Zebralight SC30W Review

Budda

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
602
Location
Italy
Hello everybody.

Aplogize for my bad english.



Light was purchased at http://www.ledfiretorches.co.uk/index.php

I've been using for a week this little SC30W as EDC.



Zebralight is mainly known for headlamps, but they also produce flashlights as this 1xCR123/RCR flashlight with warm tint.



Packaging is quiet simple: light, headband with plastic holder, incstructions.

Finish and anodizing is perfect on my sample, with squared cut threads which work really smoothly.

Light is composed by 2 pieces: the body and the tailcap, and a removable clip with 2 phillips screws (screwdrivers are alwais availeble for these screws and they will last longer than exagonal ones in my experience :thumbsup: ) is installed.

You can't take apart the light more, and tailcap presents a really solid assembling.



image-4741_4D658431.jpg




Lets talk about the clip: the emitter portion of the light presents some deep grooves, with edges enough rought on my sample. Assuming that they can improve heath dissipation, increasing contact surface, its not a good choice to mount a strong clip on them: it will shred your colthes :thumbsdow, while keeping safely in place the light. Even loosening a bit the screws, the clip will push your clothes on the sharpened edges of the groove. Not a big deal, imho: at the beginning I was concerned by the chance to loose it, since is such small and I couldnt use the clip.



Glad to see that Zebralight solved this issue using a different shape of grooving on other lights as SC51 (on the left, on the right SC30):

SC50back.jpg
SC30_standing_up_clip.jpg




The light uses a Cree XP-E Neutral White (color temperature around 4000K), and have 6 levels: 3 main levels (let's call them Low,Medium,High) and for every level you can choose between 2 sub-levels (let's call them a,b).



Uses an electronical switch, so parasitic drain will unload your Cr123 in 3 years.

Since tactical lock out is possible, and really easy to perform (it's enought to untwist tailcap for 45°), I use it to prevent accidentally activations while carrying in my pockets (its switch is easyer to activate compared to a mechanical one).



Levels are really well spaced and can satisfy almost all the cpfers even the lover of moonlight level (here I am :whistle: ).

Here are the manufacturer's spec:

  • High: A 161 Lumens (0.9 hrs) or B 87 Lumens (2 hrs)
  • Medium: A 32 Lumens (12 hrs) or B 17 Lumens (23 hrs)
  • Low: A 3.2 Lumens (3.7 days) or B 0.3 Lumens (21 days)
I find really useful both the low levels (the 0.3 lumen is good for night walking and for dark adapted eyes, while 3.2 can be used for still not adapted eyes), and the hightest levels: A can be used for everyday brief tasks (as find something fallen in a dark corner), and B is good for longer task since it won't consume the battery too fast. Rechargeable RCR cells are allowed, but runtimes are shorter. If you use a RCR battery in your SC30 I recommend you to carry a spare one :sssh:.



Beam is really good on my sample: the shor OP reflector gives a little spot with a luminows crown, and a wide and luminous spill. No artifacts or imperfections on my sample.



Interface is a little complicated at the beginning, but is easy to use and works good on EDC tasks: from off, push briefly the button to turn on on high level, or make a longer push to turn the light on low level. To cicle between the 3 modes, simple kept pushed the button, and the light will cilce to low-medium-high in a infinite loop. When you reached your desired level, relase the switch, and the light will use it.



To cicle between A and B mode of each level, is necessary a fast double click. Light will kept memorized you choice no matter what other sublevels are, even if you change the battery. It means that you can program the light with these levels: Low A, Medium B, High A; or Low B, Medium A, high B; or whatever you desire.

I use the lowest setting (0.3 lumen) as the low output, and there's a brief and hardly noticeable flash when turning on. It won't affect your night-vision and it is not too distracting (I own a quark 123^2, and its preflash is distracting as hell), since the flash is at 3.2 lumen (if you turn on the light at low A level it won't be visible).



Warm tint is really good, I loved my PreonII warm tint, but Sc30's one is better. Maybe 47 warm tint is too much on brown side to me :shrug:



The light comes with a headband, here's an official picture:

sc30_with_headband_2_1.jpg




Its overall quality is good, but I have some doubts: the light is kept in place by 2 tight o-rings. When you install the light on the headband, they have to delate pretty much and they will strongly push against the groove. Same problem of the clip? No, I was worried about the wear of the plastic material, however I did some mounting and un-mounting and they seems to be as new. But they are definetly too tight, for me its difficoult to install the light without dilate them too much (and Im concern to break them).



I have never had headlamps, and wasn't enthusiast to use my Sc30 as a headlamp, due to its beam profile: not flood as an headlamp should be, with an annoying spot.

Totally wrong, in real use (map reading, DIY) the light served me really well, and I didn't found the difference between spot and spill annoying at all. The only thing that disappointed me is that when you are using an headlamp, the beam would have to be focused more on the area that your eyes are focusing. The headband will suspend the light on your head OVER your eyes, so the spot will result higher than your eyes line. This is annoying when reading: using the light with a hand, the lowest level worked fine, but when I tryed to mount on the headband the result was that the part of the page that I was reading was illuminated by the spill; the spot was over.



Conclusions:

SC30, a good EDC flashlight? Definetly yes, without SOS, strobo and beacon modes annoying yourself, you get a light that can provide you the perfect beam for mid-low range EDC tasks. Now my EDC kit is composed by the SC30W and a victorinox minichamp, the smallest victorinox tool with greater number of useful tool.



Can be used when necessary as a headlamp? Surely, but if your primary need is an headlamp, I suggest you to buy a classic Zebralight headlamp. From what I can say from this SC30W, you wan't be disappointed.



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