Brinyte HL18 Noctua


Brand/model Brinyte HL18 Noctua
LED Luminus SFT40
Maximum lumens 1,600 lm
Maximum beam intensity 23,750 cd
Maximum throw 308 m
Battery 1*18650
Onboard charging Yes (magnetic USB-A)
Material Aluminium
Modes 5
Blinkies Strobe, SOS
Reflector Smooth
Waterproof IP66
Review date October 2022


The Brinyte HL18 Noctua headlamp came highly recommended by Jacob at due to the unique swivel head design and overall performance. Here is Jacob’s video review.

Jacob’s enthusiasm for the headlamp, and the fact that it has a Luminus SFT40 emitter, convinced me to contact Brinyte.

This torch was sent by Brinyte for review. I have not been paid for this review nor have I held back my opinions of this torch.


The HL18 came in a box with a premium look and feel.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua packaging front Brinyte HL18 Noctua packaging left
Brinyte HL18 Noctua packaging back Brinyte HL18 Noctua packaging right

The following was included in the box:

  • Brinyte HL18 Noctua headlamp
  • Headband with rotateable bracket
  • Brinyte 18650 3100mAh battery
  • Pocket clip
  • Magnetic charging cable (USB-A)
  • User manual

Brinyte HL18 Noctua packaging tray Brinyte HL18 Noctua accessories

Brinyte HL18 Noctua user manual Brinyte HL18 Noctua user manual

The user manual is well written and comprehensive.

Torch in use

The Brinyte HL18 Noctua looks elegant with a matte black finish, checkered pattern and blue bezels. It feels light for its size.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua in use

It is a lot of fun to flick the head back and forth to convert it from being a headlamp and into a regular torch. This fidget-like feature reminds of the Acebeam Rider RX.

There are five positions that the head can click into. The head clicks four times when it is moved from position one at 0 degrees to position five at 90 degrees.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua headband-1 Brinyte HL18 Noctua headband-2

I have been using the HL18 in the workshop and outside while taking out the bins for the past few weeks and I must say that I prefer to use this headlamp outside. It is great for outdoor use. The wide spill allows me to see to the sides and avoid walking into cobwebs, while the beam throws far so that I can see in the distance.

I found the hot spot to be a bit too bright for indoor use. However, I was able to focus on things in the workshop by pointing the hot spot at something else and by using the darker spill of the beam to look at an object.

The bracket for the headlamp can be rotated between 0 and 120 degrees, up and down, and it has a slot to allow a pocket clip to remain attached to the tube of the headlamp.

The bracket fell down when I moved my head quickly. The headlamp is a bit wobbly and would benefit from having a headband with a strap that goes over the head for added support.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua bracket 1 Brinyte HL18 Noctua bracket 2 Brinyte HL18 Noctua bracket 3

The reversible pocket clip could be attached to a hat but it is a bit heavy for a hat.

The headlamp can easily tailstand with the head at 0 degrees or 90 degrees.

The headlamp could be carried without the headband. The tube allows the pocket clip to be flipped around so that the headlamp can be carried vertically in a shirt pocket. It may be more secure in a tactical vest. I found that it wobbles around bit.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua in use

Build quality

The HL18 has matte black anodizing on the outside and on the inside of the tube. This allows the tailcap to be twisted slightly to mechanically lock-out the torch to avoid standby drain. There are no sharp edges.

The tailcap turns smoothly on the thin square-cut threads with an o-ring to help prevent water getting in. It would have been nice if the threads came lubricated but they turn smoothly without lubricant.

The tube is symmetrical and has slots at each end for a pocket clip to be reversed. The tube cannot be reversed because it has been glued at one end.

The Brinyte branded switch cover feels grippy and the button gives a satisfying click. The button is easy to find in the dark and it is quite distinct from the smooth magnetic magnetic charging port on the opposite side.

Checkered knurling on the tube also provides extra grip.

There are springs at the head and tail to allow either flat top or button top batteries to be used. I managed to fit a protected button top 18650.

A magnet in the tailcap allows the headlamp to be attached to a vertical surface. The spring can be removed to provide access to the magnet. However, the magnet might be glued down or require some force to remove if you would prefer not to have a magnet.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua front Brinyte HL18 Noctua left

Brinyte HL18 Noctua back Brinyte HL18 Noctua right

Brinyte HL18 Noctua side Brinyte HL18 Noctua tube

Brinyte HL18 Noctua button Brinyte HL18 Noctua pocket clip Brinyte HL18 Noctua tailcap Brinyte HL18 Noctua threads Brinyte HL18 Noctua spring

LED, bezel, lens, reflector and beam

The Brinyte HL18 came with a single Luminus SFT40 emitter. This is a great choice for producing a throwy beam.

