The general Sofirn development thread

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Sofirn
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I don’t like the style too.

it’s very diffcult to design one without looking like any other brands. We are trying to design a unique looking for Sofirn. It’s really hard, most every style has been tried. I think all we can do is do some small design on some existed design.

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Tailfins.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

JasonWW
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Probably the best you can hope for is a design that does not look ugly.
Mediocre or average looking is just fine by me.
It’s probably more important that it fit the hand well with no odd shapes or pointy bits. Make the button easy to find in the dark, etc… If people think it looks pretty, that’s a bonus.

I’m a flashlight user, not a collector. A collector might have a completely different point of view.

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teacher
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I agree Jason. Unless a light is just flat out dog ugly…. I much prefer function over form.
Sure… make it as appealing to the eye as possible, but the main thing is how it functions. Get that right & it’ll be a winner. Thumbs Up

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

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DavidEF
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I think most potential customers won’t mind if it is similar in appearance to other lights, especially popular styles like the ubiquitous C8 style or the Eagle Eye X6. But, you can take a style like that and make some small change, (hopefully improvement) and make it your own.

Maybe take a classic that hasn’t yet been updated to a 21700 size, and do that, and maybe add one or two very small aesthetic changes, and you will have a totally new light that’s never been done before!

Another possibility is take two different designs that have had some amount of popularity, and merge them somehow, taking some design elements from each of the ‘parents’ to make a nice looking new light.

Here’s another that will be a sure winner: Look at lights that have been popular over the years, but for some reason were discontinued while still fairly desirable. I’m not talking about lights that buyers got tired of, and caused sales to wane. I mean lights that people still liked, but the manufacturers decided to move on and drop them. Resurrect an old design, update it with new internals, and maybe make very small changes to the outside to make it your own design.

One thing a lot of people might never think about: look at lights that are ‘too cheap’ but are otherwise a decent design. There are lots of lights that never become truly popular only because of how badly they are made. I’ve seen reviews here on BLF of lights that looked good, but were found to lack inner quality. Those lights most people wouldn’t know about, because nobody wants to buy them. But, if they were made well, the design might be irresistible! You can take the design, improve the quality, and release a unique product that people will love. If you just look through the massive collections on sites like Banggood, Gearbest, AliExpress, and Amazon, you can find plenty of these.

Last idea from me: Read reviews – lots of them! Find out what people like and what they don’t like about the lights we already have available to us. Take those ideas and make a new light that improves upon those existing designs based on that ‘feedback’ in the reviews. Read through the comments below the reviews too. Even the audience has some insightful things to say at times. Wink

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I have many chargers but I still like having USB charging. Especially with Type C. And even more so when this acts as a powebank.
Why?
Because I’m backpacking – extra charger is a needles bulk to carry around. But then….that’s why I have not bought any Sofirn light yet.
They tend to be large and heavy, totally not my style.

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I like the 2*18650 side by side format (like Fenix TK35, Nitecore SRT9 etc). I would like to see a Sofirn light use this format with a reflector the size of C8 reflector or smaller, NarsilM / Anduril and two independent switches (side electronic switch = NarsilM / Anduril as we know it, recessed back electronic switch for only momentary on turbo, not on/off). Use a XHP35 or an SST-20 for a thrower version (and ~2k lumens turbo) and a XHP70.2 for a flooder version (and ~3.5k lumens turbo).

I’d also like a 1*18650 tube flashlight with deep carry clip and the UI I described above with the two switches (side = NarsilM/ Anduril, back = momentary turbo only). In that case, the sidebutton should be recessed so it won’t be activated in pocket, ever. Also, electronic lockout should only affect the side switch, momentary turbo should always work as long as it isn’t locked out by unscrewing the switch cap.

18650 or 21700 or 26650 flashlight which uses two different emitters for different cases (like Rofis MR70).

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

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Talking about nice designs that are discontinued (as David suggested), have a look at the Lucky Sun flashlights. They had a good body quality and distinct aestetics that was appreciated by many, but their drivers and performance was mediocre.

