Sofirn SF22 flashlight review

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DB Custom
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Sofirn SF22 flashlight review

Hey Everybody,
Dale here to give you a review on this new large light from Sofirn, their model number SF22. You can see their ad on Amazon at Sofirn 6000 High Lumen Flashlight

Here’s their shot of it on the ad

It’s a huge light, with 18 XM-L2 U3 emitters and “spike” acorn nuts holding the bezel on, making for a pretty fierce looking weapon of a flashlight!

Now, before I get too far into this let me remind everyone that I may be a bit compromised, still in the recovery process from neck surgery. I got this light a couple of weeks out of surgery and it’s been a slow process getting some pics and, well, uhm, making some adjustments. Big Smile

Tracy at Sofirn asked me to do this review and I ordered it from Amazon for this review.

Here’s what they say about it on the Amazon…

This flashlight provides Sunlight indoors or Shine your backyard as daylight — Plain and Simple
18× Cree XM-L2 U3 LED Bulbs, comes with all the 5 functioning modes of typical tactical flashlight. Lighting up a football field in dark as a spotlight due to 1000 meter throwing up. Or the super bright Strobe feature that can blink a would-be assailant in an instant while you can run away. Plus, the hard metal composition is useful in an emergency if one is called upon to break a window to help someone.

1, 18 CREE XM-L2 U3 LEDs a maximum light output up to 6000 lumen
2, Made of a high-quality 6061 aluminum alloy, robust construction.
3, Mil SPEC Ⅲ hard-anodized finish, abrasion-resistant, scratch-resistant and shock-resistant.
4, Ultra clear Tempered glass Lens, aluminum light cup and smooth reflector, providing a more concentrated light beam.
5, Amazing range of application, versatile, ideal for hiking, camping, hunting , self defense, Law enforcement and other outdoor activities.
6, *****Please tighten the tail cap, otherwise it might not work because of a loose battery contact
*******Please keep the tail cap and clean, If the control panel of tail cap is dirty, it may cause the battery to a bad contact, resulting in not lit.

What you get:
High power handheld flashlight
2 O-rings
90 days money back, 12 month warranty and Amazing Customer Service!

So, what did I find?

Overall the light has a nice build, quality anodizing, and yeah, it’s a brute! The UI is of the older style where it starts in the highest and reverses down to the low followed by Strobe and SOS. Decent, I guess, in a big searchlight style light but not what we mostly like. Turn it on with the clicky in the tail cap, run through the T-M-L-St-SoS modes via the side switch, which has a very nice positive feel to it. It has last mode memory, turning it off in Strobe means it comes back on in strobe, turn it off in low, and it’ll be low you get when you next click the tail switch.

It comes packaged well, with slotted closed cell foam to carry the light in a broken down style for a smaller package..

It’s got 4 18650 to 26650 adapters so it can be used either way, and it works with the primary tube and 2 cells, or the extension tube and 4 cells. BUT… the output is reduced greatly in 2 cell configuration.

It handles nicely with the single tube, I actually find myself liking it quite a bit this way…

It’s built very heavy duty, with thick battery tube walls and a lot of finning for cooling the light down…

The tactical ring is machined into the tail cap itself, one piece! Robust, unyielding, and uncompromising… on the outside anyway.

Put the light together in it’s entirety, and it’s impressive!

The light weighs 3.086 pounds with 4 Basen 26650’s loaded, (1401 grams)

Ah, but they knew I was going to test it in a light box, didn’t they? And they knew I’d be disassembling it, right? Wink

With 2 rested Sony VTC4 18650’s I found the light only making 1693.95 lumens. Yes all 18 emitters were working.
With 4 rested Basen 26650’s I found the light to make 3494.85 lumens, each of the XM-L2 U3 emitters only pushing 194.16 lumens.

So I did spring bypasses, just to see what was going on here… and it made 3777.75 lumens with the 4 Basen cells.

Hmmmm…. so in I went…








Ok, so did y’all see what I saw? There’s a few mishaps internally. One that probably isn’t too bad is that 3 of the emitters don’t quite line up with the reflector. The 3 that are “inline” with an emitter on the outer ring. Oops! But that’s not so horrible, the beam profile is still decent and surprisingly tight. But what’s up with that massively hollowed out pill, where the mcpcb sits? And that R240 is one of a pair, so we have essentially R120 of resistance in the circuit.

