Nitecore has released a new headlamp, which incorporates some now-common features in unusual ways. It’s a dual emitter headlamp, with one CW and one WW emitter. Read on for how it works, and some testing!
Official Specs and Features
There’s only one version!
Price and Coupon
This light is very unusual in a number of ways, with the most notable probably not being the design of it. Most unusual for me in this light is that the WW emitter is the thrower. And it has nearly the same output as the CW, too. That’s fairly remarkable. Otherwise it’s a pretty good design, with a good interface, too.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L2 V6 (5700K, CW)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$74.95 on amazon|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1100|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1220 (110.9% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||80|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||120lux @ 4.478m = 2406cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||98.1 (122.6% of claim)*|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L V6 (3000, WW)|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||920|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1122 (122% of claim)*^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||117|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||263lux @ 4.125m = 4475cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||133.8 (114.4% of claim)*|
|All my Nitecore reviews!|
* 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).
^ The light had *just* stepped down at this point. At 15s it was around 1100 lumens!
- Nitecore UT32 Headlamp
- Spare clickie covers (two, one for each side)
- Spare o-ring
- Pocket clip
- Nitecore cell (depends on package purchased, not a default item.)
Package and Manual
I didn’t actually get a package with this light but I don’t expect it’d be any different from any other Nitecore item of late.
The manual is fairly typical Nitecore too, with the UI section looking a bit different than normal. Still fine though.
Build Quality and Disassembly
Nothing surprising here. The light is well built. The appointments are good too.
The tailcap has most of the branding.
The head reminds me a bit of Thor’s hammer. These circular rings are what I suppose translates to cooling fins in this format.
The knurling is fantastic – my favorite kind.
The tailcap and body both have a bit of knurling, but it’s not overly grippy and doesn’t get in the way.
The tail has a removable spring but no magnet. The head has only a brass button.
The threads are well lubed, anodized, fine and square cut.
Size and Comps
Length 95.9 mm
Head Size 27.6 mm
Weight 82.5 g
My weights are:
Light weight: 48g without battery.
Headband weight: 34g.
Pocket clip weight: 3g.
Retention and Carry
Primary use for this light is the headband. Its a nice comfortable headband. Stretchy, and also surprisingly, meshy.
The top strap is removable (fairly easily removable, that is. Not hard and semi-permanent like the Wizard Pro).
Also much to my surprise, the silicone strap is directional. The light goes into the connector as seen below. When being worn, the head is on the right side of your body, making right-handed use the preferred use.
I don’t really like that this is directional, and I would much rather it not be. However, doing it this way means the light is very well balanced, and so rides better.
I didn’t find the forehead piece to be very comfortable. It needs a bigger flatter area.
A pocket clip is also included. The clip fits into either of two ridges in the cell tube, but not the bigger of the two headband connectors. This means the clip allows up or down carry.
Neither direction is particularly deep.
Power and Runtime
Nitecore included a cell with my package, but you’ll need to order a package with a cell or obtain a cell separately. What they sent is a Cold-Resistant cell, which is a nice thing to have (my first one).
This cell has built in charging, but since this review is a headlamp review, I didn’t test that aspect of the cell in this light.
The cell is a button top protected cell, again with the micro-USB charging. Ie it’s about as long as 18650 cells get. Maybe 5mm longer than an unprotected flat top.
But any type 18650 will work in here. Button top, flat top, protected, unprotected – doesn’t matter.
The UT32 will also run on 2x CR123.
When the tailcap is tightened, the emitters (both) indicate the cell voltage by blinking the actual cell voltage (except with 2-up cells, in which case it blinks the average voltage). Four blinks then pause, followed by two blinks = 4.2V.
Two run times for each emitter – Turbo and High. LVP was observed in all cases. Also observed were some small and also gigantic stepdowns….
The CW emitter on High is very pleasantly well regulated for almost 3 hours.
Turns out the WW emitter can be run constant, unlike what the manual says. (The manual only implies that it’s possible.) Anyway, here’s a corrected runtime for steady Turbo on the WW emitter!
High output for the WW emitter is also remarkably flat and well regulated.
On bench power both emitters switch to low around 2.9-3.0V. The CW emitter shut off entirely at 2.9V, but the WW emitter didn’t ever seem to have a proper electrically “off.”
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
No PWM is noted.
CW modes first:
WW modes last:
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
There are two switches on the UT32. And they’re both needed for operation – a pinching motion. One has a bump in the center, and the other is typical knurling. The manual calls the bump button “Button A” and the non-bump button “Button B.” I’ll call them BA and BB.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Hold Both||Low – CW|
|On CW||Any BB||On WW same mode as CW|
|On WW||Any BA||On CW same mode as WW|
|On Either||Click Respective Either (BB for WW, BA for CW)||Mode advance (LMH)|
|On Either||Hold Respective Either||Turbo (30s only)|
|On CW||Hold Both||Turbo CW|
|Steady Turbo CW||Click BB||Turbo WW|
|Off||Triple Click Respective Either||SOS Respective to switch|
|SOS||Click Respective Either||Beacon respective to switch|
|Strobe group||Hold Switch respective to on emitter||Off|
I think that’s the full UI, but it’s a bit unusual because of all that the light has going on. One nice thing about the headstrap being directional is that it’ll be easier to memorize the UI this way
LED and Beam
There are two emitters on the UT32. First (below) is the Cool White Cree XP-L2, at 5700K. On the right below is the Warm White emitter, a Cree XP-L HD at 3000K.
The CW emitter is under a lightly orange peel reflector, and the reflector for the WW is very smooth.
This makes the CW a flood option, and the WW a throw option – another thing that’s quite unusual about the UT32!
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Good build quality
- High output WW emitter
- WW emitter is the “throw” emitter
- Dual switch UI is good, once it’s ben
What I don’t like
- UI can really take some work to get down. You will likely blind yourself in the process.
- This light was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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