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Introduction Sometimes you need a pocket torch and sometimes you need a head torch. And then, there are times your usage scenario is so versatile and complex that you need to cover all possible situations. We all have to make compromises with the EDC torch we carry and choose the one that is most likely to serve our needs for the day, but what if there was a torch that was so versatile it could eliminate the need to choose? Brinyte aspires to provide the answer to that question with their new Brinyte HL16 Noctua. The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is a headlamp like no other that I have seen, as its head rotates from 0 to 90 degrees, including 3 intermediate positions, thus providing unparalleled versatility and eliminating the need to compromise when choosing your EDC torch type. But what compromises did Brinyte have to make, if any, to realise such a unique and complex design? Read ahead to find out. Unboxing The Brinyte HL16 Noctua comes in a very nice cardboard box that is held closed with a blue paper ribbon, bearing the company's logo. The front of the box features a photo of the torch, emphasizing its articulated head and the magnetic charging capability. The back is less exciting, but provides a useful QR code to find out more about the product. The top and bottom of the box are plain white, while the longer sides feature the name of the torch and one of them has a photo of the torch mounted on the included head strap. Upon opening the box we find a card, explaining that the battery is already inside the torch, but insulated from the tail cap by an insulation film. The film has to be removed before the torch can be used. Inside the box we find a head strap, a magnetic charging USB cable, 2 spare O Rings and 2 leaflets. One of the leaflets is the warranty registration card which will allow the owner of the torch to extend its warranty from 2 to 5 years, free of charge, by registering the product on the company's website. The other leaflet is the user manual, which is easy to understand and includes helpful illustrations. The magnetic charging cable is 53cm long, including the plug and magnetic head. It is rather stiff and not at all like the much nicer charging cable that is included with the Brinyte PT18pro Oathkeeper, which is supple, sleeved, significantly longer at 102cm and features an illuminated magnetic charging tip. This is a definite downgrade from the magnetic charging cables of previous Brinyte models. Thankfully, the much nicer cable included with the Brinyte PT18pro Oathkeeper is compatible with the Brinyte HL16 Noctua. If the charging cable is a bit disappointing, the head strap makes up for it. It is very well made, has a good quality rubber cradle for the torch and adjustable size. The weaving is elastic and features ventilation holes which are a big help in warm weather. Finally, the torch itself! The Brinyte HL16 Noctua features a unique design, with an articulated head that can turn from 0 to 90 degrees. It is made of black anodized aluminium, with blue accents and has a large rubber button with the company logo engraved on one side and a magnetic charging connection point on the other. The head and the tail of the light feature a faceted milling design that provides both added grip and aesthetics. The articulated head is designed and executed with precision and definitely adds to the value and - I am sure - to the manufacturing cost of the torch. There are several detents visible, which means the head will not only stop in the 0 and 90 degree position but also in some positions in between. The clip is sturdy, thick and well designed. It comes positioned in the bezel up carry orientation and is as deep carry as can be, allowing for the articulated head. It can easily be removed and installed in the bezel down carry orientation, which makes the torch a very deep carry. With the clip removed, the Brinyte HL16 Noctua can be mounted onto the head strap. The front of the light features a crenelated bezel with an eye catching design. Inside the head sits a smooth reflector, which is unusual for a head torch as it will increase the throw, but taking into account that it is not very deep and that the torch is a multifunctional one, it was probably chosen to balance the beam for all uses. The tail cap is smooth and features a magnet that is not very strong but can hold the weight of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua in any orientation. Unscrewing the tail cap reveals the insulating film blocking the negative pole of the battery from making contact with the spring of the tail cap. Let's remove it. The included battery is a Brinyte branded 16340 Li-Ion battery, with a rated capacity of 650mAh. The spring in the tail cap is not thick, but should be sufficient for the current requirements of this torch. The head features a brass button battery contact, with no spring. Despite only having a spring on one side of the battery, hits and bumps did not cause the Brinyte HL16 Noctua to turn off. With the insulator film removed and the battery re-installed, the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is ready for action. Quality The build quality of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua does not allow for any complaints. The fit and