Review: Nitecore HC35 (Headlamp, micro USB rechargeable, 21700, 4XPG3, 3000+ Lumens)

Budda

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
564
Location
Italy
I received the Nitecore HC35 from Nitecoree for the review.
The HC35 is the first Nitecore headlamp to feature a 21700 battery, with integrated micro USB charging, that powers 4 XP-G3 emitters. The HC35 also features an ATR, a system that balances the output of the light depending of its temperature.

The light comes in this box
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The content of the box: the HC35 with NL2140HP battery (Nitecore 21700 4000mAh protected battery), clip, headband with headband support, spare o-rings, micro USB cable, manual, warranty, 18650 adapter.
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The HC35 measures 128 mm in length, is 26 mm wide mm at the body, and the head measures 29x31 mm.
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Here in my medium hand.
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The single stage electronic switch, with a blue LED underneath it, is under the rubber cover.
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On the back of the head there’s the micro USB charging port, with its rubber cover.
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The TIR Optic with the 4 XP-G3 emitters.
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Notice the deep cooling fins on the head of the HC35, needed to dissipate the great amount of heat generated at turbo level.
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The tailcap has a magnet in it, allowing it to attach the light to metallic surfaces. The magnet can’t be removed.
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The tailcap is the only portion of the light that can be unscrewed. The tailcap threads are anodised, allowing for physical lockout, and are triangular cut.
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The headband is made out a thinner, more perspirant fabric. It also has a line of silicone to avoid slipping and the sweat to run down on your forehead while using the light.
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The light is connected to the headband via a metallic clip on the headband mount. It holds the light in place well, and can rotate. If you have attached the clip to the other side of the body, the clip can be left in place while the light is on the headband mount.
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Here’s the interface
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Output and runtime
Both tested with the provided Nitecore NL2140HP.
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Here is how hot the light is when, at room temperature, turbo mode can’t be re-activated for more than a few seconds, after 4 or 5 cycle of turbo-stepdown
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Beamshots
0.5 meters
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My thoughts
The light is well built and finished.
I like the UI with direct access to lowest and highest mode.
With only 5 levels available for a max output of 2700 lumens, it makes hard to distribute well the output, making a big step when going from 800 lumen of the high mode, to the 2700 lumen of the turbo mode.
The metallic clip used to secure the light to the head mount makes the connection secure and easy to rotate the light, while potentially keeping in place the pocket clip. But it will scratch the anodisation overtime.
The HC35 is a good choice if you need extended runtime at higher output.
This light can run with a smaller 21700, like the one I have with only 4000mah, for more than 2 hours at more than 800 lumens, even without cooling. This is especially good for people that use their light for work or in general have a need for the highest runtime possible, without carrying an additional battery.
A nice plus is the fact that the micro USB charging port allows fast charging, up to 2A, which means you can charge your 21700 in around the same time you would need for a regular 18650, power adapter permitting.
The Turbo output lasts shortly due to the huge heat produced by the light (remember this HC35 is a bit bigger than a normal 18650 headlamp).
I would like to see this light with an additional level and a warm tint.

Thanks to AntoLed, Won, Zampa.
 
Last edited:

Budda

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
564
Location
Italy
I had it on my head yesterday for all the runtime at High mode for painting the walls of my house.
The weight and extra size did not bother me.
What would have bothered me instead, was if I had to open the 1x18650 light to replace the exhausted batteries with my hands fullo f paint.
 
Last edited:

ScubaSnyder

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Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
215
Location
Northern California
I thought the same thing about the light being bulky, but it doesn't feel bad at all. One downfall is the plastic holder for the light starts to hurt you head with extended use, but its bearable. I plan to add a put a foam pad there which will hopefully help with the issue.

Rob
 

SKV89

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
564
Just received mine from Illumn.com and charged up the included battery. The build quality is great and feels good in the hand. It has a unibody design where the head and battery tube is one piece, which allows the entire flashlight body to be used for heat dissipation, which is an excellent design IMO. Also the deep fins in the back of the head are excellent for head shedding. Light looks great too.

However, I don't like the UI. Click to turn on, click to change modes, and click and hold to turn off. If I knew the UI was like this, I would not have bought the light. The single button UI on the Olights, Thrunites, and Acebeams are so much more intuitive and simple. Also I'm surprised Nitecore used Micro USB instead of the much preferred USB-C given how new this light is. Nitecore should offer a 4000K version since head lamps are much more useful and easier on the eyes at warmer temperatures. I'm disappointed in all the manufacturers offering CW only. Even Olight is starting to offer NW emitters like in the popular M2R Pro and Warrior X Pro.

Output measurements taken at 2s after turn-on using Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights. Spectrometer used is the Sekonic C-800-U

Nitecore HC35Mode 52,612 lumens8271K-0.0088 DUV71.5 CRI4.7 R945.3 R1262 Rf99 Rgincluded battery
Nitecore HC36Mode 4789 lumens7356K-0.0036 DUV72.3 CRI-7.6 R942.5 R1266 Rf97 Rgincluded battery
Nitecore HC37Mode 3253 lumens7081K-0.0010 DUV73.1 CRI-11.6 R941.3 R1268 Rf96 Rgincluded battery
Nitecore HC38Mode 237 lumens6836K0.0010 DUV73.4 CRIincluded battery
Nitecore HC39Mode 12 lumens6541K0.0022 DUV74.1 CRIincluded battery
 
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