If you click here semi regularly, you might think I’d given poetry, and introspection up, for flashlights, and reflections on not being caught in the dark.*
This post previously appeared on a message board, a place where I love to talk to people about flashlights. Usually it feels like the people I’m talking to are really into flashlights, more so than I, like they do mods and stuff. The interest levels are like Disinterest/Curioisty/Love of/Obsession/Hacking and making your own. I’d say I’m in the “Love of” camp.
No one gives a hot biscuit about my like of flashlights. And if you’re reading this, you’re either stalking me (Paul Sibley,) or you went searching for (in this instance,) the Sofirm SP10S and I do have some thoughts about it. Those thoughts have been repurposed as a blog post, but originally appeared over at the Budget Light Forum on 6.21.19.
What follows is not so much a review, just observations for prosperity...
Sometimes when I go online to research something, I’ll find a thread discussing the thing in question, but that thread doesn’t always lead to closure, and often i’ll think “What happened?! Did they find it? Are they happy with the pick? What does any of this mean?” Not today people. If anyone comes looking for a compact day time flashlight, which doesn’t fray the pocket, and doesn’t stick out like a baton, and they’re sick of false activations in the pocket, I want to leave them with a story that has some meat to it.
This is where this all gets a bit meta, since this blog post is really a repurposed posting from a thread. For posterity I share it with you http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67336Andy Kaufman, people. I’m not sure what I’m doing with my writing. There are some deep jokes here, but I might be hoarding the guffaws.
I just received my Sofirm SP10S. I’m pretty excited. As a contender in the discrete EDC pants clipping category it does great, with just a 1/2” of the light coming out of the pants; the profile in the pocket is also very discrete; the Jetbeam-1 MK only about 3/16” if memory serves me.
The lockout mode (4 steady clicks and then it flashes twice to confirm lock status) works, but you have to get those four clicks just right (maybe there could be room for improvement,) but I’ve not had a single false start in my pocket. I can’t say the same for my Olight s30r baton ii, which I ultimately have to carry with the battery cap twisted a few turns. Going back to lockout mode for a second, if it is locked and you hit the button the light flashes twice, good feature, you know it is locked. If only those two flashes lingered for just another half second, you could probably use this feature to peek at things, without unlocking the torch. I gotta circle back and be clear though, If you don’t get those four clicks just right, you will fall on another setting, like turbo (a double click), or moonlight, or strobe mode-which happens at three clicks.
Today my office partner, who I babble too much about flashlights to, said “Paul you gotta go to your flashlight message board and ask if your light is supposed to do that.” A comedienne that lady.
The fit and finish is great, the flashlight feels weightless, I’ll have to weigh it against my other small lights, I guess the part of the “lightness” is that it doesn’t feel heavy on one end of the light. The metal button has a charm, though it took a while to grow on me. The area around the metal button is detailed such that if you stroke it with your finger, it is easier to find. And I think I officially wish for a magnetic tail cap on anything that doesn’t have a clicky tail. The clip is firm, but not hard to get on/off the pants. The finish is great, matte black with a nice bit of light bounce. Unlike so many other things in my life that I hold precious, I love the patina that flashlights get over time.
The CRI LH351D 800lm bulb is hard to explain, bright, and white, but not harsh, with this great glow. This is definitely a floody light, not in a bad way, but it throws off a tremendous amount of lumens around you, in addition to really lighting whatever it is pointed at. To me the light feels very clear and sharp. Moonlight is very useable, it isn’t .05 lumen though, maybe 5, or 10, with the 14500, I suspect the AA battery will be less. The “High” level (stated 310 lumen) is great for day time shelf searching, I’m not usually provoked to go to 800 lumen turbo. Turbo doesn’t feel as bright as the Thorfire TG06S, or the Jetbeam Jet-1 MK, but this isn’t bad, both those torches have a hot center and are bright, but obscure detail a bit. I’ll have to do a proper night time challenge when I get a chance.
Each new torch has challenges, “if only it also did this, while doing that too, then I’d be really happy.” And on top of that, as each new light arrives (I wonder if this happens for other people,) the pecking order for flashlights changes throughout the house. The Olight s30r baton ii gets delegated back to being the hidden nightstand light. The Thorfire TG06s becomes the “work light” to use when I’m doing carpentry around the house. mostly cause the Olight s30r baton ii is always turning on in my pocket, so maybe it will just become my walking and concert light And now the Sofirm SP10S is at my side as the light I spend the most time with on any given day.
The Sofirm SP10s light is pretty solid for discrete, trouble free day time carry, which is what I got it for. I think it would be the 14500 I recommend to adults like myself who had those same priorities. I might also give this light to kids, who have those quick reflexes for perfectly tapping out four steady clicks to lock/unlock and who would appreciate moonlight and strobe. I don’t think I’d recommend it to gen pop users though. I think (for me) the Thorfire TG06S is still the budget light to give to your friends and family, who are going to be delighted at the lumens they can get from an AA, and amazed by the 14500 abilities.
The story isn’t over though... I finally found a crazy deal on the Jetbeam-1 MK and ordered that bad mother. I’ll see if when it arrives I go back to it. I scoffed so hard at that twist to on function, but it is solid. I also have an On The Road coming to. The Jetbeam-1 MK, helped me stave off buying lights. I might have lost it a bit when I lost that light.
For the most discrete carry, with the simplest interface the Jetbeam-1 MK still is the pick. If you want more features and a direct access UI for turbo and strobe, the Sofirm SP10s is the way to go. The Thorfire TG06s is a great cheap flashlight that always starts on high and outside of chewing up batteries, it is a good light. Regular folks who still buy disposable batteries or use rechargeable AA, but say “14 wha?” would be well suited with this light.
*This is true.