How Zebralight ended my flashlight collecting...(For Now)

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Dman7777
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How Zebralight ended my flashlight collecting...(For Now)

I started down this rabbit hole of Flashaholism last August and bought 20+ flashlights, what a great new Hobby, I truly discovered a new world of illumination!!
I was having a difficult time following the rule of only having one flashlight order shipping to me at a time. My collection was growing fast:

  • Emisar D4
  • BLF Q8
  • BLF A6 (2)
  • Lumintop tool
  • Skilhunt H03
  • BLF 348 – (got lucky to actually get one)
  • Convoy s2+
  • Jetbeam Jet-1 MK
  • Convoy C8
  • Haiklite SC02
  • Acebeam H10
  • Astrolux A01
  • On the Road M3
  • Preon P1
  • Olight I3S EO
  • Olight Seeker R50 pro LE
  • Olight S1A Black
  • Olight S1A Limited Edition Copper
  • Olight S Mini Copper

I had always been intrigued by the absolute devotion that Zebralight owners had for their lights, and decided to buy one…OK two. It took me a long time to pick, but I decided on The following models:

H600Fw Mk IV 18650 XHP35 Floody Neutral White Headlamp
SC64w 18650 XHP35 Neutral White Flashlight

I ordered mine February 4 and recieved them quickly on February 12, 2018.
Since receiving and getting familiar with these lights I have not ordered another flashlight, and don’t have any desire to do so. Here is why:

UI….before I got the Zebras obviously the Q8 and D4 were tops in terms of UI, but the more I use the Zebralight the more I prefer this UI. It is simple, and quick and it becomes 2nd nature like no other light I have used. Ramping is nice, but I honestly prefer just have 3 easy to use and find levels. I use the SC64W every single day and I seem to love it more every day.

Ergonomics….This light just feels right it is great in the hand or pocket, and the button is the best of any light that I own by far.
This is a unbelievably compact 18650 flashlight. It makes the smaller battery lights almost obsolete. I don’t see much benefit to give up 18650 power levels for something that is only slightly more pocket-able.

Efficiency: the Zebralight driver is Godlike, It seems like i Never need to charge this light.

Tint: mine is perfect I Think the XHP35 at 4500K is my ideal LED

Powerful: 1400 Lumens is nothing to sneeze at in a package this small

Build quality: probably better than any other light that I own it feels like its carved from granite.

If you are considering one of these guys go for it, I find it almost perfect.
The only Light that I am really interested in at this point is some sort of 30,000+ Lumen super flooder

I also Posted this on Reddit…sorry if you get overexposed

Edited by: Dman7777 on 04/10/2018 - 18:56
Pavlo
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The AA Zebralights are even smaller. My H53c makes my H600fc feel very big in comparison. Overall, I agree with you… I believe in general you get what you pay for, and Zebralight is almost perfect. Amazing driver efficiency, super compact, very bright, PID, fantastic construction and long term reliability.

The only thing they are missing is Nichia emiters, for best colour rendition and tint.

Firelight2
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I’m also EDCing an SC64w.

Great light. Very small and bright.

That said, the ergonomics aren’t perfect for me. I don’t use the clip, so having the clip installed is just wasted weight. But I leave it installed because removing it exposes the sharp corners of the clip mount.

Also the complete lack of knurling means the light doesn’t feel super-secure in the hand. I’ve already had it squirt out of my hand once resulting in a 4-foot drop onto a wooden floor. Fortunately, the light suffered no damage. Not even a scratch.

RobertB
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I agree with everything you say. I love the Zebralights too. I have the SC600w III HI, SC600Fd III Plus, H600Fd III, and the H603d (mule).

Was thinking about buying the SC64w, but worried about tint shift. Could you or someone post a white wall and an outdoor beamshot for me? Tint shift is something I can’t deal with, which is why I won’t buy anything with a .2 emitter in it.

Thanks

Dman7777
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I will give it a shot later today.

dealgrabber2002
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I had Zebralights since they first introduced the H50, truly no hotspot headlamp (sadly I sold it, regret it). I now have H51wF and H51w.

Been wanting the SC80, which can use AA or CR123. Those are very hard to find.

Great compact lights.

jon_slider
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RobertB wrote:
beamshot

click pick for the review

Pavlo wrote:
they are missing is Nichia emiters, for best colour rendition and tint.

yes Smile
Zebra prioritizes the max brightness spec, that most buyers focus on.
WalkIntoTheLight
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Yes, although I have plenty of other lights that are fun to play with, I always come back to my Zebras when I want something for serious use. They’re miles ahead of all others. Pricey, but worth it.

