[Review] - Sofirn SP36 - 6000lm, Neutral White, 3x18650 - by Lock

Hello everyone ... today we will see the Sofirn SP36, a powerful quadriled torch, powered by 3x18650 in parallel and capable of delivering a maximum output of 6000lm. The flashlight was sent to me for review by the official Sofirn store on Aliexpress (https://sofirn.it.aliexpress.com/store/2933049)

Packaging and content

The Sofirn SP36 comes in a rigid cardboard box, anonymous and without any reference to the brand or model of the product. Inside the package we find:

  • The Torch Sofirn SP36
  • Replacement O-ring
  • USB TypeC charging cable
  • User Manual

Main features

  • Maximum output up to 6000 lm with four CREE XP-L2 5300- 5700K LEDs
  • Different methods of use + NarsilM V1.2 firmware
  • Ramping from 0.5 lm to 6000 lm
  • 12 different output sets
  • USB Type-C interface, 5V DC 2A
  • Status LEDs below the switch
  • Moonlight function 0.5lm
  • Max runtime up to 45 days
  • High quality aluminum alloy material
  • Driver: NarsilM V1.2
  • Standby current less than 25uA
  • Power supply: 3 x 18650 lithium ion battery (not included)
  • Lens: high transparency tempered glass
  • IPX7 waterproof up to a depth of 1m
  • Impact resistance up to 1m

The body and the materials

The Sofirn SP36 is a powerful and compact diffusion torch. With the Turbo you have at your disposal a real wall of light useful to illuminate well up to 100-150mt away. The build quality is excellent, the anodising, lettering and knurling are well done. Thicknesses are abundant, in your hand you have a nice feeling of strength.

The grip is good even with wet or wet hands.

The interface is fully programmable and can be customized using the backlit electronic button on the side. This is in rubber, slightly protruding, with a single stroke and at the pressure it emits a "click" sound. Very easy to find even in total darkness or if for example you use gloves, it offers excellent tactile feedback and great ease of use.

Below the switch is a status LED that lights green during normal use or red to indicate low battery. It is very bright and visible even in daylight.

The torch can be essentially disassembled into two parts: head and battery compartment.

The optical part consists of 4 XP-L2 LEDs (5300 to 5700K), a mirror-polished smooth reflector and a thick lens with anti-reflective treatment.

The tail is flat and allows the use of the torch in tailstanding. There is no hole for attaching a wrist strap.

The head has deep dissipation fins

The threads are sliding, well lubricated and anodized, so the physical lock-out of the interface is allowed. An O-ring protects the battery compartment from water or dirt infiltration

The negative pole has three golden springs of discrete section while at the positive pole there is a thick circular contact.

The Sofirn SP36 power supply is guaranteed by three 18650 batteries in 3P configuration. This means that, if necessary, the torch can also be powered with one or two batteries Sofirn recommends using top button batteries. Although the SP36 has a Low Voltage Protection with 2.8V cutoff, it is recommended to use cells with integrated protection circuit. Obviously, given the high absorption, the batteries must also be High Drain. For my tests I used the Sanyo 18650GA 3500 high drain but not protected. The lettering is perfect and present laterally with make and model and in the queue with the RoHS and CE certification logos.

On the opposite side of the switch is a USB TypeC port for fast charging of the batteries. A thick enough rubber cap protects the charging interface from water and dirt.

Bundled with the torch also comes a TypeC cable of about 80cm in length. The torch is declared as waterproof according to the IPX7 standard and submersible up to a depth of one meter. I did some diving tests in I didn't find any kind of infiltration.

User Interface

The Sofirn SP36 user interface has two modes of use "Ramping" and "Mode Set" which can be configured and customized. In Mode Set mode, you can choose from as many as 12 output sets to suit your needs. It is possible to enable and disable Ramping, temperature control, set a timed stepdown, activate or deactivate special stroboscopic levels and Moon levels. There are also other interesting functions such as the Battery Checking Mode to know exactly the cell voltage and the temperature control mode which returns, with a series of LED flashes, the temperature from the torch. Furthermore, it is possible to choose whether or not to activate the status LED lighting located below the switch, whether to leave it active only for the "locator" function or to use it also for the Battery Checking Mode instead of the main LEDs.

