Review Headlamp Nitecore HC65 UHE - 2000lm

Dec 3, 2012
Nitecore HC65 UHE was sent to me directly by Nitecore for the review.
For description, technical data and purchase: … c65uhe.htm


Nitecore recently presented the new HC65 UHE head torch in collaboration with NiteLab.
The Nitecore HC65 UHE is the first to mount the high performance and high efficiency Ultra High Efficiency (UHE) LED.
The HC65 UHE features an 8-core UHE LED, an innovation that optimizes light efficiency at regular brightness levels while maximizing brightness and power consumption performance at peak levels.
HC65 UHE is powered, for the first time, by a 4000 mAh 18650 Li-ion battery included with a maximum autonomy of up to 82 hours, and is rechargeable via the waterproof USB-C port.
The new front uses a TrueVision+ optical matrix lens system with a wide field of vision with a maximum power of 2,000 lumens for an intensity of 12,293cd and covers a maximum distance of 222 meters.
Nitecore HC65 UHE has a memory function and has 2 buttons for complete management of the flashlight and 4 LEDs to indicate residual charge. There is also the possibility of locking the front electronically.
Nitecore HC65 UHE has 6 levels of primary white light (2 special levels, SOS and Beacon), 2 levels of auxiliary white light at high CRI (CRI≥90) and 3 levels of light red auxiliary.
The new Nitecore front has an IP68 protection rating, 2m (waterproof and submersible) with impact resistance of 2 metres.

Main features:
• Maximum power of 2,000 lumens
• Uses very high efficiency UHE LEDs
• Equipped with a primary white light (color temperature: 6,000K), a high CRI auxiliary white light (CRI≥90, color temperature: 4,500K) and an auxiliary red light
• Uses an optical matrix lens system with various facets to reflect uniform and soft light
• Includes a 4,000 mAh 18650 high-capacity lithium-ion battery
• Highly efficient constant current circuit provides stable output
• Built-in intelligent lithium-ion battery charging circuit with USB-C charging port (5V⎓2A)
• Designed with two buttons different in shape and touch, offering easy one-handed operation
• Offers 6 brightness levels, 3 special modes and 2 brightness options for red light
• Designed with 4 power indicators to indicate remaining battery energy
• Constructed of aircraft grade aluminum alloy with a military grade HA III hard anodized finish
• Built-in advanced temperature regulation (ATR) module (Patent No. ZL201510534543.6)
• Includes a removable bracket
• Impact resistant up to 2 meters
• Waterproof and dustproof rating according to IP68 (2 meters submersible)
Dimensions and weight:
Dimensions: 89.5mm x 42.2mm x 46.0mm (3.52" x 1.66" x 1.81") (bracket included)
Weight: 152 g (5.36 oz) (including battery, bracket and headband) 103 g (3.63 oz) (including bracket and headband)

Note: Data shown is measured using a 18650 battery (4,000 mAh) under laboratory conditions. Data may vary in real-world use due to differences in battery usage or environmental conditions.
*TURBO Availability: TURBO level is only accessible when using a rechargeable 18650 lithium ion battery with a discharge current greater than 8A.


Nitecore HC65 UHE arrives in the classic cardboard box with black/yellow color. The main characteristics of the new front are specified on it.


Opening the box we find the torch inside in an excellent gray hard case with zip closure. The case has a pocket inside where you can store some accessories.


The accessories included in the package are: NITECORE 18650 rechargeable lithium ion battery (NL1840HP 4,000 mAh), Charging cable USB-C to USB-C, Headband, * Top strap*, Bracket, Case and manual (multi-language).


The headband, compared to the previous HC65 v2, has been updated, guaranteeing not only excellent breathability and comfort but also easier use of the headlamp. Always useful on the headband are the reflective strips and the silicone strip which improve grip as well as diverting sweat to the sides of the head away from the eyes.


The bracket is now equipped with quick release which offers easy detachment and one-handed 180° vertical angle adjustment with just a few clicks.


Nitecore HC65 UHE is built in aluminum alloy with an anodized finish and with IP68 protection rating, internal waterproofness (which allows waterproof charging), anti-collision protective cover and 2 meter impact resistance. Good materials and not excessive weight (154g with band and battery included). The writing on the torch is well made.


