Review: Sofirn SP36

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Lumeniac's picture
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Location: Russia
Review: Sofirn SP36

I remember that like 3 years ago I managed to grab Olight mini intomidator for almost the same price as this SP36, and it was thing with almost three times less brightness, and I was extremely happy about it. This flashlight that time seemed to me something unimaginable bright for its size. As time goes on, the price per lumen falls and SP36 seems to be the most affordable of something relatively compact and bright (not blitz bright, but with reasonably long runtime in this mode)

U can buy it at Gearbest. Here is product page. or at Aliexpress or Banggood

Since last year, Sofirn has actively release more and more new models, making up a certain competition to the Convoy due to their small price tag. A distinctive feature of the Sofirn SP36 is a frankly non-mass interface – namely, it is extremely flexible in the settings Narsil.

*Main Features:*● Up to 6000lm with a CREE XPL2 5350 – 5700K LEDs
● 3 different modes + NarsilM V1.2 program: stepless dimming from 0.5lm to 6000lm; 5-level brightness mode from 0.5lm, 10lm, 150lm, 2000lm to 6000lm; moonlight mode (0.5lm)
USB Type-C interface, 5V DC 2A max. LED input during charging
● Power-efficient, up to 45 days working time, powered by 3 × 18650 lithium-ion battery (not included)
● IPX7 waterproof for safe use 1m underwater
● High quality

*Program: NarsilM V1.2
Luminous flux: 0.5 – 6000lm
Standby current: less than 25uA
Power source: 3 × 18650 li-ion battery (not included)
Material: aluminum alloy
Surface processing technique: anodized oxidation
Light cup: 4-hole, aluminum alloy with electroplated surface
Lens: tempered glass, high transmittance
Waterproof rating: IPX7, 1m underwater
Impact-resistant: 1m

*Package and appearance.
*Perhaps, the best that can be said about the package, is that Sofirn SP36 has one. All you get is beige cardboard without any design. I think that Sofirn could have done something more presentable, only it would have affected the price. And for the majority of people the opportunity to save a couple of bucks is more interesting than getting a beautiful box that you still have to throw out.

inside the same meager set – the flashlight itself, o-rings, charging cable and instructions.

And here is the flashlight itself from all sides.

The flashlight is a typical representative of the so-called can-sized. Iit is comparable in size with a can of soda, more precisely with something like 0.3l can of Red Bull. To catty in a pocket it may already be too much, but in the hand is still quite comfortable. At least, exactly more comfortable than 4×18650 flashlights. By the way, I hope that soon we will still see 3×21700 models, which will be only slightly wider than 3×18650, but significantly runtime. And this is with full compatibility with 18650 through adapters.

The tail is flat and wide. There is nothing to add to this, except that such a ratio of diameter and height makes the flashlight quite stable and not bad as a table lamp with a diffuser. The flashlight actually has good stability.

The springs themselves are quite thick, and even double.

From the side of the head, which is not surprising, there are no springs, but there is a contact plate.

Knurling is quite a neat. The rectangular threads are quite large, well lubrictated.

There aint` any really high design here, which is not surprising at such a price. But everything was done quite carefully and at this stage I have no complaints about the quality.

The grip is quite comfortable and reliable. The knurling, albeit small, but the part of the flashlight between the head and tail has a slightly smaller diameter, and it turns out something like a “saddle”. And taking into account the heating rate in older modes, believe me, you don’t want your fingers to accidentally lie on the cooling fins.

Well, 2 concentric grooves in the knurling also have a positive effect on the grip. In this regard, I always liked 3×18650 flashlights because they have a large enough size, but not so much to significantly affect the comfort of the grip.

Sofirn SP36: Light Barrel

Button is mid-size, clicky, with backlight.

Type-C charge post is covered with nice thick rubber plug

The rest – 4x segment SMO reflectors with XPL-HD on the bottom

reflector seems to be screwed to pill or shelve (whatever)

The flashlight is controlled by the fairly well-known Narsil. I bet you all know what it is.


