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Introduction Things that try to do two jobs are often mediocre at both, so when I was offered a review sample of the Acebeam Rider RX I was sceptical. You see, this particular torch is marketed not only as an EDC torch but also a fidget toy. And the immediate thought that comes to mind is what compromises had to be made for it to be both? Acebeam is a company that thinks things through in their designs and implementations and I was interested to see how they went about it, so I accepted the sample and will be presenting my findings and thoughts in this article. Let's delve into this review and find out if the Acebeam Rider RX is a good EDC torch. Fidget toy. Both. Unboxing The Acebeam Rider RX comes in a simple white box, with a clear window at the front through which you can see the torch. The front of the box also states the brand and model while the back has the company information and various certifications and QR codes. The two sides have the company logo and the 5 year warranty, respectively. The top and bottom of the box are plain white. Inside the box, we find the torch, in a clear, moulded plastic that holds it in place and under that we find the accessories. The accessories include the user manual, a lanyard, spare o-rings and the short USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The manual unfolds to a single sheet of paper. One side of it is written in English and the other side is in Chinese. In the following photo you can see the English side. The construction of the Acebeam Rider RX includes an outer tube, made of stainless steel and an inner tube made of aluminium. The outer tube comes in 4 different finishes that you can see in the following photo, while the inner tube is always anodized blue. The sample that was sent to me is the blue version of the Acebeam Rider RX which is the most discrete one, as the outer stainless steel tube does not contrast with the inner aluminium tube. It is a very nice blue as well. The torch is very pocketable, as it uses a 14500 / AA battery and is well designed and appealing to the eye. The outer tube has cut outs through which you can see the inner tube. Very nice. The front of the torch shows clearly the double tube design while the back has the switch. The mid section is the most interesting part, with the cut outs that show the inner tube. The clip is large and bidirectional and to he honest does not look remotely as elegant as the rest of the torch. It is very functional and the size and shape are deliberate, as they are necessary for the fidgeting function. It is held in place by two screws. As you can see, the cut out for the clip allows for it to be moved to the side and then forward, as the arrow indicates. There is a spring loaded ball bearing that will engage into the 3 small holes to stop the clip assembly in specific places. The switch is simple, flat and allows the torch to tail stand. The lens comes protected with a film that must be removed before use. Once the film is removed, we can see the shallow, smooth reflector and the emitter. The emitter is a Nichia 219F at 5000K. In order to open the battery compartment, we first need to follow the arrow and move the clip to the side and then forward. This action pushes the inner tube to the front and exposes the front part of it. As a consequence, the switch is recessed inside the outer tube and is unreachable. This could work as a mechanical lock out as well. Now that the front part of the inner tube is exposed, we can just unscrew it to gain access to the battery compartment. The battery comes inside the torch, with the positive terminal insulated for safety. At the back of the battery, there is a thick, good quality spring, while the positive terminal at the front of the battery makes contact with a brass button on the driver PCB. Some of the electronics are on this side of the PCB as well. The battery that comes with the Acebeam Rider RX is a Li-Ion 14500 with a rated capacity of 920mAh. It also features a USB-C charging port. Very convenient. Build Quality I am certain that it was clear from the photos that the build quality of the Acebeam Rider RX is very good. The fit and finish are impeccable and the anodizing and painting are excellent. Specifications The specifications of the Acebeam Rider RX, as found on the company's website, are as follows: The Acebeam Rider RX features a Nichia 219F emitter, with a CRI >90 and a neutral CCT of 5000K. The output of 650 Lumens is not exceptional, but for a high CRI torch in this size it is normal, if you want any kind of duration on high. The smooth but shallow reflector throws to 96 meters, which is quite respectable for the size and adequate for EDC purposes. The size and weight of the Acebeam Rider RX make it very easy to carry. A great feature of the Acebeam Rider RX is its ability to use Ni-MH and Alkaline batteries, in addition to the Li-Ion battery it comes with, so you are never out of power. The output with the lower voltage batteries is, of course, also lower. User Interface The user interface of the Acebeam Rider RX is simple and intuitive. The switch is a forward clicky, which means you half press repeatedly to select the mode you want (momentary use) and full press to keep the torch permanently on at the currently selected mode. There are four modes that you can cycle through it that way, Ultra Low, Low, Mid and High and then the cycle repeats. There is mode memory, so the torch with start at the last used mode. A double half press will put the