Do we have any sense of whether the waterproofing failures are a design issue (in which case it would pay to wait for Rev 02) or "just" a QA issue?
A QA issue most certainly, as all lights are designed the same, but only some of them leak. Besides, there were recent reports of H600 leaking or having disturbing amounts water vapor sealed inside the head. ZL should look into this more closely—one more model sporting similar amount of defective units, and their reputation will be soiled beyond repair.
Thanks Ezekiel for the wax idea..
I'm nervous about my h501w and H51 leaking.
Wax seems like non permanent preemptive solution.
Also the suck test is brilliant.
The waterproofness issue is keeping me from buying a 502 as a gift.
Gonna wait a bit I think and also for the W.
I just don't see wax as the answer. Maybe that's my own short sightedness. Wax can shrink when it gets cool, expand and liquify when hot (and the head of a ZL can get very hot). While I prefer to return defectives, if you really want to "pre-fix" your ZL, investigate elastomeric caulk, or silicone adhesive. These remain somewhat flexible.
But why fix it yourself? Send it back to ZL and make a statement that they haven't got it right. They fixed the early H501 problem and other waterproofing problems with mfg changes. This seems to be their SOP: early shipments aren't reliably sealed, they get lots of returns and complaints, and then they fix the manufacturing process. Even tho it hasn't happened to me (yet) I'm furious that we are getting so many reports of ingress. Why does ZL have to keep making the same dumb mistake of insufficient seals. To me this says they are not learning from past mistakes, which borders on unforgivable.
You could also use silicone caulk, which I think would be more resilient than wax. I agree that ZL should fix this, however, as the longer they have problems the worse it's going to hurt them in the long term.
Maratac AAA Cu w/ Nichia 219; Zebralight H51Fw; Surefire C2 w/ Nichia 219 drop-in.
One thing I know for sure: we always hear about the problems but almost never about the good lights. Not that I don't want to hear about the problems I might encounter, I just mean that it should not be a strict measure of quality since we have no way of knowing the proportion of good/bad.
Mine is in the mail. I'll double check it to be on the safe side, but I'm not losing faith yet. After all my SC51C, H51FW and H31r are just fine.
oh.. peeps misunderstood me, I put wax on all the shiny bits, the lens, and anything else I didn't want the glue to stick to
I then dripped a slight amount of glue to fill the space/crack between the silver lens cap/ring and the body of the light, a very slight suck on the end of the tube (wrapped on a plastic bag as to not get silicone gel on my lips /yuck) and then I wiped all the wax off with the excess glue stuck to it
why didn't I just send it back? because I was comfortable sealing it myself, but I admit silicone gel would have been an excellent substitute for glue!!!
I'm more concerned about metal shavings causing a short, but hey, that's what warranties are for.
Ah, yes, that makes much more sense.
Maratac AAA Cu w/ Nichia 219; Zebralight H51Fw; Surefire C2 w/ Nichia 219 drop-in.
I'd surely send a defective or leaky one back if it was a model they still made
here are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't
Whew...what a thread! I appreciate everyone's feedback and beam shots. After much debating I finally decided to go with the H502. If I personally find it too floody during my backpacking trips, I look forward to getting a HL51 as I'm sure they'll both get used.
My outdoor setup is an H51fw mounted up front and an SC51c mounted on the side. Also, most Quarks and Surefires can be mounted on the bill of a ballcap.
Good work! Very sensible process. I also worked out the vaccum (suck) test as a safer test before going swimming with my H51Fc.Originally Posted by Ezeriel
I plan on using silcone caulk if any seal issues ever come up.
Any word on when that Texas factory is coming online?
I definitely want an H502c.
Last edited by eh4; 07-20-2012 at 08:50 PM.
The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.
Okay, so my H502 arrived today. I'll start by addressing a couple of 'Hot Topics' that keep coming up:
1) The Green Halo
Yes, I have it. Don't know why, but it's a white-wall hunting issue. In use, if you look to the periphery of the beam on purpose, you can see it, but it's no more significant than, say, the reddish tint on the extremity of my SC600. In other words, not a real issue, unless you're very picky about that sort of thing. And if you're one of the people complaining about the green halo AND wasted light... well, without being unduly dismissive, all I can say is that one or other can be a problem, but not both. If it's wasted, you can't see it, and as the green halo is so peripheral, if you can see it then no light is being wasted.
1) Wasted Light
Which brings me to the next 'Hot Topic'. Based on all the talk here about "wasted light", I was kind of expecting a beam that would light up my bum, or something close. However, I'm pleased to say that the beam-proper (that is, the beam aside from escapy fringe bits you usually see on torches) is all within your natural field of vision. When walking around, I can still see the edges of the beam-proper, and that's exactly what I was hoping for. Anything within range is lit up, and I like it.
A couple of other points. This year I broke the headband for my SC51, basically by doing something I shouldn't have with it (nothing totally stupid, mind, just regularly stretching the rubber beyond its limits). So when I placed an order for the H501 and an SC51 for my girlfriend (SHE ASKED), I wanted to order a new headband too. Now I was going to order one, but there was no SC51 version of the headband available on Zebralight's store, and I didn't know if the sizes were different etc - so I stuck a comment in asking about it, explaining I was happy to pay for it (I knew it was my fault), but I didn't know what to order. Anyway, my item was shipped without contact from ZL, but... it came with said headband, free. And even though it's a little thing, it's seriously nice.
