Sofirn SP70 Flashlight Review
The SP70 is Sofirn’s big flashlight – a 2×26650 flashlight with a Cree XHP70.2 emitter. This gives great throw and output, too!
Official Specs and Features
There’s just one version of the SP70, but it’s available 3 ways. Light only, kit with cells, and kit with “HD [high discharge] cells.”
This is a seriously impressive light, pumping out a ridiculous 5600 lumens and stepping down to around 3000 lumens for over 30 minutes. The kit is a good setup, too!
The Big Table
|Price in USD at publication time:||$89.99
Buy it directly from Sofirn at amazon! (referral link)
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||0.0191|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||5500|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||5468 (99.4% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||686|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||4130lux @ 5.773m = 137643cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||742.0 (108.2% of claim)^|
|All my Sofirn reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Sofirn SP70 Flashlight
- Sofirn 5500mAh 26650 (2)
- 2-bay charger
- Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
- Cell adapters (26650 to 18650)
- Split rings (2)
- O-rings (2)
Package and Manual
The SP70 ships in a standard non-discrete cardboard box.
The manual is a long paper, has 4 languages, and seems to describe the light very well.
Build Quality and Disassembly
Astute observers will note that this is one of the more expensive Sofirns. Much of that increase in price is more due to this being a package light (you’ll really want to just buy the kit, so that it’ll come with the cells – unless you have a line on inexpensive 26650s.) So generally this light is not all that expensive. But does the build quality match that price, or is it built to higher standards?
This light is in line with other modern Sofirns. The build quality is very nice. The knurling is good, the threads are good – I have absolutely no complaints about the quality.
The head is full of (not too deep) fins for cooling (something that the light will need since it’s pulling ~10A on Turbo!).
The threads are long, square-cut, and not overly lubed.
Both the head and tail have thick double wound springs. Very high quality, and quite stiff springs.
Despite having the same diameter on the head and tail, the threads are longer on the tail end, and so the tube isn’t reversible. This does mean that the tactical ring is only for the tail end (which is fine, of course).
The provided cells don’t protrude when installed.
Size and Comps
Dimension: 250mm (length)× 90mm (head diameter)
Weight: 625 grams (without batteries)
It’s not at all a small light, but it’s ideal sized for what it is.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
The main way to carry this light will be the shoulder strap. It’s a nice shoulder strap and connects on the tailcap or tactical ring, and a hole in the head.
The shoulder strap doesn’t fit without using a split ring in both ends, though. The hook is too thick. But a small split ring for both head and tail are included.
Power and Runtime
The SP70 runs on two cells, so has a running voltage of 8.4V. My kit included two cells, 5500mAh 26650 cells. These are good cells, and as such I recommend just buying the kit.
An adapter is also included for using 2×18650. The adapter is just an open ended plastic tube.
I tested the light on Turbo and High. Here’s turbo, with the included cells. The head gets warm, especially considering how big it is, and how far the heat is moving to get to my probe.
In both tests I performed, on cell gets discharged deeper than the other. It still stays in the safe zone though, so it’s fine, but it could be a good practice to rotate the cells.
The High runtime is essentially the same as Turbo, just without the blip of Turbo.
Here are the 18650 adapters.
The kit also includes a 2-bay charger, which is powered by a USB to micro-USB plug.
The charger holds both cells at one time. I didn’t test the charger.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
The middle modes of the SP70 do in fact display a bit of PWM, but to my eye it’s not bad at all.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
The SP70 has a dual switch interface, with a mechanical tail clicky, and an e-switch (with indicator function) on the side.
The side switch is clear/white and has some useful green indicators.
The side switch is a little proud, and easy to locate without looking.
In standby, the light will have a green indicator. It also indicates for 5 seconds after turning on what the battery level is. Green means the power is good. Orange means “half power.” Red means low power, and flashing red means to charge immediately.
The UI actually has two mode groups. One has discrete modes, and the other has ramping. Of course I always test with the discrete modes, but ramping is all the rage and quite a nice addition. Switching between the groups is easy – with the mechanical switch on (indicated by the green e-switch being lit), but the light off (controlled by the e-switch), quickly click the side switch 6 times. The light will blink twice to indicate the group change, and enter the last used output.
Here’s a UI table! The table will refer to the Mechanical switch off as “Off” and the Mechanical switch “on” as “Standby” (since the light can be “on” but not have output – just an active e-switch.)
|Off||Click Tail Switch (TS)||Standby|
|Off||Click Side Switch (SS)||No Action|
|Standby||Double Click SS||Turbo|
|Off||Half Press TS||Momentary Mode Memory|
|Turbo||Click SS||Return to previous mode|
|Standby||Click SS 6x||Mode Group switch|
|Standby, Both Groups||Hold SS||Moonlight|
|Moonlight||Hold SS||No action|
|Standby, Both Groups||Click SS||On (Mode Memory)|
|On, Both Groups||Click SS||Standby|
|On, Group 1||Hold SS||Mode Advance (LMH direction, excluding Turbo and Moonlight)|
|On, Group 2||Hold SS||Infinite ramp Up or Down (stops at Turbo or Moonlight)|
|Standby||Click SS 4x||Lockout|
|Lockout||Click SS||Two flashes|
|Lockout||Cycle TS||Lockout off|
|Lockout||Click SS 4x||Unlock|
|Standby||Click SS 8x||Beacon|
|Beacon||Click SS||Beacon off|
It’s possible there’s something missing here – there’s a lot happening in the UI. Still, it’s pretty simple overall.
LED and Beam
The emitter is a Cree XHP70.2. It’s a pretty good choice for this light but suffers from the normal 70.2 maladies. It does offer a ton of output though, which is appreciated in such a light. The reflector is big and deep and orange peeled.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot! So far as I can tell, there’s really nothing else like this light! Particularly as a full kit light, this one offers a lot!
What I like
- Full kit includes everything you’ll need, including good cells
- Output is just ridiculous
- Even after stepdown, ~3000 lumens is very good
- Meets specs for both throw and output
- Dual switch UI
What I don’t like
- Cree XHP70.2 has the usual tint shift
- High standby drain
- This light was provided by Sofirn for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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