Sofirn SP40 Review (Best Budget 18650 Headlamp of 2019)

Today I have a review of the Sofirn SP40 budget headlamp. Sofirn continues to bring out affordable products and take feedback seriously. I have had this one for a while and have been using it for various things around the house. Thanks to them for sending this to me to take a look at review on the channel. Let’s take a closer look at it. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Sofirn’s packaging is very basic and I am ok with this as more money is going to the product and accessories then the packaging. Inside the basic brown cardboard box the light is protected with some foam and bubble wrap. Included accessories are the headlamp itself with the Sofirn branded 3000mAh 18650 battery preinstalled, pocket clip, 18350 tube, headband, and spare orings.

Construction

The light is made from anodized aluminium. Machine and finish are good for the price range here. The tail is flat, and non magnetic. The light comes into 3 pieces with the other spare body tube being the 4th. There is standard diamond knurling on the tail cap as well as the body. It’s a little more on the aggressive side and I expect it will pick up dirt over time. 

The headband is a 3 piece design, and while functional, the straps do feel a bit more lightweight and thinner then other headbands I have from Olight, Armytek, and Klarus. That said this light is a lot less expensive. The headband has 2 silicone loops in front to slip the light into. On the 18650 tube there are 2 areas milled in without knurling where these rest. For the 18350 tube you kind of just have to make it work, and for me the loops ended up sitting on the knurls. There is also a press on friction fit pocket clip thats included on the light. With the 18650 tube it can be oriented either direction. With a head up carry a lot of the light sticks up from you pocket so a head down would be the only way for me. On the 18350 tube the clip really only fits on in one direction to remain on the light. This isn’t my favorite EDC because of how it carries but I am glad they at least include it. One last thing to note is that you should remove the clip prior to putting on the head strap. 

The head is fairly flat but with rounded corners on the emitter side. The rear is rounded and there is minimal milling for heat and weight dissipation on the sides. The USB charging port is opposite and below the emitter but still on the head. ON top is the button for controlling the light, as well as being a charger status indicator. Red is charging, green is charged. It’s a clicky e switch covered with a translucent silicone cover. 

 

Size/Weight and Comparisons

I measured Length at 107mm, Body Width at 22mm and maximum head width at 27mm. 

Weight with the included battery is 105.4g, with the headband and battery it’s 141g. 

The Sofirn SP40 looks like other headlamps we have seen for the most part. Today I am going to do some quick comparisons with the Armytek Elf C2 I have here because it’s one of my favorites, is similar sized, and has USB recharging onboard. Length wise the Elf C2 is a bit longer but it’s tail is magnetic. It’s head is also a little wider, probably due to the button being on the side instead of  the top. The clip is a lot better for EDC in my opinion and is heads up, vs the SP40 would be best as a tail down carry. Both fit in their respective headbands in a similar way. 

LED/Beamshots/Heat/Runtime

The SP40 is using a XP-L LED in cool white but not super cool tint. I would guess something like 6000k. While I wish it was a neutral white this is ok for the price. The beam is pretty standard, with no major artifacts. ItThe reflector has orange peel and the lens is clear anti reflective coated. Since it doesn’t have a diffuser or TIR optic it does have a hot spot in the center and isn’t super even. The light does have PWM and I don’t notice it on any of the modes. 

Heat here isn’t too bad. During my runtime tests I measured the light at several intervals and found the following temps. 1 minute was 93F, 5 minutes was 115F, and 10 minutes was 111F. 

Official output is listed at the following

Low – 5 lumens

Medium – 90 lumens

High – 450 lumens

Turbo – 1200 lumens

 

UI

The UI is pretty simple, and straight down to business. From off and you turn it on and the light starts on low, if you long press while the light is on it will move up to the next brightest mode. If you hold it down the light will cycle between low, medium, and high. The light won’t go into turbo without a double click while on. The light does have memory for all modes except turbo. Lastly there are no blinking modes. 

 

Recharging

The light does have onboard micro USB charging on the head. From an empty cell at 2.76V where LVP kicks in, I charged the light to full in 4.8 hours at an average of 0.9A. This is an acceptable charge rate, and should be safe for any 18650 that’s installed inside, but you won’t be winning any charging races here. For an 18650 it’s safe but probably a little higher then I want to charge mine at typically. I have no complaints with the included 3000mAh Sofirn branded 18650 battery.

Pro

  • Great included accessories including the 18350 tube and 18650 battery
  • Fantastic value for what your getting with the kit, including the battery, USB recharging, etc

 

Con’s

  • Head Strap is a bit thinner than other brands.
  • Current regulation isn’t the best.
  • No tint choice available.

 

Conclusion

For the price, flexibility, and fast shipping if purchased from Amazon, I am not sure if there is a better value 18650 headlamp available for less money that includes USB charging. There are other headlamps I rate as overall better, but their prices are significantly more. The Sofirn SP40 provides a good amount of working light for most jobs in most situations, has onboard charging for convenience, and includes optional extras like the 18350 tube instead of making them an optional extra. This would be a good option for someone looking to grab a bunch of headlamps for work, or to loan out, or give as gifts as it’s a complete kit and easy to use.

Headlamps are something I think everyone should have as they are extremely useful around the house, and anywhere you are working on something where 2 hands are preferred. If none of that applies to you, this still makes a decent right angle EDC in the pocket too.

Get the Sofirn SP40 for $23.19 by using code D3BUSFJM at https://amzn.to/2ZrEY44

Thrunite TH30 Headlamp (3350 Lumens, XHP 70.2 LED)

Today I have the new Thrunite TH30 Headlamp on my review table. This is a fairly slim profile headlamp that can also double as a EDC type light. It has a impressive 3350 lumen turbo mode, is USB rechargeable and ships with a Thrunite IMR battery. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/zuZo4rz
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is typical of what we are used to from Thrunite, simple, and functional. It’s a small brown cardboard box with minimal details printed on the outside. Unfolding it from the front cover reveals the headlamp packed in white foam. The battery is preinstalled with a protection disk. One of the nice things is that the head strap is already assembled and attached to the light. Underneath are the accessories which include a Micro USB cable for charging, pocket clip for the light (Can’t be used while in the headlamp mount), extra head mount, usb cover, manual, and branded black and red 3 piece head strap.





Construction
The TH30 itself is made from aircraft grade aluminium and is anodized a fairly shiny black. The light comes into 3 basic pieces, the head, body tube, and tail cap. Starting at the tail cap, the bottom is flat, and non magnetic. Knurling matches the body tube in a fairly aggressive diamond pattern. Threads under the cap are ACME style, and were lightly greased. The body tube has a pretty minimal diameter, and it has the same knurling as the tail cap. The pocket clip can mount onto the body tube either near the head or tail. Unfortunately the clip isn’t very deep carry when mounted near the head , but is reasonable when at the back of the light.


The head itself is fairly typical of a right handed light but it has been slimmed down where possible. As a result it only has cooling fins opposite of the emitter, and the sides are flat which is where the writing on this light are located. The only button is on the top of the light surrounded by an uncoated aluminum accent bezel. It’s a large, domed textured silicone rubber button that is semi transparent. Underneath are charge status indicators. The button stands a little proud and as a result the light won’t slit flat on it’s head.

The mount and stap were nicely preassembled. The mount itself is made from a black silicone rubber and is the style where you pass the light through silicone rubber hoops. This means the light stays put pretty well and isn’t the easiest to remove or add back. The head strap bands are black with red Thrunite lettering woven into the fabric. It’s a fairly basic strap and doesn’t include any of the silicon strips on the inside to keep the strap in place on helmets.

Size/Weight/Water Rating
I measured length at 106.5mm, minimum diameter at 23.6mm and maximum diameter at 28.2mm. Weight of the light with the included cell and head strap was 172.3g. The light is IPX8 water rated.


LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP 70.2 LED available in both cool and neutral white. My example here is in neutral white which is my preference. The LED is quite large but nicely centered in the reflector. Lens is glass and anti reflective coated, the reflector has a orange peel on it that does a good job of smoothing out the beam.

Runtime on the included 3100mAh IMR battery totaled 110 minutes from Turbo. When starting on high the light really steps down after about 5 minutes due to heat and is only running at about 25% relative output where it ran for the majority of the time. I saw very little difference when I ran a cooled output for 20 minutes compared with uncooled as well suggesting it’s a timed/voltage decline. Stepdowns were smooth. The last 10 minutes of runtime the light will start flashing to let you know the battery is depleted and ready to shut down.
Total Runtime

Uncooled 20 Minutes

Cooled 20 Minutes

Heat is a bit of a concern with this light on turbo since it produces up to 3350 lumens. During my test, the head easily reached 120F while on turbo within about 3 minutes. This is hot, but it won’t burn you. When being warm as a headlamp the silicone rubber mount does a good job of insulating your skin from the heat. The manual does say for the safety battery, driver and LED they recommend not using the light at the maximum for more than 10 minutes.

The beam is mostly flood and quite smooth. The center is slightly hotter but it’s nicely diffused thanks to the orange peel reflector. This light really isn’t a thrower but because of it’s power it does a decent job out to about 100 yards or so.

Battery and Recharging
Included in the package is a 3100mAh Thrunite Branded high drain, button top IMR 18650 battery. While not officially mentioned, given the performance characteristics it’s believed this battery is a rewrapped Sony VTC6 with protection. Working voltage of this light is 2.75V to 4.2V so 2x CR123A batteries will not work in this light.

Recharging is accomplished via a microUSB port on the very top of the head of the light. I like this location as it’s out of the way. The usb cover is attached with a decent amount of material as well and an extra is included in the packaging just in case. A red LED is under the main operation button will let you know the light is charging and it turns blue when charged. I measured max draw during charging at 1.5A which matches ThruNite’s claims, and a full recharge took 2 hours and 34 minutes. The light can be powered on to low mode during charging via USB.

UI and Mode Spacing
Changing modes in this light is easy. When the light is on pressing and holding the button will cycle through modes. The light starts on low, and progresses linearly though Low, Medium Low, Medium, High, and SOS. To get to turbo at anytime double click, and to use firefly when the light is off just long press. The light will remember the mode you were last in except for Firefly, Turbo, or SOS.

Turbo (3350 lumens for 1.5 min then 1050 lumen after step down)
High (1275 lumen; 90 minutes)
Medium (352 lumen; 5 hrs)
Medium-Low (130 lumen; 14 hrs)
Low (25 lumen; 60 hrs)
Firefly (0.5 lumen; 32 days)
SOS (645 lumen; 305 minutes)
The light can be mechanically locked out by just breaking contact with the tail cap or body tube. Given this lights power I would recommend doing that.

Pro’s

  • Available in Neutral or Cool White
  • Mode spacing is nice, and it has a simple UI but I wish strobe was not part of the main group.
  • Very smooth floody beam, not much noticeable tint rainbow to me.
  • High quality included battery that is non proprietary.
  • 2 Year free replacement warranty, with a limited lifetime warranty after that

Con’s

  • Pocket clip is reversible but not very deep carry
  • The button cover protrudes a little so it won’t stand on its head very well.
  • Wish it had active thermal controls

Conclusion
If you have followed my reviews for a while you will know I am a fan of headlamps, for me it’s probably in the top 3 types of flashlights everyone should own. The Thrunite TH30 is a very nice high lumen headlamp option. Understandably Turbo doesn’t last too long, due to the immense amount of heat 3350 lumens creates, but the lower modes are sufficient. I really like that this headlamp uses non proprietary batteries which makes getting extra’s or a replacement easy and less expensive than some other brands. I like that the light comes with an excellent and safe battery as well, I think it’s an extra layer of safety to have a protected cell when your using one on your head. I think it’s safe to say this is my favorite headlamp of 2018 so far.