Sofirn LT1 Mini Review ( 21700, 96 CRI, Anduril 2)

Today I am looking at the BLF LT1 Mini made by Sofirn. This has been in the works for several years over on the BLF forums. It’s a miniaturized version of the larger LT1 model, while still maintaining most of the same features thanks to it’s Anduril 2 firmware. Thanks to Sofirn for sending me this one to review. They are available currently and I have a discount below in the description.


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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is Sofirns standard thin basic cardboard box. Inside the light is protected with bubble wrap. The diffuser is also protected with a layer of plastic to prevent scratches. The lantern comes with an optional 5000mAh 21700 Sofirn battery which I have. Other accessories include extra Orings, Lanyard, and USB-A to C cable. My light didn’t come with a manual but the batches shipping how should have one.


Construction & Design

The exterior design here is basically the LT1 but scaled down so that the body tube fits a 21700 instead of 4x 18650 like the LT1. There are some differences like the ¼ 20 mounting holes on the light. You still have the hanger wire at the top, still the same button with the T a throwback to the original LT1 manufacturer. Branding is minimal and Sofirn is instead of BLF. The battery tube is reversible but it is marked with a battery polarity marking so I will leave it as is. The tail cap is flat on the bottom, slightly flared for stability, and has an inner ring cut to allow you to attach the lanyard.

While the LT1 Mini is only available in black anodized aluminum right now, Sofirn has said it will be offered in the same colors as the LT1 is now so keep an eye out for that. Interestingly mine doesn’t seem to have a serial number on it.


The light is fairly open to modification. The diffuser unscrews fairly easily and it opens up to easily expose the LEDs. Getting the board out looks more difficult and I didn’t try that here. Their programming pads are exposed on the PCB on the bottom of the head but spaced very closely to the spring, so flashing firmware is possible just a little tricky. Inside the tail cap, there is a large spring, and this can be lifted up to fit a magnet in which I have done, It’s not quite strong enough to hold the light up on the side of a painted surface but more than enough to hold it upside down. I may order something else that’s stronger eventually. 



In the hand it feels good, my thumb easily finds the button. To me, it feels like a normal 21700 flashlight. There is the wire hanger at the top which is useful for hanging the light from a string or branch. At the bottom, there is a place to attach the included lanyard, and as I mentioned I put a magnet in the tail cap that works decently well. 


Size & Weight

I measured the length at 154mm, the diameter of the body at 26mm, and the diameter of the head at 45mm. I measured the weight at 6.48oz with the battery, and my magnet was installed.No water rating is given but it stands up to a shower just fine, it’s IPX8 rated like most flashlights from Sofirn. Here are some comparison shots with other similar lights I own.


LED & Beam

The light is using 4x Samsung LH351D LEDs that are mounted on the bottom of the dome only. They are in a square configuration. There are 2 tints of LEDs being used here, 2x 2700k and 2x 5000k LEDs both high CRI. My Opple meter measured them through the diffuser at 2893k and 4776 respectively both at 96Ra (CRI).  The beam pattern is even and nicely diffused. With the tint ramping and the steps, this makes for a combination where you can adjust the light output to exactly what brightness and tint you want. 


Output Measurements

I didn’t put this one in my lumen tube, because I couldn’t concentrate the majority of the light in the tube. Sofirn lists the max output as 310 lumens and a beam distance of 12M. While that’s not nearly as much as the LT1’s 800+ lumens I found it to be more than enough for close range and medium-range tasks.  

See the video for the night shots and demonostrations.

Runtime & Heat

I ran 3 comparison tests, with each emitter tint comparing the percent of relative output between the different tints. Not surprisingly Neutral white when all the LED’s are on had slightly less runtime of the other.. Runtime wise they are all quite similar producing very usable light out to the 3:40:00 mark, and they keep producing out to nearly 6 hours, although much less output. The heat here is very controlled the light doesn’t really get very warm, and where it does it’s on the body since there are no emitters in the head. 



The light is using the Anduril 2 firmware which we have seen before on the updated version of the LT1 that a reviewed recently. I won’t give you a comprehensive guide here on Anduril 2, but I will say it has a lot of flexibility in tint and output, either ramping or stepped. You also have the special modes which I think work well here in a lantern-like lighting and candle modes. Yes the button is configurable too. Anduril 2 isn’t the easiest firmware to hand to an average joe but it’s super powerful and configurable once you get a chance to learn it. 



