Sofirn SC18 Flashlight Review
The Sofirn SC18 is a low-cost 18650-based flashlight that offers USB-C charging and a nice range of output! It makes a great gift!
Official Specs and Features
There’s only one version of the Sofirn SC18 flashlight but it’s available with or without the 18650 seen in this review.
The Sofirn SC18 flashlight sells for the remarkable price of $14.99 or $16.99 with cell. Buy the cell package!
I can’t even imagine how they make this light for such a low cost. It’s a nice one, too! The build quality is good and charging works great. A complete package USB-C charging flashlight for under $17 just seems crazy!
The Big Table
|Sofirn SC18 Flashlight|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$14.99|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||0.01|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port||With or without cell or tailcap: one mode (medium)|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1800|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1453 (80.7% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||11.2|
|Claimed Throw (m)||217|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||530lux @ 5.366m = 15261cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||247.1 (113.9% of claim)^|
|Measured CCT Range (K)||6300-6600 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 SC18 flashlight
- Sofirn 3000mAh 18650
- Charging cable (USB to USB-C)
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Manual, etc.
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
The build quality is great! This light punches WAY above $15.
Size and Comps
Dimension: 101.5mm (length) × 24.7mm (head diameter)
Weight: 55g (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.
Also above is 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.
Here’s the Sofirn SC18 flashlight alongside a Wurkkos WK03. You might notice that they have similar design!
Retention and Carry
There’s a friction-fit pocket clip included for carrying the Sofirn SC18 flashlight.
This is a pretty simple pocket clip but does attach securely.
Next up for carry is the included lanyard. This lanyard attaches through a hole in the tailcap.
There’s just one hole and this prevents clean tailstanding when the lanyard is in use.
No magnet or anything else is included.
Power and Runtime
The Sofirn SC18 flashlight 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” (which is to say that the positive terminal of the cell goes into the light).
There’s a little silk-screened logo on the side of the body to help with orientation, too.
Here are a number of runtime tests.
Low voltage protection is observed in all tests.
The Sofirn SC18 flashlight also has built-in charging, by way of a USB-C port on the head.
Charging works great and only takes around 2.25 hours to complete.
C to C charging even works great, too! Again, for $15….
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
Every mode uses PWM. It’s fairly fast PWM and I can’t say I noticed it during use.
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 Sofirn SC18 flashlight is controlled by a single e-switch. This is a soft switch and has an indication function in the center.w
Below you can see the switch indicating in green. When the Sofirn SC18 flashlight is turned on, the switch will indicate the approximate battery level for around 5 seconds. Green means “good” and red means “poor” (or “low”). Flashing red means recharge immediately.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Hold||Mode advance (LMH)|
|Turbo or Strobe||Click||Previous state|
|Lockout||Click||Main emitter flashes 2x to indicate lockout|
|Lockout||Click 4x||Unlock (to mode memory)|
|Lockout||Hold||Momentary moonlight mode|
LED and Beam
Sofirn is using a Luminus SST-40 emitter in the SC18. This emitter is coupled with a TIR, and offers a great beam profile.
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
CCT for this Luminus SST-40 is fairly cool at around 6500K. CRI is low too, at under 70.
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!
What I like
- Very low cost!
- USB-C charging
- C to C charging works great
- Very nice beam profile
- Cell included for just $2 extra, still under $17
- Indicating switch
What I don’t like
- Very cool CCT
- Lockout goes to main modes (memory)
- No tailcap magnet
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