SP10S, better than SP10B in every way, but not perfect

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Lick
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SP10S, better than SP10B in every way, but not perfect

 

tl;dr

Sofirn is serious about their warranties and is trustworthy for their undying support. I have never had a problem with their support.

SP10S should not have a moonlight/eco mode if you can't access it from off, if you had a SP10B it is a continuation and builds upon its strengths and weaknesses, if the SP10B was 1.0 feels like a 1.5b version. The reversible clip is a very nice addition, but the provided keyring clasp should not be used.

 

The SP10S was kindly provided by me to Sofirn this year because my SP10B had died (the infamous drop problem) and I informed them about a month ago, they replaced it with no resistance (I sent a video when I reported the problem), and I want to thank them for providing me the flashlight for free, despite me buying it about a year and half ago. I think that this light is a good continuation of the SP10B but did not fix all of its problems, although I believe it is the best AA for the price and is great clipped on a hat, it is lacking again in its driver.

It takes AA and 14500. I don't have any 14500 so I didn't test them. The SP10S starts on low mode, it has no mode memory on AA. It has a good moonlight mode, and there is no way to start it on moonlight mode which they call eco mode. The light is a very nice neutral white due to the Samsung LED. I used it on my hat most of the time it is not too heavy. It is a shame that multi clicks, long clicks or even a mode switch is not an option to allow you to access moonlight mode, because it does not allow you to start it on moonlight mode, because it would make this light perfect. It is a nice AA light that provides me a lot of energy, I usually used a AAA Ti3 clone, a Glaree E03 or Nitefox K3 on the brims of my hat, but they would run out of light and I would need to replace the battery pretty often. This is heavier but not too heavy to attach to your hat.

It was a good flashlight, and I should have kept it on my hat. Unfortunately one day when I had it on my keys, the provided keyring clasp broke, and I cannot find the light. I wanted to warn anyone who is going to use this light to not use it or be careful when using the clasp, because mine broke I decided to write this review, to warn people to not use it. It is really upsetting to me because the SP10S if it had the moonlight from the off would be the perfect EDC, it is SOOOOO CLOSE and if there was a mode to select if it should be on or off would make the perfect compromise. 

 

Pros:
Good AA for hat (would be better if it had a TIR lens because of corona).
Very good battery life, I replaced them before they died.
Excellent color from the LED, it was the nicest, whitest, LED I have used that did not seem to have any tint in it.
Reversible clip (the SP10B is not made to be reversible but it can be done, I am not sure about the sturdiness I just tried it on a dead one because I found out this was reversible).

Cons:
clip may damage hat because of its tightness.
moonlight mode is not able to be used from the off position, you must cycle to get to it. This makes the omission of it beneficial because it is a "dead mode" that cannot be accessed when you need it, and is in the way when you don't need it.
keyring clasp caused me to lose my flashlight. Better QC should be used in order to prevent cases like mine from happening.

cm64
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I just bought an SP10S
Excellent flashlight but want to mention a few small problems/suggestions.
1. It would be good to be able to switch it on in Eco mode – for example – when Off Press & hold to switch on in Eco mode. Like the Sofirn flashlights. SP33v3.
2. The spring-clip on the lanyard broke even before I could use it.
3. I installed a split-ring on the lanyard hole on the tail cap to clip on to my keys but after a week the ring had worn off some of the red color. This is a bit disappointing.

OK, after using the SP10S for a couple of weeks I find …

the User Guide is wrong OR my SP10S is faulty.

Using a fully charged 14500 battery it does NOT have a memory. It ALWAYS switches on at LOW then cycles to MED then to HIGH then to ECO. It does not matter at which level it was switch off at. Even though the user guide states it has a mode memory

Can someone please confirm this or tell me that it does work as per the User guide ? & I have a faulty product.

I actually prefer it this way – at lease I know at what level it will switch on at.