On both sides of the HC65 UHE we find, seen from the front, on the left the USB-C charging port, while on the right there is the cap to be unscrewed for housing the 18650 battery included in the sales package.
In the upper part there are two rubber switches of different sizes, on the left the "MODE" button and on the right the ON/OFF button, for complete management of the user interface.


The HC65 UHE is equipped with the first 8-core UHE (Ultra High Efficiency) optics with matrix design, which brings an improvement in stereoscopic vision with a field of view greater than 100 degrees and in reflective capacity with a maximum power of 2,000 lumens for a maximum distance reached of 222 meters.


The optical system of the HC65 UHE is composed of 8 primary white light LEDs (color temperature: 6,000 K), 2 auxiliary white light LEDs with high CRI (CRI≥90, color temperature: 4,500 K) and 2 LEDs of an auxiliary red light.

Nitecore HC65 UHE has mechanical protection against reverse polarity. The package includes the new rechargeable Lithium battery in 18650 format with 4000mAh and 10A (NL1840HP).

Nitecore HC65 UHE can be powered by standard 18650 batteries, only with the button on the head, although batteries with at least 8A discharge are required to reach and maintain high brightness. As contacts we have a spring system on the cap for the negative and a button for the positiveo.
The threads, where we screw the battery cap, arrive well greased. There is an O-ring to seal against water and dust.
To insert the battery, simply unscrew the cap on the right, and insert the battery with the positive on top.


Nitecore HC68 is equipped with a USB-C charging socket. The charging port is waterproof and is protected by a thin rubber cap. Above the cap you can see the writing IP68.


Once the battery charging is complete, it is automatically stopped. During the charging process, the power indicators gradually transition from flashing to solid, one by one, displaying the battery level. When the battery is fully charged, the 4 power indicators light up solidly.
When the battery is fully charged, the standby time is approximately 12 months.
Charging is fast, according to my tests the time for a full charge (2.17V) is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes (2.2A max.).
During the charging operation it is possible to turn on and use the front.

Nitecore HC65 UHE has 2 buttons for managing the front.
Power Button / MODE Button
• The power button is used to turn the light on/off and adjust the brightness levels.
• The MODE button is designed for switching light sources.
During use I sometimes found it difficult to use the upper buttons even though they are of different sizes; personally I would have preferred a side button. The light levels are well spaced although perhaps the 8 lumen Ultralow level is a little high.
8 white light primary LEDs (6,000 K):
MID - 100 lumens - 31h
HIGH - 400 lumens - 14h
HIGHER - 1300 lumens – 5h
TURBO - 2000 lumens – 2h
SOS – 1300 lumens
Beacon – 1300 lumens
2 auxiliary white light LEDs (CRI≥90):
ULTRALOW - 8 lumens - 82h
LOW - 40 lumens - 40h
2 auxiliary red light LEDs:
LOW - 5 lumens - 66h
HIGH - 15 lumens - 37h
SLOW FLASHING – 15 lumens
How to use:
Switching On and Off

• When the light is off, long press the power button for 1 second to access MID light power. When the light is on, long press the Power button or MODE button for 1 second to turn it off.
Primary white light
• When the light is off, long press the power button for 1 second to access MID light power. When the primary white light is on, short press the power button to cycle through the following brightness levels:
• When the primary white light is on, press the power button twice to access TURBO. Short press the power button to return to the previous state.
Auxiliary white light
• When the light is off, press the power button twice to access ULTRALOW.
• When the white auxiliary light is on, short press the power button to switch between ULTRALOW and LOW.
Auxiliary red light
• When the light is off, long press the MODE button for 1 second to enter LOW RED.
• When the auxiliary red light is on, briefly press the power button to cycle through the following sequence: LOW RED, HIGH RED and SLOW FLASH.
Switching light sources
When the light is on, short press the MODE button to cycle through the following light sources: Primary white light – Auxiliary white light – Auxiliary red light.
Special modes (SOS / BEACON)
• When the headlamp is in any state, press the MODE button twice to enter SOS.
• When one of the two special modes is active, short press the power button to switch between SOS and BEACON. Press the MODE button twice again to return to the previous state.
• When the projector is turned off, long press both buttons for 2 seconds until the auxiliary white light flashes 3 times to indicate entering lock mode. In lock mode, all brightness levels or special modes are unavailable, and the auxiliary white light flashes once to indicate this state
when you press one of the two buttons.
• When in lock mode, long press both buttons again for 2 seconds until ULTRALOW turns on to indicate unlock status.
Note: The headlamp automatically unlocks when charging or replacing the battery in lock mode.
Power indication
When the light is off, short press the MODE button: the corresponding power indicators light up in turn and turn off after 2 seconds.
Note: The battery should be recharged or replaced when the output appears to be dim or the projector becomes unresponsive due to low power.
Status of indicators Remaining charge level:
4 constantly on 75% - 100%
3 constantly on 50% - 75%
2 on constantly 25% - 50%
1 constantly on 0% - 25% (Please recharge or replace the battery as soon as possible)

