Nitecore MH20 vs. Zebralight SC600 MKIII

sidecross

sidecross

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Highly uncalled for, Tachead. Juggernaut and Fivemega both use different colors and fonts IIRC, and there may be others. Take a day off.

Edit- Didn't see the first rude post. Make it two days.
+1

'Color Discrimination' is ugly. As a side note I gave away my Nitecore MH20 and use the ZebraLight SC600 Mk3 as my EDC light.
 
C

chillylight

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I really do like the H602w. I can't wait to use it while camping.
 
hiuintahs

hiuintahs

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.......Most of the reviews I have read, including the one by selfbuilt, say that the Nitecore MH20 outputs substantially more lumens on its middle three modes than it is rated for.......
Another difference that has not been discussed yet is the drivers. Nitecore uses a buck driver in the MH20. ZebraLight uses a boost driver in the SC600 Mk. III. On all modes below turbo, output on the MH20 enters a declining, direct-drive-like pattern somewhere around 75% or 80% of the way through a run. On the ZebraLight, output stays nearly flat, until a forced step-down occurs when the battery gets low.

Which of these you prefer may be a matter of personal choice. For the ways I use a flashlight, I like the predictable output levels given by the ZebraLight. I like flat output........ .
Fair enough. That is kind of disappointing on the MH20, to hear that the output jumps from 1 lumen to over 100 when the specification is stated at 50. The other modes also won't have much of a perceived difference if only jumping 200 lumen once you're up that high. It's times like this I wish there were just 3 or maybe 4 modes only that were well spaced (that you can count on).

Well, I'm OK with a buck driver on the MH20 when the Vf of the LED is below the majority of the 18650 batteries voltage......kind of the nature of the beast.

The ZL must have an LED that is above the Vf of the LED to utilize a boost only circuit. Did I read they are using an XHP-35? I've haven't delved into the Cree specs on that one but if so, that's a good selling point for being able to maintain regulation right up until the battery is depleted. I think those are 11 to 12v forward voltage drops?

I'm on the fence as far as getting one of these. Kind of leaning toward the MH20 even though I know the ZL drivers are among the most efficient out there. Others are closing in fast though. So the difference is negligible when comparing costs of lights.

I have never been fond of single electronic switches and their associated parasitic drain and lack of momentary ability. But reading through the threads, both of theses lights are very popular. A flashaholic buys both (on sale of course ;) to justify the means) and then sells the one he thinks he/she won't use.
 
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S

snowlover91

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Hiuintahs, the MK3 does use the XHP35 rated at 12v and seems pretty efficient based on specs alone. I actually haven't read about any runtime tests yet on it though so it will be interesting to see how those look. It depends on what you're looking for in a light, the Nitecore MH20 is a nice light and can be had for a really good price if you get in on a group buy. If you value mode spacing and flat regulation ZL is going to be a better option. With the ability now to customize the PID kicking in, extra CRI and ability to somewhat customize output levels it might be worth looking into. Both are good lights though it just depends on what features you need most and if you want to pay the extra $ for the ZL or not.
 
gunga

gunga

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The nitecore is not the only light with baffling mode spacing. I was looking at headlamps by nitecore, jetbeam, skilhunt and xtar. All with extreme level jumps. Even olight lights (not headlamps) have too much spread for me. Most of my usage is 60 lumens or less. Zebralight all the way. I did consider armytek but read of too many issues. Zebralight is certainly not perfect (I just exchanged a brand new defective headlamp) but are the best option for my uses.
 
L

Lumencrazy

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The discussion above does a good job comparing these two flashlights. I don't want to repeat the things that were already said, so I am adding just two or three new things that have not been mentioned so far.

Most of the reviews I have read, including the one by selfbuilt, say that the Nitecore MH20 outputs substantially more lumens on its middle three modes than it is rated for. Here are the numbers from selfbuilt's review.





His sample, at least, jumps from 1 lumen in "lower" mode to 125 in low mode. That's a big jump. At the top end, selfbuilt reports the opposite. Mode spacing on the top three modes is too small. The difference between medium (at 370 lumens) and high (at 590 lumens) is only 220 lumens. That's much less than even a factor of 2. With turbo at 990 lumens, the difference between high and turbo is also less than a factor of 2.

Other reviewers and CPF members have reported similar findings. The only exception is the review by MHanlen that was posted yesterday. He measured low at 73 lumens, which is still a pretty big jump from the 1-lumen "lower" setting. At the top, MHanlen reports 301, 525, and 928 lumens.

