Fenix HL18R USB Rechargeable Headlamp – AAA Compatible

Max Lumens: 400
Modes: 7
(20 customer reviews)

$73.00 $54.95

SKU: N/A Category:

The HL18R is a compact USB rechargeable headlamp with extreme versatility. It features two separate beam options (spot and flood), six different lighting levels (plus SOS), and allows you the unique ability to use multiple options to power the headlamp. The simple operating system can quickly get you into utilizing the soft neutral beam that magnifies natural colors with a simple click of the button. The headlamp can blast a max output of 400 lumens and reach runtimes of up to 150 hours. If you find yourself in a situation when you can’t recharge the included 1300mAh battery, then you can simply pop-in three of your favorite AAA batteries to operate the light.

All of this is built into a ultra-light 2.8 ounce (80 gram) body being held in place by a remarkably comfortable headband with reflective strips and anti-slip design. This headlamp is the answer for your trainings in the early morning and late evening when the day needs extended; when chasing the fire flies won’t wait; or when that tent needs to be put up before your head can lay down. Count on the versatile design of the Fenix HL18R to be there for you.

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Max Lumens: 400
Modes: 7


fenix hl18r headlamp ansi chart

HL18R Size:

Length: 2.27” (57.7mm)
Width: 1.67” (42.3mm)
Height: 1.46” (37mm)

HL18R Weight:

2.8 oz. (79.5g) including battery, headband & holder

HL18R Battery:

Included 1300 mAh Li-polymer battery pack, headlamp is also compatible with 3 AAA batteries


ARB-LP-1300 Li-polymer battery pack, headband and charging cable


Limited Lifetime Guarantee from Fenix Lighting USA

Additional Features of the Fenix HL18R

  • Cree XP-G3 warm white and Everlight 2835 white light, with lifespan of 50,000 hours.
  • 1300 mAh Li-polymer battery pack, compatible with 3 AAA Ni-MH/Alkaline batteries.
  • Ultralow standby current 1μA, reduces battery leakage with inserted dry cell.
  • Lockout function.
  • Dual switches for easy and fast operation.
  • Four spotlight plus two floodlight output levels.
  • Micro USB charging port, 5V/1A.
  • Battery level indication.
  • Spot beam angle of 13°, flood beam angle of 84°.
  • 60° tilt mechanism directs the beam where needed.
  • IP66 rated protection.
  • Made of quality plastics and aluminum, three times injection molding process saves O-ring.


Spotlight switch: for on/off, mode switching, lockout function and output selection on spotlight mode.

Floodlight switch : for on/off, mode switching, lockout function and output selection on floodlight mode.


Press and hold either of the two switches to turn on/off the lamp. Low output level is selected by default.

Mode Switching

With the light switched on, single click either of the two switches to reach the corresponding mode.

Output Selection

Spotlight mode: Single click the spotlight switch to cycle through Low→Med→High→Turbo.

Floodlight mode: Single click the floodlight switch to cycle through Low→High→SOS.

Lockout Function

Lock: With the lamp switched off, press and hold either of the two switches, or simultaneously press the two switches for 3 seconds, the lamp will blink twice to indicate locked status.

Unlock: With the lamp locked, simultaneously press the two switches for 3 seconds, the lamp will be activated with 3 one-second blinks and activated on Low of floodlight mode.

In locked status, clicking or pressing the switches will activate 3 one second blinks to indicate locked status.


Uncover the anti-dust cap and plug the Micro USB side of the charging cable into the charging port of the lamp. The four constant-on indicators shows the lamp is fully charged. The normal charging time is about 2.5 hours with the lamp being switched off.
Note: The headlamp can only be used on Low output when charging.

Battery Level Indication

The indicators will display the battery status for 3 seconds each time when the lamp is switched on. With the lamp switched off, single click either switch to check the battery status, single click once again and the lamp will go out immediately, or without any operation the status will last for 3 seconds. There will be no response with the lamp locked.

  • Four lights on: saturated, 100% – 81%
  • Three lights on: sufficient, 80% – 61%
  • Two lights on: poor, 60% – 41%
  • One light on: critical, 40% – 21%
  • One light flashes: 20% – 0%

Battery Replacement

  1. Pull battery cover latch that is located between the switches to open the tail cap.
  2. Insert the batteries in accordance with the polarity marks.
  3. Replace the battery cap.

Overheat Protection

The light will accumulate a lot of heat when used on Turbo output level for extended periods. The light will automatically step down by a few lumens to reduce temperature.

Headband Assembly

Notice: The headband is factory assembled by default.

Step 1: Attach the headband to the headlamp as shown (Pic 1), by first sliding the band down to the bottom of the slots. Then hook the top edge under the top slot.

Step 2: Adjust the headband by sliding the buckle to required length.

Usage and Maintenance

  • Disassembling the sealed head can cause damage to the headlamp and will void the warranty.
  • Fenix strongly recommends using quality rechargeable Ni-MH batteries.  Alkaline batteries will shorten the runtime with the lamp switched on high output.


This light is a high-intensity lighting device capable of damage to the user or others. Avoid shining the light into anyone’s eyes.

20 reviews for Fenix HL18R USB Rechargeable Headlamp – AAA Compatible

  1. Jay Chua (verified owner)

    I love the yellow white spotlight! It’s easy for your eyes to read.

  2. Steven (verified owner)

    Dim light. While “lumens” may show this is a “powerful” headlamp, the color is so yellow it’s illumination is worse than a $20 WalMart headlamp. I called Fenix for a return >week ago, still waiting for a call back. Don’t waste your $’s on this light, not as advertised. 1st Fenix light I’ve ever bought that disappointed me.

    • Dianne

      Yes, the HL18R is a neutral light, as listed in the description. Neutral lights have a yellow color. The HL18RW is a cool white LED. Warranty is reaching out to you for that return.

  3. Anonymous (verified owner)

    Nice, but haven’t yet tried it.

  4. Don Manning (verified owner)

    There is no better light on the market, period. I am a hunter and fisherman, an the only light I always have with me is a Fenix.

  5. Adam W. (verified owner)

    I own multiple Fenix headlamps and flashlights and this is the first one I would not recommend. I love the HL26R but bought this because when I travel there are times when a headlamp is critical and I need to be able to carry backup batteries in case it runs out of power. The HL18R appeared to be very similar to the HL26R in specs and size with the added benefit of being able to run on changeable AAA batteries. The problem I have with this headlamp is the output light color is awful. Every Fenix product I own other than this puts out a clean whitish colored light. The HL18R on the other hand puts out very yellow light that is reminiscent of a 1970s era incandescent light bulb. I came within 10 feet of a pack of feral hogs while jogging the other night because I find it hard to see anything due to the light color, with the HL26R I can usually spot them from 50+ feet away. This headlamp does have the normal whitish colored LEDs on the sides but they are so dim they are useless for most things other than possibly reading at close distance. Just noticed they make a HL18RW with the normal colored beam, get that one I wish I knew that in advance.

  6. Sheila (verified owner)

    I am very disappointed in this headlight. It did not meet my expectations. The light was not bright enough and it was a yellowish light, not a bright white. The only thing good about it was that is light weight. I have a mxl500 280 lumen headlamp which i absolutely love and would purchase now, but I can not find it anywhere for sale. I hope you are still making them.

    • Dianne

      Hi Sheila – the HL18R is a neutral light. Neutral light does not appear as bright as while light does – it’s just one of the aspects of a neutral light. A neutral light is going to have a warmer color than a cool white light. We also sell the HL18RW, which is a cool white light version of this headlamp. I have not heard of the mxl500 – it is not a Fenix product, so I do not where you would be able to find one.

  7. Mike P. (verified owner)

    Awesome light! 😎

  8. Earl S. (verified owner)

    Bought this for my wife because she goes running before the sun rises. This light is way brighter than the one she had before. Not only that, this stays put on her head better. Also, this charges a lot faster than her old one and keeps the charge longer. Very happy with this light.

  9. David Supensky (verified owner)

    Another great light from Fenix

  10. Jose Leos (verified owner)

    Excellent product!

