Sofirn D25L headlamp review

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PBWilson
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Sofirn D25L headlamp review

I had this posted in a Sofirn thread but thought it might do more good on its own, so here it is (with a few edits and revisions in there because I couldn’t help it)!

I just received my new D25L today and I can already tell that I am going to enjoy these Samsung LH351D emitters much more than the cool white SST40 in my other Sofirn headlamp.

I first used these leds in a Sofirn SP31v2.0 flashlight and I am happy that there’s another high CRI, 5000K led out there and being put into good designs. While starting off with cool white emitters for maximum output and slowly transitioning toward warmer (4000K) lights, I’ve settled on the Goldilocks 5000K as my favorite. Being high CRI is icing on the cake in this headlamp. It’s so pleasant on the eyes and really makes things look vivid and real. The levels seem to be spaced nicely and the LH351D emitters seem to give a bit more of a floody profile compared side by side with my older Sofirn headlamp.

I’ve got a number of headlamps (7 or so) and my first quality one was a Zebralight H600Fd III. It’s bombproof and reliable but a bit heavy to wear and bring on backpacking trips where every ounce counts. I had an old super light Petzl that was so garishly blue in hue, that it makes me cringe when I think about the night hiking experiences I had wearing it. Everything was a wash of bright blue and I always had to carry extra AAA batteries. Ugh. I then found deals on some Eagle Eye headlamps but their long press to turn off bugs me and the 18350 cells don’t last as long as I’d like.

Then I got a Sofirn D25S which is lighter than my Zebralight and lots less expensive. I take care of my gear and even though it’s not as waterproof as some designs, with some adequate grease on the threads and O-rings, it’s been a steady companion on my backpacking and camping trips. Never caused me any difficulties even with the rain that we get from time to time. It’s easy to adjust, both up and down and in brightness. Click and hold to cycle through the levels. One click and it’s off. Nice and simple and easy to teach a hiking companion. My new D25L shares the same functions and I’m hoping that it’ll work just as well.

I remember when Firefly came out with a super powerful headlamp that got me interested, but then I really took stock of what I need in a headlamp and decided to not pull the trigger on one. It’s got to have a good low level for reading at night and getting up to pee without disturbing my wife or my son. With a high level of around 1000 lumens on the D25L, it’s more than enough for night hiking on rocky and root-infested trails in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. (We usually leave for the mountains after work on a Friday, drive to the trailhead, hike for a few hours after it gets dark and wake up in the middle of the mountains. It’s lots of fun.) Having more lumens on a pocket rocket light is fun and great to show off for friends, but the heat is something I do not want, especially on my forehead. My Sofirn headlamp never gets uncomfortably hot. Nice and smart. Good battery life too.

I’m planning a trip next week and am going to give my old D25S to my son and I’ll be wearing my new D25L myself. My son might enjoy the fact that his lamp will have a few more lumens that his dad’s, but I’ll be enjoying this nice tint for sure.
Also, this one comes with clips to attach to a hard hat. Not something I need, but it’s pretty cool of Sofirn to include it to make their light more versatile and set apart from the pack. The charging cable and 3000mah battery make this a great deal and an easy choice to recommend for a person who wants to get something ready-to-go for a really good price. I’ve recommended other Sofirn lights in the past to people who want a one-stop-shop experience and one with a solid product.

GhostJoe
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Do you see green tint on low output? Also D25 and S11c are simply not real sofirn light, they were made by Boruit or somebody else while sofirn just asked the manufacturer to replace the emitter for them. You will see drastic difference on quality when you compare them with a sofirn branded light.

PBWilson
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The lowest settings have a tiny bit of green to my eye, but not overly so. I’ve ever been bothered my a hint of green like some people. I notice that the colors are more “correct” with this light.

However Sofirn went about it with offering this headlamp, I appreciate the fact that they listen to the forums suggestions and offer different emitters. Responding to the customers is a huge benefit for me.

Also, I’ve got about a half dozen other Sofirn lights. I think they are a consistent contender for “bang for the buck” these days.

ShyOne
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+1 PBWilson.. I completely agree. Sofirn is doing a great job & supplying excellent lights. ✅

idahofarmer
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30 lumen is low??? Really?
90grams weight??? Wow!
No red
No magnet
No mag charge

Sofirn
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Thank you for sharing your experience of D25L headlamp!

ShyOne
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1. “30 lumen is low??? Really?”
Correct, “low” enough for most.

2. “90grams weight??? Wow!”
Yep! Maybe not the lightest, but far from the heaviest!! Not bad at all in fact.

3. “No red”
Correct observation.

4. “No magnet”
Correct observation. Just more non-essential weight for a rarely used, by most; headlamp feature.

5. “No mag charge”
Correct observation. And thank goodness I might add. Magnetic Charging, which is proprietary; SUX.

Good review PBWilson…thank you!!

diablo2424
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Great review PBWilson!

I love everything about this headlamp, except the MicroUSB charging :(. I only keep USB-C cables with me nowadays, and wish it had USB-C

EDC: RovyVon Aurora A28 Nichia 219C White/UV
Warm Light: Noctigon KR4 QUAD Cyan 4x SST20 4000k 95CRI Flood - SkyLumen Custom
RGB Light: Rayus A10 RGB
Thrower: Nitecore P16
Old EDC: Nitecore Tube EDC - Nichia 219
OG EDC: Nitecore Tip 2017 CRI