- Torch in use
- Build quality
- LED, bezel, lens, reflector and beam
- Size and comparison
- User interface
- Batteries and charging
- Product page
|LED||1*CREE XHP50B, 20*CSP1313, 10*Color LEDs|
|Maximum lumens||4000 lm|
|Maximum beam intensity||15,275 cd|
|Maximum throw||247 m|
|Battery||1* 21700 Li-ion|
|Onboard charging||Yes (USB-C)|
|Blinkies||Strobe, SOS, Beacon|
|Review date||June 2023|
I was having a chat with Vivi at Sofirn and we started talking about the IF23. The multi-coloured LED strip caught my attention. I was keen to see if it could be used as bike light.
Sofirn make a lot of budget lights and they are actively engaged with the flashlight enthusiast community. You will often see them collaborating with users over on BLF to bring community projects to life!
I was impressed by the Sofirn C8L with a CREE XHP50B emitter so I am keen to see how the IF23 performs with a similar emitter.
Sofirn sent this torch for review. I have not been paid for this review nor have I held back my opinions of this torch.
The Sofirn IF23 comes in a Sofirn branded box with a plastic tray.
The following was included in the box:
- Sofirn IF23
- Sofirn 21700 5000mAh cell
- Pocket clip
- Two spare o-rings
- USB-A to USB-C cable
- User manual
The text in the user manual is small and it is a bit difficult to read.
Torch in use⌗
It looks like Sofirn has tried to cram multiple features into the IF23:
- A spotlight
- A floodlight
- A multi-coloured LED strip
- Pocket clip
- Magnet in the tailcap
- Built-in USB-C charging
- Power bank
This has resulted in a complex user interface. The user interface becomes easy to use with a bit of practice but it is not intuitive.
The Sofirn IF23 is comfortable to hold.
I found the torch to be a bit bulky for attaching to certain metal surface (e.g. metal fence or the strike plate of a door).
The IF23 can be used as floodlight or a spotlight on a bicycle by attaching it with an appropriate mount (e.g. Olight FB-1). The mount will block some of the floodlight.
The pocket clip attaches securely. I can slip the pocket clip around the loop on a saddle bag under my bicycle seat. But the torch is a bit bulky. Stitching for the saddle bag loop might eventually tear.
The torch tailstands well and does not roll away.
The Sofirn IF23 is mostly made of aluminium and it has a really nice matte black anodised finish.
There are arrows on the sides of the torch to provide additional grip.
The pocket clip cannot be reversed.
The electronic side switch has a circular pattern to provide grip. The button gives a satisfying click for an electronic switch. There is a charging and battery status indicator in the middle of the switch cover.
The switch assembly is more complex than it looks. It has an aluminium cover, a transparent plastic insert, a spring, a washer and an o-ring that press down onto a surface mount switch. If you disassemble it, remember to add the spring to the transparent bit, then the washer, and then squeeze the o-ring onto the tip.
The metal bracket for the floodlight has a rubber gasket to hold the plastic diffuser and to provide water resistance.
Square cut threads have been anodised and came well lubricated. The tailcap screws into the tube rather than onto a tube.
The tailcap has a lanyard hole.
There appears to be reverse polarity protection. I reversed the battery and it did not immediately burn the driver.
There are programming pads accessible inside the tube. The button top on the driver allows both flat top or button top 21700 cells to be used.
LED, bezel, lens, reflector and beam⌗
The Sofirn IF23 comes with 1*CREE XHP50B, 20*CSP1313 (13-3A3-11-90-B2-BD-GR) and 10*Color LEDs (JF-387F-Y). I really appreciate how Sofirn has included details about the emitters in the user manual. It saves time playing “identify the emitter”.
The spotlight emitter (XHP50B) has an orange peel reflector and a glass lens in front of it. The metal bezel can be unscrewed with snap ring pliers to access the emitter.
The floodlights and coloured lights have a frosted strip, similar to DC-fix film, in front of them. A metal plate can be removed to reveal the switch and emitters by unscrewing six T5 torx bits.
CCT, CRI, and duv⌗
I have taken Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and Colour Rendering Index (CRI, RA of R1-R8) measurements with the torch positioned 0.3 metres away from an Opple Light Master Pro III (G3) for Moonlight and 0.6 metres away for each other level.
The CCT of the spotlight is around 5370K and the CRI is around 66.
The CCT of the floodlight is around 4600K and the CRI is around 96.
The Delta u, v is positive (green).
The spotlight produces a smooth hot spot with a green corona, and a slightly purple spill.
The floodlight produces a smooth rectangular beam.
|LED||Mode||CCT (K)||CRI (Ra)||x||y||Duv|
Dimensions and size comparison⌗
I took the following measurements using a vernier caliper.
|Tube min width||24.7|
|Tube max width||30.5|
|Pocket clip slot width||5.2|
I took the following measurements using a digital scale.
|Sofirn IF23 with battery||191.10|
Size comparison with its competition⌗
I am not sure what to compare the Sofirn IF23 to. It has the ability to smoothly ramp between different colours. The NEXTORCH UT41 and XTAR RC2-200 have the ability to switch between a few colours.
From left to right: Sofirn IF23, NEXTORCH UT41, XTAR RC2-200
The Sofirn IF23 has an electronic side switch. The user interface is a bit complex at first.
There are three main modes: Low, Medium, High. And shortcuts to: Moonlight, Turbo, Strobe, SOS and Beacon.
|Off||Hold||Spotlight (moonlight) or Floodlight (moonlight)|
|Off||Click||Spotlight on (mode memory)|
|Off||Two clicks||Floodlight on (low)|
|Off||Three clicks||Coloured lights on (mode memory, constant or flashing)|
|On||Three clicks||Cycle (Spotlight, Floodlight, Coloured lights, Spotlight + Floodlight)|
|On||Four clicks||Toggle between stepped and stepless ramping|
|Spotlight on||Hold||Cycle (Low, Med, High)|
|Spotlight on||Two clicks||Spotlight Turbo|
|Spotlight Turbo||Two clicks||Spotlight Strobe|
|Spotlight Turbo||Click||Previous Spotlight level|
|Spotlight Strobe||Two clicks||Spotlight SOS|
|Spotlight Strobe||Click||Previous Spotlight level|
|Spotlight SOS||Two clicks||Spotlight Beacon|
|Spotlight SOS||Click||Previous Spotlight level|
|Spotlight Beacon||Two clicks||Spotlight Strobe|
|Spotlight Beacon||Click||Previous Spotlight level|
|Floodlight on||Hold||Cycle (Low, Med, High)|
|Floodlight on||Two clicks||Floodlight Turbo|
|Floodlight Turbo||Two clicks||Floodlight Strobe|
|Floodlight Turbo||Click||Previous Floodlight level|
|Floodlight Strobe||Two clicks||Floodlight SOS|
|Floodlight Strobe||Click||Previous Floodlight level|
|Floodlight SOS||Two clicks||Floodlight Beacon|
|Floodlight SOS||Click||Previous Floodlight level|
|Floodlight Beacon||Two clicks||Floodlight Strobe|
|Floodlight Beacon||Click||Previous Floodlight level|
|Spotlight + floodlight on||Hold||Cycle (Low, Med, High)|
|Spotlight + floodlight on||Click||Off|
|Spotlight + floodlight on||Two clicks||Spotlight + floodlight Turbo|
|Spotlight + floodlight Turbo||Two clicks||Spotlight + floodlight Strobe|
|Spotlight + floodlight Turbo||Click||Previous Spotlight + floodlight level|
|Spotlight + floodlight Strobe||Two clicks||Spotlight + floodlight SOS|
|Spotlight + floodlight Strobe||Click||Previous Spotlight + floodlight level|
|Spotlight + floodlight SOS||Two clicks||Spotlight + floodlight Beacon|
|Spotlight + floodlight SOS||Click||Previous Spotlight + floodlight level|
|Spotlight + floodlight Beacon||Two clicks||Spotlight + floodlight Strobe|
|Spotlight + floodlight Beacon||Click||Previous Spotlight + floodlight level|
|Coloured lights on||Hold||Ramp from red to purple|
|Coloured lights on||Click||Off|
|Coloured lights on||Two clicks||Coloured lights flash every second|
|Coloured lights off + stepped ramping||Six clicks||Reset the colour to red|
Release and hold within 0.7 seconds to reverse the direction while changing colours.