  11. grant g. (verified owner)

    so far so good with this light. It is at least as good as Petzl or Black Diamond headlamps. Time will tell if it outlasts them.

  12. Anonymous (verified owner)

    My quest has been for a headlamp with good spot functional lighting for coming out of the woods after dark in some degree of inclement snowfall and or foggy conditions. The need for lighting that will penetrate through light clouds and or fog better than a general headlamp is my goal . After discussing my headlamp needs with a company representative, it was determined that the HL18R would have the best spot performance and functionality. Upon receiving the headlamp, it proved to be very user-friendly in application, had great dispersed lighting for generally usage, however the spot function is still more along the lines of a general flood type light. I did not find the difference between the spot and the flood options that I expected nor what I need. Thusthe rating of 3.

  13. Seth M. (verified owner)

    Super bright. Very lightweight and compact. Really enjoy the option of rechargeable or standard battery configuration, and being able to ‘lock’ the light from turning on while being stored.

  14. Paul B. (verified owner)

    This is better then the previous purchases of headlamps Mainly because they are easier to charge and have one elastic strap to deal with. I would buy it again.

  15. Paul Roth (verified owner)

    Awesome Headlamp. Bought for my son and he loves it! Run time is amazing.

  16. John (verified owner)

    This review replaces the 2-star review that I submitted on 5/23/2018, the day that I received the new HL18R headlamp after pre-ordering it days before it was available for shipping. This revised review was not requested by Fenix; on the contrary, I had to request permission from Fenix to revise the review because Fenix’s apparent policy is that reviews generally don’t get revised.

    My original review was written before actually using the HL18R headlamp at night. Based upon first impressions, I awarded the HL18R only 2 stars because I felt that the HL18R was inferior to the older but similar HL15 headlamp that I’ve been using for nearly 2 years. However, after using the new HL18R headlamp for dog-walking between 1 to 2 hours almost nightly for 2 weeks, I must admit that I now prefer it to the HL15 headlamp that I ordered in July 2017. The following five reasons have motivated me to upgrade my HL18R’s initial rating from 2 stars to 4 stars:

    1. Although the older HL15 is touted as a wide-angle light, which it is, it still has a somewhat brighter area in the center that can detract from/partially overwhelm the dimmer wide-angle lighting, especially at the 3 higher output levels. The new HL18R provides the options of a much more even wide-angle beam that is usefully wider and higher with 2 output levels or a spotlight mode with 4 output levels, while the HL15 only has the one center-weighted wide-angle beam with 4 output levels. The old HL15 also has the option of turning on left- and right-side red LEDs that either flash continuously or stay on continuously, which is a nice safety feature for users that the HL18R unfortunately lacks, but the red LEDs do not provide any useful light on the running path because they mainly shine sideways as a signal to automotive drivers. (I still wish that the new HL18R had the option of turning on flashing red LEDs, but I suspect that this option was omitted to save weight.)

    2. The long-lasting rechargeable & removeable battery that is provided with the new HL18R headlamp has proven to be a great option that frees me from the expense of buying costly Energizer AAA lithium batteries as I have been doing with the older HL15. In addition, I can start each night with a fully charged battery instead of partially depleted AAA batteries, although I’m finding that a single charge can last for several nights without a noticeable drop in output.

    3. Because I’m no longer concerned with buying batteries, I run the new HL18R at a higher brightness level than I did with the old HL15. I primarily use the HL18R’s wide-angle mode at it’s highest output of 30 lumens, compared to running the old HL15 on its lowest output of 4 lumens. Although the HL15 has the option of increasing brightness to 30 lumens as well as 70 and 200 lumens, I found that the bright area in the center of the HL15’s wide-angle beam tends to over-brighten the center foreground in my path while diminishing peripheral vision at those higher outputs. Instead, the HL18R’s 30-lumen wide-angle light provides a much more even beam from its two LED wide-angle lights — not only brighter to the sides but also upwards to reveal low-hanging branches hidden in the dark. If you want to nitpick, the beam isn’t perfectly even, but it is significantly more even than any other of the many headlamps that I’ve tried over the years. And when a long-range spotlight is needed instead of a short-range wide-angle beam, the HL18R can oblige with 30, 70, 130, or 400 lumens in its spotlight mode.

