rubber cover flat, the over with a rubber cover with a dimple); on the 4th side, opposite to the XP-L2 cool white emitter, we have the XP-L warm white emitter.
Here are all the 4 sides.

The 2 emitters are in 2 different sized reflectors, in order to offer 2 different beams, both in geometry and in temperature colour. The cool white emitter has a smaller, narrower reflector than the one of the warm white emitter.

Based on my understanding, both LEDs share the same driver and such receive the same current for each mode, the difference in output is due to the different efficiency of the two emitters, higher for the cool white.

The top of the light has some small fins to help the cooling and the grip.

Beside the peculiar head, the UT32 is a regular 1×18650 headlamp, measuring 96×28 mm, weighting in at 83 grams. Here with a Zebralight H604C and the Nitecore HC35

The tailcap has anodised threads, so the physical lockout is possible. The threads are square cut.
The contact point for the positive end of the battery features a physical protection against polarity inversion.

With the New Nitecore headband, that features reflective inserts on the outside, and a Silicone anti sweat and grip increasing insert.


You can see that the cool white emitter has a spotless beam, wide and homogeneous.

The warm emitter has a traditional, narrower beam, made of spot and spill. The tint is beautiful and the temperature colour is 3000K.
Wall hunting, it appears as the center of the spot with the XP-L2 has a slight green tint variation on my sample. Nothing that affect real use.

Output and runtime
Both tested with the provided battery.

Since the driver is the same for both emitter, I did the runtime tests with the Warm LED and I obtained the Cool white runtime by increasing the output value relative to each Cool White level.

The UI
My thoughts the light is well built and finished.
The regulation is fine on the tested levels.
The UI is a bit tricky at the beginning, but it is easy to control after a while: you realise that u use only one button to switch outputs, and the other one for changing the beam. In practice, it worked fine for me.
If You are worried about the risk for blinding yourself while changing the emitter which is on, that risk is non existent, given the fact that when you turn the other emitter on, it is facing your forhead and will not hit your eyes. Yes, you will see the light and you have to rotate the light clockwise (or counter clockwise, depending on how you set your light) so that the light will turn going over your forehead, and not passing under it, hitting your eyes. This in practice is also very intuitive and works fine.
Keep in mind that for most application you don’t have to switch beam type every few seconds, and that the solution adopted on the UT32 is a great way of carrying basically 2 fully powered and functioning headlamps with XP-L(2) emitters that produce 2 different beams. Before the UT32, to my knowledge, you had to resort to flashlighs with removable diffuser, or bigger lights that featured additional parts comprehensive of more circuitry, LEDs and reflector-optics. On other lights, secondary emitter also have often reduced output or a limited beam.
The UT32 is really 2 headlamps in one: 2 fully functional beams, with different applications, full power with almost no compromise (30” limited turbo, 4 levels per emitter).
The warmer, more focused beam is a great add for when you encounter fog, moisture or rain because, in these conditions, cool and unfocused light gets reflected, blinding you. It also helps getting a better depth perspective in the outdoors.

I would like this light to come with both LEDs in neutral/warm.
Maybe the reflector of the XP-L2 V6 wide beam could be replaced with a TIR optic in order to make the beam even wider.

Thanks to Zampa, AntoLed, Won.

All my reviews, in italian and english, here:

Edited by: Budda on 12/23/2019 - 09:15
Agro's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 6302
Location: Ślōnsk

Thanks for the review, that’s a very interesting design.
That 83 grams is without cell and band, right?
If that’s the case it’s not much lighter than 2 separate lamps.
And compared to modded H03 – it’s heavier than 2 separate lamps.

Budda's picture
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: 01/18/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 607
Location: Italy

All my reviews, in italian and english, here: