The Olight H1R Nova: A Great Head Lamp For Urban Running.

          As my schedule and commitments have changed, so have my opportunities for a getting in a good, solid run. If you enjoy running outdoors but avoid it when the sun goes down for reasons of unfamiliarity or uncomfortably, then please consider this… get a dependable headlamp! Olight’s H1R/H1R Nova will do the job!


          I have owned my H1R Nova since mid-May of 2018 because in 2018 I was a total sucker for Olight flash sales (It cost me $45.17). I did, however, buy mine with night time excursions in mind. At that time I had relied on a Princeton Tec Vizz for lighting the way but I still wanted something with greater light output. At the time, my Vizz had a factory rated total light output of 165 Lumens which is about the lowest total light output I feel comfortable using when on night time runs in the woods or in areas far away from street lights or other artificial light sources.

The Lighting Specifications of the H1R/ H1R Nova…

The H1R has 5 separate light output modes and thus 5 separate maximum run times with a fully charged battery.

  • Turbo (Starts at 600 lumens for 3 minutes and then reduces output to 180 lumens for 80 more minutes.)
    • 600 Lumens, 180 Lumens
    • 3 Minutes, 80 Minutes
  • High
    • 180 Lumens
    • 100 Minutes
  • Medium
    • 60 Lumens
    • 5 Hours
  • Low
    • 15 Lumens
    • 20 Hours
  • Moon Light
    • 2 Lumens
    • 144 Hours

          The H1R/H1R Nova actually has a 6th mode, an emergency signalling mode that flashes “S.O.S” in Morse Code in the event that you need to attract the attention of potential rescuers in low light. Olight’s website doesn’t indicate at what light output this mode flashes at or what the maximum run time is. If I had to guess I would estimate that this mode flashes at 180 lumens but has a maximum run time of 170 minutes due to it not being a constant on mode like normal High Mode.

Each mode has a certain environment that it is best suited for and each drains the battery at different rates so use each mode accordingly.

          Additionally, this light has a maximum “throw” or beam distance of 72 meters (236 feet) when on Turbo Mode. Turbo Mode’s maximum light intensity is 1,280 candela. I don’t know how the beam distance value is measured but I think it is the furthest distance away from a light source that someone could be standing and still be identified as a person (Just a guess…). When compared to most other flashlights and some other head lamps, 72 meters of throw is somewhat short for 600 lumens of light and so is its maximum light intensity. This short throw/low max light intensity is why I wouldn’t recommend this head lamp for a night run in the woods as increased light throw is very useful for such dark and relatively wide open areas. My previously relied upon Vizz had a maximum throw of 78 meters (255 feet) and it only put out 165 lumens of light. The HR1’s relatively short throw is due to its TIR bead lens. When you get a closer look at the lens itself, you will notice that it is concave and that nearly all of the surface of the lens looks and feels bumpy, as if clear beads were partially melted into the lens. The first time I went running with this headlamp I immediately noticed that it was more like a flood light as apposed to a spot light. This flood light affect is better suited for urban settings when the need to see further is nullified by the close proximity of wide, view blocking structures such as houses and cars. Also, a wider illumination profile will give your peripheral vision more visible “information” to gather about your immediate surrounding, maximizing the usefulness of your total field of view.

Think about it this way:

Head Lamp-Alpha has 500 lumens of total light output.

  • Head Lamp-Alpha has a narrow illumination profile (like a spot light)
    • Thus, it has a high max light intensity (AKA, “hot spot”) (measured in candela)
    • And has maximum “throw” of 300 meters

Head Lamp-Alpha can light up objects far away at the expense of having a NARROW beam of light which DECREASES the amount of light that your peripheral vision (or central vision) can use to see all of your surroundings when worn on the head.

Head Lamp-Omega also has 500 lumens of total light output. 

  • Head Lamp-Omega has a wide illumination profile (like a flood light)
    • Thus, it has a low max light intensity (AKA, “hot spot”) (measured in candela)
    • And has a maximum “throw” of only 100 meters

Head Lamp-Bravo cannot light up objects far away due to it having a WIDE beam of light which INCREASES the amount of light that your peripheral vision (or central vision) can use to see your all of surroundings when worn on the head.

See what I mean?

FYI: Do not attempt to recharge a non-rechargable CR123A. Also, do not short circuit this light.

The Other Specifications

  • Drop Distance Rating: 4.9 ft (1.5 m)
  • Ingress Protection Rating: IPX8 (waterproof to depth of 3 meters, tail cap must be FULLY tightened for optimal water resistance)
  • Weight w/Battery: 1.62 oz. (45.9 g)
    • Plus head lamp strap: 2.65 oz. (75.1 g)
  • Overall Length: 2.43″ (61.7 mm)
  • Max Diameter: .83″ (21 mm)
  • LED: Cree XM-L2
  • Uses 1 RCR123A (Rechargable) or 1 CR123A (Non-Rechargable)
  • Includes
    • 1, H1R/H1R Nova
    • 1, RCR123A Battery (3.7V, 650 mAh/2.4Wh)
    • 1, Magnetic Charging Cable
    • 1, Pocket Clip
    • 1, Adjustable Head Lamp Strap
    • 1, 5.5″x3.5″ Drawstring Pouch

          My H1R Nova has mainly served as a head lamp for night time runs. Since I have had it, I have used it on 40+ night runs. About 20 of those runs have been in either rain or snow. About 5 runs with my H1R Nova were done in sub-zero temperatures with the coldest being an unspeakably frigid -18°F (-39°F Wind Chill) for 27 will-assaulting minutes. My H1R Nova has also been submerged in water plenty of times for cleaning. The electronics in the H1R Nova seem to be sufficient for the task and I don’t expect them to fail any time soon, though, I have received Olight products that were defective right out of the box so ALWAYS test your Olight lights before you need to rely on them. Anyways, both the light and head lamp strap have held up great despite the repeated subjection to adverse conditions for periods up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. However, by the end of that long run I found that the head lamp strap caused an uncomfortable sensation of compression around head even when fully loosened, though, I was also wearing a polyester beanie which added a small amount of diameter to my head. In short, tight bands around the head may become uncomfortable after 1 hour of continuous use. 

The H1R Nova should serve you well in wet environments.

          As far as setting use goes, the setting I mainly run with this on is Medium or Low and High for lesser periods of time. I use Turbo mode occasionally for when I really want to identify something but since I have used this light almost exclusively for in-town runs, Turbo mode was hardly necessary. The charging system of the H1R/H1R Nova was/is modestly innovative. When using the RCR123A, the battery is recharged when inside the light via a provided charger that magnetically connects to the base of the light and has an LED in it that is red when charging and turns green when the battery is fully charged. One time I ran mine completely dead, and it took approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to fully charge. The Olight RCR123A has a built-in circuit board to prevent over charging, over discharging and over discharging current. It bears mentioning that the RCR123A battery that comes with this is rated as having a lifetime of 500 charging cycles so may want to consider buying at least one spare Olight RCR123A if you plan on using the H1R/H1R Nova quite a bit. And no, I am not a paid shill for Olight.

          All things considered, if you are in need of a reliable head lamp for night time running or other activities then I strongly suggest you take a good look at this Olight. Again, I was not and am not payed by Olight to write any of what you have just read. Now, the world of night time running is interesting, so go explore it with the Olight H1R/H1R Nova.

          Thanks for reading this article. It was composed carefully and I had ample experience to serve as my motivation for it. If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms about anything contained within then feel free to let me know in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.


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