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Sofirn SC31T Pro review: EDC flashlight test
Sofirn SC31T Pro specifications
|Brand & Model||Sofirn SC31T Pro|
|Flashlight category||EDC, tactical|
|Max. output||2210 lumens|
|Max. beam distance||247 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||–|
|Modes||Simplified Anduril: 5 default steps; smooth ramping |
Anduril 2: 7 default steps; smooth ramping
|Blinkies||Simplified Anduril: Candle, bike, tactical strobe, party strobe, lightning |
Anduril 2: Candle, bike, tactical strobe, party strobe, lightning, beacon, SOS
|Review publication date||November 2022|
The SC31T Pro is the latest in Sofirn’s line of “Pro” versions of their SC line of lights. Those with the Pro designation use the enthusiast-focued Anduril UI, but the SC31T Pro is a little different: It uses a branch of Anduril 2 with an enhanced version of the simple mode called “Simplified Anduril,” built by our very own Gabe! This Simplified Anduril adds the batt check, aux control, and blinkies to Anduril’s simple mode for more convenience and fewer clicks! Let’s dive in!
The SC31T Pro comes in the standard Sofirn box with a generic flashlight graphic on the front. The rear has Sofirn’s contact information and a barcode sticker with a product name so elongated by description, the name of the flashlight doesn’t even appear on it.
Inside the box you’ll find:
- Sofirn SC31T Pro with clip installed
- Sofirn-branded 3000mAh 18650 button top battery, inside the light
- Spare o-rings
Flashlight in use
Being a dual-switch light, the SC31T Pro can be used in a number of ways. First, with the tail switch engaged, you can use the side switch to turn it on and off, and change modes while holding the light out in front of you. You can also select a brightness level with the electronic side switch then instead of turning it off with the same switch, click the tail switch to turn the light off. When you press the tail switch, it will come back on in that mode. This is useful for signaling or momentary access since the tail switch is a forward-clicky. It does not memorize shortcuts or blinky modes, though. Combine this with Anduril, and you have a fairly dynamic light.
One thing to note: If the light is off and you disengage the tail switch, the side switch’s indicator lights will stay on. At this point, clicking the tail switch will not turn on the light. You have to click the side switch to turn off the indicator lights and then you can use the tail switch. Also, doing this while the light is in electronic lock out will unlock the light.
The tail switch makes the SC31T Pro a little longer than other 18650 lights, but it can still be carried in a pocket with the included clip, though it’s not deep carry, so that longer tail switch will be sticking out. It fits well in the hand, though, and the button lines up with your thumb for ergonomic use.
The head has some flat facets to help keep the light from rolling around, and if you have the friction clip installed, it will stay in place well. The SC31T Pro will tail stand on the fins that surround the tail switch as they’re wide enough to provide a stable base.
One thing I like about the SC31T Pro is that it has a unique tactile feel to it. The crosshatch knurling has a very grippy texture and makes it very easy to grip, and the rubber boot on the side switch has raised knobs which can help identify it without having to look at the light.
You can really use this light for many tasks either around the house, while working, or EDC. The one thing it lacks is a magnet, though that’s the same for nearly all tail switch lights.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Sofirn, aiming squarely at the budget light market, uses aluminum for the SC31T Pro as they do for all their lights. The hard anodization is even and free from defects. As mentioned above, the body and tail cap have crosshatch knurling that makes it very easy to hold during use and when unscrewing the tail cap if you need to remove the battery.
While the clip is only single direction, the body tube is reversible, so you can switch it around if you want to clip it in the other way. The square-cut threads are well lubricated and anodized on both ends, so you can use a mechanical lockout no matter which direction you have it pointing. The clip itself is simply black-painted steel with a few cutouts. You could thread the lanyard through them if you didn’t want to put it through the eyelets on the tail fin. There’s also a battery icon on the tail cap indicating that you insert the battery positive side first. It’s nice that it lines up with the branding on the head.
Speaking of the head, the sides have very straight cut cooling fins. The edges aren’t sharp, per se, but they’re definitely right angles. The front of the head houses the side switch, which as mentioned before, has a translucent, textured rubber boot through which the indicator lights shine. These are the dual Sofirn green LEDs they usually use, though when the battery gets too low, the indicator lights are disabled. Opposite the switch is the USB C charging port, under a regular, rubber cover which is very snug. I doubt that either it will come undone or any water will get in.
