[review] Sofirn SP31v2 (dual switch)

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Lightbringer
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[review] Sofirn SP31v2 (dual switch)

[CCed from Amazon, pix to follow]

 

SP31v2… a great yet simple light

I gotta confess, I didn’t think I’d be too wowed by this light, but I was wrong. I have lots of dual-switch lights, so how would this new SP31 set itself apart? I had to find out… Silly

Simplicity, for one thing. The UI (user-interface) is about as simple as you can get.

First things first. This was the kit, not the light-only, so it included the usual 3000mAH Sofirn cell, as well as usb cable and charger. And as usual, the cells clock in at almost exactly 3000mAH. The charger is simple enough: toss in a cell, power it up, and it’s red while charging, green when it’s done.

The light comes in the new style orange and black Sofirn box, with plastic tray cradling the light and providing storage for the charger, usb cable, lanyard, and manual. The cell is inside the light but insulated with a small disc which needs to be removed first.

First impressions are good as usual. The ano is a flawless semigloss black, no voids anywhere. No sharp edges or corners anywhere on the light. There’s a chromed clip which is incredibly sturdy and holds quite well, but to me still looks like an afterthought, as it’s common to quite many lights. I dislike clips anyway, so I’m biased. Evil

The UI is simple. It’s a dual-switch light. The tailswitch is simply for on and off, and is a forward-clicky, so it allows momentary on! The sideswitch is only for changing modes. Simply click to advance to the next mode. There’s no doubleclicking or anything. A doubleclick just advances twice. The only exception is a press’n‘hold, which gets you to the annoying blinkies (strobe, then SOS, then strobe again, etc., with each click). Another press’n‘hold gets you to your last normal light setting, or just turn it off then back on again.

My only would-be improvement would be to ditch the blinkies entirely, and use press’n‘hold as a shortcut to either the lowest or highest setting.

But there’s no way to screw up anything. On/off is simple enough, click to advance is also simple. This would be a great light for The Muggle. The only improvement there would be onboard charging, so The Muggle wouldn’t have to remove the cell to charge it. But the UI makes perfect sense to even a “beginner” using a high-performance light. No doubleclicking, or click-click-hold, none of that to get anyone in trouble, or get stuck in some Mystery Mode. Nice!

A nice benefit of the lit sideswitch is to tell how much power-juice is in it. For about 5sec after turning it on, it lights either red or green. Green means plenty of power. Red means you’re running low. I haven’t yet run a cell so low to see its low-voltage warning (blinking at 3.3V) or low-voltage protection (turning off at 3.0V).

There are 5 levels, from lowest (“eco”) to highest, and again, clicking just cycles through them. They’re nice and evenly spaced, no huge jumps from one level to the next. According to the manual (and I have no reason to disbelieve it), the levels are 5lm, 50lm, 160lm, 500lm, and 1200lm. Sounds about right. Wink

It’s also thermally regulated, so the light will cut back on power if it’s left on too bright for too long. Nifty!

One of the best features of the light is the LH351D in it. Big Smile Light output is a nice creamy white and has great color rendition as well. I’ve gotten spoiled. Innocent Compared to other lights that don’t have a ’351 emitter, this one just shines.

And the beam is nice and doesn’t have any artifacts. Very nice.

Also, in a pinch, you can also use a pair of CR123A cells, as the driver supports a higher voltage than just one lithium cell. This comes in really handy if you’re out in the sticks and don’t have a charger (or the electricity to charge anything), but have some ’123s in case of emergency. Being that they have a shelf life of at least 10yrs (more like 20), they make good backup cells for those lights that can use them.

I’ve been using it quite a while now, and it makes a great around-the-house light as well as an EDC (everyday carry).

All in all, I’m liking this SP31v2 more and more each day. Smile I love forward-clicky switches and momentary-on, which usually only happens with dual-switch lights. The simplicity of the UI (I usually keep mine on the lowest but “crank it up” if I need more light) makes it a simple task to be able to switch it on/off even momentarily for a quick flash of light. So especially at home, it makes a great nighttable light, etc.

Impressive, and I’m impressed. I probably have to get another one just to not be without. Beer

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Zappaman
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As always… an entertaining and qualitative review LightBringer Thumbs Up

I just got mine and the IU just isn’t my cup of tea. I’m so “stuck” on Anduril (or “Andramada” or what you call it?) Big Smile

BUT… the led is super sweet and if I weren’t all “andy’ed” out in my UI mind… I’d prolly’ love this UI (The Muggle light… haha!)

