[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?

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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

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

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

[Reviews] Miboxer C4-12, C2-4k+6k, C2, C4 / Astrolux K1, MF01, S42, K01 / BLF Q8 / Kalrus G35, XT11GT / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF36, SP35 / Imalent DM21TW / Wuben I333 / Ravemen PR1200 / CL06 lantern / Xanes headlamp

[Mods] Skilhunt H03 short / Klarus XT11GT, XT12GTS / Zebralight SC50+Imalent DM21TWcolorful anodisation

[Sale] TA drivers Narsil or Bistro / Remote switch tail DD board with FET

gchart
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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?