Fenix HL16


Brand/model Fenix HL16
LED 1*Luminus SST20, 1*2835 Red
Maximum lumens 450 lm
Maximum beam intensity 2,700 cd
Maximum throw 104 m
Battery 3*AAA
Onboard charging No
Material Plastic
Modes 4
Blinkies Red SOS
Reflector TIR
Waterproof IP65
Review date August 2023


The Fenix HL16 is a lightweight headlamp with a white emitter and a red emitter. It takes three AAA batteries.

I asked liteshop.com.au if I could review the Fenix HL16 to see if it would be suitable for running for several hours overnight.

liteshop.com.au kindly sent the Fenix HL16 for review. I have not been paid for this review nor have I held back my opinions of this torch.


The HL16 came in a plastic box with an image of the headlamp on the front and specifications on the back.

Fenix HL16 packaging Fenix HL16 packaging

Fenix HL16 packaging Fenix HL16 packaging

The following was included in the box:

  • Fenix HL16
  • 3*AAA Alkaline 1.5V batteries
  • Warranty card
  • User manual

Fenix HL16 packaging Fenix HL16 accessories

Fenix HL16 user manual Fenix HL16 user manual

Torch in use

The Fenix HL16 feels comfortable on my head due to the wide elastic band.

I was able to adjust the headband to fit my large head. It also fit my toddlers head. She had a blast wearing it around the house!

Fenix HL16 closeup headband

I like how simple the user interface is. The white and red emitters each have their own button.

Fenix HL16 closeup buttons

The headlamp feels secure when I go for a brisk walk. It does not bob up and down. The headband feels like a sweat band.

Reflective branding on the headband helps improve visibility at night.

Build quality

The Fenix HL16 is made out of plastic. It feels well built.

I dropped the headlamp onto a hardwood floor from a distance of 1.5 metres and the headlamp did not break. The batteries flew out after the first two drops but they remained secure when I closed the battery compartment properly.

By default the white light points straight ahead. I find myself adjusting the angle of the headlamp to point it slightly down so that I can see the ground without bending my neck.

The angle can be adjusted up to 60 degrees.

Fenix HL16 closeup angle-1 Fenix HL16 closeup angle-2

Fenix HL16 closeup angle-3 Fenix HL16 closeup angle-4

Fenix HL16 closeup angle-5 Fenix HL16 closeup angle-6

The plastic clip for adjusting the angle of the headlamp or for opening the battery compartment feels strong.

There is a seal for the batteries to help improve water resistance.

I like how the battery compartment has cut-outs to guide each AAA battery when inserting them. That said, I was still able to insert a AAA battery backward by mistake.

Fenix HL16 closeup battery-compartment

There are two screws holding the battery compartment to the front of the headlamp. I was able to remove the screws and pry the battery compartment out without damaging the plastic. It popped out.

Fenix HL16 teardown-1

I removed four more screws but the driver appears to be stuck to the battery compartment.

Fenix HL16 teardown-2

It is nice to see some programming pads on the driver.

LED, bezel, lens, reflector and beam

The Fenix HL16 has a white Luminus SST20 emitter with a TIR optic and a pebbled reflector to provide a throwy beam with a little bit of spill.

The red emitter has a small lens to protect it. It essentially a mule and produces a floody beam with very little throw.

Fenix HL16 closeup-emitters

CCT, CRI, and duv

I have taken Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and Colour Rendering Index (CRI, RA of R1-R8) measurements with the torch positioned half a metre away from an Opple Light Master Pro III (G3).

The CCT is around 5290K. The CRI is around 61.

The Delta u, v is positive (green).

The white beam has a narrow white hot spot with a hint of green. There is very little spill due to the TIR optic. The spill has a hint of purple on Turbo.

The red beam is very floody.

Mode CCT (K) CRI (Ra) x y Duv
Low 5173 59.2 0.3423 0.3828 0.0160
Med 5262 61.4 0.3394 0.3767 0.0144
High 5296 62.4 0.3383 0.3734 0.0133
Turbo 5430 63.5 0.3344 0.3664 0.0116

Calculate Duv from CIE 1931 xy coordinates

Dimensions and size comparison


I took the following measurements using a digital caliper.

