REVIEW: Sofirn SD05 Scuba Diving Flashlight

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Nachtfeuerzeug
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REVIEW: Sofirn SD05 Scuba Diving Flashlight

A number of firsts, for me, happened in the last few weeks. Three that came at once were:

  1. receiving my first diving flashlight;
  2. this is my first 21700 battery format flashlight;
  3. HOW in Neptune's water world am I going to conduct a test on a diving light!??!

The third one presents a challenge as I'm not a scuba diver but I had some help (Thanks Henk4U2!).

The Sofirn SD05 Scuba Diving Flashlight caught my eye about a month back and so I started looking for more information about it, which was sparse, other than Barry creating a post. Not too long afterward, I received a message from 77Outdoor asking if I'd like to review one of three lights and, lucky for me, the SD05 was one of them!

 

I ordered the Sofirn SD05 on Amazon.

 

The purchase price of the light was reimbursed and the benefit to me is that I get to keep the light. In this review, I intend to provide my initial findings, observations and data with as little subjective information as possible.

 

The light is offered as a kit including the SD05, 21700 battery, charger, micro USB cable, battery adapter and lanyard along with the usual odds and ends.

 

 

The light's emitter is a Cree XH-P 50.2 at 6000K-6500K and coupled to the orange peel reflector, it produces a tight hot spot with plenty of spill.

 

As can be seen in the next few photos, the light appears to be comprised of three parts, the head, body tube and tail.  There are two O-rings at the tail.

I see a (removable?) bezel and the driver appears to have been installed prior to inserting the battery tube into the head.

 

The three modes are changed with a magnetic contact ring with a simple rotary movement. There's a very slight bit of play in the ring but the light switches flawlessly. It sounds like anodized aluminum... well, on anodized aluminum. So, I surmise that even if sediment gets under the ring, it can be washed out.

And speaking of aluminum, look at those fins which, by the way, are 2mm thick with 3mm of space in between and ~3mm deep.

 

Looking inside the tube, from the tail to head, the driver looks like this:

 

On the other end, this is the tail cap:

 

Overall, the body of the flashlight is shaped to ergonomically allow one to spin the ring with your thumb and index finger and be held well with the rest of your fingers and palm.

 

The 21700 battery is stated to hold 4,000 mAh and I'd have to agree as I conducted a run-time test. Upon low voltage protection activation, the battery measured a potential of 2.8 V. I charged the battery at 1 amp and the internal resistance was around 26 mOhms per my Miboxer C4-12.

 

I have three brands of 21700 batteries on hand so the Samsung 50E, LiitoKala and Sofirn fit like this:

 

The measured currents at the tail for each battery with my DMM were:

Sofirn @ 4.19V- steady on 6.2A

Liitokala @ 4.19V- steady on 6.2A

Samsung 50E @ 4.19V- steady on 6.6A

 

I observed that the boost driver kept the current under 7.1A. At voltages below 4V and, if for more than a split second the current went higher than 7.1A, the driver would drop to various currents less than 3A with a corresponding drop in output. At first I noticed that this only happened with the DMM but then I loosened the tail, set the switch to high and tightened the cap again. Above a battery voltage of 4, it didn't happen but below, yes. I captured the step down with the lux meter and the light shining directly at it from 8.5 feet but the graph didn't look great.  It'd be better if I closed the circuit with some wire and it set it up on a good tripod for better recording. Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) and the programmed turbo timer setting kicked in as specified.

The middle mode current was measured as 1.45A and low at 0.4A.

As mentioned earlier, I ran the light on high till the LVP kicked in. Measured with my best smart phone, here is the graph:

With a calibration factor of Lux value/3, (calibrated with my D4 on full 7135 and turbo output) I calculated a max output of 5,762/3= 1,920 lumens for this SD05 sample.

I've checked a number of my other lights to see if they met their specifications and a few did while others didn't. One of my favorite lights, the Sofirn (1,500 lumen) SP32A measured at 1,300 lumens.

Another method I used to measure output was this online lux to lumen calculator.

Inputs were:

I was looking for an output easily above 2550 lumens considering my DMM tail current measurements. As this may be one of the first reviews for the Sofirn SD05 on BLF, I look forward to other members conducting measurements with their equipment. However, comparing this light to my Sofirn SP33 with an XH-P 50.2 leaves me little concern that the Sofirn SD05 is producing the rated output.

