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Introduction With the multitude of companies that make torches nowadays, it is getting very hard to distinguish between the true value for money offerings and the overpriced, low quality ones. Price alone, certainly cannot be the determining factor as there are a lot of cheap lights out there that are not worth even a small fraction of their seemingly bargain of a cost. Wurkkos is known as a good value for money brand and I thought it would be interesting to test one of their lights and see if they live up to their reputation. The model we will be reviewing is the Wurkkos TS30, which is one of their higher spec lights. So without further delay, let's see what the Wurkkos TS30 has to offer and how it will do under our microscope. Unboxing The Wurkkos TS30 comes in a a nice cardboard box with the company logo and colours. The box appears not to be specific to the Wurkkos TS30 as the model is only indicated on the sticker at the bottom. Opening the box, we are greeted with a very nice presentation. Everything is neatly arranged and protected within laser cut outs in the black protective foam. That is a really nice touch and stands out from some of the other budget offerings. Inside the box, besides the light itself, we can find the manual, a tab instructing the owner to remove the insulator from the battery negative before using the light and the accessories. The accessories consist of a lanyard, 2 spare O-rings, a battery spacer if anyone wants to use a 18650 battery in this 21700 light, a 1m USB A to USB C charging cable and a very aggressive strike bezel with 4 very long spikes. The Wurkkos TS30 is made of black anodized aluminium and is a medium sized light. It is definitely not an EDC, pocket friendly little torch, but it will easily fit in a backpack or large jacket pocket. It features a side switch surrounded by cooling fins, on the other side of which there is a rubber flap protecting the USB C charging port. The head is wider than the body, measuring at 49mm diameter, and features a stainless steel bezel with crenulations so you can see if the light is on when placed on its head. The body has a pattern which offers some grip, without being very aggressive. The flap is easier to open and close than some other lights I have used and seems quite secure. The Wurkkos TS30 features a smooth triple reflector for its 3 Luminous SST40 emitters. The tail cap has 2 lanyard holes and can allow the light to tail stand, somewhat precariously. The battery tube can be unscrewed from both the head and the tail cap. The threads are smooth and the diameter is different on each side so the tube cannot be reversed. The Wurkkos branded 21700 battery comes inside the light and there is the mentioned black insulating disk blocking the negative contact, for safe shipping. The head features a brass protrusion to make contact with the positive pole of the battery. The tail cap has a thick double spring, which looks more than capable of transferring a lot of current, with minimal losses. The 21700 battery that comes with the Wurkkos TS30 is wrapped in a white sleeve that features the company logo. Despite the fact that the Wurkkos TS30 is advertised with a 4800mAh 21700 battery, the one in my sample claims to be 5000mAh. We are going to test that. Strike Bezel One of the accessories that come with the Wurkkos TS30 merits special mention. It is none other than the very aggressive strike bezel. This is milled from a solid bar of stainless steel and cannot be too cheap to manufacture. Personally, I find it superfluous and it cannot be legally carried in the UK where I live and I guess in many other countries. But I get that some people may be into this kind of "tactical" stuff. In my opinion, the cost of manufacturing this bezel could go into improving something else, as the torch already comes with a very nice bezel. Exchanging the bezels is really simple. Just unscrew the one the light comes with and screw in the other. The light looks... quite unique with the strike bezel installed. Wurkkos advertises this bezel for self defence and breaking glass in an emergency. Quality The build quality, fit and finish of the Wurkkos TS30 is definitely beyond its price range. I was quite impressed by the fact that even the cooling fins are chamfered and the anodization is flawless everywhere, even on all the edges. The blowout of the Wurkkos TS30 in the image below shows that everything is laid out as it should be. All materials seem of high quality and fit for purpose. Specifications The specifications of the Wurkkos TS30, as found on the company's website, are as follows: As you can see, the Wurkkos TS30 uses 3 Luminous SST40 emitters to deliver its light output, which is rated at 5950 Lumen for the 6000K version, which we are testing and 5000 Lumen for the 5000K version. The maximum throw is rated at 480m. The light uses