[review] Sofirn SD01 4x18650 diving light!

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Lightbringer
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[review] Sofirn SD01 4x18650 diving light!

[nb: no pix yet as the light’s not available on Amazon, and I can’t use them as an image-host, so have to find something else… but coming soon!]

 

With the SD02 and SD05, I was wondering if there was an SD01. And now there is. LOL

And a nice one it is, at that. 4 18650s, 3 non-overlapping reflectors (for a nice clean non-cloverleaf beam), and a magnetic-ring switch with 4 brightness levels, makes for a Q8-with-a-handle that’s waterproof to boot. It almost looks like an insulated coffee-mug, but one that can throw 6000lm. LOL

The box is a nice sturdy orange and black cardboard with secure foam insert to protect the light from even the angriest delivery men. Inside is a set of spare O-rings and user manual. This was the bare light, not the kit (which comes with cells/chargers/cables).

First impressions are really good. Flawless semigloss ano, no dings or voids anywhere to be found. The battery tube does not have a tailcap like the Q8 but is a single machined piece, and the 4-leaf-clover-shaped spring-board is evidently pressed-down the battery chutes. Nice! The base is slightly flared where a tailcap would be. There’s a chocolate-bar grip around the tube vs knurling. Nice grip, but you’d typically be holding it by the bolted-on handle. That must have started from one big block of aluminum and machined down into that piece. LOL

There’s no lanyard in the box that I found, but there are 3 wide slots for one on the tail end of the tube. The slots are nicely chamfered and smooth on the outside, but feel rather sharp on the inside. I know someone will bring it up, so just be sure to smooth them, or use a metal ring or similar to hook a typical lanyard to it.

The head is another solid block in a roughly triangular shape, from the arrangement of the 3 emitters. The carrying handle is attached to the head. Also, the magnetic ring is between the triangular emitter-block and the round part where the driver board is located. I’m not sure how to remove the ring for cleaning or maybe packing with “scuba grease”. Using fingers to try to pry it off isn’t working, and I don’t want to break anything. Smile Rotating the ring feels a bit “scratchy”, so something to pack the gap with, not only for a nicer feel but also to help protect from corrosion, would be a good idea. I’ll have to ask about it…

And unlike most lights, there are 2 O-rings sealing the tube and the head. Of course, there isn’t any charging port, USB or otherwise, because that would be a weak link as far as water ingress. My all-night soak in a utility sink didn’t allow any water into the light, no condensation on the glass, etc.

Just like the Q8, the SD01 takes up to 4 button-top cells. Springs are pretty beefy, so it could probably take (high-drain) protected cells, too. Nb: even though I was at first using only 1 cell to test, cranking it to turbo and expecting 1 cell to push enough current is probably torture to the cell, so definitely load it up with all 4 to not stress out the individual cells.

I’m not sure of the emitters, as the box says XP-L, but the manual lists SST40s for the SD01 and XHP50.2 for the SD01pro. Whatever they are, they’re hella bright. LOL At first glance down the reflectors SST40 looks right, as I can’t make out any squared-off dome of an XP-L, nor any “cross” of an XHP.

The beam is nice and neutral white, a bit of yellow corona and for the majority of spill, only fading slightly bluer at the edges. Pretty nice, not ringy or anything.

The UI is simplicity itself: twist the ring from off to any of 4 brightness levels. The manual says they’re 350lm, 900lm, 2000lm, and 6000lm, and guesstimating from ceiling bounce sounds about right. True, 350lm for “low” sounds rather bright, but remember this is a diving light. It’s not as though you need moonlight levels to avoid waking up the fishies in the middle of the night.

“Turbo” compares favorably to my Q8 and DC7, but I fully charged 2 sets of cells to do A/B comparisons. Just for testing, I was using only 1 cell, but wanted to make it a fair fight and top off 2 full sets of cells. That done, Q8, DC7, and SD01, all light up the room via ceiling-bounce even brighter than room lights.

That’s about it. Everything is simple and easy, and other than not (yet) being able to remove the switch-ring, I can’t find anything majorly wrong with the light. LOL Really nice beam, hella bright, built like a tank, well-sealed against water ingress, this is a great general-purpose light as well as a diving light. But if you dive, I’d recommend this as a solid light for that, too. LOL

 

Oh, the Sofirn site with really nice pix can be found at

https://sofirnlight.com/sd01-diving-flashlight-6000lm-p0154.html

Maybe I’ll pilfer a pic or two just for showin’… LOL

 

Here’s the little critter…

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Edited by: Lightbringer on 11/15/2020 - 23:36
pennzy
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Dang, I can understand why no charging port but I’m still waiting for a rechargeable Q8. Nice review.

Lightbringer
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That’s why my BLF Q8 (floodier, warmer) is languishing in its holster, vs my Airpro DC7 (throwier, colder) with onboard charging has its place on my table. Flat Stare

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Bwana
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I like the simple UI . I would prefer that over the Q8 I bought .

Where are the discount codes ?

71k5
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Nice review.

I purchased the Sofirn SD01 as well.

Here is how I attached an SD05 lanyard to my SD01 handle.

and

I would have attached the lanyard to one of the bottom slots, but the top INSIDE edge has not been beveled, as the outside edge of the slots have been. So you may cut your lanyard, using any of the bottom slots for a lanyard.

The included manual shows that Sofirn may come out with the SD01 Pro. Which looks to have 10k lumen, and uses the Cree XHP50.2 LED.

It also appears that the SD01 Pro will be “floodier” than the SD01.

The SD01 using Luminus SST-40 LED’s, has a beam throw of 507 meter, while the SD01 Pro using Cree XHP50.2 LED’s, has a beam throw of 377 meter.

Strange that the 10k lumen SD01 Pro, has 130 meter less throw than the 6k lumen SD01.

It’s also strange that the Medium/900 lumen setting has a runtime of 5.5 hours, while the High/2000 lumen setting has a runtime of 5 hours.

The included manual also states that the SD01 includes a lanyard as an accessory, but I didn’t receive one in the box.

NOTE : Right click on any picture, select “View Image”, and the picture can now be enlarged considerably.

Lightbringer
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71k5 wrote:
I would have attached the lanyard to one of the bottom slots, but the top INSIDE edge has not been beveled, as the outside edge of the slots have been. So you may cut your lanyard, using any of the bottom slots for a lanyard.

Yeh, mentioned that as I knew people would take exception to that. Hard to machine from the inside-out, so dunno how or if they’ll solve that before the ano step.

71k5 wrote:
It also appears that the SD01 Pro will be “floodier” than the SD01.

The SD01 using Luminus SST-40 LED’s, has a beam throw of 507 meter, while the SD01 Pro using Cree XHP50.2 LED’s, has a beam throw of 377 meter.

Strange that the 10k lumen SD01 Pro, has 130 meter less throw than the 6k lumen SD01.

Oh, good, so I was right about the SST40s…

Nah, not so strange, as a floodier beam from a bigger chip means light’s more spread out. If spread out more than additional brightness makes up for, throw will be less.

Like the MT09R with XHP35s (fewer lumens, more throw) vs -50s (more lumens, less throw).

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Sidney Stratton
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Just so came across this light and had a few queries; Asked Sofirn about the type of drive (direct vs. regulated) and type of thermal management (hopefully they didn’t slap a minute timer like the original SD05).

Yes, it’s throwy. But the Osram HX could be better suited – gifting to friend up way north, well within the arctic circle.