Interest collect for a new Sofirn design: tube style18650, magnetic ring control, USB-C charging, 500 lm max (AKA grandma light)

I have been bothering Barry for half a year over this and he and Sofirn finally gave it a go, they will start with the design after the chinese new year, so somewhere February. If all goes well, maybe it will be ready before 2021? But of course as always it is ready when it is ready. The requirement from Sofirn for BLF to do this grandma light is a shown interest for 1000 units.

Some history :
Since the start of BLF every now and then the question comes up what light to give to non-flashoholic people. The answer has long been, to give them the simple AA-based cheapy that is for sale anywhere for a few dollars. Because they can not take care of li-ion cells (they will drain them to death), even a 3-mode user interface is too complicated, they will loose the light so it must be cheap. Etc.

This june the question came up once more in the thread “grandma needs a light”, in which Maverick1947 asked for a flashoholic-worthy light for his grandmother. Since we have USB charging nowadays even in cheap flashlights, the li-ion cell is not a problem anymore to give away, so there are a few ok options now. He bought a Sofirn SC31, which is a good “muggle-friendly” flashlight that will never overheat and has micro-USB charging. The user interface however is still not simple enough for non-flashoholics, and who wants to give away a flashlight with an ugly XP-G3 led?

So, together with Sofirn, and having listened to input from BLF, I hope a new design can be made, with the SC31 as starting point. It will be a flashlight that is interesting enough for flashlight enthousiasts, but can also be useful and given away to almost any non-flashoholic. The specifications will hopefully be as follows:

*price under 20 dollar shipped (maybe 18 dollar without/22 dollar with battery option)
*size not larger than the Sofirn SC31, so upper limit 12cm long. (the Zanflare F1 is also a muggle-friendly light but really too bulky IMO)
*this light should be a no-manual flashlight: a short manual will be there, but even without it all operations should be easy to figure out, also by an un-experienced user.
*operation will be a magnetic control ring with off-low10lumen-med100lumen-high500lumen, nothing else (and so not infinitely variable). No other or hidden modes or options. The magnetic ring is at the core of what this flashlight must be.
*Parasitic drain when ring is in off-position must be ultra-low ( <10 microA), so when left in a drawer for a year it should still work
*battery can be charged via a USB-C port, maybe in the threads (well-marked), or else behind a conventional rubber flap. Also USB-C charging is a hard requirement.
*maximum output 500 lumen, thermal control/stepdowns not needed
*Barry/Sofirn wants to go for a TIR optic, not my personal preference but I understand that may be very fitting for this light.
*led maybe Samsung LH351D 5000K 90 CRI.
*first dim and finally shut off at low voltage.

So this will not be a performer in the flashoholics way, but certainly a performer in usefulness! I hope that I did not forget features, I will edit the OP if needed.

Edit: while this thread is up on BLF, people have pointed out some desirable features for this light that I think are valuable without undermining the above specifications of which costs is probably the most important one, so here is the resulting “wishlist”, that is not garanteed to happen but that I will discuss with Sofirn:

*infinite variable control ring instead of discrete modes
*contrasting colour of the control ring, no ano or different ano, maybe SS for sturdiness.
*small battery indicator/charge led near USB port
*charging works with ring in off-position
*anti-roll measure
*well detented off-position
*fits long protected cells
*ring positions well-marked
*USB-C to USB-C charging works
*18350 tube option for who want it more pocketfriendly
*smooth bezel but with a few small cutouts to see light when bezel-standing
*USB-C socket must be quality, resistent to some abuse
*charging to 4.1V instead of 4.2v, to preserve batteries when constantly connected to a charger.
*option for brighter colours than just black
*USB-port must not be hidden, and easy to spot

I’m not sure yet how I will maintain the interest list, I will at least start it here in the OP, like I did with other projects, but, if it is succesful, adding manually a 1000 names over the coming months by editing the OP will be quite an effort (and I am absolutely the worse with computers so have no clever solutions).

Please comment in this thread if you would like to be in the interest list for a light of the above specifications, and for how many. No obligations, but I would appreciate it if the interest is serious.

The german forum TLF is also checking interest, their current list total is 153.

