ZL sc52 vs sc53

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smithd1
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ZL sc52 vs sc53

I see the size difference.
I don’t see much difference in UI.
Obviously 14500 difference.

Any other differences?
Which did you like better? Why?

Noir
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There is a big difference in UI. The SC52 only has the traditional ZL UI (now called G5), the SC53 additionally has G6 and G7 which are fully programmable, you can program any of the 6 slots (H1, H2, M1...) to any of the 12 brightness levels. This is pretty neat because you can program it to your liking, for example:

single click (H1 & H2) set to low levels, press and hold (L1 & L2) set to medium levels and double click (M1 & M2) set to high levels.

or H1 set to low, L1 set to medium, M1 set to high and H2, L2 & M2 all set to max. This way max is always only a double click away.

or put the six lowest levels in the six slots for late night indoor usage (or the six highest modes for outdoor usage).

or set all six slots to the same (safe) medium level. This makes it effectively a single mode light which you then can safely lend to inexperienced users.

or...

Other differences:

SC52 is a bit cheaper (it is currently the cheapest ZL, together with the H52 and H52F), has 14500 support and is brighter with one (but only for a minute, SC5 Mk II is even brighter with NiMH and lasts 3 min), only comes in cold white with low CRI (a deal breaker for me).

SC53 looks (IMHO) a bit better, comes in neutral white (and high CRI) and has the fully programmable UI.

The SC5 Mk. II is also a good option as it is a decent bit brighter than SC53 and SC52 (with NiMH), but it is a little bit larger & heavier and costs more.

toddcshoe
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I have a SC52w which is quite pleasant in NW. Has a great beam and tint. 14500 is a bonus but I don’t find myself using the highest more very often. Older Ui that doesn’t bother me really. Not sure if you can find the SC52w anymore. Saw a few on eBay a while back but they were kinda pricey.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

smithd1
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Ya…I can’t find a 52w…but zl has the 52L2 on sale.

I have a 64w and love it but have the itch for another.

Can’t decide

toddcshoe
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Just got my 64w, yes it is a great light. Love it. Debating on the 700. Looks bigger than I am willing to carry though.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

smithd1
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I’m debating that one as well.

Not a good carry size and too small for general purpose.

I think I want it just cause I don’t have a 21700 light.

xevious
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smithd1 wrote:
Ya…I can’t find a 52w…but zl has the 52L2 on sale.

I have a 64w and love it but have the itch for another.

Can’t decide


I have an SC52w up for sale, in case you might be interested.
Firelight2
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Anyone actually tried 14500 in an SC53?

Does it work?
Is it brighter?
Does it fry the driver?

xevious
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Firelight2 wrote:
Anyone actually tried 14500 in an SC53?

Does it work?
Is it brighter?
Does it fry the driver?


From what I’ve seen, whenever Zebralight has an AA flashlight product page, the detail indicates:
Battery: One AA size NiMH, lithium or alkaline battery.
So, lithium means 14500.
Output may be greater with a lithium cell, depending upon the model. Zebralight is excellent with voltage management and efficiency.
Rayoui
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I would think lithium is referring to AA lithium primaries, like this one. It does specifically say “AA” and not 14500 or Li-ion.

Kindle
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xevious wrote:
From what I’ve seen, whenever Zebralight has an AA flashlight product page, the detail indicates: Battery: One AA size NiMH, lithium or alkaline battery. So, lithium means 14500. Output will be greater, depending upon the model. Zebralight is excellent with voltage management so I don’t think you’ll fry the driver.

In this case lithium means 1.7v lithium primaries.

The SC52 was the last to support 14500s.

From the specifications:

Operating Voltage Range: 0.7V – 2.0V

Firelight2
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Kindle wrote:
xevious wrote:
From what I’ve seen, whenever Zebralight has an AA flashlight product page, the detail indicates: Battery: One AA size NiMH, lithium or alkaline battery. So, lithium means 14500. Output will be greater, depending upon the model. Zebralight is excellent with voltage management so I don’t think you’ll fry the driver.

In this case lithium means 1.7v lithium primaries.

The SC52 was the last to support 14500s.

From the specifications:

Operating Voltage Range: 0.7V – 2.0V


Yup. It’s pretty clear from Zebralight’s literature that they only support AA and specifically do NOT support 14500 in the SC53. Hence the voltage range ending at 2.0V.

My question is has anyone actually TRIED a 14500 in theirs to see what happens.

xevious
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Kindle wrote:
In this case lithium means 1.7v lithium primaries.

The SC52 was the last to support 14500s.

From the specifications:

Operating Voltage Range: 0.7V – 2.0V

Thanks for the correction. Well, I feel stupid. I had no idea there were 1.7v lithium primaries in AA form.

The Zebralight spec sheet battery column doesn’t show 14500, but in the comments you can find two models that have a mention of 14500 support. Namely, H52 and SC52, both discontinued. I wonder why, with ZL having the hardware to support 14500 developed, they ended up abandoning it with the H53 and SC53.

Firelight2
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Good questions.

As-is this new SC53w is incredibly underwhelming.

Also, I don’t think the output is the 300+ lumens advertised. It looks more like 100 lumens to me. This is dimmer than AA lights I bought 10 years ago.

Firelight2
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I tried my SC53w on 14500 today.

Preliminary results: It works perfectly on 14500! All modes function properly. Max output looks comparable to my SC5wII. My guess is 500 lumens like the SC52w….. that’s a substantial improvement to the 200-300 lumens it outputs on AA.

I also experienced an issue similar to what Msf on CPF Forum experienced. Immediately, after running the light on 14500, the light initially malfunctions when a 1.5v AA is inserted. It starts at the 500 lumen turbo, but then within a couple seconds ramps down to med, then to low, then turns off.

But this problem is not serious. After removing the cell and reinserting, the light stabilizes and starts operating at the normal 200 lumen expected output on AA. It appears to take maybe 15 seconds or so before the light configures itself for AA and starts functioning properly again.

My guess is Zebralight used almost the same driver from the SC52. They probably designed it to support 14500, but experienced the same issue we experienced. The problem might have been caused by different parts used on the driver board compared to the SC52, or maybe it is a programming issue on the MCU. Either way, I suspect rather than fixing it they just decided to drop support for 14500.

I haven’t tried running my SC53w for an extensive period on 14500 yet, but so far it’s looking good. I’m running on a Vapcell button-top 1050 mAh L10 cell. Unlike the SC52w, the SC53w did not work with flat tops.