Recharging here is accomplished via USB-C. The light is C to C and PD compatible. The total charging time of the included 5000mAh battery was 3:51:00 with a charge rate of just over 1.6A. LVP was measured at 2.738v. The orange button LED when charging will blink blue when charging and go solid blue when charged.

The light is designed to work with a flat top unprotected 21700, but button tops work too, protected 21700’s are likely too long. 18650’s will work here too with little to no rattle. I tested the battery capacity at 4836mAh.

The light can be used as a powerbank to charge your USB-C devices from it’s 5000mAh battery. This is a nice feature to have, one I probably won’t use often but it was easy to include and could really be useful if you needed to top up your phone in an emergency situation. 


Final Thoughts

I took the light around my 4th of July festivities and it passed through the hands of many, using it to find fireworks, find fuses, and as a light saber by my nephew who loved it. 

This design is more prone to tipping over than the LT1 or LT1s, but not much more than most 21700 flashlights that are stood on their tail. I think Sofirn could have easily mitigated this by including a magnet in the tail cap. This could be an easy accessory they could sell on the side if they wanted and hopefully, they do this soon.

I think the LT1 Mini is going to be a size and weight that works for a lot of people, whereas the LT1 was just too big or heavy, and the LT1s is too large of diameter and it lacks the Anduril 2 firmware so many enthusiasts love. The LT1 is still the king when it comes to output and runtime but the LT1 Mini comes in a close second place while saving size and weight. It’s a sold recommendation for me. 


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Olight Olantern Review (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan Request)

Olight Olantern Review (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan  Request)

Today I have the Olight OLantern, before you change to the next video, this isn’t a boring battery powered lantern. It’s the result of numerous requests to Olight, so lets see if they delivered what the fans really want or not. Thanks to Skyben on Amazon for sending me this to look at and allowing me to tell you the truth on it. 


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Packaging & Accessories

Olights packaging is the nicest in the production flashlight world, it makes me wonder how much extra goes to packaging. The lantern is a big heavy duty cardboard box with photos of the light on all 4 sides. Very little information is on the exterior. It opens up throughout the bottom and is a tight fit. It sit’s on the box of accessories which include the manual, a microfiber cleaning cloth, an extra long MCC3 charger capable of up to 2A, and the flame flicker bulb. 



The lantern itself is made from a polymer front top top bottom. It’s available in a gray, red, and the green you see here. A rubber texture has been applied to a few areas for extra grip, the top cap, and bottom tail cap. The middle section is a hard thick, dense polymer. The lens or globe is a clear acrylic and while it will scratch it seems to be reasonably scratch resistant. It has a bit of a reflector built into the to help distribute light. This globe twists off from the body to allow you to swap out the emitter from cool white to the flickering flame, and there is a oring around this connection. Inside around the emitter is aluminum as is the blue ring around the exterior.

The electronic button is in the front and and has a slight backlit edge. This servers as a power indicator and helps you find the light in the dark. The light is motion sensitive so once you pick it up it comes on. 

The bottom rubber piece is scalloped and relieved internally to allow the light to charge while standing up with ease. There are 3 screws in the bottom that allows the light to come apart fairly easily. While the battery isn’t designed to be user replaceable it is quite easy to remove it. It connects to the circuit board with spring loaded pins. There was some debate early on if this was a rebranded product or an Olight original design and after looking inside I am confident it’s an Olight design, as all the circuit boards do have Olight copyrights on them. Internally its pretty simple design. 


Size & Weight/Competition

Length with the handle folded in was 135mm, with it unfolded 191mm, maximum diameter on the base was 65mm. I measured the weight at 346.5g. Water rating is only IPX4. So it can handle splashes from all angeles but no more.

A lot of people will compare the Olight Olantern to the BLF/Sofrin LT1 because the lights end up being near the same price. The Olantern is lighter, and smaller, with less features, a more simple but less useful UI, and longer charging time. The two are in different leagues really. The Olantern is probably better to hand to a non enthusiast and in terms of weight but in almost all other aspects the LT1 in my opinion is the better lantern. 



The lantern has a handle that is a metal hanger and coated in the same rubberized coating, at the top it has a plastic piece with a dip in it. This looks a little funny but is actually really useful, as it allows you to hang the light on a wire or rope and not have it fall off. I could see this being used in a tent, or with a rope strung between a few trees while camping etc. 

I do enjoy a case for my BLF LT1, and the OLantern will fit in the one I have for my LT1 here but with a good amount of extra space leftover. The XANAD case does double duty well.