 

And finally, the dunk test. The light was submersed at one foot in 68 quarts of water.  I ran it on high and at every 3 minutes, toggled mid to high mode to make sure it ran as hot as possible (didn't really notice the step down).  This was done for twelve minutes and then the light was shut off to contract and potentially suck in water for another 12 minutes.  The light never even felt warm so I didn't expect an issue.  Upon finishing the test, I pulled out the battery, examined the O-rings to see how far, if any, water got past them and all was good.  No vapor presented itself under the AR coated lens.  Here is my setup:

 

All in all, the SD05 is a solid light, exhibits good performance and within the limits of my 'equipment', is waterproof.

 

Pros:

  1. a lot of light in a small package

  2. magnetic switch

  3. tail cap lock out

  4. double O-rings

  5. waterproof (at 100 meters?, I don't know)

  6. ATR

Wanted options:

  1. get rid of turbo timer

  2. 4000K-5000K emitter

  3. smooth reflector

 

I enjoy caving and even if it wasn't necessary, I'd still bring multiple lights.  You certainly wouldn't want to be in this environment without backups

but the Sofirn SD05 would be one of them.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for reading!

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Edited by: Nachtfeuerzeug on 07/15/2019 - 04:18
Nachtfeuerzeug
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Simple and strong add-on (from Atwood Rope MFG) for a simple and strong flashlight:

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

MascaratumB
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Thanks for the review!! Got any outdoor beamshots on this? Wink

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

GIVEAWAY: 1

Sofirn
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haha cool and thank you.
We offer 40% off code for this newly diving light. Any interested, just email us@sofirnlight.com. Thanks.

Nachtfeuerzeug
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MascaratumB wrote:
Thanks for the review!! Got any outdoor beamshots on this? ;)

That's a good idea!  I'll look for a spot and add them.  I swear the SD05 has tighter beam than the new SP33 and with a slightly larger reflector, it should.

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

djozz
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Thanks for the nice review. I really think this is a goodlooking light and it has lots of performance going with it. Even as a non-diving flashlight it is compact enough to be interesting.

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BROODMASTER wrote:

MascaratumB wrote:
Thanks for the review!! Got any outdoor beamshots on this? Wink

That’s a good idea!  I’ll look for a spot and add them.  I swear the SD05 has tighter beam than the new SP33 and with a slightly larger reflector, it should.


Great Wink
If you can find that spot, please show us some shots Wink
Thanks again!!

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

GIVEAWAY: 1

Nachtfeuerzeug
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Found the spot(s)! wink Angry blue, warm and warmer... blinded myself. Lol 

https://youtu.be/-nzeyWrPamg.

 

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Nachtfeuerzeug
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djozz wrote:
Thanks for the nice review. I really think this is a goodlooking light and it has lots of performance going with it. Even as a non-diving flashlight it is compact enough to be interesting.

Thank you! 

And I totally agree about the light!

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

sunny2019by
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Thanks for the review! Reserved all!

Nachtfeuerzeug
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MascaratumB wrote:
Thanks for the review!! Got any outdoor beamshots on this? ;)

I have a few: white balance= 6500K, auto, & 5500K as follows from a phone:

 

Tonight's shots from an old point and blur shoot that's been sitting in a drawer since decent phone cameras came along:

iso 400 low mode

iso 400 medium

iso 400 high

iso 800 low (just here because the low, above, didn't come out too grand)

 

 

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Hoosh
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This is a welcomed thread; I just purchased the Thorfire TD01 and while it is only 18650 powered, it is really has same basic setup with the rotary switch. I purchased it for the waterproof depth though I’m not a diver.

The main difference between the two appears to be the lumen outputs and the rotary levels; the Thorfire’s first “notch” is high as opposed to low with the Sofirn. I have, however, noticed a slight delay of sorts that allows me to twist all the way to low before the light actually turns on. This must be done pretty quickly though…

Nachtfeuerzeug
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@Hoosh, thank you for pointing out the TD01. Yes, similar lights. 

Last night when I took the beam shots, it was kind of bound to happen but it fell one time on the ground and the soil is a lot like sand. Just from that minor drop, enough got under the switch ring to bind just a bit. I washed it twice but still doesn't feel exactly the same. I noticed some instructions with the Thorfire product that mentioned lubricating the switch so I'm curious if anyone can tell me what lubricant is recommended. One concern I have is that some lubricants may eat at the anodization. Others may trap grit under the ring.

It would be great to hear from any divers on the forum.

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

MascaratumB
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Thanks for posting the pictures Wink It gives a glimpse of what it does! Being a simple light, I am tempted to buy it and leave it at my parents home for them to use . I’m only afraid of heat on high mode..

