Sofirn C8T (XP-L Hi, 1x18650) ~ Finally some competition for Convoys

The flashlight was gracefully provided by Sofirn’s Official store on AliExpress.
Here’s the product’s link in case you want to check it out: Sofirn C8T

The flashlight comes in a plain cardboard box - nothing to show here.
The accessories included are also quite minimal, in order to keep the price down.
In total, you get a lanyard, 2 spare o-rings and a bilingual user manual (EN and GE).

As indicated by its name, the flashlight is a C8 styled host.
The anodization creates an excellent satin black finish on the light.
I have to admit that I am very happy with the fit and finish of such a budget priced light.

As expected by a C8 styled host, you get some heatsink fins on the bottom of the head as well as some anti-roll grooves.

Of course, the flashlight is modder friendly and can be easily taken apart.
Here it is split on its basic pieces.

All of the body’s threads are square cut and arrived nicely lubricated.

It’s worth noting that the tail side threads are anodized, which allows the flashlight
to be locked out by a quarter turn of the tailcap.
A physical lock out is always nice to have, especially on high powered lights like this one.

The tailcap spring board is held in place by an aluminum retaining ring.

As you might notice, the light arrived with the tail spring bypassed by a silicone wire.
That’s some great attention to detail by Sofirn.

The FET driver is also held in place by a retaining ring.
Continuing the trend, the LED+ contact also arrived with the its spring bypassed.
In my case, the wire was loosely connected and it unsoldered itself once I run the light on Turbo for 3mins - No worries there, I resoldered it and it’s good to go.

The driver, that can also be purchased separately on Sofirn’s store, is powered by two FETs, a low power and a high power one.
You can see its performance on my tailcap readings below.

The C8T uses an XP-L Hi emitter with a neutral white color tint, while its reflector is smooth.
The emitter is aligned thanks to a centering ring.

I was quite surprised to see a 20mm Copper DTP star being used in there.
The star is secured in position with two screws and as seen, there is plenty of thermal paste applied

User Interface

The flashlight’s driver’s has two different mode groups that can be altered by a triple half press of the switch.
Group 1: Low > Mid > High
Group 2: Moonlight > Low > Mid > High > SOS (?)

The manufacturer describes the last mode as Strobe while in reality it’s an SOS/Bike Flash.
In order to access the actual Strobe, you need to do two quick half presses of the switch from any mode.

The moonlight mode is actually the lowest that I have seen in a flashlight.
I would estimated that it produces around a lumen of light.
The high mode does have a turbo timer set at 3 minutes. Once the timemark is reached, the driver will switch to medium mode.

Tailcal readings and beamshots

In order to get my readings, I used a clamp meter and a freshly charged 25R cell.
Keep in mind that being a FET driven flashlight, the High readings will vary depending on the quality of the cell that’s used

Mode - Current (A)
Low - 0.15
Mid - 1.52
High - 6.2

As one might expect, the flashlight starts getting quite warm after being left on high for more than 60 seconds. The 3min turbo timer should help you not getting a 3rd degree burn :slight_smile:
Thanks to the XP-L Hi, the flashlight produces a very tight beam - more than half in size than my C8 with an XP-L.
An 70K - 80K throw should be easily achievable with Sofirn’s setup.

Here’s a wall beamshot that should help you see the mode spacing.

As a bottom line, I have to say that the C8T is the first C8 styled light that can really give Convoys a run for their money. It’s an excellent option for people that know what they really need, as FETs are not for everyone.

Any suggestion compare to C8A ? Don’t tell me get them both because this will be my 3nd C8 .

The C8T has excellent throw. If you need a good thrower then go for it.
For indoor usage or close outdoor usage, the C8A should be superior.

It all depends on your use case.

The C8A is comparable to Convoy C8 XM-L2 in beam, only the Sofirn is more powerful

Me too published a review of it a month ago, my homecooked current draw figures match with yours (could also see a 6+A peak with a fully charged cell). Indeed a quite good flashlight for the price.

Cheers :-)

Uhhh, wanna see my C8 Army?

I suppose this c8t should outthrow and have more lumens than the convoy XPL-HI?

Is it have AR glass?

Come on, shows use your army :D

That's correct.

The AR coating should be visible on this side shot of the head.

I don’t think I got enough table-space…

You’re making us curious!
There must be a spot which fits, will outdoor do? :wink:

Wellp, most of them I just got as cheap hosts to throw in colored LEDs (red, green, IR, UV), and are perfectly working, ’though with the craptastic not-even-LB LEDs. Lots of variants, XP-L, XP-L2, XP-L HI, XP-G2, whatever, just to compare beams. Threw in a few XP-E2 for some nice pencil-beam throwers.

The C8 and ’502B were the absolute best bang-for-the-buk hosts for a long time. As easy to mod as falling off a toilet. And really nice performance.

I have to admit, i only got one convoy C8, but did some basic modding, i got it as an xml2 with OP, then tweaked with AR glass, SMO reflector, kd DTP XP-L HI V3-1A and X6 driver with bistro.
Throws quite well, only couldnt get the beam exactly focused, already filed down the reflector, but the gasket fot the SMO reflector seems quite thick.

Anti-reflective coating net gain: ≈1.15% (440 versus 435 lumens)

As an upgrade path that's a hard sell for me.

I would pay for inner head cylinder reflective/mirror finish coating in zooming flashlights, though.

Cheers ^:)

Now that this light is outdated, are there any easy mod to boost this throw?

It’s got a FET driver and an XPL-HI so it’s not exactly outdated. An easy mod? You could change the XPL-HI for a V4 binned one which would offer only marginal improvement. Otherwise you’d likely want to swap the LED for something with higher surface brightness like an Osram white flat, which will require a constant current driver. Focusing the reflector properly with the white flats can be a chore. Future development of the maximum luminance of LEDs

Outdated? Good stuff is everlasting. ;-)

What about better cooling to prevent step down? Is it worth it to take it apart to reapply thermal paste or seek out some other solution?

Stock thermals are pretty good, but it wouldn’t hurt to replace the factory thermal paste!

The only mod I have done on mine is to add a blue illuminated tail cap (those sold in BG).
Frankly, I didn’t even have to add a resistor between + and -, as it worked out of the box!