[Review] Sofirn SP10B AA/14500 EDC

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Lexel
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[Review] Sofirn SP10B AA/14500 EDC

The light was supplied by Beamax Lighting Store, no compensation other than the light itself was received for this review

The light is availible in black, blue and red
https://de.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-SP10A-Mini-Led-flashlight...

Manufactory specification:

※ Use CREE XP-G2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
※ CCT Range: 5350K-5700K, NW(Neutral White)
※ Battery Supported: Powered by one Ni-mh AA battery or 14500 Battery ( battery not included, suggest non-protection 14*50mm battery )
※ Dimension: 88mm(length)× 19mm(diameter) × 20mm(head)
※ Net Weight: 42 gram (no batteries included)
※ Mode Memory : Yes!
※ Lock-out: Yes! When it is off, 4 continuous clicks to lock-up.
※Made by Aircraft 6061 grade-aluminum alloy, used CNC machines, Premium type Ⅲ hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish to get solid built body, anti-crash and better heat exchange
※ Orange Peel Reflector
※ Toughened glass lens
※ The waterproof level is IPX7, can be used in rainstorm.
※ Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation

Sofirn SP10B is a AA tube-light with 4+1 modes.
SP10B is a lightweight but super bright AA flashlight. Please click the side switch to light up or change modes by different clicks. Using brand new and premium 14500 battery to get the maximum illumination as following:
Moonlight(2 lumens)→Low(60 lumens)→Medium(224 lumens)→High(573 lumens)→ Strobe (573 Lumens)
Moreover, SP10B adopts XP-G2 LED Neutral White, to give a great light efficiency. uniform spot, long throwing, Amazing brightness makes the flashlight outstanding in home usage or outdoor activities, such as bedside as nightlight, coach side as backup power; camping, hiking, searching, fishing, cycling, night-walking, backpacking, BBQ fill-in light, hunting etc.
Different color to choose: red, blue

.

The parcel arrived after 11 days shipping with to Germany which is very fast from China.

Package and content:

The light comes in a small box


In the box is a plastic inlay with the light

It comes with 2 spare o-rings, lanyard and manual

Photos of the light

Comparism and teardown:

Size compared to other 14500 lights the SP10B is a little bigger than twisty or UT01, but smaller than tail clicky like Lumintop Tool AA

Beam color is neutral around 5500K with a Cree XG-G2 almost no tint pure white,
the beam is typical for ECDs a mix of flood with some throw without artifacts

left 4000K UT01, 5000K Nichia, 5500K Sofirn SP10B, CW 6500 Jetbeam Jet-1 MK

The LED is very good reflowed and the MCPCB is perfectly flat, but not polished or gold plated

The heat paste is applied in a good amount and squeezed in an uniform thin layer

The light is not glued and can be taken apart

The light has a tail cap with a hole for a lanyard
The light stands on the tail

The lens is small and not coated

The light can be run by one NiMh, Alkali line or 14500 Lithium battery

.

The Head


There was visible dirt on my LED, they should clean the LED after soldering

The reflector has a centering ring, the LED is pretty deep in the reflector and the base is very narrow

The MCPCB is s relatively thin and aluminum
The MCPCBs back is perfectly flat

The light is waterproof, the tail cap and bezel threads are lubed, but the amount is pretty low
Tube and Tail

The tail cap is solid

the tube is build for 14500 battery size

The tube threads are square cut and fit nicely, but are a little thin

.

Driver and Battery


no visible PWM

The light is build for protected and unprotected button top batteries and has physical reverse protection

The mode spacing is OK, the moonlight is below 1 lumen

Modding:

Emitter swap to Nichia high CRI is possible, but the XPG2 has a nice tint

User Interface

The light has 4 modes and hidden strobe
double click goes to turbo
triple click to Strobe
long press >0.3s from Off to last mode
long press for off

.

Conclusion

A nice EDC for its price, good UI

Positive:

- mechanical very good production and engineering
- good hotspot and spill
- proper LVP and low battery warnings
- good UI

Neutral:
- aluminum MCPCB and not AR coated lens
- QC should make sure no dirt on the LED

Negative:
nothing negative

Edited by: Lexel on 01/23/2018 - 05:06
Dusty
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Nice review Lexel. I agree, there really are no negatives. The UI takes a bit to get used to, mainly long click on/off, but after carrying it for a while it becomes natural. I also took mine apart to inspect the driver/ E-switch. Unbelievably short LED wires! I struggled putting it back together. Ended up soldering extensions tip to tip, to feed them back threw. I did notice after it was back together, that my LED is not flat. It’s obvious sitting in the reflector, but I’m not gonna mess with it for now. I don’t notice it in the beam profile with the op reflector. Nice little pocket light, that has replaced my TG06 for now.

