[BLF special edition light] new Sofirn AAA twisty high CRI Yuji 5mm LED (CCT 3200K or 5600K) for 6.50 USD

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slowtechstef
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[BLF special edition light] new Sofirn AAA twisty high CRI Yuji 5mm LED (CCT 3200K or 5600K) for 6.50 USD

Focus of this thread
The Sofirn C01: a single 1.5V cell AAA twisty with 5mm high CRI Yuji LED (one version in 3200K, other version in 5600K); co-creation between BLF community and Sofirn; commemorative clone of Fenix E01 and Arc AAA; cockroach light.

Status
Black version is available NOW.
Link to order Sofirn C01
Blue and red colored versions will become available in December 2018 (no specific date announced by Sofirn).

Price
Special price with BLF discount mentioned by Sofirn is 6.50 USD.

Explanation how to get the special BLF group buy discount
Please read this step-by-step visual explanation by BlueSwordM.

Availability
Sofirns announced they produce a limited set of only 2000 lights with the high-CRI Yuji leds.
1000 pieces 3200K; 1000 pieces 5600K

Body colors 1200 pieces black, 500 pieces red, 300 pieces blue


Note: Sepcial is not a spelling mistake, but an acronym. Wink

Contributions
BLF lead: djozz
Sofirn liaison: Barry
Interest list maintainer: iamlucky13
Tail end design: noir
CPF liaison: jon_slider
Thread starter: slowtechstef

Interest list
Interest list

Sofirn C01 on CPF
Sofirn C01 thread on Candlepowerforums.com.
Compare and Contrast the Sofirn C01 to the Fenix E01

Videos
Deanodisation of a trit-hole and glueing in a trit in a C01 (by djozz)
C01 corrosion (by djozz)
Bare circuit board underwater (by djozz)
Drop test (by djozz)
Third floor drop test (by Sofirn)
Truck crush test (by Sofirn)
Ice cold test (by Sofirn)
Underwater test (by Sofirn)

Update 2018-11-25
People are starting to receive Sofirn C01s from the first production run.

Update 2018-11-21
The black 3200K and 5600K are back in stock in the Sofirn store at AliExpress.

Update 2018-11-11
First batch of 300 lights are sold out at the Sofirn store at AliExpress.
The second batch is announced to be in three colors: black, red and blue.

Update 2018-11-10 (update from Sofirn)

Quote:
“11.11 sale is running now. About 300 pcs Sofirn C01 are available. Is it okay for you to update the post to tell BLFers?

here is the link https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-C01-BLF-Special-Mini-LED-Flashlight-AAA-Twisty-High-94-CRI-Yuji-LED-keychain-Flashlight/2933049_32952525303.html?spm=a2g1y.12024536.productList_2629815.subject_13

The process is place order and leave a message with BLF ID, then wait for us to change price to $6.5, then refresh the page and pay if price is correct.

The fist batch 300pcs is all in Black. The other colors will be made in the second batch.

Thank you so much!”

Update 2018-10-29 (Update from djozz)

Quote:
We’re a couple of months further in the project, and the Sofirn Yuji twisty (named Sofirn C01) is close to being produced now, first a few hundred for the last checks, then 2000 pieces, of which 1200 in black, 500 in red and 300 in blue, all colours half/half with 3200K/5600K 60degrees beam angle Yuji 5mm leds.

The interest list, which is maintained by iamlucky3 (thanks for doung that) can be found in post#288 in this thread ( http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1355666#comment-1355666 ), it contains interest in close to 800 flashlights at the moment.

The interest list can be considered now as a group buy list because the C01 will be sold to the interest group for $6.5, which includes a clip, and free shipping. Besides the group buy the normal price will be somewhat higher, no exact price is known yet. How and when the group buy light will be sold is yet to be announced.”

Some numbers:
Output 3200K C01 ~5lm
Output 5600K C01 ~7lm
Runtime on an AAA alkaline: >40 hours (estimated), will completely empty a cell before it stops giving light.

A beamshot at 30cm from wall, top 3200K C01 sample, middle 5600K C01 sample, bottom keychain light modded with 5600K 30-degrees Yuji led.

A crash test of a sample C01 by djozz’s son (Sofirn also did some convincing abuse tests):

Update 2018-07-24
Thanks to Djozz Sofirn is willing to produce a AAA twisty flashlight with high CRI Yuji 5mm LEDs, in two versions, 3200K and 5600K.
Titel of this thread is changed to reflect the new focus.

