[review] Sofirn D25L high-CRI headlamp, nice revision!

The D25L is Sofirn’s newest addition to the dual-emitter D25 headlamp line. I already have the original D25, which I like, and having dual LH351D emitters is something I couldn’t pass up.

I’ve been using it a while, and quite like it. It’s the same dual-emitter setup as the original, has the same onboard charging, and is otherwise the same, so no big surprises there. But the benefit of having high-CRI (color-rendition index) emitters is great vs the usual lower-CRI emitters.

The headlamp comes in a really compact box, sturdy (folded over sides and a locking lid), nothing fancy but still secure.

sturdy Sofirn box (click the pic!)

Inside the box is the light itself with included cell (be sure to remove the insulation tab to use it) and headband as a unit, a folded-sheet manual, and 4 clips which look quite useful but I have no idea what they’re for. :))

(Edit: apparently they’re to adapt the headband/headlamp to construction hats.)

D25L box and contents

As usual, the semigloss black ano is flawless with no dings or voids. No sharp edges on any fins, ’though the corners around the emitter-box(?) feel a bit pointy, but not sharp enough to scratch or anything (you can press on the corners quite hard with your fingers and won’t get hurt). So just to be safe, though, I wouldn’t carry it in a pocket next to a cellphone screen or anything.

First thing is do is to remove the insulation tab from the included cell and charge the light. You have to unscrew the cap opposite the button, easy enough. Threads were a bit scratchy, so some more lube is definitely in order, but there was no binding or grabbing. The cell slides right out, everything reassembles easily, and the opposite cap is captive and only unscrews a few turns to reveal the nicely sealed charging port. Red while charging, green when done, the usual.

D25L headlamp, tailcap, and included cell

The UI (user interface) is quite simple. Single click for on/off, press’n’hold to change modes, doubleclick for strobe. Okay, I have no idea why anyone would want to wear a headlamp while it’s strobing away unless you actually want to induce an epileptic fit, but it’s there, just in case. :)) Press’n’hold increases through the 5 brightness levels, but if you let go and immediately press’n’hold again, you’ll decrease through the 5 brightness levels.

Modes are very evenly spaced, which is useful. I’d prefer a shortcut to hold-for-moonlight, but low is okay. I’m a little surprised there isn’t the usual hold-for-moonlight and 2click for brightest, but zipping through 5 modes is fine. I usually just use the lowest level anyway unless I need something brighter. :stuck_out_tongue:

The beam is a nice wide circle, great for walking, but might be a bit narrow for close-up (eg, reading). There aren’t any artifacts in the beam, no nasty rings or cloverleafs or anything. The ’351 gives good color rendition, too. Lowest levels might seem a little greenish (as with all ’351s), but it’s not bad at all (and I really dislike green tints). Brighter levels, any hint of green disappears.

The headband is pretty comfortable, and I didn’t even adjust it but left it as it came, a bit snug but not squeezing my head. :smiley: It feels soft and almost cottony even though it’s quite elastic. The holder uses 2 ‘C’-shaped clips to hold the light snugly and without slipping, so you can tilt it up/down as needed.

D25L headlamp and detachable headband

So with just some lube on the threads and a tweak to the UI, it’s a pretty ideal little high-CRI light. It’s an all-in-one light, including the cell and having on-board charging, so there’s literally nothing else you need to get started. Nice!

All in all, I’m quite happy with the new addition to the family. :smiley:

Amazon question says it has a ML level.
Are you saying it does not?

I am actually Okay with a 30 lumen low in a headlamp.

Does it bounce much while running or jogging?

Thanks for doing this review.

Unno. Whut’s a “ML level”?

I don’t jog with it or anything, just grubble through things two-handy vs having a light in one hand and grubble with the other.

It fits pretty snugly for a 2-band light.

I think ML is moonlight.

Oh, amazon link is… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095WH2V3W , in case anyone wants.

27bux - 10% clicky.


I just saw some light with actual bubble-levels(!), and was wondering wtf’s a “ML level”.

Gnope, just verified, 5 levels starting from low, 2click for strobling, another 2click for beacon, click out of it to normal light.

Didn’t see any mention of moonlight in the amazon page, unless I missed it.

Sofirn had this listed in a discount posting. Got a code from them, plus an additional coupon on the Amazon page… and I paid $17! I had a few other small items to buy anyway, so that put me over the free shipping threshold.

This is a screaming deal, all things considered. UI wise, I do miss press+hold for moonlight, which is becoming standard in many lights these days that offer this mode. Mode memory can be annoying. Tint is quite good. Cooler than my LH351D 4000K in my Zebralight, but separately the eyes adjust and it looks very neutral.

Headband comfort is OK, but I prefer my Thrunite TH20, where the bracket is silicon and easily conforms to your head—much more comfortable for long wears. Also, the TH20 is smooth all around, no sharp edges. As lightbringer said, the corners on the D25L aren’t rounded off, so they can feel like a potential to “dig in.” But that won’t happen when worn properly on your forehead. The metal casing is good with fine quality anodizing, though I’d say the TH20 feels a tad more solid. The switch has a florescent green rubber cover… would’ve been nice if it was GITD.

Again, overall? VERY nice value. I have both lights with me. If anyone wants a comparison photo of the two, let me know.

“ML” is probably meant to be “Medium Low”… which is really “Med1”.
There is no Moonlight on the D25L.

Great review & thanks for mentioning the 4 clips. Those had me stumped.

I am really liking my D25L. :white_check_mark:

Looks like a great budget headlamp. Personally I would prefer one LH351D and one Red (?SST-20 or XP-E2) emitter, maybe with the double click turning on the Red instead of strobe (who needs strobe on a headlamp?).

You could always put a red filter over just one of the emitters…

Goggled some pix of the TH20… looks a lot like the D10, predecessor of the D20 (?) and D25.

We’ll have the headlamp with white and red leds in the future.

Thanks for your detailed review! :laughing:

The single-strap headband is a deal breaker for me. Adding a additional over-the-head strap would move me to buy, even if it's somehow made removeable.


I have one of these on the way from Sofirn. I hate my Olight perun2 headlamp. It’s just too bulky/heavy. The upgraded D25S is a proven design & just works.

That is what I first thought also… but I tried it anyway.
After using it a while, I do not miss the top strap one bit.

That’s great news. Most headlamps with red are very dim (around 5 lumens), so a red light that is much brighter (but with low modes as well) would be greatly appreciated.

Top straps are highly overrated. This headband works very well.

Great to hear :smiley: Any idea when? A few weeks or months?

Press and hold only cycles up with my D25S and L.