finish are excellent, the milling is perfect and the anodization is without any flaws. Articulated Head The one unique feature of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is its articulated head, that will turn from 0 to 90 degrees. The movement of the articulated head is smooth and enjoyable and makes for an addicting fidget toy. Besides the two extreme positions, the head of the torch will stop in 3, equally spaced, intermediate positions, thus allowing for the light to be directed where it is needed. This is a very nice and useful feature that I have not seen on any other torch available today. Size Comparison The following photos offer a direct size comparison of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua to the Olight S1R Baton II. The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is significantly longer, despite using the same size battery. This is a compromise Brinyte had to make to achieve the articulated head design. Nevertheless, the torch is still easily pocketable and the added functionality of the articulated head is worth the extra length. Tint and Beam Profile The tint of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is above the BBL (greenish). It is similar to the tint of the Olight S1R Baton II but warmer, although that could easily just be due to the tint lottery. The emitter used in the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is not high CRI. We can also see from the angle of the beams that the Olight S1R Baton II has a floodier beam pattern than the Brinyte HL16 Noctua. The beam pattern of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is well balanced although the smooth reflector makes it throw more than the average EDC or head torch. On the other hand, that helps balance the lower power, giving it about the same intensity and throw as the Olight S1R Baton II, despite having about half the Lumen output. There is a clear hot spot surrounded by the spill which gradually fades out. No ugly artefacts, despite the smooth reflector. Beam Shots I tested the Brinyte HL16 Noctua over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua to the Olight S1R Baton II. Driver The driver of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is a linear, unregulated driver that uses PWM to dim the light, on all levels, except, of course, on full (High). The PWM is visible to the camera but not visible to the naked eye, on any level. Even though I prefer constant current drivers, PWM is an efficient and cost effective way to achieve LED dimming and if it is done at a high enough frequency, as seems to be the case here, it is not a problem. The driver features thermal regulation, low voltage protection, over charge protection and reverse polarity protection. Specifications The specifications of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua , as found on the company's website, are as follows: Despite the table stating that the maximum output is 500 Lumen, the actual advertised output as stated in the manual is 520 Lumen. I have made Brinyte aware of the mistake in the table and they will correct it. The output is lower than other contemporary torches of this size and that is the 2nd compromise that Brinyte had to make so that the Brinyte HL16 Noctua can have its articulated head. This is because the thermal mass of the head is too small and the thermal conductivity through the articulation is too restricted to allow for higher output. Nevertheless, 520 Lumen is more than enough for any task expected from a torch of this size and the articulated head will definitely come in more useful than a few seconds of extra brightness. The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is IP66 rated which means it is dust tight and can withstand powerful water jets, but it cannot be submerged. That is the 3rd and final compromise, after the limited maximum output and longer body, that Brinyte had to make to allow for the articulated head. IP66 is more than adequate for normal use and unless you drop your torch into a puddle, you should be alright using it in any situation. The drop resistance rating is a respectable 1.5m, so the articulated head does not seem to limit the durability. The maximum throw is 140m, which is a lot for the 520 Lumen rating and is due to the smooth reflector. User Interface The user interface of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is very simple and can be seen in the following animation. To turn the torch on, press and hold the button until it lights up. The torch features mode memory, so it will turn on at the last used mode. Press the button to cycle between the 4 main modes: High, Medium, Low, Moon. Press and hold the button to turn the torch off. Double click the button at any time to enter Strobe mode. Press again to go to the previously used mode. I disagree with the company's decision to make the UI go from high to low as I find this counter intuitive, especially on an EDC or head torch. When I am on Moonlight and need a little more light I would like to be able to go to Low without having to be blinded by High first. I also miss the ability to turn the torch on at Moon mode, regardless of the previously used mode. Some torches use press and hold from off to go straight to Moon mode, but as the Brinyte HL16 Noctua uses press and hold to turn on, this is