Sofirn IF22A Flashlight Review
The Sofirn IF22A flashlight uses a single 21700 cell. With the TIR optic and Luminus SFT40 emitter, it throws amazingly! Read on for testing!
Official Specs and Features
Here’s a link to the Sofirn IF22A flashlight product page.
Technically there is only one version of the Sofirn IF22A flashlight. Also available is a version with a reflector instead of the TIR seen in the IF22A. That’s the IF22 (no “A”). Otherwise these two are the same.
This thrower comes in at an astounding $33.99 without a 21700. Add the 21700 and you’re looking at $36.99. (For just $3 extra, absolutely buy the package with the single 21700 cell!)
What a fantastic light. Especially when you consider the price of under $34, the performance-to-cost value is astounding. That it can also be used as a powerbank is an extra and great feature!
The Big Table
|Sofirn IF22A Flashlight|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$33.99|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|LVP?||Yes, with switch warning|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||0.09|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port||with cell: all modes|
without cell: no modes
without body: lowest two modes
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2100|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1457 (69.4% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||69.1|
|Claimed Throw (m)||697|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||1990lux @ 7.149m = 101705cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||637.8 (91.5% of claim)^|
|Item provided for review by:||Sofirn|
|All my Sofirn reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Sofirn IF22A Flashlight
- Sofirn 5000mAh 21700 Cell
- Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
- 21700 to 18650 adapter
- Spare o-rings (2)
Package and Manual
Just a simple box and there is no manual!
Build Quality and Disassembly
For the price, this Sofirn IF22A Flashlight has superb build quality. Really, even for more money, this would be a reasonable light. Nothing is noteworthily bad regarding the build. In fact, there are many things to really like here!
Here’s the top-down view.
The head has a nice bit of knurling. Maybe this is a weird place for knurling since you won’t need to really unscrew the bezel. But it’ll help with removing the cell tube (or tailcap).
Both head and tail are removable, freeing the cell tube entirely. The threads are square-cut on both ends, anodized, properly lubed, and very smooth.
You can see the battery mark on the cell tube here too. More on that later!
This is just a bit of fun – the light doesn’t screw together without the cell tube, of course.
Here on the head are some cooling fins. They’re not incredibly deep, but you wouldn’t expect them to be on a tube light.
The tailcap is surprisingly bare – this light seems to want to be a dual switch light, but there’s just the e-switch. I like it very much in this setup, though.
Size and Comps
Dimension: 127.1 mm (length) × 42mm (head diameter)
Weight: 123 gram (without battery)
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Here’s the Sofirn IF22A Flashlight beside the Sofirn SP35. I use this light quite a bit!
And again, this shorty Sofirn IF22A is just for play. These parts don’t screw together. What a fun thrower size this is, though!
Retention and Carry
A pocket clip is included.
This clip is designed to attach in only one place, and that’s on the tailcap end of the cell tube.
It’s a “pretty deep” carry clip, especially with the overall size of the light.
Only one side has a lanyard hole. It’s just one hole, too, and so when tailstanding the lanyard will get in the way just a little bit. It’s very thin though, so that’s not the biggest problem.
As you can see above and below, the pocket clip has a lanyard hole, too.
A lanyard is included and attaches through a hole in the tailcap as seen below.
Power and Runtime
The Sofirn IF22A flashlight is a single lithium-ion cell light. The cell tube is 21700 sized, and that’s the cell that ships in the package.
Sofirn includes this plastic sleeve, which allows flawless use of a single 18650 cell, too.
The cell is installed into the Sofirn IF22A flashlight in the usual way – positive end toward the head.
Somewhere up above I said “more on this later.” Here’s more on this later. This cell tube is reversible. That’s great, actually except for the little cell direction marker. When reversed, the cell tube also indicates the wrong cell orientation. It’s not a big deal but does highlight that there are probably better places for this orientation marking.
