Zebralight sc30 sent back to factory for repair. $15.00

Lumen83

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So how then did you end up with 2 ZL in the first place and find yourself needing to enact your Zero Tolerance Policy for DOA product?

I am also curious which ZL you were going to use for SAR work?

I bought one a few years ago for around the house work, working on vehicles, etc. I still have that one. Find myself needing to enact a zero tolerance policy came after the poor customer service I received and the fact that I do not want to chance their product in a life and death situation after one of them showed up DOA.

It was the H600 Floody 18650 headlamp.

If you were wondering what made me purchase a ZL in the first place, I was attracted to their headlamp offering vs. other brands because they offer a neutral tint LED with high CRI and a floody beam. That was exactly what I was looking for and I did not see that combination offered by other manufacturers. I had also read a lot about ZL quality on this forum and felt that it would be a good light for my use case because of this, and because my other ZL has never failed and I've used it to some degree in similar environments and conditions as I was planning on using the H600.
 
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Lumen83

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Paying double the reasonable price for a product, just to get a lifetime warranty, isn't very economically sound. Especially for electronics, which you'll want to upgrade in a few years anyway.

What is the reasonable price of a product? That depends on the use case for the customer. I don't feel that I am paying twice the reasonable price for the products that I purchase. And, I don't feel the need to upgrade in a few years. The lights that I purchased 10 years ago that fit their use case perfectly still fit their use case perfectly. Night time isn't any darker. The headlamp I purchased has the perfect beam profile, run times, brightness levels, etc. for my use case. I wont be needing more lumens or run times 10 year from now for that application. In fact, most of my use cases do not require anywhere near the brightness levels that are in lights on the market today, and I'd prefer lower levels for lower cost instead of chasing the lumen monster with my wallet.

Surfire might make nice products, but they're priced for military and law enforcement contracts. Government doesn't care about the price, nor the cost of disposable batteries.

They sure have a lot of non-military and non-LEO customers like myself whose lives depend on their products that feel that they are reasonably priced. Consider their G2X which is an extremely reliable and useful light.


Would I use a Zebra for a life & death situation? No. But I wouldn't use a Surefire, either.

No? Curious as to why and what you would choose instead.

Two lights of good quality are never going to both randomly fail at the same time.

Probably not in most situations. But, possibly in the conditions that we operate in. I bring two headlamps and a hand held light when I'm in a situation where I'm betting my life on being able to make it off the mountain at night in conditions that include sleet, rain, snow, high winds, sub zero temperatures, and often all of the above. All of those lights that I bring into these conditions are of the highest quality and have the highest reliability in my estimation. A good portion of what SAR does is rescue, and unfortunately often times recover, people who for one reason or another were not prepared for the conditions that they found themselves in. My philosophy on gear may seem overkill or less efficient economically, and I understand that. But, its been influenced by seeing first hand what happens when people are unprepared or underprepared.
 
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Lips

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That’s all I did lips, sometimes get back same day, being weekend might take a few. I asked if they could swap out the LED for a NW or easywhite flavour. But all repaired and returned as was in CW. I would have happily paid extra for a more neutral beam. No biggie, gets used every night out back anyway. In fact I have just been using it to swap out some G shock batteries.

I'll be dang, the light came back to me Saturday. Took 47 days round trip. All fixed and back working. Looks like they repaired bad part on the driver and put some potting material on there back of it. The brass button where + battery resides looks used so pretty sure same driver... Light sat on my shelf broke for over 6 years. Happy camper to have her back in service.

Sc30 - Sc31 - Sc32 all working. Pretty cool to see the cr123 variants and how they've changed. Zebra needs to update the cr123/rcr123 line imho. Anything bigger around the house is too big for me to carry!
 

neutralwhite

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ZL for life and death even if its potted ?
I mean an Elzetta is potted unless its a different potting and maybe better tube wall thickness / drop protection.
what would make you use more than a ZL, even an ArmyTek.

Paying double the reasonable price for a product, just to get a lifetime warranty, isn't very economically sound. Especially for electronics, which you'll want to upgrade in a few years anyway.

Besides, companies come and go. I've got a few 4sevens lights with nice 10 year warranties. Yeah, that didn't work out so well.

Surfire might make nice products, but they're priced for military and law enforcement contracts. Government doesn't care about the price, nor the cost of disposable batteries.

Zebralight is still fairly expensive, but it's a reasonable consumer price for what you get.