Measurement Unit (mm)
Length 64.2
Height 47.2
Width 27.8


I took the following measurements using a digital scale.

Weight Unit (g)
Torch 43.45
Headband 19.10
Batteries 38.03
Torch with headband 62.55
Torch with headband and batteries 100.58

Three eneloop pro AAA 1.2V Ni-MH 900mAh cells were measured.

Size comparison with its competition

From left to right: Fenix HL16, Arlec 100 Lumen Headlamp

Fenix HL16, Arlect 100 Lumen Headlamp

User interface

The Fenix HL16 has two buttons. A left button controls the red light, while the right button controls the white light. Both buttons can be used at the same time to lock the headlamp.

State Action Result
Off Press and hold the right button for 0.5 seconds White light on (mode memory)
White light on Click the right button Cycle (Low, Med, High, Turbo)
White light on Press and hold the right button for 0.5 seconds Off
White light on Click the left button White light off, Red light on
Off Press and hold the left button for 0.5 seconds Red light on
Red light on Click the left button Cycle (Red, Red SOS)
Red light on Press and hold the left button for 0.5 seconds Off
Red light on Click the right button White light on (mode memory), Red light off
Any Press and hold the left or right button for 3 seconds Lock-out
Lock-out Click any button Red light flashes 4 times to confirm lock-out is enabled
Lock-out Press and hold both buttons for 3 seconds Red light flashes 4 times and turns on to confirm lock-out is disabled


The red emitter has an SOS mode. SOS is not memorised.

Low voltage protection

Low voltage protection does not appear to be present. The light turned off at 1.77V and the current dropped to less than 1mA.

The light output dropped to an unusable level as the voltage dropped.

I tested low voltage protection by connecting the headlamp to a bench power supply and then by lowering the voltage from 4.5V to 0V for three AAA cells.


I did not notice any visible PWM (flickering).

What I like about the UI

  • Simple to use.
  • Two buttons makes it so much easier to control two emitters.

What could be improved

  • It would be nice if the red emitter had more modes (e.g. Low, Med, High, Turbo).
  • Is an SOS signal effective with a red light? I think that a white light would throw further and be better at getting attention.

Batteries and charging


The headlamp came with 3*AAA Alkaline batteries. I put them in a safe location and decided to use rechargeable AAA Ni-MH batteries.

Size Chemistry Voltage Recommended
AAA Ni-MH 1.2V Yes
AAA Alkaline 1.5V Yes
10440 Li-ion 3.7V No. Banned.


There is no onboard charging.

Built-in charging would be nice but it may not be simple to implement with three AAA cells connected in series.


Specifications from the manual:

ANSI / PLATO-FL1 Turbo High Med Low Red Red SOS
Output (lumens) 450 150 50 5 5 5
Runtime 3h 8h 27h 100h 100h 200h
Beam Distance (metres) 104 58 32 10 6 6
Beam Intensity (cd) 2,700 846 261 24 10 10

It is nice how Fenix have included a runtime graph for the white modes in the user manual so that we can see how the headlamp will perform over time.

The user manual has a disclaimer for the Turbo runtime: “The Turbo output is measured in a total of runtime including output at reduced levels due to temperature or protection mechanism in the design”. Fenix should mention the expected runtime duration where the output drops below 10% of the initial output at 30 seconds (i.e. adhere to ANSI/PLATO FL1).

Fenix used 3*AAA batteries for testing. The type used (Alkaline or Ni-MH) was not mentioned in the user manual.

I used three eneloop pro AAA 1.2V Ni-MH 900mAh cells for the following tests.

Lumen measurements

LED Mode Specs Lumens @turn on Lumens @30 sec Lumens @10 min
Red Red 5 9 7 7
White Low 5 5 5 5
White Med 50 46 46 45
White High 150 153 149 146
White Turbo 450 459 436 284

Standby drain

2.9 µA

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.