torch in SOS mode where it automatically shines an SOS in Mors code. Fully pressing the switch at that point will leave the torch running in that mode, while another half press instead will move forward within the normal 4 modes. Modes and Run Times The following table shows the output levels and respective durations of the Acebeam Rider RX with the included Li-Ion battery as well as with a Ni-MH and an Alkaline battery. My own measurements show slightly less brightness than the specs, but not by much. The Ni-MH battery I used was a white Eneloop. Fidget Factor The fidgeting function of the Acebeam Rider RX relies on the movement of the clip, which exposes the front part of the inner tube, as shown below. I was not sold on it to begin with, but when I got my hands on the sample and tried it, it quickly grew on me and I found it quite satisfying. I have not and would not fidget with the Acebeam Rider RX in the presence of other people though, as it is quite loud and I expect it would annoy them. Another point to consider is that the front of the clip slides on the paint of the outer tube, which seems to be of very high quality and resilient so far, but I am sure that with time and many repetitions, the friction will damage the paint. Size Comparison The size of the Acebeam Rider RX is quite standard for a 14500 torch. Here is is between the Lumintop Tool 2.0 and the Olight i5T, for comparison. This is a very pocketable form factor and that is why 14500 sized torches are a popular EDC choice. Photometry I used an Opple Light Master Pro to measure the CCT, CRI and Duv of the Acebeam Rider RX. The results for all four output modes can be seen below, from Ultra Low to High. The CCT is quite close to spec across all four output modes and the CRI is consistently above 90, as promised. Unfortunately, the Duv is positive, which means a greenish rather than a rosy tint. To visualise that, I took the following photo, with the white balance manually set to 5500K. On the left we have the Lumintop Tool 2.0, modified with a Nichia 219b sw45k R9080 emitter, which is very rosy. In the middle is the Acebeam Rider RX and on the right we have the Olight i5T which is known to have a distinctly greenish hue. Beam Profile The beam profile of the Acebeam Rider RX can be seen in the following photo. There is a defined hot spot, that guarantees some throw, and adequate spill. A well balanced beam profile for EDC. Beam Shots I tested the Acebeam Rider RX over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Acebeam Rider RX to the Lumintop Tool 2.0, modified with a Nichia 219b sw45k R9080 emitter and the Olight i5T. Driver Acebeam usually employs very high quality, constant current drivers with no visible or invisible flickering. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the driver of the Acebeam Rider RX. The Opple Light Master Pro shows high risk flickering in the Ultra Low and Low modes, while there is still flickering albeit non harmful on Mid and High modes. The details of the modulation can be seen below. This is how my camera sees the modulation of the Acebeam Rider RX. Current Draw The current that the Acebeam Rider RX draws in each of the four modes can be seen below. The maximum current drawn, on High, is 2.56A, so any button top 14500 battery that can provide at least that output, will work well with the Acebeam Rider RX. Charging The battery included with the Acebeam Rider RX is rated at 920mAh and I measured it at 955mAh. The battery's internal resistance was measured at 75mΩ. It is clear that the battery included with the Acebeam Rider RX is of high quality. The torch has under voltage protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.83V. Charging the battery of the Acebeam Rider RX is very easy. Just use the included USB-A to USB-C cable and any USB charger or computer USB port to charge it. Unfortunately, the battery does not support USB-C to USB-C cable charging (no PD support). The indicative LED around the positive terminal will turn red while the battery is charging and green to indicate a full charge. Charging the Acebeam Rider RX battery from 2.83V to 4.19V, where the charging terminated, took 3 hours, 13 minutes and 54 seconds. The maximum current drawn was 0.4362A, 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. Output & Runtimes The Acebeam Rider RX is rated at a maximum output of 650 Lumen and a maximum throw of 96m. 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. Running the Acebeam Rider RX with the included battery yielded a maximum output of 614 Lumen at turn on and 542 Lumen at 30 seconds (ANSI). The output kept dropping gradually until the 2 minute and 11 seconds mark, when it dove to 396 Lumen. From there, it gradually dropped to 370 Lumen over the next 6 minutes and then dropped to 302 Lumen. From that point on, the output gradually declined until it turned off at 1 hour, 14 minutes and 57 seconds. From the runtime graph we can deduce that the output level is dependant on the battery voltage and timed step downs. There is no thermal regulation as I was able to reset the torch to full output by turning it off and back on. Here are the first 10 minutes, in greater detail. I used a white Eneloop to test the Acebeam Rider RX with a Ni-MH battery. The output starts at 172 Lumen and climbs to 176 Lumen over the first minute of operation. It then drops to 123 Lumen for another 6 minutes and then to 76 Lumen until almost the 2 hour mark. Then there is a brief increase in brightness, while the driver attempts to compensate for the dropping