Which brings me to ZL's headband design, which has been updated since I last ordered. Now, thanks to a slit at the top of the rubber section, the headband can be rigged up with another, so you can have (say) a H502 along the rim, attached to an SC51 over the top, giving you flood and spot. Which is awesome!
Finally, my girlfriend's SC51 reminded me of how awesome the clip on that light is. Secure, sexy... and it forms a tripod so the light clip-stands. Brilliant design, which in my opinion doesn't get enough appreciation round these parts. The new clips (as on the H502) are fine, but they're just not as amazing as the SC51's.
Last edited by Philonous; 07-20-2012 at 10:34 PM.
Well, this has been quite the lively discussion since my last visit...
Having a wider viewing area has repeatedly been shown to facilitate visual perception. (I'm too lazy to look up the references right now; don't bother asking, I probably won't. Get a copy of a good visual perception textbook, like Visual Perception by my old professor at Cal Berkeley, Stephen Palmer.) Wider fields of view allow larger saccades across the visual field which facilitates sampling of the visual field, and allows better spatial performance. When the visual field is truncated, the eyes have to make smaller and more frequent saccades to gather the equivalent amount of spatial and color information. This decreases performance on spatial location tasks in terms of both accuracy and reaction time.
From a purely objective and scientific perspective, a brighter, wider beam, is always going to be better than a dimmer narrower one (as long as the brightness is appropriate to the distance involved, but I'm ignoring that and assuming equal distances here) with respect to the issues I mention above, as well as one's ability to notice new things happening or entering the visual field, allowing attention to work more efficiently and quickly as a result. If you're someone who doesn't like the wider beam, then don't get it. But, the research I'm aware of on visual perception indicates unequivocally that literally all measures of visual performance that I'm aware of are increased / improved in some way by a wider beam, even if we're not specifically paying attention to the periphery of the visual field.
What? Me? Derail a thread?
This makes no sense. By definition, a reflector must be directional, as it changing the angle (direction of travel) of the beam.
I understood the phrase "non-directional reflector" as meaning: a reflector whose surface does not direct all parallel incident light in the same uniform direction. Yeah, it changes the angle of the incident ray (as you point out, it is *reflecting*), but two parallel portions of the incident ray might be reflected in two non-parallel directions (because of intentional irregularities in the surface). Something like the mirror equivalent of frosted glass.
And that seemed like an okay way to describe a matte white surface. Yeah, it reflects. But it also tends to disperse. If I send a bunch of light into it at 45 degrees, then some of it will come out at 45 degrees on the other side, but some will come out at other angles, lots of other angles, all over the room.
That's how I understood Esko.
Does that issue really need endless nitpicking? Yes, the white GitD thing is a fairly typical diffuse reflector; yes it reflects and scatters some light from the LED in the general direction it's facing. It would have to be deep matte black not to. Yes, the light would be somewhat dimmer without even that kind of reflector. No, it does not reflect the light as a mirror surface (a specular reflector) would, due to irregularities, subsurface scattering and whatnot.
I would rather see some more tint comparisons, to be honest.
This could be good to repeat in the H502 with 80 degree beam thread, too.
A little off topic, but my H502 survived a trip through the washer and dryer in my shorts pocket. It looks and works fine. The tailcap was locked out at least a half turn. There was no moisture in the battery compartment or lens area, but again, it did go through the dryer. And the duraloop still is working, it's at 2 flashes, but can't say what it was before the washing. I'm happy it seems to be fine, I hope it didn't shorten it's life or do some unseen damage.
I just received my H502 today. It's my first Zebralight and I love the design and quality! Personally I would rather have a black anodize instead of the greenish brown color, but no big deal. Everything else is spectacular - really nice UI that I got used to right away without reading the instructions. I'll have to test this outside tonight to get a handle on the flood. It's smooth and bright inside, perfect for most tasks but I was hoping to use it for hiking as well. I can carry one of my Fenix lights for that but since I always use hiking poles, I won't have a free hand. I'm really anxious to test it outside tonight!
Recently had some fun using ZL's funky new headband design - I was able to put my floddy H502 up front on my forehead, with my SC51 on top providing spot. Simply excellent, and very easy to do. For those who feel torn between the appeal of pure flood and the desire for some focus, this kind of setup really does tick all the boxes, and is very comfortable.
Got my light in....hopefully it works well for trail running.
WAYYY to floody for my tasks unfortunately. I have an H51 on the way so I'll be selling the H502. What a fantastic light though! I wish it worked out.
Mine just shipped yesterday and I already dreamt I received it.
Actually, in my dream, I had 2 H502d and 1 H600W. the 502's were golden, had the diameter of a pencil and there was a reflector that could be installed/removed along with a diffusing material made of plastic (like every beam profiles in 1!!!) The H600 could run on 1XAA by removing an extension and the AA just held by spring pressure since the tube is too wide. I should stop eating so late.
Could you please post a photo or two? I'm not picking up what you're putting down.Originally Posted by Philonous
This is my signature. They're many like it but this one is mine..