ToyKeeper
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FWIW, if you like the ZebraLight UI, there’s a way to use it on the D4 and Q8 too.

RobertB
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jon_slider wrote:
RobertB wrote:
beamshot
click pick for the review “ “:https://zeroair.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/zebralight-sc63w-flashlight-rev...

Thanks Jon, I’ve see his beamshots before. Compares everything with that blf 348. He never posts beamshots by themselves and never any outdoor shots. The camera will do weird things with side by side shots like that. Would like to see it by itself, especially outdoors, where it will be used.

Here’s my BLF 348. I don’t think it looks as purple as his does. (standard white ceiling)

sesgum
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Have to agree with you. I got my sc600w III HI two years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I got it after my sc600 mark I, which is still actively used from time to time.

Unfortunately it did not stop me from buying more lights. Well, it is not capable of doing everything

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PS.

those BLF 348’s are avail on Bangood at $12.50AUD.

Personally I prefer a SkyRay S-R5 with Neutral and XP-L hi is my perfect torch. Just “fits” my hand.
With my latest Sofurn C8T as an Allrounder.
Thank god for individual choices hey.

beam0
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Firelight2 wrote:
I’m also EDCing an SC64w………………….. ………………the complete lack of knurling means the light doesn’t feel super-secure in the hand.

The lack of knurling on the SC64w is a huge let down for me. It’s otherwise nearly perfect but I somehow can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money and get no knurling at all, what were they thinking? Just a pity the SC600 and SC5w are both knurled and this one isn’t.

Same issue I have with the Emisar D4.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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I had this happen to me once a few years back. I bought 2 Sunwayman V10R Ti’s with variable infinite brightness control ring.
Modded with a Nichia 219 4500k. Perfect tint with the perfect amount of light for any task right at your finger tips, besides searching (Not much of a thrower). Big Smile
Tough as a light can be. A few minor scratches from carrying in my pocket, but nothing like a aluminum anodized light. EDC’ed it several years without buying a single light. I actually even stopped coming here. Then I stop in to BLF one day and see all these wonderful new improvements and here we go again. I have ordered close to 20 new lights since Christmas of last year. I thought I was done but apparently not.
.
When you find that perfect light such as the zebra light, it’s like the search is finally over but eventually there’s something better that will come along. Maybe even a newer model of the same light. Glad you found your Holy Grail of flashlight’s. It’s a Nice feeling to have. Wink

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It’s nice to know that this phenomenon happens to others.
I used to be insane with buying, modding, selling, it was a dark time in my life despite all the lights.
Then I got an SC62d and it all stopped. There was an SC52 in there also.
After a couple/few years mostly out of the hobby I got on BLF because I really do like flashlights and it busies my minds and hands to mod them or come up with grand plans.
Seeing all the cool things that all the smart folks here do is inspirational. Very excited about programming a driver, still waiting for that clip to arrive. Any day now!
I’m thinking about a new SC64w, not for the “because it’s the new model” reason, but because I start thinking about how I’m paying dearly for my 300 lumens with the Luxeon T and could probably get twice the lumens for the same mAh with the SC64.

charles lin
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RobertB wrote:
…….Was thinking about buying the SC64w, but worried about tint shift. Could you or someone post a white wall and an outdoor beamshot for me? Tint shift is something I can’t deal with, which is why I won’t buy anything with a .2 emitter in it.

Thanks


Not sure if these help. FWIW>>>>
not my pictures! Star 感謝電筒王lusan_senna兄的照片!!

SC64w by Cree XHP35 NW 4500K (1400lm)


sovereignknight
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I gotta say, after buying my first Zebralight, SC5w MK II, I have been impressed so far! So my next logical choice is a 18650 one. I’ve already got another thread going figuring out what to buy. I’ve received allot of helpful opinions on the matter. I will be picking up a SC600 variant as soon as I can. I have a feeling it will be my favorite 18650 EDC. The Jaxman E2L’s might end up neglected for a while after I get one. LOL.

Yes, ZL’s are expensive, and yes I scoffed at the prices at one time, however now I am beginning to see why Zebralights command the prices that they do.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  x2 Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 - x1 Lumintop ODL20C - x1 Lumintop GT mini - Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

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Ahhhhhhh stop talking about these zebras, this is going to cost me money again. Where’s the good old blf, where we were happy with a crappy sk98. Facepalm

sovereignknight
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I have like, 6 modded SK68’s and two modded SK98’s. They where my first li-ion lights. I remember when I was blown away by the brightness after I hot rodded them. Now it’s old news lol.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  x2 Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 - x1 Lumintop ODL20C - x1 Lumintop GT mini - Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

beam0
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If only someone else made a decent budget priced 18650 light under 96mm length with side switch and a decent driver and UI.
Or even half the price of a ZL, which still isn’t budget.