not possible. I understand that the press and hold to turn on choice makes a lock function unnecessary, but I would prefer a Moon shortcut and a lock function. Modes and Run Times The brightness of the modes and the respective run times, according to the manual, are shown in the table below. I have added a row with my own measurements. It is very refreshing to see a company that does not overestimate their product's Lumen output! Kudos to Brinyte! Current Draw As the UI of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua goes from High to Low, so will our current draw measurements. The torch draws just over 1.4A on High, just over 0.5A on medium, 134mA on Low and 13mA on Moonlight level. The current requirements are not demanding and the battery is a standard 16340, so the Brinyte HL16 Noctua has the advantage to be able to run on any 3.7V Li-Ion 16340 battery. Charging The battery included with the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is rated at 650mAh and I measured it at 697mAh. The battery's internal resistance was measured at around 112mΩ. It is clear that the battery included with the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is of high quality. Another positive point for Brinyte. The torch has under voltage protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.77V. The indicative LEDs around the magnetic charging port are lit green during operation if the battery charge is from 100% to 40%, lit red if it is from 40% to 5% and blink red if it is below 5%. Charging the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is very easy. Just use the included magnetic cable that automatically attaches to the torch when you get it near enough. The other end of the cable is a standard USB A plug and can be connected to any USB charger or computer USB port. The indicative LEDs around the charging port will turn red while the torch is charging and turn green to indicate a full charge. Charging the Brinyte HL16 Noctua from 2.77V to 4.18V, where the charging terminated, took 2 hours, 18 minutes and 51 seconds. The maximum current drawn was 0.5542A, so any USB charger or computer USB port will be sufficient. A charger is not provided with the light but you can use your phone charger. Unfortunately, the indicative LEDs turned green way before the charging was actually completed, indicated by the green arrow in the chart above. The voltage of the battery at that point was around 3.9V and there was still a long time to go and a lot of energy the battery could absorb and store before the charging actually completed. This is a practice that some other companies, such as Olight, have as well and with which I do not agree. Brinyte maintains that this increases the battery life as it is not fully charged every time and also that most users will not take the torch off the charger the moment the indicative LEDs turn green. In my opinion, this is nonsense. I want to know when my battery is actually fully charged and not have to guess (or use measuring equipment as above) and if I want to give my battery a full charge to get the full run time it is for me, the user, to decide. Having indicative LEDs that lie to me and having to leave the torch on the charger for a longer time, with no visual indication of when the charging is actually completed is most inconvenient and has no advantage whatsoever. Output & Runtimes The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is rated at a maximum output of 520 Lumen and a maximum throw of 140m. I do not own a multi thousand dollar worth integrating sphere, just a logging Lumen meter and a home made integrating tube. The array is calibrated with 3 separate, professionally measured lights and gives me consistent results, but there is definitely room for error and deviations are to be expected. According to my measurements, the maximum output (at turn on) was 556 Lumen, which is 7% more than the advertised 520. ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 510 Lumen and at 2 minutes it was still 463 Lumen. Then the output declined rapidly over the next 38 seconds to 315 Lumen. It then followed the gradual declining curve of the battery output and gave useful light for over an hour, as the specifications promise. The rest can be seen in the graphs below. The first graph is the full runtime graph. And here are the first 10 minutes, in greater detail. At the end of the battery life, the very low output fluctuates as the indicative LED flashes red to show that the remaining battery capacity is below 5%. The temperature was very well controlled, as you can see in the runtime graphs. The head and switch temperatures are close but there is some difference despite their close proximity, which demonstrates the thermal impedance of the articulated head. The maximum intensity of the light was measured at 5002.4cd, which translates to a throw of 141m. That is 1m more than the 140m advertised. Conclusion The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is a unique EDC sized head torch with excellent build quality and an articulated head which allows it to turn its beam from 0 to 90 degrees relative to the body of the light, including 3 intermediate stops. Its aluminium body is well made and hard anodized and the fit and finish are flawless. The torch meets and exceeds all of its specifications, which