Sofirn SP36 Pro Evo rechargeable LED flashlight. 8,000 lumens, 525 ANSI metres, latest technology. Reviews here
The SP36 Evo was already the most powerful light in my lineup but the "Pro" version is a third brighter, blasting out 8,000 lumens of neutral white light. To put this in perspective, the average quartz-halogen car headlight produces around 1,200 lumens on high beam, so the new Evo is more than six times brighter!
Of course, lumens don't determine beam distance (Surprised? See my FAQ for the full story...) but the new Pro Evo is no slouch in that department, delivering more than 70,000 candela which is equivalent to 525 ANSI metres or nearly two rugby fields in the real world!
Sure, there are even more powerful torches on the market, but many people are shocked when they discover their enormous and expensive torch doesn't shine as far as expected, and that it steps down after less than a minute to avoid overheating.
However this little torch sits right on the sweet-spot of performance, size and price. This is no accident – it was designed in collaboration with members of one of the world's biggest flashlight forums specifically to create a ridiculously bright torch that you can carry in a jacket pocket.
And it's not just about brute force – the new Evo is brainy, too, equipped with the latest version of the Anduril operating system. This program does a lot of really clever stuff behind the scenes, such as monitoring heat and energy consumption so you get the best possible performance, and allowing you to change these parameters if you want to (and are brave enough).
Anduril also provides access to a wide range of useful and fun features, like checking the exact voltage of your batteries or the internal temperature of the torch; imitating a candle, party strobe or lightning; or turning itself off after you've gone to sleep. There's even a "muggle mode" to make the torch safe for ouma or the kids so they don't blind each other or start a fire.
But the good news is that the basic operation couldn't be simpler – just click the button to turn the torch on and off, and hold down the button to seamlessly ramp the brightness up or down. When you turn it back on, it will return to the same brightness you were using when you turned it off.
I provide my own operating guidelines with the Evo, explaining how to access and change the advanced settings if you want to, and how to avoid them if you don't. I'll also tell you how to restore the the factory pre-sets quickly and painlessly if you get yourself in a muddle!
The SP36 Pro Evo now comes equipped with four Luminus SST40 emitters, which are about 25% brighter than the old Cree XPL chips and deliver a warmer light that reflects colours better and "cuts through" dust and mist.
If you want a compact light for night photography you won't do better, and it also makes a brilliant headlamp for cycling at night (although you'll need to turn it down if you don't want to blind oncoming motorists!)
The Evo takes three industry-standard 18650 rechargeable lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries, but they need to have button tops and support high currents. I stock Keeppower's benchmark 3,000mAh "R-Series" protected Li-Ions which are able to supply plenty of juice and will last for many years, even if you use the torch every night and charge it every day.
Because it has internal charging you won't need a separate charger – you can charge the torch with a cellphone charger or by connecting it to the USB-A port on a car dashboard or multiconnector, using the supplied cable.
And the new Evo isn't just bright and clever, it's also as tough as nails! It's machined from aircraft-grade aluminium alloy, hard-anodised to military specifications, fitted with a toughened glass lens, and sealed to IPX8 waterproof/submersible standards.
It's the "little torch that does it all" – perfect for investigating bumps in the night and patrolling with the neighbourhood watch; ideal for load-shedding and braais; and the best companion you could ask for on your travels and adventures.
As an introductory special I'm offering the Evo with your choice of a FREE holster, handlebar mount or a diffuser that transforms the Evo into a dazzling all-weather lantern!
As always, I can give you a tasty discount if you pay by EFT into our account (to avoid bank charges) – just drop me a line and I'll send you an invoice.