Olight H16 Wave Headlamp Review

Official Specs
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  User Interface and Operation
  LED and beam
  Tint vs...
  Beamshots, Runtime, etc table.
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next


Olight’s released another headlamp, in the same vein as the HS2, which I’ve previously reviewed here.  I liked the HS2 (still have it and use it often), but it’s a very runner-specific headlamp.  The H16 Wave is an interesting development, because it’s adds a “Wave,” ‘hands free’ feature.  Let’s see how it all works for this light!

Official Specs and Features


There’s only one version of this light, at this time.


MRSP for this light is $59.99.

Short Review

A nice entry into the headlamp category, leveraging the cell, and most of the package too, from the H2S.  The wave UI is a bit gimmicky for me but it could be very useful to some users.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Olight H16 Wave Headlamp
  • Internal cell (built on to the headstrap)
  • Charge cable
  • Manual


Package and Manual

This Olight has the same packaging as the recently reviewed M2T.  A tamper evident, tear strip white box, with a nice product photo, and a reasonable amount of data on the back of the package.

The top of the box is serialized, as is the light.

The light and goods are in a plastic tray, very secure.


Here’s a pdf of the manual.  The manual is exactly like all other Olight manuals, and covers the product fairly well.

Build Quality and Disassembly

This light is built much like the HS2.  Sturdy headband, with a thick cable connecting the light to the battery.  The head/emitter housing of the H16 Wave is plastic, and doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as the HS2.


The head pivots around 45 degrees from vertical.  It stays in this position snugly, too.

The strap has adjustments, and is a very comfortable (stretchy/soft) strap.  It’s also reflective!


The cable connecting the light to the battery has a large section of springy coil, so if the band must be lengthened for larger heads, there should be plenty of cable.


There’s a soft rubber piece where the battery interfaces with one’s head.  This makes for a secure fit, and remains comfortable.



Officially Weight 115g, Length 58mm, Head Diameter 24mm, Body Diameter 38mm.

It’s hard to get a fix on good ways to size a light like this.  It’s as big as it needs to be, and the head may be a little bigger.  It does wear well, though.


Just the headstrap for retention on this light.  It’s 100% a headlamp, and will live its entire life on this headstrap.


Olight includes the same cell and package on the H16 Wave as is on the HS2.  This is a slim cell, in a package with a button for activating a ‘remaining power’ indicator.  It’s hard-wired to the cable that attaches to the light (which is also hard-wired).


The battery has 4 blue LEDs for displaying power.  All four lit means fully charged.

I tested High mode on this light.  Output stays on High for a reasonable amount of time, with a dip at 5 minutes down to 90%.  Then the output stays at some level of well above medium (claimed 350 lumens ), until the battery is around 10% capacity.  At this point the battery pack beeps vigorously.  At around 90 minutes into the test I reset the light to see how high responded.  High will come back, but not to “100%” output.  However the light does seem to still want to do High for the 5 minutes (per the manual), with no regard to the temperature (which was up to 48C when I stopped the test.)  When I stopped the test, the battery pack was beeping constantly.


With the internal cell, on-board charging is a requirement. This light has that via micro-USB.


Olight includes a cable for charging.


Charging proceeds as follows.  It’s a fairly standard Li-Ion CC/CV charge graph, with a capacity of around 1.75Ah.  Lower than quoted.  The HS2 tested at 2000mAh capacity twice, so it’s possible this cell wasn’t completely drained, or that the cell is lower capacity.  The two look the same on the outside, so I’d suspect the former over the latter.


User Interface and Operation

On the H16 Wave there’s just one switch.  It’s a big blue switch on the bottom of the light.  There’s also the namesake feature, the Wave.  Once activated, a wave will turn the light off and on.

The UI is very simple.  From off, click the switch for High.  Subsequent clicks get Medium, then Low, then Off.

The Wave feature is off by default.  When the light is on, hold the button to turn the Wave feature on (or off).  When the light blinks, Wave is iterated (on or off).

When Wave is active, simply waving one’s hand in front of the light will turn the light off or on.  I’ve found this feature to be very sensitive, and work quite well.  Also when Wave is active, the blue button on the front is lit blue.

Modes can’t be changed via the wave feature; that must be done with the button manually.   The power will completely shut down automatically if there is no further operation within 1 hour.



Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux
High  500/350 5m/120m 10130
Medium  100 9h30m 2110
Low  5 160h 100

LED and Beam

In the H16 Wave are two Cree XP-G3 emitters.  They’re behind different types of TIR; one smooth, and one dimpled.  This is just to change the beam profile overall, not for use individually.  By that I mean that these emitters can’t be operated independently.



The beam profile is round, with a center very-hotspot, of unfortunate tint (blueish).  The shape is good, though

Tint vs BLF-348


Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Olight H16 Wave
Emitter Cree XP-G3 x2
Emitter Notes
Cell Internal
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? Beep warning
Claimed Lumens (lm) 500
Lux (Measured) 180 lux @ 3.905 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 2744.8
Throw (Calculated) (m) 104.8
Throw (Claimed) (m) 100


Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

There are only a few headlamps on the market now with XP-G3 emitters.  The most compelling is the Fenix HL32R, with just one XP-G3 and some prominent buttons on the top.


What I like

  • Very comfortable headband
  • Balanced configuration with the battery right on the back of the head
  • Wave feature is neat and also works quite well
  • Reminds me of Rodney Copperbottom

What I don’t like

  • Tint of XP-G3
  • Can’t use emitters independently (though, on other lights with this feature, I haven’t loved it? this might not be a con really.)
  • Wave can’t change modes.

Up Next

Next week I have more flashlights!  Manker, Rofis, Mecarmy….   And possibly a charger by Nitecore.


  • This light was provided by Olight for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

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