What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

jonathanluu2

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Is anyone else feeling left in the dark on why Zebralight has not released even ONE new light over the last TWO years? They have released multiple new lights every year prior to 2019, then after the SC700Fd, Nothing.

The only thing that has changed since then (that I know of) is they have ceased to ship outside the USA.

The "A6" entry level TIR optic headlamp has been vaporware for quite some time, along with their possible multi-cell flashlight, which isn't even listed on their product spreadsheet anymore.



*EDIT - SUMMARY*

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! It sounds like the consensus is nobody knows exactly why ZL has taken a hiatus on new lights but some factors could be:
  1. LED technological advances have slowed in pace
  2. Most of the existing form factors are pretty refined, and further changes would require A) significant form factor changes B) significant testing to ensure ZL's remain known for stability/reliability.
  3. Who cares? It saves us from being tempted to buy another solid light.
 
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markr6

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I was wondering the same thing, but kinda glad since that's another $100 saved :)
 

Bob_McBob

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In some ways I actually really appreciate the stability. Most of their designs have gone through several generations of refinement, and further alterations would require significant changes to their design philosophy. Even the rumoured built-in charging for the next generation flies in the face of their past effort to shave literal millimetres off the length of certain lights. Personally I think their whole AA line-up needs a major refresh, but I'm not sure how I would improve many of their 18650 lights. It's a completely different market from enthusiast lights like the D4V2 or FW3A, where manufacturers drive constant change to maintain interest and demand. Zebralight just makes a solid design that has passed the test of time.
 

holygeez03

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They got rid of the purple coating on the SC600w IV Plus... that was enough for me.
 

WebHobbit

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I'd like to see a 21700 light with a smaller head.....I can't carry my 700. As much as I love it, it must be an "around the house and property light" with that head diameter.
 

FlashInThePan

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Flashlight technology also hasn't progressed as much in the last two years, so it's no surprise that they haven't upgraded quite as much. Zebralight tends to like stability.

When LEDs first came out, we saw pretty steady increases every year. LED technology improved rapidly, and they kept getting brighter and brighter. But things have started to slow down in the last few years. One of the biggest issues is heat - even if the LED *can* be brighter, it's hard to drive it that hard without throwing off enough heat to make things problematic for a small flashlight. As flashaholics, we all want the power of the sun in our hands...but we don't want to have the *heat* of the sun to go with it. ;-)

- FITP
 

jonathanluu2

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The AR coating

Or is it...:party:


view

view
 
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LogansRun

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts! It sounds like the consensus is nobody knows exactly why ZL has taken a hiatus on new lights but some factors could be:
  1. LED technological advances have slowed in pace
  2. Most of the existing form factors are pretty refined, and further changes would require A) significant form factor changes B) significant testing to ensure ZL's remain known for stability/reliability.
  3. Who cares? It saves us from being tempted to buy another solid light.
Count me as someone who is disappointed as well. Like many, I have several ZL lights including some of their original AA and RCR123 headlamps along with a couple off their newer 18650 lights. I do like their form factor and ability to have a very low, low.

As for your summary above:

1. Agreed, although it's interesting how some manufacturers, Klarus, Acebeam, even Nitecore and JetBeam have been introducing new 21700 lights. We only had the ZL 700 and I was hoping to see more.

2. ZL seemed to have been content with their single button click/double click UI which definitely works although it's not always the most ideal esp when it comes to cycling back to a low setting. I recently picked up a slightly older Acebeam 18650 headlamp with combined magnetic dial / clicky and have to say I was impressed and quite like it. So, in other words, ZL's UI is tried and proven but there are other options and innovation is still possible.

3. LOL! Good point! I took a hiatus from lights for a couple of years (lost my orig CPF ID in the process) but came back and realized there are still some new lights worth buying! I recently bought a few 21700 lights and was really looking forward to some new ZL lights but, sadly, it seems they are letting go of their previous position of being one of the better innovators with headlamps and small form factor 18650 and AA lights. Guess time will tell if they come back stronger...
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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I've been disappointed with Zebralight over the past year, but OTOH it's been good for my wallet. Now that they've stopped selling outside the US, I'm happy they're still not releasing any new lights. I have pretty-much every model I want, with the exception of the SC700d (which I really don't want anyway).

While their designs are starting to get stale, I think they still hold up and are very good lights for what they are. They're not pocket-rockets, but that's not really what you're buying. They are very efficient, well-regulated lights, which sadly is not common with most other companies.
 

Bob_McBob

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I'm curious what kind of features people think current Zebralight models are missing that would be compatible with their general design philosophy. What kind of changes do you realistically expect in a next generation Zebralight?
 

Derek Dean

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I'm curious what kind of features people think current Zebralight models are missing that would be compatible with their general design philosophy. What kind of changes do you realistically expect in a next generation Zebralight?
That's a good question, Bob, and it got me to thinking. Several ideas come to mind.

First, I'd like to see a smaller 21700 light, one that might work for pocket carry. No need for it to be super bright, so less mass will be ok, I'm mainly interested in the longer runtime the larger cell has to offer.

Second, I'd love to see them come up with a headlamp that has two LEDs, one with a floody beam shape, and the other more throwy, with the option of adding a multicell battery pack.

And finally, I think it's about time we had a keyring sized Zebralight. Man, that would be on my keyring in a minute.

But, to be honest, I'm perfectly happy with what they offer now. I use my Zebras every day and night and don't find them dated at all, but heck, a little something new now and then wouldn't hurt either : )
 

desert.snake

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I wonder if they fixed the problem with the freezing of the lantern in the cold? I remember there were reports that the light disappears in the cold.
 

Valpo Hawkeye

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Valparaiso, IN
Whether or not they’re designing new lights, it doesn’t seem like they’re producing their existing models. Lots and lots of out of stocks. Bummer...
 

recDNA

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Does anyone else make a pocket flashlight with the lightweight and output of Zebralight?

Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk
 
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