[REVIEW] Sofirn C8A "XP-L2 2,000 lumen Hot Rod" (XP-L2, 1x18650) (Pictures, Beamshots, etc.)

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SoCalTiger
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[REVIEW] Sofirn C8A "XP-L2 2,000 lumen Hot Rod" (XP-L2, 1x18650) (Pictures, Beamshots, etc.)
The Sofirn C8A is one of Sofirn's new C8 18650 flashlights (which include the C8T and triple-emitter C8F). The C8A is a single 18650 "C8 style" flashlight which utilizes a domed Cree XP-L2 in a polished reflector with a throwy beam. Output is speced at a max of 1747 lumens (I measured ~2000 lumens @ 30 sec.) The C8A comes from the factory with a very pleasant warm-neutral tint of ~4800K.

I had the opportunity to evaluate the Sofirn C8A and was provided a copy for review by Sofirn (sent direct from manufacturer).
 

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-New-C8-Tactical-Cree-XPL2-LED-Flashlight-18650-Powerful-Flashlight-Portable-Torch-light-Two-Groups/2933049_32829685476.html?spm=2114.12010608.0.0.7af1d099dzZWzM





Official Product Specifications
  • CCT Range: 5350K-5700K, Neutral White (NW)
  • Voltage: 2.8V-4.2 Volts
  • Power: C8A--(18W,Max current 5.6A) , C8T--(14W,Max current 4.5A),  Please be sure your battery could support this high current
  • Dimension: 44.6mm(head) *24.5mm(body diameter)*144mm(length)
  • Net Weight: 140 gram (no battery included)
  • Material: 6063 aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
  • Light Cup: smooth reflector
  • Made by 6063 aluminum alloy, CNC machines, Premium type Ⅲ hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish to get solid built body, anti-crash and better heat exchange
  • Toughened glass lens with AR coating, anti-crash and wearable
  • The water-resistant level is IPX-8, it can be used in underwater 2 meters for 30 minutes. And it is used in rainstorm.
  • Mode Memory: Yes. The current mode can be memorized if the flashlight turns on more than 2 seconds. Turn it on next time, it is the original mode memorized.
  • Low voltage protection: Yes. The light is automatically turns off when the voltage is lower than 2.8 volts. The signal is that the light slowly flashes for 1 minutes
  • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation. The light is off if battery install improper.
  • Battery:  It powered by one 3.7V 18650 battery  ( not included,suggest unprotected battery)
 
Packaging and Contents
Box, C8A, Manual and Lanyard. No O-rings with my copy.
 



Fit and Finish
The C8A has smooth black anodizing that appears somewhat matte. The anodizing was applied well and my copy did not have any notable defects in the finish. The design uses the standard C8 base style and adds some Sofirn styled touches like the ridges in the body.
 


 
 
The threads are extremely nice (best I have seen from Sofirn yet) and they mate with Convoy. Very smooth and the entry thread is nicely tapered. I did not add any lube. The rear thread is anodized.
 



Springs are bypassed from the factory!!!
 
 
Factory bypassed!
 
 
 
Output, Runtime and Power


Measurements were done using a freshly charged protected Panasonic NCR18650GA hot off the charger.

I estimate High is practically 2,000 lumens at 30 seconds. Peak at activation was about 2100+ lumens.

"Moon" mode was about half a lumen.
 
 
Beam Profile
Throwy. The C8A uses a domed Cree XP-L2 in a polished reflector.
 



Beamshots, Color Temperature and Tint
The Sofirn C8A is a very nice warm neutral white. I measured mine at ~4900K although the official specs listed it as closer to daylight 5500K. The light appears slightly warm white in practice. There is some temperature variance throughout the beam with the hotspot being the warmest point. This is a very good choice of default color temperature.

 
 



Battery Support and Fitment
The C8A is powered by 1x18650 lithium-ion (INR, IMR, ICR, etc.)
 
Protected Batteries Fit. The Protected Panasonic NCR18650GA fits fine length-wise and width-wise. The dual-spring design is very tolerant of a range of battery lengths.
 