is refreshing to see as very few manufacturers respect their customers enough to provide true and accurate measurements. The head band provided is very comfortable, it is adjustable and the weave allows for ventilation. The clip is unidirectional and very well designed and can be installed in 2 positions, for bezel up or bezel down deep carry. The driver uses PWM to dim the output, so PWM is present at all output levels, except on High. The frequency of the PWM is high enough to not be visible to the naked eye and did not tire me when using the light. The unique articulated design of the head of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua imposed some limits on this torch. The maximum output is lower than most comparable sized torches due to the thermal barrier imposed by the articulated head while its total length is increased and its waterproof rating decreased for the same reason. Nevertheless, the advantage provided by the design will outweigh the limitations for many users. Besides, maximum output is only available for about a minute on all small torches and after that, the output of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua is similar to theirs. The Brinyte HL16 Noctua is currently under mass production and scheduled to be available for purchase at the end of October 2021 from the company's website and the cost will be $69.98. Brinyte have provided a $10 discount code for the readers of this review, which brings the price down to $59.98. The discount code is: HL16Noctua Disclaimer: I get absolutely no percentage of the sales or any other personal benefits from Brinyte, except for the fact that the torch was provided for review free of charge. Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Brinyte HL16 Noctua: Pros + Unique articulated head design that allows for 0 to 90 degrees position, including 3 intermediate stops + Measurements show specs to be accurate and not exaggerated, showing respect to the customer + Good and balanced beam pattern + Good quality head strap + Magnetic charging + Magnetic tail cap + Included good quality battery + Low Voltage Protection, Over Charge Protection and Reverse Polarity Protection + Thermal regulation + Low power and charging LED indicator + Good quality unidirectional clip that can be placed in 2 positions, for bezel up or bezel down deep carry + Compatible with all 3.7V Li-Ion 16340 and with 3.0V CR123 batteries Cons - High to Low User Interface - Charging indicator indicates charging complete a long time before it is actually completed - Maximum output limited to 520 Lumen - Longer than most 16340 torches - IP rating limited to IP66 - The driver is not regulated and uses PWM to dim the emitter - The charging cable is a downgrade from the one included in previous Brinyte models TheLAB.GR Thanks to Brinyte for providing the torch for review Polymeros Achaniotis 16/10/2021
Introduction There is a question that gets asked a lot in the torch world: Which is the best torch? Many would argue that there is no definitive answer to that, as it depends on the requirements and the usage scenario. The best answer to the question, as it is asked is this: The best torch is the one you have on you when you need it. To carry a torch at all times is a thing most people do not think about and only after one starts doing so, does one realise how incredibly useful it can be. But to do so, it has to be small enough to be inconspicuous and powerful enough to be useful. Another requirement for most users, except size and power, is low cost, so it can be affordable and not a big deal if it gets scratched or damaged in the line of duty. Today's review is about a light that ticks all those boxes, and then some: The Sofirn SC21. The Sofirn SC21 is a small, powerful and budget friendly light that also features a high CRI emitter and onboard charging. Intrigued? Read on to find out more! Unboxing The Sofirn SC21 comes in a generic brown box with a sticker that specifies the contents. Inside the box we find the extensive manual and the accessories. The manual is in many languages and the accessories include a clip, a lanyard, 2 spare O-rings and a charging cable. The charging cable is USB type A to USB type C and its length is 104cm, including the plugs. The light itself comes protected in a bubble wrap bag. Inside the bag, along with the light, there is an orange label, explaining that there is an insulator inside the light that prevents the battery from making contact so the light can be shipped safely. That insulator needs to be removed before the light can be used. The Sofirn SC21 is made of aluminium and features a side button with an LED charge indicator. On the opposite side of the side button there is a rubber flap with the USB logo engraved on it. The flap can be opened to reveal a USB type C charging port. The tail is magnetic and the magnet is strong enough to hold the weight of the torch in any orientation. There are also 2 lanyard holes and 2 respective grooves so the lanyard does not compromise the ability of the light to tail stand. The business end of the Sofirn SC21 features a glass lens protecting an orange peel reflector. The emitter used in the Sofirn SC21 is a Samsung LH351D 5000K 90 CRI LED. It is good to see a neutral white, high CRI emitter used in an EDC torch. I expect this till take a toll