I would love to see a LuckySun D80 style flashlight coming back, and think that the LuckySun F3X looks much better than the Sofirn C8F triples, it has much better finning too.

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BlueSwordM wrote:
@Sofirn, since the SST-20 is throwier than the XP-L HI, why not try and make a Sofirn SP31 V3.0 with the SST-20 5000k?

Not only is the LED cheaper than the XP-L HI by quite a bit, but it also throws farther, so it would be a good direct upgrade to the SP31.

I heard a lot off: 5000K is green in low modes.
Is it better now?

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The aesthetic comments are similar to those who prefer throw vs flood. It seems as if you need two versions of every body style light.

I have almost no use for throw. I thought the new light looks interesting but I think it is hard to imagine how such a thing would feel in your hand. I would like to see the crenelations on the bezel be deeper. Maybe 3mm minimum so if the light is on and head standing, more light is able to escape.

On the other hand, I need to look into this “x5 pro”.

Sofirn
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it seems more and more brands sell battery with charging port, then the flashlight with battery called rechargeable light.

What are advantages and disadvantages of this battery?

How do you guys think about it?

BlueSwordM
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The advantage of this battery is that you can use it in multiple lights, and you can still charge it via USB.

However, the disadvantages are:
1. You can’t swap the battery on the fly. You will need to wait and charge the battery via USB, which can be very useful.
2. It will be a bit more expensive than no-recharge port batteries.
3. The battery will be bigger, which some lights may not fit.
4. The battery will be limited in performance. In lights like the C8F, Sofirn SP36, and BLF Q8, and even Sofirn SP32A V2, it will be limiting the amount of power you can drain.
5. You lose a bit of capacity.
6. Like all protected batteries, you lose capacity more quickly. Therefore, it can’t be stored for as long.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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I think USB chargers in lights is a good idea. I don’t need it, but it can be convenient. But USB charger built into the battery? No thanks! I want the battery to be completely uninhibited! Nothing added to it except maybe a good quality button top.

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teacher
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I would much rather have a USB Charging port in a battery than a light. That way those who want USB Charging can have it and the manufacture does not have to put a USB port in the flashlight.

So it seems a great way to ‘not’ have to make an unnessary hole in a light for a USB port…. a win – win for everyone!! . Thumbs Up . Wink

  • Cost of light can be kept down not having to add a USB port
  • Those who want USB charging can buy a battery with a USB port

Like I said… win – win for everyone.

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

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contactcr
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It’s not a win win.

If they support those garbage batteries they have to make all their flashlights longer with poor quality springs.

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Well stated, teacher.

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@teacher and Pete, for once, I have to disagree with you.

USB ports should just be hidden inside of the flashlight, like the Zanflare F1 and Night watch NA40 SE.

@contactr, absolutely.

It may also restrict compatibility with smaller flat top cells.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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Sofirn wrote:
it seems more and more brands sell battery with charging port, then the flashlight with battery called rechargeable light.

What are advantages and disadvantages of this battery?

How do you guys think about it?


I think those batteries are junk and should be avoided. So many of them fail. I’ll post up some examples of them failing once I find it. I saw it somewhere here on blf. Sometimes the charging circuits go bad, sometimes the batteries leak.

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teacher
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contactcr wrote:
It’s not a win win.

If they support those garbage batteries they have to make all their flashlights longer with poor quality springs.

Well, I cannot argue with that. They Some of those are crappy batteries & it might possibly take less than optimal design changes in some lights to accommodate them. That would be a lose for sure. Facepalm . Sad

EDIT: But in my experiejce, all batteries with a USB port are not junk. I have a few that came with lights I bought & to date (a bit over 3 years) none of them have given any problems. No, I do not use them in high powered bigh drain lights; but that is not what they were designed for. Used within their limitations they work just fine & can be handy at times. And in most lights I have no trouble using batteries with a USB Charging port or regular unprotected batteries.

But, I shall just revert back to my original stance of No USB Charging…. First stated in THIS EPIC POST . Wink

…..

