Nitecore NU25 (Lightweight Headlamp, High CRI, USB Rechargeable, Red LED)

Today I have a new lightweight headlamp from Nitecore the NU25. This headlamp offers 3 LED colors, 1 Main white emitter, 1 lower lumen high CRI emitter and then a Red emitter. It contains a built in 610mAh non replaceable battery and is rechargeable via micro USB. Thanks to NitecoreStore.com for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/hXDIDdB
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
The packaging is a cardboard hanger style package with the center being clear plastic showing the light and all the accessories. The package touts the lumens,k battery size and it’s IPX6 water resistance. Included with the light is a comfortable elastic band that has a zebra style pattern with Nitecore written in yellow on it. On the inside there is a silicone line at the front to help it keep from sliding on a helmet or your forehead. The light also comes with a branded Nitecore cable with a velcro tie to keep it organized.



Construction
The light itself is available in 3 Colors of glass reinforced plastic, Black, White, and the Yellow that I have. The light is rectangular and is 50mm long, 33mm tall and 18mm thick. On the top there are 2 buttons a main power, and a red power button, each are made of gray silicon rubber. On the bottom is the USB charging port covered again in the gray silicon rubber. The hinge mechanism fits in from each side and the angle is controlled with 2 ratcheting strips built into the rear of the light. You have a total of 5 adjustment points for about 45 degrees of adjustment. Weight with the strap was 45.6 grams.


 (Size comparison)

LED/Runtime
The main emitter in this light is a Cree XP-G2 S3 LED making a maximum of 360 lumens, lower modes are 190, 38, 1 lumen. The make and model of the high CRI LED isn’t mentioned but it’s rectangular in shape nad is good for 20 lumens. The make and model of the red LED isn’t mentioned , it’s good for 0.9 and 13 lumens.

Beamshots
Main Emitter – 
High CRI – 
High Red – 
Outdoor Main – 

Runtime of the main LED from start to finish was longer than I expected for a 610mAh battery. Turbo lasted for about 8 minutes and then the step down was in slow linear steps over the next 100 minutes or so to 15% relative output where the light lasted for another 220 minutes. The light does one final spike in brightness for a low battery indicator before going to absolute moon mode.

UI
The UI on this light is simple and straightforward. It has 2 dedicated buttons for the 2 color of LED’s. First you have the red button which when pressed turns the Red LED on Low, press again get the red on high, press again and you get a slow red beacon. Long press to turn off. If you long press the red from off you get a battery check.

Long press on the main power button and you get the high CRI LED. This only has one mode and is suitable for close up tasks like reading a map or book. Shot presses activate the main white LED. This has 3 modes and comes on in low first. Fast double click on the main power mode once the light is on and it will jump to turbo.

The light also has lockout in any state if you press both switches at the same time. The red indicator will flash once to let you know its locked. To unlock repeat pressing both switches again.

Recharging
Recharging isn’t a fast process, I tested it from empty to a full charge taking 2 hours and 10 minutes. The light can be used while charging which is a nice feature. This could be connected to a power bank or wall charger and run kind of indefinitely.

Pro’s

  • High CRI reading mode
  • Despite the small battery it lasts a surprisingly long time
  • Dim Red Mode that is great for map reading or short distance tasks, can bump up to brigher if needed.
  • UI that starts on low on both white and red mode
  • No PWM, it uses a constant current

Con’s

  • All Plastic Construction
  • Slow recharging Speed

Conclusion
I was surprised at how light the NU25 was and how long it lasted with the small battery. While it didn’t make a ton of light during this long run time if your going to be using it during hiking or something like that it should produce enough that you can navigate. I really like the addition of a white high CRI LED. I wish it was the main LED but know that high CRI LED’s are usually less efficient. I do appreciate that the NU25 has a low red mode that’s actually useful and not too bright like some of the recent lights I have tested. Overall the NU25 is a good light for it’s weight. If you can afford more weight I would personally recommend a light that took a removable higher capacity battery like an 18650. That said if your hiking or in another application where every gram matters the NU25 is a nice option.

%d bloggers like this: