Poor Mans Zebralight?

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TxGoodfella
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Poor Mans Zebralight?

Is the Emisar D4 the nearest thing to a zebralight on a budget scale, or is there something similar or better for similar cost? I remember there used to be some manker model that was similar I believe that was pulled from production? Just exploring my options in a light this size, admittedly I’ve always wanted a zebralight but hesistant to spend $100 on something i may lose/drop carrying it around at work during service calls.

Any and all advice, opinions, suggestions are appreciated!

Thx Gents.

Pete7874
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Emisar makes a great light. I love my D4S.

I don’t know which Zebralight in particular you were comparing it to.

TxGoodfella
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I was honestly saying 18650 zebralights in general but if i was to bite the bullet the ZL SC600Fd Mk IV Plus 18650 XHP50 Floody 5000K High CRI tickles my fancy the most. 4500-5000k is my preferred tint and I am looking for my first decent CRI light. The 5000k nichia version would be my emisar choice, as i already have 2 xp-l hi lights.

Thx again for the input just gathering my options.

zak.wilson
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I’d say the D4 is a lot like a budget SC600Fd, yes.

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koziy
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It depends on what your budget is, and how a Zebralight appeals to you. In my opinion, no. I don’t think that any of the Emisars are directly comparable to any of the Zebralights, although they definitely share a size minimalism design philosophy. The light output from the D4 on turbo exceeds any Zebralight of its size except for the SC600+, but even then just barely. The D4 simply can’t maintain that brightness for long or thermally regulate as well as a ZL. If I have a Zebralight and D4 and set them both to high, the D4 starts out blindingly bright by comparison, but quickly becomes dimmer and hotter than the Zebralight. If you’re using it in lower modes, then you don’t have to worry about the heat as much, but it’s a very different kind of flashlight, much floodier and therefore less apparently bright than a comparable ZL.

IMO, there isn’t really such a thing as a poor man’s Zebralight. It’s kind of like the Apple of EDC flashlights: quirky but useful UI, streamlined, no fat, made of durable metal, powerful but not overclocked, and going their own way instead of following trends. However, the BLF A6 is a really good alternative that you can get for under $20 if you buy it straight from China (banggood.com — I promise it’s not a porn site). If you pick up a short accessory body tube and use an 18350 battery, you will have something in essentially the same size package as a ZL with a useful UI, good pocket clip, useful beam, albeit you’d lose a bit of runtime with the shorter 18350 battery, but the full length tube is not that big.

The Manker you mentioned — I believe you’re thinking of the U11 — it’s not really comparable. The overall length is comparable, the brightness and beam profile are similar, the button placement is similar and the clip is quite good, but the UI is not that appealing to me and the diameter at the front is wider than even the SC600. I bought one that I’m now selling in the classifieds here, so I am not a fan (otoh, if you really want one, you can buy mine for a deal). I do love my T01 II, but the U11 was not a home run for me.

smithd1
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+1 on not a good comparison.

Emisar is a pocket rocket that is not designed for durability or run time.

ZL is designed to last, making your investment worth while.

Adhara
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koziy wrote:
…In my opinion, no. I don’t think that any of the Emisars are directly comparable to any of the Zebralights, although they definitely share a size minimalism design philosophy.

IMO, there isn’t really such a thing as a poor man’s Zebralight. It’s kind of like the Apple of EDC flashlights: quirky but useful UI, streamlined, no fat, made of durable metal, powerful but not overclocked, and going their own way instead of following trends.

Pretty spot-on. It’s a very Kia vs Audi kind of difference.
Agro
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Adhara wrote:
koziy wrote:
…In my opinion, no. I don’t think that any of the Emisars are directly comparable to any of the Zebralights, although they definitely share a size minimalism design philosophy.

IMO, there isn’t really such a thing as a poor man’s Zebralight. It’s kind of like the Apple of EDC flashlights: quirky but useful UI, streamlined, no fat, made of durable metal, powerful but not overclocked, and going their own way instead of following trends.

Pretty spot-on. It’s a very Kia vs Audi kind of difference.

I would say Ultima vs. Audi kind of difference. One may not be as solidly built as the other but hey it gives you fun.
Spartan
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Emisar D4….I always wanted to carry 4000 lumens in a thumb size light…. Smile

This place is annoying…now there is ANOTHER light on my bucket list.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

Adhara
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Agro wrote:
Adhara wrote:

Pretty spot-on. It’s a very Kia vs Audi kind of difference.

I would say Ultima vs. Audi kind of difference. One may not be as solidly built as the other but hey it gives you fun.
Oh, make no mistake, I think the Emisar line is huge bang-for-the-buck, punches well over its price class in quality of build and feel. I think you meant Altima (Nissan): the Ultima is a quite pricey bad-ass rolling chasis supercar, more like a hot-rodded Vinh creation in the flashlight analogy world.
Agro
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No, I meant Ultima. It’s like $150K so about the same as top Audis. I guess Ultima vs. Bentley would be a better comparison. Or Lotus vs. Audi.

Adhara
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Agro wrote:
No, I meant Ultima. It’s like $150K so about the same as top Audis. I guess Ultima vs. Bentley would be a better comparison. Or Lotus vs. Audi.
Well, one can spend ~100k-200k+ on a rolling Ultima depending on setup (speaking from experience, I own one), but neither of the lights in question is analogous to a Bentley, I’d reserve that for the Muyshondt, Kemenes, etc. class of lights.
Agro
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There’s higher end than a Bugatti. Anyway the point was: it’s not just superb quality vs. good quality, both lights have their merits.

tm07
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Adhara wrote:
Agro wrote:
Adhara wrote:

Pretty spot-on. It’s a very Kia vs Audi kind of difference.

I would say Ultima vs. Audi kind of difference. One may not be as solidly built as the other but hey it gives you fun.
Oh, make no mistake, I think the Emisar line is huge bang-for-the-buck, punches well over its price class in quality of build and feel. I think you meant Altima (Nissan): the Ultima is a quite pricey bad-ass rolling chasis supercar, more like a hot-rodded Vinh creation in the flashlight analogy world.

+1 Thumbs Up
tim70
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tm07 wrote:
Adhara wrote:
Agro wrote:
Adhara wrote:

Pretty spot-on. It’s a very Kia vs Audi kind of difference.

I would say Ultima vs. Audi kind of difference. One may not be as solidly built as the other but hey it gives you fun.
Oh, make no mistake, I think the Emisar line is huge bang-for-the-buck, punches well over its price class in quality of build and feel. I think you meant Altima (Nissan): the Ultima is a quite pricey bad-ass rolling chasis supercar, more like a hot-rodded Vinh creation in the flashlight analogy world.

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Pavlo
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I think you need to look at what sets Zebralight apart from other lights in order to answer your question.
To me, the following things set it apart:
-Super efficient buck/boost drivers
-Regulated output at all settings (cooling required at highest settings)
-Amazing and compact build quality
-Amazing UI
-Various Emitter, CRI, and CCT options
-Various Sizes and battery versions

If you can find a light that strikes the balance of characteristics above at a cheaper price, then I guess a poor man’s Zebralight exists.
The Emisar D4 is a completely different light that cannot output regulated light at higher settings, doesn’t have a buck/boost driver, build quality is inferior.
What the Emisar D4 does share is great emitter options, and great UI, and benefits from 4 LED’s for higher max output.

In my opinion, a poor man’s Zebralight is a used one you find for sale here at BLF or CPF, or an older model thats discounted on their website.
Armytek has some lights with good buck/boost drivers, and build quality is also very good, but not quite as refined as a Zebralight. Armytek often has promotions so you could potentially get one at a very good price.

The other way to access a poor man’s Zebralight is to trim down on budget lights and buy yourself a Zebralight.

I believe Manker does use very good and efficient drivers, but the LED options are very limited. The Manker UI is not for everyone and there have been many complaining that the button on Mankers is not durable.

All in all, it depends on what you value most and what you are willing to compromise on. I would personally rather eat at home and skip the restaurant 2-3 times and then buy a Zebralight instead.

chadvone
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D4 Parties harder.

fazalmajid
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They are not directly comparable. The Emisar is much chunkier, and the extra thermal mass means it doesn’t heat up as ridiculously fast as the ZL on max. It is also throwy-er.

koziy
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fazalmajid wrote:
They are not directly comparable. The Emisar is much chunkier, and the extra thermal mass means it doesn’t heat up as ridiculously fast as the ZL on max. It is also throwy-er.

Surely you’re thinking of the D4S, not the D4? The D4 is basically the same size/shape as your average ZL and it gets way hotter, much faster than any ZL on high.

fazalmajid
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koziy wrote:
fazalmajid wrote:
They are not directly comparable. The Emisar is much chunkier, and the extra thermal mass means it doesn’t heat up as ridiculously fast as the ZL on max. It is also throwy-er.

Surely you’re thinking of the D4S, not the D4? The D4 is basically the same size/shape as your average ZL and it gets way hotter, much faster than any ZL on high.

You’re right. I’ve only had the D4Ti (SST-20 4K) a few days. It’s heavier than my ZL SC600FdIV+, probably due to the copper head, but the exact same size. It also heats up faster (then again it’s nearly twice as bright), because Ti doesn’t conduct heat as well as Cu or Al.

mihlit
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I think it depends what you expect from a flashlight, what makes it the best for you. I have bought one emisar, one ZL first. After that, I bought another emisar and decided not to buy any ZL (at least until they make some significant change). Their original UI is just terrible. The programmable one is ok-ish. Still, I can choose from several led emitters, clear/frosted optic and I can have 2x D4 for price of 1 ZL. Easy choice for me. YMMV

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+1 Thumbs Up I agree!

Agro
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fazalmajid wrote:
koziy wrote:
fazalmajid wrote:
They are not directly comparable. The Emisar is much chunkier, and the extra thermal mass means it doesn’t heat up as ridiculously fast as the ZL on max. It is also throwy-er.

Surely you’re thinking of the D4S, not the D4? The D4 is basically the same size/shape as your average ZL and it gets way hotter, much faster than any ZL on high.

You’re right. I’ve only had the D4Ti (SST-20 4K) a few days. It’s heavier than my ZL SC600FdIV+, probably due to the copper head, but the exact same size. It also heats up faster (then again it’s nearly twice as bright), because Ti doesn’t conduct heat as well as Cu or Al.


Actually it’s the other way around.
If material conducts heat better, the surface will heat up faster. Your D4 heats up fast because it’s superb thermally and very bright but not really efficient.
fazalmajid
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Agro wrote:
Actually it’s the other way around. If material conducts heat better, the surface will heat up faster. Your D4 heats up fast because it’s superb thermally and very bright but not really efficient.

I meant the copper head on the D4Ti heats up very quickly, to a dangerous point, but the titanium body remains relatively cool. On the ZL the whole body heats up, if less quickly than the Emisar.

zak.wilson
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Back to comparability… I think it’s a matter of perspective.

From a practical use perspective, a D4 and a frosted SC600 series work well for pretty much the same things. The Zebralight is more efficient, has stable output in all modes, and has a lower low. The Emisar has a higher high and some more optic/emitter options. They’re both floody lights with optional high-CRI, about the same size, have shortcut-based UIs. There’s not much you’d do with one where the other would be a bad option except, perhaps loaning to the uninitiated where the D4 could be more dangerous.

From the perspective of why you’d buy one or the other aside from being suitable for some lighting task, the two are quite different, and I see no need to repeat the differences here.

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Why choose? You need to buy a few different flashlights …
I have SC600w, D4, D4s and many more and I do not have to wonder which one I should choose. How cool it is to have it and that’s it.

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WalkIntoTheLight
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Don’t worry so much about the price. Get the 600w HI or Plus, or the 64w HI, and you’ll be a lot more happy with it than several budget lights that don’t quite measure up.

The real problem is stopping buying so many damn Zebralights!

My first suggestion is get the SC64w HI. It’s a fantastic all-purpose light. If you find you want something a little better for outdoors, then get the SC600w IV HI. Fantastic pocket light for a little throw outdoors, while still being useful for closer distances. Or get the SC600w IV Plus, if you need a lot of output in a small light; it’s probably closest to the Emisar D4.

Besides the great programmable user-interface, the best thing about Zebras is their efficiency and flat regulated output. I like having 2300 lumens, whether my battery is full or almost empty.

Budget lights with their FET drivers are impressive on a full battery, but it’s annoying that they dim so fast and go through batteries so quickly.

Agro
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fazalmajid wrote:
Agro wrote:
Actually it’s the other way around. If material conducts heat better, the surface will heat up faster. Your D4 heats up fast because it’s superb thermally and very bright but not really efficient.

I meant the copper head on the D4Ti heats up very quickly, to a dangerous point, but the titanium body remains relatively cool. On the ZL the whole body heats up, if less quickly than the Emisar.

Yes…copper is very conductive, unlike Ti. Furthermore there’s threading between the head and the tube on Emisar but not on a Zebra.

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If you can keep(care) your flashlight/headlamp, you should get ZL. It’s a very cheap investment if you think the money spent per uses over time. Definitely incomparable to Emisar. The closest to “budget ZL” is Skilhunt H series.

EDIT: If you need throwaway headlamps (seriously, this happened to me many times) just get Energizer. There was a time period when I had to armed my men for night shift works. They were super careless bunch of workers, treated the tools as nail and hammer. Use them, get the jobs done, period.

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Zebralight UI does not have a ramping even as an option….pretty last decade….(even if it did it would not ramp up to half of the competition Wink ) and potting your driver with some putty does not make it mil-spec….people bitch about zebralight problems here often….its all pretty much the same CE stuff from China, just a little different design ‘philosophy’…..(OH! ….and the brand loyalists.)

waloshin
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tundraotto wrote:
Zebralight UI does not have a ramping even as an option….pretty last decade….(even if it did it would not ramp up to half of the competition Wink ) and potting your driver with some putty does not make it mil-spec….people bitch about zebralight problems here often….its all pretty much the same CE stuff from China, just a little different design ‘philosophy’…..(OH! ….and the brand loyalists.)

I know you are just looking to start a fight between people, but what is better than a Zebralight for the price?

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