Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight Review

Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight Review

Sofirn has released the Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight, an updated C07 with new specifications and a new name!  Read on for testing!


Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight page.

Versions

There is just one version of the Sofirn TF84 flashlight, but it’s available at different kit levels.

  • Without Battery: flashlight with charging cable
  • With Battery: flashlight + 3000mAh 18650 battery(inserted) + charging cable
  • TF84-KIT2: flashlight + 3000mAh 18650 battery(inserted) + charging cable + Remote controller
  • TF84-KIT3: flashlight + 3000mAh 18650 battery(inserted) + charging cable + Remote controller + Red diffuser

The TF84 is a new version of the Sofirn C07, though.  So that could be considered a version of this light.

Price

In the same order as above, the kits are priced as follows:  $57.99, $61.99, $67.99 (seen here), $71.99.


Short Review

On the whole, the Sofirn TF84 is a good light.  I’m pleased that it uses the Samsung LH351d emitter and seems to be neutral white.  The throw is good, and I like the beam profile.  The output is way below the specification though, which is quite disappointing.  Not that the output is bad, or too low, but the spec just seems unnecessarily inflated.

Long Review of the Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight

The Big Table

Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight
Emitter: Samsung LH351d
Price in USD at publication time: $67.99 (as seen here)
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Both
Quiescent Current (mA):
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: all modes
without cell: no modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 597 (49.8% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 16.5
Claimed Throw (m) 199
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 1008lux @ 3.336m = 11218cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 211.8 (106.4% 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).

What’s Included

what's included

  • Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight
  • Sofirn 3000mAh 18650
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Remote switch
  • Manual and papers

Package and Manual

Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight Build Quality and Disassembly

sofirn tf84 feature image

The build quality of the Sofirn TF84 is good.  It doesn’t stand out for anything in particular, but the light does seem solid.

Here’s the top-down view.

The bezel seems to be stainless and has a few big teeth.

bezel

Around both the bezel and head there are minimal-depth cooling fins, too.

cooling fins

Just the cell tube has knurling – there is none on the tailcap.

knurling

I was unable to remove the head from the cell tube, so just the tailcap comes off.  This reveals smooth unanodized threads, which are square-cut and of usual length.

threads

Both head and tail have springs, as you’d expect on a tactical light.

head and tail spring

Size and Comps

Dimension: 143mm (length)× 35mm (head)
Net Weight: 120±1 gram (no batteries included)

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

in-hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

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.

beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

Included and attached to the light is a friction-fit pocket clip.  It’s a standard clip – nothing special and a little thin.

Clip hug!

sofirn tf84 pocket clip hug

Nothing else is included for carry of the Sofirn TF84 tactical flashlight.  There is no pouch.

Power and Runtime

Power is provided by a single lithium-ion cell.  If you buy the package, you’ll get a 3000mAh button top 18650, which is perfectly good for this flashlight.

included 18650

It’s a button-top cell.  Since there are springs on both ends, I think any type 18650 will work fine.  It tested with an unprotected flat top and didn’t have any issues.

included 18650 button

The cell fits into the light in the usual way – positive terminal toward the head.

included 18650 installed

Here are a couple of runtimes.  Performance is “eh” (or “bad” if you’re thinking about the specifications.)  The initial output is around 600 lumens, which is just over half the claim.  I can deal with that – the throw measurement is met.  However, after that, the light just drifts downward in output as the cell voltage drops.  That is not an ideal scenario.

Fortunately, the output on High is much more stable.

After the light steps down to low output, the switch blinks red, then the light shuts off.  On bench power, I tested those values at 2.9V and 2.6V, respectively.

Based on bench power testing, it doesn’t seem like the 6V you’ll get from CR123x2 will make 1200 lumens, too.  So I don’t think the disparity is explained by my testing with an 18650.

Charging

The Sofirn TF84 has built-in charging.  There’s a USB-C port in the head.

An appropriate cable is included – USB to USB-C.

Here’s a charge cycle using USB to USB-C.

I also tested and the light will charge at 5V with C to C, which is nice.  The currents are about the same as above.  Here’s a graph of that:

charge graph

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps @4.2V Tailcap Amps @6V
Turbo 1200 2.5h 597 2.41 2.05
High 450 3.5h 335 0.70 0.50
Med 150 9.5h 142 0.24 0.17
Low 101 111h 6 0.01 0.01
Moonlight 1 500h 0.8 ~0.00 ~0.00

Pulse Width Modulation

No PWM on any mode is seen.