Update 2018-07-03 jon_slider contacted Fenix USA and their answer was that Fenix could produce such a light; however the minimum order quantity is 1000 pieces. He also tried to start a Kickstarter page, however that was rejected.

Update 2018-06-23
vinhn sells a modded version of the E01 on CandlePowerForum for USD 48. His modded light is unpotted however.

Background
The quality of light output of the 97 CRI Yuji high-cri 5mm LEDs is simply incredibly good. Unfortunately there are no commercially available flashlights with this fantastic 5mm LED installed at the factory. Thanks to Djozz Sofirn is willing to fill this specific niche.
We also asked Fenix to produce a special Yuji edition of the Fenix E01, however their minimum order quantity was 1000 pieces. This is too big of a hurdle to take at his moment.

Design goals for a high CRI 5mm twisty AAA flashlight
- true unicorn light: fantastic value because of high quality and low price
- high reliability based on robust design (design goal: as bomb-proof and torture-proof as Fenix E01)
- preferably “fully potted electronics driver board” (similar to Fenix E01:https://i.imgur.com/qyFo1JM.jpg )
- high-CRI output (thanks to the Yuji 5mm LEDs)
- small (71 mm x 14.2 mm)
- light-weight
- cheap (Sofirn stated 6 USD)
- constant-current
- no (visible) pwm flickering
- simple operation (single mode
- preferably true battery vampire which also works with on a drained battery with a voltage lower that 0.9 Volts
- long runtime (first regulated, and with depleted battery also long unregulated runtime) (design goal is at least the runtime of a Fenix E01)
- waterproof (IPX8)
- tailstand capability
- runs on plain AAA batteries (alkaline, NiMH, or L92 lithium primaries)
- preferably a polished aluminum reflector for at least some throw to increase to usefulness of the <10 lumen light output

What would be good use cases for such a low-lumen light (around 10 lumen)?
- gift light suiteable for non-flashaholics or children
- reliable back-up light (for scenario’s where you want the Fenix E01 as a second backup for your first backup light)
- stash-away light (coupled with a lithium primary for stashing away in your car, survival bag, medical kit)
- keychain light for people prioritizing robustness over lumens output.

Why not a do-it-yourself mod of the Fenix E01?
Because of the potting of the electronics, a do-it-yourself mod of the Fenix E01 is quite a hassle.
And after modding, the light will be less reliable because of removing the potting. There is also a chance of damaging the electronics when removing the potting. There is a real chance of damaging a Fenix E01 if you try to mod it yourself. Modding would also result in lower reliability afterwards.

Edited by: slowtechstef on 12/07/2018 - 17:57
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So what do others think of the Sofirn C01?

djozz on BLF (2018-11-11)

Quote:
The output is low and the beam is flood, this light has no punch whatsoever. I kept it in my pocket for weeks together with an E2L triple shorty EDC (also 3000K extreme CRI but 1000+ lumen at max) and in no circumstance that I needed some light for a moment I decided to pick the C01.
But the C01 has already been a nightstand light for my son when we stayed in a hotel (he’s afraid for total dark), doubling as his donald duck reading light in the morning when I was still asleep. For the nightstand duty the diffuser of the Lumintop Worm worked quite perfectly (btw, Barry will try to source a suitable diffuser for the C01 for selling separately). I check the mailbox with the C01 as well. And there’s always the people who want a light that always works when everything else fails, the C01 may prove to be that light over time. At least Sofirn has tried to copy that feature from the Fenix E01. The 95CRI may not be needed for this function but it does not hurt either Smile . I can confirm that the 5 to 7 lumen flood of the C01 will sufficienty light your path in the woods when it is totally dark (it will not spot the bear in the distance Silly ).

parametrek on /r/flashlight (2018-11-27)

Quote:
I’m still surprised that a manufacturer listened to and acted promptly on community requests.

slowtechstef on BLF (2018-11-27)

Quote:
Sofirn was perfectly right to label the C01 “New BLF Sepcial light”.
This is no spelling mistake but an acronym:
Safe&simple, Endless-runtime, Pocketable, Commemorative clone, high-crI, A-class reliability, Low-lumen.

