Sofirn SP10S AA/14500 side clicky review

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The Whispering ...
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Sofirn SP10S AA/14500 side clicky review

Hi all, I received an SP10S from Sofirn for review. This is a side-clicky light which operates on a single AA alkaline or NiMH or 14500 Li-ion battery.

Box front
All contents
Light
Side switch
Bottom
Light in hand
Size comparison

Here are some relevant specifications:

Samsung LH351D 90 CRI LED (~5000K according to my eyes)
37.6 g without battery (my measurement)
88.2 mm long, max diameter of 21.3 mm at side switch (my measurement)

Output and runtime (Sofirn specifications)
NiMH:
Eco 0.5 lumen 284h; Low 13 lumen 5h35min; Medium 55 lumen 8h45min; High 120 lumen 2h12min; Turbo 255 lumen 51min Strobe 200 lumen 51min

14500:
Eco 0.5 lumen 227h; Low 13 lumen 46h21min; Medium 80 lumen 9h 36min; High 310 lumen 2h11min; Turbo 800 lumen 37min Strobe 800 lumen

I have no way to quantify the output, but the numbers look reasonable to me. Eco is a nice moonlight and the light is very bright in turbo with either battery chemistry. See beamshots later on in this review.

How is the user interface?
Good. Short click once to turn on, and continue clicking to cycle through the modes. Long click to turn off (>0.5 s). Two clicks from off or when on will access turbo, then click once to return to last used mode. Three clicks from off or on to access strobe and then one click to return to last used mode. Note that if you access turbo or strobe from off, the light will switch back off with one short click. With NiMH battery, the light always starts in low. It would be more correct to describe the user interface as L—>M—>H—>ML with no memory.

What if I want mode memory?
If you use a Li-ion battery, the light remembers the last mode used but operates the same otherwise. Strobe and turbo are not memorized.

How is the tint and beam?
I like it a lot. The beam is good for all around use with what I would call a medium-sized hot spot and the spill is wide enough. There aren’t any odd artifacts in the beam. The tint looks to be fairly close to the black body locus and is relatively uniform across the beam. CRI seems very good.

Will the switch activate in my pocket?
It did in my pocket, but the light can be locked out with four fast clicks (emphasis on fast). I couldn’t move my thumb fast enough to reliably lock out the light. I found it far easier to lock out by slightly unscrewing the tail cap.

What if I install the battery backwards?
I didn’t see any documentation of reverse polarity protection, but I found no continuity between the positive contact on the driver and the metal ring around it, and confirmed with Sofirn that it is for mechanical reverse polarity protection. The higher height of the ring prevents the negative end of a battery from making contact with the positive contact of the driver, but allows a button top to fit. I’m not sure if a flat top cell would work because I have none. The 14500 battery I used was a protected Fenix brand cell.

Is it well-made?
Very much so. The machining is good, anodizing seems good, and the switch feels high-quality. Nothing rattles or feels like the tolerances should have been tighter. The threads are square and feel good. The battery tube can be reversed, which is necessary to do if you want to reverse the orientation of the pocket clip.

Some close-up photos:
Head
Switch
Threads
Driver bottom
Tail cap

Beamshots:

Left: SP10S in Eco mode, Center: HDS 219B 4000K R9050 @ 0.5 lumens, Right: Thrunite Ti3 V2 in firefly mode (XP-G2 NW)

SP10S HDS Ti3

The following two photos were taken with the same exposure and 5200K white balance.

SP10S in turbo with fully charged 14500 (protected Fenix cell).
SP10S turbo 14500

HDS 219B 4000K 200 lumens
HDS 200 lm

Final thoughts:
This is a very well made light, with nice tint and CRI, good output on NiMH or Li-ion, and good user interface.

LightObsession
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Thanks for the review.

I’ve been real tempted to try this light, but the UI disappoints. I wouldn’t want to have to go through three other brightness levels to get to Eco mode when using an NiMh battery.

If I got one, I’d use a 14500 so that I could at least start in Eco, if I had shut it off in Eco and still have direct access to Turbo.

I much prefer a UI that allows direct access to ML/Eco and Turbo from off.

longuylander
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I just recently picked one of these up. This review is pretty spot on as to the light. The UI would have been perfect for both NIMH and 14500 if a long press from off would turn the light on in moonlight mode. Other than that, and accidentally accessing turbo with a double press when wanting to advance two modes, it’s a nice little light.

Lightbringer
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After getting used to that in so many other lights, yeah, I tend to click’n‘hold to try to get firefly mode in my ’10B, but nothing happens. Facepalm

After getting acclimated again, I always “reset” it to firefly so that there are no surprises next time I turn it on, yet can still get “turbo” (high) anytime.