If these numbers are right, then my strong opinion is that the ZebraLight SC600 Mk. III has far better mode spacing than the Nitecore MH20. That matters a lot to me. Compared to some of the more subtle features that were compared above, mode spacing is a biggie.

Another difference that has not been discussed yet is the drivers. Nitecore uses a buck driver in the MH20. ZebraLight uses a boost driver in the SC600 Mk. III. On all modes below turbo, output on the MH20 enters a declining, direct-drive-like pattern somewhere around 75% or 80% of the way through a run. On the ZebraLight, output stays nearly flat, until a forced step-down occurs when the battery gets low.

Which of these you prefer may be a matter of personal choice. For the ways I use a flashlight, I like the predictable output levels given by the ZebraLight. I like flat output.

For those concerned about accidentally over-discharging a Li-ion cell, the ZebraLight has small edge over the Nitecore. Like all recent Li-ion models from ZebraLight, the SC600 Mk. III has a low-voltage cutoff that turns the flashlight off when its battery gets low. Cutoff occurs at 2.7 volts. On the MH20, the main beam blinks to alert you when the battery gets low. The Nitecore does not have a low-voltage cutoff, so you could get into trouble if your MH20 were accidentally activated or left unattended. It gives you a good warning, however, if you are there to notice it.


Estimated lumens? Is that like an estimated inch?
 
hiuintahs

hiuintahs

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Estimated lumens? Is that like an estimated inch?
I think I know where you're going with this. An inch is an inch just as a lumen is a lumen. Its a fixed value. How can it be estimated? It's the basis by which something is measured and its fixed. My old fashioned mom complains about prices always rising. I tell her, they're not expensive.........it's the currency that is losing value :D....therefore that standard (currency) by which you measure something is constantly changing. Sorry I'm digressing.

Light meters only give readings in Lux. So for us in the hobby without expensive measuring equipment, are using light meters which give light output in Lux. I've measured dozens of lights in my make shift light box (which is a fixed entity because I use the same light box for all my readings) and then compare my Lux readings to the manufacturers lumen specification and have come up with an equation that I think is close to "estimating" the lumen value.

Selfbuilt has done the same thing.
http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/Lightbox.htm
 
markr6

markr6

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The lumen thing is something I managed to pretty much ignore. I neither trust nor distrust the manufacturer ratings. More important to me is the runtime and some other things, because at the end of the day 1000lm vs 890lm isn't a huge deal to me...it's just bright as hell and my eyes are satisfied. But I know that doesn't sit well with some. Like a bad tint for me; other's may say "it's bright and lets me see in the dark so it doesn't matter"
 
PROTOOLNUT

PROTOOLNUT

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The lumen thing is something I managed to pretty much ignore. I neither trust nor distrust the manufacturer ratings. More important to me is the runtime and some other things, because at the end of the day 1000lm vs 890lm isn't a huge deal to me...it's just bright as hell and my eyes are satisfied. But I know that doesn't sit well with some. Like a bad tint for me; other's may say "it's bright and lets me see in the dark so it doesn't matter"

Very good very good, now let me tell you something. No lumens for you, come back in one year. jk :D

PS: Love the avatar man, best episode of Scienfeld I ever saw hehe
 
E

eraursls1984

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The lumen thing is something I managed to pretty much ignore. I neither trust nor distrust the manufacturer ratings. More important to me is the runtime and some other things, because at the end of the day 1000lm vs 890lm isn't a huge deal to me...it's just bright as hell and my eyes are satisfied. But I know that doesn't sit well with some. Like a bad tint for me; other's may say "it's bright and lets me see in the dark so it doesn't matter"
I don't think a difference of 1000 vs 890 is an issue, but I do think huge jumps from low to medium and small jumps from medium to high is an issue. I'm okay with max only beingddouble or less of the high mode, I consider high mode to be the practical max due to heat and runtimes, except for short burst.
 
T

tops2

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I don't think a difference of 1000 vs 890 is an issue, but I do think huge jumps from low to medium and small jumps from medium to high is an issue. I'm okay with max only beingddouble or less of the high mode, I consider high mode to be the practical max due to heat and runtimes, except for short burst.