Below you can see a few runtime tests. This Sofirn IF22A flashlight looks to have the ATR feature seen on the SP35, too – Advanced Temperature Regulation, which can be readily seen after the initial stepdown. The output is extremely active in managing the temperature around 44 degrees Celsius. The setting isn’t something that can be changed. (Being able to change this to 50°C or so would be great!)
These lower modes have a bit of a disappointing fade from their initial output level. That is decidedly not like the SP35 (which had flat output for the majority of runtimes).
I observed the switch providing a warning of low voltage in all three tests. In only two tests did the light turn off.
Built into the Sofirn IF22A flashlight is USB-C charging. This is a nice “current generation” charging method (better than micro-USB).
The charge port is in the head, just opposite the switch. These two items (switch and charge port cover) are different enough that you’ll not confuse them.
Sofirn includes a charging cable – USB to USB-C. It’s a surprisingly high-quality cable. I tested operation with USB-C to USB-C and that works (but looks to just be at 5V). Still, it works, which is good.
Here’s a charge graph – I logged first with USB to USB-C, since that’s the cable Sofirn supplies. Charging is very fast– nearly 3A at a peak, and fills the cell to around 4.18V. When topped off in a bay charger, the cell took exactly 1mAh more (ie, completely negligible).
Same story with C to C charging. Works fine, and peaks at nearly 3A!
While charging, the indicating switch will be flashing red. When charging is complete, the switch will turn green.
I didn’t test any of the powerbank features of the Sofirn IF22A except to see that they worked as expected. A USB-C output powerbank is a great option! (Again, for $36 or so, this is a ridiculous value.)
Without logging, I tested the current up to around 3.4A output (with significant voltage drop, of course.) However, it’ll stay in-specification well over 2A.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
We can see PWM on all but the lowest mode. It’s fast enough to be invisible, though.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
The Sofirn IF22A flashlight is controlled by a single switch. It’s an e-switch on the side of the head.
This switch also has indicating features – below it’s seen indicating red for low voltage. Notably, the switch will indicate for 5 seconds after the light is turned on, as follows:
Green: remaining battery power is good
Red: remaining battery power is poor (less than 30%)
Red Flashing: recharge or swap cell immediately.
There’s a surprising amount of travel on this switch. It’s also quite proud
Here’s a UI table! Note that this user interface is just like the Sofirn SP35 and Sofirn SC21 which I reviewed previously. Whether Ramping is group 1 or 2 doesn’t really matter, so I’m leaving the UI table as it was for the SP35 and SC21. Switching between the two is the same, and the indication that groups were switched is the same too…
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Hold||Group 1: Mode cycle (Low, Medium, High only)|
Group 2: Ramp up
|Any (except Turbo)||Double Click||Turbo|
|Turbo or Strobe||Click||Previous state|
|On||Click 4x||Switch between Group 1 and Group 2|
|Off||Click 4x||Lockout (blinks twice to confirm)|
|Lockout||Click 4x||Unlock (to mode memory)|
|Lockout||Click||Main emitter blink 2x to indicate lockout|
Why you’d want to double click from Turbo to get to Moonlight, I have no idea.
Group 2 (Ramping) is very similar to the above Group 1, except holding the switch will cause the light to ramp up. Loosening then holding the switch again within 1.5s will cause the ramp to switch directions. So it’s possible to ramp up or down. Double click still gets Turbo.
LED and Beam
The big deal on the Sofirn IF22A flashlight is of course the Luminus SFT40 emitter. It both has great output and great throw.
Throw from this emitter is aided by the TIR, which is clear and seemingly made for throw emitters.
With the flush bezel, light doesn’t escape when headstanding.
Here’s a better view of the emitter. That bezel does unscrew easily, allowing access to the mcpcb.
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Great deal at under $37.
- Very nice throwy beam profile
- Ramping option if you want it…
- But the stepped group is very smart too
- USB-C charging works great
- PWM is fast enough to be a non-issue
- The light functions as a powerbank too (and work very nicely)
What I don’t like
- Ramping is a little bit awkward with ramp speeds
- The sawtooth we see for temperature regulation may be a bit aggressive