LED & Beam

The Olantern has 2 LED Modules, first the primary is a cool white module with 3 output settings. No emitter or tint data is given for either. It’s quite cool white my guess is 6500k or cooler. The beam is pretty even but if you wanted to diffuse it even more I have seen people put thin paper inside the globe for more diffusion. 

The other is the flame module, it’s 1 mode only and flickers, and is quite warm, with an orange tint. I really wish this had more output and 3 modes like the main module did. 


Olight lists the official outputs as the following.

  • High 360 lumens
  • Medium 120 lumens
  • Low 30 lumens
  • Flaming Module 1 Lumen


Heat & Runtime

I tested runtime on the highest output on the main cool white module, and got 6:55:00 so a little better  then what it’s rated for. During this time it decreased in output ever so slightly but ran this entire time at 90% of relative output which is good. It does get a little warm during use, especially around the blue metal band, with peak temps in my uncooled environment at 39C. This was around the 2 hour mark.


My flaming module runtime test fell a tad short of the claimed 80 hours of runtime. I recorded only 46:42:00, due to the length of time this took I didn’t run this one again to see if my results improved. 



The UI here is very simple. Single press turns the light on to the last mode it was used in. Long press to go to the next mode, and mode progression is L, M, H. There is no short cut to the highest or lowest output. The flaming module has only one mode, so it’s just on or off.


One kind of neat and useful feature is the illuminated halo around the side switch, it reacts to motion to help you find it and to save power, so if you bag was to move it was in or you pick it up but can’t find the button in the dark it will start glowing a dim green so you can find it. 


Recharging & Power

This light runs off of a proprietary battery pack consisting of 4x 1900mAh 18500 batteries for a total capacity of 7600mAh. This is a custom battery pack and is designed to be non user replaceable. As mentioned above it’s quite easy to get into the light however though so if Olight made this battery available as a replacement I think it’s something the average person could replace. Recharging is done via the Olight magnetic MCC3 charger you get on recent Olights. It will operate while charging, and has the standard green when charged, red when charging. 


Charing time here is very long, from empty where the light shut off I measured it taking a full 8:30:00  to recharge, Peak charging speed I saw was 1.38A. This is a pretty conservative recharge rate. If you were charging off solar power it would be best to top up then expect to get a full charge in a day in most places. Comparing this to my BLF LT1 which had a capacity of 12,000mAh but charged in 10:15:00. This is still along time but also a battery that’s 4,400mAh larger.


Areas for Improvement

I see 3 major areas that olight can make improvements to on the next Olantern. The first is the waterproofing, this is only rated for IPX4 which means it can repel splashes from any angle but more then this may cause problems. This means it’s ok in the rain but isn’t to be submerged. The lantern only has one Oring between the globe and module, this surprised me for the price point the lights at, and Olights usual good build quality. 


LED Tint – This shouldn’t surprise anyone if you know Olight you know they like that cool white tint. They might say that’s for the best performance, or most amount of lumens but in this case neither are the most important, quality of light and runtime are the big things you want for area illumination. With the replaceable “bulb” design Olight could easily come out with an addon or have given people the choice. Even better make the tint variable like the BLF LT1. 


LED Storage – The flaming “bulb” is fun, but it’s output doesn’t make it super useful for more then just ambiance. The problem I see is there is no way to attach the extra blub to the light, or store it, so I see it is more likely to get lost. Hopefully version 2 corrects this. 



Lanterns are not something you think you need, till you have one and then if you are like me you will find yourself using it more and more. It’s great for camping but also if you lose power frequently or live in an area with storms. This is great for those areas getting hit by tornadoes and hurricanes or this time of year blizzards. 


At first I wasn’t impressed with the design here from the photos, I didn’t find the light attractive and was kind of put off by the mostly polymer construction, but once I got it in hand it felt better built than I was expecting. That said this is a space that has competition in it, not only from other lantern or lantern like products but also from silicone cones to put on top of your existing flashlights to act as a diffuser. All of those make the normal asking price here hard to swallow in my opinion. It’s a useful amount of light and it feels solid in the hand but I just had higher expectations for the normal asking price.

I don’t think this is the light that the hard core Olight fan was asking for but it’s not a bad place to start. Hopefully Olight decides to make some revisions and come out with a version that is has the ability to shift the tint, swap in other bulbs, is more water resistant, and is a better overall value. If they do that I think it will appeal to more enthusiasts and be the light that the hardcore fans really wanted. Until then you have a pretty well built light for the mainstream at a high price point when it’s not on sale.