Sofirn C8L

Specifications

Brand/model Sofirn C8L
LED Cree XHP50.3 HI 6500K
Maximum lumens 3,100 lm
Maximum beam intensity 70,500 cd
Maximum throw 531 m
Battery 1*21700 Li-ion
Onboard charging Yes. USB-C.
Material Aluminium
Modes 5
Blinkies Strobe, SOS, Beacon
Reflector OP
Waterproof IPX8
Review date July 2022

Introduction

The C8L is Sofirn’s newest addition to the C8 family of throwers. It may appeal to hunters due to a decent runtime and the smooth throwy beam produced by a single Cree XHP50.3 emitter with an orange peel reflector.

Earlier models in the C8 family used a single 18650 cell and had a single switch (tail switch). The C8L has an electronic side switch, a mechanical tail switch and it is powered by a 21700 Li-ion cell with a bit more capacity.

Sofirn provided this torch to celebrate reaching 10,000 users on their Facebook group. I have not been paid for this review nor have I held back my opinions.

Packaging

A plain cardboard box with Sofirn branding was used with some foam.

Sofirn C8L packaging top Sofirn C8L packaging side
Sofirn C8L packaging inside

The following was included in the box:

  • Sofirn C8L
  • Sofirn 21700 5000mAh unprotected cell
  • 18650 to 21700 adapter
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • User manual
Sofirn C8L accessories

Torch in use

The C8L easily fits in my jacket pocket.

The dual switch design takes a little bit of getting used to. The mechanical tail switch is easy to use. Once the torch is on, you can change the brightness by pressing the side switch.

There are some sharp edges on the fins of the head. They are not very sharp but you could cut yourself if you tried (e.g. grip it hard while trying to unscrew the bezel).

The lanyard holes in the side of the tailcap allow a lanyard to be attached without getting in the way of tailstanding. However, the boot for the tail switch is massive and it prevents the torch from tailstanding.

Sofirn C8L in hand Sofirn C8L tail switch

Sofirn C8L threads head Sofirn C8L threads tail

Sofirn C8L double spring Sofirn C8L driver

Build quality

The anodising is fairly good. Square cut threads are smooth and well lubricated. The threads are also anodised.

Knurling on the tube provides some extra grip. The slim profile of the tube allows it to easily be mounted to a rifle with a clamp. The tube cannot be reversed because the diameter is smaller near the tail end.

The electronic side switch feels sturdy and has some resistance when pressing down. The tail switch is spongy due to the massive switch boot. Sofirn could reduce the switch boot size by a third and to allow the torch to tailstand.

Double springs were installed in the tailcap to reduce the risk of a cell disconnecting due to recoil from a firearm.

Sofirn C8L front Sofirn C8L left

Sofirn C8L back Sofirn C8L right

LED, bezel, lens, reflector and beam

The C8L has one Cree XHP50.3 HI emitter with an orange peel reflector.

The lens does not appear to have an anti-reflective coating.

The bezel is screwed on tightly and might have glue on the threads.

Sofirn C8L emitter

I have taken Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and Colour Rendering Index (CRI, RA of R1-R8) measurements with the C8L positioned a little over one metre away from an Opple Light Master Pro III (G3).

The CCT measured is about 6500K and the CRI is about 69.

The Delta u, v is more positive on lower modes. The beam is less green on High and Turbo.

Mode CCT (K) CRI (Ra) x y Duv
Eco 5846 66.2 0.3243 0.3499 0.0081
Low 6105 68.0 0.3193 0.3406 0.0058
Medium 6448 69.4 0.3135 0.3309 0.0038
High 6515 69.6 0.3126 0.3281 0.0028
Turbo 6818 69.7 0.3082 0.3224 0.0021

Calculate Duv from CIE 1931 xy coordinates

Dimensions and size comparison

Dimensions

I took the following measurements using digital callipers.

Measurement Unit (mm)
Torch length 157.4
Head diameter 46.5
Tube diameter 28.0

Weight

I took the following measurements using a digital scale.

Measurement Unit (g)
Weight of torch with battery 242.2
Weight of torch 172.8
Weight of battery 69.4

EDC size comparison with its competition

From left to right: Convoy C8+, Sofirn C8L, Convoy L21B.

Convoy C8+, Sofirn C8L, Convoy L21B

From left to right: Convoy C8+, Sofirn C8L, Convoy L21B.

Convoy C8+, Sofirn C8L, Convoy L21B

User interface and driver

Sofirn have used a simple user interface for the C8L with two groups, five main modes (Eco, Low, Medium, High, Turbo) and three blinkies (Strobe, SOS, Beacon).

Group 1

State Action Result
Off Click tail switch On (mode memory)
Off Double click tail switch Turbo
Off Hold side switch and click tail switch Eco
On Click side switch Cycle (Eco, Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
On Double click side switch Turbo
On Triple click side switch Strobe
On Hold side switch for 3 seconds Group 2
On Click tail switch Off
Strobe Double click side switch Cycle (Strobe, SOS, Beacon)

Group 2

State Action Result
Off Double click tail switch Strobe
On Click side switch Cycle (Medium, Turbo)
On Double click side switch Strobe
On Hold side switch for 3 seconds Group 1

The torch will flash twice in Eco to indicate that it is in Group 1 when changing modes.
The torch will flash twice in Turbo to indicate that it is in Group 2 when changing modes.

