Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight Review
Sofirn has released the SC31T, a tactical flashlight similar to the SC31 Pro. This dual switch light uses a Luminus SST-40 and has good throw.
Official Specs and Features
There’s just one version of the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight. It’s available with or without an 18650 though. Of course, there are other SC31 versions, including the SC31 Pro which I have reviewed. Also, just a regular SC31, which I’ve also reviewed.
The Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight is selling now for $30.99 (without cell) or $32.99 (with cell). Obviously for $2, including the cell is the better choice.
This is a solid performer at a low cost. The dual switch interface make it reasonable for tactical purposes, as do the dual springs. USB-C charging works well, too. Output doesn’t quite hit the specification, but more importantly, the throw does.
The Big Table
|Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Luminus SST-40 (6500K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$30.99|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||–|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port||In any configuration: No|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1712 (85.6% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||8|
|Claimed Throw (m)||209|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||613lux @ 4.919m = 14832cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||243.6 (116.6% of claim)^|
|Measured CCT Range (K)||5600-6100 Kelvin|
|Item provided for review by:||Sofirn|
|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 SC31T Tactical Flashlight
- Sofirn 3000mAh 18650 (button top, standard)
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
The build quality of the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight is commensurate with the price. It’s around a $30 light – seems about right. That’s for simply build quality though. The actual guts of this light (discussed later) put it in a separate (and higher) category.
Ample knurling covers most of the body, including the tailcap.
These threads are quite smooth, too. They’re square cut, anodized, and lubed. Long, too.
The head shares the same threads. In fact, the cell tube is reversible because of this.
The head has a nice beefy spring, as a tactical light should. The tail has this same type springs – dual springs, this is good.
Size and Comps
Dimension: 125.5mm (length) × 24mm (head diameter)
Weight: 67grams (without battery)
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).
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.
Retention and Carry
A pocket clip comes already attached. It’s the lowest kind of pocket clip (and leads heavily to my opinion of the build quality). It’s a friction fit clip.
As I said above, the clip only goes in one spot, but the cell tube is reversible, so the clip can end up on the head or tail end per your preference.
A lanyard is also included and attaches to the tailcap. This tailcap is notably different from the SC31 Pro. This is more of a tactical tailcap, with access from two sides.
Power and Runtime
The SC31T operates on a single lithium-ion cell. I have a package that had a cell included. It’s a 3000mAh button top and is a completely standard cell.
The cell goes into the light in the usual way – positive terminal toward the head. There’s a little silk-screened logo on the tailcap to help with orientation, too.
Here are a few runtime tests.
The Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight also has built-in charging, by way of a USB-C port in the head. The charge port cover is thick and fits in very firmly, and is quite nice. This aspect of the light is just like the SC31 Pro.
An appropriate cable is included. USB to USB-C.
This switch also has indicating features – below it’s seen indicating red for low voltage. Notably, the switch will indicate for 5 seconds after the light is turned on, as follows:
Green: remaining battery power is good
Red: remaining battery power is poor (less than 30%)
Red Flashing: recharge or swap cell immediately.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
Almost all of the modes use PWM, but it’s fairly fast and I wouldn’t describe it as “noticeable” at all. Interestingly, only the lowest mode doesn’t seem to use PWM. (Moonlight is the first image below.)
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
Unlike the SC31 Pro, the SC31T uses two switches. First, and most important, is the mechanical tail switch.
The switch is not proud, but accessible from two sides, even if you’re wearing gloves.
This mechanical switch controls only on/off.
Next is the e-switch on the head, which controls the modes. The switch isn’t proud and is more or less flat.
The action is low, and not incredibly quiet.
It’s also an indicating switch!
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click Tail Switch||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Click Tail Switch||Off|
|On||Click Side Switch||In Stepped Group: Mode advance (Eco, Low, Med, High)
In Ramping Group: No Action
|On||Hold Side Switch||In Stepped Group: No Action
In Ramping Group: Ramp up (or down, if having immediately ramped up)
|Off||Tap Tail Switch||Momentary (Mode Memory)|
|On (Except Strobe)||Click Side Switch 4x quickly||Iterate between stepped and ramping groups.|
|On (Either Group)||Double Click||Turbo|
|Turbo||Click||Return to the previous output level|
|On (Either Group)||Triple Click||Strobe|
|Strobe||Double Click||Strobe advance (Strobe> SOS> Beacon)|
|Off (Either Group)||Hold Side Switch, Click Tail Switch||Moonlight|
Why you’d want to double click from Turbo to get to Moonlight, I have no idea.
Group 2 (Ramping) is very similar to the above Group 1, except holding the switch will cause the light to ramp up. Loosening then holding the switch again within 1.5s will cause the ramp to switch directions. So it’s possible to ramp up or down. Double click still gets Turbo.
LED and Beam
In my review copy of the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight is a Luminus SST-40 emitter, in 6500K. This emitter is surrounded by a smooth and quite deep reflector.
Maybe mine’s 6500K, but I have to say it’s still a clean beam and doesn’t feel so much like 6500K. Warmer than 6500K. (The tests below support that, too!)
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
The claim of 6500K would be quite cool indeed. In fact, the emitter is not nearly as cool – from anywhere just under 6000K, to just over 6000K. Certainly, that’s better than 6500K!
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 actually missed that Moonlight (1lm) was accessible from off when I took these photos. I’ll add the 1lm mode later.)
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Great deal at $30.
- Good beam profile
- Throw is good
- Low is accessible from off in either group!
- Ramping option if you want it…
- But the stepped group is very smart too
- USB-C charging works great
- Dual Switch for good tactical usage
What I don’t like
- 6500K (but not that cool in reality)
- Ramping is a little bit awkward with ramp speeds
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