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Go Hands-Free! Nitecore HC30 Reviews [Keep it Simple]

Have you ever tried working while trying to hold a flashlight? Do you find yourself constantly holding your flashlight in your mouth to utilize both of your hands? If this sounds like you, trust us you are not alone, but you like so many others are in desperate need of a high-quality headlamp. Headlamps provide you with hand- free lighting when you need it, plus the Nitecore HC340 is detachable so it can be used as an L-shaped flashlight. To find out everything else the Nitecore HC30 has to offer, keep on reading.

If you are particularly interested in Nitecore check out our Nitecore Buyers Guide that has the history of the brand and some of their top current lights. We also link out to all of our other Nitecore light reviews from there.

Before You Buy

When purchasing a headlamp you want to find one that you can rely on. One of the first things you need to look at when choosing a headlamp is lumens. Lumens in headlamps range from a mere 1 lumen to more than 1000 lumens. How many lumens you need will depend on use. Selecting a headlamp that offers different brightness levels ensures you have the light you need for the job at hand. Beam type is something else to consider. You have the choice between flood and wide, but some will allow you to switch between both. Other important factors to consider are size, weight, usability, water resistance, runtime, power source, and beam distance.

Nitecore HC30

Nitecore HC30 1000 Lumens Rechargeable LED Headlamp with Nitecore Battery and LumenTac Charger - Bundle: 3 items

The Nitecore HC30 headlamp is a great choice for those of you who need a hands-free light that can double as a handheld light. The Nitecore HC30 is compatible with two battery sources, the 18650 or the CR123. Using the CR123 batteries you will need to use two, but you will greatly enhance the headlamp as it provides more power and longer run times than a single 18650. The batteries power a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED with a peak beam intensity of 6600 candelas and a maximum beam distance of 531 feet.

The HC30 offers users the choice of five different brightness levels: Turbo, High, Mid, Low, and Ultralow. Turbo mode emits a maximum of 100 lumens for up to one hour, while the Ultralow setting emits a single lumen for over 300 hours. Nitecore also included three concealed modes that are designed to be used in emergencies: Location Beacon, SOS, and Strobe. The Nitecore HC30 comes with a titanium-plated two-way clip to transform the headlamp into an L-shaped handheld flashlight.


  • Multipurpose light
  • Comfortable headband
  • One handed operation


  • Awkward lockout mode


  • Dimensions: 3.86 inches long with a 0.95-inch diameter
  • Weight: 1.42 oz without battery and headband
  • Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 330 hours
  • Highest Setting: 1000 lumens for 1 hour

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Nitecore HC30 Features & Benefits

User Interface


The Nitecore HC30 offers easy one-handed operation via a special head switch. To power the light on in direct ultralow mode you need to press the switch until you hear a click. To turn the HC30 on in general mode you need to press and hold the switch for over 1 second. General mode will recall the last brightness level used and start in that mode. To turn the light off press and hold the switch with the light on for over 1 second. Cycling through the modes requires you to quickly press the switch with the light powered on. Modes will cycle through in this order: low, medium, high, turbo, and ultra low.

Adjustable Light

With the Nitecore HC30 users will notice uniform and consistent coverage thanks to Nitecore’s Precision Digital Optics Technology. This technology also allows the light to optimize reflector performance. If you plan to use the headlamp outdoors the optimized wide-beam optics provides 100 degrees of coverage to ensure everything in your field of vision is properly illuminated. The head of the Nitecore Hc30 rotates 90 degrees up and down to prevent dead zones. The detachable light can be worn on a comfortable nylon headband or carried in your pocket.

Overheat Protection


Many times headlamps grow hot to the touch, especially if they have the ability to emit 1000 lumens of light. The Nitecore HC30 doesn’t have this problem as it offers effective cooling fins that are paired with a CNC machined Unibody head. The fins allow for optimal heat dissipation in every mode. The Nitecore HC30 also uses advanced Temperature Regulation technology to automatically adjust the output of light based on the lights internal temperature.

Social Proof

After spending hours reading through other reviews of the Nitecore HC30, I have come to the conclusion that the HC30is a high-quality headlamp. The Nitecore HC30 offers different brightness levels allowing you to choose the right amount of light for the job at hand. The Nitecore HC30 is a true multipurpose light. It can be worn as a headlamp or detached to be used as an L-shaped flashlight. Even with all of the positive reviews, the Nitecore HC30 has its issues. The biggest issue is the lack of a proper lockout mode. To prevent accidental activation users must loosen the tail cover.



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The Fenix HL55 is Fenix’s first headlamp powered by a single 18650 battery. The Fenix HL55 can use either a single 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries to power the neutral white CREE XM-L2 U2 LED. Runtime is not affected by battery choice. Four brightness levels provide anywhere from 10 to 420 lumens of light. Instant Burst mode provides a quick blast of 900 lumens. All output modes are accessed via the side switch located on the head allows for fast and easy operation. With a maximum beam distance of 380.5 feet, the Fenix HL55’s light reaches farther than most.

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ArmyTek Wizard Pro V3

Armytek Wizard Pro v3 XHP50 (White) USB Magnet Rechargeable Headlamp -2300 Lumens

This model is the rechargeable version of the Wizard Pro V3 and comes complete with a magnetic charging base, USB charging cable, and a 3200mAh 18650 battery. Using a CREE XHP50 LED the ArmyTek Wizard Pro V3 can emit up to 2300 lumens for a period of 1 hour. The ArmyTek Wizard Pro V3 offers total protection from dust, dirt, and water penetration. The light will continue to work in depths up to 33 feet. ArmyTek uses a side switch that you can easily use with just one hand, whether you are turning the lamp on or switching between the modes all it requires is one hand. The Wizard Pro V3 comes with a removable clip and a strong lanyard and is able to tail stand making it a multipurpose light.

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XTAR H3 Cree XM-L2 U3 1000 Lumens LED Headlight Flashlight

The XTAR H3 utilizes a single 18650 battery to power the CREE XM-L2 U3 LED. This powerful LED can emit a maximum of 1000 lumens and a minimum of 1 lumen. The XTAR H3 offers five brightness levels to choose from. The powerful beam offers a peak beam intensity of 6200 candelas with a maximum reach of 515 feet. With an IPX-8 rating, the headlamp will hold up in wet environments. The XTAR H3 offers an easy one-click button for total operation. The headband is comfortable to wear for long periods of time, but the light also offers tail stand capabilities as it is a multipurpose light.

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Nitecore HC30 Review Final Thoughts

If you are in the market for a headlamp designed for outdoor or indoor use, the Nitecore HC30 makes an excellent choice. With the choice of five brightness levels, it’s easy to choose just the right amount of light for the job at hand. With the ability to rotate the head 90 degrees up or down you won’t have to worry about illumination dead zones. Now that you know what the Nitecore HC30 has to offer, go out and purchase one today.

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