the included 21700 battery but can also be used with a high drain 18650 battery, with the included sleeve. It is IPX-8 rated for water resistance. The specifications state that the Wurkkos TS30 is 182 +/- 1g. I weighed my sample exactly at 178.7g. The battery weighs 74.1g, bringing the total to 252.8g. Not too bad for the power it packs. User Interface The user interface of the Wurkkos TS30 is quite simple and intuitive. The light features 2 modes, Stepped and Ramping. Out of the box, the light comes in Stepped Mode. Stepped Mode: From Off Click for on, click again for off. Click and hold from off to turn on at Eco (moonlight) mode. Keep holding until if flashes to change into Ramping Mode. Click again for off. Double click for Turbo. Click to turn off. Triple click for Strobe. Click to turn off. Quadruple click for lockout. Repeat to deactivate. From On Click to turn off. Hold to cycle through the main modes (Low, Mid, High). Double click for Turbo. Click to return to previous mode. Triple click for Strobe. Click to return to previous mode. Quadruple click for lockout. Repeat to deactivate. Ramping Mode: From Off Click for on, click again for off. Click and hold from off to turn on at Eco (moonlight) mode. Keep holding until if flashes to change into Ramping Mode. Click again for off. Double click for Turbo. Click to turn off. Triple click for Strobe. Click to turn off. Quadruple click for lockout. Repeat to deactivate. From On Click to turn off. Hold to ramp up or down. Ramping changes direction when the button is pressed again within 1,5 seconds. The light flashes to indicate reaching the lower or upper end of the ramp. Double click for Turbo. Click to return to previous setting. Triple click for Strobe. Click to return to previous setting. Quadruple click for lockout. Repeat to deactivate The brightness, runtime and beam distance of each mode can be seen in the following table. The Wurkkos TS30 features Mode Memory. This means that it memorizes the last brightness level used (except Strobe). Mode Memory cannot be deactivated. While the light is in lock out mode, you can access the Eco mode momentarily by holding down the button. If you prefer a mechanical lock, you can just unscrew the tail cap half a turn. This will disconnect the battery and is recommended for long storage. Beam-shots The beam pattern of the Wurkkos TS30 is exactly what can be expected from a triple light with smooth reflectors and 5x5mm emitters. Very close up the pattern shows a triangular shape but at any working distance it becomes perfectly round. There are several rings, typical with smooth reflectors and a well defined hot spot. Installing the strike bezel effects the shape of the beam a lot. I tested the Wurkkos TS30 outside, over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Wurkkos TS30 with the Sofirn SP36 Pro (also with Luminous SST40 emitters) and the Fireflies E07 (with Nichia 219b sw45k emitters). Driver The driver of the Wurkkos TS30 is not regulated and 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. The Wurkkos TS30 driver also features Advanced Temperature Regulation (set at 60 degrees Celsius), Low Voltage Protection and Reverse Polarity Protection. Tint and Size Comparison The tint of the Wurkkos TS30 is cool white at 6000K (5000K option is also available) and even though it is above BBL, it is not significantly green. This is actually quite a nice tint for a 6000K Luminous SST40 emitter. In the comparison photo below, you can see the Wurkkos TS30 in the middle, compared to the much greener tint of the Sofirn SP36 Pro (also with Luminous SST40) on the left and the much rosier tint of the Fireflies E07 (with Nichia 219b sw45k) on the right. The SST40 used in the Wurkkos TS30 are not high CRI. The above photo also offers a size comparison between the lights. Charging The battery included with the Wurkkos TS30 is a 21700, rated at 5000mAh and I measured it at exactly 4922mAh. The light has Low Voltage Protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.7V. The battery's internal resistance was measured at 42mΩ. These measurements show that a high quality battery is actually included with this light. The indicative LEDs on the switch of the Wurkkos TS30 show the level of the battery charge. Green means that the remaining charge is at least 30%, red that it is below 30% and flashing red that it is critical and the light will soon turn off. Charging the Wurkkos TS30 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 Wurkkos TS30 with any USB C cable and charger you have at hand. The indicative LEDs on the switch flash red to indicate the light is charging. They turn green when the charging is completed, at 4.16V. The Wurkkos TS30 took 3 hours, 13 minutes and 28 seconds to charge the included battery from 2.7V to 4.16V. The maximum current drawn was 1.7466A, 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 Wurkkos TS30 has a low parasitic drain that is below the ability of the clamp meter to measure. The Eco (Moonlight) Mode only draws 4mA. The Low, Mid and High modes need 352mA, 1.24A and 6.63A respectively and Turbo required 16.99A. Output & Runtimes The Wurkkos TS30 6000K is rated at 5950 Lumen and 480m 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 5000 Lumen, which is short of the advertised 5950 but still very respectable for the size and cost of the light. ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 4563 Lumen and at 1 minute the output had dropped to 4401 Lumen. At 2 minutes the output had decreased to 2943 Lumen and then declined rapidly to reach 747 Lumen at 00:02:44, where it stabilized and slowly decreased to 454 Lumen from 00:02:44 to 01:45:10. Then a strange thing happened which I cannot fully explain. A slow oscillation in output started to occur, with its floor exactly where the declining curve of output would have been and its amplitude steadily rising. This means the output was at least equal and mostly higher than it would have been otherwise, even exceeding 1000 Lumen at some points. Then the gradual decline of the output resumed and the light turned off at 02:29:36, while it was still holding an output of 171 Lumen. All in all, a very useful output profile, managing heat, battery capacity and output quite well. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the Full Runtime Graph in greater detail. I did discuss the strange oscillation with a couple of electronics experts but without a look at the driver components (the driver is glued in place and not removable) they could not offer more insight into the cause. I think it is happening around the time the battery voltage is near the Vf of the emitters, but why that could cause this behaviour, I cannot say. If any electronics experts can offer an explanation, I would appreciate leaving it in the comments. Conclusion The Wurkkos TS30 is a value for money light that will not disappoint. Its aero grade aluminium body is well made and hard anodized and the fit and finish are beyond its price point. The attention to detail is also there, with chamfered cooling fins and impeccable anodization. The size and weight are great for its output rating and the provided 21700 battery allows for ample runtime. The output is more than enough for most purposes and the beam profile is well balanced. The tint of the Luminous SST40 LED is a cool, slightly above BBL but without being too green tint. The CRI is low, but this is countered by the high lumen output these emitters allow 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 Wurkkos TS30 can be purchased directly from the Wurkkos Website and the cost at the moment this review is written is $45.99, including shipping, worldwide. That is a lot of torch for the money! Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Wurkkos TS30: Pros + Value for money + High output and throw + Aerospace grade Aluminium Alloy construction + Impeccable anodization and fit and finish + USB type A to C and type C to C charging + Low Voltage Protection + Advanced Thermal Regulation + Well balanced beam + 21700 Li-Ion 5000mAh battery included + Low power and charging LED indicators + Simple and intuitive stepped and ramp UI + IP68 + At least 2.5 hours of usable light per charge + Compatible with all high drain 21700 batteries Cons - The driver uses PWM to dim the emitter. A regulated, constant current driver could have been used instead of including the strike bezel. TheLAB.GR Thanks to Wurkkos for providing the light for review Polymeros Achaniotis 05/08/2021
Introduction It is not always easy to walk the line between quality and value for money but Sofirn seems to have mastered the skill well. About a month ago I reviewed their EDC style torch, Sofirn SC31 Pro, and it was so good for its price that it peaked my curiosity. It therefore prompted me to have a look at their bigger and brighter models. I asked their representative and she obliged by sending me the Sofirn SP36 Pro, a 8000 lumen lighirnt with Andúril firmware, 4 LEDs and 3 batteries. This is by no means an EDC light. Its size puts it in the Soda Can lights category, albeit on the thin side of the genre. The generous specs and competitive pricing make for a combination that is hard to beat. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We need to see the light first and what it can do. Unboxing The Sofirn SP36 Pro comes in an unassuming, generic brown cardboard box with a barcode sticker that provides information about the contents. Inside the box, we find the light, protected in bubble wrap, a 1 meter long USB A to USB C charging cable, 2 spare O-rings and the manual. The light comes with a little tag, secured around the body with a rubber band. The tag explains that there is an insulator in the battery compartment, stopping the batteries from making contact and thus rendering the light inoperable for safe shipping. The insulator needs to be removed before the light can be used. The Sofirn SP36 Pro is a black, cylindrical light, about 12,5cm long and with a diameter of about 5cm at its widest point, which is the front bezel. The body features knurling which allows for a secure grip without being too aggressive. The button is rubbery, textured and slightly raised, so it is easy to find by touch, but can also be pressed while in a bag or in a (very large) pocket. Thankfully, there is a lock out option to cover for that contingency. The area around the button has some heatsinking in the form of fins, while at the exact opposite side there is a rubber flap. Lifting the flap, reveals the USB C charging port. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I will not presume to tell you if the Sofirn SP36 Pro looks good or not, but I can definitely say that it is an elegant and unassuming design that seems to mean business. That is even more true about the business end of the light, which features a quadruple smooth reflector with deep enough cups to ensure a healthy amount of throw. The emitters at the bottom of those cups are 4 Luminous SST40, 6500K LEDs. The battery compartment can be accessed by unscrewing the light into two halves and contains 3 batteries. The front side has an insulator covering which must be removed to reveal the circular battery contacts. The batteries are Sofirn branded, size 18650 and rated at 3000mAh. The inner circular battery contact is for the positive contacts of the 3 batteries while the outer circular battery contact gets the negative via the metal body of the battery compartment. The metal body of the battery compartment gets the negative from the batteries through 3 thick double springs at its bottom. The thickness of the springs, the fact that they are double and the whole design seems capable of transferring the power of the batteries to the light's driver circuit with minimal losses. It is also easy to mechanically lock out the light by unscrewing the battery compartment by half a turn, thus breaking the contact between its non anodized lip and the outer circular contact of the head. With the insulator out of the way, the Sofirn SP36 Pro is ready for action, which is indicated by the 2 green indicator LEDs on the switch. Quality The build quality of the Sofirn SP36 Pro is surprisingly good - for the price point and feature set - and on par with other Sofirn lights. The fit and finish are excellent, the knurling is of good quality and the anodization is without any flaws, except a few points at the edge of the cooling fins. The edges of the fins are also somewhat sharp, not enough to cut, but if you run your finger against them they seem like they would benefit from a little refining. Specifications The specifications of the Sofirn SP36 Pro, as found on the company's website, are as follows: The light features 4 SST40 emitters at 6500K (cool white - there is also a neutral white version at 5000K) which provide 8000 lumen of max output and 450m of max throw. It is made of aerospace grade aluminium and is 126,7mm long and 50mm wide (which I verified to be correct). The weight without the batteries is 300g (I measured 297g without the batteries and 437g with the batteries). The Sofirn SP36 Pro is USB C rechargeable and rated IPX8. User Interface The user interface of the Sofirn SP36 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 found at the company's website can be intimidating to look at. There is another kind of flow chart, provided for Andúril by the coder, which I personally prefer. They are different approaches to the same user interface: 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 SP36 Pro is a product of the LED type and size and the reflector it uses. With the 5x5mm SST40 emitters and 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 beam pattern. There are various rings and coronas that are typical of smooth reflectors and of multi emitter lights and may annoy white wall hunters, but those are unavoidable in this configuration and do not cause any problems in real world use. I tested the Sofirn SP36 Pro over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Sofirn SP36 Pro with the Olight X7R, the Fireflies E07 (Nichia 219b sw45k) and the Lumintop X9L. Driver The driver of the Sofirn SP36 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 SP36 Pro is the cool, greenish (above BBL) tint that is expected of the Luminous SST40 emitter. It is very similar to the tint of the Olight X7R. Next to them, for reference, the Fireflies E07 with Nichia 219b sw45k emitters which are high CRI and very rosy (below BBL) and the Lumintop X9L which uses a Luminous SBT90.2 emitter. The SST40 used in the Sofirn SP36 Pro is not high CRI. Charging The batteries included with the Sofirn SP36 Pro are rated at 3000mAh and I measured them to be right around that number (2950mAh / 3060mAh / 3049mAh) The light has under voltage protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.8V. The batteries' internal resistance was measured at around 120mΩ. Charging the Sofirn SP36 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 4.22V. Charging the Sofirn SP36 Pro from 2.8V to 4.22V took 4 hours, 57 minutes and 17 seconds. The maximum current drawn was 1.8712A, 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 SP36 Pro has a very low parasitic drain that is below the ability of the clamp meter to measure. It shows between 0mA and 1mA, with the indicative LEDs on the switch, on (they can be turned off through the Andúril UI). The light also has a very low moonlight mode that only draws 3mA. The top of the ramp drew 5.93A and Turbo required 16.34A. You can run the Sofirn SP36 Pro with all 3 batteries or with 2 or even 1 battery. Each of the batteries provided with the Sofirn SP36 Pro can give up to 10A (tested) so in order to get full brightness on Turbo you need to use at least 2 batteries in the light. All measurements were taken with all 3 batteries in the light. Output & Runtimes The Sofirn SP36 Pro is rated at 8000 lumen output and 450m of throw. I measured it both with batteries fresh off the charger and after they had rested. With batteries fresh off charging, the maximum output (at turn on) was 7417 lumen, which is short of the advertised 8000 but still very respectable for the size of the light. ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 6716 lumen and at 2 minutes the output had dropped to 1490 lumen. It then gradually increased to 1767 lumen until the 5 minute mark. Over the next 30 seconds the output dipped to only 300 lumen and gradually increased to over 500 lumen over the next 15 minutes, to stay at around that level until the 5 hours and 40 minutes mark. With rested batteries, the maximum output (at turn on) was 6726 lumen, which is 9.3% less than with batteries fresh off the charger. ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 6364 lumen, which is 5.2% less than with batteries fresh off the charger. At 2 minutes the output had dropped to 2327 lumen, which is 36% more than with batteries fresh off the charger. It seems the initial extra burst of energy that the batteries can give fresh off the charger has a big toll! The output gradually decreased to 2190 lumen until the 4 minutes and 5 seconds mark and over the next 20 seconds the output dipped to 518 lumen, where it remained stable, gradually increasing over the next hours, to reach a maximum of 931 lumen at 5:13:55. It then dropped gradually, to 222 lumen, at 5:40:10. From these 2 scenarios it is obvious that even though the batteries fresh off the charger will give a bigger, more impressive boost, the advantage lasts about a minute and has consequences for the entire runtime of the light. Moreover, it is highly unlikely it will happen in real life anyway, as most people do not keep the light on charging all the time. The temperature was very well controlled, as you can see in the runtime graphs. Turning on the light at Turbo, will cause a rapid rise in temperature, followed by a big 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 can be seen on the graphs and were kept well within the set limit. All in all, the Sofirn SP36 Pro gave very usable light for about 5.5 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 maximum intensity of the light, with rested batteries, was measured at 56784 cd, which translates to a throw of 476,59m, which is 5.9% more than the 450m advertised. Conclusion The Sofirn SP36 Pro is a value for money, Soda Can sized light 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 are not a concern, but could have been smoother. The size and weight are great for its output rating and the 3 provided 3000mAh 18650 batteries allow for ample runtime. The output is more than enough for most purposes and the beam profile is very balanced. The tint of the Luminous SST40 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 SP36 Pro can be purchased from the Sofirn Website and the cost at the moment this review is written is $49.99, including shipping, worldwide. That is a lot of torch for the money! Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Sofirn SP36 Pro: Pros + Value for money + High output and throw + Aerospace grade Aluminium Alloy construction with good fit and finish + USB type C charging + Low Voltage Protection + Thermal regulation + Well balanced beam + 3x 18650 Li-Ion 3000mAh (actually measured) batteries included + Low power and charging LED indicator + Andúril UI + Lighted button with indicative LEDs + IP68 + At least 5.5 hours of usable light per charge + Compatible with all button top 18650 batteries Cons - The fins could have smoother edges - The driver uses PWM to dim the emitter TheLAB.GR Thanks to Sofirn for providing the light for review Polymeros Achaniotis 30/07/2021