Since the body tube can be removed, the driver of the SC31T Pro is accessible. Sofirn has been putting flashing pads on the bottom of their Anduril drivers recently, so you can update the Anduril firmware when a new build is released, or, if you’re so inclined, program your own.
Sofirn’s standard warranty applies to the SC31T Pro:
Within 30 days of purchase: Contact the original seller for repair or replacement.
Flashlights: Within 1 year of purchase: Contact Sofirn for repair or replacement
See their warranty page for full details
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
Like its predecessors, the SC31T Pro uses one Luminus SST-40 and a smooth reflector. Unfortunately, the SST-40 is one of, if not, the greenest emitter I know of, especially on lower settings, and this light is no exception. As it ramps up, the hotspot shifts from green to more yellowish, with visible artifacts at close range and on a white surface, and the spill has a definite blue hue to it. It’s far from the nicest I’ve seen, but remember that Sofirn is going for the budget/beginner category with this light. While the CCT of this SST-40 isn’t specified, it looks like it comes in around 5700K.
All of this is behind a glass lens which I do not believe has anti-reflective coating, and a smooth bezel that’s glued down.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Head diameter (widest point)||27||1.07|
|Without battery:||68 g||2.4 oz|
|With battery||112 g||4.0 oz|
Flashlight size comparison with its competition
The SC31T Pro is fairly tall, but it’s not the tallest light out there. You can see this in the comparisons with the ThruNite TN12 Pro
Group 1: ThruNite TN12 Pro, Sofirn SC31T Pro, Wuben TO40R
Group 2: Convoy S2+, Sofirn SC31T Pro, Emisar D4V2
Driver & User Interface:
The SC31T Pro uses Anduril 2, but with a catch: The Simple mode has enhanced functionality, programmed for Sofirn by Gabe! He has added the strobe modes (3H) and aux/side switch LED configuration (7C) into this branch, which gives the Simplified Anduril mode most of the commonly used features of advanced mode without having to get into other configuration or accidentally triggering other modes.
Sofirn includes two visualizations of the modes for Simplified Anduril on the product page, which should be helpful to beginners.
Available modes: 5 steps, ramping
Available blinky modes: Candle, bike, tactical strobe, party strobe, lightning
- Press and Hold: Level 1
- Single click: On to memorized level
- Double click: Level 5
- 3 clicks: Battery check
- 3 clicks and hold: Memorized blinky mode
- 4 clicks: Lock out
- 7 clicks: Change button light mode
- 10 clicks: Switch to advanced mode
- 13 clicks and hold: Factory reset
- 15 clicks: Version check
- Press and Hold: Ramp up
- 2 clicks and hold: Ramp down
- 1 click: Off
- Double click: Level 5
- 3 clicks: Switch between stepped and ramping
- 4 clicks: Lock out
- Mode memory is enabled for Simplified Anduril
- To Low: Press and Hold
- To Turbo: Double click
- To Strobe: 3 clicks and hold
Low voltage warning:
- The output will step down and the side switch lights will deactivate, finally shutting the light off around 2.8V.
- Candle, bike, tactical strobe, party strobe, lightning
- 3 clicks and hold will enter blinky mode; 2 clicks from there will switch to the next mode in the order above.
- 4 clicks will activate lockout mode.
- PWM is used, but it’s not visible by eye or with a phone camera.
Additional info on the UI:
- You can still enter Advanced Mode on this light and utilize all of Anduril’s features, as well as change settings on Simplified Anduril mode, the same way you can on a standard Anduril light.
Batteries & Charging
Like most Sofirn lights, the SC31T Pro comes with a Sofirn-branded, 3000mAh, button top 18650 battery. The button actually makes it 2mm longer than a standard 18650, but with springs at both ends of the tube, it can accept an even longer protected 18650. In a 250mA capacity test on my Vapcell S4+ charger, the included battery measured 2965mAh, which is pretty close to advertised.
I measured low voltage protection shutting the light off at 2.85V, which is a good level.
