BLF/Sofirn LT1 A2 Review (Update on the popular BLF Lantern)
Rather than a full review this week, I wanted to update everyone on the differences between the current BLF/Sofirn LT1 A2 and the original I have here in black. You really should go back and read or watch my original review for all of the various in’s and outs. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me. If I have any coupons or things I will post them in the description along with the links to my social media.
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So what’s changed?
In short, Sofirn has made a few changes to the driver board to update a few shortcomings of the original LT1 and bring it into 2022.
The biggest change here is the UI. The light still is Anduril firmware, but this time it’s Anduril 2. I am not going to go into extensive detail about all the changes to this UI, that’s been well covered by others since it came out, but it’s generally a little easier to use as Andruil 2 ships in the simple mode which is all your basic functions, brightness, ramping vs stepped, tint shift etc. You do have to enable Advanced mode (10 click/hold) to get into the special modes that allow you to use candle mode and lightning mode. It works really well on the lantern if you haven’t tried it.
The Driver PCB has been changed in the A2 version. The original featured pogo pins that were easily accessed by just removing the head of the light, these were useful for firmware updates, etc. However, on A2 this has been eliminated, and now to do similar things you have to unscrew the screws holding it in and use a SOIC clip to make changes. I would show you this but I found my screws to be extremely tight and began to round out one of the screws so I just stopped.
Another change is that all 14 of the 7135 chips are enabled by default. On the previous version, you could easily bridge connections on these to customize the LT1 for maximum brightness (all chips enabled) or maximum efficiency with only 6 enabled. LED’s remain the same Samsung LH351D LED in 2700k and 5000k to give you maximum flexibility. Enabling all of the 7135 chips, is worth about 200 lumens difference according to Sofirn.
I did do a runtime test to compare the two, and the original lantern does hold out longer, likely due to the slightly lower output, It ran on its the lowest output forever, vs the A2 version did eventually shut off sooner. I didn’t measure lumens here since the lantern doesn’t fit or is really suited for my lumen tube.
The V2 ran using 100% warm output to 6:26:00, the V1 ran in the same settings out to 9:40:00. As you can see from the graph the V1 ran a lot longer but this long time was really at 1% or less of relative output. The difference more at 100% was 90 minutes different with the V1 running longer but as I mentioned at a somewhat higher output. So the name of the game would be to run the V2 at less than 100% output to match the V1’s runtime.
A heavily requested feature that’s welcome to see in the A2 version is that the lantern can act as a powerbank. With up to 4 x 18650 batteries inside, there is considerable power here to tap in an emergency situation. I used my discharge equipment and got out about 7301mWh discharge. It could
Charging seems to be faster here too. I charged it from where it shut off to full in 6:40:00 vs the original took 10:15:00 so a nice increase but still safe.
Another small change I noticed was that the LED button went from a moderate to low power orange on the original to bright green on the A2 version. It’s a bit too bright in my opinion but luckily you can turn this down in the firmware in advanced mode.
While the light doesn’t ship really with any accessories I did want to mention this because I have put a few on mine that I plan to replicate here on my A2 version. First is the carrying case, it’s really a case for a JBL Bluetooth speaker but it fits perfectly on the LT1 and allows extra space for a charging cable and charger if you wish. The link to this case will be below. Sofirn now sells a similar version of their own too.
I have also bought a magnet that threads into the ¼ 20 threads. It’s rubber-coated and strong. It has the ability to hold up the light when placed on a slick surface horizontally. It’s a great addition in my opinion.
Lastly, I have 3D printed a shade, now this isn’t the best quality it was when I was really new to 3D printing and still learning. I should redo it now that I know a bit more. It’s nice if you’re going to be using it for a long time to keep the light out of your eyes, the bad thing is it’s not compact.
While not an essential upgrade, the changes made on the PCB with the addition of the powerbank feature, and Anduril 2 make for a light that’s easier to use for newer users and a great addition to the survival and camping aspects of the light with the powerbank feature.
The question of if it’s worth picking up another is hard to say, It’s still a heavy lantenr with a somewhat high center of gravity. I think you should have more than 1 if you are in an area prone to nasty weather or lose power frequently. If you can solder you can also pick up a PCB from Sofrin direct to upgrade your original LT1 too which can be a nice option too for some people. Overall a nice addition to the family.
If you haven’t seen my reviews of the original LT1 I would recommend you check that out after this video. I also reviewed the LT1S recently which is the short version, it’s a great lantern, and in the coming weeks, I will review the LT1 Mini so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss that one.
Sales and Links
Black with $10 off Coupon on the page, Use code (107RGP70) for another 10% off https://amzn.to/3wBm76s
Sofirn Direct (Save 15% with code OM2ELDVF) https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/sofirn-blf-lt1-anduril-2-rechargeable-lantern-super-long-working-time-with-power-bank-function-ship-from-usa?scm=spz.search&ssp=spz
Sofirn Direct (Save 15% with code OM2ELDVF) https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/sofirn-blf-lt1-rechargeable-lantern-with-power-bank-function-adjustable-color-temperature-long-working-time?scm=spz.search&ssp=spz
XANAD Case https://amzn.to/2KABHqb
Link to the Magnet I have https://www.ebay.com/itm/373022347244
I think this one will also work https://amzn.to/3Gge9mC