Sofirn HS20 Review (2700 Lumens, High CRI, USB-C)

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liquidretro
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Sofirn HS20 Review (2700 Lumens, High CRI, USB-C)

It’s been a little while since I took a look at a new headlamp, well that ends today with the Sofirn HS20, a dual emitter headlamp with onboard USB-C charging and a really simple, yet effective interface. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me to look at and tell you about. I have been using it the past few weekends for auto and home maintenance.

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Packaging & Accessories
Typical basic packaging here from Sofrin, just enough to ship the light safely and nothing more. Accessories include the headlamp, the over the 3 strap headband, 3000mAh 18650 button top battery, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, a lanyard, manual, and a box of extra origins.




Construction & Design
The light is made of aluminum and hard anodized black, the most durable color. The design here uses the proven form factor of keeping the battery low horizontally, and the emitters above it. The light has 2 emitters one for flood and the other for flow, and I will talk more about those in the LED & Beam section. Above the emitters are the buttons to turn each on and adjust modes. Each are independent which makes the UI here easy. Each button has green LED’s in side as well that server as a voltage indicator too.



When looking at the emitters, the left side cap unscrews to remove the battery, it goes in plus side facing the charging port which is on the right side under a tail cap showing the USB symbol. Markings are minimal with just the name, model number and battery on the front. On the back you have your CE markings and serial number. On lights with the SFT40 LED, the serial number will end in SF.


Retention
The headband is basic but very functional. It’s the standard 3 piece which for this light might be overkill as it’s not that heavy but I like the 3 strap designs as it keeps things in place better I think. There is no grip on the inside of the bands as you see sometimes on premium lights. The elastic has Sofirn woven into the elastic. All this attaches to a silicon mount that attaches to the light inboard of the tail caps.

Size & Weight
I measured the length at 85.53mm, the diameter on the tailcaps at 26mm. Height came in at 47mm, and thickness at 24mm on the tube. Weight with the battery and headband comes in at 6.22oz. The light is IPX68 water and dust rated and has impact resistance to 1M. Here are some comparison photos to other 18650 headlamps.


LED & Beam
The light ships with 2 emitters in 2 different versions. The floody emitter (smaller lens) is a Samsung LH351D in 4750k tint with a CRI of 96 according to my Opple meter. This is the same on both versions. The difference is in the larger Spot emitter. Mine shipped with the Cree XHP 50.2 LED that I measured at 5360k with a CRI of 68. The XHP 50.2 is a bit of an odd choice for a throwy emitter, and as a result Sofirn now sells a version that replaces the XHP with an SFT40 emitter which should increase the throw distances substantially. When both emitters were on together I measured 5180k and 75CRI. There is some PWM here on all modes, but its minimal.








Measured Outputs
I will put up a chart here of my measured outputs vs what Sofirn claims. In general, they are pretty accurate.

Runtime & Heat
With 5 brightness modes, 2 LED’s there are a lot of combinations here, I focused on the higher outputs here to make output graphs with. All of these were tested with the LH351D and XHP50.2 version of the light, and tested on my calibrated (but still homemade) lumen tube and the included 3000mAh Sofirn Battery.

Under Turbo with both emitters on, at the 30 second mark, I measured 2220 lumens, and this declined pretty quickly within 4 minutes it was down to 290 lumens because the heat had climbed to 55C. As the light cools slightly it does step up in brightness to around 500 lumens. Effective runtime here was a little over 2 hours. The light remains on longer then this but only in eco mode.

I then compared turbo on each emitter independently, and you can see the results of that.

I am currently running a few more runtime tests in High mode and will insert my findings of those here. I don’t expect any surprises.

UI
The User Interface of a headlamp is important, and with the Sofirn HS20 It couldn’t be simpler. The light has 2 emitters, and a dedicated button to operate each. It’s the same UI on both, and neither is codependent on the other. The light has memory mode so when you press either of the buttons it comes on in the mode previously used except for eco or turbo. To change modes you just press and hold to cycle through low, medium, and high. To get into eco just long press from off, and to get to turbo just double click.

Recharging
Recharging here is accomplished via USB-C. It’s under an aluminum screw-on cap on the end of the light. Under the cap, there is a red and green LED’s to give charge status indicators. The light is capable of charging via USB-C PD, and will run when charging but at reduced output. From LVP at 2.798v to Full at 4.165v it took 2:18:00 to fully charge, with the charge rate reaching about 1.5A during the CC charging phase.


Conclusion
Sofrin has another good light on it’s hand here with the HS20. It’s basic UI makes it really functional, and easy to use while at the same time being really effective. With my Cree XHP50.2 version here there isn’t a ton of difference between flood and throw, but that should be greatly improved with Sofirn choosing to swap it out for a SFT40 LED. It’s the version I would recommend you pick up because of that reason.

The tints are pretty neutral, and I like that it has the flood beam be high CRI, and pretty neural despite a small amount of green tint, which is common for the LH351D LED’s.

Overall a good affordable headlamp that should suit a variety of tasks well. I do wish it had a lower eco mode since 5 lumens is as low as it goes and that’s only in flood mode. My preference would be more around 1 lumen. I think everyone needs a headlamp as you know if you have seen other headlamp reviews I have done. This would be an excellent pickup in my opinion.
https://i.imgur.com/erz8ToO.jpg

Sofirn has generously provided a discount if you choose to pick up this light, I will have that info in the description along with links to where you can pick it up on Sofirn’s website and on Amazon.

lumenzilla
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Thanks for your great review (as always).

Did the scratched screw heads came from the factory?

liquidretro
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lumenzilla wrote:
Thanks for your great review (as always).

Did the scratched screw heads came from the factory?

!{width:60%}https://i.imgur.com/A2izYOc.jpg!

That’s from the factory, but if you look at other images, especially the ones outside it’s not really a scratch. Maybe a slight machining defect?