Button vs Flat-Top: Flat-top batteries should also fit due to the dual battery springs although I did not test this.

The positive & negative contacts are both springs.


Lock-Out
You can physically lock-out the light by loosening the tail one-half turn to break the circuit.

If there is a possibility of accidental activation, you should lock-out the light.


Size Reference
Flashlight pictured next to another C8, 18650 and Q8 for reference.




Summary and Conclusion
This is a very nice "Hot Rod C8" that comes with the springs bypassed from the factory. Putting out 2,000 lumens stock, I could not ask for more from a C8. This light performs very well although at full power it can start to get warm quickly. This light also provides a very nice Moon mode which can be avoided by switching between Mode Sets. The only down-side is that the Mode Set which includes Moon also includes strobe. Fortunately for me, I rarely have a need for a Moon setting in a C8. However, it would be nice if there were 3 mode sets - 1) Normal (Low / Med / High) 2) Normal + Moon 3) Normal + Strobe

The beam profile is throwy as can be expected with a C8 although since the C8A has a domed emitter, it is not overly throwy (this is good IMO).
 
I liked the warm neutral color temperature.
Lightbringer
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Ooooh, nice! I want… Big Smile

Is the current regulated, or is it a FET driver?

Curious how the lumenage drops off with lower volts.

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AgentSteel
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Interested too. Hope there are no “design” problems like the triple emitter version. I guess some people would like to know if there’s visible PWM or not?

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur

yuhsin91123
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A $18 light that does 2000 lumens? Hmmm do you have any outdoor shots?

NikolaS
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Driver have two FET chips, one for lower current,and second bigger for direct drive.
Awesome light and it does have 3 mode option just do a 3 fast half clicks while its on and the light will blink 2 times and switch between mode groups.
19Mm copper DTP board transfer heat gorgeously and it will get very hot in just a minute, luckily there is a step down after 3 minutes. Also no pwm at any mode..
I have a C8T xpl-hi version, and after some tweaks I did yesterday it makes 1400 lumens, and 85Kcd for nearly 600 meters of throw !!

Great review SoCalTiger Thumbs Up

Here is a video a made for C8T couple days ago

NikolaS
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yuhsin91123 wrote:
A $18 light that does 2000 lumens? Hmmm do you have any outdoor shots?

Actually minus 2$ after using store coupon for purchase more than 15$

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OK I’m sold

Just ordered one, so this will only be my 4th C8-style light (2 stock Convoys, 1 modded UltraFire, all with different emitters) LOL

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur

SoCalTiger
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You can never have too many C8s! Smile

10fp
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Imagine if we could convinse Sofirn to bring one out with a XPG2 S4 2b

BLF A6
a few C8`s,
HS 802, dd SST40 @4.6 amps,
P30,
S70s,
UT02 - 5 amps and luv it !
Klarus G35
Maxtoch New Sniper M24 dd U3
MF02 , E2 3C
i think iv got it covered !

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AgentSteel
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Just received my C8A.

Will try to do some outdoor beamshots Silly

Here. Sorry not great quality (phone camera) but hopefully you get the idea (Highest mode on both lights) Smile

(both lights powered by Sanyo NCR18650GA, 3500mAH, unprotected, flat top)

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur

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If they would master chemical dedome with protective coating or slicing with a machine this would be so much better

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Thanks for the review, SoCal. I really like what I’ve been seeing from Sofirn. They sent me a SF36 to review (here) and I thought it was a nice light. I ordered their C8 host from their Aliexpress store about a month back, should be coming in soon. I like my Convoy C8’s, but I see a couple advantages with what I’m expecting from Sofirn’s C8:

  • Anodizing – sometimes I feel like Convoy’s matte is just too matte. Sofirn’s seems very nice.
  • AR lens – some, but not all Convoys come with AR. I like that it’s included with Sofirn’s.
  • Body tube – nice, something a little different than the standard gnurling
  • Tailcap – I like that the cap is formed into the saddle shape. I find it a bit easier to press, and it shows off a lit tailcap more when viewed from the side.

