Review Nitecore HC68 - Dual Beam- 2000 lumens - USB-C

ro.ma.

Newly Enlightened
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Dec 3, 2012
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158
Nitecore HC68 was sent to me directly by Nitecore for the review.
For the description and technical data of the house: https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/hc68(link is external)
For purchase: https://www.nitecorestore.com/Nitecore-HC68-Headlamp-p/fl-nite-hc68.htm(link is external)



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Nitecore updates its headlamps with a new innovative and more performing model, the Nitecore HC68.
Nitecore HC68 is a flashlight with front lighting system suitable for many activities such as research, outdoor / camping, SAR (search and rescue), industrial etc.
The main and innovative feature of the Nitecore HC28 is the continuous adjustment of the light output. The beam profile can be continuously adjusted between a focused light beam and a wide flood light beam.
It is powered by a 3500 mAh 18650 Li-ion battery included (or alternatively by 2 CR123 / RCR123 batteries) with a maximum autonomy of up to 800 hours, and is rechargeable via the USB-C connector.
HC68 uses a unibody TIR lens system and is equipped with 2 Luminus SST-40-W LEDs (primary white light), with a 150 ° degree Truevision wide angle flood beam covering the entire field of view at a 180 ° tilt to offer maximum control, and 2 auxiliary red light LEDs.
The new Nitecore headlamp has a maximum power of 2,000 lumens for an intensity of 10,300cd and covers a maximum distance of 202 meters.
Nitecore HC68 has a memory function and has 3 buttons for complete management of the flashlight.
Nitecore HC68 has 5 levels of depth white light (Spotlight) and 5 levels of alluvial white light (Floodlight), 2 special levels (Beacon and SOS) and 3 levels of auxiliary red light.
It has a residual charge indication, IP68 degree of protection, 2m (waterproof and submersible) with an impact resistance of 2 meters.

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Features:
• Equipped with spotlight, floodlight, and auxiliary red light with a max output of 2,000 lumens
• Utilizes 2 x Luminus SST-40-W LEDs for dual primary white lights
• The spotlight uses the TIR optic lens specially designed for long range lighting to provide a max throw of 202 meters and a max peak beam intensity of 10,300cd
• The floodlight uses TrueVision Technology for an ultra smooth flood beam
• Available with stepless spotlight/floodlight output ratio adjustment
• Highly efficient constant current circuit provides a stable output of up to 800 hours
• Intelligent Li-ion battery charging circuit with a USB-C charging port
• 180° tilt angle for different illumination needs
• A power indicator beneath the "+" and "-" Buttons indicates the remaining battery power
• The power indicator can display the battery voltage (±0.1V)
• Incorporated Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) module
• Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
• HA III military grade hard-anodized finish
• Rating in accordance with IP68 (2 meters submersible)
• Impact resistant to 2 meters

Dimensions: 91.5mm × 34.75mm × 26.5mm (3.60" × 1.37" × 1.04")
Weight: 118.5g (4.18oz) (Bracket and Headband Included, and Battery Not Included)
70g (2.47oz) (Bracket, Headband and Battery Not Included)

Accessories:
NITECORE NL1835HP 18650 Li-ion Battery (3,500mAh), Spare O-ring, USB-C Charging Cable, Headband, Bracket

Note: All NITECORE products are guaranteed for quality. Any DOA / defective product can be replaced with a replacement through a local distributor / reseller within 15 days of purchase. After that, all defective / malfunctioning NITECORE products can be repaired free of charge within 60 months from the date of purchase. Beyond 60 months, a limited warranty applies, which covers labor and maintenance costs, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts.


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Note: The stated data is measured in accordance with the international flashlight testing standards ANSI/PLATO FL 1-2019, using a 1 x 18650 Li-ion battery (3,500mAh)
under laboratory conditions. The data may vary in real world use due to different battery usage or environmental conditions.
* The runtime of HIGHER is tested without temperature regulation.
* TURBO and HIGHER Availability: The TURBO level and HIGHER level are only accessible when using an 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery with a discharge current over 8A. It is inaccessible when using CR123/RCR123 batteries.