The BLF list:
1 jacktheclipper
2 DrDevil
3 Balazs
4 Balazs
5 Kame Sennin
6 Kame Sennin
7 crz6662
8 grzly
9 Photonica
10 Yokiamy
11 manithree
12 gregor
13 AguassissiM
14 cabfrank
15 cabfrank
16 cabfrank
17 man of light
18 Muto
19 Muto
20 Pöbel
21 Pöbel
22 FrankFlash
23 MtnDon
24 MtnDon
25 toddcshoe
26 toddcshoe
27 toddcshoe
28 toddcshoe
29 toddcshoe
30 toddcshoe
31 Helios azimuth
32 Helios azimuth
33 Wieselflinkpro
34 JamesB
35 Chatika vas Paus
36 gisewhcs
37 matik42
38 Th558
39 Dralf
40 Dralf
41 Dralf
42 MascaratumB
43 MascaratumB
44 RobertB
45 RobertB
46 pc_light
47 shirnask
48 trakcon
49 Yacob29
50 Yacob29
51 balinzwerg
52 1stein
53 JaredM
54 JaredM
55 JaredM
56 JaredM
57 SwissFlashy
58 leo l.
59 leo l.
60 Kafuzke
61 Klotski
62 Klotski
63 qandeel
64 qandeel
65 qandeel
66 wunderhe
67 Henk4U2
68 thijsco19
69 Noctiluco
70 Noctiluco
71 Jerommel
72 richnpc
73 gravelmonkey
74 gravelmonkey
75 Kindle
76 Kindle
77 Moloflashy
78 Moloflashy
79 Firelight2
80 Tally-ho
81 Tally-ho
82 Bastarrdo
83 id30209
84 Nagonka
85 Nagonka
86 Nagonka
87 casi29061965
88 casi29061965
89 casi29061965
90 ikaruz_500
91 ikaruz_500
92 anonymous_user
93 ChibiM
94 Skuzapo
95 XXX-Man
96 takumi86
97 wapd2
98 wapd2
99 Unloco
100 t-soung
101 djozz
102 djozz
103 djozz
104 Anthon
105 blueb8llz
106 blueb8llz
107 blueb8llz
108 blueb8llz
109 blueb8llz
110 Fubarge
111 fourbyfive
112 fourbyfive
113 netprince
114 netprince
115 netprince
116 flightless22
117 flightless22
118 drillbit
119 amaretto
120 Gerrit
121 christoph
122 christoph
123 bobkido
124 bobkido
125 f0xx
126 Funtastic
127 b4d17
128 eicca
129 moderator007
130 Big_Sam
131 Big_Sam
132 SKV89
133 SKV89
134 SKV89
135 SKV89
135 SKV89
137 oto
138 MRsDNF
139 fluke
140 zipelgas
141 legan710
142 mr_magoo
143 mr_magoo
144 mr_magoo
145 Slayer1
146 d_t_a
147 d_t_a
148 Ironhorse
149 delete
150 2Ace
151 2Ace
152 aswang
153 aswang
154 zak.wilson
155 Neilrazer
156 Myke
157 LightObsession
158 LightObsession
159 lumiere
160 lumiere
161 lumiere
162 lumiere
163 lumiere
164 tomas_f
165 Aardvark
166 Aardvark
167 gottawearshades
168 gottawearshades
169 woodyt
170 woodyt
171 noetik
172 Chinaheart
173 Nicolicous
174 Nicolicous
175 drewski
176 robbobus
177 Agro
178 Zeige
179 YogibearAl
180 sbslider
181 BillyBobJoe
182 litenutz
183 08CivicSi
184 08CivicSi
185 Lagittaja
186 Lagittaja
187 Lagittaja
188 Neilrazer
189 adirondackdestroyer
190 adirondackdestroyer
191 psmbfuer
192 psmbfuer
193 m0nk33
194 264
195 264
196 christoph
197 TanteElfriede
198 TanteElfriede
199 korkfoto
200 korkfoto
201 korkfoto
202 korkfoto
203 rost333
204 rost333
205 ControlTheController
206 wolfstyle
207 wolfstyle
208 Nooner
209 liquidretro
210 jeff51
211 DeusLight
212 Asian8640
213 gman7228
214 gman7228
215 gman7228
216 abneustadt
217 abneustadt
218 abneustadt
219 abneustadt
220 figment
221 figment
222 Airtrade
223 Airtrade
224 Airtrade
225 prototype3a
226 prototype3a
227 slmjim
228 JoeH12.81
229 JoeH12.81
230 cm02WS6
231 gottobegeek
233 polarweis
234 hodor
235 justanotherguy
236 justanotherguy
237 justanotherguy
238 justanotherguy
239 sandanbob
240 Lipfit2000
241 Lipfit2000
242 Lipfit2000
243 Lipfit2000
244 Chinaheart
245 Chinaheart
246 Andmiller
247 Andmiller
248 el_duderino
249 el_duderino
250 el_duderino
251 regaia
252 regaia
253 Rxich
254 OldSkol
255 lensmanmark
256 lensmanmark
257 lensmanmark
258 lensmanmark
259 MyRants
260 MyRants
261 MyRants
262 MyRants
263 fourbyfive
264 fourbyfive
265 ThirdHandChain
266 dodo
267 cloggy
268 cloggy
269 dotBLF
270 dotBLF
271 dotBLF
272 Nooner
273 Nooner
274 jkbam
275 Couchmaster
276 Couchmaster
277 Couchmaster
278 VictorB
279 VictorB
280 asdqqq
281 bonC
282 bonC
283 slowtechstef
284 slowtechstef