Henk4U2 on BLF (2018-11-30)

Quote:
Ordered nov. 10th, arrived nov. 26th, so that was pretty fast!
First impression: very well manufactured, especially for that price.
Closer look: petite, but certainly not feeling as fragile as other AAA lights.
And of course quality in the details, such as the noir/djozz-tail.
Have not (yet) tried the clip, but it sure does not feel flimsy.
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Specifications (partly tongue-in-cheek) wink

User Manual

https://i.imgur.com/Fnvwv8x.jpg

Model:

  • Sofirn C01

Light source:

  • 1 Yuji 5 mm through hole LED (YJ-BC-F5-G01) (Datasheet)
  • 60 degrees LED for floody beam

LED life:

  • unbreakable bulb (encapsulant material epoxy resin)
  • over 100.000 hours on high setting
  • bulb never needs replacing

CCT (color temperature):

  • 3200K
  • 5600K
  • 4400K when combining 3200K and 5600K models
 

CRI (color rendering):

  • Ra > 93
  • R9 > 60
  • superior color rendering
  • highest CRI values in a traditional 5mm LED form factor

Driver:

  • 25 mA current at LED in order not to decrease LED lifetime by overdriving it
  • graceful degradation with empty battery, no sudden unexpected darkness
  • approximately 60 mA current at battery when it is full
  • no PWM; no visible flickering
  • no parasitic drain when flashlight is off
  • driver board potted with thermal epoxy for increased resilience and waterproofness
  • joule thief / battery vampire circuit will suck every last Joule out of a battery 

Power source:

  • single 1.5 Volt AAA sized cell
  • alkaline primary (LR03)
  • zinc-carbon, zinc chloride primary (R03)
  • lithium-iron-disulfide (LiFeS2) primary (FR03)
  • nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable (low self discharge version such as Eneloop recommended) (KR03)
  • nickel-cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable (sale banned in European Union)
 (HR03)
  • AAAA sized or cylindrical cells from alkaline 9 Volt (6LR61) batteries with do-it-yourself aluminum foil piece adapter
  • CAUTION: do NOT use 10440 Li-Ion (3.7 Volt) or 10440 LiFePO4 (3.2 Volt) cells; they will destroy the driver and LED of your flashlight

Battery-flashlight combination shelf life:

  • 20 years with 95 percent of original capacity (Energizer Lithium LiFeS2 AAA primaries)
  • 10 years with 70 percent of original capacity (Eneloop NiMH BK-4MCC A/E AAA rechargeables)
  • CAUTION: do NOT store alkaline cells in your flashlight; they will start leaking and destroy your flashlight

Runtime with full AAA alkaline cell:

  • low (3200K 6 lumens / 5600K 8 lumens): 20 hours (battery voltage > 1.0 Volt)
  • moonlight low (<1 lumen): 13+ hours  (battery voltage < 1.0 Volt
)
  • desired output setting can be selected by switching between full or empty battery
  • runtime depends on temperature; lower temperature means lower runtime

User interface:

  • twist head to left for on while holding battery tube
  • twist head to right for off while holding battery tube

Waterproofness:

  • IPX8 at 2 meter

Operation temperature range:

  • depends on battery chemistry
  • lithium primaries are rated for -40 to +60 degrees Celcius

Weight flashlight:

  • 13 g (0.21oz) without battery

Weight battery:

  • alkaline AAA primary: 11.5g (0.41oz)
  • lithium AAA primary: 7.6g (0.27oz)
  • NiMH AAA rechargeable: 14-15g (0.49-0.53oz)
  • alkaline AAAA primary: 6.5g (0.23oz)


Dimensions:

  • 71.1mm (length) by 14.5mm (head diameter)

Material:

  • T6061 aluminium

Color:

  • black
  • blue (limited edition)
  • red (limited edition)


Options:

  • center-hanging split ring (included)
  • reversable pocket clip for use as hat light (included)
  • user-installable tritium vial (diameter 1.5mm; length 6mm; available from e.g. mixglo.com, banggood.com, ebay)
  • user-installable magnet (diameter 5mm; height 3mm; N52 is highest magnetic strength; available from e.g. fasttech.com; banggood.com)
  • user-installable diffuser (create DIY-cap from small lip balm)

