Review : Nitecore NU20 CRI headlamp

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A few words for Nitecore NU20 CRI :

The Nitecore NU20 CRI is an incredibly compact, lightweight headlamp designed for movers and shakers. This tiny headlamp comes equipped with a Nichia 219B high CRI (>90) LED that produces a bright 270 lumen beam with a throw of 75 yards. LEDs with a high CRI or color rendering index are able to reproduce colors more naturally and highlights subtle detail. Long wear is made less strenuous with the compact design, weighing only 1.66 ounces which includes the built-in battery. Conveniently recharge via the built-in micro USB port and included USB cable and be good to go for up to 6 hours at 170 lumens. The NU20 CRI is ideal for runners or anyone who wants to grab and go!

Overview/Specifications :

First Look :

Flashlight in it’s box :

Package Contains :

  • Headlamp & it’s headband
  • User manual in English & chinese
  • USB cable

A closer look :

You can see the “front” side of the flashlight , with the e-switch visible .

  • Flashlight is made out of poly-carbonate material . Seems to be high quality and durable .

It has a yellow adjustable headband , made out of a flexible material . It can fit on a safety helmet too .

  • It is ultra lightweight . Weighs only 51gr with the headband .

It has a slightly OP reflector , and this CRI model uses a Nichia 219B 90+ CRI led . You can notice the AR coated lens too .

  • Reflector’s diameter is around 11.5mm . Led is well centered too .

On the top side there is the electronic switch :

And bottom side with the charging port . It has a waterproof cover .

  • Charging port is used to charge the integrated 600mAh battery .

With the stock USB cable inserted :

On the sides , you can see the mechanism to adjust the tilt of the flashlight .

  • Tilt can be up to 52 degrees .

It has also this tab , to cover the e-switch , mainly to avoid accidental activation when it is stored in a bag for example .

How it works (&modes) :

From off , press the switch to turn the light on at low mode. If you want to change level, you must press it again within 3-4 seconds the switch, cycling to medium and high mode.
If you press the switch after the light has been on a particular mode for 3-4 seconds, the light will turn off.
When the light is already switched on, a longer press (1-1.5s) of the switch will activate turbo mode.

Hidden Modes: When the flashlight is off, press and hold the switch for more than 3s to activate strobe. Further click activates Strobe - SOS - Aviation signal in a circle. Long press the switch to turn off .

Battery Indicator :

From off , a long click (1-1.5s) on the flashlight’s e-switch will blink the e-switch’s led indicator according to the battery capacity .

  • 3 times >50%
  • 2 times <50%
  • 1 time <10% (Needs re-charging)

Usb Charging :

When the battery is being charged, lED indicator will be red :

After being fully charged, led will be green :

Charging Current : Coming soon…

Edit : As RollerBoySE mentioned , flashlight works regularly when it’s charging .

Measurements :

Lumens :

  • Low - 2 lumens
  • Medium - 29 lumens
  • High - 163 lumens
  • Turbo - 274 lumens

My test , with thermal data :

Turbo mode :

Medium mode provides a runtime up to 7 hours of steady output !

Intensity :

NU20 cri : 1300cd

Beamshots :

Wall @ 4.5m :

Turbo :

High :

Conclusion :

Pros :

  • Nice tint : ~5000-5200K & high cri
  • Ultra lightweight : only 51gr with the headband
  • Small size
  • Good throw and spill balance
  • High quality materials

What i would like :

  • Another ~80-100lm mode with steady output from the first seconds
  • Switch shortcut to High/Turbo

Overall , a really nice light . Recommended for users that don’t target a headlamp with lots of lumens .

= = =

Comment if you want me to check something on the flashlight , or tell your opinion . Thanks !

Flashlight was provided for review purposes by fasttech (for a better price) . Check out the light here : .

Thanks for the review!

It might also be worth mentioning that it’s possible to use the light while charging. Which means virtually unlimited runtime with a power bank of your choice.

You’re right :slight_smile:

Thanks for mentioning it (added it on the review , with credits :beer: )

Looks nice. Any idea what kind of cell is in it? Could it be replaced without destroying the lamp?

I would imagine tgis to have some sort of flat lipo cell in it. Its pretty thin, and in order to get 600mAh in there it needs to be a thin battery.

I’m pretty sure it has a li-ion inside . CRX did a tear down here : Nitecore NU20 Teardown & Mods

Isnt that a lipo cell?

I see a 3.7V mark , i can only guess it’s a li-ion . I think lipo cells charge to 3.2V .

It is possible :slight_smile:

Thanks. Unfortunate that it’s built to be thrown away once the cell dies. And we have no easy way of knowing how long it will last.

Maybe 2-4 years depending on use.
The battery could be replaced fairly easily if you can use a soldering iron.

Thanks for the review :+1:

I can but my real problem is getting a proper replacement at a reasonable cost (shipped to Canada). Still, I might get one anyway as I like everything else about it.

Yeah, they’re cool little lights, best to go with the CRI version.
If you’re not going to use it for a while store it at around 2 flashes to prolong cell life expectancy.

No worries, this is BLF so my other light’s driver has a discharge-to-50% mode :smiley: I won’t mind storing this one in the fridge to extend cell life too.

Sweet light, thanks George.

Thanks for the review. I have one on its way for review, and intend to see how it goes for night running. Looking forward to the Nichia goodness!

It’s tint is one of my favourites , not really warm , perfect !

Thanks for your kind words :beer:

Thank you George. Very nice review as always! :beer:

Thanks for the info & the nice review Giorgos! :+1: