[review] Sofirn SP33V3.0

Today I got Sofirns SP33V3.0 in the mail, ordered yesterday at Sofirns shop on Amazon.de :+1:

What’s in the box:

Beside light and battery, there’s a lanyard, an adapter for 21700 cells, the manual, an USB-A to USB-C cable.

Look & feel:

It’s not made for the catwalk, but probably for everything else. That said, machining is without visible marks, anodization is perfect, tailcap and head threads have seen enough grease. The bezel thread might have got locktide. I know Sofirn uses red locktide on the C01S head assemblies since the sandblasted raw aluminum edition. Can be removed with some force. (just removed the bezel, no glue) There are no surprises here, the SP33V3.0 is a quality budget light. Especially the charging port cover is excellent. It is quite thick and firmly covers the port. And it gives you a hint where to find the switch (opposite side). Unfortunately, the switch, while feeling is nice, sits flush with the heads surface. I’d say it’s neigh on impossible to find it in the dark without trying all sides.

There’s no clip, but a lanyard that can be attached to the tailcap without compromising tail-stand ability.

Battery and internal charging:

The light comes with a Sofirn 5500 mAh 26650 battery (I measured 3,8 V out of the box) inserted, contact covered by an insulating plate, that has to be removed. I charged the battery via internal charging electronics. Final voltage was 4,202 V.

Parasitic drain is in the range of 36 to 37 µA.

LED and optics:

In focus of an orange peel reflector is a cold white XHP50.2. This LED is known for its colorful beam. A white center sourround with rings from yellow to blue. It doesn’t matter really when used outside.

I own two lights with XHP50.2 and one with a XHP50. Among the former there’s a Convoy C8 equipped with BLF A6 driver and OPR, so all lights are quite copmpareable with the Olight R50 the light with the widest spill and the C8 the light with the most narrow spill.

To measure lumens, the lights are directed towards the walls in my white bathroom while measuring reflections from the ceiling. I think this is a precise enough method to at least compare different flashlights. I take it the Olight R50 realistically emits 2500 lm and so is used as a standard. Range was measured via direct measurment of brightness at 4m distance.

lumen range
Sofirn SP33V3.0 3578 lm 339 m
Olight R50 2500 lm 306 m
Convoy C8 2730 lm 418 m

While it seems the Olight R50 is aging, it is still a light with an extraordinary wide spill. Excellent seeker light. But this is not really useful for general purpose application and especially it easily blinds oncoming people even when targeted to the floor. That’s where the Sofirn play its cards. It is bright, has a useful spill larger than a C8, but limited enough to not lose control about not blinding other people. Nice for walking the dog as well as for scanning your property. It’s a general purpose light.

Thermal regulation:

The light reaches 50 °C when the regulation kicks in. It then keeps the temperature at 46 °C while maintaining at least 510 lm. That’s really nice.

The A6 driver of the C8 stepped down after 35s. The body reached 31 °C. Of course, the driver is not made for C8 type lights that have a significant thermal mass. The good thing with timed stepdowns: You can straight go back to turbo.

The Olight R50 stepped down to about 70% brightness after 65s. The body reached 40 °C. This is far away from the specs, but this is a real world test with an older battery @3,9V. I wasn’t waiting for the official two minutes to 800 lm.


Stepped and Ramping. I will only describe the stepped mode.

If you know the Olight R50 operation, you’ll know the Sofirn except there’s moonlight which is, like turbo, not in the regular mode set. Access it by a long press. Press and hold to cycle through three modes, double click gets it into turbo, click and hold gets it back from where it came. A single click to switch it off. It can be so easy.

Final thoughts

I’m a huge fan of the 26650 format. The diameter is very pleasing for typical uses of a flashlight. Not to small, not too big. This flashlight delivers a serious amount of light, is stable at above 500 lumens, has quite some spill but still a bright spot for a good range. A true allrounder. Alas, I’m not a fan of cold white LEDs, especially this one has color abberations. Not Sofirns fault, my C8 does it, too. It’s ok outside if you can live with CW. Sooner or later I will replace the LED by something warmer in the 5050 format, maybe something domeless or dedomed.

The UI is perfect. I’m sure I’d never miss a mode that’s not in the modeset, moon or turbo. Being limited to three useful modes lets you forget about ramping. It’s far easier to cycle through them to get where you want to be.

Considering the price and the complete package with battery and chargin port, this is a steal. And it has a real broad audience.

Nice review. If you look closely at the first picture for long enough, you’ll actually see the flashlight is in it too!