I set about gradually reducing resistance to gain output, not wanting to blow the driver, and ended up with a single R075 sense resistor to get these readings…

2.49A at the tail (4 series 26650’s) for 5813.25 lumens
1.11A at the tail (4 series 26650’s) for 2239.05
0.72A at the tail (4 series 26650’s) for 1391.04

And on a pair of 18650’s it does 2980.8 lumens now in the high mode.

I was afraid to push it much further due to the obvious lack of heat sink under the thin aluminum mcpcb.

I plan to cut a heat sink to fill that void and then see if it will do more, but of course I have to get medically released from surgery before I can get to work on my lathe again.

Externally, there’s a lot to like about this behemoth of a light.
Internally, perhaps some shortcuts were taken that really reduce the effectiveness. It certainly doesn’t make 6000 lumens out of the box, but can do so relatively easily with a change in the sense resistor. No glue used on this one, so yeah, pretty easy to make the bump.

Some may say the price is high, at around $100. But price 18 XM-L2 U3 emitters…

To wrap it up (my neck is killin me! This ain’t easy folks!) I really do like the light, in spite of some shortcomings. It’s built with a robust nature that really appeals, can be used with 2 or 4 cells, albeit with losses, and while I don’t know about it as a stand alone light, if you already have smaller floodier lights or a thrower or two, this could be a very nice kitchen light to have by the back door for that something that goes bump in the night scenario. I know I wouldn’t want someone coming at me with this monster! Smile

Thanks Tracy, and Sofirn, for a well built well anodized light that really astounds…. I’ll leave it up to the rest of the folks as to what attracts them to this massive 18 emitter light…

Thanks for taking the time,,,

Dale
(whew!)

Edit: (sorry)
It’s 15 3/4” long (40 cm) and the head measures 81mm flat to flat, 91.9mm corner to corner. Facing the switch, the pill is 55.2mm thick. Battery tube measures 37.9mm. The tactical ring measures out at 48.1mm.
Haven’t managed beam shots yet, am trying…
That 3 pound weight is a third of what I’m allowed to lift. Hope to get help and get the tripod set up for some beam shots this week.

Dale

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:56
The Miller
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Thanks for the review.
Hahaha what a light.
How hot does it get now?

Yokiamy
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That is, eeh… how to put it mildly…

An ugly, bad looking flashlight!
Especially with the reflectors and uncentered LED’s

Dale, succes with your recovery, and hopefully you’ll manage to make the sofirn a nice looking flashlight Cool

Thijsco19 wrote:

a regular symptom of flasholism Big Smile

“Flasholism is the most severe form of flashlight use and involves the inability to manage your flashlight use habits. It is also commonly referred to as flashlight use disorder. Flashlight use disorder is organized into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. Each category has various symptoms and can cause harmful side effects. If left untreated, any type of flashlight use can spiral out of control.”

freeme
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Light goes well with this outfit. tongue-out

DB Custom
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Even bumped, it takes 3-5 minutes to feel the ambient temp of the head warming a bit. After about 10 minutes there’s some heat present but not all that much.

Thanks Yokiamy,appreciate it. I first thought it was ugly, with the different style of the extension tube especially. But then it kind of started growing on me and I can’t help but like it now. It’s unique, has potential, and could certainly be useful in some situations… making enough light right out of the box to warrant using it. Needing 4 cells though, to really get the most out of it, adds to the expense if you don’t already have a slew of cells. I bought 4 of the new black and gold LiitoKala 26650’s and they fit it nicely, had to do a solder bump on the ends for 4 series use but that’s fairly normal. In the primary tube configuration, with the R075 resistor, it’s very viable really. Around 3000 lumens, the potential to be a weapon, and fitting nicely in the hand…….. I can’t help myself in liking it. Smile

Yeah, you know freeme, even though the spikes are not sharp they will still obviously do serious damage if using the light in a club style, slashing and gashing and no doubt causing a great deal of pain. You definitely do have to handle it a bit differently in order not to hurt the furniture or yourself when putting it down or grabbing it up…..

I might in the end remove the multi emitter style and see if I can put a single reflector with an XHP-35 or something, overall the light has gotten close enough to me that I want to do something with it to make it sing, make it special. Then again, my shoulder with the pinched nerve kinda likes the 3” diameter heat source….

Dale