Relatively compact and light (59g without battery, without strap, with 18650 tube)
Good UI: click for on/off; hold to ramp up; double-click for turbo
Built-in micro-USB charing with indicator LEDs in the switch
Excellent kit: it includes a 18350 tube, a well-designed three-way strap, a pocket clip, and a charging cable
Pricing: at the time of this writing, it looks like the price will be $20-27 which seems extremely reasonable if not down-right cheap
Low-voltage cutoff kicked in at 2.85V
Built-in charging stopped at 4.18V
Low standby current, ~30uA
What Could Be Better:
I’d prefer Turbo to be in the normal UI rotation, not hidden behind a double-click
I’m sure not everyone wants this, but I’d love to be able to use the indicator LEDs as Aux LEDs while the light is off (and not charging)… it adds some style and makes it easier to find at night.
I find the button position to be a bit more awkward than if it were placed on the side
I wouldn’t mind the low mode being somewhat lower, perhaps 3 lm or so
Let me know if you have any questions I can answer!
Outdoor beauty shots:
Side-by-side with the Sofirn SP40 and Convoy H1:
Since I just got the SP40 and Convoy H1 around the same time, I feel like a few comparison notes are in order:
The SP40 is lighter than the Convoy H1 (59g vs 70g, respectively, without battery and without strap)
The SP40 is slightly brighter
The SP40 has micro-USB charging (nice convenience, but makes modding slightly more difficult)
The Convoy H1 lacks any kind of step down (in stock form) and get ridiculously hot
The Convoy H1 is very mod-friendly
The SP40’s “click for off” is much nicer than the H1’s “hold for off”, in my opinion
The SP40’s kit, overall, is a bit nicer: 18350 tube included, nicer strap
I like the H1’s button position better (on side vs on end)
MCPCB: standard-ish 16mm
Reflector height: 7.9mm
Reflector width (outer): 17.1mm
Lens width: 19.5mm
Lens height: 1.1mm
The emitter is super easy to get to. Just unscrew the bezel, no glue. The MCPCB has thermal grease under it, not adhesive.
The reflector is nestled completely inside an o-ring and pressed to the glass. Theoretically you could remove the o-ring or use a smaller one if you wanted to fit a TIR with a larger diameter. Or even remove the glass if you needed additional height.
Nice review gchart. Too bad it doesn’t have ultra low or moonlight mode. Still a great light for its price though. Does it atleast have direct access to the low mode from off (without having to cycle from memorized mode)? Long press from off maybe?
Thanks for the review! I was quite interested in this headlamp, but the lack of a Moon mode which is accessible from off is a real deal-killer, especially on a headlamp! What was Sofirn thinking? Headlamps are often used while camping/backpacking and those users know very well that predictable access to Moon mode is a must.
12lm on Low is not so bad, but it can’t be reliably accessed from off! If I owned this light, I would have to always set it back to Low before turning it off and would inevitably get angry when someone else used it and left it on high to blind me by surprise .
I also agree that headlamp buttons should be on top or bottom, as I tend to grab the body with my thumb (underneath) and forefinger (on top) to use the switch. A button on the end works well when hand-holding, but not while on the head strap.
Again, I would develop a strange habit to resolve this; I would grab the lamp sideways with (right-hand) thumb on the tail and middle finger on the head in order to use the button without moving the light. You could do the reverse with the thumb on the button, but for me this would put my hand in front of the lens and partly blind me.
Too bad about the Moon issue, as the kit is very nice. Including the short tube is a great idea that satisfies more buyers. I don’t mind the “hidden” Turbo as that’s how most of my lights work. Hiding Turbo gives a pseudo-muggle mode for casual users and gives fast access to the highest output.
Take note, Sofirn. Users want reliable, quick access to both the lowest and highest outputs.
+1. However, if they can reduce Low to 3lm or so, that would be acceptable. The spec is 5lm, but gchart measures 12lm, so it definitely needs to come down.
The button position can’t really be changed and that’s okay for this iteration as Sofirn tends to go to “v2” within a few months .
MicroUSB is a terrible connector, but unavoidable at this price. I won’t use it, anyway. Surprisingly, I do sometimes use the USB-C charging on my Astrolux FT03, mainly because it’s faster than my “real” charger. I think built-in charging is great for muggles that can get everything they need in one kit, but I’d gladly trade it for a better UI or an extra strap (they wear out quickly, though I’m still using some 16 years old).
Thanks goodness there’s no SOS , especially one in the main sequence! There’s a special place in hell for companies that put any bright flashing mode there.
The AliExpress page adds Sofirn’s “3000mAh” 18650 to the kit for $3 more. Nooner found the cell to be a DLG that 59 reported to be similar to the LG MH1. That’s not a high-drain cell, but $3 is fair enough. Note that Sofirn’s protected “3400mAh” cell was found to be the exact same battery.
Too bad we can’t have Narsil or Anduril on everything . Budget drivers likely don’t use ATtinys, but a man can dream.
I need a new headlamp and would love to buy a Sofirn, so… firmware improvement would be nice and a group buy would be awesome.
# Lowest level < 5lm
# Hold from Off —> Moon/Low
If #2 is unreasonable, what about disabling mode memory and always starting at Moon/Low? 3-mode lights don’t really need memory and turbo is always available.
If the button is easy enough to press, you might be able to grab the sides of the head with thumb (under) and middle finger (top) and use the forefinger to press the button. Maybe. I can see how the button works best on the end from a design and manufacturing point of view, since there’s likely room for it to be recessed and the overall appearance is cleaner. It also gives access down the axis of the tube, which might be useful during assembly?
Meanwhile I have also received my SP40. It's nice of Sofirn to include the 18350 battery tube. However, I also asked Sofirn to forward some suggestions to improve the UI, e.g. a hidden moonlight mode (long press from OFF) as well as a better configuration for the indicator LED. As far as I was told, they will forward my feedback to Barry.