Sofirn SF13 2×AA - First Impressions

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LEDlove
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peg matite wrote:
Looks a good bit like the Zanflare F2.

I don’t think it’s all that much brighter either. I got mine last Saturday and have been doing some more comparisons at different distances and in different environments and I don’t think it’s as bright as they say. When I compare my 130 lumen energizer to the Sofirn SF13 in turbo mode, it’s about twice as bright, which would put it at 260 or maybe 280 lumens. Even if it was 320 lumens, it’s still 100 lumens lower than what the unit I have is advertised as. I think I either got the older version, or the 420 lumen figure is based on using 14500 cells instead of AA, even though they specify AA.

Serlite
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LEDlove wrote:
peg matite wrote:
Looks a good bit like the Zanflare F2.

I don’t think it’s all that much brighter either. I got mine last Saturday and have been doing some more comparisons at different distances and in different environments and I don’t think it’s as bright as they say. When I compare my 130 lumen energizer to the Sofirn SF13 in turbo mode, it’s about twice as bright, which would put it at 260 or maybe 280 lumens. Even if it was 320 lumens, it’s still 100 lumens lower than what the unit I have is advertised as. I think I either got the older version, or the 420 lumen figure is based on using 14500 cells instead of AA, even though they specify AA.

I know I’ve read somewhere around these forums that perceived brightness doesn’t correspond consistently with actual lumen output. Stuff like how a light that’s technically twice as bright as another only appears 1.5x as bright, or something like that. So it could actually be outputting closer to 420lm, but only appearing twice as bright as 130lm rather than three times as bright.

SIGShooter
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LEDlove wrote:
peg matite wrote:
Looks a good bit like the Zanflare F2.

I don’t think it’s all that much brighter either. I got mine last Saturday and have been doing some more comparisons at different distances and in different environments and I don’t think it’s as bright as they say. When I compare my 130 lumen energizer to the Sofirn SF13 in turbo mode, it’s about twice as bright, which would put it at 260 or maybe 280 lumens. Even if it was 320 lumens, it’s still 100 lumens lower than what the unit I have is advertised as. I think I either got the older version, or the 420 lumen figure is based on using 14500 cells instead of AA, even though they specify AA.


Using 14500’s in the SF13 will likely result in magic smoke since the driver is rated at 1.6 to 3.2v. Even a single 14500 with a dummy cell will be over the rated voltage so I highly doubt they used 14500’s in their rating.

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LEDlove
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Serlite wrote:
LEDlove wrote:
peg matite wrote:
Looks a good bit like the Zanflare F2.

I don’t think it’s all that much brighter either. I got mine last Saturday and have been doing some more comparisons at different distances and in different environments and I don’t think it’s as bright as they say. When I compare my 130 lumen energizer to the Sofirn SF13 in turbo mode, it’s about twice as bright, which would put it at 260 or maybe 280 lumens. Even if it was 320 lumens, it’s still 100 lumens lower than what the unit I have is advertised as. I think I either got the older version, or the 420 lumen figure is based on using 14500 cells instead of AA, even though they specify AA.

I know I’ve read somewhere around these forums that perceived brightness doesn’t correspond consistently with actual lumen output. Stuff like how a light that’s technically twice as bright as another only appears 1.5x as bright, or something like that. So it could actually be outputting closer to 420lm, but only appearing twice as bright as 130lm rather than three times as bright.

You could be right.

LEDlove
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SIGShooter wrote:
LEDlove wrote:
peg matite wrote:
Looks a good bit like the Zanflare F2.

I don’t think it’s all that much brighter either. I got mine last Saturday and have been doing some more comparisons at different distances and in different environments and I don’t think it’s as bright as they say. When I compare my 130 lumen energizer to the Sofirn SF13 in turbo mode, it’s about twice as bright, which would put it at 260 or maybe 280 lumens. Even if it was 320 lumens, it’s still 100 lumens lower than what the unit I have is advertised as. I think I either got the older version, or the 420 lumen figure is based on using 14500 cells instead of AA, even though they specify AA.


Using 14500’s in the SF13 will likely result in magic smoke since the driver is rated at 1.6 to 3.2v. Even a single 14500 with a dummy cell will be over the rated voltage so I highly doubt they used 14500’s in their rating.

I guess I won’t be trying that then. I’m using 1.2V NiMH batteries instead of 1.5V alkalines. I haven’t tried alkalines yet, but maybe I should do it to compare if they’re a bit brighter due to the 2 alkalines having a combined increase of .6 volts over the NiMH.

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They won’t be brighter, at all.

See, alkalines have very high internal resistance.

That means for anything over 50-100mA, they lose a ton of capacity and a lot of power.