The light is cool white, but this is still quite comfortable color temperature and it does not cause obvious rejection. In the end, if you are looking for something as bright as possible in this mode, you shouldn’t expect more neutral light. Here either one or the other. Ready to assume that the manufacturer will roll out the version with something neutral \ HiCri.

I did not reveal a visible PWM shimmering at any mode.

As for the light distribution, it is quite comparable with what I expected to see from a relatively deep quadruple reflector. The result is a rather comfortable mid-range light, which forms a sort of “cross.” I repeat, this is quite expected. With a textured and less deep reflector, this effect would be less pronounced. But with a deeper reflector and HI LEDs, as is the case with the Fenix TK75 2018, this effect is even more pronounced.

So, further in order it is worth mentioning the heat dissipation. The maximum brightness for such dimensions is very serious and at 100% power flashlight heats up to a VERY high temperature in a couple of minutes. And even after the stepdown (by the way, you can turn off the temperature down temperature in the settings, but I don’t see any sense in it because of the following) it is still hot for a long time. So I highly recommend not to abuse 100% brightness in this model. Really, to keep the flashlight in bare hands is simply impossible. Consider this mode as a normal short-term turbo for a short illumination and use it with caution.

In short, the heat dissipation is good, the flashlight warms up pretty quickly.

In general, I did not see a clear effect of cooling on brightness. I suspect that for 100% you need to use a flashlight on a cold windy winter night, only then you can see some difference in the graph. And so, believe me, you have enough of these 2 minutes in the turbo. For other brightness levels, the flashlight is large enough to absorb the heat generated. As for the use of a flashlight for a long time (if we are talking about the default thermoregulation settings), even in 56% of the mode, the body digs into a frankly hot state. Therefore, I believe that only 29% ois one that can be used constantly. And all that is higher – a variety of turbo, due to the fact that you just can not keep the flashlight in your hands after about 5-7 minutes. However, in percentage terms, this figure is not impressive, but in fact it’s almost 2,000 lumens. So enough for the eyes, frankly.

So, well, as for stabilization. As with all the flashlights I have seen before with Narsil \ Anduril, normally only a relatively small mode is stabilized in the full sense of the word, which here amounts to 3%. It just seems to be a little offhand, but in fact it’s almost 400 brightness brightness — a level that’s enough for a lot of basic needs. And, look, the runtime here will be simply enormous. If you find a good suitable diffuser, the flashlight can give a very bright light for a couple of nights

VTC6 were used for test.

Actually, I did not see anything surprising. In higher modes, direct drive works and the brightness drops as the batteries discharge. Below the mentioned threshold of 3% stabilization begins to work. 3% seems to be a bit, but in fact it is about 200 lumen, more than a decent mode. In fact, in it you will have a supply of light for 2 nights from headroom to dawn.

Of course, at the cost of abandoning such a flexible interface it was possible to organize stabilization in all modes up to 100%. Let’s make, say, 5-6 basic modes and some kind of a Trunite interface. It would be quite practical and convenient. But … I suspect that the flashlight was originally sharpened for an audience of BLF, and these are people who are in no way afraid of a combination of 10 clicks for some kind of operation.

decent charging current.

Well, let’s see how the flashlight works live.

The distance somewhere in the 15-20 meters. It is illuminated all around, there is a good resource for longer range

somewhere 50m. It can be seen that even 3% which is mildly, a small brightness for such a distance and such a reflector, gives some light.

150m I think it will already be a functional limit for outdoor lighting. It is clear that the flashlight will shine and a greater distance, but it is 100% and I would not overestimate the brightness here. Light will be scattered very much. Unfortunately, there is no way to show what this flashlight can do indoors, here the photos would be much more impressive.
in 100% the flashlight at this distance is not useless and gives a fairly wide flood light, which can illuminate almost everything you need for a short time.

Here in the video, all this can be seen much more clearly. Almost 8 minutes of video work in different modes and at different distances.