Nitecore HC65 UHE near other head torches:
Starting from the left: Nitecore HC65 UHE, CYANSKY HS5R e Armytek Wizard C2 MAX LR.



Nitecore HC65UHE is a bright and innovative front in its management of the light beam. The light emitted by the 8 main LEDs has a fair uniformity and the beam covers an illumination angle of over 100°.

The distance covered by the beam is also good, in line with that indicated by Nitecore, which however has a greenish color around the crown.

The red light with two power settings and one flashing light is always useful.

In my tests done with the OPPLE Light Master instrument, the Ra (CRI) and CCT values vary depending on the LEDs used (main or auxiliary) and depending on the position of the beam. With the main LEDs and the combined beam the CCT value is less than 5600K while the CRI index is below 66. Excellent color with the HICRI auxiliary LEDs. The Flicker (flicker) is in the green band not at risk.


Nitecore HC65 UHE primary white light (Higher 1300 lm):
Spot: CCT= 5705 - Ra= 66.7 - Duv = 0.0102
Corona: CCT: 5217 - Ra: 61.5 - Duv = 0.0155
Nitecore HC65 UHE auxiliary white light (Low 40 lm):
CCT= 4494 - Ra= >100 - Duv = -0.0096

The photo below was taken with a thermal imager, in maximum illumination mode (2000 lm), 1 minute and 5 minutes after turning it on. Good heat distribution throughout the body. The temperature never reaches excessive values.


The runtime tests were done in a closed environment using the supplied 4000 mAh 18650 battery fully charged (4.17V). The values were taken with the LX1330B Luxmeter with Lux/1m (cd) measurement.
N.B. The measurements and data collected, having been made with instruments and environmental conditions different from those carried out by the parent company, may be dissimilar.
Nitecore HC65 UHE features ATR (advanced temperature regulation) technology that adjusts light output based on working conditions and the external environment to maintain optimal performance in safety.
The runtime values reflect those declared by Nitecore.
In the first test the Nitecore HC65 UHE was put in TURBO mode at 2000 lumens (without additional ventilation).
The values found by the LX1330B Luxmeter are, at the start, higher than those in the table. After 30 seconds from start-up there is a rapid descent up to two minutes and 30 seconds where subsequently we have an almost constant work curve up to over 150 minutes from start-up before a stepdown due to battery exhaustion.
In HIGHER (1300lm) there are two descents in the first 5 minutes which bring the brightness to the high level of 400 lumens for over an hour before another descent. Subsequently the brightness remains constant for over 200 minutes before further drops due to battery exhaustion.
In HIGH (400lm) two descents in the first two hours bring the brightness to the average level of 100 lumens for over 700 minutes before the battery starts to run out.

Nitecore HC65 UHE in TURBO, HIGHER and HIGH:

Comparison between the HC65 UHE and the HC65 V2. Note the notable improvements compared to the previous version:

Video Review:

Nitecore HC65 UHE Unboxing and Use


Nitecore HC65 UHE is a well-built torch with good autonomy and the possibility of choosing between three different types of LEDs.
HC65 UHE is the first Nitecore front to use the 8-core UHE LED resulting from the collaboration with NiteLab.
In the HC65 UHE we find for the first time a 4000mAh 18650 (removable) battery which, together with the improved efficiency of the UHE LED, improves consumption and therefore autonomy, remembering that the HC65 UHE can also be used while it is charging.
The front adjustment is good although I would have preferred the constant "HIGH" level of 400 lumens without the first steepdown after 32 minutes.
In conclusion, Nitecore HC65 UHE is an excellent headlamp to use in many different scenarios which has the possibility of being powered by normal 18650 format batteries, but with the button, and equipped with an excellent hard case for safe transport. Recommended.
Thanks for reading the review.

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