I’m thinking with the CR123s as an option— I may just have THE light for the wife’s glove box in the car (for the next 10… or 20 years???) Silly

ZappaMan

Caleb
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Nicw review!

I agree with everything in your post. The SP31v2 has been my constant companion since receiving it a couple of weeks ago.

The 5000K LH351D’s hi CRI, tint, and beam pattern are perfect for me.

… I just ordered a second unit a couple days ago (without battery/charger this time).

Cheers!

Lightbringer
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Almost forgot (well, just couldn’t find the PM/email listing it ‘til now), there’s a code to get a discount.

SFSP31V2T plus a 4buk-off clicky coupon brings it down to 26bux.

This is from Nov 30, so check if it works.

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Tendou
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The only cons for sp31v2 is the length. And USB charging would be good for EDC. I bought the SP32AV2 last time because it was a bit shorter. But sofirn quietly adding lh351d. I will get one soon.

Lightbringer
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Zappaman wrote:
As always… an entertaining and qualitative review LightBringer Thumbs Up

I just got mine and the IU just isn’t my cup of tea. I’m so “stuck” on Anduril (or “Andramada” or what you call it?) Big Smile

BUT… the led is super sweet and if I weren’t all “andy’ed” out in my UI mind… I’d prolly’ love this UI (The Muggle light… haha!)

I’m thinking with the CR123s as an option— I may just have THE light for the wife’s glove box in the car (for the next 10… or 20 years???) Silly

Kewl, tnx!

(I keep getting spellchecked to “Andouille”. Eh, whatever.)

Sometimes simpler is just better. I know someone who’s quite technically facile, but can’t quite grasp a “longpress” like to go backwards on bisgotti, or even sometimes a “halfpress” vs full click. Flashies take it for granted that all people, even The Muggle, instinctively know how to do that, but it’s not true. So a simple UI can be so much better a choice for them.

Absolutely I’d love to reconfigure the sideclicky to always glow dimly when off and when on, to be able to find the light in the dark, and to be able to find the switch vs spinning it around and going by feel. But in this case it’s not possible. Eh, okay.

But worse, when a config option is so close to an operation, well, that’s why I call Andy a user’s minefield. Even experienced users who don’t use all those operations on any regular basis can get bit, just like The Muggle.

So just as I mentioned, I’d prefer a press’n‘hold to go to either lowest (typical shortcut-to-moonlight a lot of lights have) or highest (like Nitecores/Wubens often do). But other’n that, everything’s as simple as can be.

And yeah, as much as I do like my SC31pro (with Andy, haha), even I noticed the SST is greener than the ’351, and the ’351 is soooooooo nice.

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Lightbringer
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Tendou wrote:
The only cons for sp31v2 is the length. And USB charging would be good for EDC. I bought the SP32AV2 last time because it was a bit shorter. But sofirn quietly adding lh351d. I will get one soon.

That’s true. I had quite a few of dual-switch lights (Zanflare F1, Nitefox UT20., etc.) and this is the only one I can’t work the tailswitch and sideswitch without shifting hand position. My looooong fingers still can’t reach the sideswitch if I hold it to work the tailswitch.

In general, I hate hate HATE tailcaps with those ‘U’-shaped cutouts, yet almost every single light with a tailswitch has them. Gaaah! If you hold the light to be able to activate the sideswitch, unless the tailcap is aligned perfectly by pure chance (quite unlikely), your thumb could be painfully pressing down on one of the points (quite likely in fact), or if you align the light to use the tailswitch, the sideswitch is off B’harni-knows-where.

So yeah, I wonder where all that extra length comes in. Driver? Reflector?

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TIFisher
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Great review. Is your unit 4000k or 5000k?

Lightbringer
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Nice creamy white 5000K.

4000K would be awesome…

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gchart
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I gotta say, I too re-reviewed the SP31 V2 after they switched it over to the LH351D. I had forgotten how nice it was with it’s buck driver and dead-simple UI. Really nice light overall!

Lightbringer
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Ooh, I didn’t see those runtime curves… really nice! I’m impressed even more!

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