Thanks for posting Wink

[REVIEWS] AMUTORCH: S3 / S3 vs 219c / AM30 / AX1 / VG10 /// SOFIRN: SF14 + SP10A / SP32A / SP10B /// NITEFOX: UT20 / ES10K / K3 /// ODEPRO: KL52 / B108 /// ACEBEAM: H20 / TK16 /// BLITZWOLF: BW-ET1 /// DQG: AA Slim Ti /// HC-LIGHTS: SS AAA /// XTAR: PB2 Charger /// OLIGHT: M2R Warrior /// WUBEN: TO10R / E05 / T70 / E10 /// ON THE ROAD: M1 / i3 / M3 Pro /// ROVYVON: A2 + A5R / E300S / A8 /// KLARUS: XT1C /// LUMINTOP: Tool AA V2.0 + Tool 25 /// LIVARNOLUX: 314791 /// SKILHUNT: M150

Tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /// TIR Lenses: 1 / 2 /// Others: Biscotti 3 + 1*7135 / Triple TIR w/ XP-G2 ///// My Collection ///// My Review's Blog (PT)

GIVEAWAY: 1

Nachtfeuerzeug
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MascaratumB wrote:
Thanks for posting the pictures Wink It gives a glimpse of what it does! Being a simple light, I am tempted to buy it and leave it at my parents home for them to use . I'm only afraid of heat on high mode.. Thanks for posting ;)

You're welcome!  I added a few more from a 'formal' camera and the light was mounted.  The heat is something but nothing like a D4.  Medium isn't too bad.

With regard to your parents (and not to spoil the fun of getting one of these SD05s), you could get them some Sofirn SC31s and replace the XP-G3 with some SST-20s.  Perhaps one with a 5000K and the other with 3000K or 4000K.  The low would be much lower than this dive light and the switch's so-called breathing feature could help them in locating it at night.  Not much heat either. I suspect you have a number of models in mind but that's what I bought for my mom.

Um abraço!

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

gamezawy
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how far deep can this light tolerate under water ?

Nachtfeuerzeug
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gamezawy wrote:
how far deep can this light tolerate under water ?

I don't think anyone has confirmed the 100m specification but this is the deepest I've seen the light in use: Video Review

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Mieciu
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Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

gamezawy wrote:
how far deep can this light tolerate under water ?

I don’t think anyone has confirmed the 100m specification but this is the deepest I’ve seen the light in use: Video Review

I have just ordered the light Smile
Will try it down to 60-70m just like I did here:
https://youtu.be/7kliQGweYXg?t=91

Too bad the turbo mode is going to high after 3 minutes…

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I recently tested the SD05's thermal regulation.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68469

 

It seems to work like a charm. I did not manage to drive it beyond 55°C (ATR thermal threshold for stepdown) even when restarting the high-mode. It would be nice to run the SD05 without time-triggered stepdowns.

 

Nachtfeuerzeug
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Mieciu wrote:
Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

gamezawy wrote:
how far deep can this light tolerate under water ?

I have just ordered the light Smile Will try it down to 60-70m just like I did here: https://youtu.be/7kliQGweYXg?t=91 Too bad the turbo mode is going to high after 3 minutes...

A dive with this light would be awesome! Exactly what the forum needs.

About the modes,  you may switch it up again to turbo.

Looking forward to your dive!

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Nachtfeuerzeug
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

I recently tested the SD05's thermal regulation.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68469

 

It seems to work like a charm. I did not manage to drive it beyond 55°C (ATR thermal threshold for stepdown) even when restarting the high-mode. It would be nice to run the SD05 without time-triggered stepdowns.

 

That's a nice thermo test! Thank you!

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

The Last Katun
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Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

@Hoosh, thank you for pointing out the TD01. Yes, similar lights. 


Last night when I took the beam shots, it was kind of bound to happen but it fell one time on the ground and the soil is a lot like sand. Just from that minor drop, enough got under the switch ring to bind just a bit. I washed it twice but still doesn’t feel exactly the same. I noticed some instructions with the Thorfire product that mentioned lubricating the switch so I’m curious if anyone can tell me what lubricant is recommended. One concern I have is that some lubricants may eat at the anodization. Others may trap grit under the ring.


It would be great to hear from any divers on the forum.


I think the problem is the ferrous composition of some sand grains that is attracted by the magnet in the switch ring.
Try compressed air, or with a more powerful magnet
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The Last Katun wrote:
Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

I think the problem is the ferrous composition of some sand grains that is attracted by the magnet in the switch ring. Try compressed air, or with a more powerful magnet

Water rinsing took care of the issue but I'm still a little wary about the grit. I wish I could see the underside of the ring just to see how stuff can get stuck. Sometimes, pressurized air can push stuff further in to where you don't want it so gotta be careful. Ferrous materials could come out in that manner. Just depends on the underside of the ring.