Also, their discharge is more of a linear curve, as they fall very quickly down from 1,5V, while NiMH stays at 1,2V average voltage for the entirety of the discharge.

TLDR: LSD NiMH cells crush everything alkaline does, even matching it in long term self-discharge.

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LEDlove
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BlueSwordM wrote:
They won’t be brighter, at all.

See, alkalines have very high internal resistance.

That means for anything over 50-100mA, they lose a ton of capacity and a lot of power.

Also, their discharge is more of a linear curve, as they fall very quickly down from 1,5V, while NiMH stays at 1,2V average voltage for the entirety of the discharge.

TLDR: LSD NiMH cells crush everything alkaline does, even matching it in long term self-discharge.

This explains why my digital camera actually works with NiMH batteries while alkalines won’t work for more than a couple minutes after putting fresh ones in the camera. The alkalines still test as very good, but my camera sees them as dead.

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Phlogiston:
Could you please tell me how to turn the light on in low mode? The instructions say that “fast clicking” it on from when its off activates memory mode and turns it on in the last mode it was in. But for me, it comes on in the last mode it was in no matter how slowly I turn it on. Sometimes I want it to come on in low mode, but comes on in turbo if that’s what I last used.

Jackie
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good small light, i bought one last month, and it update to 420lm already

Hellie112
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Hellie112 wrote:
The second unit I received had more glue inside and was a lot harder to open.

Just received two SF13 “420 lm version” (ordered during the spring sale for giving away to friends). And I can report that the bezels on these two units aren’t glued.

SKV89
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Bezels arent glued. I modded three of them last week with e21A 9080 and Optisolis. Works well except I dont like the UI as much as the SF14

Phlogiston
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LEDlove wrote:
Phlogiston: Could you please tell me how to turn the light on in low mode? The instructions say that “fast clicking” it on from when its off activates memory mode and turns it on in the last mode it was in. But for me, it comes on in the last mode it was in no matter how slowly I turn it on. Sometimes I want it to come on in low mode, but comes on in turbo if that’s what I last used.

As far as I know, there’s no short cut to low. The light always uses mode memory.

The manual’s not very good, shall we say. Just as an example, the German part of my manual actually refers to a completely different light!

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SKV89 wrote:
Bezels arent glued. I modded three of them last week with e21A 9080 and Optisolis. Works well except I dont like the UI as much as the SF14

Which PCB are you using for those mods? Is that for both the SF13 and SF14?

What are you using for an optic/reflector, and does it work reasonably well with the Optisolis?

If you’ve come up with a good combo, this seems like a cost-effective way to get rare emitters into practical lights.

SKV89
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16mm vr16 mcpcb from virence.com. I buy them presoldered. It fits the sf13 and sf14 v1 but does not fit the sf14 v2 because they decreased the mcpcb to I think 15 or 14 cm. Too bad the sf14 v1 not available anymore.

hank
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Quote:
the one I received 2 days ago is the 420 lumen version.

I’m curious where the difference arises between the second 420 lumen version, and the first SF13 320 lumen version.

That’s about a $3 price difference, while both versions are still available.
Better driver design? Both claim XPG2; any way it’s a better emitter?

I’m thinking at least these look easy to mod, as I like to swap in amber emitters.

EDIT: I asked Sofirn and was told there’s no difference between v1 and v2.
Curious, that.

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Quote:
Strangely, strobe is specified at 420 lumens for 28 minutes, just like turbo, when I’d expect longer, given that the light is off and presumably using less power between flashes.

I have a hunch about that: cycling the driver on and off probably takes a lot of power relative to keeping the LED illuminated.

I recall many years ago reading a comment from Gransee (in a discussion at CPF) who originated the Arc AAA lights — saying that once the light dropped into moon mode due to low battery, you’d get more light for longer by leaving it turned on than by turning it on and off at need, because powering up the driver sucked significant battery power each time you turned the light from off to on.

I have been wondering how the V2 model differs from the V1 — anybody know?
Both old and new models are for sale witha few dollars difference.

If the newer driver is better, for modding, it’d be worth paying more.
If it’s a different LED, which I“d expect to swap out anyhow, not so much.

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I asked Sofirn by PM what’s the difference between v1 and v2 of the SF13.

Quote:
Actually they are the same. just two listings for the same products. By the way, SF13 is an old model which has no new batch for a long time. Maybe there will be an upgraded version, maybe not. The inventory has not many left. Be quick if you need one. link on sofirnlight.com:https://sofirnlight.com/collections/flashlights/products/sofirn-sf13-aa-...

Last chance! I grabbed a couple since I mod them for older (than me) neighbors.

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