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MascaratumB
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Nice review Lexel Thumbs Up
I wouldn’t point nothing “negative” but would make a small in the UI taking memory out, and introducing a mode between Moonlight and Low modes! The red and blue hosts are indeed very nice too Cool

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7                         Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3                                Triple TIR Lenses & XP-G2                                     MY GIVEAWAY = ACTIVE

 

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Love mine.

Swampus
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MascaratumB wrote:
Nice review Lexel Thumbs Up I wouldn’t point nothing “negative” but would make a small in the UI taking memory out, and introducing a mode between Moonlight and Low modes! The red and blue hosts are indeed very nice too Cool

Did you see the updated description of the SP10A at Sofirn’s AliExpress store?

Quote:

SP10A will have update version from 15th, Dec,2017, 4 modes change to 5 modes, max 573lm

Operation Instruction:

The side switch to control all function:

On/ Off: press the switch for 0.5 second to activate or turn off

Change Modes: click the switch to cycle through Moonlight→Low→Medium→Moonlight→Low;

Memory Fuction: from Off, press 1 second to turn on the previous used mode.

High Mode: 2 continuous clicks to activate High Mode except in the status of lock-up, 1 click to return back to original mode.

Does that mean the default is now to operate without memory? Direct access to moonlight from off? Memory any time that you want to use it? That would make this light near perfect. Agree it could also use an additional level between moonlight and “low”.

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How’s the LVP for 14500 cell? If unprotected 14500 battery is suggested for this light because typical protected ones won’t fit, I think LVP becomes important for mainstream use.

MascaratumB
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Swampus wrote:
Did you see the updated description of the SP10A at Sofirn’s AliExpress store?

Yes, Swampus, I did, and it still has memory!
The “New SP10A” version has the same UI as the black SP10B (not being sold currently) that I have, and the same UI of the Red and Blue SP10B versions. Both have the same UI! With memory!
Also, they still have the same 3 regular + High + Strobe modes. I have the SP10B and what I said is that I would take memory out of it, so it could always start in Firefly, and I would add another mode bewteen the current ML and Low modes. That hasn’t changed in the “New SP10A” version!

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7                         Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3                                Triple TIR Lenses & XP-G2                                     MY GIVEAWAY = ACTIVE

 

MascaratumB
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Hedy wrote:
SP10A all the same with SP10B, all with the same function 4+1 modes, just the black color called SP10A, the blue and red color called SP10B. And this is the link for Sofirn SP10A/B on Aliexpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-SP10A-Mini-Led-flashligh...

@ Hedy : I guess that if you are a seller and can give discounts, that is nice, members here appreciate discounts for sure! But I think that you should indicate that you are a seller and make you also make own thread of discounts for the products you offer, instead of these “disguised as Sofirn” links.

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

REVIEWS : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / Sofirn SP32A / Sofirn SP10B / Odepro KL52 / Acebeam H20 / SS AAA / Wuben TO10R / BlitzWolf BW-ET1 / Odepro B018 / DQG Slim Ti

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7                         Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

Sofirn K6 Discussion: 1 / 2 / 3                                Triple TIR Lenses & XP-G2                                     MY GIVEAWAY = ACTIVE

 

Swampus
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MascaratumB wrote:
Swampus wrote:
Did you see the updated description of the SP10A at Sofirn’s AliExpress store?

Yes, Swampus, I did, and it still has memory!
The “New SP10A” version has the same UI as the black SP10B (not being sold currently) that I have, and the same UI of the Red and Blue SP10B versions. Both have the same UI! With memory!…..

Oh, that’s a bummer. Sofirn, if you’re reading this, that’s a little misleading. I’m sure it was an accident as text from the SP10B was copy/pasted without removing all of the previous SP10A text, but these two things can lead one to believe that it’s possible to activate without memory:

Quote:
On/ Off: press the switch for 0.5 second to activate… Memory Fuction: from Off, press 1 second to turn on the previous used mode.
Antenne
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One thing should be in a review of a light with an electronic switch: the quiescent current of the driver if the light is off. I’ve read all three reviews for the SP10B but there is no measurement of this parameter.
So I measured it myself: my blue SP10B draws 32 uA powered by one Eneloop. If you know this value, you can better decide whether you should use the mechanical lockout when not in use for a longer time.
My XTAR WK41 killed an (unprotected) Windyfire 14500 because I forgot to lock it out and left the cell in there for some month. It draws 132 uA from the 14500 cell.