Sirstinky
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I have the sp10s and it does not have memory with a nimh cell, but it does indeed with the 14500. The UI is a little wonky but perfectly useable and just took time to get used to it. 1 click from off is low, then medium, then high, then back to moon or ‘eco.’ Double tap for turbo. Turbo is accessible at any time. Click and hold to turn off. 3 fast clicks is strobe. 4 fast clicks is the electronic lockout. I found that memory is available for the modes, but it will not memorize turbo mode. It goes into high, which is fine as turbo is crazy bright on a li-ion (I used Shockli black 5A 1000mah).

Lightbringer
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Hmm, that UI really sounds like a few steps backward. I got a B from the time just before black Bs were renamed As but both blue and red Bs stayed as Bs, and really like that UI. f/l/m main cycle, h with 2click, evil strobe with 3click. Don’t recall specifics beyond that, as I kinda stored it for the time being.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

cm64
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I like the UI as it is without a memory.
Mine does not have a memory with a 14500 Li cell. I have not tried any other AA cells.
If I switch to high & power off with a long click when I switch it back on it starts at Low which is better as I know what level it will switch on at.
It would be nice to access the moon/eco level directly from off without having to go through all the other levels.

23 Jul 2020
Not sure what is going on but now my SP10S has a memory. Its behaving as per the User Guide.
2 things that may have done something. I changed battery – may have reset UI and I dropped it onto a hard surface so it got a bit of a knock.

Zappaman
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We have about 5 of the sp10b’s around the house in usable places. One is on top of the fridge when needed for looking into dark cabinets and for power outage duty. We each have one on our nigh stands- great for late night bathroom runs with the super low eco mode. Wife has one in her bathroom drawer (only she knows why), and she also keeps one in her jewelry tower for picking her bling in our bedroom at 5am EVERY weekday morning.

I keep 10500s in all of them and charge them all at once about every 4 months; when one starts blinking. They have been used a lot and never any issues.

Last week I got a Sofirn (May) order in and it had a diffuser for the sp10 I tacked on and I put it on the wife’s jewelry box sp10 and she loves it. It fits nice and tight and I could totally see using it for camping as a “top of the dome” light in my larger tent. It does an excellent job diffusing the light and even eco mode is usable.

I’ll be ordering a few more and one for the Q8 they also have. Sadly they never have got these diffusers for any other models… yet! But I could see buying more of them for SP31 (or IF25a would be killer) lights where you have a decent tail stand option for a decent little camp light on the table with the LT1 hanging up higher over all of camp. Oh! – and how about a plastic doodad thingy you could stick the light’s tail down into so it can’t be knocked over! Question

ZappaMan

hodor
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Agree with OP on all points.

SP10S is my current favourite e-switch AA. Only improvement, but pretty major IMO, would be re-introduce shortcut to moon (hold from off). Minor improvement would be chamfer the cooling fins.

Funtastic
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Just grabbed one of my SP10S units off the shelf and memory not working, loosened/tightened tail and memory now works. Must be a bug in the firmware

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

cm64
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Funtastic wrote:
Just grabbed one of my SP10S units off the shelf and memory not working, loosened/tightened tail and memory now works. Must be a bug in the firmware

Hey Funtastic Thanks for your post I thought i was imagining things. Cool

Sean Ingram
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To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with mine. I was excited when I first received it, but I’ve found it to be unreliable. I load it with an eneloop, but the light is rarely working properly whenever I pick it up occasionally to turn on. Seems like every time I need to replace the battery, because when I press the button it just turns off right after. Or it turns off when I press to access the brighter two modes. I’m beginning to think it drains the battery even when it’s switched off. Not to mention if you lightly tap the tail end against a hard object like a table the light just turns off mysteriously. In contrast, a cheaper AAA light like the C01S doesn’t have issues with reliability. It always turns on, and the battery is never randomly drained and not able to power the light. It’s just about as bright, too. Maybe the SP10S is just not as compatible for NiMH cells as it is with lithium. Too bad I don’t use lithiums. Maybe I should make an exception for this one light so I can get some reliability from it in addition to those crazy lumen counts that they advertise.