Battery status

The side switch has a battery status LED.

Sofirn C8L side switch

The LED displays the following colour when the torch is on:

Colour Battery level
Green Power ≥ 70%
Flash Green 40% ≤ Power < 70%
Red 10% ≤ Power < 40%
Flash Red Power < 10%

Low voltage protection

The torch switched off at 2.99V.

PWM

I did not notice any visible PWM.

What I like about the UI

  • Shortcut to Turbo with the tail switch.
  • Simple user interface.

What could be improved

  • Direct access to Strobe from off would be nice.

Batteries and charging

Battery

A Sofirn 21700 5000mAh cell was included inside the torch. The cell arrived with a voltage of 3.93V, and it was isolated with a piece of plastic.

A capacity of 4851 mAh was measured using Capacity Test mode at 1A with a Vapcell S4 Plus.

Sofirn C8L 21700 5000mAh
Sofirn C8L 21700 5000mAh Sofirn C8L 21700 5000mAh

Charging

I tried the following power supplies with the C8L’s built-in USB-C charger:

Power supply USB Type Protocol Does it charge?
Apple 61W Power Adapter USB-C PD Yes
Google Pixel Power Adapter USB-C PD Yes
Generic 5V 2.4A Power Adapter USB-A Yes

USB-C to USB-C works.

Performance

Official specifications from the manual:

Mode Eco Low Medium High Turbo Strobe SOS Beacon
Luminous Flux 8 lm 100 lm 500 lm 1300 lm 3100 lm 3100 lm 500 lm 3100 lm
Runtime 220h 26h 6h 58min 2h 28min 1h 45min
Distance 27 m 98 m 216 m 354 m 531 m
Intensity 182 cd 2308 cd 11675 cd 31275 cd 70500 cd
Impact Resistance 1m / 3.28ft
Water Resistance IPX-8 (up to 2 meter under water, not for diving)
Beam angle 26 degrees for throw, 82 degrees for flood
Notes The above mentioned parameters are based on tests according to international flashlight testing standards (ANSI/NEMA FL1) using one 4800mAh 21700 Li-ion battery in our laboratory. Results may vary with different battery or under different environmental conditions. Operational temperature is 0 C - 40 C.

Lux Meter: UNI-T UT383BT
DMM: UNI-T UT139C has been used to measure current under 10A.

Lumen measurements

Mode Amps at start Specs Lumens @turn on Lumens @30 sec Lumens @10 min
Eco 0.02 A 8 lm 8 lm 8 lm 8 lm
Low 0.14 A 100 lm 105 lm 104 lm 103 lm
Medium 0.70 A 500 lm 473 lm 469 lm 467 lm
High 2.21 A 1300 lm 1132 lm 1120 lm 1102 lm
Turbo 7.76 A 3100 lm 2165 lm 2123 lm 1498 lm

Parasitic drain

None. It has a mechanical tail switch.

Runtime graphs

I built a lumen tube and forked bmengineer’s project RuTiTe to add support for a VEML7700 light sensor and MCP9808 temperature sensor with help from Owen. Calibration lights from maukka were used.

Note: Lumen measurements may be off by more than 10% with my DIY lumen tube.

Sofirn C8L runtime graph

Sofirn C8L first 10 minutes runtime graph

Sofirn C8L Turbo runtime graph

Sofirn C8L High runtime graph

Sofirn C8L Medium runtime graph

Turbo started at 2165 lumens, quickly dropped to 1500 lumens after a few minutes, dropped to a little over 1200 lumens after 20 minutes and maintained that output for another 40 minutes before switching off. The unusual spike in output near the end of the Turbo runtime also appeared in a runtime chart in Jacob’s Sofirn C8L vs C8G & IF22A video.

High maintained around 1100 lumens for almost two hours before switching off.

Medium maintained over 460 lumens for almost six hours before switching off.

I only tested Low and Eco modes for ten minutes because their expected runtimes were for 26 hours and 220 hours respectively.

It would be nice if Sofirn added more details to their ANSI/NEMA FL1 Chart so that it clearly indicates that Turbo may only last a few minutes before reducing in output. Turbo does not last 1 hour 45 minutes at 3100 lumens.

The High mode may be ideal for hunters who want 1100 lumens for almost two hours.

Throw

I took lux measurements with a UT383BT at 30 seconds for each mode. Each mode was measured at five metres.

Mode Specs (cd) Specs (m) Candela measured (cd) Distance (m)
Eco 182 27 125 22
Low 2,308 98 2,800 105
Medium 11,675 216 13,400 231
High 31,275 354 37,425 386
Turbo 70,500 531 83,925 579

The C8L slightly exceeded official specs for throw.

Beamshots

5000K WB, 1/3 shutter speed, ISO 100

Eco
Sofirn C8L Eco beamshot

Low
Sofirn C8L Low beamshot

Medium
Sofirn C8L Medium beamshot

High
Sofirn C8L High beamshot

Turbo
Sofirn C8L Turbo beamshot

Conclusion

The Sofirn C8L is a good small thrower for hunting at close range. The beam produced is wide, smooth and cool. It is low CRI, but I do not expect high CRI for this type of torch.

Pros:

  • Nice beam.
  • Good runtime and regulation.
  • Good knurling.
  • USB-C to USB-C charging.

Cons:

  • The boot for the tail switch is massive and prevents tailstanding.
  • Low CRI.

Product page

Product page