Reserved for some or no reason.

I’m in for one .

Jack, you’re added! :sunglasses:

So this light will be great for my wife
And because she’s the love of my life
If it works as it should
Staying simple is good
Complicated UIs have caused strife

Please include an easily accessible hidden strobe, for people in crosswalks to use.
I give the SF13 (2xAA) light to elderly friends and that feature to get car drivers’ attention is most welcome.

An option with a true amber LED would also be welcomed —- first because it won’t interfere with sleep, which is a common elderly problem.
And second because it will enhance the caution strobe light feature to get drivers’ attention.

That sounds quite interesting :sunglasses:

Over on TLF there will be for sure a demand for such a light :+1:
And the magnetic control ring makes it quite interesting for Flashies too :innocent:

I´m in :slight_smile:

Anyone remember that plain-jane xiomi light?

Go with it…

I’m in for at least 2.


Am i a grand'Ma ?

I would love if the infinite graduation from 0% could be available but add me for at least two anyway :)

Please no glued or press fit parts

I’d be in for 1.

Actually, what I’d suggest is that if this is for granma and her arthritic hands to use, a magnetic slider like that on the DV-S9 would be better than a twisty ring, no? She’d be more likely to find the slider easily, vs trying to twist off the head to make it turn on (in which case, glue might be a Good Thing).

And don’t forget that magnetic anything uses Hall-effect sensors which typically draw o(10mA) even when the light’s “off”, meaning it’ll have about 2wks before it drains the cell dry.

And for granma, to avoid constant recharging, there’s nothing wrong with a singly clicky and a off/low/high/… main sequence. Or even a simple off/on UI like old-timey lights had.

I have a lot of magnetic ring lights and I prefer infinitely variable to a predefinied steps; so I think is important a rear switch, forward, to avoid parasitic drain and offer momentary on; in the actual parameters, I Will not take It… :cry:

Definitely interested!

In for 1. If it’s easily modifiable 2-3. I’m guessing it will not be, since the magnetic input control will be tied to the driver firmware. I’m sure it’s a light I will recommend often. Most “1000 lumen” lights are 400-600 lumens on high, so this one is just missing Turbo and Strobe.

Interested !


my magnetic ring lights are infinitely variable

some of them have detentes to simulate mode steps, but removing the detente ball bearing, creates an infinitely variable dial, and with heavy grease the dial does not rotate in my pocket.


I suggest a detente at off, then dial left to a detente at strobe.
dialing right would be infinitely variable, but can have 3 detentes (removable), to limit grandma to 3 modes.

not interesting
there is no need for a magnetic ring if there are just going to be 3 modes, even if they are accessed by a dial switch.

I suggest you look at the Nitecore SRT series for sophisticated control ring setup ideas… there are separate detentes for strobe and off, plus it has an infinitely variable segment of the dial. (ignore the multicolored LED settings)

If the parasitic drain is really low, I would be in for one. I just ordered an Astrolux EC01 for my mom. I’ll probably put it in muggle mode before I give it to her.

She used to keep a utilitech 4xAAA on her kitchen counter for emergencies, but it stopped working (the battery carrier has a bad connection). The EC01 is a little smaller, and much better. She still likes her Convoy BD, though.

Interested !

Put me down for one djozz, perhaps few more at a later date.