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Thread: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

  1. #1

    Default Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    My Zebralight H51Fc was my first headlamp and the thing rocks. I use it mainly to supplement the inadequate lighting in my wood shop and to work on computers. At times I'll use it outdoors but I don't really go hiking or mountain climbing or anything like that. My biggest qualm with it is the short battery life which forces me to always carry a pocketful of enloops. I can never really have the light on H1 and only briefly have it on H2 for fear of draining the battery.

    I'm looking for something that is a true floody beam and has a longer battery life and is brighter. I'm not sure what the right term is but I would greatly prefer the light to have a more natural tint to it like the H51Fc as oppose to the cooler white that some lights have. Weight's not really an issue (big head takes care of that haha) and I'd rather not have a waist clip battery pack. I would like to spend $100 or less but price can be flexible if there's something that fits my needs perfectly. Right now I'm looking at the Zebralight H600Fw and the Petzl Myo RXP2 but I really don't know what else is out there.

    Thanks in advance. Lurking on these forums were a big help in my buying my Zebralight and hopefully will be again with this next purchase.
    Last edited by TheGovernor11; 07-12-2012 at 10:12 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGovernor11 View Post
    My Zebralight H51Fc was my first headlamp and the thing rocks. I use it mainly to supplement the inadequate lighting in my wood shop and to work on computers. At times I'll use it outdoors but I don't really go hiking or mountain climbing or anything like that. My biggest qualm with it is the short battery life which forces me to always carry a pocketful of enloops. I can never really have the light on H1 and only briefly have it on H2 for fear of draining the battery.

    I'm looking for something that is essentially this (floody beam) but has a longer battery life and is brighter. I'm not sure what the right term is but I would greatly prefer the light to have a more natural tint to it like the H51Fc as oppose to the cooler white that some lights have. Weight's not really an issue (big head takes care of that haha) and I'd rather not have a waist clip battery pack. I would like to spend $100 or less but price can be flexible if there's something that fits my needs perfectly. Right now I'm looking at the Zebralight H600Fw and the Petzl Myo RXP2 but I really don't know what else is out there.

    Thanks in advance. Lurking on these forums were a big help in my buying my Zebralight and hopefully will be again with this next purchase.

    I don't know anything about 18650, besides that you want to use 'protected' ones

    but if you are comfortable using them, go for it, the H600fw would be just what you want


    if not, the H502c or H502d will give you a little more than three hours at 60-70 lumens.. a decent upgrade, but maybe not enough for you

    ..the H60Fw is 18 hours at 53 lumens.. crazy!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    The H502c and H502d are more latteral moves then upgrades. The H600Fw at first looks great but under further review it has the faux floody like my H51Fc has. If I go Zebralight I think I have to wait for the 602 to come out. Starting to look more into the Petzl I mentioned earlier and Spark Headlamps. The Petzl may be backburnered because of the bulb tint. Same with the Fenix as all the Fennix HL had waist clip battery packs (at least the ones I was interested did). Does anyone know if Spark is going to be dropping anything new soon? I don't want to buy a HL from them when there latest and greatest is just around the corner. Spark may be the way I go.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    The Spark SD6-500CW would be perfect for me if it came with a neutral white lamp. Looks like I may be forced to wait for the 602. What a pain.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Hey Governor, and welcome to CPF,

    I went through something very similar as you. After wasting money on many different headlamps I finally found the Zebralight H51 & H51w (neutral tint.) I love these headlamps quite a bit & thought I'd found the perfect fit for my long runs before sun up. BUT, I ended up needing better runtimes for the higher outputs. I got the Zebralight H600, and found it to be perfect. For your uses I'd highly recommend you getting the H600Fw (floody & neutral tint.) Output & runtimes are outstanding. I'd also recommend you get good quality 18650's and a good charger. I use AW brand 2900mah 18650's in mine.
    Last edited by Outdoorsman5; 07-13-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Outdoorsman5- Do you think it'd be worth it to wait for the 602? I'd rather not but if the difference is great enough I would.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGovernor11 View Post
    Outdoorsman5- Do you think it'd be worth it to wait for the 602? I'd rather not but if the difference is great enough I would.
    That's a tough one. I guess it depends on how bad you need the light. If you could wait I think the pure flood of the H602w would be a little nicer than the diffused flood of the H600Fw. My favorite "general use" (around the house, in the garage, around the campsite, reading, all things up close or within a few yards) is the H501w (pure flood neutral tint.) I have only wished it were brighter, so I'm looking forward to the H502w. I've been waiting for it for a year though...ouch, and don't know how long it will be before the H602w will be available. The release date for the H602 on ZL's website just says "2012", and there is no date listed for the H602w. So, it looks like it could be next year sometime.

    The reason the H602w may be worth waiting for is I really feel for close up work nothing beats pure flood. I have duplicated the "f" version on my H600 & H51 & H51w by putting a diffused filter on each of em. I love em with the diffused material, but still like the pure flood of my my H501w better. The pure flood is easier on the eyes; where as, the diffused beam of the others seems to give things a bit of a glare. However, the lights with the diffused material on em do have better throw (this is because the light is a little more concentrated towards the middle since there is still a reflector involved....the "f" version by the way still has a reflector behind the frosted lens.) That extra throw could be beneficial depending on your uses. I've noticed on my runs that the H501w doesn't throw far enough if I'm running on a dark trail in the woods, but my H51w with the diffused material on it throws farther (using similar lumen settings.) I'm splitting hairs here I realize, but if it is something you will be using a lot (like I do) then I think it's important to know these differences - pure flood looks better than diffused flood.

    If you can't decide then just cave like the rest of us & get both.
    Last edited by Outdoorsman5; 07-13-2012 at 11:05 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Thanks for the minute details. If I wasn't so neurotic (or maybe psychotic) about the little things then I would've just boughten a new lamp months ago. Do you have any experience or knowledge with the Sparks ST6-460NW? It looks to be very comparable with 600w but has the better Headband; which I'm going to need to buy anyway.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Looks like I got it narrowed down to two: Zebralight H600Fw or the Spark ST6-460NW. Maybe just flip a coin? In any case time to start buying new batteries for either one of these beasts.

    **Nevermind this post. I googled "Spark Headlamps" and "SBflashlights" was the first listing and I figured that was the Spark website. Stupid me. What I wanted was a floody version of the Sparks ST6-460NW and they actually have one. More stuff to look over now.
    Last edited by TheGovernor11; 07-13-2012 at 01:50 PM.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* KDM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    I would definitely go with the zebralight. I have both lights and the spark stays on the work bench. It's not as comfortable wearing, just feels awkward and heavy. It's a good flood but not much throw unless running on high. My zebra is a H600, i can't compare the two being they're different style lights. The H600FW is definitely my next purchace though. My SC31fw has a nice diffused beam with decent throw and is a much smaller light. Based on that i think the 600fw should work great for my needs. (Mechanical service) Want the 602 also but who knows when it will come out?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Megatrowned's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    I have a ZL H600Fw and I love it. It's my work headlamp (I'm a electrician). Granted, if you are working on something up close, it may not light up everything in your perifial vision. But it is definitely a floody beam, and it has Plenty of power to light up a room and then some! Size wise it's not bad. Not much bigger than the 18650 it takes.(and it doesn't weigh much) Also, I'm impressed with the run times! 139lm for 7 hours! 343lm for 2.3! And i use a larger capacity batt then what it was tested with. If you cant tell, im kinda partial to it

    Never owned a Spark so I can't comment on them.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* KDM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    You can also get the optional reflector for the spark which helps the throw quite a bit. It make it more universal, still not as comfortable to wear as the ZL.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    there is no new update in this area. well you can search it on Google. i have made a search but didnt get any updation.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGovernor11 View Post
    Thanks for the minute details. If I wasn't so neurotic (or maybe psychotic) about the little things then I would've just boughten a new lamp months ago. Do you have any experience or knowledge with the Sparks ST6-460NW? It looks to be very comparable with 600w but has the better Headband; which I'm going to need to buy anyway.
    I've messed with it & a few other sparks while at Goinggear's store here in Georgia, but I didn't see anything that Spark had improved on over the zebralights. So, my experience really is just the few minutes I tried em out at the store. From what I saw, I'll stick with the zebras.