chezz
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i have been carrying this in my front pocket (a loose pocket, not tight jeans) to use on construction job sites, and as a small much needed utility light. there seem to be a couple / few issues. firstly, i think that the firmware varies on these (some models possibly have updated more intuitive firmware, other models do not), as there seems to be an unnecessary delay between modes, ....and unneeded difficulty even accessing modes, and frankly, when just trying to get the light turned on (no, i am not talking about the standard delay noted by others in the posts above). many times, when i really need this light to work, it will not even turn on ....i have to hold, then when it does not turn on, have to click off, and try to hold again etc. also, most times the 3 modes do not even work ...i just get the highest mode. i have tried using different AA batteries (all brand new), but these problems still persist. also, to make matters even worse ...when carrying this in my VERY loose work pants front pocket, i have noticed on more than half a dozen occasions (by seeing the light shining thru the pants material) that this light will click on when you bend over or sit down, or are driving in the car etc (i have already completely drained a few new batteries because of this). VERY frustrating as i had initially read much positive about this flashlight, and i really wanted to love it (and use it daily) ....frankly because i truly needed a small flashlight like this for work. sadly not being part of the group buy or the free giveaway etc, i went so far as to seek this model flashlight out and purchased it for around $ 25 dollars off of ebay (from a very reliable ebay seller) because this Sofirn SP10B sounded so good, perhaps it was just a true waste of money and i should have opted to spend a bit more $$ and purchase a much more reliable small Olight or something like that. live and learn  Sad

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I had one and gave it away, it’s quite an overated product in my opinion. As far as reliable AA/14500 flashlights go, I much prefer the Sofirn SF14. It’s still as cheap, clicky, so no accidental switching on, simple UI (always start on low > med > high, no strobes)

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My collectionEmisar: D4 / D1 / D4 (broken) ― Convoy: C8 Clear / S2+ Clear / S2+ / S2+ UV / S6 ― Nitecore: Tube / Thumb / Concept 1 / HC30 / HC33 / TIP / TIP CRI / TINI ― Lumintop: Tool AAA / Tool AA / HLAAA / EDC05 ― Sofirn: SF10 / SF12 / SF12 / SF14 / SF14 / SF14 / SP10A / SP10A (gifted) ― Jaxman: E3 ― UTorch: UT01 ― Trustfire: Z2 ― Skyfire: SF-065 (trashed)

chezz
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Persechini wrote:
I had one and gave it away, it's quite an overated product in my opinion. As far as reliable AA/14500 flashlights go, I much prefer the Sofirn SF14. It's still as cheap, clicky, so no accidental switching on, simple UI (always start on low > med > high, no strobes)

 

thanks for that info, i will check into that SF14 model, although somewhat hesitant now to buy another Sofirn as a pocket flashlight all things considered. good thing i sill have my trusty Thrunite Ti3 ....at least that still works like a champ after 3 years of hard carry and heavy use ...just wish it was a little brighter Smile

eas
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That sounds quite frustrating, chezz.

Have you checked to make sure the tailcap and head are snug when it won’t turn on? My tailcap may turn a little too easily. I’m sure that it would work its way loose in my pocket if I had the key fob attached. Reducing the amount of lube helps keep it from working loose. Also, have you checked the driver retaining ring?

As for the light turning on when you don’t want it to, that’s one of the downsides of eswitch lights. The SP10b will lock out the light if you click 4 times in quick succession. Another four quick clicks unlocks it. And there is always the quarter twist of the tailcap for a physical lockout.

It may be that you got a dud. In which case, you should see about getting a refund or replacement. The seller shouldn’t hesitate given how much it sounds like they marked up the light over what it was selling for on Amazon or AliExpress.

A few final thoughts:
If it tends to get turned on in your pocket and the methods of locking it out cut into its utility, a tail switch light sounds like it could be a much better bet.

If you are going to be using decent flashlights from here on out, ditch the disposable alkaline cells, they really aren’t up to the task of powering a light like the SP1b. For one thing, you’ll get maybe 1/2 the output you’d get on a LiIon 14550 or a NiMH AA, and even then, you won’t get it for long. Running the light at low, an alkaline will probably have 1/2 the usable capacity of an inexpensive low-self-discharge AA, like the White Ikea Ladda. At high, its probably closer to 1/4th the usable capacity. A 14500 would also work in this light. Also, alkaline batteries tend to leak.

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Bitcoin is a terrible currency. That doesn’t make it a great investment.