Would I use a Zebra for a life & death situation? No. But I wouldn't use a Surefire, either. I'd have at least 2 lights. With a backup (or two), the difference in reliability between 99.99% and 99.999% isn't really relevant. Two lights of good quality are never going to both randomly fail at the same time.
 
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holygeez03

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Great to hear...

FYI... for anyone with lights that carry a Lifetime Warranty, you probably paid way more than $15 for it... if you make a couple of warranty claims, maybe you're even. But if you don't use it, you paid for other people's repairs.
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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ZL for life and death even if its potted ?
I mean an Elzetta is potted unless its a different potting and maybe better tube wall thickness / drop protection.
what would make you use more than a ZL, even an ArmyTek.

What I meant, when I said I wouldn't use a Zebralight (or another brand) for life & death, is that I would always have at least two. The chances of two decent flashlights going bad at the same time is practically non-existent, and far less likely than one flashlight alone even if it's the best brand out there.

If you're carrying only one flashlight, regardless of the quality, in a life & death situation, then eventually you're going to get the latter.
 

ven

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Yes, does not matter how expensive, how rare, how custom..............if its dropped down a shaft or stolen its= no light!. Agree and as archi says, 2 is definitely 1.

Cheap light is better than no light! Even if the back up is a cheap one or not imo.
 

AVService

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OK I certainly agree with this but there is no way anyone could have understood that this is what you meant from that post.
If you had added the word "Only" or "Just" before a Zebralight the post changes entirely but I wondered what you meant as well.

What I meant, when I said I wouldn't use a Zebralight (or another brand) for life & death, is that I would always have at least two. The chances of two decent flashlights going bad at the same time is practically non-existent, and far less likely than one flashlight alone even if it's the best brand out there.

If you're carrying only one flashlight, regardless of the quality, in a life & death situation, then eventually you're going to get the latter.
 

Lumen83

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FYI... for anyone with lights that carry a Lifetime Warranty, you probably paid way more than $15 for it... if you make a couple of warranty claims, maybe you're even. But if you don't use it, you paid for other people's repairs.

I have a number of lights with lifetime warranties that I purchased new in the past several years for under $60.00. Something tells me I didn't pay "way more" than $15.00 for it. And you are also ignoring the fact that part of the pricing of a ZL includes a percentage of markup to pay for their first year free warranty claims, and the fact that they are willing to repair/replace/ship lights after the first year for $15.00. So, I don't think you have enough data to suggest what you are trying to suggest, unless you have actual insight as to what ZL's markup is for its warranty vs. what other manufacturers markup is for a lifetime warranty.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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I have a number of lights with lifetime warranties that I purchased new in the past several years for under $60.00. Something tells me I didn't pay "way more" than $15.00 for it.

There's a few honest ways that companies can handle lifetime warranties:

1. They can raise the initial price of the product to pay for future claims.

2. They can make a product so robust that there will be very few warranty claims (and this also increases the price, obviously).

3. They can make warranty claims difficult, requiring stuff like the original receipt, making you pay for shipping, etc.

4. They can hope that by the time the product fails, most people won't care to make a claim.

5. They can go bankrupt, close down, or enter bankruptcy protection and re-emerge, thus voiding all warranties.

6. They can pay for those future warranty claims out of future profits, which can work if the company is fast-growing.

In most cases, you're paying for that lifetime warranty in one way or another. It's probably not 25% of the cost, though. I always refuse those extended warranties that big-box electronic stores try to sell me. I see them as a rip-off. YMMV.
 

Lumen83

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There's a few honest ways that companies can handle lifetime warranties:

3. They can make warranty claims difficult, requiring stuff like the original receipt, making you pay for shipping, etc.

This is another reason I choose a different manufacturer over ZL. ZL requires proof of purchase. The manufacturer that I prefer has repaired two lights that I have bought used and did not have any kind of proof of purchase.

On another note, does anyone know that ZL advertises that it will fix lights for 15 dollars after the first year in their warranty? If not, then thats not a warranty or guarantee that they will always fix your light for 15 dollars. You still have a one year only warranty with the hopes that the manufacturer will continue to fix lights for a certain price at their discretion after a year.
 

Crazyeddiethefirst

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For the record, I have used Zebralight’s warranty service twice in my life. Both for repairs that were caused by operator error and neither was a failure during routine use. Both times I was not asked for any documentation regarding proof of ownership-merely an accurate description of the problem and a check for $15(this was the total cost I paid to ZL and it included the cost of shipping out of country for repair and back to me). Since the first involved a torn rubber switch cover I asked if I could buy a spare-they included it at no additional cost). They were very helpful and in no way shape or form did they try to make the process difficult.
 

