Sofirn S11C

3_gun

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Jun 27, 2021
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221
My quest for lights that work AND don't cost a lot continues. After spending big money on lights that are/were both highly rated and performed well, I've been drawn to a point of reflection. Today it's the S11 vs a Surefire L2. CRAZY! you say, but hear me out.

Most people aren't us. They don't use lights daily and 90% of them would give you a blank stare if you asked incan or LED, AA or 18650. That said I'd bet nearly 100% of them, given the choice between the two would pick the S11c over the L2. I feel that this is and should be expected given the why a normal person sees/uses a flashlight.

The specs: the L2 was one of the first LED lights that boasted duel light levels in a LEO level product. 15L for up to 18hrs and 100L for 60min on a pair of fresh 123a batteries. I paid (happily) $125 of hard earned security guard pay for the light. Every night I ran the light on low for 90min'ish and on high for 5 or so minutes doing rounds. Batteries would last a normal work week. Great light still have it, just not as a daily use light anymore.
The S11c is new to me. It claims levels of light at 1/30/300 & 1000L with a zoomie lens. Run times (claimed) go from 30days to 3hrs on a 18650/3000mah battery. Using 2 123a batteries I got close enough to equal of the 18650 for light levels that I couldn't tell a difference. Run times even using to 123a batteries should crush the L2s'. Add in the better color of the light from the S11c v L2 and much lighter/smaller size of the S11, plus $11 vs even $50'ish for a used L2 and it's a no brainer why a normal person would pick the S11c.

The S11c came in a simple brown cardboard box with a Sofirn 3000mah battery, lanyard, USB cord, pocket clip and a single sheet instruction outline. All for $10.60 shipped. Unlike most zoomies on eBay and the like, this light has a memory for last level used. From off you can click once for memory level (30/300/1000) or click n hold to start at 1L, double click starts you in high & triple clicks you into strobe. From on you just hold the switch to cycle thru the 3(L/M/H) levels. Four clicks locks or unlocks the light. Charging is by USB and it has a magnetic tail cap.

Using another light with battery check, the light charged to 4.1v. I ran it on moonlight (1L) for two nights as a nightlight and used it at a couple of garage/estate sales and in the same test light is still is at 3.9v. The light does warm up quickly on high but I've yet to run it long enough to get hot or step down in output. Medium (300L) will warm the light to your touch after about 10min but it doesn't seem to get hot, at least so far. The zoom function is a twist action. Fully opened or zoomed give the best beams; at about 10ft fully open is about 3x the size of fully zoomed. I'd rate it a solid 50yd zoomed, 15yd opened on high light. Specs claim an IPx6 rating so rain shouldn't be a issue but NO DIVING! This more than meets my normal use for a light now.

I'm not giving up my good lights. My "normal" load is a Fenix E01 on my key ring, a Fenix E12v2 in the sheath with my Leatherman Surge and a Klarus SP10 clipped to my pocket. My SFX300 is on the pistol & the L2 tied off on the strap of my go bag, One is none and two is one as a well known firearms trainer likes to say, I believe him.

The S11c I got for under $11 from eBay is a good flashlight to lose while junk hunting, it's not my first or even fifth choice for problem solving but it will be the light I end up using most often, at least for now.
 

3_gun

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Jun 27, 2021
Messages
221
Added a second S11c for $10.25. Pretty much exactly a match with the first. May have a little bit more noticeable artifacts at points of the zoom but nothing to cause worry. Magnet IS stronger but again both work. Might get a couple more if the price stays low, use'm to replace the MagLites I have around the house. 2 for 2
 

3_gun

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Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
221
Having had this(these) lights in daily use now for over 6 weeks my first impression has gotten better. The Sofirn S11c is a great light. It is small for a zoomie based on a 18650 format. The light levels are well spaced and close to the claimed lumens. The UI is one of if not my out right favorite. Light weight, I often clip it to the neck line of my t or sweat shirt to keep it handy. Both have handled normal handling (knocked over,dropped,etc) with no issue. Plus the included battery really seems to perform like a 3k/mah battery should with good run time and reasonable recharge rates. Nothing about the way these lights have worked is bad. This light would be fine for 12 & up & priced low enough that everyone could have their own. It's not a Surefire, Fenix, Acebeam, etc level light but it is great at working well during normal around the house tasks & the price is (or was) fantastic

Spoiler Alert .. if you know me, are a friend or family member reading this with a B'day coming up or are in a gift exchange with me; you should be able to guess what you are going to receive.
 

cp2315

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Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
328
Location
New Jersey
I agree with you. We have gone through a long way in flashlights.
I like my sofirn s11c a lot. Use its low mode for ceiling bonce almost every night.
 

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