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

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.

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.

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 1x18650 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 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


(Plus all the “gingerbread” functions)


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.

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)

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.

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….

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.

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.

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.

If they were going to discontinue the green color I wish they would have made it known in advance. Not sure how that works though in the grand scheme of retailing.

But had I known the green was going bye bye, it most likely would have caused me to “fall off the fence” and grab one while I could. When you think an item (for the most part) is always going to be available, you get a feeling you can take all the time you need to decide.

I’ve got an SC52w and even though it’s supposed to be Hi-Cri “neutral white”, the tint is a bit more greenish than on Nichia lights I own. The button control is super. I like that classic design that Zebralight is reusing on most of their lights.

My only real complaint is that on high it tends to get very warm in short order… faster than I’d expect for the lumens produced.

The SC52w isn’t high-CRI. However, the SC52c and SC52d are.

Doesn’t mean they won’t be green though. I’ve heard ZL’s high-CRI options, especially the older ones, were pretty green.

ZL offered a SC52c…?

Hmm, maybe not. There was a SC52d though, and it’s weird that they’d offer the ‘d’ version without a matching ‘c’ version. I wonder why they did that.

Thanks for the correction. Meant to say neutral white.

Anyone have success modifying ZL’s? The AA form factor looks like it’s a no-go… can’t see any easy way to access the emitter without damaging the light.

The SC600 MK3 HI remains my favorite light, with ROT66 SST20 4000k 95cri behind it.

It’s as you said, the UI, size, build quality, tint, efficiency, build quality are all top notch. Nothing quite comes close to performing as well in a complete package.

The SC52d used a Phillips Luxeon emitter, then ZL switched to CREE for later models. CREE offers a wider range of HiCri emitters, and suffer less lumen loss when compared to standard and ‘w’ emitters.
Another complaint from some people about the Luxeon was due to the smaller hotspot.

Beware :smiling_imp: