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Nitecore HC33 1800lm headlamp review: Pros and Cons

Cree XHP35 HD LED
1800 lm output
8750 cd intensity
1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery

The Nitecore HC33 headlamp released in 2018. It uses Cree XHP35 HD LED, SMO reflector and 1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery. The powerful emitter in this headlamp provides up to 1800 lm output, 8750 cd intensity, and a beam distance of 187 m.

Table of Contents

The content of this article reflects our own experiences and viewpoints. We aim to offer insights on a topic, and we hope others find it helpful and motivating. Additionally, we make every effort to provide accurate and comprehensive coverage. If you found an error or something lacking in the specifications for the Nitecore HC33, then tell us.

Nitecore HC33 / HC33

The HC33 headlamp is designed to provide hands-free light. It lets the user to have both hands free for other tasks while having a focused light source. This light has 5 modes of lighting. The memory function is a nice feature, the light will remember the last used mode. It has a strobe function, which is one of the most effective self defense tools available.

Nitecore HC33 specifications

BrandNitecore
NameHC33
TypeHC33
Rating
Rated 3 / 5 based on 1422 user votes.
Launch2018
Formheadlamp

Headlamps have a light attached to a headband. This allows users to wear them without using their hands.

Nitecore HC33 / 1

Body, materials, weight, colors

Weight51.2 g
Length105.3 mm
Head diameter25.5 mm
Materialaluminium alloy with HAIII hard-anodized finish
Colorsblack

The HC33 is small, compact, and designed for ultra-portability. A smaller flashlight is easier to carry in a pocket, bag, or pouch. This makes it more convenient for everyday use or when you're on the go. The aluminium body of the HC33 has excellent thermal conductivity. This means it can effectively dissipate heat generated by the flashlight's components. Flashlight makers widely use HAIII coating. It is durable, resists corrosion, and improves grip. It also looks good. The HC33 flashlight comes in a stylish black color.

Nitecore HC33 / 2

System, LED, lens, reflector

EmitterCree XHP35 HD LED
Color temperature5000 K
ReflectorSMO
LensAR coated glass
Switchelectronic front

Cree is a US-based LED manufacturer. It is well-regarded for its high-quality products and innovation in lighting. Color temperature is a characteristic of light. It is used to quantify the color appearance of light sources. The HC33 has a smooth reflector. The right reflector focuses light well. It gives you a better hotspot, and it throws better. The AR coating reduces the loss of light due to reflections, allowing more light to pass through the lens. The flashlight has electronic switches. They have many benefits and extra features compared to mechanical switches.

Nitecore HC33 / 3

Performance, flux, intensity, throw

Flux1800 lm
Intensity8750 cd
Throw187 m
CD/LM factor4.86

With 1800 lm, the HC33 flashlight will offer a brighter and more powerful beam of light. The HC33 flashlight has 8750 cd. It provides a much brighter and more intense beam. The throw is the distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. The cd/lm factor is the candela-to-lumen ratio. It shows how concentrated a light source's output is.

Software, user interface, modes

Modes5 modes
Mode memoryyes
Ramping modeno
Strobeyes
SOS/Beaconyes

A flashlight's modes are different output settings or brightness levels. They can be chosen to meet different needs and preferences. The flashlight has mode memory. It remembers the mode you were using when the light was last turned off. It stays in that mode when you turn it on again. The HC33 is tactical strobe ready. The strobe light is disorienting to the person it is aimed at, this makes it hard for them to concentrate. The SOS flashes Morse code so you can signal for help when needed.

Features, battery, protections

Battery1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery
Battery indicatorno
Charger portno
LVPyes
Thermal regulationyes
ProtectionIP68
AUX LEDsno
Magneticyes

The Nitecore HC33 flashlight is powered by 1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery. The HC33 cannot charge batteries. You may need an external charger to keep your battery going. The flashlight detects when the battery's voltage has dropped to a certain level. Then, it reduces or cuts off the power. The built-in thermal control adjusts brightness output to prevent overheating. The "6" in the IP68 rating shows the level of protection. It's against solid objects, like dust and foreign particles.

The "8" in the IP68 rating means the highest level of protection. It is against water ingress. The HC33 is magnetic so that the flashlight can be attached to some metallic surfaces.

Accessories, package contents

Package contents18650 battery
2 x spare o-rings
clip
diffuser
headband
spare rubber cover

It comes with a battery. The battery must be fully charged before you first use your HC33. The clip is useful to keep the light secured in your pocket. Replacing worn or damaged O-rings helps a lot. It keeps up the flashlight's durability and performance.

According to the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard, we measure the performance of the HC33 flashlight 30 seconds after switching on the light. The ANSI/NEMA FL1 2009 Standard is a set of flashlight performance guidelines.

Conclusion, pros and cons

This Nitecore flashlight, like any other, has its strengths and weaknesses. Let's take a close look at both sides to understand this flashlight better. I share my thoughts on its standout features and the parts that might need improvement. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions, and you might have a different perspective.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • aluminium body
  • warm light
  • AR coated lens
  • adequate performance
  • multiple modes
  • mode memory
  • tactical strobe
  • SOS/beacon function
  • low-voltage protection
  • thermal regulation
  • dust protected
  • waterproof
  • magnetic
  • battery included
  • clip

Cons

  • no battery indicator
  • no built-in charger
  • no auxiliary LEDs

Photos

Nitecore HC33 / HC33 photo 1.
Nitecore HC33 / HC33 photo 2.
Nitecore HC33 / HC33 photo 3.
Nitecore HC33 / HC33 photo 4.
Nitecore HC33 / HC33

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David Hagon
I love bushcraft and flashlights. I find joy in mastering wilderness survival skills and exploring the realm of illuminating gadgets. Bushcraft isn't just fun, it's a learning journey. I form a strong bond with nature. It's more than a hobby, it enriches me in practical and spiritual ways.
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