I can’t wait for my host to come in and start playing with it!

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gchart wrote:
* Anodizing – sometimes I feel like Convoy’s matte is just too matte. Sofirn’s seems very nice.

Mmm, yep. Nice smooth coating like on my ’502 which I always loved, same like on my new Q8 and TK4A.

The finish on my L2 is, to me, just too rough and chalky.

gchart wrote:
* Tailcap – I like that the cap is formed into the saddle shape. I find it a bit easier to press, and it shows off a lit tailcap more when viewed from the side.

Nah, I’d prefer a protruding button, forward-clicky switch, just like on an L2M.

Else more ridges or something, but I’m not a fan of the “saddle” shaped rim.

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Box
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Thanks for the review mate. How many lumens after it steps down?

Markus
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Hi folks,

I am new here and this is my first post. Please be patient with me!

I have made following observation on the C8A:

If you power the 1700 lumens rated Sofirn C8A with the mystery cell provided by Sofirn it is a little bit dominated by a 900 lumens rated Thorfire C8S powered by a LG high drain cell. If you put the LG high drain cell into the Sofirn C8A and the Sofirn cell into the Thorfire C8S the Thorfire gets 100% destroyed by the Sofirn.

Also with the Sofirn cell the Sofirn C8A only gets lukewarm after 3min while with the LG high drain cell it can almost burn your hand after 3min. The multimeter shows that the C8A pulls more amps from a LG high train cell which translates into much more lumens and heat. With the LG cell the Sofirn C8A delivers more than 1750 lumens considering the warmer light color.

Also see my review of the two lights here:

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Nice video review Thumbs Up

You can get the C8A without battery, from Sofirn’s Aliexpress store.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur

Markus
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Thanks! So I am not crazy and the “Sofirn mystery cell” indeed limits the C8A. The Panasonic NCR18650GA must be a beast of a protected cell if it still manages to get the maximum out of the Sofirn C8A!

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Interesting that you find Sofirn battery less powerful than LG HG2, since many here reported that under the wrap is Samsung 30Q.
Maybe they offering standard cell with C8A, and High drain only with C8F since it have triple emitter..
Btw my C8T XP-l hi after all wires changed to 20awg now pushing 1550 lumens after 30 sec and over 1600 at start !
Amazing performance with close to 100Kcd

Markus
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NikolaS wrote:
Interesting that you find Sofirn battery less powerful than LG HG2, since many here reported that under the wrap is Samsung 30Q. Maybe they offering standard cell with C8A, and High drain only with C8F since it have triple emitter.. Btw my C8T XP-l hi after all wires changed to 20awg now pushing 1550 lumens after 30 sec and over 1600 at start ! Amazing performance with close to 100Kcd

My light gets much hotter with the LG cell, much brighter and pulls more amps. But anyway I love to see that Sofirn pushes the C8 design!

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What’s the advantage/disadvantage of C8A versus C8T?

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The C8T has more throw (but less lumens) due to the XP-L HI emitter, the C8A has a more balanced beam and more lumens.

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NikolaS wrote:
Interesting that you find Sofirn battery less powerful than LG HG2, since many here reported that under the wrap is Samsung 30Q.

It was. The cell that came with my C8 trip is differently wrapped, but didn’t look too closely. If it’s 3400mAH, it might be a panny-B of sanny-A under the wrap, but my first Sofirn cells measured a tad over 2800mAH like a 30Q would. Quite nice.

Will look later…

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Rewrapping cells is a serious business which certain “brands” use to mislead customers and maximize profits. Example: Azaoste 18650 3000mAh 20/40AH Any tests or feedback? Facepalm

Unfortunately, only a few companies seem to commit to do it right, like KeepPower (I still don't like some of their rewraps) and LiitoKala (goof with the yet untested Lii-40A). I also like the fact it usually is very easy to identify the actual cell OEM with them.