Ramping Operation

• From torch off, press and hold the switch to activate the ramping and increase the output continuously from the minimum to the maximum level or click the switch individually to access the last level used.

• When the torch is on, press and hold the switch to activate ramping. To change the direction of the ramping just wait about one second between each pressure.

• Double click, with torch on or off, to go directly to the Turbo level

• Triple click, from torch on or off, to enter Battery Checking Mode

• Quadruple click, from torch on or off, to electronically lock the interface

• When you are at the maximum level with a double click you will enter the first strobe level, if enabled

• When you are on a stroboscopic level with additional clicks you can access the following special levels

• When you are in the Battery Checking Mode with a double click the torch will return, with a series of flashes, the temperature in degrees Celsius

• To turn off the LED indicator, just turn on the torch and turn it off quickly immediately after turning it on.

Mode set Operation

• From torch off, with a click you will access the first low mode set for the selected output set while, keeping the switch pressed for 1/3 sec, you will go to the level previously used

• From torch on, with a click you will go to the next output level while keeping the switch pressed you will go to the previous level

• After selecting a level, if you wait more than 1.2 seconds, at the next click the torch will switch to OFF mode

• For the Battery Checking Mode, from torch off, just a quick click followed by a long press

• To lock the interface, by torch off, quickly double-click the switch followed by a long press. Similarly to unlock the interface

• From any mode, a long press will bring the torch into the first stroboscopic mode. With additional clicks and without pauses you will go to the next special levels, while with a long press you will go to the previous special levels • When you are in Battery Checking Mode with a double click you can know the temperature of the torch. A series of flashes will indicate the value in degrees Celsius. Below is an excerpt from the user manual that shows the various possible configurations

Below is the discharge curve for the Turbo level

Beam, Tint and Beamshots

The Sofirn SP36 mounts 4x Cree LED XP-L2 5300-5700k so it tends to Neutral White. Used in nature it renders the colors well, the sight is not tired is uniform and presents a slight color change on warmer shades at the end of spill. The turbo is really impressive, the 6000 lumens generate a wall of diffused light, well spread, with a beam without artifacts. The shot is satisfactory, lighting well at a hundred meters is not a problem at all. The torch can also be powered directly from the USB-C with an average low output of around 600 lumens.

The following will be shown some medium / long distance beamshot using the Turbo level.

Beamshot #1

Beamshot #2

Beamshot #3

Beamshot #4

Beamshot #5

Beamshot #6

Beamshot #7

Beamshot #8

Beamshot #9

Beamshot #10

Beamshot #11

Final considerations

The Sofirn SP36 is really an exceptional product and I must admit that it surprised me in many ways. The construction quality is impeccable, the materials are of first choice and the finishing touches treated in detail. What I liked best is the compactness: lots of power, small size, excellent heat dissipation.

Beam and dye fully satisfied me. Well done and very responsive the power button. Very bright LED and clearly visible in the dark, even at a distance.

Excellent anodizing and knurling which offers excellent grip. I like the fact that the SP36 is powered with 3x18650 in 3P configurations. If necessary, it can also work powered by a single 18650 or even directly powered by the TypeC port. Nothing to say about the interface, my favorite.

These are its main features:

  • Possibility to choose between two completely different interfaces, "Ramping" and a more conventional one based on the "Mode Set".
  • Direct access to the turbo
  • Direct access to Moon mode
  • Selection of the preferred Moon level [1–7]
  • 5 different stroboscopic levels that can be deactivated at will
  • Memory Mode
  • Momentary On
  • Electronic Lock-Out
  • Battery Status
  • Driver Temperature Mode
  • Firmware Version Mode
  • Factory Reset
  • Possibility to choose (in “MODE SET” mode) between 12 sets of predefined levels
  • Advanced status LED functions
  • Thermal or timed Auto Step Down function (optionally 60s, 90s, 2m, 3m 5m, 7m)

So many functions, useful and interesting.

I can only be satisfied with this product, surely to recommend !!! Thanks for reading...

Well done! Nice photography. I’ve been a fan of this light ever since it was released and it’s one of my favorites in my rotation. It’s got power to spare, is a reasonable size for all that light and Sofirn constructed it very nicely. It’s too big for anything other than jacket-pocket carry, but for around my house and property, it’s a winner. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

One of the best thorough reviews I’ve ever seen.

Thanks for all the pictures