PACKAGING and ACCESSORIES:
Nitecore HC68 is sold in a cardboard box. The main characteristics of the flashlight are specified on it.

Opening the box we find inside the flashlight with the included accessories which are: NITECORE 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery (NL1835HP 3,500 mAh), 2x spare O-ring, USB-C charging cable, headband and bracket. As usual, there is also a multilingual manual and warranty.


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The headband, as for the previous HC65 v2, is breathable and guarantees perfect adherence and excellent comfort having a soft rubber pad on the back that allows you to comfortably wear the front for a prolonged time. There is also a silicone strip near the headband that improves adherence as well as deflecting sweat to the sides of the head away from the eyes.

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Nitecore HC68 is constructed of aluminum alloy with anodized finish. Good materials and not excessive weight (168gr. with band and battery included). The writings on the flashlight are well made.

On the two sides of the HC68 we find 2 caps; seen from the front on the left we find the USB-C charging port (written "OPEN" with arrow and USB symbol) together with the ON / OFF switch, while on the right there is the cap to unscrew for housing the 18650 battery included in the sales package.
In the upper part of the HC68 we find the two buttons for managing the levels and the beam (+ and -) and, on the front, the TIR Unibody optical system. At the center of the two buttons there is a notification LED, blue in color, which can be recalled when the light is off, by pressing one of the two buttons. The flashes will indicate the remaining charge.
The rubber buttons are embossed and have an audible and firm click.


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The power button, made of rubber, is embossed and has a good, slightly loud click.
Nitecore HC68 is equipped, on the side of the projector, with grooves that facilitate the dissipation of heat when used at high luminous powers.

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Nitecore HC68 headlamp has high performance Dual Beam electronic focusing.
The optical system of the HC68 uses a unibody TIR lens system and is equipped with 4 different LEDs; 2 main white light LEDs (Luminus SST-40-W), one with depth beam covering a maximum distance of 202 meters and the other with wide beam flood beam (150 °), and 2 red light LEDs auxiliaries.
Frontally, on the left, we find the LED with depth beam (Spotlight) which reaches the maximum power of 1800 lumens with a maximum range of 202 meters and a maximum intensity of the peak beam of 10,300 cd.
Frontally, on the right, we find the LED with flood beam (Floodlight) that reaches the maximum power of 1400 lumens, with a maximum range of 77 meters and a maximum intensity of the peak beam of 1,500 cd.
Finally, in the center of the optics we find the two auxiliary red light LEDs.


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The package includes a rechargeable lithium battery in 18650 format (Nitecore NL1835HP 3,500 mAh - 8A).
Nitecore HC68 can be powered by standard 18650 batteries, both with button and flat, although high discharge batteries are recommended to reach and keep high brightness.
The threads, where we screw the battery cap, are numerous and well greased. There is a water and dust seal O-ring.
Nitecore HC68 is IP68 certified (2 meters waterproof and submersible).


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Nitecore HC68 is equipped with a USB-C charging port. The charging port is hidden and not in contact with external agents. To access it, just unscrew the cap to the left of the front (above the cap you can see the words Open with arrow and USB symbol).
The charging time of a rechargeable Li-ion 18650 battery (3,500mAh) is less than 3 hours (1.7A max- 4.16V), charged via a 5V / 2A adapter. During the recharging operation it is not possible to turn on the front.

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Nitecore HC68 next to other headlamp.

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Starting from the top: Acebeam H15, Armytek Wizard C2 WR and Nitecore HC68




USER INTERFACE (UI):


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Nitecore HC68 has 3 buttons for managing the front panel.
HC68 is equipped with 4 different LEDs; 2 main white light LEDs (Luminus SST-40-W) and 2 auxiliary red light LEDs.
With the 2 main white light LEDs we have 5 levels with depth beam, 5 levels with wide beam flood beam and 2 special levels (Beacon and SOS).
The setting of the various levels is memorized and maintained even after turning off the flashlight.

