At the end of December, I reviewed the Olight S2R Baton flashlight. I really like this flashlight because it has an easy to press button on the grip instead of the tail cap, and it uses a special rechargeable battery that charges through a magnetic USB cable. It’s quickly become my favorite flashlight, but now it might have some competition because Olight World has sent me the smaller Olight H1R Nova flashlight. Has it become my new favorite? Keep reading to find out.
What is it?
The Olight H1R Nova is a very small EDC 600 lumen flashlight that doubles as a headlamp and can be recharged through a special magnetic USB cable.
What’s in the box?
Olight H1R Nova flashlight
Customized 3.7V 650mAh RCR123A
Magnetic USB Charging Cable
Head Strap with Silicone Mount
Design and features
The Olight H1R Nova has the same overall look and feel as the S2R Baton flashlight that I reviewed a month ago. But as you can see, it’s quite a bit shorter and skinnier than the S2R.
The H1R Nova flashlight is 2.4 inches (61.5 mm) long, with a black steel case that weighs 1.8 oz (51g). It is IPX8 (waterproof up to 2 meters) and uses a CREE XM-L2 LED with bead TIR optic lens.
While many flashlights have the power switch on the tail cap or grip, the H1R Nova’s power switch is on the head with the light at a 90-degree angle to the switch. Strange placement? Not when you consider that you can use this flashlight in the included head strap mount.
The orientation of the lamp is also useful because the base of the flashlight is magnetic. That means that you can stick the flashlight to anything made of steel and the beam of light will shine downwards like a traditional lamp.
In the image above, I have the flashlight stuck to my custom made steel bulletin board above my Gadgeteer HQ desk. A small flashlight like this one would be useful for repairmen and other workers who need to keep both hands free but don’t want to wear a headlamp.
The flashlight does come with a head mount strap if you’re so inclined.
The Olight H1R Nova comes with a customized 3.7V 650mAh RCR123A rechargeable battery. It can also use a standard CR123
Charging is done with the included magnetic USB cable. This same cable is compatible with the Olight S2R Baton flashlight as well as Olight’s other flashlights like the S1R, S10RIII, and S30RIII.
Using the Flashlight
The flashlight has six light modes that have different power requirements and brightness levels.
Turbo: 600 lumens, 3+80 minutes
High: 180 lumens, 100 minutes
Medium: 60 lumens, 5 hours
Low: 15 lumens, 20 hours
Moon: 2 lumens, 6 days
The image above on the left is my basement living room at night with the lights turned off. I used my Nexus 6P to take these images without using the flash.
The middle image is the H1R Nova a Moon mode (2 lumens) and the image on the right is low mode (15 lumens).
Next is medium brightness (60 lumens), high brightness (190 lumens) and finally turbo brightness which is the max of 600 lumens.
Changing brightness modes is done by holding down the power button when the lamp is on. When you do this, the flashlight will cycle through the low, medium and high brightness levels. Once a level is set, it will remember that level when you turn the lamp on again.
To access moon mode, you have to turn the flashlight off and then hold the power button for one second.
To access turbo mode, you double click the power button when the flashlight is turned off.
To use the SOS mode which blinks a the SOS distress signal in Morse code, you have to triple press the power button while the flashlight is off.
The Olight H1R Nova also has a lockout mode locks the flashlight so that button presses do not change the light mode.
The Olight H1R Nova is a cute little flashlight that will fit an almost any pocket or gear bag. It’s not as bright as the S2R Baton that I’ve been using and doesn’t have as long of a runtime as its larger brother. It’s also a little weird to carry it around in an upright position due to the placement of the lamp. So the Olight S2R Baton remains my favorite flashlight, but the H1R Nova is a great little flashlight for someone who likes to use a headlamp.