Strobe has an alternating frequency.
Beacon flashes once every few seconds.
The torch automatically locks after three minutes while off.
Here is a table describing what happens when you click or hold the button while the torch is locked out:
|Spotlight||Click||Two bright flashes by the spotlight|
|Spotlight||Hold||Spotlight momentary on (moonlight)|
|Floodlight||Click||Two bright flashes by the spotlight|
|Floodlight||Hold||Floodlight momentary on (moonlight)|
|Coloured lights||Click||Two bright flashes by the spotlight|
|Coloured lights||Hold||Spotlight momentary on (moonlight) or Flood momentary (moonlight)|
|Spotlight + floodlight||Click||Two bright flashes by the spotlight|
|Spotlight + floodlight||Hold||Spotlight + floodlight momentary on (moonlight)|
The torch does not memorise whether you previously had the coloured lights on. If you previously used coloured lights and the torch locks itself out, then it will memorise whatever mode you used before that (e.g. spotlight, floodlight, spotlight + floodlight).
Battery status indication⌗
The indicator LED in the switch will display the following for 5 seconds when the torch is on:
|Green||Capacity ≥ 70%|
|Red||30% ≥ Capacity < 70%|
|Red blinking||Capacity < 30%|
Low voltage protection⌗
There is low voltage protection. I tested low voltage protection by connecting the driver of the torch to a bench power supply and then by lowering the voltage from 4.2V to 0V.
The spotlight turned off at 2.71V and the current dropped to 80 µA.
The floodlight turned off at 2.69V and the current dropped to 60 µA.
The coloured lights turned off at 3.05V and the current dropped to 80 µA.
I did not notice any visible PWM (flickering).
What I like about the UI⌗
- Spotlight, floodlight and coloured lights are access via one click, two clicks or three clicks from off.
What could be improved⌗
- Automatic lock-out should be removed.
- Hold from off produces an inconsistent result. The spotlight or floodlight will enter moonlight mode. Perhaps click and hold could be used for making the floodlight enter moonlight mode.
- Stepped ramping only applies to the spotlight and floodlight. It would be nice if the coloured lights had stepped ramping to jump between certain colours.
Batteries and charging⌗
A Sofirn 21700 5000mAh cell was included inside the torch. The cell arrived with a voltage of 3.70V, and it was isolated with a piece of plastic.
A flat top or a button top 21700 cell will work.
Power supply: PinePower Desktop USB-C
USB Meter: AVHzY CT-3 (recommended by LiquidRetro)
Room temperature: 13 C
I charged the battery from 2.83V to 4.15V for three hours and ten minutes at 5V 2A.
The charging status indicator flashes red while charging and turns green when charging is complete.
I was able to use the Sofirn IF23 to charge my phone at about 5V 1A using a USB-C to USB-C cable.
Power supply compatibility⌗
I tried the following power supplies with the built-in USB-C charger:
|Power supply||USB Type||Protocol||Does it charge?|
|Apple 20W Power Adapter||USB-C||PD||Yes|
|Google Pixel Power Adapter||USB-C||PD||Yes|
USB-C to USB-C charging works.