Thank you for sharing these solutions. 

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Nickerian
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I have been looking for a new budget light since i buy for poverty people in provinces that provide foods for their families by fishing daily and was looking into this one.

Just got a bit skeptical reading the “manual” and was wondering if anyone have the estimated time it actual manages to run? (lets say the included 4000mah 21700 battery states the below)

low 300 = 8.16h
mid 900 = 2.30h
high 2550 = 1.38h

Comparing other lights with a single battery and simular inputs this sounds to be way way off

Mieciu
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Nickerian wrote:

Just got a bit skeptical reading the “manual” and was wondering if anyone have the estimated time it actual manages to run? (lets say the included 4000mah 21700 battery states the below)

low 300 = 8.16h
mid 900 = 2.30h
high 2550 = 1.38h

Comparing other lights with a single battery and simular inputs this sounds to be way way off

Assume you have 15Wh of energy (4Ah x 3,7V avg)
The turbo high (~24W?) switches to medium(12W) after 3 minutes.
At the end of discharge this so called ‘high mode’ is probably only 7-8W.
So dividing 15Wh by average 10-11W gives good aproximation of ~1.5h.

Nachtfeuerzeug
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Nickerian wrote:
I have been looking for a new budget light since i buy for poverty people in provinces that provide foods for their families by fishing daily and was looking into this one. Just got a bit skeptical reading the "manual" and was wondering if anyone have the estimated time it actual manages to run? (lets say the included 4000mah 21700 battery states the below) low 300 = 8.16h mid 900 = 2.30h high 2550 = 1.38h Comparing other lights with a single battery and simular inputs this sounds to be way way off

Looking at the run time graph in the review, the actual is 2.2 hrs for my sample (starting from turbo). Low is approximately 300 lumens and bright enough for many tasks. 

I'll set up a run on the low mode, tonight. Report to follow...

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Nachtfeuerzeug
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Following up, the light ran for 8 hrs 20 minutes where it dropped from 900-475 lux (300-150 lm) down to 281 lux and below. I shut it off & found voltage to be at 2.7V.

Recent/ongoing Mods:

https://imgur.com/a/8qUyZbL

https://imgur.com/a/EHq0i

 

                                

 

Nickerian
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Mieciu wrote:
Nickerian wrote:
Just got a bit skeptical reading the “manual” and was wondering if anyone have the estimated time it actual manages to run? (lets say the included 4000mah 21700 battery states the below) low 300 = 8.16h mid 900 = 2.30h high 2550 = 1.38h Comparing other lights with a single battery and simular inputs this sounds to be way way off
Assume you have 15Wh of energy (4Ah x 3,7V avg) The turbo high (~24W?) switches to medium(12W) after 3 minutes. At the end of discharge this so called ‘high mode’ is probably only 7-8W. So dividing 15Wh by average 10-11W gives good aproximation of ~1.5h.
Had no idea how to calculate that before you show how it was done so thanks for that!
Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

Nickerian wrote:
I have been looking for a new budget light since i buy for poverty people in provinces that provide foods for their families by fishing daily and was looking into this one. Just got a bit skeptical reading the “manual” and was wondering if anyone have the estimated time it actual manages to run? (lets say the included 4000mah 21700 battery states the below) low 300 = 8.16h mid 900 = 2.30h high 2550 = 1.38h Comparing other lights with a single battery and simular inputs this sounds to be way way off

Looking at the run time graph in the review, the actual is 2.2 hrs for my sample (starting from turbo). Low is approximately 300 lumens and bright enough for many tasks. 


I’ll set up a run on the low mode, tonight. Report to follow…

Nachtfeuerzeug wrote:

Following up, the light ran for 8 hrs 20 minutes where it dropped from 900-475 lux (300-150 lm) down to 281 lux and below. I shut it off & found voltage to be at 2.7V.

Thanks for the update and testing, looks very promising and already contacted Sofirn to order a few of these.

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I’ve noticed and increase in shark activity in my swimming pools so I wonder…….will it repel sharks?

What is interesting about his is that I can use it in highly “wet” areas. Like if a snowblower jams at night, I can use it without worrying about water melting on it and causing a lithium bonfire. Or using and abusing it through wet work gloves. That already happened to me last winter and even though the flashlights are “waterproof” I was a bit concerned about snow melting on it. Although it did keep it cool!

I wrote on a previous post I don’t need another flashlight…….yeah, right….. Facepalm

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.