    Regarding the zebra headband, I've had a lot more success with the NiteIze headband when running. the NiteIze is very sturdy & the light won't bounce around at all when running or anything else. They're only $5, and come in different colors. I do wish they looked a little better though, but oh well they work great.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* KDM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    +1 NiteIze headband works really good with the zebralight. The light fits right in the elastic loop attached on the headband.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Whoa, for whatever reason I reason I stopped getting notifications of posts on this thread; gotta check my spam box. Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'm going to give the Zebralight a go. First one worked awesome so I expect more of the same. I emailed ZL and they don't have them in stock and won't for a while. CS said that they can't find an LED that they like so they're out of stock indefinitely. Gonna have to find a vendor to get it.

    I've seen the NiteIze headbands but what I'm really looking for is the third strap. I like my light to have zero movement and with only the two side straps and I strap it real tight. It gets the job done but I can't wear it for a prolong amount of time before it starts to hurt my head. Currently I have a nice ghetto rig going with a set of rubber bands acting as the middle strap. Won't win any beauty contest but it does work. Think it's possible to get the ZL on a Spark headband? I thought for sure it would work until I saw the size difference in lights. Has me a little worried now.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* KDM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    The NiteIze is very stable, i do wear it on my cap so I'm sure that makes it more comfortable. Yes you could use a spark headband it will fit. Goinggear shows they have them, their price is higher but if you use the marketplace discount code its cheaper than buying from ZL.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGovernor11 View Post
    I've seen the NiteIze headbands but what I'm really looking for is the third strap. I like my light to have zero movement and with only the two side straps and I strap it real tight. It gets the job done but I can't wear it for a prolong amount of time before it starts to hurt my head.
    If you use the NitIze headband then there is no need for an additional top strap. The NitIze headband is made out of a non-stretchy nylon material that rests firmly on your head. Since it is not a stretchy material it fits with the feel of a hat rather than a constriction band. I go running using it, and there's no movement at all. Sweat can make the material loosen just a little, but that's it. It's a firm fitting headband.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Where is the marketplace discount code for GoingGear? I'm just searching the Marketplace forum but so far no luck.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* KDM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    It under the header good deals" Cpm discounts. It's for 10%the off.

  21. #21

    Default

    If you really liked the beam of the H51Fc then you might not even enjoy a pure flood as much, that floody beam gives a smooth transition while still delivering most of the light in the direction that you are looking, a nearly perfect compromise. After looking at a CPF. member's night fishing pictures I've about concluded that the regular, clear lensed H600w was plenty of flood, just a huge hot spot with a smooth transition to bright spill...
    All I've got is an H51Fc myself, flood and floody seem perfect for short range up to rock tossing distances, but the hot spot on, that H600w seemed Plenty wide for how bright it was.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Finally was able to access the Good Deals section of the Marketplace. Gonna pull the trigger on the 600FW. Thanks for all of your help everyone.

    **And fantastic they're out of stock. But Zebralight has it so looks like I'm back in luck. Any place to buy the Spark SD6 headband outside of SbFlashlights?
    Last edited by TheGovernor11; 07-23-2012 at 01:40 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    This should be my second to last post on this thread. Pulled the trigger and bought the H600Fw, Spark SD headband, 3x Panasonic NCR18650A 3100maH Batteries, and a Xtar WP2II Charger. Roughly cost $160. My last post will be a picture of all my new stuff. Thanks again for everyone's help. Much appreciated.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    I think you made a good decision on everything you just bought.
    Good Luck.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Thought I'd be done posting on this thread but Zebralight now says the H600Fw is backordered. When I inquired about it, I got an email later in the day saying it was shipped with a tracking number that doesn't work and an email saying ETA was going to be 2-6 weeks. Last two times I got a ZL it took 2 days and 4 days respectively. Hopefully I'm just panicking over nothing but I'm not willing to wait that long. If I can't get an answer from them I may just stop the payment and try to buy the light somewhere else or get the Spark. What a pain. I just want my new light!