on brightness and run times, but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make for better light quality. The torch unscrews around the middle to reveal the battery compartment, with the battery already installed. An insulator is covering the driver side, preventing the positive terminal of the battery from making contact with it. The positive terminal of the battery makes contact with the driver PCB through a brass contact point. The negative terminal makes contact with the body with a good quality spring. The spring is not very thick but it should be more than capable of transferring the power required without significant losses. The battery that comes with the Sofirn SC21 is a Sofirn branded 16340 Li-Ion button top battery, rated at 800mAh. The clip can be placed on the back side of the light, as shown below. It allows for lens down deep carry and is bidirectional, which some people like as it allows clipping the light on to a hat and using it as a headlamp, but others dislike as it is not as secure as a unidirectional clip. The end of the clip drags on the head of the torch when the two parts are unscrewed / screwed so I expect that over time it will damage the finish, unless it is carefully lifted to avoid that. Quality The milling quality and anodization are very good, without any sharp edges or visible defects. Even under close inspection the finish and knurling look good. Specifications The specifications of the Sofirn SC21, as found on the Sofirn website, are listed in the table below. The Samsung LH351D 5000K 90 CRI LED is a high light quality choice, rather than a high brightness / high efficiency one and I agree with it. The company claims a maximum output of 1000 Lumen, which is a bold claim. We will test that. The throw is rated at 135m. User Interface The user interface of the Sofirn SC21 is designed to please both those that prefer a stepped mode torch and those who like ramping. Out of the box, the light comes in stepped mode. The stepped mode works as follows: From OFF single click to turn ON. Press and hold to cycle through the main stepped modes (Low – Medium – High). From ON single click to turn OFF. To change to the ramping mode (or back from the ramping mode to stepped mode), you need to do 4 fast clicks while the light is on. The ramping mode gives you full flexibility to adjust the brightness steplessly from Moon to Turbo level and works as follows: From OFF single click to turn ON. Press and hold to change brightness steplessly (“ramp”). Ramping changes its direction when the button is pressed again within 1.5 seconds. The light flashes once when it reaches the lower or upper end of the ramp. From ON single click to turn OFF. In either stepped or ramping mode: From OFF hold for 1 second to turn on at Moonlight level. Double click to activate Turbo mode from OFF or ON. While in Turbo mode, single click to return to the previously used mode. Triple click to activate Strobe mode from OFF or ON. While in Strobe mode, single click to return to the previously used standard mode, or press and hold to cycle through SOS - Beacon - Strobe. The light features both electronic and mechanical lock out. The electronic lock out works as follows: From OFF, 4 fast clicks to activate lockout. Another 4 fast clicks to deactivate lockout and turn the light on at the memorized level. When the light is locked, the main LED blinks twice when the button is pressed to show the status of being locked. While in lockout mode, hold the button to use Moonlight mode momentarily. If you prefer a mechanical lock out, unscrewing the battery tube by 1/4 turn, will break the connection of the negative terminal of the battery to the driver. The Sofirn SC21 also features mode memory, so it will turn on at the last used level (except Turbo). Beam-shots The beam pattern of the Sofirn SC21 is what can be expected from a Samsung LH351D emitter in a shallow, orange peel reflector. It provides a balanced beam with some throw and flood, perfect for EDC. The hot spot is well defined and large and the spill is uniform without any artefacts, thanks to the OP reflector. I tested the Sofirn SC21 outside, over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Sofirn SC21 with the Olight Baton 3 and the Olight S1R Baton II. The Sofirn SC21 offers a more neutral and high CRI beam while the Olight torches have a cooler tint and low CRI but higher output. Driver The driver of the Sofirn SC21 provides constant current to the emitter on all modes. There is no PWM that my camera could detect on any output level. The driver also features Thermal Regulation, Reverse Polarity Protection and Low Voltage Protection. Tint and Size Comparison The tint of the Sofirn SC21 is neutral white, at 5000K. In the comparison photo below, you can see the Sofirn SC21 in the middle, compared to the much cooler and greener tints of the Olight Baton 3 on the left and the Olight S1R Baton II on the right. The Samsung LH351D 5000K emitter used in the Sofirn SC21 is high CRI (90). The photo was taken with the white balance set to 5500K. The length of the Sofirn SC21 is 73mm, which is 10mm longer than the two Olights. That is mostly due to the fact that it uses a reflector and a glass lens instead of the TIR optic used by the two Olights. This offers the advantage that the glass is much harder to scratch