Defective Zebralight H600fd MK IV?

frozensmoothies

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
2
Hi all, a long time lurker and first time post here. I'm having troubles with my latest purchase (Zebralight). Can someone with the same headlamp chime in? Sorry for the long post.,

It took me two weeks of reading about different headlamps before I narrowed it down to these three 18650 single cell headlamps.

1. Zebralight H600fd MK IV.
2. Armytek Wizard Pro III.
3. Olight in their 1000lm headlamps products range.

I eventually bit the bullet and purchased 2 x Zebralight H600Fd MK IV for myself and a relative. Mine arrived promptly from China (I paid extra for fast shipping). From get go, my long await H600Fd MK IV have troubles.

1. Highest mode will only stay on for 2 to 3 seconds then step down to something around 100 lumen. The headlamp doesn't even get a chance to get warm, it steps down cold.

2. If I press the button to switch it back from low to high (which it will switch back a second to two later, after about 15 to 30 seconds of this, it will get hot. By the time I get to 40 to 50 seconds of switching it back to high from low multiple times, it gets almost too hot to hold.

3. I use high drain battery, Sanyo. I tried both protected and unprotected 18650. Produced the same result, turning off after 2 to 3 seconds.

Zebralight support tried to suggest that my batteries are fake and low quality. I know they are not, as I bought them from a good local store and also form a reputable web site. After days of going backward and forward, they finally offer RMA order for me to send it back for an exchange or a refund.

But it looks like I'll have to pay for the shipping? I'm not sure I would want a replacement after firist bad expereince with them (going back and forth, having to pay for shipping, lack of quality control before putting their products out).

What other headlamps would you recommend that I won't have to gamble and hope I won't get a defective one and waste my time and money?
 

Derek Dean

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,399
Location
Monterey, CA
Howdy frozensmoothies, and welcome to CPF,
First, I'm sorry to hear that your first experience with a ZL hasn't gone as hoped. I've got 5 ZL lights, all of which get used extensively, and they have been super reliable.

Sometimes new lights need to have all the electrical contact points cleaned, as there can be stuff on there from the manufacturing process, so it would be a good idea to try that. That would include both ends of any battery you use, plus the positive contact up inside the battery tube and the negative contact points in the tailcap. There are TWO places in the tailcap, first where the tailcap touches the battery, and also where the end of the battery tube touches the inside edge of the tailcap. Also clean the end of the battery tube, because when you screw the tailcap on, the end of the tube goes down inside it and makes contact.

Deoxit is excellent electrical contact cleaner, but you can get by with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Be sure when cleaning the + contact point up inside the battery tube that you DO NOT drip any liquid down into the tube. Hold the tube UP, apply cleaner to the Q-tip and place it UP into the tube to clean that contact point.

Let's see, did you check the voltage of your battery? If you don't have a meter, at least use the in-light battery checker (4 short clicks) to see if you get 4 flashes before you turn on the light.

It might be helpful if you could post a photo of your batteries.

Anyway, I can tell you that you'll be hard pressed to find a better headlamp than the ZL. Do remember, even the best company will have a few defective items slip through. It happens, and if that turns out to be what it was, then it's just part of the game, and I'd certainly recommend an exchange. Be sure and let us know how things work out, and good luck.
 

frozensmoothies

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
2

18650

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
573
Hi all, a long time lurker and first time post here. I'm having troubles with my latest purchase (Zebralight). Can someone with the same headlamp chime in? Sorry for the long post.,

It took me two weeks of reading about different headlamps before I narrowed it down to these three 18650 single cell headlamps.

1. Zebralight H600fd MK IV.
2. Armytek Wizard Pro III.
3. Olight in their 1000lm headlamps products range.

I eventually bit the bullet and purchased 2 x Zebralight H600Fd MK IV for myself and a relative. Mine arrived promptly from China (I paid extra for fast shipping). From get go, my long await H600Fd MK IV have troubles.

1. Highest mode will only stay on for 2 to 3 seconds then step down to something around 100 lumen. The headlamp doesn't even get a chance to get warm, it steps down cold.

2. If I press the button to switch it back from low to high (which it will switch back a second to two later, after about 15 to 30 seconds of this, it will get hot. By the time I get to 40 to 50 seconds of switching it back to high from low multiple times, it gets almost too hot to hold.

3. I use high drain battery, Sanyo. I tried both protected and unprotected 18650. Produced the same result, turning off after 2 to 3 seconds.

Zebralight support tried to suggest that my batteries are fake and low quality. I know they are not, as I bought them from a good local store and also form a reputable web site. After days of going backward and forward, they finally offer RMA order for me to send it back for an exchange or a refund.

But it looks like I'll have to pay for the shipping? I'm not sure I would want a replacement after firist bad expereince with them (going back and forth, having to pay for shipping, lack of quality control before putting their products out).

What other headlamps would you recommend that I won't have to gamble and hope I won't get a defective one and waste my time and money?

What battery are you using exactly? Have you tried other batteries? Because the behavior you're describing sounds exactly like a low battery or one that is unable to keep up.
 

MX421

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
652
Location
Texas
Anyway, I can tell you that you'll be hard pressed to find a better headlamp than the ZL. Do remember, even the best company will have a few defective items slip through. It happens, and if that turns out to be what it was, then it's just part of the game, and I'd certainly recommend an exchange. Be sure and let us know how things work out, and good luck.

I have quite a few Zebralights and although i did have an issue with an H602w once, Zebralight covered it under warranty with very little hassle (better than the "hassle free" Armytek warranty). I think they paid shipping as well. Took a little time to get it back, but it still acts great.

What battery are you using exactly? Have you tried other batteries? Because the behavior you're describing sounds exactly like a low battery or one that is unable to keep up.

Ditto, I have some pretty crappy batteries that get cycled into my H600Fc and H604c and they act the same way especially in the highest setting. Even a good battery i have with an apparently crappy protection circuit goes out on me in the same exact manner (only on my H604c though which is kinda weird).
 

Derek Dean

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,399
Location
Monterey, CA
Thank you Derek Dean! I have done all that and the problem persists. I understand that defective products can happen. Do you know if I will have to be responsible for the cost of RMA?
I imagine that to some extent that will depend on where you live. You've a better chance if you live in the US and if you're asking for an exchange, not a refund. A long time ago I had a defective light right out of the box and they sent me a pre-paid shipping label for the return, however, it was clearly DOA and I was requesting an exchange.

If you're outside the US, there is a chance they will ask you to send it to their China facility. Either way, it's likely to take a few weeks.

Of course, another option is to request a refund and ask them to e-mail you a return shipping label. That way, instead of having to wait for the return/exchange process, you can then simply order another light.

It never hurts to ask : )
 

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