Nitecore NU10 Headlamp Review

Here’s another Nitecore headlamp; GearBest sent this one over. It’s a [multi] emitter light with an indicating switch and red secondary. Most importantly, it’s a high CRI light!

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Official Specs and Features

Versions

There are two versions of the NU10.  There’s the regular NU10, and the NU10CRI, which is what I’ll be reviewing here.  There are a bunch of body and headband colors, too.

Price

The NU10 CRI is $29.95, and the NU10 is $24.95.  Street price should bring these under $20 or so.  They’re currently $19.91 at GearBest!


Short Review

This is a good little headlamp, and will probably appeal to the hiking crowd a lot.  Plastic body, red mode included, on-board charging.  Flashlight fans will likely love that it’s High CRI.  I like it because I think this kind of light is fun, and nostalgic.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore NU10 CRI
Emitter: (≥90 CRI)
Price in USD at publication time: $24.95
Cell: Internal
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP?
Switch Type: E-Switch
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? ?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 115
Claimed Throw (m) 30
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 24lux @ 2.955m = 210cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 29.0 (96.7% of claim)*
All my Nitecore reviews!

* Standard measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

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  • Nitecore NU10CRI
  • Headband
  • Charge cable
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Nitecore has stepped out a little from their norm.  This headlamp is in a blister pack, and has what’s often called “Frustration Free Packaging.”  Just snip off the bottom, and the light opens easily.
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The manual is a single page with the usual nicely written info and some helpful graphics.  The manual for the NU10 and NU10CRI are the same.
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Here’s a pdf of the manual.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Most lights I handle are metal tubes.  So immediately, most plastic lights like these feel a bit cheap.  But I have a nostalgic spot for these lights, as a hiker and backpacker.
The build quality is good for this style light.  All parts fit well and the buttons and covers are all.

The headband is comfortable, wide, and stretchy.  I seem to have precious few photos of that head band….

Size

Officially the NU10’s head is 60.5mm, and it weighs 65g.

The NU10 is average size (maybe large) for this style light.

Retention

The NU10CRI is a headlamp, and connects (removably) to an elastic, adjustable headband.  The light is easy to remove, but it’s firmly a headlamp.  There are no other ways to carry or really use the NU10.
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Power

The NU10 is powered by an internal battery rated at 3.33Wh.  The battery is not replaceable, and recharges via micro-USB.
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The NU10 is very interested in runtimes.  There’s a timed stepdown on every mode at 45 minutes – the light steps down to the next available mode.  That can be seen in the runtime above, where High steps down to Medium.
When charging, the indicating switch is lit red.  When charging is complete, the switch is green.

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Though no amp-hour claim is made, the cell looks to be around 950mAh.

User Interface and Operation

Two switches grace the top of the NU10.  One has a power symbol, and the other is marked with an “R.”  The switches are large and clicky, and should be easy to work with gloves.  The power switch has an indicator, in green and red.
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Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Power Switch (PS) On (White)
On Click PS (≤3 seconds of previous click) White mode advance (LMH Off)
On Click PS (≥3 seconds of previous click) Off
Off Hold PS SOS
On (SOS Group) Click PS (≤3 seconds of previous click) SOS advance (SOS > Beacon > Off)
Any Click “R” Red mode (steady)
Red Click R (≤3 seconds of previous click) Red Advance (Red Flash > Off)
Any Hold Both Lockout (Or unlock, if locked)

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux
High 115 7h 30
Mid 22 8h45m 516
Low 1 150h 2330

LED and Beam

I don’t believe any actual claim is made on what emitter is used for the white light on the NU10CRI.  There are actually 4 white emitters and one red.  The red is between white emitters .
As you’d expect (with only a dome and no reflector) the beam is very floody.
The red beam has a surprising spot, but it’s very fringey – the center is not nearly as bright as the corona, and there’s almost no spill.  Also, the red is quite bright for up-close work, but dims quickly at any distance.

These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348

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Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.  Nitecore dominates the field of internal cell High CRI headlamps.  If this one fits your use case, then it’s a good choice.  The NU10CRI looks to be the least costly of the bunch, too.

Conclusion

What I like

  • High CRI
  • Indicating (and dual) switches
  • Comfortable headband

What I don’t like

  • Plastic body
  • Oversized
  • UI can take some effort to get used to

Up Next

Hope to have another light by Friday, but that’s undecided yet.  Maybe it’ll be a good, review-free Friday.

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  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!!

Author: zeroair

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