General impressions.

In general, given its price, this is probably the most affordable option to get something very bright and at the same time relatively compact. The brightness will be impressive, and not decoratively short lasting. Unfortunately, the flashlight heats up significantly quickly and this must be taken into account. Here it will be unpleasant not only to the hands, but also to the batteries inside, there is absolutely no need to boil them.

In general, a few years ago something similar in brightness and price was not even close, and that was good.

+ detailed instruction
+ flexible UI
+ good workmanship
+ price
+ brightness
+ built-in charging with normal current
+ button illumination and overall comfort of the flashlight body

- there would still be stabilization here … I would prefer 6-7 modes, but with full stabilization. – very fast heating at high brightness. but it is expected and minus the symbolic.

Edited by: Lumeniac on 01/15/2020 - 11:11
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
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I plan to purchase this light any day now, and am currently in the process of purchasing batteries for this light and my others.

Did you happen to take any current readings at different levels to see max amp draw?


Lumeniac's picture
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no, i simply dont know how to do it with 3×18650

but i suggest it should be no worse than 30q

i would pick vtc6

Yosue's picture
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Great review. I just purchase it in amazon with a coupon from charles brigdtech. 47bucks. Do you see any chance of adapting a magnet in that tail cap or by its weights its impossible to hold attached to a metal surface

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wow thanks so much my friend

Relampago's picture
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I keep holding off on this light because I have purchased the SP32A V2.0, SP33, C8F, and the SP70 all in the last 2 weeks. Not to mention the Emisar D18, Amutorch TC500, Astrolux MF02, S43S, and FT03. I jumped back in headfirst, not to mention the group buys I’ve recently joined. It’s reviews like this that give me that itch, good job and nice pic’s!

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
― George Carlin

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hello my friend sp36 narsilm v1.2 on / off switch accidentally switched off no longer lit just lit when charging how to reactivate

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cengooo wrote:
hello my friend sp36 narsilm v1.2 on / off switch accidentally switched off no longer lit just lit when charging how to reactivate

That’s one of the tricky parts of Narsil, i tend to forget the programming features, it should be described in the manual

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Location: US

Here are some measurements of the SP36 and SP36S that I bought during the 11/11/19 sale, taken with the Texas Ace lumen tube calibrated with Maukka lights:

Sofirn SP36 Turbo, 5172 lumens, 7103K, DUV -0.0142, CRI 74.9, R9 19.9, R12 51, Rf 64, Rg 102, Sony VTC6
Sofirn SP36 Turbo, 5094 lumens, Sanyo NCR18650GA
Sofirn SP36S Turbo, 4008 lumens, 5745K, DUV 0.0002, CRI 91.5, R9 54.9, R12 76.3, Rf 89, Rg101, Sony VTC6

Edit: Corrected battery

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I think you have your batteries mixed up. The SP36 is a 3 × 18650.

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26650 Wink

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Am I understanding correctly that this can be programmed to reduce the stepping? Could I do that to have it run at a stable 1800 lumens for 1 hour?

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I just ordered one direct from Sofirn. Thanks for the review

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Anybody have a working Amazon US code for this?would love to own this light!Very nice review!

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Relampago wrote:
I keep holding off on this light because I have purchased the SP32A V2.0, SP33, C8F, and the SP70 all in the last 2 weeks. Not to mention the Emisar D18, Amutorch TC500, Astrolux MF02, S43S, and FT03. I jumped back in headfirst, not to mention the group buys I've recently joined. It's reviews like this that give me that itch, good job and nice pic's!


Oh boy... can I relate! Just got the sp36 and it's really nice. I went crazy too, playing catch up, modernizing the fleet. surprised Resistance is futile!

There is one thing I wish Sofirn would do: get rid of the glossy and do their lights in a nice flat black finish like Convoy. 

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

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catdog17 wrote:
Anybody have a working Amazon US code for this?would love to own this light!Very nice review!

Was still active a couple days ago