A blue bezel is holding a glass lens and a smooth reflector down against the MCPCB.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua optic

I have taken Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and Colour Rendering Index (CRI, RA of R1-R8) measurements with the torch positioned one metre away from an Opple Light Master Pro III (G3) for each mode except Turbo. Turbo was measured at two metres.

The CCT is around 5500K and the CRI is around 62.

The Delta u, v is slightly positive (green) on lower modes and closer to pure white on Turbo.

The beam has a relatively small white hot spot with plenty of spill. There are few rings in the spill and there is an outer ring produced by the bezel. The hot spot looks a bit green on Moon, Low and Mid. It is closer to pure white on High and Turbo.

Mode CCT (K) CRI (Ra) x y Duv
Moon 5370 60.3 0.3363 0.3774 0.0159
Low 5325 59.5 0.3376 0.3782 0.0158
Mid 5462 61.1 0.3336 0.3710 0.0141
High 5661 63.2 0.3284 0.3601 0.0112
Turbo 5992 65.9 0.3213 0.3459 0.0075

Calculate Duv from CIE 1931 xy coordinates

Dimensions and size comparison


I took the following measurements using digital callipers.

Measurement Unit (mm)
Headlamp length 107.3
Headlamp length with head extended 127.9
Max switch head width 32.0
Min switch head width 24.8
Head diameter 27.8
Tube diameter 22.4
Tailcap diameter 24.1


I took the following measurements using a digital scale.

Weight Unit (g)
Headlamp 81.7
Battery 48.9
Headlamp with battery 130.6

Size comparison with its competition

From left to right: ZebraLight H600Fc Mk IV, Brinyte HL18 Noctua, ArmyTek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia

ZebraLight H600Fc Mk IV, Brinyte HL18 Noctua, ArmyTek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia

From left to right: ZebraLight H600Fc Mk IV, Brinyte HL18 Noctua, ArmyTek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia

ZebraLight H600Fc Mk IV, Brinyte HL18 Noctua, ArmyTek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia

User interface and driver

The HL18 has the same user interface as the Brinyte E18 Pheme.

State Action Result
Off 1C On (mode memory)
Off 1H Moon
Off 2C Turbo
Off 3C Strobe
Off 5C Activate lock-out
On 1C Off
On 1H Cycle (Moon, Low, Mid, High, Turbo)
On 2C Turbo
On 3C Strobe
Turbo 2C Moon
Turbo 1H Moon
Strobe 3C SOS
Lock-out 5C Deactivate lock-out

Low voltage warning

The magnetic charging port has a power indicator LED that turns green or red when the flashlight is on.

LED Battery level
Green 30% - 100%
Red 10% - 30%
Red flashing 0% - 10%


The strobe mode alternates between a fast and slightly faster frequency.

Low voltage protection

There is low voltage protection. The torch turned off at 2.77V and the current dropped to 1.27mA.


I did not notice any visible PWM (flickering).

What I like about the UI

  • Simple and intuitive to use.
  • Direct access to Turbo from off.
  • Direct access to Strobe from off.

What could be improved

  • Mode memory is reset when the battery is disconnected. It would be nice if the mode is memorised when a battery has been reconnected.

Batteries and charging


I found piece of plastic sitting between the spring and a battery when I unscrewed the tailcap. This helps prevent the torch from turning on while in transit.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua protector

A Brinyte 18650 3100mAh cell was included. It arrived with a voltage of 4.15V.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua battery Brinyte HL18 Noctua battery

The Brinyte HL18 takes one 18650 3.7V Li-ion cell, either button top or flat top.


The magnetic charging cable is easy to attach. I plugged the USB-A end into a PinePower Desktop power supply and connected the magnetic end to the HL18. The magnetic charging point on the headlamp is located opposite the button.

To test the built-in charger, I first discharged the included battery to 2.79V in a Vapcell S4 Plus and then I charged the battery in the headlamp.

A red indicator LED near the magnetic charging point turned on. The initial current was 0.09A but soon reached 5V 1A. After an hour or so the indicator LED changed to green and the current dropped to 0.07A. I measured a final voltage of 4.17V.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua charging port Brinyte HL18 Noctua charging port

Power supply compatibility

I tried the following power supplies with the magnetic charger:

Power supply USB Type Protocol Does it charge?
PinePower Desktop USB-A QC Yes
Generic 5V 2.4A Power Adapter USB-A Yes

I was able to run Moon, Low and Mid modes with the magnetic charging cable connected without a battery.



