Advice on 18350 battery for a Sofirn SP40

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Backpacker Light
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Advice on 18350 battery for a Sofirn SP40

I am familiar with 18650, 10440 and 14500 batteries, but never had a flashlight that took a 18350.

My new Sofirn SP-40 headlight came with that extra tube. Can anyone give me ideas for a proper 18350 battery for it?

I believe the SP-40 has LVP, so maybe I can get away with an unprotected cell? Anyone know for sure? It does not say in the manual.

Also (this is not a big issue because the SP-40 has on-board charging), but the rear of my Nitecore Intellicharger i4 charger does not say anything about being able to handle a 18350 cell. I was surprised as it seems like it would fit, and says it could charge a 16340. Does anyone charge there 18350’s in that Nitecore charger?

Thank you in advance for any comments.

The lighter the brighter the better.

Edited by: Backpacker Light on 01/10/2021 - 02:28
Lightbringer
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18350s have less capacity and less drain capability than 18650s that I just stick in whatever 18350s that I can find.

I grabbed a few DE “Digital Energy” cells that Rat Shack was discontinuing, and that works perfectly fine in my SC31pro. Nice and bright, pretty much indistinguishable from one loaded with an 18650, even a top-shelf one like a 30Q.

Unprotected is fine, even preferred.

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LumenHound
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Vapcell INR18350 1100mAh cells are about the best you will find currently.
Best capacity in that size and they can handle heavy loads safely if you need a battery for high drain use. Their M11 18350 cell will give you reliable performance and good value for the money.
I have been happy with mine.

TIFisher
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I purchased a 4 pack of Sofirn’s 850mAh 18350’s when I ordered my SP40, and have been rotating through to give them some cycles. They seem to be decent batteries. Can’t tell you if they’re unprotected or not (button top). No issues running the lamp on turbo with them installed, and I see no difference in output vs. 18650 3000mAh supplied with the light (diminished run time obviously). I don’t use the on board charging (yet). I have a cheapo Yoni single bay charger I got from County Comm that runs them up to 4.214v (according to my DMM), but I’m always supervising the process, and pull them immediately when the cycle shows 100% charge state.
Looking at the published specs, your Nitecore charger is totally compatible for charging 18350’s.

I’m in the Rochester area as well.

zoulas
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18350 is cool but you are significantly limited in choices. There are tons of 18650’s available in any combination of current/capacity/brand you want. That is simply not the case with 18650.

Something to think about.

Lightbringer
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Yeh to all the above.

Using a shorty tube to me is more of a novelty, and to “show off” how bright an undersized light can be, eg, a GTmicro running a 14500 but having almost the throw of a C8 (albeit at a small fraction of the C8’s runtime).

To shrink the overall length of the light by maybe a third, you’re trading off lots of capacity/runtime for that savings in size. And it’s not a 9000lm light where you’re counting µΩ in spring resistance or anything. Difference in “turbo” brightness between an 18650 and 18350 won’t be anything you can see, only measure with a meter.

So any ol’ 18350 will do right by you. Wasting bux on super-high-drain cells is like pouring 93 octane into a road-rat’s gas-tank.

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Lightbringer
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Oh, and speaking of the ‘micro, I did get a pair of those nice purple Keeppowers, but honestly, can’t tell any difference in max brightness between them and the cheepcheepcheep EBL 14500s I got offa Amazon.

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Mraz
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I have a Skilhunt Micro with 18350 (have no idea what battery it is, never even opened the tailcap) and I use it every day. No problem with capacity, I charge it maybe once a week. I rarely use high or turbo and on medium they last long enough for me. Prefer it to the full size ones I have.

Backpacker Light
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I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and advice.

Thanks to TIFisher’s comment, I ended up ordering the Sofirn 18350’s. They have a decent 850 mah capacity, and are currently on sale for only $10.99/4 pack. Any orders over $21 have free shipping.

I think Lightbringer was correct in not spending a ton of money on a 18350 battery.

And in true flashaholic fashion, I also ordered another “spare” SP-40. I couldn’t resist as I believe this is a very nice high quality headlight and a bargain at $21.99 including a Sofirn 18650 battery. For some strange reason it no longer comes with the free extra 18350 tube, but you can order one for only .99c

BLF has many knowledgeable members, making it a great place to come for advice.