CAUTION 

  • The areas where the PCB comes in contact with the body tube are small, they might need some cleaning now and then. There might be a potential issue where after thousands of on/off cycles the areas get worn out; djozz developed "a fix while it ain’t broken".
  • The Sofirn C01 is a flashlight with a potted driver, that means it is NOT mod-friendly; trying to open up its head might destroy the driver.
  • The Sofirn C01 has no low voltage protection by design; remove rechargeable NiMH cell when flashlight starts to dim to moonlight level if you want to prevent accelerated ageing of the NiMH cell.
  • The Sofirn C01 is not tested and not certified for use as intrinsically safe light.
  • The included pocket clip is made from metal that is painted black, some people have reported the black paint to come off.
  • Remove the included pocket clip at the point where it is attached to the flashlight, otherwise you might break it.
Geuzzz
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I wish you luck on this one. If you manage to get Fenix to do this, I will certainly get a few.

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Geuzzz wrote:
I wish you luck on this one. If you manage to get Fenix to do this, I will certainly get a few.

+1. And it’s a very big if, IMHO. But I’m a sucker for tiny shiny lights.

I always think long and hard before I say something really stupid.

severide
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I’d be interested. Good luck!

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I’d buy one, nice!, but I will admire you if you get Fenix to do special editions on request! (never heard of that)

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djozz wrote:
I’d buy one, nice!, but I will admire you if you get Fenix to do special editions on request! (never heard of that)

It is always good to have dreams. Innocent

In case Fenix would not be interested in such an innovative special edition, then perhaps another good candidate manufacturer for high CRI 5mm Yuji twisty AAA could perhaps be Reylight?

I think the combination of high CRI, high reliablity due to fully potted electronics, high runtime (15+ hours on single AAA battery) at a low price point (sweet point >15 USD) is currently not available commercially. Therefore such a light could be an interesting commercial niche.
Also because it could be attractive to both “flashaholics” as well as “muggles”. Key to selling however, would be explaining to people the benefits of high CRI. And why a potted flashlight at this price point is so special.

I can already imagine a video with torture tests

.
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I would absolutely be in.

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I am in! I’d probably get 2-3 if the price is reasonable. Warm preferred, but will order either way.

As far as E01 torture tests:

5 Story Drop Test

5mm LED AAA Abuse Testing

Edited to add, I have a picture of what we’re going for, but the Sunwayman I previously modded will NOT withstand a 5 story drop. Mine died from a 5’ drop.

2nd Edit – not sure the picture is actually showing up. It will have to wait until after work.

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Vinh at Skylumen has been modding E01’s with Yujis. They’ve been quite well received on the other forum; I have one myself and it’s an amazing little light.

I’d be in for 2, at least.

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I am waiting for Vihn to ship my EO1, so I’m am in. Vinhs are $48 and he doesn’t repot them.

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TheShadowGuy wrote:
Vinh at Skylumen has been modding E01’s with Yujis. They’ve been quite well received on the other forum; I have one myself and it’s an amazing little light.

I’d be in for 2, at least.

Nice! When did this happen?

Last I heard, he had done warm LED mods in the past, but then Fenix changed their potting compound and he could no longer get the driver clean.

And now I see he did a batch of Inova X5vn, too.

I appreciate you bringing this up, although I will first hold out hope for Fenix doing a run. They should be able to afford to sell them at lower cost than Vinh modding them by hand.

Also, the fact that there is interest in this light even at custom prices is more evidence Fenix should do a batch of Yuji E01’s.

TheShadowGuy
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Plus they would still be fully potted. Being cheaper would also make it easier to give them away as gifts. Wink

If Fenix was to sell them at $15, they would be my favorite budget AAA light on the market.

I definitely appreciate Vinh’s work modding these though. They seem tough to crack open and mod, but it also gave me a chance to try a Yuji for the first time.

@richnpc: Nice! What CCT did you get? I got the 3200k variant.

johnpc
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Interested!

Even if Fenix doesn’t take it on, I’d be interested in something comparable.

QwertzHz
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I’d buy one!

zeroair
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I would be in.

Ozythemandias
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In for 2 or 3

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Normally I would be interested but I already have a Yuji GIU and imho a Yuji E01 would not be an improvement.

I highly recommend the Gerber Infinity Ultra as a Yuji host. Easy to mod with low temperature white threadlocker and only the inductor coil is potted. Lots of o-rings. Decent clip for hatlight use. Can use AA or AAA batteries. The “tail switch” is great. Kind of tailstands Smile

Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com

40 brands, 2027 models and still growing!