    **Update** Think I'm just panicking for no reason. Little more digging and I found the package status on a vendor of USPS. This makes me feel much better.
    Last edited by TheGovernor11; 07-25-2012 at 10:32 AM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    I just noticed that goinggear here in Georgia has the H600Fw in stock. They have good customer service; I've bought lots from em.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    The actual store itself or the online store? Online it says 0 in stock and when you add it to the cart it says backordered. I tried there first when ZL originally had them backordered.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Zebralight has great lights but their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. I ended up cancelling my order after not getting responses to my emails. ironically when I asked for a refund i got an immediate response! If only they had responded earlier i never would have cancelled.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    Quote Originally Posted by UTV2TiVo View Post
    Zebralight has great lights but their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. I ended up cancelling my order after not getting responses to my emails. ironically when I asked for a refund i got an immediate response! If only they had responded earlier i never would have cancelled.
    I feel like they're hit or miss. I had great service from them up until yesterday. They always responded promptly and always answered any questions I had. Other people have had issues that you've had and what I'm experiencing now. I'll give them until Friday or Monday before I start taking seriously worrying about waiting a month for my new headlamp.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Looking for upgrade to my Zebralight H51Fc

    And finally my last posts. After some initial but warranted panicking I have received my entire order: 1xH600Fw; 1xSD6 Headband; 1x Xtar WP2II Charger; 3X Panasonic NCR18650A Batteries.



    I went through an initial worry process of how I was going to be able to the Spark Headband with the ZL because the ZL is much smaller than the Spark silicone holder. Luckily, the H600Fw silicone holder also has slit cut out on top (not sure why) but it accommodated the Spark Headband. In regards to both headbands, the ZL is much more supple and feels nicer than the Spark, which feels more rugged a slightly cheaper. Regardless, the Spark headband is the one I'm using because it has the third strap I need. I tried combining the two straps but that's going to take some resewing which I'd rather not do right away.

    While ZL leaves much to be desired in the communications department, they are excellent at fulfilling little wishes and extras for you. I did not want the black silicone holder and asked if they could exchange it for the GITD one. They never responded to the request and I figured it was a long shot anyway but when the lamp came, packed with it was the GITD holder. This may seem minor to most but for me I thought it was huge. I'm use to having these requests pushed to the side, especially because what I was asking wasn't even an option when ordering. So kudos to ZL for that.

    My only issue with the lamp is that you have to press the power button much harder than you did with the H51Fw. I'm sure this is the case because many people complained about the light accidentally turning on and what not. I never had this issue and liked the ease I could turn on the light and double click to different settings using one finger. That's not happening with H600Fw. It all but grantees that accidental clicks that turn the light on will not happen again. If I push with just one finger the whole lamp and band will rotate on my head. I need to either use my left hand on the battery cover and then push with my right finger or use my right thumb and right middle finger to hold the light in place and then push the button with my right index finger. Not a huge deal, just something I'm going to have to get use to.

    For the 10 minutes or so that I've used this light it rocks. Gotta give it more time but so far it's exactly what I wanted: My H51Fw on steroids.

    **Adding**
    One thing that I am noticing is that you have to REALLY press the button down. There have been a couple times where I'm holding the button down but it's not cycling from low to medium to high. If I change where I press it works or if I press harder it also works. Going to investigate tomorrow to see if I'm the only one having this issue. Kind of a bummer just cause I want this light to be perfect.
    Last edited by TheGovernor11; 07-30-2012 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Adding on

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