battery voltage and after that the output drops to very low levels for another hour and 20 minutes before the torch turns itself off. It is obvious and expected that when using a Ni-MH or an Alkaline battery the voltage is boosted to be able to drive the emitter and therefore the output is more stable. Here are the first 10 minutes of the above graph, in greater detail. I measured the throw of the Acebeam Rider RX, using the included battery, at 94m (2190cd), which is close enough to the 96m declared in the specs. With the white Eneloop battery, the throw I measured was at 50m (622cd). Conclusion The Acebeam Rider RX is a 14500 sized EDC torch with a fidget function. It features a double tube design, with the outer tube made of stainless steel in 4 different finish options and the inner tube made of blue anodized aluminium. The quality of the construction, painting and anodization is excellent and fidgeting with it can be fun, but is also loud and may annoy some people in the vicinity. The beam profile and output are optimized for EDC use and the torch is operated by a forward clicky tail switch which feels rather mushy but is easy to use. The user interface is simple and the mode spacing is good. The emitter used in the Acebeam Rider RX is a Nichia 219F with CRI>90 and CCT=5000K which is above BBL in all output modes but not as much as other torches, like the Olight i5T. It is rather close to natural day light, which is also above BBL. My measurements of the output levels found them to be below specs, but not by much. The Acebeam Rider RX can be ordered directly from the Acebeam website and costs $54.95, including the battery and shipping. Let us summarise the pros and cons of the Acebeam Rider RX. Pros + Excellent build quality, painting and anodizing + Stainless steel outer tube with aluminium inner tube + Engaging fidget function + Impeccable and intricate machining + High CRI 5000K emitter + Low Voltage Protection. + USB -C rechargeable battery included + Supports Li-Ion, Ni-MH and Alkaline batteries + Simple and intuitive UI + IP68 + Easily pocketable form factor + Reverse polarity protection Cons - Flickering, especially in Ultra Low and Low levels - No thermal regulation - The battery does not support USB-C to USB-C cable charging - Above BBL TheLAB.GR Thanks to Acebeam for providing the torch for review Polymeros Achaniotis 28/03/2022
Introduction There are many quality torches out there for the enthusiasts and the collectors and even more cheap and cheerful ones for people who just want to have some light in the dark. But the characteristic that the majority of buyers are after is the one that is actually the hardest to find: Value for money. This is the area where, in my experience, Sofirn actually excels, as I have yet to find a brand that balances quality and price as well as they do. And while they are still more expensive than most cheap and cheerful (aka rubbish) torches on the market, they are not so by much, making their offering quite appealing to many users. The model we will be looking at in this review is the Sofirn SC31 Pro. The Sofirn SC31 Pro is an EDC style torch, so it is a pocketable size, packed with features and providing a very decent light output, at a very competitive price. Intrigued? Let us see exactly what it does and how it accomplishes it. Unboxing The Sofirn SC31 Pro comes in a colourful cardboard box, which is common for many Sofirn models and the exact model is indicated only on the sticker at the back of the box. As the box is common for many models, no features or specifications are indicated on it. Inside the box is a clear plastic moulded case that holds the torch securely and protects it during shipping. In the recess, under the plastic case, we find the accessories as well as the manual. The accessories include the charging cable, the manual and a zip lock bag with the rest of the accessories. The charging cable is USB type A to USB type C and its length is 104cm, including the plugs. The zip lock bag contains a lanyard and 2 spare O-rings. The Sofirn SC31 Pro is made of aluminium with black anodization and has a side button and a pre-installed clip. The body has knurling, to make it grippy and the tailcap features a hole for the lanyard. The sides of the driver portion feature some small fins for heat dissipation. Everything is nicely finished and chamfered, except for the lanyard hole and the fins that are somewhat sharper, but not much. On the opposite side of the button there is a rubber cover and under it, a USB type C charging port. The tail cap has some knurling that helps to grip it and screw it on or off. The battery ships inside the light but an insulator prevents it from touching the negative spring so the light cannot be activated during shipping. The threads are square cut and come nicely greased. They are anodized, so even a slight unscrewing of the tail cap will break electrical contact and mechanically lock the light. The included battery is a Sofirn branded button top 18650 with a capacity rating of 3000mAh. The battery tube can unscrew from the torch head also. This allows it to be replaced with the optional Sofirn 18350 Short Tube, available on the Sofirn website for $1.49. There are springs on both the tail cap and the head of the torch, ensuring compatibility with different length 18650 batteries and also the continuity of the circuit during drops and bumps. The springs are thick and of high quality. They are more than adequate for the current this torch draws. The included tail cap has a lanyard hole (which could have smoother corners) and is not magnetic. An optional, Sofirn Magnetic Tailcap is available at the Sofirn website for $1.69. The Sofirn SC31 Pro features a smooth reflector and a cool (6500K - in our sample) or neutral (5000K) Luminus SST-40 emitter. Quality The build quality of the Sofirn SC31 Pro is surprisingly good - for the price point and feature set - and on par with other Sofirn lights. The fit and finish is excellent, the knurling is of good quality and the anodization is without any flaws. There are a couple of somewhat sharp edges - specifically on the fins and the lanyard hole - and the 2 indicative LEDs on the switch (which can be turned off or set to blinking mode through the Andúril UI) are not quite aligned, which is a perfectionist's nightmare, but these are details that would raise the cost and can be considered acceptable at this price point. Specifications The specifications of the Sofirn SC31 Pro, as found on the company's website, are as follows: The net weight is declared to be 59g. I weighed it at 61.7g without the battery and 107.7 with the battery. The length and width of the torch are not mentioned. I measured the length to be 11.5cm and the width 2.6cm. The Sofirn SC31 Pro is rated at 2000 lumen light output and 200m of throw, which is an excellent performance for its size. User Interface The user interface of the Sofirn SC31 Pro is a love or hate deal, as the light features the Andúril UI. Personally, I love it and deeply enjoy the fact that it is feature packed but still provides simple, quick and intuitive access to the basic functions. Others hate it and consider it too much work, as the manual is extensive and even the flow chart can be intimidating to look at. In my experience, after the initial shock, it is very easy to start using the light and have an occasional look at the flow chart to remind oneself of the more advanced functions. An important thing to do when you take any Andúril light out of the box is to perform a temperature calibration, as the light will depend on it to perform proper thermal control and balance brightness with temperature. That is also the best time to set the temperature limit. I find 50C to be a good temperature limit and the tests done in this review were done on a calibrated light and with a 50C temperature limit. Beam-shots The beam pattern of the Sofirn SC31 Pro is a product of the LED type and size and the reflector it uses. With the 5x5mm SST-40 and a smooth reflector, it is not surprising that the result is a somewhat tight hot spot that throws nicely, surrounded by a nice, usable spill. All in all, a very balanced and usable EDC beam pattern. There are various rings and coronas that are typical of smooth reflectors and may annoy white wall hunters, but those are unavoidable with smooth reflectors and the smooth reflector is what is giving the Sofirn SC31 Pro a very nice throw. I tested the Sofirn SC31 Pro over a distance of 70m, which is more than adequate for an EDC style torch. The following video shows a comparison of the Sofirn SC31 Pro with the very well known and much more expensive Olight Baton Pro. Both torches are rated at 2000 lumen and it is obvious that the Sofirn SC31 Pro has a tighter hot spot while the Olight Baton Pro has more spill. I will let each of you decide which one you prefer. Driver The driver of the Sofirn SC31 Pro uses PWM to dim the light, on all levels, except, of course, on full. 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. Tint The tint of the Sofirn SC31 Pro is the cool, greenish (above BBL) tint that is expected of the Luminous SST-40 emitter. It is very similar to the tint of the Olight Baton Pro. Next to them, for reference, the Fireflies E07 with Nichia 219b sw45k emitters which are high CRI and very rosy (below BBL). The SST-40 used is not high CRI. Charging The battery included with the Sofirn SC31 Pro is rated at 3000mAh and I measured it to be exactly that! The light has under voltage protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.8V. The battery internal resistance was measured at 80mΩ. Charging the Sofirn SC31 Pro is very easy. Just lift the rubber cover and insert the provided USB type C cable to charge the light. The indicative LEDs on the switch turn red to indicate the light is charging. They turn green when the charging is completed, at 4.16V. Charging the Sofirn SC31 Pro from 2.8V to 4.16V took 2 hours, 6 minutes and 53 seconds. The maximum current drawn was 1.8859A, so a charger that can provide at least 2A is recommended. A charger is not provided with the light but you can use your phone charger. Current Draw The Sofirn SC31 Pro has a very low parasitic drain of 1mA, with the indicative LEDs on the switch, on (they can be turned off). The light also has a very low moonlight mode that only draws 4mA. The maximum current draw, on Turbo, is 6.11A, which the provided battery is more than capable of. Output & Runtimes The Sofirn SC31 Pro is rated at 2000 lumen output and 200m of throw. I measured it at 1899 lumen at turn on (Turbo), 1785 lumen ANSI (30sec), while throw actually exceeded the specs by 10% and measured at 220m (12108cd). The temperature was very well controlled, as you can see in the runtime graphs below. Turning on the light at Turbo, will cause a rapid rise in temperature, followed by a huge dip in output, while the temperature stabilizes. This can be avoided if the light is not on Turbo, but used at a more moderate output level. The light was temperature calibrated, according to the manual, and the temperature