[review] Sofirn SP10pro

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[review] Sofirn SP10pro

I’ve always been a fan of the SP10, from the original, A model, then the B model, they’ve been great little lights that take AA/14500 cells. I still have my original SP10A right here as a nighttable light.

[link to Amazon image]

The package is a bit of a departure from the usual Sofirn products, being more of a retail package in orange and black, with plastic tray which nestles the light and all its goodies. Tucked away underneath the tray is a lanyard, spare O-rings, a diffuser cap, and spare magnetic tailcap, as well as the user manual. The diffuser is the most fun part, being able to use the light as a lantern or even a sort of traffic-wand for signalling!

The green SP10pro I got is a great deep green, almost a forest green. As usual, fit and finish is nigh perfect, smooth anodisation without so much as a ding or scratch, spotlessly clean front glass, and nice orange-peel reflector, bringing the light of its LH351D LED out to a nice smooth beam.

The attached clip is a pretty decent fairly stiff bidirectional clip, letting you use it as a conventional pocket clip or on the brim of a cap as a sort of headlamp. I’m not a fan of clips, but this one is fairly unobtrusive. Plus, the tailcap has slots cut out for attaching a lanyard and/or keychain ring. The drawback is that the “thumb cutouts” leave very little base for tailstanding, so it’s rather wobbly.

The beam is pretty nice, a clear “bullseye” of hotspot plus spill, and the OP reflector smooths out any irregularities. So you get a good hotspot with just enough “blur” for a smooth transition to the spill, and no eerie rings around the periphery. Also, there’s not much tint-shift, either, which is quite nice. It’s floody enough at moderate distance, say, for looking at a footpath or grubbling through a basement, but has enough hotspot for decent throw a bit farther out, say, across a yard.

The ’351 has a great 5000K color-temperature and tint, not green at all. It’s a nice “sunlight” color, not too yellow or blue, and not overly tinted greenish or rosy. It’s just warm of neutral.

The diffuser slips on the business end of the light like a rubbery sock. It’s not hard plastic that can crack or loosen and fall off, but rubbery and pushes on easily but snugly.

The button is solid black and has a firm rubbery texture, even when pushing it. This is also a departure from the slightly raised metal button with bezel of previous models. I don’t mind the look, but the feel of the button is quite nice, and I like the firmer push.

The UI is Andouille 2 which starts off in simple mode and can be turned into advanced mode. There are flowcharts showing how to use both modes, so I won’t go into details here. The basics are that it’s click-on, click-off. Press’n‘hold when on, and it will cycle through brightness steps if in stepped mode, or ramp up/down if in ramped mode. Press’n‘hold from off and it will start in firefly mode, and if held longer, will start stepping/ramping. Pretty simple and straightforward.

[link to Andy2 UI flowchart]

One really nice feature about the SP10 family of lights is that they’re multi-fuel, and will eat anything from an alkaleak, to a NiMH cell like an eneloop, or a 14500 Li cell for brightest output. I wouldn’t want to ruin any light, let alone such a nice one as this, with an alkaleak, but in a pinch, you can drop in a Duraleak or Enerleaker and have plenty of light. For rechargeables, NiMH cells like eneloops are great, and have good runtime. For brightest output, use Li-ion 14500s for a whopping 900lm out of an “AA” light like the SP10pro.

Okay, I confess, I was playing with the blinky modes, not just the battery-check, etc., but the weirdo modes like candle, lightning, bike flasher, party, and so on. Okay, they’re cute. Especially with the diffuser, those modes “come to life” vs just using ceiling-bounce to shine on a ceiling.

In summary, I didn’t think I needed another AA light, as I prefer the much greater runtime of 18650 lights, but the SP10pro has a whole lot going for it, and is much more compact than 18650 lights, while still giving some pretty bright light. I was skeptical at first, but after hearing so much about the ‘pro version, I’m really glad I got it. Big Smile

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Edited by: Lightbringer on 09/03/2022 - 18:47