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chezz wrote:

Wellp, a lot of this is why I find it perplexing why people prefer an instant-on with a simple click vs click’n‘hold. It makes it that much more unlikely to accidentally turn it on.

People piss’n‘moan about having a hard time finding the switch if it’s not raised and is instead flush with the case. But then they piss’n‘moan when anything just squishes down the button flush and turns it on in a pocket, bag, etc. Manufacturers just can’t win…

Me, I never had any issues as you mention with switching modes, etc. Maybe you got a lemon, dunno. Sounds like it.

I like keeping it on firefly mode, so even an accidental-on puts it in its lowest mode, unless subsequent clicks make it brighter. A doubleclick from anywhere goes right to turbo. Perfect.

And yeah, I did suffer Glowing Pocket Syndrome at least once that I caught it.

EVERY SINGLE LIGHT I’ve used for EDCing, that has either a side-clicky (especially) or tail-clicky, has been accidentally turned on, most times long enough to run down a cell, even a pricey Li primary. Hell, even my holstered ’502, I’ve bapped the tailswitch on an armrest when sitting down (twice, no less!) and felt this nice warm glow cooking my side.

The only lights I’ve never ever ever had accidentally turn on? Twisties. And lots of people here claim that twisties are easy to turn on. Ha! You’re essentially doing a TCLO but on the head, not tail, when turning off a twisty.

Every other light? Assume it will turn on by accident. Fact of life.

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chezz
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@eas & Lighbringer ; i have read over (thrice) all that you both have written ....and i agree with all of it, many excellent points and much solid advice there from you both, thanks very much. eas ...yes, i did check all the things you mentioned ...but as you pointed out, i should have un-screwed the tail-cap, you are absolutely correct ...this is the first side-switch i have owned, so not used to that ...and frankly was not thinking (Cest La Vie). also, i think you are both right ...the SP10B i purchased is more than likely a dud (lemon) ...but i have carried it for 3 months now (pocket wear ...although Not connected to a key Fob, was just simply loose floating around in my big front pocket with the factory lanyard attached), and the ebay seller would never take it back or exchange it unfortunately (and i already left him a nice feedback after the light arrived in the mail, although defect is not his fault).  live and learn Smile  at any rate, tis true ...re-chargeable batteries are the way to go (i have actually been researching this, and will soon be purchasing a good Opus charger too, based on all i have read here on BLF). Lightbringer, your point about twisties is VERY well taken, frankly if there was a high CRI or Neutral White Twisty (that i knew of) that was the same size as the SP10B, and could output the same power (my plan was to order a 14500 rechargeable battery for the SP10B for max power), i would purchase that light to carry in my front pocket on construction sites and such ...because i am very used to using the Trunight Ti3 twisty on my keychain (love it), and i too have never ever had any problems with my trusted Ti3 twisty accidentally turning on as you said.

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Well, being on BLF means you are already in the nicest place to find info about making an adequate flashlight into an almost perfect flashlight. Emitter swaps are quite a fun thing to do, so you can take a high CRI neutral white emitter and stick it in your favorite EDC

In my Tree

My collectionEmisar: D4 / D1 / D4 (broken) ― Convoy: C8 Clear / S2+ Clear / S2+ / S2+ UV / S6 ― Nitecore: Tube / Thumb / Concept 1 / HC30 / HC33 / TIP / TIP CRI / TINI ― Lumintop: Tool AAA / Tool AA / HLAAA / EDC05 ― Sofirn: SF10 / SF12 / SF12 / SF14 / SF14 / SF14 / SP10A / SP10A (gifted) ― Jaxman: E3 ― UTorch: UT01 ― Trustfire: Z2 ― Skyfire: SF-065 (trashed)

chezz
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Persechini wrote:
Well, being on BLF means you are already in the nicest place to find info about making an adequate flashlight into an almost perfect flashlight. Emitter swaps are quite a fun thing to do, so you can take a high CRI neutral white emitter and stick it in your favorite EDC

very true ...excellent point Smile always best to think outside of manufacturer's specs or supposed limitations ....as i have many times read (and seen pics) of the many amazing things that some talented people have done here on BLF ! cheers Smile

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Lightbringer wrote:

Wellp, a lot of this is why I find it perplexing why people prefer an instant-on with a simple click vs click’n‘hold. It makes it that much more unlikely to accidentally turn it on.

Couldn’t agree more. I picked up a Sofirn SP33 a few weeks back. It has the side switch click and hold to turn on method. Drove me nuts for a few days until I got use to it. Now I don’t understand why every light doesn’t do this. Being a 26650 light what are some other lights that use that feature? Something in a more pocketable 18650, 18350, 16340, or 14500. I’d buy a few.