How does this compare to the Astrolux EC01? They seem pretty similar. That xhp50.2 is being driven pretty hard. I’m with you on the cold white xhp50.2, 6000-6500k is all we get in flashlights now in the 3v variety. I snapped up a 5000k version from Kaidomain back in January and they were sold out very quickly. It’s in my zoomie now, but I’ll probably swap it into my C8. That’s a great LED I hop they start selling more.

I had it in my cart already when ordering a couple of things, then changed my mind :person_facepalming: . My C8 will get a 4xE21A MCPCB when Clemence can offer economy shipping again. If that works, it is an option for the SP33, too.

I don’t have the Astrolux. Honestly, there are too many quality problems with Astrolux imo. I had a coupon for the SP33, so that was a no-brainer.

I am impressed with Sofirns quality as well. I got the sp10s and it’s amazing. Zero issues. I’ll probably get a sp33 sometime. I have a C8 with a 6500k and A6 driver as well and it’s about a perfect flashlight. Just wish it had more output. 17mm driver holds it back.

Huh… took a while, but you’re right!

What flashlight?

(was it too much?)

Edit: Update - Bezel not glued. Just took some force. Should I dedome the LED?

Since warmer tints are no longer available, what would be a good replacement for the XHP50.2? I have in mind the 5000K SST-40, larger LEDs like XHP70 appear to be not available with a Vf of about 3V, correct?

Sst40 is a good choice, but will make about 1100 less lumens. Throw would be a lot more and better beam. The xhp70.2 is a 6v or 12v emitter (depending on the mcpcb). If you could swap in a boost driver you could get a xhp70.2 to work.

I’d like to keep the charging port (will give the light probably to someone without charger), so no new driver. More throw and less intensity, yes :frowning: . OTOH, the beam is terrible and there are no other options as it seems. When buying this light, I was thinking about the 5000K XHP50.2, which doesn’t exist anymore in 3V. And the E21A array will get a lot of current, maybe too much.

I’ll try the SST-40, thanks! Have it in my FT03 and like the tint.

You’d be happy with the sst40. I think it’s a great emitter without many alternatives in 5050 size. 4040 size Luxeon V is closest. Maybe new XM-l3? I don’t know. It’s a shame Cree isn’t making the 5000k 50.2 3v!

Astrolux EC01 and Sofirn SP33v3.0 beams look very similar in beam pattern & brightness..

(both EC01 and SP33v3 now come in 6500k and 5000k tint)

Lumens-Runtime graph might be different though (I'm unable to do runtime graphs since I don't have a light-integrating device at this time, only a basic lux meter for doing ceiling bounce)

The Astrolux EC01 has a "5000k" variant, however its color temperature doesn't seem that warm (but definitely warmer than the "6000-6500k" cool-white EC01).

I have a Convoy S11 with an XHP50.2 5000k (I believe it's the 6volt XHP50.2), which is warmer temperature.

(I tried to order a Sofirn SP33v3.0 with 5000k color temperature, but due to worldwide lockdown conditions and some shipping restrictions, it's just arriving (after a 2-month or 3-months without any shipping update). I have yet to receive it.

But here is the EC01 with XHP50.2 "6000-6500k" vs EC01 with XHP50.2 "5000k"

I’m so stupid. Now I remember the Source for 3V 5000K XHP50.2 - it’s Sofirn!

Just bought the Q8 MCPCB with 4 of them and a couple of this and other LEDs.

Since supply for 5000K 3V XHP50.2 dried up (Sofirn still has no stock), I tried SST-40@5000K. That really makes a difference, the beam is brillant. Unfortunately, it gives the light much more throw. It is too far away from being an allrounder with this LED. The spot is tiny. Not comfortable for typical use cases like walking the dog. But if anyone is looking for a “tactical beam”-light in this format, he will be pleased with the SP33 with SST-40. Lots of light in mid-range scenarios, nice color.

I have a C8 with sst40 and one with 50.2 (same setup as yours with the A6 driver). Both SMO reflectors and the difference is pronounced. You have the OP reflector in the Sofirn that helps smooth the sst40 beam out, but it’s still more intense and I feel less useful for general purpose. Good for ‘wow’ brightness factor, but I don’t enjoy being blinded by my own light when using it up close.

That’s it. When/if the NW XPH50.2s arrive, I’ll give it a try.

Please do and report back with the results. I’m thinking of pulling the 5000k out of my zoomie and putting it in the c8 to see how it is! Of I do I’ll post the result.

I will. Still owing beamshots of the Sofirn anyway.