limit was set at 50C. The actual temperatures on the button and on the body of the light did not exceed 51.5C and 38.2C, respectively. All in all, the Sofirn SC31 Pro gave very usable light for about 2.5 hours, when turned on at Turbo, which is very respectable. Usage at more moderate levels, will of course, result in higher runtimes and lower, if any, output dips, due to temperature management. The Full and 10' runtime graphs tell the story in great detail. All significant changes in output are marked. Conclusion The Sofirn SC31 Pro is a value for money, EDC torch that will not disappoint. Its aluminium body is well made and hard anodized and the fit and finish is beyond its price point. The mildly sharp edges of the fins and the lanyard hole are not a concern, but could have been smoother. The size and weight are great for EDC and the provided 3000mAh 18650 battery allows for ample runtime. The output is more than enough for EDC purposes and the beam profile is very balanced, with enough spill and a lot of throw for its size. The tint of the Luminous SST-40 LED is a cool, above BBL (greenish) tint and the CRI is low, but this is countered by the high lumen output this emitter allows the light to achieve. The driver uses PWM to dim the output, so PWM is present at all output levels, except on full. 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 Sofirn SC31 Pro can be purchased from the Sofirn Website and the cost at the moment this review is written is $25.99, plus $2.99 shipping, worldwide. That is a lot of torch for the money! Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Sofirn SC31 Pro: Pros + Value for money + 6061 Aluminium Alloy construction with good fit and finish + Hard and flawless anodization + USB type C charging + Low Voltage Protection + Thermal regulation + Well balanced beam, good for EDC use + 18650 Li-Ion 3000mAh (actually measured) battery included + Low power and charging LED indicator + Andúril UI + IP68 + At least 2.5 hours of usable light per charge + Compatible with all 18650 batteries + Removable, pre-installed clip + Magnetic tailcap ($1.69), short (18350) tube ($1.49) and diffuser ($1.69) available as optional accessories Cons - The fins and the lanyard hole could have smoother edges - The driver uses PWM to dim the emitter - Indicative LEDs on the switch are not aligned TheLAB.GR Thanks to Sofirn for providing the light for review Polymeros Achaniotis 25/06/2021
Introduction This review is brought to you by a stroke of good luck. I was looking at the Acebeam E70-AL as the design and specifications had caught my eye, when I stumbled upon a giveaway the company was doing on BLF. Tyche ruled in my favour and upon receiving my prize, I decided that a review was in order. Acebeam is well known amongst torch enthusiasts as a higher end company and both their products and their price tags reflect that. The Acebeam E70-AL may not be the most value for money option available but the specifications and quality are way beyond what you will find in budget friendly lights. Are you interested to see what the Acebeam E70-AL has to offer? Let's start at the beginning. Unboxing The Acebeam E70-AL comes in a white box with a clear window that allows a view of the light. The box emphasizes the 5 year warranty and the high efficiency, constant current boost circuit, both attesting to the high quality of the Acebeam E70-AL. The back side of the box does not offer any more information on specifications, but rather the company address, a few QR coded links and the usual certification logos. The top and bottom have no print, so nothing to show. One of the longer sides lists the possible applications of the light while the other shows if the battery is included, the LED colour temperature and a warning regarding safe usage. Regarding the LED choice, there is 6500K which is what my prize came with, 5000K and another option not depicted on the box, which has recently been added to the company's website, a 95+ CRI 4500K LED. The 6500K and 5000K are 6V LEDs while the 95+ CRI 4500K is a 12V LED and comes with a different driver. The output of the 6500K emitter is rated at 4600 Lumen, the 5000K 10% less (according to an company representative) and the 95+ CRI 4500K emitter at 2500 Lumen. The box features magnetic closure and opens like a book to reveal its contents and a thank you note from the company. The accessories include a charging cable, 2 spare O-rings, a storage bag and a lanyard not pictured here as it came attached to the light (as seen in the photos above). The leaflets include the manual, a warranty card, safety instructions and a note explaining the battery is in the light and the insulation sheet needs to be removed before use. I removed the lanyard to better show the light, which features a unique design. The Acebeam E70-AL is made of aluminium and has flawless machining and anodization. The anodization of the main body is black and there is an inner tube which is anodized blue. The design is very harmonious and pleasing to the eye. The bezel is crenulated and the head features alternating circular and oblong designs which work well together. The 8 oblong grooves are meant to house 12x2mm tritium vials according to Acebeam, but are not deep enough to completely cover them, measuring only 1.60mm in depth. As the glass tritium vials are very fragile, protruding equals 100% chance of breaking. There are some hard to obtain 11.5x1.4mm and 10x1.5mm tritium vials that would fit nicely but even if you can find them, the colour choice is quite limited. I