There’s only one already, but it has a reputation of switch failure.

Ohh dream I will.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

WalkIntoTheLight
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beam0 wrote:
If only someone else made a decent budget priced 18650 light under 96mm length with side switch and a decent driver and UI.
Or even half the price of a ZL, which still isn’t budget.

There’s only one already, but it has a reputation of switch failure.

Ohh dream I will.

The problem with most budget XML and XPL lights is that FET drivers and linear drivers aren’t very efficient, and aren’t very well regulated. Zebralight has very efficient and well regulated boost drivers to power the XHP emitters.

I like FET drivers, but only with a fully charged battery. I’m less impressed with 7135 linear drivers, although run time is a bit better. OTOH, I know my Zebralights will put out a constant bright output until the battery is dead, and do it for a long time.

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charles lin wrote:
RobertB wrote:
…….Was thinking about buying the SC64w, but worried about tint shift. Could you or someone post a white wall and an outdoor beamshot for me? Tint shift is something I can’t deal with, which is why I won’t buy anything with a .2 emitter in it.

Thanks


Not sure if these help. FWIW>>>>
not my pictures! Star 感謝電筒王lusan_senna兄的照片!!

SC64w by Cree XHP35 NW 4500K (1400lm)


Thanks for posting those. Looks like a fair amount of tint shift, although it’s hard to tell on those multi-colored floors and tiled walls. But looks like a big yellow ring in the middle. Think I will pass on this light until I see some more picts.

ToyKeeper
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beam0 wrote:
If only someone else made a decent budget priced 18650 light under 96mm length with side switch and a decent driver and UI. Or even half the price of a ZL, which still isn’t budget.

There’s also the Olight S2. It’s pretty good.

Or the D4, if a FET+1 quad is close enough to the spec.

My favorite 1×18650 light so far is the FW3A, but it’s not out yet. And some may not like the rear switch, but I prefer it.

beam0
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ToyKeeper wrote:
beam0 wrote:
If only someone else made a decent budget priced 18650 light under 96mm length with side switch and a decent driver and UI. Or even half the price of a ZL, which still isn’t budget.

There’s also the Olight S2. It’s pretty good.

Or the D4, if a FET+1 quad is close enough to the spec.

I have two Olight S20’s but don’t use them anymore since I discovered neutral tint many years ago. I’m using an On The Road M6 which is an excellent clone of the S20, budget priced and offered in 3C/5C tints.

The S2 is great now that it’s slightly shorter (103mm) but I’ve been waiting for five years for Olight to offer a NW version and they still don’t.

But in the never ending quest for the most compact 18650 light, the Zebralight SC64 (92.5 mm) and DQG Tiny 4th (87mm) are the “leaders of the pack” Coming in second are the D4 (94mm) and SC600 (96mm) but both have larger heads (28-30mm)

.
D4… I’ve been on the fence with that one ever since it came out, at $60 for an XPL-HI I’d probably just save up for the ZL SC600, but for $40 I really need to just break down and get one in Nichia. I’ve been trying to study the UI, which seems pretty good, if I’m correct:

D4 Basic functions:

  • 1-click…………memorized level
  • 2-clicks………..max level (from there 2-clicks again to mem level)
  • Long press……Lowest level
  • Anytime it’s on long-press to begin ramping.
  • Anytime it’s on 1-click to OFF

Correct?

(Plus all the “gingerbread” functions)

.

ToyKeeper wrote:
My favorite 1×18650 light so far is the FW3A, but it’s not out yet. And some may not like the rear switch, but I prefer it.
I’m also on the list for that one, hopefully it stays at around 95mm length as projected.

I do like side switches but a tail switch is a must for a light I need to turn on in total darkness. What I really like about the FW3A is the tail e-switch. I have a few (UltraFire) budget lights with tail e-switch and although they’re pretty lame as far as output/tint/UI and build quality, they have nicest tail switches ever, truly a pleasure to use.

On the UF’s the whole driver is in the tail, no wires leading to the head. If I understand correctly the FW3A can’t do it that way because the temperature sensor needs to be out front in the head.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

ToyKeeper
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If the FW3A was going to be out soon, I’d suggest just waiting for that… but I have no idea how long that’ll take. In the mean time, the other options all have various drawbacks and tend to require modding to get them to a more ideal state. I’m picky.

