Olight H1R Nova Flashlight Review

Preface

Here’s the newest edition of the Olight H1 Nova – this time in rechargeable format: The H1R Nova. I liked the H1 a lot, and the H1R has changed very little….. To that end, this review is mostly an update review to the H1 Nova review I did back in November.

Thanks to Olight for sending this light to me for review, and to Going Gear for facilitating.


Official Specs and Features

Spec Rating
Light Intensity (candela) 1,280
Max. Performance (lumens) 600
Beam Distance 72m

Compatible Batteries: 1 x CR123A / Customized RCR123A
Led:Cree XM-L2
Waterproof: IPX8
Weight: 1.82 oz/51.5g (Including Battery)
Length: 2.4 in / 61.5mm
Head Diameter: 0.8in / 21mm
Body Diameter: 0.8in / 21mm
Packaging: Zippered Reusable case
Package Contents: Headlamp (including head strap and silicone mount), 1 x RCR123A (650mAh), Pocket Clip, Pouch, Instruction Manual

Level Output (lm) Runtime
Level 1 600 3m
→Stepdown 180 80
Level 2 180 100 minutes
Level 3 60 5h
Level 4 15 20h
Level 5 2 6 days
Strobe SOS mode

Versions

This light comes in two versions: cool white and neutral white. What I’m reviewing here is NW. And of course if onboard charging isn’t your thing, there’s also the H1 Nova (in CW and NW too).

MSRP

$66.95


Short Review:

Another great headlamp, with the added bonus of onboard charging. I liked the H1, and I like the H1R as well!

Long Review:

What’s Included

  • Olight H1R Nova Headlamp
  • Headband with silicone holder
  • Velvet carry bag
  • USB charging connector
  • Manual
  • Pocket clip (installed)

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Note: Spare o-ring is not included. There is this massive o-ring

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which really seems to serve no purpose past packaging.

Pictures

Here are the photos, and beamshots, and a runtime, and a charging graph (using the Olight cell and the Olight charging cable).

Package and Manual

The package is more of a typical plastic Olight package.

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Unlike the regular H1, the H1R does not include a carrying case. The back

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has a sticker to show which tint is contained within. The package is like one of those nail puzzles.

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Getting it open is easy but you will never, ever get things back in the package as they were from the factory. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just extremely efficient use of space. Olight packagers = Tetris masters. The box has a serial on the top, which matches the serial printed on the body of the H1R. Sides have a bunch of printed info, including the QR code.

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The manual again, is typical Olight. One large sheet of paper,

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with individual squares having “page numbers” which don’t match any origami folding I could manage. So you just unfold the whole thing and find the section

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that reads in your language. The manual is nice and descriptive, and includes the specs, UI and warranty.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Just like the H1, the H1R is fantastically built. Nothing bad can be said. The button

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on the head of the light is completely flush and so the light will head and tailstand with ease. The head has some fins.

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The head end of the light has a spring,

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and the tail end has a button. The clip is like the H1, and all of the Baton series, including the tiny detent in the middle, and the hole at the top for connecting a lanyard. The clip must be removed for use with the headstrap.

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I personally don’t find that problematic because I most often use these as pocket lights anyway, but I do understand it’s something that should be fixed in design. I seem to recall a new style headstrap/clip combo that fixes this?

Like other Olights, the bezels on the optic and button are press fit, and in this case, recessed. It would be monumental to remove either of those in order to access the guts. Of course the tailcap unscrews easily for swapping the cell, but also ‘of course’ – the cell is olight specific. All told there’s not a whole lot that can be disassembled easily in this light.

Size

Olight says 61.5mm x 21mm x 21mm. I measure 61.61mm x 21.02 x 21.22mm. So just about right. It’s a small light, though of course not as small as the H1. The entire difference is the onboard charging, which is in the tailcap. Remove the tailcaps and I don’t believe you could tell these lights apart (except by serial number). The R tailcap is about 3.3mm longer.

Dolla dolla bill y’all

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Retention

Great options here, as there should be. Headband.

