Sofirn SC31 Pro Detective rechargeable LED pocket flashlight, 2,000 lumens, 240 ANSI metres. State of the art! Customer reviews
Yoh, but I'm impressed by this little torch! You know a gadget is great when it does amazing things even though it's super-simple to operate. Or when it's small and pretty, but built like a tank. And when it's amazingly powerful yet remarkably affordable...
Well, say hello to the SC31 Pro Detective!
I'm calling this torch the "Detective" because it's the successor to the 7G3CS Detective (pictured next to the Coke can) – one of my most popular lights in the early years of Torchguy. The new Detective takes the same adult-sized 18650 rechargeable lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery but somehow manages to be 20mm shorter than the old guy, with an overall length of 116mm or just over 4.5 inches in old money.
It's fitted with a Luminus SST40 emitter that delivers twice as much light (2,000 lumens) as the old Cree XM-L2. This is a seriously bright torch – the User Manual warns that on "turbo" it could start a fire if you point it at a dark material! I haven't set anything on fire, but I stood it on its nose on a wooden table at full power for 30 seconds and it's left a permanent scorch mark (please don't tell Mrs Torchguy!)
Like all extremely bright torches the Detective will turn itself down slightly after a while to avoid overheating, but the actual time depends on the internal temperature which in turn depends on how much air movement there is around the torch to cool it. However you can re-program the temperature threshold from the default 45 degrees up to 70 degrees, which will give you longer runtimes on turbo at the risk of burning your hand or damaging the torch!
The default setup allows you to ramp up brightness to a "ceiling" level, a notch below "turbo" (just a double click away) which is still very bright but uses much less energy – you'll get a couple of hours of runtime depending on which battery you're using, more than enough for a round of load-shedding or a pre-dawn ride on the bike.
The new Detective still has all the features that made the old model so popular – tail-standing ability (point it at the ceiling to light up a room), infinitely variable brightness with memory (turn it off and on at your preferred level) and instant access to turbo whether the torch is on or off.
But that's just the start! The latest Detective now has:
- internal battery charging from any USB power supply, like a cellphone charger, power bank, multi-adapter or in-car USB port. "Serious" users can still charge the battery externally (so they can charge a spare while using the torch elsewhere) but I suspect most of us will only remove the battery once every five years or so to replace it when we notice the runtimes getting shorter.
- a strong magnet in the tailcap so you can clamp the torch to a fridge, car, geyser-in-the-roof or knife-in-a-tree, giving you a powerful and ultra-portable hands-free light for blackouts, breakdowns, braaivleis and boasting (how many of your mate's torches can do all of this?)
- a programmable single-button user interface!! The standard operation is brilliantly simple but if you are so inclined you can completely reprogram the user interface and also access a host of fun features like defensive strobes, bike flasher (to make you more visible to oncoming traffic), a flickering candle (romantic dinners!) and a "goodnight" mode which dims down and turns off after you've gone to sleep. Nerds will love it, while non-nerds won't know (or care) that it's there. There's even a "muggle mode" so you can safely lend your torch to children or people unfamiliar with high-powered flashlights...
- a choice of beam tints – 6500K cool-white (looks brighter and will dazzle an attacker more effectively) or 5000K neutral-white (shows up colours better and won't reflect so much off mist and dust). There are no wrong answers here – both are brilliant!
Of course all of the high-end features we've come to expect from Sofirn are also here, including an IPX8 waterproof 6061-aluminium housing with HAIII anodising, toughened mineral-glass lens, battery-status indicator, reverse polarity protection, advanced temperature regulation, low-voltage cutoff and gold-plated springs – it's a gorgeous piece of engineering that's designed to work hard and forgive mistakes (as long as you don't override the safeguards!)
On "turbo" the Detective delivers a fat beam over 240 ANSI metres (according to my light meter) which is about 80 real-world metres or the width of a football field. At the sustainable "ceiling" level I measure 182 ANSI metres or 58 real world metres, which is a stellar performance from a pocket torch!
This beam profile is ideal for outdoor activities like cycling, hiking, camping, fishing and boating, and perfect for checking your garden for uninvited visitors or lighting up your lounge during load-shedding. It makes the perfect backup to a full-sized torch like the T70 Hunter or SP70 Beast, and the ideal gift for anyone in need of enlightenment.
However the most remarkable thing of all is the price – after a 10% discount (if you pay by EFT-on-invoice) and before adding a battery this little powerhouse will cost you less than a grand, or just 49c a lumen!! To take advantage of this offer, just drop me a line...