Lightbringer
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toddcshoe wrote:
Couldn’t agree more. I picked up a Sofirn SP33 a few weeks back. It has the side switch click and hold to turn on method. Drove me nuts for a few days until I got use to it. Now I don’t understand why every light doesn’t do this. Being a 26650 light what are some other lights that use that feature? Something in a more pocketable 18650, 18350, 16340, or 14500. I’d buy a few.

Wellp, someone (Enderman, I think) said that with the simple-click on/off, it would easily pass the Granny Test. Ie, give it to your granny and see if she could work the light without reading an instruction manual. Anyone could click it on/off, even if a longclick would be needed to switch modes, but would be able to simply click it on/off.

So there’s an advantage to that, too. Depends on your point of view, preferences, etc.

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pennzy
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A little Goop and a stainless washer works wonders. Probably will extend the switch life too. Less lateral stress . Less downward stress. I found a nice thin 1/4” one and drilled it out to 5/16” . This keeps the overall size smaller . Polished up with some metal polish, looks like it came stock.

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@pennzy: do you have any pictures, by chance?
Thanks!

pennzy
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Sorry, I don’t use those photo services.

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pennzy wrote:
A little Goop and a stainless washer works wonders. Probably will extend the switch life too. Less lateral stress . Less downward stress. I found a nice thin 1/4” one and drilled it out to 5/16” . This keeps the overall size smaller . Polished up with some metal polish, looks like it came stock.

Sorry for being dense. You mean you found a thin washer that you drilled out to the same diameter as the switch and then glued it on top of the existing bezel so the switch is now flush?
pennzy
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Scientist wrote:
pennzy wrote:
A little Goop and a stainless washer works wonders. Probably will extend the switch life too. Less lateral stress . Less downward stress. I found a nice thin 1/4” one and drilled it out to 5/16” . This keeps the overall size smaller . Polished up with some metal polish, looks like it came stock.

Sorry for being dense. You mean you found a thin washer that you drilled out to the same diameter as the switch and then glued it on top of the existing bezel so the switch is now flush?

Yes . The goop is the trick . Use a tooth pick to apply a very little around the perimeter of the switch being careful not to use too much. Let it sit overnight. There are many different use Goops . Mostly the same . My favorite go to glue.Amazing strength yet removable without damage.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/RV-Goop-Tube-3-7-oz/17422755

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Will a XP L2 be much of an improvement over the XP G2 in a Sofirn SP10B?

korkfoto
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Does anybody know, these Soshines 900 fit the SP10B?
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Soshine-4pc-3-7V-ICR-14500-900mAh-Li-ion...

eas
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pennzy wrote:
Will a XP L2 be much of an improvement over the XP G2 in a Sofirn SP10B?

Improvement? By what measure? Throw? Overall brightness? Efficiency, etc?

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Bitcoin is a terrible currency. That doesn’t make it a great investment.

pennzy
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Overall brightness . Is it worth the switch?

moderator007
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pennzy wrote:
Overall brightness . Is it worth the switch?

A lot would depend on which bin of each your comparing. But according to test done by members here I’d say it be a good increase. I haven’t checked the current draw on mine but from the advertised 573 lumens that looks to be about 2.5 amps. A xp-l2 V5 should do about 950 lumens at that current, could possibly be more with it’s slightly lower vf.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/12919
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/51481
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chezz wrote:
thanks for that info, i will check into that SF14 model, although somewhat hesitant now to buy another Sofirn as a pocket flashlight all things considered. good thing i sill have my trusty Thrunite Ti3 ….at least that still works like a champ after 3 years of hard carry and heavy use …just wish it was a little brighter Smile

Everyone gets a lemon every now and again. I’ve got an embarrassingly large number of Sofirn lights, and have had few if any problems with them. Loose retaining-ring on the driver, fixed easily by just snugging it up.

As much as I’ve had similar good experiences with Thorfire, I had one go boom just by tipping over(!). Fixed now thanks to percussive therapy, but still… (Never a problem with any other.)

Even my trusty’n‘crusty bobofett light (a beat-to-Hell 3buk Inland/MicroStore 1-mode light) is going south, as its switch is getting all flickery and unstable.

Point being, every brand, even rock-reliable ones, can have a lemon sneak through.

I have a coupla SF14s on the way, so will see how they shake out.

I’ve had it (SP10B) turn on in my pocket. A twist to snug up the tailcap is easier for me than bapping the button a bunch of times to unlock it. Also positively cuts out any parasitic drain.

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