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Pocket clip. Magnet. There’s no pouch like was with the H1, but there’s a velvet pouch,

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which has a drawstring. The headstrap is a nice soft (typical) headstrap, with a silicone holder. A nice touch is that one of the loops on the holder has a tab,

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making it easy to grasp and pull over the light, to get the light situated. The magnet helps snap the charger connector to the base of the light snugly. It is even strong enough to hold the light in place on the charger base, and on something else metal.

The clip has that little detent

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about halfway up, that is annoying and in the way.

Or, you can just use it with nothing at all.

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Power

The H1R is powered by a single 16340 cell. Olight includes one cell, which is inside the light on shipment. This is a “custom” cell,

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which has both positive and negative contacts on the positive end

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of the cell. And that’s how charging works from just the tailcap. It also means that typical rechargeables will not charge in this light. The body of the light has a label on the inside of the cell tube

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for which direction to insert the cell.

I my runtime test, turbo termination was at 3.28V. That’s similar to the H1, which further confirms that these lights are essentially the same with only different tailcaps.

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When using the base to charge the cell, charging terminated at 4.22V. Here’s a graph of that charge cycle.

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Note that the tailcap charging has terminals on the outside of the tailcap

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(obviously) but those terminals are live even when not charging. This is another thing I wish Olight could fix in design. I consider this a big flaw. I measured the cells full voltage across that terminal, when the tailcap was closed. I’m not sure how Olight prevents shorts with this design (or, if they do).

Olight includes a USB-to-base charging cable.

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The cable has a red and green light to indicate if charging is complete (green) or charging (red). The base is Olight blue,

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and it fits the H1R perfectly.

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Here’s another shot of the tailcap with the charging connectors.

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User Interface and Operation

There’s a single [black large flat silicone] switch on the head of the H1R. I like this switch, particularly compared to switches like in the Baton series – it’s much easier to actuate. It’s also less likely to accidentally actuate, which is great for pocket carry.

State Action Result
Off Click Mode Memory*
Off Hold Moonlight
Off Double Click Turbo
On Hold Cycle Modes (L>M>H)
Off Hold (+2s) Lockout
Lockout Press Momentary Moonlight
Lockout Hold (+2s) Unlock

* Turbo memorized for 10 minutes, and then kicks down to medium. (Moon can be memorized, too.)

LED and Beam

Both versions have a Cree XM-L2 emitter. The H1R must be driven slightly harder, because it’s rated for 600 lumens, while the H1 was rated for just 500. They both have a dimpled TIR. The beam is typical TIR, and fantastic. A broad spot with little spill, great for headlamps. (And my personal preference for most of my lights, if I’m honest.)

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Brand Olight
Model H1R Nova
Emitter Cree XM-L2
Emitter Notes NW
Runtime 16340
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 16340
Claimed Lumens (lm) 600
Lux (Measured) 222
At (m) 2.559
Candela ([Calculated] in cd 1453.76
Throw ([Calculated] (m) 76.26
Throw (Claimed) (m) 72

As usual, see the Big Ol’ Table for comparisons.

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Obviously compare this to the H1. If you want onboard charging, buy this one. If you don’t (or don’t care, or own a charger like any normal flashlight enthusiast), buy the H1. If you’re into High CRI, consider the Armytek Tiara C1 Pro v2 (that’s a limited edition, though.) There are many options in this category; regardless, the H1R is a high quality reliable option.

Conclusion

I like it. It’s well built and does what it’s supposed to do. I probably prefer the H1 because I don’t really need onboard charging and I have plenty of chargers and cells I can use. But if one prefers onboard charging this is a great option. If you do buy, buy the NW – we don’t want to perpetuate the CW madness. 🙂

What I like

  • Onboard Charging
  • NW tint is quite nice
  • Cell included
  • Size is good

What I don’t like

  • Onboard charging requires proprietary cell
  • Can’t use headband and clip at the same time
  • Still don’t like the dimple in that clip
  • Live current on the tailcap!

Up Next

My next review will be of the ReyLight Brass Pineapple. Stay tuned!!


Notes:

Thanks to Olight for sending this light to me for review!

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