On the D4, the stock firmware is pretty boring, and I find the lockout too slow. I like it a lot better after reflashing, but it still has no good clip options and I find it a bit heavy for EDC. The basic operation is pretty simple though, as you described. A shorter way to put it is “click for on/off, hold to change brightness”. Plus double click to toggle turbo.

If you end up reflashing one, it can also accept a variety of other interfaces. The extra UIs haven’t been widely used or widely tested, but there is one which is a near-exact clone of ZebraLight’s 2016 interface. But I personally like Anduril more and, in particular, I use its candle mode a lot.

beam0
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ToyKeeper wrote:
If the FW3A was going to be out soon, I’d suggest just waiting for that… but I have no idea how long that’ll take. In the mean time, the other options all have various drawbacks and tend to require modding to get them to a more ideal state. I’m picky.

On the D4, the stock firmware is pretty boring, and I find the lockout too slow. I like it a lot better after reflashing, but it still has no good clip options and I find it a bit heavy for EDC. The basic operation is pretty simple though, as you described. A shorter way to put it is “click for on/off, hold to change brightness”. Plus double click to toggle turbo.

If you end up reflashing one, it can also accept a variety of other interfaces. The extra UIs haven’t been widely used or widely tested, but there is one which is a near-exact clone of ZebraLight’s 2016 interface. But I personally like Anduril more and, in particular, I use its candle mode a lot.

Thanks, not sure I’d be able to reflash, sounds complicated and requiring special equipment?

Also what happened to the green color D4’s? (my favorite color of it, the only color I was interested in)

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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The smooth green ones were replaced by grainy green… and I guess maybe the grainy green ones didn’t sell well? Maybe they’re temporarily out of stock? I really don’t know.

I need to open up all my Emisars again to update the firmware. I’ve been putting it off for months. It’s not as easy as a Q8, since the parts are soldered and tightly packed.

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I hear ya…. I settled (for home) on an SC600w mkIII HI ( i would trade for cool if there is such a thing) and an SC600Fd IV plus (again, I could do without the ‘d’)
One punches like mad, the other floods like mad. I call them Yin and Yang. I sold a few other lights as it seemed there was too much overlap… and I bought a BLF GT to go with the Q8

Those two ZL seem like allll I need here. I was thinking of making a little ring that would extend the tailcap just enough to allow longer batteries….

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ToyKeeper wrote:
The smooth green ones were replaced by grainy green… and I guess maybe the grainy green ones didn’t sell well? Maybe they’re temporarily out of stock? I really don’t know.

Not sure what’s going on but it doesn’t look good, both sellers (Mtn and I-O) are no longer showing green as an option. Only Black, Grey and Cyan.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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I too felt the same way when I got my ZebraLight SC62w – how could there be better EDC out there! It came flawless and the tint was awesome – a slight rosy tint, no green at all. It’s super light weight without a battery, has a nice pocket clip, a great UI, super low moonlight, and a very nice beam profile. And the thermal regulation is also great – barely noticeable, and holds the maximum lumens without worry.

I would not hesitate to give this flashlight with an unprotected battery to anyone due to the thermal regulation and LVP.

My only complaint is that it’s very slippery! It has slipped out of my hands numerous times to the point where I put on a lanyard just in case.

Although the tint is very nice, the CRI is not as nice as some of the Nichia flashlights I’ve built. And even though this may never happen in a ZebraLight, I really like to have a lighted switch with my flashlights to locate them in the middle of the night and that I think it looks pretty cool.

Luckily my beloved SC62w was happily acquired by my wife. She likes the side switch and the UI. I’m glad it continues to be used rather than sitting on a shelf.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

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beam0 wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
The smooth green ones were replaced by grainy green… and I guess maybe the grainy green ones didn’t sell well? Maybe they’re temporarily out of stock? I really don’t know.

Not sure what’s going on but it doesn’t look good, both sellers (Mtn and I-O) are no longer showing green as an option. Only Black, Grey and Cyan.


RMM has previously christened it as ‘The Chinese way of doing business’.

As with the Meteors, the first to be released revealed issues to be corrected, the V2 models had the best quality anodizing. Color varieties and emitter options expanded, the finish work was stunning at first, then became less satisfactory to some of us.
Richard had to discount some lighter colored versions to get rid of them. When the price was lowered 50 bucks to match the Manker response to the Meteor, corners had to be cut.

HWangs’ lights are milestones, his reputation unique, almost hero-like, but he does have to compete after all.
Meteors are about as flawless as you could hope for, but a pattern seems to have been set.

Is Mother Nature impressed by opinions/+vice versa?

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