The lighter the brighter the better.

Unheard
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Backpacker Light wrote:
I think Lightbringer was correct in not spending a ton of money on a 18350 battery.

Maybe not investing a ton of money, but if you like a battery format that’s considered obsolete, you should get some spares as long as they’re available. Vapcell and Keeppower have some nice 16340 and 18350 cells, but Sofirns will probably do, too.

I’ve noticed if you ask for 16340, light or battery, there will be at least one recommending 18350 (or even 14500) since that has sooo much more power. Ask for 18350 and you will get comments on 18650. Ask for 18650 and someone will mention 21700 for they are the future. Maybe. If I’m not mistaken, the new hype will be soda can batteries.

So, ask for 16340, and there’s a chance a thread will end up discussing grenade size batteries. For EDC lights.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

Lightbringer
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Wellp, my i332 takes a 16340 (not even an 18350), so I’m locked into that format. And it’s almost the same exact size as my MH20 that takes an 18650!

Any of the lego-able Sofirns that can do 18350 can in a pinch do 18650 as long as you keep the original tubes.

Its nice to have dual-fuel lights, whether a 21 that can take an 18 even without even an adapter tube (or maybe just a sheet of paper-towel), or a 26 that can take an 18 with adapter. In a pinch you can use the “adapted” cell.

While you’ll lose the shortness of the ’40 if all your 18350s just up and croke on you, you won’t be stuck with a dead light.

So sure, you can grab a bunch of 18350s for the ’40 and any other light that legos with the shorty tube.

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Katherine Alicia
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I run an sp40 on an 18350 daily as a backlight, it`ll do well over 24 hours before needing a recharge (on lowest setting), and it will just turn off when the batt gets too low.

leftdisconnected
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Sofirn no longer sells 18350’s on AliExpress as of this post, which is unfortunate since they still include an 18350 tube for the SP40/SP40A. I wish that they offered an SP40 option that included an 18350 battery. Buying batteries is difficult and can be more expensive than the lights themselves, even if you just want a generic.

RobAllen

pennzy
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I know this is an old thread but I just want to point out that the onboard charging of the SP40 and SC31 will charge an 18350 too fast if the wall wart allows. Stick to low power ones.

Lumen9000
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pennzy wrote:
I know this is an old thread but I just want to point out that the onboard charging of the SP40 and SC31 will charge an 18350 too fast if the wall wart allows. Stick to low power ones.

But does it have lvp? Mine has charged an unprotected for quiiite while now. Figure I,LL stick it in a light to measure via anduril.

ChrisGarrett
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Anything made by these guys, although they might have gone under. Mine are 4 years old and branded Aspire.

Shen Zhen (Aspire) 18350 li-ion

Chris

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ChrisGarrett wrote:
Anything made by these guys, although they might have gone under. Mine are 4 years old and branded Aspire.

Shen Zhen (Aspire) 18350 li-ion

Chris

I wasn’t able to get my hands on a real Aspire / YDL 18350 batter back then.

When I was starting this flashlight stuff, I only had the Astrolux S1 and Convoy S2+ that can use 18350 batteries (with 18350 body tube). Probably around 4 years ago (2017).

I still remember checking Aspire’s website and they sell the Aspire 1100mAh 18350 for something like US$4 or US$5 per piece. The catch is that I needed to order something like $100 worth before they can ship to my country. (Meaning I needed to buy 20 or 25 pieces). A few years back then, I couldn’t think of needing 20 or 25 pieces of 18350 batteries so I hadn’t ordered. Shortly after that, Aspire discontinued selling 18350 batteries. Sad

The ones I have are a few Keeppower 18350 batteries (which I ordered from Neal’s, AND they need to be inside a flashlight order; so there’s a limit on how many 18350 batteries I order – at times, I order extra flashlights so that 18350 batteries can be shipped inside them. So I sold the extra flashlights since I don’t exactly need them..)

Right now, I think Vapcell is the more common 18350 battery here. As Vapcell can ship to my country (but shipping fee becomes reasonable only when doing a larger order).

ChrisGarrett
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KeepPower doesn’t make batteries, so maybe they’re just the Shen Zhen offerings?

Chris