ANSI/NEMAFL1 Turbo High Mid Low Moon Strobe SOS
Output (lm) 1600-420 620 150 50 10 1600 300
Runtime (min) 1-125 185 510 1500 7200

Lumen measurements

I used a UNI-T UT210E clamp meter to measure the current at turn on.

Mode Amps at start Specs Lumens @turn on Lumens @30 sec Lumens @10 min
Moon 0.03 A 10 11 10 10
Low 0.13 A 50 59 57 57
Mid 0.41 A 150 172 165 164
High 1.89 A 620 716 676 394
Turbo 6.75 A 1,600 1,936 1,645 473

It is good to see Brinyte use ANSI/NEMA FL1 measurements. I.e. 1,645 lm at 30 seconds.

Standby drain

1.39 mA

Runtime graphs

I used my own DIY lumen tube with a TSL2591 sensor and forked bmengineer’s project RuTiTe to record runtimes.

Note: Lumen measurements may be off by 10% with my DIY lumen tube.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua runtime graph

Brinyte HL18 Noctua first 10 minutes runtime graph

Brinyte HL18 Noctua turbo runtime graph

Brinyte HL18 Noctua high runtime graph

Brinyte HL18 Noctua mid runtime graph

Turbo started at 1,936 lm and dropped to around 470 lm after a minute. It maintained around 470 lm for a little over 2 hours. This aligns with the official specifications. I appreciate how Brinyte were transparent about Turbo rapidly dropping in output by putting 1600-420 lm and 1-125min in the specifications table.

Turbo steps down after about one minute.

High started at 716 lm and dropped to around 390 lm after five minutes. It maintained around 390 lm for almost 2 hours 47 minutes before sharply dropping in output. It met the 185 minute claim but it would have been nice to see it last the whole 3 hours at 390 lm instead of sharply dropping in the last 15 minutes.

High steps down after about five minutes.

Mid started at 172 lm and maintained that output for a little over 7 hours 30 minutes. It fell short of the 8 hour 30 minute claim.

I only tested Low and Moon for the first 10 minutes.

The regulated output and sustained brightness is impressive.


I took lux measurements with a UNI-T UT383BT at 30 seconds at a distance of five metres for each mode.

Mode Specs (cd) Specs (m) Candela measured (cd) Distance (m)
Moon 150 24
Low 1,225 70
Mid 3,925 125
High 15,900 252
Turbo 23,750 308 39,950 399


I went to a local park and aimed the Brinyte HL18 Noctua at a tree 70 metres away while using Turbo.

Beamshots were taken using a Sony RX100M2 using 3.2", f3.2, ISO 100, 5000K WB.

Brinyte HL18 Noctua

Brinyte HL18 Noctua Turbo beamshot


SPERAS EST Turbo beamshot

Brinyte E18 Pheme

Brinyte E18 Pheme

Olight Warrior Mini 2

Olight Warrior Mini 2


The Brinyte HL18 Noctua exceeded my expectations. I was hoping for a headlamp that could convert into a regular torch and perform well as both a headlamp and as a throwy torch. After using it for a few weeks, I can say that it does both well.

The runtimes and the sustained output were impressive. 470 lumens for 2 hours.

I can forgive Brinyte for using a low CRI emitter in this throwy headlamp. If it were a dedicated floody headlamp then I would expect a high CRI emitter to be used.

I love how Brinyte added an extra slot in the tube to allow the pocket clip to be reversed. Little touches like that are great people who prefer to carry a headlamp in their shirt pocket. The pocket clip fits perfectly rather than sitting awkwardly on an oversized tube.

It would have been nice if Brinyte included an additional overhead strap to improve the headband support so that the headlamp does not wobble around.

I have half a dozen headlamps but most of them have a floody beam. They are great for indoor use and looking at things nearby but the beams produced do not reach far. That is where the HL18 shines. The SFT40 emitter throws well and the wide spill is very usable.


  • Excellent build quality.
  • Good runtime and regulation.
  • Good amount of throw for a headlamp.
  • Cool swivel head design for dual use.
  • Pocket clip can be reversed on the tube.
  • Comfortable headband.


  • Rotateable bracket falls down sometimes when moving my head fast.
  • Low CRI.
  • Slightly green tint on lower modes.

Product page

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