[Review] Nitecore HC68

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Mocarny's picture
Last seen: 12 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2019 - 04:03
Posts: 419
Location: Poland
[Review] Nitecore HC68

Nitecore HC68

At the end there will be a summary for those who like only particulars. In each topic I will bold the key sentences, so it will be easier to notice what's the most important. Enjoy!


The flashlight was provided by Nitecore for the review, but I always try to give you my genuine experiences and opinion, it is why most companies stopped sending me flashlights...


Link to Nitecore HC68 in official shop:





Table of Contents:

- General parameters
- Package content
- Appearance, parameters
- UI, heat dissipation and charging
- Waterproofness
- Light pattern, tint
- Beamshots
- Usage and my experiences
- Gallery and Summary

General Parameters



- Brightness: 2000lm

- Throw: 202m

- LED: 2 x Luminus  SST-40-W

- Modes: 5 focused light modes, 5 floodlight modes, 2 red modes i 3 flashling modes (SOS, Beacon + flashling red)

- Battery: 1 x 18650 (included, 3500mAh) or 2 x CR123, or 2 x RCR123, required at least 8A constant drain current.

- Waterproof: IP68 (full protection against water and dust)

- Build in USB type C charging port, 2A current

- Body: Aluminium, HA III black anodization

- Drop resistance: from 2m

- Charging indicator precise to +/- 0,1V

- length - 91,5 mm
- head diameter - 26,5 mm
- weight 118,5 grama

Package content

In the package we have:

  • Headlamp
  • Head band with the headlamp mount
  • 18650, 3500mAh Nitecore cell
  • Spare o-rings
  • Charging cable
  • Manual



Appearance, parameters


The flashlight looks very nice and stylish. Like other Nitecore lights, it is easily recognizable thanks to its style.




2 button on the top, and main on/off button on the side.

And very nice screws, and small heat dissipating fins.



2 main LEDs and 2 red light LEDs, covered and protected by a plasti TIR lens.

One is for spotlight, and the other for floodlight.

I like the headband very much. Seriously. Before I thought the Armytek headband is the most comfortable one, but now I know, this is the one. It fits my big head, has a nice curved partially plastic and rubber front, and rubber strips to help maintain its position.



And it even has this back plastic piece. I am not sure what for though...



Be careful, because there is no electronic reverse polarity protection, only the physical protection. While it is good and all, and you can't possibly damage the headlamp by sticking battery in reverse, you can be smart and try stick a magnet in the "-" side and then put the battery. If you try hard enough, you can break it.


This double spring, besides of being double spring, is also quite thick. Impressive!




UI, heat dissipation and charging



UI is a bit complicated. One main on/off button on the side and 2 “+” and “–“ buttons at the top. I think it is the best described by the manual, so I added it below:


Heat dissipation

Definitely one of the better one. Here you have a graph of the first 10 min at “Higher” brightness, 1800lm at room temperature of 23degC:


I also measured heat at the hottest spot:

Temperature at 2 min: 47degC

Temperature at 5 min: 52degC

Temperature at 10 min: 49degC

Brightness at 10 min: 543lm

As you can see, the headlamp reaches cool 52degC and starts to reduce brightness, reaching 49degC at 10 min and stabilising at 543lm.

And this is quite well designed, because the headlamp stabilises at...stable light output, right after reaching 52degC at 2 min.


I also tested the time stepdown at Turbo brightness which is coded to kick in after 60s of Turbo:


USB type C port, 2A carging. The port is hidden and well protected against water.


There is a LED charging indicator on the top.




I did not observe any flickering at the lowest brightness, with naked eye and my camera. Well done, Nitecore





Declared IP68. So water and dustproof up to 2m wnderwater. Let’s test it at 15cm deep, but for 4 hours.



Light pattern, tint

2x SST40 LEDs, cool white and two types of TIR reflector. One gives focused light, the other floodlight. Max brightness 2000lm.

And we have 2 red LEDs, max brightness 11lm.


Each line is at +15 cm mark from the central dot. It gives about 50cm diameter for spotlight, and 90 cm for floodlight, all 70cm from the wall. 

Focused light:


Focused and floodlight combined:

Sooo, as you can see, there is a wide variety of options to choose from. Only downside is, Nitecore coule have added a warm floodlight LED. It would be perfect.



ISO200, t2s, f/3.5 sunlight white balance

General picture of what the forest looks like:



Beamshots of the HC68:





















Admiring a random small tree:



Red light is really good for reading, in total darkness the Low mode is good, and the Hight mode is on the edge of being comfortable and too bright:


It is always better to use dim red light than a white light:

And it was pain in my...eyes




If you found this helpful, then it was worth it, I guess...




Usage and my experiences

In my opinion, this is the best head mount I’ve ever had. It is soft, comfortable, feels sturdy, and has rubber strips to help maintain desired position.

Headlamp mount is partially plastic and rubber. Very nice.

UI is a bit complicated and could be more intuitive. Wide range of functions is a good thing, though.




Nitecore HC68 headlamp equipped with 2x cool white SST40 LEDs and powered by included 18650 cell is a good headlamp. Two types of white light (which can burst up to 2000lm) and red light can be used in different scenarios. 1x SST40 focused light is good for hiking, 1x SST40 floodlight can be used at camping, and red light is good especially in summer (it doesn’t attract insects).

All metal body provides great heat dissipation and adds to its overall sturdiness. IP68 provides perfect protection against water and dust, if you need for example...dive in water or...sand...whatever floats your boat, I guess.



+ floodlight and focused light + red light

+ IP68

+ Good heat dissipation


- Complicated UI

- Plastic optics, easy to scratch

If you have any questions, put them below, thanks for sticking for a while Smile

If you struggle choosing your perfect headlamp, check my headlamp guide, I compared 15 most popular headlamps there: CLICK

Edited by: Mocarny on 04/29/2022 - 04:10
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/31/2018 - 14:01
Posts: 210
Location: Dark skies USA

This could have been a great headlamp, but they ruined it by trying to pack too many modes and fearures into it. The special, blinky modes should have been left out of a headlamp that already has alot on it’s plate.

I’d never buy this because of that.

The spot to flood is nice. Red led is fine too. But manufacturers, please. Stop it with the blinkies and special modes already.

My humble opinion of course Smile

Mocarny's picture
Last seen: 12 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2019 - 04:03
Posts: 419
Location: Poland

I think the UI is complicated, it could be simplier. Since it is only UI, Ait can be easily change by Nitecore.


Blinky modes are ok as long as they are under more complicated button combination. I like blinking red, it is useful for me.

If you struggle choosing your perfect headlamp, check my headlamp guide, I compared 15 most popular headlamps there: CLICK

stephenk's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 52 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2016 - 05:09
Posts: 2410
Location: Australia

Thanks for the review. Looks like another more complex evolution of the classic HC65. Wish manufacturers would just use a single red LED – better for night photography.

Mocarny's picture
Last seen: 12 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2019 - 04:03
Posts: 419
Location: Poland

Why single red led is better for night photography?

If you struggle choosing your perfect headlamp, check my headlamp guide, I compared 15 most popular headlamps there: CLICK

Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 11/07/2022 - 19:00
Posts: 1

Anybody know of an emitter swap done on these? Has it/can it be done?
Don’t find the UI too hard to figure out after a break from the light.
I like mine apart from the flood tint and a super annoying gap in the levels between moonlight and the second level.
So much so that I’d consider another headlamp.