Pete7874 wrote:
Well stated, teacher.
Thank you Pete!! I had to modify it but hope you still approve. Wink

……

BlueSwordM wrote:
@teacher and Pete, for once, I have to disagree with you.

USB ports should just be hidden inside of the flashlight, like the Zanflare F1 and Night watch NA40 SE.

If a particular light ‘must’ have USB Charging….. simply “must” …… then as I stated in THIS EPIC POST , partially quoted below….. It should absolutely be done as option #2 states. BSM also is a proponent of this it appears. Thumbs Up

However, I still strongly feel that options 1 & 3 (except for a very few selected lights) are the best solutions.

Those solutions being No USB Charging….. ymmv

teacher wrote:

If a particular light is cbosen to have USB Charging…..
… cover it like the Zanflare F1 or Nitecore HC50 & HC60.
  • 1. But the best solution for USB Charging is to not have it…. in my humble opinion of course. . Wink
  • 2. Second best solution for USB Charging is a covered & sealed USB port in the threads, as mentioned above.
  • 3. Third best solution for USB Charging…. Do not have USB Charging.

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

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I like USB rechargeable batteries. Sometimes I need rechargability and the light of my choice lacks it – they are the best solution. I especially like the Folomov one that doubles as a powerbank, though I don’t have one yet.

I also like rechargable 18650 from Klarus – because they included a good cell with a low-resistance circuit and rate their cell for 10A continuous discharge. I haven’t seen it tested, but that’s not some unbelievable claim….

BlueSwordM – I have no idea why would you be unable to swap cells. I do it all the time.

ADDED:
But I’d like to make it clear that I prefer to have a charger built-in. That’s because:

  • it just more comfortable to plug a cable into light than to screw-remove cell-plug-put cell back-screw back
  • I have a better choice of the cells
  • USB cell just feels like a hack. A useful one but still a hack.
  • there are no USB cells with Type C connectors

teacher
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Your right Agro (about the batteries with the USB Port). I rethought my post above yours & edited it. . Thumbs Up

ADDED: …. But I do not like a USB Port in the flashlight itself, except as I have stated previously. Do it for a very limited number of lights & do it with a concealed port in the threads of the light that is hidden & sealed by O-ring.

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

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My suggestion to Sofirn: Diversification!

Have two product lines:

a) one for - sorry for my language - "muggles", i.e. your grandmum, your uncle, your naughty little niece...whoever is not familiar with proper handling of lithium-ion batteries.

These flashlights, like Sofirn's SC31, will be equipped with a USB-charging port, covered by an unmissable rubber plug that even grandma can pry open without her glasses. Wink For more safety, these flashlights will come with a protected battery, so everyone can sleep well when handing these lights to his/her loved ones. Usually, this target group is not up to big lumen output, maximum endurance and HighCRI frenzy, that's why you could focus on a specific assortment of lights, like SC31 and maybe even SP31 V2.0. These kind of lights could also be glued if necessary as most people would not try to mod/enhance them.

 

b) one for the flash'o'holics, the experts, the enthusiasts, the evangelists, in a nutshell: all those who want to get the best out of the flashlight and who are well-informed about proper charging and handling of unprotected high-drain batteries.

I'm suggesting this group of people would prefer to not have an outside USB charging port and not use protected USB-rechargeable batteries in their lights. Instead, please refrain from using USB-charging in return of less material cost, maximum endurance, maximum performance and 100% IPX8 waterproofness. These customers may even pickily select their batteries for best results and most important - they prefer to have not-glued drivers, bezels etc.. Personally, I'm very glad that Sofirn's Q8 or C8F come without USB charging, so I could throw them into a river (if I wanted to) without worrying about water ingress or a failing circuit due to a defective/worn-out USB port. The only compromise I think I agree upon was the internal USB-charging port, hidden in the flashlight's threads like Zanflare F1.

teacher
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/\ . Very well said Lux-Perpetua. .. Thumbs Up

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

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Lux-Perpetua – I strongly disagree. Even non-muyggle people (at least some) like to take high-end flashlight on a vacation without any charger. If you don’t want to use usb charging then just don’t. Also I’d not expect any significant cost side effect, as you can have whole usb charging module for just $0.20 (see aliexpress tp4056 usb charging module). Making more models with small differences is not really any benefit from mnf and logistic point of view. Also there is no problem to make usb charging waterproof without rubber flap. Because one way, how to make it, is bad, does not mean it’s always bad.