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).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  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

There are plenty of options for switching this light!  Primarily there is the tail switch setup – a mechanical clicky, with a paddle switch beside it.

tail switches

There’s an indicating e-switch on the head, as well.  This is exactly opposite to the charge port.  They’re easy to differentiate – one’s a hard plastic round switch, and one is a softer silicone part.

e-switch

The indicating switch can be red or green.  As seen below in green, the light is indicating directly after power on, that the cell is “charged” state.

e-switch indicating

There’s also a remote switch (option).  Interestingly, and I think this is the first time I’ve seen this, that bigger switch there seems to actually be a mechanical switch!

remote switch remote switch

remote switch installed

remote switch back

Even without the remote switch (which we’ll cover below), there are two mode groups.  One is the “Outdoor Group” (this is the default) and the other is the “Tactical Group.”  To switch between these groups press the paddle switch (the manual calls this the “tail mode switch”) and the side e-switch at the same time, for around 3 seconds.  The light will change groups.  Three blinks indicate you’ve entered the Outdoor group.  One blink indicates you’ve entered the Tactical group.

Here’s a UI table for the Outdoor Group!

State Action Result
Off Click “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Turbo
Off Tap “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Momentary Turbo
Tactical Main Switch On Click “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Off
On (but not from Tactical Main Switch) Click “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Turbo
Off Tap Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) Momentary Strobe
Off Hold Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) >2s Strobe
Tactical Main Switch On Tap Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) Mode advance (Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
Tactical Main Switch On Hold Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) >2s Strobe
Strobe Tap Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) Turbo
Off Hold Side Switch Moonlight
Off Click Side Switch Mode Memory (excluding Strobe)
On Click Side Switch Mode advance (Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
On (but not from Tactical Main Switch), except in Strobe Hold Side Switch Off
Any Double Click Side Switch Strobe
Strobe Click Side Switch Strobe Advance (Strobe, SOS, Beacon)
Strobe Hold or Double Click Side Switch Previous State
Off Click Side Switch 4x Lockout
Lockout Click Side Switch Indicates Lockoug by blinking red and blue
Lockout Any action on either tail switch As described above (ie, full operation during lockout)

Here’s a UI table for the Tactical group!

State Action Result
Off Click “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Turbo
Off Tap “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Momentary Turbo
Tactical Main Switch On Click “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Off
On Click “Tactical Main Switch” (mechanical clicky) Strobe (after a delay)
Off Tap Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) Momentary Strobe
Off Hold Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) >2s Strobe
Tactical Main Switch On Tap Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) Mode advance (Turbo, Medium only)
Tactical Main Switch On Hold Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) >2s Strobe
Strobe Tap Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch) Turbo
Off Hold Side Switch Moonlight
Off Click Side Switch Mode Memory (excluding Strobe)
On Click Side Switch Mode advance (Turbo, Medium only)
On (but not from Tactical Main Switch), except in Strobe Hold Side Switch Off
Any Double Click Side Switch Strobe
Strobe Click Side Switch Strobe Advance (Strobe, SOS, Beacon)
Strobe Hold or Double Click Side Switch Previous State
Off Click Side Switch 4x Lockout
Lockout Click Side Switch Indicates Lockoug by blinking red and blue
Lockout Any action on either tail switch As described above (ie, full operation during lockout)

There’s really not that much difference between the two groups.  Mainly I think it’s that you pare down all the extra modes to just Turbo and Medium.  But you maintain access to moonlight, and pretty much all the other stuff is the same, so….

Now, regarding this remote switch.  That switch literally exactly replaces the entire tailcap and both switches on the tailcap.  So everything about the table above regarding either tailswitch completely translates to the remote switch.  The bigger, square switch is the “Tactical Main Switch” and the big flat part is the “Mode Tail Switch (paddle switch).”  So that part works quite well.

LED and Beam

The emitter used in the Sofirn TF84 tactical flashlight is surprisingly a neutral white Samsung LH351d.  Sofirn went with a smooth reflector, and this one is a deep fairly wide reflector.

emitter detail

The bezel is crenelated, so light escapes when headstanding.

emitter on

The beam is very throwy, but with a bit of spill.  There’s a nice tight hotspot, which seems ideal for a tactical flashlight.

uncalibrated beamshot

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 KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Uses a Samsung LH351d emitter
  • Indicating e-switch
  • No PWM
  • Great beam profile

What I don’t like

  • Output is less than half of the claim

Notes

  • This light was provided by Sofirn for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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2 thoughts on “Sofirn TF84 Tactical Flashlight Review”

  1. That’s really odd about the output. Maybe it is some kind of software issue. I didn’t think Sofirn was a company to pad numbers like that.

  2. I’m looking for a CR123A car light which led me here. I’m wondering if this light is brighter with 2* CR123A cells since that would be a higher voltage.

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