Review: Sofirn IF25A

Started by NT2C, February 02, 2023, 01:12:20 AM

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NT2C

If I had to sum this light up in a single sentence it would probably be, "It's a hot little handful."  I mean that both literally and figuratively.  This is a light that heats up very quickly and can easily burn you if you get careless.  I was using it outside tonight when I retrieved our trash and recycling cans from the end of the driveway and got the mail from the box.  I had it dialed back to about 2/3 brightness and it was 28℉ out.  The light got so warm that I was actually concerned about sticking it in the pocket of my synthetic fabric jacket lest it melt the fabric and make a hole.  Yeah, it gets that hot.  I turned it off and waited until I couldn't feel the heat from the barrel of the light through my gloves any longer before carefully tucking it in a pocket.

I have the 4000K version with the high CRI LEDS and I've got to say, it does render colors very nicely.  Even the color advertisements of the spam I dug out of my mail and tossed in the recycling bin looked really good.

Mine came in the semi-full kit that included a monster 21700 4,000mAh 40A high-current battery, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, a reducing adaptor so that you can use a 18650 battery in place of the 21700, a set of O rings, and a wrist lanyard. I say it's a semi-full kit because if you visit the Sofirn site and dig around you'll find that they sell two additional accessories for this light, a silicone diffuser and a pocket clip.  Considering the two items are currently selling for $1.99 for the diffuser and $2.19 for the clip I don't understand why Sofirn doesn't include them in the kit and bump the price a little to cover the added cost.  I will be ordering a pair of diffusers and a pair of clips (2=1 & 1=0) with my next order from their site.  This purchase came a little too late to be included with the IF22A that I recently bought and which already shipped.

Sofirn advertises a 420m throw and 3,800 lumens with this light, and while I don't doubt those figures in no way should this light be considered a "thrower".  The beam pattern does have a well-defined hotspot that's probably about 15-20 degrees, but it also has considerable spill outside that hot spot, so it also lights up your immediate surroundings fairly well.

One of the reasons for the amount of heat this light generates is because there are four LEDs, not just one so it generates 4x the normal amount of heat but it's doing so in a flashlight head and body barely larger than a roll of quarters.  All that heat has to go somewhere and aluminum conducts heat very well.

The OS for the light is the versatile Anduril 2 software and that gives a nice simple mode for most users but also an advanced mode for those of us that want to tweak it a bit.

There are some oddities to this light compared with other Sofirn lights with the same OS.  For example, my Q8 Plus has an easy-to-see pair of green LEDs lit in standby mode.  On this IF25A those same LEDs are a very dim amber. This is with both lights set to have them in the "low" mode.  After using either light for a period of time and turning them off the Q8 Plus shows two green and two amber LEDs (at high brightness) while this IF25A shows just two very bright blue LEDs (same as when it charges).  I assume it's an indication of battery life or something but the user manual for either light makes no mention of it.  I say "this IF25A" because I've heard reports of different switch LED colors and activity on other IF25A lights.

Lastly, although there's no mention of it anywhere on their site or in the user manual, I have been able to use this IF25A as a power bank to charge my cell phone using an actual USB C to C PD cord.  YMMV.

I'm giving this light a 3-star rating not because it's a bad light but because of the extreme heat concerns, the confusing switch LED colors/behavior, and the lack of a full set of accessories.

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EBuff75

I used my thermal imager to see how hot the light really gets.  In normal high mode it was around 140-145F after running for a little over a minute.  When I jumped it up to turbo I saw as much as 158F!  That's definitely "a hot little handful"!

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NT2C

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NT2C

Before purchasing ANY Sofirn product from any source, please read this message regarding their refusal to honor their warranty.
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