    4. The useful 4-LED battery-charge gauge gives the HL18R a nice advantage over the HL15, which has no such gauge.

    5. I discovered that the “potentially disastrous darkness” that I reported on 5/23 can be avoided if you quickly press and release the other button to switch to the other beam. If you hold it down too long (more than 0.5 second), then you get total shutdown as I experienced when I tried to turn on both the wide-angle and spotlight beams simultaneously.

    My original 5/23 review of the HL18R appears virtually unchanged below with minor corrections. Despite the deficiencies that are noted both above and below, I must now state on 6/7 that after using it repeatedly, I like the new HL18R better than the old HL15, contrary to what I wrote on 5/23.

    Original review on 5/23/2019

    I pre-ordered the HL18R headlamp on the same day as I received the emailed introductory announcement from Fenix Lighting U.S. It was delivered via USPS First-Class Package Service today, Thursday 5/23/2019, securely packed in a heavy-duty corrugated cardboard box.

    I regret to report that I’m not as happy with the new HL18R headlamp as I am with the similar but older HL15 headlamp. With the old HL15, the main light turns on at the same output level (low, medium, high or turbo) that was being utilized when the light was shut off. But the new HL18R lacks memory for either the floodlight mode or spotlight mode, so both modes start in the lowest setting and require multiple clicks of the appropriate button switch if you want a higher output level than low. Dumb!

    In addition, the old HL15 has dual red lights that can be activated with or without the main light on. I assumed that the new HL18R would also allow you to run both the floodlight and spotlight beams simultaneously. Surprise — that’s not the way the new HL18R works! If you are using either beam, pressing the other button for the other beam shuts off the beam that you are using. If you press the button shorter than 0.5 second, then you instantaneously switch to the other beam. However, if you press the button longer than 0.5 second, then you get potentially disastrous darkness because you have just shut the first beam off. Then you must click the second button a second time to turn on the second beam (at its lowest output level).

    On the plus side, the new HL18R has a USB charging port with an attached rubber dust cover that allows super convenient recharging of the included rechargeable battery that can be optionally used instead of your own set of three AAA batteries. The old HL15 doesn’t have a charging port.

    In addition, the new HL18R’s spotlight has a brighter maximum output level (400 lumens) than the old HL15’s main light (200 lumens), which is a center-weighted floodlight.

    Furthermore, the new HL18R has a better elastic headband than the old HL15 headlamp. The new headband’s reflective markings are MUCH brighter than the old headband’s reflective markings. In addition, the new headband is perforated along its entire length with 6 rows of tiny holes, which may make the new headband lighter and more breathable. Unfortunately, the new headband cannot be removed from the new HL18R for washing; meanwhile, the old HL15 headband is easily removable and easily reattached.

    Both the new HL18R headlamp/headband combo and the old HL15 headlamp/headband combo weigh the same, which is 2¾ (2.75) ounces on my USPS digital postal scale. The scale is rated accurate to one-eighth (0.125) of an ounce.

  17. EdwardW (verified owner)

    also a trail runner review 🙂
    got this on the release date, was pretty excited at the spec particularly 400 lumens for 8.5 hrs, seemed too good to be true…and yes it is. I uploaded a picture which compared this one’s 400 lumens with my UC35’s 350 lumens, you can see this one is more like 100-150 lumens, I actually compared it (400 lumens) to 150 lumens of UC35, it’s not as bright as 150. Beside of not bright as advertised, I was more disappointed at how really really short time at “high” lumen output, it only last a few minutes on “400” lumens, what do I use it for? (ah I do know one, UTMB required a 200 lumens light, so this will fit the bill this August when I run it. Like all of their bullshit mandatory equipments, I’m constantly looking for something just to shut them up) So beware of this new spec listing, i.e. 400 lumens 8.5hrs doesn’t mean you’ll have that bright level for that long, it just means the light will not die for 8.5hrs, which can be a good thing, a peace of mind. I do agree this is a comfortable and very light head lamp. But it’s not a really bright one, it’s more like 70 lumens whole night one. Personally I don’t think 70 lumens is nearly enough bright for trail running (if you want to run), at least not for any moderate technical trails, not as a primary light source. But as a second light source or backup, this will be a perfect one due to its lightness and comfortableness and last a whole night no matter what kind of setting. As for the spot vs floor mode, I don’t know what the floor mode will be used since it’s so dimmed, but maybe it can be also served as a backup in case of the spot light bulb dies. I returned this one not because I don’t like it, I do like it as a secondary light, but I already own a whole lot of lights so it’s too luxury for me to own another one. Instead I will wait for the new HM65R which is past due of release for like a year now.