than the plastic TIR and does not burn like the plastic can if there is any debris on it, so I actually prefer it. The USB C port also takes more space than the proprietary magnetic charging that Olight uses. As much as I like the magnetic charging system, there is something to be said for not having to carry around a proprietary cable. Battery and Charging The battery included with the Sofirn SC21 is a 16340, rated at 800mAh and I measured it at exactly 788mAh. The light has Low Voltage Protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.5V which is too low and will wear out the battery, so it should have been set higher. The battery's internal resistance was measured at 79mΩ. These measurements show that a high quality battery is actually included with this light. The indicative LED on the switch of the Sofirn SC21 shows the level of the battery charge. Green means that the remaining charge is at between 100% and 70%, red that it is below 70% and flashing red that it is critical and the light will soon turn off. I would have preferred at least one intermediate indication between 70% and almost empty. Charging the Sofirn SC21 is very easy. Just lift the rubber cover and insert the provided (or any) USB type C cable to charge the light. Both USB A to USB C and USB C to USB C cables can be used as well as any charger, including the ones that support PD. This is very convenient as you can charge the Sofirn SC21 with any USB C cable and charger you have at hand. The indicative LED on the switch flashes red to indicate the light is charging. It turns green when the charging is completed, at 4.21V. The company advertises that the charging of the Sofirn SC21 takes 1 hour, with a 5V charger, capable of providing 1A. It actually took 1 hour, 28 minutes and 25 seconds to charge the included battery from 2.5V to 4.21V inside the Sofirn SC21. The maximum current drawn was 0.9541A, so a charger that can provide at least 1A is recommended. A charger is not provided with the light but you can use your phone charger. A charging current of almost 1A for a 800mAh 16340 battery is rather high and despite being convenient as it charges the battery fast, it will take a toll on the battery longevity. That said, most lights do the same, including the 2 Olights we saw earlier. Output & Runtimes The Sofirn SC21 is rated at a maximum output of 1000 Lumen and 135m of throw. I do not own a multi thousand dollar worth integrating sphere, just a logging Lumen meter and a home made integrating tube. The array is calibrated with 3 separate, professionally measured lights and gives me consistent results, but there is definitely room for error and deviations are to be expected. The output of all modes as well as the respective run times are shown in the table below. According to my measurements, Moonlight is 0.5 Lumen (instead of 1), Low is 17 Lumen (instead of 10), Medium is 93 Lumen (instead of 100), high is 323 Lumen (instead of 400) and Turbo is 848 Lumen at turn on (instead of 1000). The maximum output (at turn on) of 848 Lumen is short of the advertised 1000 by about 15% but still very respectable for the size of the light and especially the fact that it uses a high CRI, neutral white emitter. Output at 30 seconds was 798 Lumen and at 1 minute the output was still 786 Lumen. At 2 minutes the output had decreased to 744 Lumen and then started to decline faster due to thermal regulation to reach reach 206 Lumen at 00:02:51, where it stabilized until the temperature dropped enough and the output rose to 307 Lumen (High) at 00:10:34. It then stayed at that level, with the temperature slowly rising, until at 00:27:54 thermal regulation decreased the output to 254 Lumen. The light remained at that output level until 01:01:45, when the temperature had dropped enough. It then tried to increase the brightness to 307 Lumen, which only happened momentarily as by then the battery did not have enough voltage to support that level of output. Therefore, the light stepped down to 91 Lumen (Medium) for about 6 minutes and then to 17 lumen (Low). It then sustained that output for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the light will not turn off when the battery can no longer sustain the Low output and the brightness just declines with the voltage. It would have been much better if the light just turned off when the battery dropped to that level as that way we would see only regulated output and the battery longevity would be better. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the Turbo Full Runtime Graph in greater detail. Turbo is good and impressive but is hardly the mode that is actually most used in a torch. Therefore, I decided to make a runtime graph for High. The graph is self explanatory. The output is stable and regulated. It maintains High output for 58 minutes, then steps down to Medium for 6.5 minutes and then to Low for as long as the battery can sustain it. Again, we see there is no cut off when the battery can no longer sustain the Low output. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the High Full Runtime Graph in greater detail. The Sofirn SC21 is advertised to produce 4533cd and therefore have a throw of 135m. I measured 3488.16cd which means that the actual throw is 118m, about 12% less than advertised. This is to be expected as the maximum output measured was 848 Lumen instead of the 1000 Lumen advertised, which is about 15% less. Comparison with Olight Baton 3 & Olight S1R Baton II I was wondering how much of a disadvantage on brightness and efficiency does the high CRI emitter of the Sofirn SC21 introduce compared to lights that prioritize brightness and efficiency over tint and CRI. So, I decided to compare the above runtime graphs with those of the Olight Baton 3 and the Olight S1R Baton II. It was clear from the tint comparison that the Sofirn SC21 offers a much more pleasant, less green and neutral tint than the two Olights and also much better colour rendition as it is 90 CRI instead of the 70 CRI Luminous SST40 emitters the Olights use. As we can see in the comparative graph below, the Olight Baton 3 is by far the most efficient light, but also "cheats" a bit by setting its high output lower than the Olight S1R Baton II, to reserve power. The Sofirn SC21 did surprisingly well, both in brightness and in efficiency considering the neutral tint and high CRI. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the Turbo Full Runtime Comparison Graph in greater detail. What is even more interesting is the much more realistic scenario of using the lights on High rather than Turbo. That way, the much hotter Samsung LH531D of the Sofirn SC21 does not need to step down due to thermal regulation and sits between the two Olights in brightness. It also outperforms the Olight S1R Baton II in run time, albeit while being less bright. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the High Full Runtime Comparison Graph in greater detail. There is no winner here, just 3 very good EDC lights, each with its advantages and disadvantages, according to the emitter that was selected and the programming of the driver. It does speak volumes though that the Sofirn SC21 is standing as equal amongst equals, with comparative advantages and disadvantages depending on preference and usage scenario, with 2 lights that cost twice what it does. Current Draw The Sofirn SC21 has a low parasitic drain that is below the ability of the clamp meter to measure. The Moonlight Mode only draws 10mA. The Low, Mid and High modes need 60mA, 197mA and 788mA respectively and Turbo required 2.83A. Conclusion The Sofirn SC21 is an small EDC torch that ticks many boxes. It uses a Li-Ion 16340 battery to power a 5000K, 90 CRI Samsung LH351D emitter and produce a maximum of 848 Lumen and 118m of throw (measured). This is indeed an excellent performance for a high CRI light with neutral tint and even though it falls short of the advertised 1000 Lumen and 135m, it is very respectable and more than enough for EDC purposes while the quality of the light is more than enough compensation for the reduced performance. The driver is regulated and provides stable output with no PWM on any level. It incorporates Thermal Regulation, Reverse Polarity Protection and Low Voltage Protection. The only flaw in my opinion is that the low voltage protection only kicks in at 2.5V which is not good for the battery. It should turn off the light at around 3V. The build quality and anodization are very good and the user interface is simple, intuitive and versatile, providing both stepped and ramping options. The button is easy to press and incorporates an indicative LED which shows the battery level and also when the light is charging and when the charging is finished. The Sofirn SC21 uses a glass lens and aluminium reflector combination which is much harder to scratch than a plastic TIR optic and does not melt if there is debris on the lens. The tail cap is magnetic and the magnet is strong enough to hold the light at any orientation. The clip allows for lens down deep carry and is bidirectional so the Sofirn SC21 can be clipped to a hat to use as a headlamp. The Sofirn SC21 can be purchased directly from the Sofirn Website and the cost at the moment this review is written is $23.99, including the battery or $20.99 without the battery. Shipping costs $3.99 and tax varies depending on the country of destination. Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Sofirn SC21: Pros + Value for money. + High CRI. + Neutral 5000K tint. + No PWM at any output level. + Glass lens and Aluminium reflector. + Aluminium Alloy construction. + Very good anodization and fit and finish. + USB type A to C and type C to C charging. + Fast battery charging, in less than 1.5h. + Low Voltage Protection. + Thermal Regulation. + Reverse Polarity Protection + Well balanced beam. + 16340 Li-Ion 800mAh (788mAh measured) battery included. + Battery level and charging LED indicator. + Simple and intuitive stepped and ramped UI. + IP68. + Bidirectional clip, which some users like as it can be clipped on to a hat to use as a head lamp. + Compatible with all button top 16340 batteries that can provide at least 3A. Cons - Low voltage protection turns off the light at 2.5V which is too low and can damage the battery and affect its longevity. - Fast battery charging can affect battery longevity. - Bidirectional clip, which some users dislike as it is not as sturdy and easy to use as unidirectional clips. - The clip could scratch the finish over time. - The battery level indicator LED could have more levels. TheLAB.GR Thanks to Sofirn for providing the light for review Polymeros Achaniotis 07/09/2021