Sofirn SP36 Evo compact rechargeable LED flashlight. 6,000 lumens, 426 ANSI metres, USB-C charging. Reviews here
The SP36 Evo is the most powerful light in my lineup, erupting 6,000 lumens of neutral white light. To put that in perspective, most quartz-halogen car headlights deliver around 1,200 lumens – so this little torch whacks out the equivalent of five headlights... on high-beam!!
Before we go any further, yes, there are a few torches on the market today that deliver even more lumens, but you should know a few things about lumens before you flash your plastic – you can read it all in my FAQ. I don't sell those lights because so many customers are disappointed to find they are big, expensive, don't shine far, and can only "keep it up" for a minute or so!
However the Evo sits right on the sweet-spot of performance, size and price. This is no coincidence because it was designed by Sofirn in consultation with the members of one of the world's biggest flashlight forums, budgetlightforum.com, specifically to create a ridiculously bright torch you can carry in a jacket pocket. If this rings a bell – yes, they did the same thing with the Evo's non-identical twin, the Q8 Quad.
Both torches are built for the most demanding users, and deliver incredible amounts of light over huge distances even though they are barely the size of a can of energy drink. Each is equipped with advanced software so enthusiasts can radically change the way they operate but... fear not... regular users like you and me will never find this programming unless we go looking for it, and the standard user-interface is one of the best I've come across.
The key question, of course, is which of these two torches will suit you best?
For the longest beam and run-times in the "energy drink" format, go for the Q8 Quad. It's fitted with four Cree XPL HI emitters which are optimised for throw (up to 200 real-world metres) and takes four 18650 lithium ion (Li-Ion) rechargeable batteries. The Quad's batteries are charged externally, which suits "serious" users who want to be able to charge a spare set (including in a car) while they are using their torch elsewhere.
For its part, the Evo takes three Li-Ions, which makes it a bit slimmer and more comfortable in smaller hands. And despite its svelte proportions the Evo is slightly brighter thanks to a quartet of Cree XPL2 emitters delivering 6,000 lumens, compared to the Quad's 5,000lm. If you checked out my FAQ you'll know that anything less than a doubling of lumens is not visible, but you will notice that the Evo delivers a warmer light and a fatter beam, reaching out to 135 real-world metres (more than the length of a rugby field!)
As a result the Evo is ideal for home security, load-shedding, braaivleis, camping, fishing, DIY and it makes a ridiculously bright headlight for cycling (which you can turn down to levels that are safer... for other road-users!) And yes, I stock an affordable handlebar mount to hold it securely.
However the biggest difference is that the Evo features internal charging via a USB-C port, so you don't need a separate charger – you can charge it with most cellphone chargers or connect it to any USB-A port (like those now appearing in 220v multi-connectors, car dashboards and dozens of other places) with the supplied charging cable.
This makes the Evo the most astonishingly wonderful travel torch – compact enough to get lost in your hand-luggage or slip into the cup-holder of your car, yet boasting enough power and run-time for just about any application, anywhere.
As you would expect from one of the most technologically advanced torches on the planet, the Evo comes with a full-house of features including Advanced Temperature Control, constant-current output, battery-status indicator, IPX8 waterproof/submersible, aircraft-grade aluminium housing, HAIII anodising, toughened lenses and lots more – it may be cute but it's also really tough!
If you don't already have batteries, I offer the Evo with three of Keeppower's benchmark 3,000mAh "R-Series" protected Li-Ions which are designed to safely supply the high currents required by this torch and last for many years, while providing an enormous energy reserve of 9,000mAh. And I can give you a tasty discount off my online prices if you pay by EFT-on-invoice – just get in touch and I'll send you an invoice.