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I also strongly disagree that built-in charging is only for muggles, though I agree that separating muggle and enthusiast lines make sense.

I just extended my previous post to clarify that I prefer to have a charger built-in.

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I believe the next step of on-board charging is making USB charging ports waterproof even with the cover open (I can’t remember which flashlight has one of these, I think it’s an Olight?). In that case, yes, please add on-board USB charging. I won’t usually use it but if I need to, it will be there.

Also, I’d want to see more flashlights having better than IPX8 rating (e.g. 10 meters submersible for 6 hours).

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

JasonWW
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JasonWW wrote:
Sofirn wrote:
it seems more and more brands sell battery with charging port, then the flashlight with battery called rechargeable light.

What are advantages and disadvantages of this battery?

How do you guys think about it?


I think those batteries are junk and should be avoided. So many of them fail. I’ll post up some examples of them failing once I find it. I saw it somewhere here on blf. Sometimes the charging circuits go bad, sometimes the batteries leak.

Here is a qoute from Freeme who had two of this style battery fail.

freeme wrote:

Avoid battery with built-in charger. My brand new KLARUS went into self-destruction when i kept it in the box alone for less than 3 months.My other Nitecore NL1826R anode became hot (>50°C) when i removed from a Nitecore light. Top plastic cover deformed by the heat. 



From this thread.

Of course some people have not had any problems with built in usb charging batteries like here.

Whether they are reliable or tend to fail might be due to the company that makes them. It’s possible several flashlight brands may be ordering batteries from a single company that makes this style of combo battery. I don’t think anyone knows. We would need to do a lot more research on the failed batteries.

I don’t have time to do all that so I’d rather just buy an OEM battery (Samsung, Panasonic, etc…) or a known good brand and be done with it. It’s cheaper and you know it’s reliable.

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PBWilson
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I’m not interested in batteries with built in chargers for several reasons (which may have been mentioned above).

-I prefer name-brand batteries with particular performance characteristics. I prefer GA, VTC6 and 30Q cells because they have performed very well for many, many users and are good matches for the lights I buy. I don’t want to use a lesser cell just so I can have the charging capability.
-I would prefer smaller lights and ones that work consistently with unprotected cells. Longer springs that might not perform as well as pills, higher quality springs or pogo pins might have to be used to accommodate a wide variety of cell lengths.
-I think I’d trust a charging system built into a light because they give me the impression that the company might be more willing to put a higher performance system in a light rather than a smaller, possibly more fragile and less sophisticated circuit and hardware into a $5 piece. It’s the reason I perfer LVP in a light rather than in a battery. Maybe I’m misguided, but it makes more sense to me.

I too would like charging systems left out of lights but it appears that they are here to stay. I agree with many of the posts above that one set into the threads and protected from the elements is the way to go. I’ve got six lights with charging systems and only one has a decent rubber cover. One has a metal snap-on charger. The rest are either ok or completely worthless.

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I still would like to see some more emphasis on smaller 18650 lights. If Sofirn could design lights in the D4 or FW3A size range, I’d be very willing to buy them over Convoy S2+-sized lights. Smaller tailcaps and TIR optics would be nice. They wouldn’t need to be hot rods either (although that might be cool!).

I’d also like to see the SP33 made into a triple or quad optic light. 2000 lumens is very nice for a light this size but I’d like to see something twice as powerful.

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it will be a heat sink issue for a small but very powerful light, if light be made with step down or temperature control system, people will complain the short time turbo.

If you add an fan in the light like the PC or laptop, it will be a huge light. I was wondering if there are any other way to help cooling but won’t make the light too big. Liquid cooling?

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