would suggest to Acebeam to either make the grooves deeper by 0.5mm or, if not possible, to not advertise them as fit to house 12x2mm tritium vials. The body of the light features a helix design, with cut outs revealing the blue anodized inner tube and creating a beautiful visual effect. It also features 6 oblong grooves where it connects to the head that are meant to house 6x1.5mm tritium vials and are perfectly sized for it. The tail part of the tube features tapped holes where the simple and functional clip comes pre-attached. There are 3 sections at the back end of the body. One with the clip installed, one with tapped holes, where the clip could be moved to - no idea why though - and one with bigger holes, where the lanyard came pre-installed. Removing the lanyard is very easy but re-installing it requires thin tweezers, hence why the company probably opted to ship the light with the lanyard already installed. In total, the Acebeam E70-AL features an intricate design which looks quite busy but still harmonious and pleasing to the eye. The machining of such a design is not an easy feat, especially with the level of detail and quality we see here. The business end of the light comes with a protective plastic film, which must be removed before use. Under the protective film, we can see the shallow orange peel reflector and the Cree XHP70.2 emitter. The combination of such a large LED with the shallow OP reflector guarantee a very floody beam. The back end of the light is quite simple. It is where the switch for the operation of the light is located. I like the simple, recessed design of the switch which allows the light to tail stand and helps to protect from accidental activation. The web address of the company is printed in white, which I find unnecessary and deducting from the aesthetics of the light. I do not mind the name of the light and the hot warning symbol printed at the front, but I would also prefer it if the CE and crossed out bin symbols were omitted. The head and body unscrew to reveal that the battery ships inside the light, with the positive terminal insulated for safety. The threads are square cut, smooth and come nicely greased. The battery is an Acebeam branded 21700 Li-Ion battery, rated at 5100mAh and it features a USB C port near the positive terminal. Both battery contacts feature thick, good quality springs. These are probably adequate, but I would have still liked to see double springs or spring bypass wires in such a powerful light, to reduce the resistance even further. This would not have changed the brightness, as the Acebeam E70-AL features a boost driver, but could have helped a little with efficiency and run times. As mentioned before, there is an inner tube, as the light features an electronic switch at the back and both the negative terminal of the battery and the switch need to be connected to the driver. On the driver end, the silver ring seen on the perimeter contacts the outer tube and connects to the battery negative and the two gold plated contacts near the perimeter connect to the inner tube and transfer the switch presses. The spring in the middle of the driver makes direct contact with the positive terminal of the battery. Having springs on both ends makes the light resilient to bumps and drops, as the battery is suspended between two springs under pressure and is not likely to momentarily disconnect and turn the light off. Quality We have already seen the extraordinary quality the Acebeam E70-AL has, for a production light. Even at close inspection, both the machining and the anodization are perfect. No edge is sharp, not a single spot less than perfectly anodized. This is indeed a top quality light. Specifications The specifications of the Acebeam E70-AL, as mentioned on the company's website, can be seen in the following table: The Acebeam E70-AL is made of aerospace grade aluminium which has premium type 3 hard anodization. It features the very powerful Cree XHP70.2 LED which allows it to achieve an impressive maximum brightness of 4600 Lumen. The maximum throw distance is 240m, which means that the light is very floody, as expected from the configuration of the LED and the reflector. The Acebeam E70-AL is quite resilient and sturdy, with an IP68 water proof rating and a 1m impact resistance User Interface The user interface of the Acebeam E70-AL is simple and intuitive. Despite featuring a recessed button, a lock mode and the ability to hard lock the light by unscrewing the head 1/4 of a turn, a double click is required to turn the light on. This prevents accidental activation of unlocked lights and protects even the most careless of users from accidental activations, which would be disastrous with such a powerful light. The user interface of the Acebeam E70-AL is as follows: From Off Double click to turn on (with memory for the 4 main modes), click again to turn off. Click and hold from off to turn on at Moonlight mode. Keep holding until if flashes three times to lock the light. Click and hold again to unlock into Moonlight mode. Triple click for Strobe. Click to turn off or double click for Turbo. From On Click to turn off. Hold to cycle through the main modes (Low, Mid1 ,Mid2, High). Double click for Turbo. Double click again to return to previous mode. Triple click for Strobe. Click to turn off or double click for Turbo. From Turbo, click to return to previous (before Strobe) mode. There is no way to go directly from Strobe to a previous, non Turbo mode. The rated output and runtimes of all the modes can be seen