The room temperature was approximately 10 C.

Fenix HL16 runtime graph

Fenix HL16 first 2 hours runtime graph

Fenix HL16 first 10 minutes runtime graph


Here is a summary of the runtime results:

Mode User manual Runtime Turn off Final voltage
Turbo 3h 1h 37min 52s 2h 38min 23s 1.08, 0.82, 0.81
High 8h 3h 47min 32s 4h 54min 13s 1.05, 1.13, 1.09
Med 27h 16h 17min 33s 16h 59min 52s 1.12, 1.14, 1.08
Low 100h 10min+ 10min+
Red 200h 10min+ 10min+

“Runtime” is the time until the output reduces to 10% of the output at 30 seconds (as per the ANSI/PLATO FL1 2019 Standard).

“Turn off” is the time until my DIY lumen tube no longer detects more than 1 lumen.

“+” indicates that the light remained on after recording had stopped.

I stopped recording after 10 minutes for the Low and Red mode.

After the light turned off during a runtime test for Turbo, I was able to turn the light back on but it would only enter the Low mode.

The runtime was consistently lower than expected with three eneloop pro AAA 1.2V Ni-MH 900mAh cells. Fenix might have used Alkaline batteries for testing.


I took lux measurements with a UNI-T UT383BT at 30 seconds. Low and Med were measured at one metre. High and Turbo were measured at five metres.

Mode Specs (cd) Specs (m) Candela measured (cd) Distance (m)
Low 24 10 23 9
Med 261 32 300 34
High 846 58 825 57
Turbo 2,700 104 2,725 104


I went to a local park and aimed the Fenix HL16 at a tree 70 metres away while using High.

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

Fenix HL16 (Turbo)

Fenix HL16 Turbo beamshot

ZebraLight H53Fc N (H1)

ZebraLight H53Fc N H1 beamshot

Acebeam H16 Gray (Turbo)

Acebeam H16 Gray Turbo beamshot

Cyansky HS5R

Cyansky HS5R Turbo beamshot

I later visited a playground and aimed the headlamp at a big apple approximately 2 meters away while using the red emitter.

Red beamshots were taken using a Sony RX100M2 using 1/2.5", f3.2, ISO 800, 5000K WB.

Fenix HL16 (Red)

Fexni HL16 Red beamshot

ZebraLight H502pr

ZebraLight H502pr

Cyansky HS5R

Cyansky HS5R Red beamshot

Cyansky HS6R

Cyansky HS6R Red beamshot


The Fenix HL16 headlamp is a comfortable and lightweight headlamp.

The build quality is pretty good. It feels much more durable compared to the AU$5 Arlec headlamp that I picked up from Bunnings.

I personally would prefer it if the white beam was floodier so that I can see to the sides more easily. A higher CRI would be nice too. The throwy beam may be useful for seeing what is up ahead while running.

The red beam is very floody and dim. It may be ok for walking around slowly at night. It is probably bright enough to ruin night vision for other people if they look directly at the headlamp.

I am a bit disappointed with the runtime results. The three AAA Ni-MH batteries that I used may have impacted the performance. It would be nice if runtime estimates were provided for both Alkaline and Ni-MH AAA batteries. I never use Alkaline batteries in my torches because they may eventually leak.

Kudos to Fenix for including a runtime graph in the user manual! Not many manufacturers do that.

The headlamp manages to maintain a little over 30 lumens for more than 15 hours with three AAA Ni-MH batteries. If this amount of light is sufficient then this might be the headlamp for you.

The Fenix HL16 is available in pink, green and black.


  • Good build quality.
  • Comfortable headband.
  • Simple UI.
  • Throwy beam.
  • Red and white lights.


  • Low CRI.
  • Red SOS.
  • No built-in charging.


The Fenix HL16 is AU$54.95 from liteshop.com.au at the time of writing.

The Acebeam H16 is about 27 grams lighter with a battery. It has a similar headband but it comes with a USB-C rechargeable 14500 Li-ion battery. It is AU$74.95 from liteshop.com.au at the time of writing.

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