The SC31T Pro, like the other SC31 lights, has integrated USB C charging and will charge with both USB C to USB A (like the included cable), and USB C to USB C. While charging, the side switch light is red, and when it’s complete, it turns back to green. Sofirn advertises a 3 hour charge time, though in my testing, it only took just over 2 hours. Impressive! I measured charging as completing between 4.10V and 4.19V, which is also a good level.
To obtain these numbers, I used a very rudimentary integrated shoebox and ceilingbounce on my Samsung Galaxy S10. Ceilingbounce has been calibrated using a standardized calibration light provided by 1Lumen.
Amps were measured with a Klein Tools MM300 digital multimeter to the best of my ability.
These lumen settings were taken from the advanced mode which has 7 default modes plus turbo. Simple mode only has 1, 3, 5, 7, and turbo.
The numbers come in rather low compared to the specs, off by about 20-30%. It’s disappointing that they don’t match up, but also not unexpected.
|Mode||Amps at start||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 minutes|
|1||0.00||2||0.7 lm||0.7 lm||0.7 lm|
|2||0.03||20||14 lm||14 lm||14 lm|
|3||0.13||80||61 lm||59 lm||58 lm|
|4||0.35||183||150 lm||148 lm||147 lm|
|5||0.56||366||291 lm||291 lm||279 lm|
|6||0.90||681||497 lm||491 lm||421 lm|
|7||1.53||1152||913 lm||850 lm||239 lm|
|Turbo||3.37*||2210 lm||1581 lm||886 lm||272 lm|
* True readings for turbo are difficult to get with a multimeter. The SST-40 datasheet claims this measured output should occur around 5 amps. For comparison, the 2210 spec that Sofirn gives would require over 6 amps.
- Too low to measure
Battery Life: Runtime graphs
“Time to sub lumen” indicates when my setup reached 0, since these long tests were done overnight, I was not able to see exactly when it shut off completely. Levels 1 and 2 weren’t measured as they will likely come in well over 24 hours ANSI runtime.
Level 4 is the highest regulated mode, giving off a solid 150 lumens for over 8 hours. Above that the FET driver kicks in to provide more current, but at the expense of regulation.
The temperature management on the SC31T Pro appears to be much better than the non-Pro versions of the SC31 series as it manages to keep the output relatively smooth throughout the runtime, rather than the extreme ping-ponging up and down of the non-Pro driver.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI)||Time till sub lumen|
|3||–||19h 04min||21h 18min|
|4||–||8h 10min||10h 42min|
|5||–||5h 08min||8h 17min|
|6||–||3h 34min||6h 02min|
|7||–||4h 04min||6h 17min|
|Turbo||5h 30min||4h 25min||8h 09min|
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements
The numbers for candela were obtained with a UNI-T UT383S luxmeter at 5 and 15 meters, then averaged.
Sofirn provides no numbers for candela, only that it should reach 247 meters. However, it comes up short in that regard, by a fair amount.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). Columns Meters and Yards show rounded numbers.
These were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S22+ using pro mode and the following settings:
- WB 5000K
- ISO 200
- Speed 0.5
As you can see, the SC31T Pro has a very generous hotspot and plenty of spill. It should be able to deliver enough light for most situations.
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- ThruNite TN12 Pro
- Wuben TO40R
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Sofirn. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Simplified Anduril mode
- Tactile feel of the light
- Included battery and charging
- SST-40 tint
- Doesn’t meet specifications
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: a match would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
5 stars: ★★★★★
Sofirn’s SC31 lights are a pretty solid choice, after all, this is the fourth version! But what sets this light apart from its brethren is the Simplified Anduril mode. Gabe’s custom Anduril bridges the gap between standard and enthusiast lights by bringing Anduril’s most-used functions to the already present simple mode. There’s really no need for additional configuration, but if you want to, the full advanced mode of Anduril is also there as well.
It’s hard to find fault with this light other than the emitter choice; the SST-40 is a powerful yet inexpensive emitter, but it suffers from poor tint. Plus, it seems to be underpowered compared to its specs.
It might not be as flashy as some lights, but the SC31T Pro is an overall solid budget light which can be used by novice and enthusiasts both, and for that, I give it 5 stars.