[Review] Sofirn C8A from 77 Outdoor - a C8 with an XP-L2

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gchart
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[Review] Sofirn C8A from 77 Outdoor - a C8 with an XP-L2

Sofirn C8A from 77 Outdoor

I was kindly offered this light for review by 77 Outdoor (prior to their account being removed). There’s been some discussion about 77 Outdoor, and I won’t touch that here except to say that my experience with them has been positive. As with any reviews I do, I have made my best attempt at keeping all remarks honest, fair, and impartial.


In the Box: the C8A arrived in a plain but sturdy brown box with a 3000 mAh Sofirn-branded battery, a basic charger, and a micro USB cable.


Overview: the C8A has the appearance of your typical C8 flashlight, but rather than focusing on throw (see what I did there?), it mixes things up with an XP-L2 driven by a FET driver for some serious lumens.


What I Like:

  • As usual for Sofirn, it has nice quality: lubed square-cut threads, even anodizing, and a very solid feel to it
  • Decent CCT: also typical of Sofirn, it’s just on the cool solid of neutral
  • Two different mode group options (Low-Med-High-Turbo-SOS or Med-High-Turbo)
  • Output is really good, lots of lumens for a stock, commonly available light
  • Low battery shutoff worked properly, shutting down at 2.88V in my test
  • The saddle shape of the tailcap is nice, it would be easier to press with s gloved hand than the Convoy C8 where there’s a full time around the button
  • For those that need a battery and charger, offering this as a kit is pretty convenient


What Could be Improved:

  • The anodizing is a bit too shiny for me, it seems to have a higher sheen than most of my Sofirn lights (including a Sofirn C8 host), so I’m not sure if this was just an odd batch or what
  • The beam of the XP-L2 looks like the beam of an XP-L2… looks a bit like a fried egg. Not great if you’re staring at white walls, but not terrible out and about.
  • The default mode group has SOS included, that seems like a really strange choice. And if you switch to the other group, you no longer have to deal with SOS but then you also lose the low/moonlight mode


Lumens and Current: (turbo was measured immediately upon start-up, not after 30s)


Low Mid High Turbo
Measured Lumens 1.5 lm 104 lm 758 lm 2502 lm
Measured Current 75 mA 196 mA 1.735 A 7.15 A


Runtime Measurements:
The C8A output stayed pretty steady for the first minute, then started ramping down until it hit 3 minutes. It then slowly tapered down until it shut off around 175 minutes I took a few temperature readings (still room, no wind or other cooling) and it never got above 48°C.


Conclusion:
This light challenges what I usually think of when I think “C8”. Before this, every C8 I’ve owned and built was made for throw: usually XP-L HI or other dedomed LEDs. This one isn’t purely a thrower, but due to the immense output, it still throws pretty well. Overall, it seems pretty nice if you’d like a mix of throw and spill.

And now for some comparison shots:

Left to right: Convoy C8, Sofirn C8A, Sofirn C8 (from host – note the differences in anodizing)

Edited by: gchart on 04/12/2019 - 07:45
PBWilson
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I also got one after being contacted by 77 Outdoor and got it last night.

I chose the C8A model over the C8T because I generally go for a floody light. It’s my first C8 and I like that this one has nice throw and a good amount of spill like you mentioned.

Mine arrived looking and performing very well. I like that there are actual retaining rings and no glue. I like the attention to detail like lubed threads and including a battery and charger. The insides were clean and the reflector was pristine.

I tried it out last night after dark and it could illuminate the far parts of my property well. I’m glad that I chose the XP-L2 over the HI. I believe that I’ll appreciate the wider spill and my ageing eyes can’t pick out the details at distance anyway. It says the tint is between CW and NW like a number of my other Sofirn lights, but I don’t find it too cold at all.

gchart is right about the smoother anodizing compared to some of my other Sofirn lights. For me it’s just something to note but not an issue. It looks nice and not super shiny and cheap like other inexpensive lights out there.

Since C8 lights are so easy to mod, I had an idea to do so with mine. That was before I had it in hand and was peering into the woods and up into the trees. I like this light. Plain and simple.

Nice work Sofirn!

4492011
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Question, does the c8f host have a shelf so that a single emitter with a deep reflector can be adapted ?

gchart
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4492011 wrote:
Question, does the c8f host have a shelf so that a single emitter with a deep reflector can be adapted ?

It has a shelf, but not one that you could readily use for a single-emitter setup. The reflector area is more shallow than most C8’s. And the shelf has a hole in the center (meant for screwing the reflector+MCPCB assembly into place from below), so placing a single emitter on top of that would be a bit sub-optimal as far as heat transfer path is concerned. Also, the wire holes are in unique positions, so some additional modifications would need to be made there, as well. There’s some good info and pictures in this thread

4492011
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Thank you, I would like to see them make a single emitter 21700 with a side switch.

gchart
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That would be great. About the closest thing I can think of is the BLF GT Mini (but that’s 18650, not 21700).

Macka17
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I’ve got 5 x C8’s incl a C8+ from Convoy.
Sofurn. T but not A or the triple. (I have other multi LEDS.)
I find the T and the Convoy +, have quite nice spread with the throw.
as they are standard.

If you want next one up. I use my 26650 cell,
Imalent DN35.. Much more throw. Combined with much more spread.
at much more Dollars. But Niiiice.