NEW: sleeping pad search engine, battery database

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Parametrek wrote:
Normally I would be interested but I already have a Yuji GIU and imho a Yuji E01 would not be an improvement.

I highly recommend the Gerber Infinity Ultra as a Yuji host. Easy to mod with low temperature white threadlocker and only the inductor coil is potted. Lots of o-rings. Decent clip for hatlight use. Can use AA or AAA batteries. The “tail switch” is great. Kind of tailstands Smile

Thanks for your suggestion for the Gerber Infinity Ultra (AA/AAA) as a “cockroach” light with high CRI emitter.
That one is certainly an attractive light as well Smile

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On the Gerber site, the Infinity has a MRSP of $22, AKA €18.50 in our currency.
I can buy it on Amazon.de for €33.95 and I have to pay €9.80 for shipping from Germany to where I live.
Only speaking for myself: not an option if you live in Europe.

I always think long and hard before I say something really stupid.

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Output is way lower also on the Gerber.

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I think what is important here is to keep in mind the general design pattern of a high CRI cockroach light, a niche that is currently not addressed in the flashlight market:

1. high CRI (Yuji 5 mm led)
2. high reliability (twisty design, potted electronics, single mode, robust 5mm led that does not need a lens)
3. low-price (simple design, cheap 5 mm LED)
4. long runtime on readily available cells (AAA / AA alkaline cells) with battery vampire driver

Hopefully Fenix is interested in making a high CRI cockroach flashlight, because they only need to swap in the Yuji led in their E01 and all would be great, because they already have a good driver and reliable potting.

However if they are not interested, than I would be more than happy if another manufacturer (Lumintop?, Reylight?, Thorfire/Sofirn?) produces a Fenix E01 clone as long as they put in the Yuji 5 mm led, and fully encapsulate the driver with a good quality potting material.

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Hi Stef, if a light must be designed from scratch, I like to be in for helping with ideas and contacts.

A website thing: if you keep the interest list in the second post, every update gets subscribers of this thread a notification email (if notification mails are turned on like I have) and a click on the link in the mail gets you to the updated list instead of new posts in this thread. If the list is in the first post this does not happen, updates of the first post do not generate notification mails.

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> Wants a cockroach light
> Suggests Reylight or Thorfire/Sofrin

. . . . .

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djozz wrote:
A website thing: if you keep the interest list in the second post, every update gets subscribers of this thread a notification email (if notification mails are turned on like I have) and a click on the link in the mail gets you to the updated list instead of new posts in this thread. If the list is in the first post this does not happen, updates of the first post do not generate notification mails.

thanks I move the interest list to the first post Big Smile

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So to explain what this initiative is about:

Basically I and other flashlight lovers as well want a high CRI flashlight that has the reliability of a HDS but only costs 15 USD.
Currently this particular combination of flashlight parameters is not commercially available.
A really simple solution to this unaddressed need is modding a Fenix E01 (high reliability) with a Yuji 5mm led (high CRI).

However instead of hacking the E01 flashlight itself, with the leverage of the BLF (and possibly other flashlight communities such as CPF or TLF) collectively we can hack Fenix the company, to do the modding work for us.

Let’s call this process meta-hacking Innocent

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Ozythemandias wrote:
> Wants a cockroach light
> Suggests Reylight or Thorfire/Sofrin

. . . . .

If we tell them how to built it, they can do it.
Then on the definition of cockroach light:
- cheap
- reliable (potted electronics)
- long runtime on common alkaline cells (battery vampire circuit)
- simple twisty design

Any Chinese flashlight manufacturer can built such a flashlight by copying the Fenix E01 design and put in Yuji LED. Given they are willing to do so. Let us provide them the motivation by making clear there are buyers.

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I’m no expert, but I think potting shitty electronics might still result in an unreliable light

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bmengineer wrote:
I’m no expert, but I think potting shitty electronics might still result in an unreliable light

Absolutely true: garbage in, garbage out Silly

That is why Fenix is the number 1 choice for this project as they have a track record for building reliable stuff.

If that option does not work out, I am sure there is enough expertise in the international flashlight enthusiast comminity to design a driver that is at least as reliable as the one in the Fenix E01. If not by just simply cloning it.

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I am no electrical engineer, perhaps someone could chime in to explain how to build uber-reliable (flashlight) driver boards. I am certain though that potting by encapsulation makes circuits able to better withstand environmental stress such as vibration, temperature shock, moist.

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