Funtastic
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If you’ve got a multimeter you should check for high parasitic drain. Put it on mA setting, remove tail cap, red to negative battery and black to unanodized top of battery tube.

A lot of my stock of Sofirn lights have come with dirty connections so try cleaning tail cap, both ends of tube, driver

Lumens on an AA – 250 ish, 14500 – 650.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

hodor
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I would also recommend cleaning all the contacts even if they don’t look dirty.

cm64
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@Sean Interesting post. I checked my SP10S & found that the tail-cap spring was very flimsy. Thin & just a push fit into a shallow depression in the tail-cap. Possible Sofirm are using a cheaper spring, to save a few cents cost ? Maybe the spring is not seated firmly.
I tried tapping mine & it also switches off. Probably cos of battery bounce caused by the weak spring.
I dug around & found a heaver spring & replaced mine. Just pulled out the old one & pushed in the replacement. Maybe needs to be soldered in for better contact. It does not switch off now unless I really bang it on the tail-cap.

I have only used Li cell.

Worth trying a 14500 it gives an amazing amount of light .

Funtastic
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cm64 wrote:
Maybe needs to be soldered in for better contact. It does not switch off now unless I really bang it on the tail-cap.

I don’t think you can solder to aluminum

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

Sean Ingram
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@Funtastic Thanks; I’ll check for that.

@cm64 An easy to loose contact is a definite flaw in a fair number of them. The incidence would probably be a lot lower with some better parts being used.

Not my video but what we both experienced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xLoPUbunFw
And this lost contact from shaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MliBaJc3WE

Funtastic
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Sean Ingram wrote:
@Funtastic Thanks; I’ll check for that.

@cm64 An easy to loose contact is a definite flaw in a fair number of them. The incidence would probably be a lot lower with some better parts being used.

Not my video but what we both experienced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xLoPUbunFw
And this lost contact from shaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MliBaJc3WE

Have you tried a regular AA battery?

I’ve sold over 40pcs and haven’t had any so sensitive to a bump like those videos.

They do lose contact with a bump on the table but a lot of lights do that with only a rear spring. Tried a stiffer spring like cm64 suggested and now it takes a pretty hard hit to switch off.

Spring used is Convoy’s high drain springs, these work well.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

cm64
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Funtastic wrote:
cm64 wrote:
Maybe needs to be soldered in for better contact. It does not switch off now unless I really bang it on the tail-cap.

I don’t think you can solder to aluminum

Good point. I didn’t realise that it was aluminium LOL

Sean Ingram
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@Funtastic The tap to turn off still happens with a run-of-the-mill alkaline AA. I noticed that the impact needed to lose contact is lower the brighter the mode. A very light tap would accomplish this on the highest brightness. The lowest brightness is fairly resistant to switching off in this way and has to be tapped a lot harder.

Funtastic
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Glad this was brought up, I’ll be swapping the spring out on all my stock. It wouldn’t be ideal to drop the light and it switch off making it difficult to find

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

cm64
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Maybe Sofirm will read this thread & use a better/firmer spring.

Lux-Perpetua
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cm64 wrote:
Maybe Sofirm will read this thread & use a better/firmer spring.

Since SP10R is in development right now, I will be glad to pick up these suggestions and let Sofirn know about it.

cm64
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

cm64 wrote:
Maybe Sofirm will read this thread & use a better/firmer spring.

Since SP10R is in development right now, I will be glad to pick up these suggestions and let Sofirn know about it.

Thanks that will be great.
One other improvement – maybe a direct way to switch on Moonlight/Eco mode – by long press when off. Like the Sp33v3

Lux-Perpetua
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cm64 wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:

cm64 wrote:
Maybe Sofirm will read this thread & use a better/firmer spring.

Since SP10R is in development right now, I will be glad to pick up these suggestions and let Sofirn know about it.

Thanks that will be great. One other improvement - maybe a direct way to switch on Moonlight/Eco mode - by long press when off. Like the Sp33v3

Yes, that's also part of the plan.