I agree with this. For some lights, the high and turbo is so "close" I'd rather just combine into one mode, then have less modes to cycle through. It quickly gets old to have to cycle through 2 levels that almost the same brightness (from what I can detect with my eyes).
 
markr6

markr6

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I agree with this. For some lights, the high and turbo is so "close" I'd rather just combine into one mode, then have less modes to cycle through. It quickly gets old to have to cycle through 2 levels that almost the same brightness (from what I can detect with my eyes).

Same here. My EC4SW is a good example. One less mode would be fine and one less to cycle thru.
 
recDNA

recDNA

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Hey, I like Comic Sans, who wants to look at boring Ariel, Helvetica, and Times New Roman the rest of their lives? They invented CS cause its awesome, it looks even neater in bold but I didn't want to boldify my entire message lol.
LOL. When I first started posting on forums years ago I used to like to type in all caps because I am a poor typist and it was easier to just set caps lock and not worry about it. I still can't get over how much it freaked people out. "CAPS MEANS YOU'RE SCREAMING AT US" was the usual refrain. When I ignored it people got more and more frantic and even abusive. Really, I think you can easily judge the context of a post to see whether the poster is screaming or just posting. In every day life we pass road signs and political signs and even sets of directions that come entirely in caps but in a forum it somehow causes people to have a nervous breakdown.

Anyway I learned my lesson that typos draw fewer complaints than caps. Still think it is weird though. The only font that bothers me is one too small to read.
 
recDNA

recDNA

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The nitecore is not the only light with baffling mode spacing. I was looking at headlamps by nitecore, jetbeam, skilhunt and xtar. All with extreme level jumps. Even olight lights (not headlamps) have too much spread for me. Most of my usage is 60 lumens or less. Zebralight all the way. I did consider armytek but read of too many issues. Zebralight is certainly not perfect (I just exchanged a brand new defective headlamp) but are the best option for my uses.
I still think there is too much difference between H1 and H2 and medium is WAY too low.
 
L

Lumencrazy

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The lumen thing is something I managed to pretty much ignore. I neither trust nor distrust the manufacturer ratings. More important to me is the runtime and some other things, because at the end of the day 1000lm vs 890lm isn't a huge deal to me...it's just bright as hell and my eyes are satisfied. But I know that doesn't sit well with some. Like a bad tint for me; other's may say "it's bright and lets me see in the dark so it doesn't matter"

I agree completely. The numbers on the box are usually meaningless because the manufacturer knows that it is highly unlikely anyone will/can check. One of my favourite lights is the Zebralight Sc62w. I can honestly say I do not know what the max rating is, nor does the official number really matter. I use it to see in the dark (there’s a novel application). It works extremely well, especially at the more practical lower levels, and the battery lasts forever: so who cares. One just cannot help but notice that lumens is the most talked about specification across the entire forum and big numbers sell more lights than any other single feature. At the same time nobody really knows how much they are not getting.
 
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steinsdl

steinsdl

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I couldn't make up my mind so I bought both. I'm not a fan of the battery option for the Zebralight but it's an awesome light. I like everything about the MH20.
 
MrStrumpan

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MH20 - How about Parasitic drain, standby drain? Can you lockout/turn tailcap?
SC600 - For what I understand you can do mechanical lockout, turn tailcap.

How about battery.....
MH20 is around $35 lower in price, but if you consider good battery, and you maybe want some extra spare,
the protected cell for MH20 is more expensive, right?
MH20 - $20 Nitecore NL1834 18650 3400mAh Protected
SC600 - $5 LG INR 18650 MJ1 3500mAh

I just order the SC600w MK3 - (I go for this because it smaller size, less weight, I like the light modes, XHP35)
Well, I still thinking of the MH20... or a 2nd SC600, I guess I need more flashlights :)

:popcorn:
 
CelticCross74

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love them both! Both are thermally regulated, close in size, have high output and lots of bells and whistles. Love my NW MH20. The MH20GT blew my expectations away with such throw coming out of such a small light. They are all great lights. 2016 has been one heck of a year for light enthusiasts of all types!
 
MrStrumpan

MrStrumpan

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love them both! Both are thermally regulated, close in size, have high output and lots of bells and whistles. Love my NW MH20. The MH20GT blew my expectations away with such throw coming out of such a small light.

Can you do mechanical lockout by turning the tailcap on the MH20?
I want a spare light as backuplight that not will be used so often, so I not want any drain.
 
CelticCross74

CelticCross74

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kinda late here but will post back later once I dig out one of the MH20 manuals. I THINK you can....will check back in later today
 

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