Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp Review

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp Review

The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is a headlamp with a great feature – the head goes from forward to right angle! This light uses one (included) 16340.


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp product page.

Versions

I see only one version of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua headlamp.

Price

MSRP for the Brinyte HL16 Noctua looks to be $69.98 and the headlamp is available on Brinyte’s store.


Short Review

There’s a lot to like about this little headlamp.  The Brinyte HL16 Noctua has an efficient forward-to-right-angle design, good output, and a comfortable headband.  I don’t like the cool white emitter at all (it’s pushing 7000K on average) but the beam profile is very good.

Long Review

The Big Table

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp
Emitter: Cree XP-G3 (Cool White)
Price in USD at publication time: $69.98
Cell: 1×16340
High Runtime Graph Medium Runtime Graph
LVP? Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 0.08
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: Proprietary Magnetic
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with or without cell: no modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 520
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 515 (99% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 11.9
Claimed Throw (m) 140
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 479lux @ 3.422m = 5609cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 149.8 (107% of claim)^
Item provided for review by: Brinyte
All my Brinyte reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  Testing flashlights is my hobby. I use hobbyist-level equipment for testing, including some I made myself. Try not to get buried in the details of manufacturer specifications versus measurements recorded here; A certain amount of difference (say, 10 or 15%) is perfectly reasonable.

What’s Included

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp what's included

  • Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp
  • Brinyte 650mAh 16340
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Headband
  • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
  • Manual etc

Package and Manual

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp

The right angle feature, what a neat thing!

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp right angle

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp tailcap

These threads are smooth and quite nice.  There’s no knurling, but the tailcap provides adequate grip for tailcap removal.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp tailcap off

Here you can see the big spring in the tailcap, which holds in place a magnet.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp tailcap off

Inside the body is only a button – no spring here.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp inside cell tube

Size and Comps

HEAD DIAMETER 0.89 in / 22.5 mm
LENGTH 3.36 in / 85.5 mm
WEIGHT 1.8 oz / 51 g

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

I’m not sure to call this primarily a headlamp or primarily a “regular flashlight” but here’s the pocket clip first.  The clip is technically reversible but clips into the slots intended for the headband.

That doesn’t mean the pocket clip is an afterthought, but it does cause some interesting points.  First, when installed as seen, it must go with the shoulder in the “back” (or, as seen!).  If the clip is on the other side, then the light won’t be able to switch to the right-angle orientation.  If you put the clip with the shoulder on the “sides” of the light, then it’ll block either the switch or the charger port.  Neither of those is good.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp pocket clip

Also if you install the clip on the tail end of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua headlamp, the pocket clip shoulder will hang over the tailcap.  So there’s really only one way, and that’s as seen in these photos.

More importantly is this headband.  This is an around-the-head-only headband, and it’s soft and comfortable.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp headband Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp headband

While trying to make sure the logo lined up for photos, I forgot the fact that the switch should probably go “up.”  It’s a small detail, but you’ll likely want to install the Brinyte HL16 Noctua headlamp in the other orientation, so that the switch will be on the top side.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp

That said, this light is great because you can put the head forward or right-angle, and have a light that either sits on your forehead (as a right angle setup) or on the side of your head (as a forward light setup).  This is a great option.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp

You just shove the light through that headband connector.  There are no tricks.  Also you can’t use the pocket clip while the light is in the headband.

There’s also a magnet in the tailcap, which is perfectly sufficient to hold the light in most (if not all) positions.

Power and Runtime

The Brinyte HL16 Noctua headlamp is powered by a single lithium-ion cell.  Included with the purchase, and the size that fits this light, is a 650mAh 16340 cell.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp with 16340 cell

This is a pretty standard button-top.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp 16340 cell

The cell is installed into the headlamp in the usual direction – positive terminal toward the head.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp 16340 cell installed

Below you can see a few runtime graphs.  There’s a ring surrounding the charging port that that has LEDs to indicate the charge level.  When the power gets low, the charge port LED turns red.  Then starts blinking when power gets even lower.

While the light is on, the indicator of the charge port lights with an indication of the cell level, as follows:
Green: 100%-40% power
Red: 40%-5%
Red Flashing: 5%-0%

Charging

The Brinyte HL16 Noctua headlamp has a built-in charge port.  This is a proprietary magnetic charge port, and an appropriate cable is included.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp charge port

The charge port is not blocked when the headlamp is in the headband, so that’s a nice feature.  But the tailcap isn’t blocked either, so I’m more likely to just pull the cell and charge it in a bay charger.  Still this works well enough.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp charging cable in use

Charging is complete in well under 2 hours.

While charging, the LED surrounding the charge port is red.  When charging is complete, this indicator turns green.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 520 1h5m 515 1.91
Medium 200 1h40m 213 0.49
Low 60 4h50m 59 0.12
Moon 5 80h 3.8 0.01

Pulse Width Modulation

I’m not really seeing any PWM on any of the four modes here, but there’s a bit of a sawtooth on the Low mode.  From here to the end of this text, any consecutive output photos are in mode order.  The Brinyte HL16 Noctua headlamp uses a highest-to-lowest output mode order, so that’s what you’ll see below.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, which is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

A single e-switch is built into the side of the body for user input.  This switch cover is flat, and has Brinyte’s logo molded in.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp e-switch

The switch is really quite nice, and easy to differentiate from the charge port (which is completely metal and not grippy at all).  The bezel around the switch does prevent a flat surface from pressing the button.  Action for this switch is quite low, and clicky.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click No action
Off Hold On (Mode Memory, except Strobe)
On Click Mode advance (High > Medium > Low > Moon)
Any Double Click Strobe
Strobe Click Previous mode

LED and Beam

While Brinyte doesn’t state what emitter is in the HL16 Noctua headlamp (as far as I can see), they do say it’s a Cree emitter.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp emitter

It’s almost certainly a Cree XP-G3, though.  The emitter has a TIR optic, providing a great beam profile.

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp on Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

Whatever the emitter is, we can certainly say some things based on these CRI/CCT tests.  The CCT is high – around 7000K in most modes, and the CRI is low – around 72 in most modes.

Beamshots

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

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Nice build quality
  • Neat feature of a twisty head
  • Built-in charging works fine
  • Switch is great
  • User interface has only four modes
  • Strobe is easy to avoid
  • Headband is comfortable
  • Uses a standard button top 16340 cell

What I don’t like

  • 7000K Cree XP-G3
  • No direct access to Moon (aside from mode memory, which doesn’t count)
  • Reverse mode order
  • This light costs way too much
  • Proprietary charging

Parting Shot

Brinyte HL16 Noctua Headlamp


Notes

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