Olight H16 Headlamp Review

The H16 is Olight’s newest option for headlamp users. The H16 features an innovative, but also optional, hand wave to turn on and off the light along with a built-up beam profile using 2 leds with different TIR lenes, one wide and soft and the other a focused spot. Along with a built-in battery pack and relatively simple user interface, Olight has done what they can to make this their next universal mid-size headlamp. Say hello to the H16!


Olight H16 Wave Headlamp Review CivilGear 001  Link to manufacture product page: https://www.olightstore.com/led-flashlights/headlamps/olight-h16-wave



Overall, I like the built-up beam pattern as it is very versatile. This is my first light with the wave feature and it takes a little while to figure out if there are any ‘rules’ to how you are supposed to wave, but really there isn’t, lol. Also I didn’t realize that you still have to push the switch to adjust the brightness level. Also, when the light has the wave feature turned on, and the light is waved off, the switch illuminates blue, so this is no stealth headlamp.


Quick Specs



Not much else besides the light is included.

  • H16 headlamp
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Manual (pdf)




This is currently the only version.



 Current price is $60 USD (buy links at the very end of the review)


Look & Feel

Overall, the light is very comfortable to wear and the battery pack is not too heavy. I really like the added foam pads behind the headlamp and the battery pack.

Random thoughts:

  • I was surprised to see that solid heat sink behind the leds, and seems to do well at dissipating heat.
  • The button on the front is easy to find thanks to the rubber cover, but actually pressing it tips the light and the plastic part of the light pushes into the forehead a little.
  • The button is somewhat wide but you need to press it closer to the center
  • The headband can be completely separated from the light incase you want to wash or replace it.
  • There is a plastic film over the bottom piece in the front which is meant to be peeled off.




LED specs

2 x Cree XP-G3 LEDs


Beam Profile

Olight does not advertise the angle of main LED but from what I’ve collected it seems to be a 100 total degrees spill with a 40 total degree spot.

The first rectangular graph is cut across the beam and helps a bit better to see what angle the spill starts at as usually it is quite a bit dimmer then the center. It’s quite possible that a very low lumen outer spill might not register using these methods. The percentage is a relative comparison to the brightest light recorded (generally, in the center).

The second, polar graph, is a simulation of the light along the beam.

Currently, these readings are strictly sensor recorded, and are not adjusted based on human perception of light but may be an interesting idea for the future.


The H16 (left) is a bit warmer than I expected and almost makes the Nichia 219B (in the Nitecore MT06MD penlight) look a tad purple. 

Olight H16 Wave Headlamp Review CivilGear 024



Output Levels

The first suprise is that the light starts in high and descends and there are only 3 levels, but it is evidence of Olight simplifying the light for non-enthusiasts. 


Modes: High->Mid->Low


Outdoor Beamshots

 All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO.



Battery and Charging

The built in LiPO battery is advertised as 2,000 mAh and is USB rechargeable. After observing it during a full 3h 30min USB charge up, the capacity (fx2 line on the graph below) I measured was 2,120 mAh.




The battery pack has 4 tiny blue leds that, when the circular blue button is pressed, light up to indicate remaining battery life. Additionally, when the battery gets really low, the battery pack will actually beep! Pretty niftty if you are in a critical situation like bike ridding and can’t pull over right away. The beep is however, very incessant and seemed hit or miss turning the beep off by pushing the circular blue button on the battery pack.




Notes on Methods

I measured the light output in relative LUX and I have not spent time yet to calibrated for lumens or factored % of max output. The charts I’ve provided, while are literally quantitative, I suggest using as a qualitative reference for how the output may behave over time; typically lights aren’t left on this long and the max output can be reset. It’s worth to note that the runtime table provided by Nitecore states, “Runtime for TURBO [and] HIGH is calculated based on theoretical arithmetic.” so there isn’t physically reproducible in my tests.

PWM check using a 50 millisecond test period with a sampling rate of 3,000 times per second. For special modes I use a 150 millisecond test with sample rate of x.

Temperature measurement condition is at room temp and currently no fan cooling.

I am still very new at doing these types of measurements so I am no authority on on this subject, but please let me know if things don’t look right or you see anything that I could do to improve for next time.


The built-in battery is used and is rated at 2,000 mAh but I measured it as 2,120 mAh.



Turbo is about 5m before dropping down a bit, and the total duration is about 2h 10m, right on the mark of the 2h 5m mark they advertise.



PWM Check

There appears to be no significant PWM on any constant mode but on the low mode there is a faint noise so perhaps there is a very fast PWM on low. 

For comparison, the second graph shows PWM varying from 0 to 120 lx on the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.


Nitecore R25 with PWM
Nitecore R25 with PWM


There is no strobe, typical for Olight headlamps.



Surprisingly, there is no ‘jogger beacon’. Might have been a nice addition; since there are 2 leds, the jogger could always have a light on while the other flashed.



 A max temp of 113.1°F was observed for TURBO (see runtime graph). I’m happy to see it be under 120 but for this mid-sized light it might be a little warm for the non-enthusiast.


User interface

As I’ve been mentioning before, the UI reflects the Olight’s desire to put this neat Wave tech onto into non-enthusiast hands, or heads I mean, so the have kept things very simple, except for the initially having to learn the Wave feature. To the enthusiast, this light may seem a bit gimmicky as there are no shortcuts, and the light starts in turbo, and you have to cycle the light off unless you use the wave, just some initial points thoughts from that point of view but more below:

  • Regarding how to actually wave, you can wave in any direction, left to right, right to left, up to down, down to up, even diagonals.
  • Using the Wave function, only turns on and off the light, it does not adjust the brightness, that would have been cool.
  • Having to wave your hand right in front of the leds can temporarily blind you if you, but you can angle your hand  a little to help reduce the reflection; would have been nice to have the sensor pointed lower or put on the side of the light somewhere; or, even crazier, on the battery pack.
  • When you wave the light off, the main switch will have a blue indicator light
  • You can turn off the wave by turning on the then press and hold the switch and the light will blink, indicating the wave sensor is off.
  • If wave is enabled and you press the main switch to turn off the light, you have to press the switch to turn the light back on, and the wave feature will be restored
  • I don’t prefer to have the light turn in High mode.
  • I don’t prefer having to go through all the modes to get to off, perhaps the press and hold should have been off anytime, and that a double click would enable the wave function.
  • There is no lockout mode.
  • There is no warning flasher mode, could have done something neat having one led constant on while the other flashed.





This is very similar to dual leds on the Olight HS2 and the wave feature on the previous Olight H15.




  • Wave feature for very quick turning on and off, great if you’re wearing gloves
  • Very nice mix of wide and spot thanks to the dual leds
  • Pretty simple UI
  • Charges quickly
  • Comfy strap and padded headlamp and battery pack



  • Starts in High mode, and if not using Wave, you have cycle though modes to turn it off
  • A side wave sensor would help reduce reflection of your hand
  • When Wave feature is on, the main switch will have a blue indicator
  • No lockout, a small physical toggle switch on the battery pack would have been nice, or perhaps a quadrupedal click on the battery pack button.



The current price for the light is about $55 USD and if you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, amazon gives me very small % of their profit):




  • CivilGear Reviews received this product for testing and providing an honest review.
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for writing this review.
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com



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