Sofirn SF14 should come with a warning

Exactly — the maker/seller specifically mentions 14500s.
No indication that Eneloops should not be used.

Maybe lack of thermal paste?

Well, the same goes for they don’t indicate that the use of Ni-MH cells is “recommended” or considered :wink:

An example: Lumintop Tool AA explicitly mentions the use of 14500 Li-Ion, AA Alkalines and Ni-MH cells. Nitefox ES10K (AA) mentions AA Alkaline or Ni-MH cells. Manker E11 mentions 5 different types of batteries that can be used.

The Sofirn SF14 and SP10A/B only mention 14500 batteries and AA alkalines!!

EDIT: As I mentioned above, the only reference that may lead to an inference about the Ni-MH cells is the “nominal voltage” of 1.2V!

Here is a video with mentioned issue with current measurement:

If someone makes a light and recommends AAs and 14500s and fails to say — but don’t use Eneloops because the light will malfunction and who knows what will happen — then that is a problem.

Hum, they don’t have to specify Eneloops, as those are only one type of Ni-MH branded cells among N others.

Just to give another example: I never used my SF14 with AA cells because the first batch of that light couldn’t even take a Ni-MH cell, only alkalines and 14500s!
I wrote this here by that time, and asked Sofirn to correct the tube so that it could take Ni-MH cells:

They could, however, specify that using Ni-MH may imply some issues.

If you check the Jaxman E3 thread, an AA flashlight, you’ll see that jaxman mentions that the use of 14500 cells is not the most appropriated as the driver is mostly done to use with AA alkaline or Ni-MH cells. In this case is due to the heat produced and the outputs being similar between Ni-MH and 14500s.

Please don’t get me wrong as I am not trying to prove a point here, nor to defend Sofirn as I have nothing to do with them. I’m only trying to check that just because it doesn’t say it (Ni-MH cells) can’t be used, it also doesn’t say it (Ni-MH cells) can be used.

However, if those issues persist, I guess you can contact Sofirn, through the forum member or through their AliExpress store so that they can help you solving this. If it has a solution, of course!! :beer:

Technical Parameters

1, Use CREE XP-G2 LED with a lifespan of 100,000 hours.
2, CCT Range: 5350K-5700K, NW (Neutral White)

  • 3, AA battery Working Voltage: 0.9-1.6 Volts

4, 14500 battery (without protect board)Working Voltage: 2.8-4.2 Volts
5, Battery Supported: 1pcs 14500 Battery or AA battery (NiMh, Alkaline)
6, Dimension: 96.1mm(length)× 18.9mm(diameter) × 20.5mm(head)
7, Net Weight: 38.7 gram (no batteries included)
8, ………

Well, #3 above kinda tells the story to me. Eneloops NiMH batteries should work.

Well, first time I’m seeing this info and their site :person_facepalming:
Doesn’t take back my point reporting to the time I got the lighr and the info, but it changes the things concerning the use of Ni-MH, not specifically Eneloops.

As I mentioned above, maybe contacting Sofirn is the best way to act :+1:

NiMH has the lowest voltage of the major types, and that’s no-load. The controller might have a hard time starting up if it’s already at a low voltage, then tries dumping lots of current to make its supply voltage even lower. At least an alkie can still register at 1.5V-ish at no load.

At lower loads, maybe the voltage holds up more. Then as things heat up and LED current decreases and/or resistance somewhere increases, the sag isn’t that bad and it steadies out.

I remember a digital watch (old-timey red LED digits) would go mental when the battery would start getting low, but noticed it was especially when more segments were lit. Ie, it might work fine at 1:17 but go mental at 12:53.

So… no idea. :smiley:

Yep your right, I should have said NiMH… not just Eneloops. :+1: I edited & made the change. :wink:

Thanks for pointing that out. :slight_smile:

I noticed that mate :wink: Thanks!!

I don’t have Eneloops nor the correspondent IKEA batteries, I only have some Panasonic Evolta Ni-MH and other “Lidl supermarket” Ni-MH batteries. I do know that Eneloops perform better, but if they are not performing well on the SF14 and other Ni-MH also don’t do the job well done, the focus here must not be the Eneloops, but the Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.