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

Nismo
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I’ve got two of these, one in my emergency storage and one that I am trying as EDC. I didn’t like the UI, as others said it would be nice to either start on eco or click+hold to get to eco. Also the 0,5sec hold for off isn’t my thing, but if you go to turbo from off it turns back off with a single click. If only it had Anduril it would’ve been perfect.

Tint and beam is pretty good, I’ve grown to love those Samsung LEDs now. They provide brightness with the 5000K while still making reds look natural due to the high CRI.

I’ve ordered 14500 batteries, as of now I have only Alkalines and Ni-Mh. Seems to be bright enough on a single alkaline, works as an EDC.

Current lights:

Emisar D4V2 SST-20 4000K, D4V2 Ti SST-20 2700K amber switch LEDs, D4V2 Ti SST-20 4000K cold white switch LEDs, D4SV2 SST-20 3000K | Fireflies PL47G2 XPL HI V3 3A, PL47G2 SST-20 4000K Lumintop FW1A SST-20 4000K Nitecore LR12 XP-L HD V6, TUP XP-L HD V6 | Sofirn C01S SST-20 4000K, SP10S LH351D 5000K, IF25/LT1-M SST-20 2700K + 6500K w/3D printed diffuser, BLF SP36 LH351D 5000K, BLF LT1 | ZebraLight SC53Fc XP-L2 4000K Convoy C8+ SST-40 6500K

pennzy
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What is the difference between this model and the last? UI is the same as my last one from over a year ago which is A or B, not sure, I have both. Long press from off is terrible for a EDC light. Always have to check to see if it is off or ML mode before putting it back in my pocket. I have to dig out my two models, one did start at ML with a short press, memorized mode with a long press and turbo with a double press I think.

Hugh Johnson
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I’m waiting for the potential BLF edition with Anduril. It seems to solve the criticism.

icpart
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It is possible in SP10S version that brass ring to be removed easily and driver to pop out. From photos in older version there a little holes like in Convoy lights and is possible ring to be unscrewed.

Madeeon
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Which one is best? A, B or S version?

Lagittaja
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I received an SP10S today and since I won’t be using it with lithium ion I figured someone might be interested about the current draw.
So here’s some rough tail cap measurements with a fresh Energizer Ultimate Lithium: 5mA/75-80mA/400-450mA/1.5-1.6A.
I did (briefly) measure the turbo as well which peaked at 2.7A before settling down to ~2.4-2.5A.

Do note that this newer revision of Energizer’s lithium primaries don’t really like it if you draw more than 2A from them constantly. Which is why the turbo current draw went so high as the voltage sagged.
So if you plan to use the high or turbo often, you might want to consider sticking with NiMH instead. With a constant current discharge going from 1A to 2A you “waste” less than 5% of energy (Wh) with standard Eneloop compared to almost 20% with Energizer Ultimate Lithium.
Personally I’ll leave the lithium primary in it since I’ll be relegating this to emergency duties after I’ve finished messing with it. I appreciate shelf life, cold temperature and <1A current draw performance more than rechargeability for that use case.

As far as the rest of the light goes, I guess the word nice sums it up pretty, uhm, nicely.
Based on a few minutes of testing I especially like the beam. I’ll have to wait a bit longer for it to get dark outside to really test it though.
The UI on the other hand is a shame. It won’t see EDC action for me because of it. I guess I’m spoiled because recently I’ve only been using flashlights with Anduril or NarsilM.
I don’t mind the low mode which it starts in because it seems like a very useful amount of light. It illuminates stuff in front of you very well.
And with an UI like this I think I wouldn’t even want it to start in ML (maybe not even have it). A 100kcd+ thrower? Yeah, more likely you’d want it to start in ML and have easy access to ML…
The rest of the modes are, I don’t know, “fine” I guess. Pretty small steps between modes..

amtaham
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I got mine yesterday and immediately start loving it!


I also bought the diffuser


The diffuser also fits nicely on my Jetbeam Jet-I MK


Tint and beamshot comparison vs Lumintop EDC05


Tint and beamshot comparison vs Jetbeam Jet-I MK


A perfect working companion

Sillen
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Nice. Mine arrived today. Must take an extra day to Australia Smile

Had a blue SP10V2.0, now red SP10S so I guess will have to be black for the BLF SP10.

The SP10 is the only 14500 I have that works with the six Vapcell Gold 1000mAh flattop I purchased November 2018. Never buy off the picture alone Sad