Specifications from the manual:
|Output (Spotlight)||1 lm||100 lm||500 lm||1500 lm||4000 lm||4000 lm||500 lm||2000 lm|
|Output (Floodlight)||1 lm||10 lm||50 lm||150 lm||500 lm||500 lm||50 lm||500 lm|
|Runtime (Spotlight)||27 days||17h 36min||4h||2h 30min||2h||4h||12h||9h|
|Runtime (Floodlight)||230h||70h||13h 30min||12h 30min||3h 30min||7h||40h 30min||15h 45min|
|Beam Distance (Spotlight)||3 m||41 m||91 m||160 m||247 m|
|Beam Distance (Floodlight)||3 m||5 m||13 m||21 m||39 m|
|Beam Intensity (Spotlight)||2.58 cd||425 cd||2092.5 cd||6375 cd||15275 cd|
|Beam Intensity (Floodlight)||2.6 cd||7.4 cd||44.3 cd||115.5 cd||380 cd|
I used a bench power supply to measure the current at turn on.
|LED||Mode||Amps at start||Specs||Lumens @turn on||Lumens @30 sec||Lumens @10 min|
The current for the coloured emitters kept going up and down between 0.1 and 0.2 A while cycling through the colours.
My bench power supply is limited to 5A. I connected the 21700 cell and measured a current of 4.50A with Turbo for the spotlight.
I used my own DIY lumen tube with a TSL2591 sensor and forked bmengineer’s project RuTiTe to record runtimes.
Note: Lumen measurements may be off by 10% with my DIY lumen tube.
The room temperature was approximately 13 C.
Here is a summary of the runtime results:
|LED||Mode||User manual||Runtime result||Final voltage|
|Spot||High||2h 30min||5h 10min 2s||2.82|
|Spot||Medium||4h||8h 32min 50s||2.83|
|Flood||High||12h 30min||10h 34min 52s||2.77|
The runtime result is the time until my lumen tube no longer detects more than one lumen. A “+” symbol means that the torch was still on after I had stopped recording. I stopped recording after 10 minutes for Moonlight and Low modes, 5 hours for Turbo (Spot), 6 hours for Turbo (Flood) and 16 hours for Medium (Flood).
Light output is all over the place for Turbo and High. It zig-zags up and down. Regulation could be improved.
I had high expectations after reviewing the Sofirn C8L with a XHP50B emitter so it is a bit disappointing to see the light output jump up and down.
I took lux measurements with a UNI-T UT383BT at 30 seconds. Moonlight was too low to measure at one metre. Low, Med, High and Turbo were measured at five metres.
|LED||Mode||Specs (cd)||Specs (m)||Candela measured (cd)||Distance (m)|
I went to a local park and aimed the Sofirn IF23 at a tree 70 metres away while using Turbo.
Beamshots were taken using a Sony RX100M2 using 3.2", f3.2, ISO 100, 5000K WB.
Sofirn IF23 Spot (Turbo)⌗
Sofirn IF23 Flood (Turbo)⌗
Cyansky P25 V2.0⌗
Olight Warrior Mini 2⌗
The Sofirn IF23 has so many features crammed into one torch!
The build quality from Sofirn is very good. The torch feels comfortable to hold and the pocket clip fits securely on the tube.
It takes a bit of practice to get used to the user interface. Automatic lockout and the inconsistency that you get when holding the button from off can make it frustrating to use.
I do like how you can consistently switch between the spotlight, floodlight, coloured lights and spotlight + floodlight.
The ability to smoothly ramp between different colours and select a specific colour is very nice!
I had hoped that the light output would be sustained like with the Sofirn C8L but the light output jumped up and down on High and Turbo. The runtime results were ok but the light output drops off significantly over time.
- Good build quality.
- Comfortable to hold.
- Wide range of colours.
- Magnet in tailcap.
- Low voltage protection.
- Built-in USB-C charging.
- Power bank.
- Light output jumps up and down on High and Turbo.
- Automatic lock-out.
- Complex user interface.
The Sofirn IF23 is US$34.39 at the time of writing.
It is pretty good value given the build quality and all the features.