And it must be addressed to the manufacturer.

I do remember that the runtimes pointed out for the SF14 and SP10A/B was only for 14500s and AAs, and for Ni-MH they should be different but they were never mentioned. So, maybe something is missing here.

I never noticed any flickering on my SF14 or SP10A/B when running with Eneloop AA but I haven’t used them since my initial play with them because I use either my Zebralight SC5W II or Reylights when I use AA lights. The Sofirn AA lights are just not bright enough.

I have three of the Jaxman E3 with a fourth on the way.

I decided to try the Sofirn SF14 because of 1) the price 2) it is slightly thinner than the Jaxman, although longer 3) and because of Jaxman’s warning about using 14500s.

The AA size lights make for good pocket EDCing. They also make good gifts. That’s why I need them to use both 14500s and Eneloops. Most non-flashaholics won’t use lithium ions. So I include Eneloops with the flashlight, along with a charger.

The Jaxman E3 produces enough light on Eneloops for me to take the dogs out in the yard to pee. But not enough light to walk them in the park. That’s why I like a light that uses both Eneloops and 14500s.

Someone mentioned contacting the maker……that is where I started…. But the only option Amazon gave me was a return.

Since Sofirn sent me a model I would consider defective AFTER they introduced their new version, I would be suspicious of what they might send me next if I bought a second SF14.

My suggestion to Sofirn — take all the version I SF14s off the market and remove the link from Amazon and elsewhere. Start a new link and label it Version II or new and improved or both.

And then specify whether or not it works with Eneloops.

Thanks for posting. 4A is going to bring significant voltage sag, and with an NiMH, there isn’t a lot of voltage to start with.

Thanks for checking!

Thanks for taking the time to check this. I learned something.

The delayed onset is consistent with the notion of heat being the problem. In one video I noticed that turning the flashlight off and then on, does not make the problem go away, but turning it off, and waiting a bit, does, albeit, only temporarily. The problem with NiMH might be that battery IR is too low, current is too high, and heat results.

I don’t know much about driver electronics. Is this a buck/boost driver that bucks for Li-ion (above a certain voltage), and then boosts for lower voltages, including Li-ion, alkaline and NiHM? Does it make sense that the boost section could be prone to overheating only on NiMH? Presumably this would be because of low IR and higher currents. Now that I’ve written it out, the idea does not sound very convincing.

Anyway, as others have already said, it looks like either the flashlight, the driver, or both were not designed for NiMH.

4A is no problem with Eneloops. Running voltage will be over 1.1v. Alkalines will die immediately under that current, and even at 2A will drop below 1.0v very quickly.

The new SF14 is out, and has some differences in aspect (smaller, larger, seems to have removable bezel, has “V2.0” marked on the head, …).
Let’s see if it does work better than the previous version in those aspects mentioned here!,searchweb201602_1_10152_10151_10065_10344_10068_10342_10343_10340_10341_10696_10084_10083_10618_10304_10307_10820_10821_10301_10869_10868_10059_100031_10103_10624_10623_10622_10621_10620,searchweb201603_6,ppcSwitch_5&algo_expid=acd27411-ed4f-4ae7-82f1-343793b679b6-4&algo_pvid=acd27411-ed4f-4ae7-82f1-343793b679b6&priceBeautifyAB=0

EDIT: From the link:

EDIT 2: to specify if it works with Eneloops, they have to specify if they work with the N other brands of Ni-MH batteries once not all the people have the money to buy or the access to Eneloops!!! :arrow_right:

FWIW, last night I tried to duplicate the "flickering in high mode using a Ni-MH battery" anomaly in my SF14 and couldn't do it. Took an Eneloop down to 0.9 v and the flashlight seemed to remain stable all the way. But, as confirmed to me by a Sofirn rep via PM this morning, part of the SF14V2 upgrade is to address this anomaly.

Try to get the new one, version 2.0, its on Amazon, its supposed to fix that problem. use code GCRBWXTC to save 30%

Wish they would offer the new SF14V2 without the battery and charger.