in the table below. Beam-shots The beam pattern of the Acebeam E70-AL is exactly what can be expected from a large emitter combined with a shallow, orange peel reflector. The light is very floody, with a large hot spot and a lot of spill. I tested the Acebeam E70-AL outside, over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Acebeam E70-AL with the Emisar D4V2 Ti (with 4 Cree XP-L HI 5000K emitters) and the Fireflies E07 (with 7 Nichia 219b sw45k emitters). Driver The driver of the Acebeam E70-AL is a digitally regulated, constant current boost driver, which should be able to maintain constant brightness regardless of the battery voltage and also features smart temperature control, reverse polarity protection and low voltage protection. Very refreshing to see such a high quality driver. There is no PWM in any of the modes. Tint and Size Comparison The tint of the Acebeam E70-AL is cool white at 6500K (5000K and 4500K with high CRI options are also available) and it is definitely above BBL and distinctly green. This is by no means a pleasing tint nor is the light high CRI. The intend was to maximize output and efficiency. In the comparison photo below, you can see the Acebeam E70-AL in the middle, compared to the more neutral tint of the Emisar D4V2 Ti (with Cree XP-L HI 5000K emitters) on the left and the much rosier tint of the Fireflies E07 (with Nichia 219b sw45k emitters) on the right. The above photo also offers a size comparison between the lights. The Acebeam E70-AL is not a light that can be easily carried in your trousers pocket, but it fits fine in a winter jacket or a backpack. Battery and Charging The battery included with the Acebeam E70-AL is a 21700, rated at 5100mAh and features onboard USB C charging. The specifications of the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port, as shown on the company's website, are listed in the following table: I measured the capacity of the battery at exactly 4716mAh which is rather low. The battery's internal resistance was measured at 26mΩ. The light has Low Voltage Protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.7V. Charging the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is very easy. Just connect the provided cable or any other USB C cable to the charging port and its other end to a charger. 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 Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port with any USB C cable and charger you have at hand. The LED on the battery lights up red to indicate that it is charging and turns green when the charging is completed, at 4.14V. The Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port took 6 hours, 22 minutes and 27 seconds to charge from 2.7V to 4.14V. The maximum current drawn was 0.899A, which is low for a 21700 battery and explains the very long charging time. A charging circuit which can support 2A charging would have been much better. As the specifications indicate that the standard charging current is 1A, I can't help but wonder if it would be OK to charge the battery at 2A through a charger with large enough cradles to fit a protected button top 21700. A very nice feature of the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is its ability to function as a power bank. This is facilitated by the USB A port on the included charging cable, but a USB C to USB C cable can also be used, even for devices that do not support power delivery. When the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is functioning as a power bank, its indicative LED turns blue. There is no information available regarding the current the battery can provide through its USB C port so I had to investigate. Anything above 2.7A and the circuit would immediately reset. I gradually reduced the current until I found it to be initially stable at 2A, which is a good output. Unfortunately, this only worked with a fully charged battery and after 40 minutes of drawing 2A, the circuit started resetting. At the end of the test, and after countless resets, the battery voltage was 3.14V. I tempered my expectations and tried drawing 1A from the battery and this seems to be the maximum supported current for the power bank function, as the battery was able to maintain it with stability for 3 hours, before the circuit reset a few times and then turned off. I would have much preferred it if it had turned off without the resets, as I am not sure if they could damage any sensitive equipment being charged. The battery voltage at the end of the test was 2.99V. The Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is a battery packed with nice features such as onboard USB C charging and power bank functionality, along with a large 5100mAh capacity. Nevertheless, the actual capacity of 4715mAh and the slow charging speed leave something to be desired, especially considering the $23.90 price tag. EDC Bulb Along with the light and battery, my giveaway prize included a nice little accessory which adds a lot of value to the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port. It is the Acebeam EDC Bulb. The Acebeam EDC Bulb attaches to the top of the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port and connects to the battery's USB C port to draw power. The installation and operation are explained in the animation below. The specifications of the Acebeam EDC Bulb as found on the company's website, are in the following table: This tiny plastic attachment adds a lot of functionality to the Acebeam E70-AL and is a must buy, especially since it normally costs only $3.99 and is currently on offer for a mere $0.10. Unfortunately, it is also out of stock. The modes that the Acebeam EDC Bulb supports, along with their respective run times, are listed in the table below: The Acebeam EDC Bulb is so simple and at the same time so useful and nicely implemented! It really adds value to the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port. Current Draw The Acebeam E70-AL has a low parasitic drain that is below the ability of the clamp meter to measure. The Moonlight mode only draws 20mA. The Low, Mid1, Mid2 and High modes need 83mA, 216mA, 748mA and 1.961A respectively and Turbo required 10.40A. These values are rather low for the Lumen output and attest to the efficiency of the driver and emitter combination. Output & Runtimes The Acebeam E70-AL with the 6500K emitter is rated at maximum of 4600 Lumen and 240m 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. According to my measurements, the maximum output (at turn on) was 4494 Lumen, which is short of the advertised 4600 but still very close to the specs and definitely within the error margin of my equipment. ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 3805 Lumen and the rapid output decline continued down to 1210 Lumen at 57 seconds. It then stayed stable at a very impressive for the size of the light 1218 Lumen for a further 1 hour and 54 minutes! After that, it stayed for 5 minutes at 153 Lumen and finally dropped to 53 lumen for a further 53 minutes, before it turned off. The temperature regulation was very good and the body of the light was within the ability of a person to hold with bare hands. The test was done indoors, without any cooling or ventilation, so the results will be even better outside. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the Full Runtime Graph in greater detail. The stability and efficiency of the Acebeam E70-AL are truly impressive and make for a very usable and reliable light. In contrast to the unregulated drivers used in more budget oriented lights, the driver of the Acebeam E70-AL features a constant current output, providing a stable and constant light output and long run times. Turbo output is short, as dictated by thermal regulation and the laws of physics, but it is there for the short bursts that it may be needed for. High output is incredibly steady and lasted for an impressive 1 hour and 55minutes, after the turbo activation, which is 10 minutes more than what the specifications say. According to the specifications, the maximum throw of the Acebeam E70-AL is 240m and the maximum intensity 14400cd. I measured 210m and 11005.28cd. I charged the battery of the Acebeam E70-AL with an external charger to 4.20V, to see if I can squeeze any more performance out of the light but the gain was minimal, increasing the maximum output from 4494 Lumen to 4561 Lumen, the maximum throw from 210m to 214m and the maximum intensity from 11005.28cd to 11437.92cd. Therefore, I think that the company's decision to terminate the charging at 4.14V and thus increase the longevity of the battery is correct. Conclusion The Acebeam E70-AL is a light that emphasizes quality. The machining is intricate with no imperfections or sharp edges. The type 3 hard anodization is uniform and without flaws. The driver is fully regulated and provides constant current output without any PWM on any of the modes, while being very efficient. The Cree XHP70.2 emitter contributes to the high output and efficiency of the light. The User Interface is simple and functional and extra care has been taken to prevent accidental activations. The size is normal for a 21700 light and not too easy to fit into trousers pockets, although not impossible. I would prefer to carry the Acebeam E70-AL in my backpack or in the pocket of a winter jacket. The optional Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port battery features USB C onboard charging and Power Bank functionality while the Acebeam EDC Bulb optional accessory adds a lot of usability and value. The Acebeam E70-AL can be purchased directly from the company's website and the cost at the moment this review is written is $94.80, including the battery and shipping, worldwide. The light without the battery costs $74.90, but keep in mind that only button top protected 21700 batteries that can provide at least 10.40A of current will work. Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Acebeam E70-AL: Pros + Digitally regulated constant current boost driver which provides stable output and high efficiency with no PWM. + High Turbo output for the size of the light. + Long runtimes. + Impeccable and intricate machining. + Perfect type 3 hard anodization. + Aerospace grade Aluminium Alloy construction. + USB type C charging integrated in the battery. + Low Voltage Protection. + Quality springs on both sides of the battery. + Smart ITS Temperature Control. + Simple and intuitive UI. + 6 slots for 6x1.5mm tritium vials. + IP68. + The battery provides Power Bank functionality. + The Acebeam EDC Bulb optional accessory is very useful. Cons - The 8 slots on the head meant to house 12x2mm tritium vials are only 1.60mm deep and cannot protect the fragile glass vials so are not fit for purpose. - The battery is expensive. - The battery takes a long time to charge. - Actual battery capacity is 4716mAh instead of 5100mAh. - A holster should be included. TheLAB.GR Thanks to Acebeam for doing the giveaway and Tyche for providing the light for review Polymeros Achaniotis 24/08/2021
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