 

Cheers Smile

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Markus wrote:
If you power the 1700 lumens rated Sofirn C8A with the mystery cell provided by Sofirn it is a little bit dominated by a 900 lumens rated Thorfire C8S powered by a LG high drain cell. If you put the LG high drain cell into the Sofirn C8A and the Sofirn cell into the Thorfire C8S the Thorfire gets 100% destroyed by the Sofirn.

Yeah the GA is my cell of choice for any 18650 application where it will fit. I always get great results with it. I also gave away my trusty B cells.

I never even bother with mystery batteries. I just bin them straight away. I may very well have gotten rid of perfectly good cells but I already have plenty of cells so it doesn’t bother me.

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AgentSteel wrote:
The C8T has more throw (but less lumens) due to the XP-L HI emitter, the C8A has a more balanced beam and more lumens.

I don’t really understand these specs…
(or I don’t understand how throw distance is calculated)

Official Factory Specs from Sofirn’s Aliexpress site:
C8A….11500cd 200m distance
C8T……9500cd 500m distance

Can lower kcd = longer throw? I always thought it was the opposite…

Isn’t the calculated distance (FL-1 specification) derived from the peak beam intensity/candela rating? (Higher kcd = longer throw)
Distance (m) = square root of (kcd divided by 0.25)

.

Also apparently the C8T’s factory distance spec has mysteriously doubled since Barkuti’s review of it…
Official Factory Specs shown in Barkuti’s review
C8A….11500cd 200m distance
C8T……9500cd 250m distance

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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Or, is it a misprint? (should be 95,000cd not 9500cd)

Then it should spec 616m not 500m

….gotta be a misprint

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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Gotta be a misprint … or one of the numbers is wrong … or they weren’t measured in the same way. Who knows? But yes, cd should increase with throw.

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I’m just curious, how much throw would the Sofirn C8A be?

The XP-L2 of the C8A would throw much further than the older Convoy C8 with XM-L2; but will it be able to out-throw a stock Convoy C8 XP-L Hi?

The Sofirn C8A has a rated max current of 4.5A versus the 2.8A of the stock Convoy C8 XP-L Hi, so lumens-wise, definitely the C8A wins, but in terms of “throwing” how would it compare?

Actually with a fresh-off-the-charger Sony VTC6, I measured nearly 6A (using UT210E ammeter + copper wire) on Turbo mode for the C8A.
With my entry-level DMM, the tailcap current registered 4.5A (which is the manufacturer spec).

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Bump , I’m curious too .

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pennzy wrote:
Bump , I’m curious too .

I have more work to do here still…

but after quickly comparing the KD C8.2 (with the XHP 50.2), my latest C8S Sofirn (host with Lexel’s Bistro driver using the SST-40, and tonight (for the first time) my NEW C8A:

The C8S custom job throws better than I expected (no de-dome) and has a nice beam with side light to spare
The KD has a WIDE beam with lots of lumens and very nice coverage, but can’t quite keep up with the others for throw
The C8A has about the same throw as the C8S custom host (big surprise!) and a more narrow beam of course

And the C8A is running on about 5+ amps (Vs. the SST in the C8S custom running closer to 8 amps) with darn near the same throw and output! (again, I’m kinda blown away tonight by this C8A!) If I didn’t know better, I’d guess I had a C8T in my hands when it reached out there an honest 200+ yards tonight (on a good 30Q topped off).

My C8S host build was about $11 (host kit) + $4 SST40 + $15 Bistro driver- so $30. And IF I slice the SST40 it will probably throw further than the C8A de-domed, but as it is- this C8A is comparing nicely to these other lights— but right at 1/2 the price), I’m wondering how many C8As might be in my future?

I am learning more about throw and I’ve just started in on shaving domes (XP-L2s, XPLs, SST40s) for these and some C8F triples I’m working on. Again more time is indeed needed (and I’ll make a more thorough report when I get done with these builds). But this C8A is really impressive in every way to me this evening!

Not too shabby for a factory light right out of the box! Thumbs Up

ZappaMan

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