Sofirn SD02A Diving light preliminary review (initial thoughts)

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98dinan3
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Sofirn SD02A Diving light preliminary review (initial thoughts)

Hey Everybody!

I’ve very generously been provided with a Sofirn Sd02A for testing and review by the official Sofirn shop over on Aliexpress. Since we have pretty much come to the end of our diving season in Canada, this will just be a quick summary of my initial thoughts after a relatively short quarry dive while sorting out some new gear. The water clarity was far from optimal, with viz of roughly 5-8 ft, and the day was sunny, so less than ideal for testing a light. I didn’t want to keep Sofirn waiting for at least a little feedback, so thought it better than nothing. My wife and I are already booked for a dive vacation in Barbados during December, so a detailed review with pics and video will follow. Also some longer term impressions, and a view at how it’s holding up with use. With that said, off we go…

First impressions.

The anodizing is even and matte finished. Printing on the light is clear and legible. There are no ridiculous logos or any other nonsense to be found. Almost all *(more about this later) edges are softly rounded and smooth, and feel good in the hand. The side button is stainless, and looks nice. It is easy to use, and has a fairly positive feel . Threads are square cut, and came clean and lubed. Double o-rings looked to be plump, and felt smooth while sealing. The SD02/A falls right between a P60 and C8 sized lights, with a fairly deep smooth reflector relative to it’s diameter. Overall, looks like a quality, and professional tool.

Light output, colour, etc…

5 modes, ranging from moonlight to turbo. Turbo claims 820 lumens and seems about right compared to other lights I own. The “A” version I’ve been provided is listed as 3500K and appears very, very warm when white wall hunting indoors. Initially, I thought it would be far too yellow for my tastes, but once used in real life outdoors, I was satisfied with the tint, and found colour rendering to be pretty good. When used underwater, in the greenish tint of our freshwater lakes here, the light actually appeared to have a slight rosy hue that was very pleasing. This may differ at deeper depths, as I was only down approximately 10 meters during the gear check dive, or in differing conditions, but for now I’m pretty happy with the warm white. The beam is tight enough to cut through the silt, but not seem like a laser. I’ll have to wait for a night dive to really check the spill.

Waterproof?

Before the dive, I cleaned off the unknown lube, and replaced with good quality silicone grease just to be safe… ABSOLUTELY NO SIGN OF WATER INGRESS AT ALL!!! at least down to 10 meters at 66 degrees for 40 minutes.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT NOTE!!! (remember I hinted at this earlier…)

Like most divers, I attached the light to a bolt snap through the lanyard hole on the tail of the light. This was done in the usual, and accepted manner with cave line so as to clip the light to a d-ring on my bcd. After the dive, as per my usual routine, I performed a thorough soak and cleaning of my equipment, along with a visual inspection. It was at this point I found a little issue, that could have been really unfortunate. After only 1 dive, and a short one at that, the cave line was fraying a bit more than I would like. A couple quick yanks back and forth, and the cave line was sawed right through. The inner lip on the lanyard hole is WAY too sharp. This could have caused a loss of the light if I wasn’t as diligent as I am with gear checks.

As a solution, either attach the light with something more cut resistant like multiple zip ties, or even better, deburr/chamfer the inner lip of the lanyard hole before use. Not an issue if you are using on land, or don’t require some kind of tethe, but pretty major for scuba.

RECOMMENDED?

Absolutely YES, without a hint of doubt. The Sofirn SD02 and the SD02A are really quite impressive for the money. They are pretty easy to find for about $30 CDN on ALI, and represent a very good value. In a sport like scuba, where everything carries a massive mark up and sky high pricetags, this little light is a hidden gem. Make sure to take care of the one little issue with the sharp lanyard hole, and you have a really nice light for not a lot of cash. I’ll be ordering another one for my wife, and some of the members of our scuba club have been really impressed so far. As long as it holds up a little deeper in future dives, they’ll also be ordering. I’m now intrigued in what else Sofirn has to offer. If their other scuba lights are of comparable quality, they might also very well be real winners….

Dave Campbell

PS… keep your eyes open for the full review and long term thoughts following our dive trip to Barbados!

Edited by: 98dinan3 on 09/25/2018 - 21:55
JakeDjanitor
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How is this light holding up? A buddy and I need a snorkeling light

JasonWW
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Any pictures?

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.