Sofirn Q8 Pro Quad rechargeable LED flashlight, 11,000 lumens, 525 metres. Hold the sun in your hand! Customer reviews
The Q8 illustrates the power of the internet – it was developed by the torchaholics who hang out on BudgetLightForum.Com and refined by Sofirn after hundreds of pages of feedback from members giving their ideas of the perfect "soda-can" flashlight.
Since then there's been a constant process of improvement, testing the limits of what's possible with a torch the size and shape of a can of Red Bull, without sacrificing the durability and versatility that made this torch an icon in the global flashlight community.
The new "Pro" version is equipped with four of Cree's benchmark XHP 50.2 emitters, blasting a fat 11,000 lumen beam over 525 ANSI metres – in the real world that's the length of Ellis Park! When you double-click the button, you WILL turn night into day... but that's just the start!
The Quad now comes with the latest version of the Andúril operating system which has a "simple mode" for intuitive operation and a (hidden) "advanced mode" for access to a huge range of fun features and programming (don't worry, I put my own guidelines in the box to show you around...)
It also has a new USB-C port for charging the batteries from your cellphone charger or in a car. It comes with a charging cable but with a different cable that you will find at every gadget store you can even draw power OFF this port to charge your cellphone or laptop – making this the ultimate 21st Century survival tool.
The Q8's single-button interface is a masterclass in functionality. Apart from the obvious benefit of single-handed operation it provides instant access to moonlight, low, last-used level, turbo, and ramping from 10 to 11,000 lumens. The button is backlit so it's easy to find in the dark (you can turn this off) and a triple click will show you the exact voltage of your batteries!
Another clever detail is that the batteries are installed in parallel, which means the Quad can work with any number of industry-standard 18650 Li-Ions between one and four, although they need to be high-drain button-top cells. Obviously four batteries will run longer than one, but the torch weighs much less with fewer cells which is great news for all those hikers and bikers out there!
The Quad boasts a standard screw-mount for a tripod but it doesn't have a hole for a lanyard, so it's worth investing in a screw-in camera-strap from a photographic store, or a holster which I offer as an optional extra. During load-shedding I mount the Q8 on a Gorillapod so I can point it at a ceiling or a wall to provide even lighting wherever I need it.
Another optional extra is a diffuser which transforms this torch into a brilliant all-weather lantern, perfect for outdoor use. The best way to light up an indoor space, however, is by tail-standing the torch and bouncing the beam off the ceiling – thanks to its shape the Quad does this perfectly, and its power is enough to light up the biggest rooms. Take that, Eishkom!
The Q8 Pro is forged from aerospace-grade aluminium, hard-anodised to military specifications, crowned with a stainless steel bezel and reinforced glass lens. It is IPX8 waterproof and impact resistant, while advanced temperature regulation protects against overheating and sophisticated (and programmable) voltage regulation ensures constant brightness, regardless of the state of the batteries.
In short, this torch has the soul of a hunter-explorer, but the manners of a perfect gentleman.
After I received a sample of the Quad it lived on my nightstand – it's easily the best bumps-in-the-night torch I've ever owned! It's hard to knock over and easy to turn on in the dark, even when the backlight in the button is turned off, and I can ramp up from ultra-low to maintain my night vision or go straight to the shockingly bright turbo even when I'm half asleep.
As we've come to expect from Sofirn, the Quad is not only beautifully made but also offers exceptional value for money! And, as with all my torches, you can save a chunk of cash if you pay by EFT-on-invoice – just drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.