For the complete management of the Nitecore HC68 I am attaching the address of the user manual: https://flashlight.nitecore.com/Uploads/FLASHLIGHTS/download/hc68.pdf(link is external)




BEAM and RUNTIME:
Nitecore HC68
is a bright and innovative headlamp in its light beam management. The light emitted by the 2 main LEDs (Luminus SST-40-W) has a good uniformity and the beam covers an illumination angle of 150 °. The distance covered by the beam is also good, which has a not particularly cold color.
In my tests made with the OPPLE Light Master instrument, the CRI values vary according to the LED used (depth or wide range), resulting in the left one (floody beam) with wide range being higher. With the combined beam the CCT value is approximately 5600K while the CRI index is below 70. The Flicker (flicker) is in the green band not at risk. I also measured the temperature of the flashlight body with the thermal camera in Higher Spotlight mode after 5 minutes from switching on. The heat, once the headband with the front is on, is normal. To the eye I don't see any PWM in any mode.

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In the photo below, taken about twenty centimeters from the wall, we see the geometry of the left (floodlight), of both, and right (spotlight) beams.

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Some shots taken with the Nitecore HC68

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Floodlight and Spotlight
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The runtime tests were done in a closed environment with about 20° C, using the fully charged 3500 mAh 18650 battery supplied. After the tests the battery showed 2.7V.
Note: The measurements and data collected, having been made with instruments and environmental conditions different from those carried out by the parent company, can be dissimilar.
Nitecore HC68 features ATR technology (advanced temperature regulation) which adjusts the light output according to the working conditions and the external environment to maintain optimum performance in safety.
In the first test the Nitecore HC68 was put in TURBO mode at 2000 lumens numerous times for a time of 20 minutes and more.
Each time we activate the TURBO the duration is 60 seconds. The light intensity varies according to the temperature and the residual charge.
Turbo mode uses both emitters and can be activated numerous times. As can be seen from the graph below, at the beginning the turbo was activated from off and then with the HC68 on at the medium level (250 lumens).

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Other tests were carried out by putting the Nitecore HC68 in Higher, High and Mid mode using the depth LED (Spotlight).
The values, in candles, resulting from my tests comply with those declared by the parent company.
In Higher, after switching on, there is a rapid decrease in brightness after about 2 minutes up to 7 minutes where a constant trend begins up to over 2h10m. At this point there is a slow descent until the headlamp is switched off.
In High, after switching on, there is a slow decline in brightness up to about 10 minutes where a sudden drop will then occur. Then there will be a constant trend for about 2h10m after which the brightness slowly decreases until it turns off.
In Mid after switching on, there is a constant trend for over 2h25min. before the slow drop due to low battery.


Nitecore HC68 Spotlight HIGHER, HIGH and MID.
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Nitecore HC68 Spotlight HIGHER (1,800lm) FAN/NOFAN.
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Nitecore HC68 Floodlight HIGHER (1,400lm).
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VIDEO




CONCLUSIONS:
Nitecore HC68
is the latest headlamp released by Nitecore, with excellent build quality, equipped with 2 main white light LEDs and an innovative Spot / Flood beam adjustment system (E-focus).
Nitecore HC68 has a light output of 2,000 lumens and is powered by a 18650 lithium battery that can be recharged via the USB-C port. Excellent adjustable beam with a lighting angle of up to 150 ° and an autonomy of up to 33 days in Ultralow mode.
Personally I believe that the 18650 format, in the headlamps, is still the best compromise between autonomy and weight, so I appreciate Nitecore which still invests and designs in this format.
In conclusion of the Nitecore HC68 I particularly appreciated the adjustable beam between spot and flood, the auxiliary red LEDs that can be appreciated in particular situations where the white light disturbs or is too visible, the possibility of using non-proprietary 18650 batteries, the excellent construction and packaging complete with everything.
I did not like the complicated user interface (UI) in some steps, although I appreciate the side switch with only the ON / Off function and quick activation of the Turbo level.
So an excellent front for all outings in the dark, for trekking, work, caving, camping, climbing etc.
Thank you for reading the review.

------ My YOUTUBE Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI5j6yZ6oVR867k2KINs2qg?view_as=subscriber(link is external) -----------------------------------------------
 

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