[Review] Sofirn SP31 v2.0 Tactical Flashlight (Cree XPL HI)

The first SP 31 has been in my travel bag since March 2018, and was the second Sofirn brand light I bought. I was looking for a light that could use CR123s and handle the intense heat of being stored in a vehicle. And, of course, use an 18650.

I didn't see the need to buy a new one. In fact, I thought these had sold out, not noticing there was a new version. Sofirn is great at keeping in touch and let me know about it along with an offer to review it. The purchase price of the light was reimbursed and the benefit to me is that I get to keep the light.

This SP31 V2 is fairly popular and most of its' features have been presented and described well in BLF. Since I have the original, this review will be more of a comparison.

First of all, the light and its' dual switch format:

Version 1 and 2 are almost identical, physically, except for the LED and lighted switch as well as a few other details.

Starting at the head, two types of XP-L- HD & HI:

The bezel is flatter and may contribute to better output of the version 2 (V1 on left):

The AR coating on V1 is more noticeable than that of V2.

The new version has a plastic retaining ring in the tail cap and if you look closely, it appears there are holes to insert tweezers/needle nose pliers. I think the ring has been press-fit and is quite secure.

The original standard metal side switch has been upgraded to a raised, lit one indicating battery level when the light is turned on by the rear forward clicky.

And, what about that new LED and its' beam pattern? It certainly is improved with a minor corona of the hotspot and nice, even spill.

I don't recall the camera setting but this is a good side-by-side. However, this is a photo of the lowest level and the old version wins the moon light contest.

Speaking of modes,

V1 has ML>L>M>H>M>L>ML, from steady modes, hold for bike flasher and from steady modes, double click for dual frequency flashing.

V2 has ECO>L>M>H>T>ECO, hold for dual frequency flashing>SOS. Hold to return to steady modes.


Lumens and run time with the Sofirn 3000 mAh battery:

Programmed turbo step down at 3 minutes with more than 2 hours steady at ~500 lm.

For comparison, I took tail end current readings for CR123s and a Samsung 30Q in both SP31 versions. MAX lumens is from the 30Q. This table sums it up:

Additionally, I captured peak lux output data for both versions for the first few minutes, with a 30Q:

And also compared peak output for both SP31 versions, for a much shorter interval, with 2x CR123s:

I didn't expect 3 Amps from the primary batteries but was pleasantly surprised with the SP31 V2's performance.

***These runs were not concurrent.***

With regard to the battery and charger, they are typical of Sofirns' standard offerings:

From a little research of other reviews and feedback in those posts and my observations,

  • This new version doesn't flash brightly when turned on after being left off for awhile, the last mode being low (my older light doesn't do it either);

  • There is a slight delay in the light illuminating when the tail switch is activated with the new version. Not as 'momentary' as one may expect.

  • Although I like the flashing options of V1, the flashy modes are not memorized in the V2 as they are with V1, good!

The new SP31 is a definite improvement on the previous one with higher output and a better performing driver.

Thank you for reading!

Thank you, Nachtfeuerzeug!

Thanks for the review.
Could you please post a picture of the SP31-v2 driver?

You're welcome! I looked at the spring side of the driver and the picture in the upper left shows the driver quite accurately. There are no holes to unscrew it. I'll see if I can get ahold of picture of the internals.

I really like the SP31 V2.0 - interestingly, I bought two of them (some time apart), and it seems like there were at least a couple definite iterations of the V2.0.

They’re mostly the same, but compared to the newer version, the earlier one had:

  • Instantaneous momentary on, rather than slightly delayed
  • A slightly tighter hotspot
  • A slightly-too-tall rubber boot that makes tailstanding less stable
  • A brief flash when turning on in the lowest mode after being off for a while

Looks like you got the newer version! It’s unfortunate that there are slight trade-offs for either of them, but it’s still a good light.