Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical Flashlight Review

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical Flashlight Review

Sofirn has released the SC32, a mini tactical flashlight. This light uses a Luminus SST-40 at 6000K and has USB-C charging! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight product page.

Versions

6500K and 5000K are available, as well as with and without 18650. And you can get the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight in any color you want, so long as you want black.

Price

Without cell the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight is $30.99. The cell adds $2, so definitely go with the cell package. Emitter choice (CCT) does not affect price.


Short Review

I’m really impressed with the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight! It’s a fun little light, and despite being rated at 6000K (according to the box I received, and despite 6000K not being listed on the site), it comes in well under 6000K. That’s good. USB-C charging works very well too. This is a solid light!!

Long Review

The Big Table

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight
Emitter: Luminus SST-40 (6000K)
Price in USD at publication time: $32.99
Cell: 1×18650
Runtime Graphs
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: lowest four modes
without cell: lowest four modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1813 (90.7% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 8.6
Claimed Throw (m) 214
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 494lux @ 5.299m = 13871cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 235.6 (110.1% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 6000
Measured CCT Range (K) 5600-5700 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).

What’s Included

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight what's included

  • Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight
  • Sofirn 3000mAh 18650
  • Charging cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Manual etc

Package and Manual

manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight

Build quality here is really solid. This light is probably smaller than you’d really expect it to be. But then don’t forget that it’s an e-switch light, so it really competes in the “Lumintop FW series” size range. That said, also don’t forget that the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight offers USB-C charging, which the FW lights do not.

The head has a nice beefy spring. Note the unanodized threads and the inner sleeve (again, this is an e-switch light so that sleeve is required to power the switch).

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight showing head contact and threads

Size and Comps

Dimension: 100mm (length) × 25mm (head diameter)
Weight: 57g (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).

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight 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.

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.

Retention and Carry

There’s a friction-fit pocket clip included for carrying the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight. 

This is a step-up from some other of the Sofirn clips (like the one on the SC18, for example.)

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight pocket clip

Clip hug! And note that the clip can only attach on the tail end. It’s a two-way clip, though.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight pocket clip hug

Next up for carry is the included lanyard. This lanyard attaches through a hole in the pocket clip.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight lanyard

No magnet or anything else is included.

Power and Runtime

The Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical 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.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight with included 18650

The cell goes into the light in the “usual way” (which is to say that the positive terminal of the cell goes toward the head).  

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight with included 18650 installed

There’s a little silk-screened logo on the side of the body to help with orientation, too.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight battery logo

Here are a number of runtime tests.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight runtime graph

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight runtime graph

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight runtime graph

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight runtime graph

During use, the indicator near the charging port (which you can see below) gives a brief indication of the approximate cell voltage. 

Charging

The Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight also has built-in charging, by way of a USB-C port on the head. 

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight charging indicator

A USB to USB-C cable is included.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight charging cable

Charging works great and completes in under 2 hours!

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight charging graph

C to C charging even works great, too! 

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight charging graph

While the light is charging, the indicator (beside the charge port, which you can see in a later photo) blinks red. When charging is complete, the indicator turns green.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens
Turbo 2000 1.83h 1813
High 900 2.38h 919
Medium 450 4.2h 470
Low 90 17h 92
Moon 1 500h 0.5

Pulse Width Modulation

Every middle mode uses PWM. It’s a 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).  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

The Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight is controlled by a single e-switch. The switch is on the tail and has a nice ripple pattern. This might not be a metal switch, but it’s not soft. It’s very pleasant to use, really.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight tail e-switch

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight tail e-switch

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight tail e-switch actuation

Here’s a UI table! There are two groups on the Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight. That’s another way (probably really “the” way) that this is a tactical light.

State Action Result
Off (either group) Hold Moon
Off (either group) Click On (Mode Memory)
On (Group 1) Hold Mode advance (LMH)
Any (either group) Double click Turbo
Turbo or Strobe (either group) Click Previous state
Any (either group) Click 3x Strobe
Off (either group) Click 4x Lockout
Lockout (either group) Click Main emitter flashes 2x to indicate lockout
Lockout (either group) Click 4x Unlock (to mode memory)
Lockout (either group) Hold Momentary moonlight mode
On (either group) Click 4x Switch between groups
On (either group) Click Off
On (Group 2) Hold Ramp^

^ Releasing while ramping and then holding again within 1.5 seconds will change the direction of ramp. When ramp reaches the highest level, the light will blink once to indicate. It does not blink when reaching the lowest level. 

LED and Beam

Sofirn is using a Luminus SST-40 emitter in the SC32. This emitter is coupled with a TIR, and offers a great beam profile. Much like the switch cover, this TIR has a ripple effect.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight emitter and TIR

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight emitter and TIR

Below you can see the indicator that’s near the charging port. 

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight emitter on

The bezel is very toothy, and I suppose is what lends the “tactical” side of things to the name. Otherwise, I am not inclined to consider this light a tactical light.

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight toothy bezel

Sofirn SC32 Mini Tactical flashlight on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

CCT for this Luminus SST-40 is rated to a cool 6000K. Testing reveals it’s warmer, though, at under 5700 or so. CRI is low too, at under 70.

Beamshots

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

  • Fairly low cost!
  • Very nice continuity between two user interface groups
  • Ramping speed isn’t perfect but is pleasant
  • USB-C charging
  • C to C charging works great (under 2-hour charge!)
  • Very nice beam profile (despite being a small optic and having the ripple effect)
  • Cell included for just $2 extra
  • Indicator led near the charging port seems to be great quality

What I don’t like

  • Very low CRI
  • Huge jump between moonlight mode and the next higher mode
  • Unlocking the light goes to “on” in the main modes (memory)

Notes

  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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