  18. Fenix Lighting U.S.

    John- Thanks for your review. We are going to review our information to make sure we have the operation and no red light properly called out. Glad you like the HL15.

  19. Collin

    Really solid product. Have used it mostly for general use around the house and yard to begin with and will use for camping this summer. Would love for it to have had a red light, but knew it didn’t when I bought.
    PRO’S: Super comfortable and light weight, easy operation, simple USB recharge (east to also open and put in AAA for camping backups)
    CON’S: Red light would have finished this off, but that’s me looking for perfection.

  20. Carl Bush (VERIFIED OWNER)

    Happy with first week of use. Mostly used in garage setting while working around my bench or under the hood of my car. All spill light for that. Walk dog in evenings with the spot on medium and it definitely does the job. Good job Fenix.

  21. Aaron Austin (VERIFIED OWNER)

    Trail Runners review.
    I like it. Lightweight, comfortable, easy to operate and recharge. Love the fact that I can take the rechargeable battery out and replace with AAA. This allows me to put Energizer Lithium AAA in for extended runtimes on my longer runs (haven’t tested this much yet, but I know it will). I’ve run with this for 5 evenings and here are my thoughts for those using for running:
    1st- No movement on my head for the trail runs I have completed. The light body is firmly connected with no vibration. You don’t even think about it being on your head (winner).
    2nd- Headband is really comfortable and seems to be a major upgrade from some of my earlier Fenix headlamps from 3 and 4 years ago. I think this one is built to last longer than some I’ve had from Fenix and other brands.
    3rd- Pay attention to the chart….this is NOT a headlamp to expect 400 lumens from on extended periods of time. This light’s real feature for runners is the spotlight of 130 lumen’s for an hr (I felt it was well over an hour) before it’s designed to gradually drop in output until it gets to 70 lumens. Then it stays at that output for way longer than I will need it on a single run (something like 17 -24 hrs). The beauty of the light is that because the spot light is still throwing nice light at the 70 lumens you really can’t tell a substantial difference for running purposes.
    4th- No clunky battery pack to carry on back of your head. All one piece and light weight. You’ll be hard pressed to find a light that seems so compactly built and light weight for this performance. Most will require a battery pack on the back of your head with a chord.
    5th- Beam pattern is a WINNER. The spot light is a really good balance of throw and just enough spill. Someone who actually runs was involved in designing this beam pattern. Most of the more applauded running lights from Black Diamond and Petzl have much wider beams. What you want is that 30 to 50 meter distance of light with enough spill to see surrounding areas of paths. Again, really nice job on the spot. It also has the flood lighting option for general use activities that won’t be used by runners.
    Those in the trail running community know that running on road and trail are different challenges when it comes to lights. If your running on paved roads or smoothed trails, then I think this light is perfect for your use. I haven’t used it as much there, but I feel like it will far exceed your expectations. My big need is too get the right amount of light on the trail without being irritated by the size/shape/design of a headlamp. This light is on the border of being a perfect headlamp for Trail purposes. It is a very good headlamp for the purpose and it’s going to rotate with my Fenix HM50R (which I love) for now. Most in the community of trail running that will give this a try are going to love it against what they are using with other brands. I have a wall full of headlamps in my garage from other brands, but I think the HM50R and HL18R will be consuming 99% of my running hours.

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