Tachead

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I have had nothing but, positive dealings with ZL as well. I have been using their headlamps for a few years now and have yet to have a failure. I routinely use them backcountry camping, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, ATV & Motocross riding, in industrial settings, target & competitive shooting, etc. I would gladly use one for SAR but, as said, I would always have a backup(I do, see below).

All things can fail but, at least ZL pots their electronics, uses Gorilla Glass lenses, and uses high grade anodized aluminum to give you the best chance. Good luck finding another headlamp that offers all the features ZL's do lumen83. If you ever do though, let me know as I may want one too lol.

https://i.imgur.com/f0Wv4w7.jpg

Glad you got your light back Lips👍.
 
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ven

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I am no fan boy of any actual brand, yes there are many i like/love a lot though(some more than others maybe). My ZL experience was a little frustrating due to time. I shipped to Texas the mk1 lamp, think it was around £8 post. Then after going Texas, messaged me telling me it was going to China for repair. SO i said thanks a bunch kind of thing, not happy etc. So 2 more weeks it got to China(maybe 4 weeks now). Anything near another 1 to 2 weeks then updated with shipping info. They never asked for the $15 payment, even sent some clips and 2 extra head bands . Maybe a total of 6 weeks all in, ZL came through. Now i have HDS, surefire,elzetta, Malkoff , OR to name some . If i get a fault, its 2 weeks to USA, maybe 2 weeks to repair(if lucky depending who), then again up to 2 weeks return. So all in all, if i buy Chinese or USA, come time of any issue, i have potentially a 6wk inconvenience. This will vary of course , depending on where you live in the world. Living near Gene or Henry then its a no brainer!!

For for us poor UK folk, buying USA is certainly a strong point for me, but of little advantage if/when/has, a repair might come up. Just some thoughts, also i do believe some ZL issues can be resolved USA side anyway.
 

Lumen83

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Good luck finding another headlamp that offers all the features ZL's do lumen83. If you ever do though, let me know as I may want one too lol.

I hadn't come across many or any when I was searching for an 18650 light. That is why I purchased the ZL that showed up DOA. As for the cr123a format, I am very happy with my Olight H1. Would you say that has similar features to what ZL has to offer in that format? I don't believe I saw a cr123a headlamp offered by zebralight anymore in neutral white. To me, this is a feature that other manufacturers offer that ZL doesn't. I don't think that ZLs are blowing the doors off their competitors with features that no one else is offering in this format. On the other hand, if ZLs are potted, I'm guessing that Olights are not. So, that may be one.
 
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Tachead

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I hadn't come across many or any when I was searching for an 18650 light. That is why I purchased the ZL that showed up DOA. As for the cr123a format, I am very happy with my Olight H1. Would you say that has similar features to what ZL has to offer in that format? I don't believe that the Olight's are potted. I also wasn't aware that the ZL cr123a headlamps were if they are.

That is because there isn't any lol. ZL stopped updating their CR123a models years ago unfortunately. As for Olight vs ZL... Olight makes a pretty good light but, ZL is in a different class imo. Would I still use an Olight if ZL wasn't an option? Sure but, given the choice between the two I would chose ZL. All new ZL models are potted as far as I know.
 

Tachead

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That is unfortunate. I prefer the CR123a format for a lot of use cases for headlamps.
I believe most 18650 ZL's will run on primaries in a pinch(the ones with duel springs at least). But, I agree I like primaries for their long shelf life and temperature resistance. But, I have had no issues using my 18650 models in a variety of conditions and temperatures(I live in Canada and it is was - 45C with windchill the other night and I used it for hours) and I prefer the cost savings and added capacity most of the time(situation dependent of course).
 

Lumen83

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I believe most 18650 ZL's will run on primaries in a pinch(the ones with duel springs at least). But, I agree I like primaries for their long shelf life and temperature resistance. But, I have had no issues using my 18650 models in a variety of conditions and temperatures(I live in Canada and it is was - 45C with windchill the other night and I used it for hours) and I prefer the cost savings and added capacity most of the time(situation dependent of course).

I've had similar experiences with 18650s in the cold. Haven't had any poor results. However, I've never left them out in the cold long term and then tested. I need to keep lights in the truck, snowmobile, ATV, etc. outside year round. And, I only trust primaries for that kind of long term storage. I'm not quite in Canada but I'm not too far from its border in the US.
 
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