Zebralight SC5 (1xAA, XM-L2) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

gkbain

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Apr 1, 2013
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I did a very unscientific test on my Zebra Lights. I wanted to see which one would last the longest before shutting down completely. I started all on H1 on hot of the charger batteries and let them go. Here are the results:

SC5w Eneloop Pro 73 min
SC52cw Nitecore 14500 86 min
SC32w Olight 16340 110 min

All these lights have H1 outputs very close. They do throttle back at different times but the SC32w really impressed me since it is so small. The Olight battery didn't bad either.
It was stormy here and the power was off so seemed like a good time to do this. I actually started about 30 min before the power went off. The 16340 battery doesn't get a lot of respect but I really like them. The SC32 is a tiny light.
 

Badbeams3

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I did a very unscientific test on my Zebra Lights. I wanted to see which one would last the longest before shutting down completely. I started all on H1 on hot of the charger batteries and let them go. Here are the results:

SC5w Eneloop Pro 73 min
SC52cw Nitecore 14500 86 min
SC32w Olight 16340 110 min

All these lights have H1 outputs very close. They do throttle back at different times but the SC32w really impressed me since it is so small. The Olight battery didn't bad either.
It was stormy here and the power was off so seemed like a good time to do this. I actually started about 30 min before the power went off. The 16340 battery doesn't get a lot of respect but I really like them. The SC32 is a tiny light.

That is impressive. And the SC32 might end up on my hit list.
 

gkbain

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Oops! In my previous post I declared the sc32 the winner. I was wrong. The SC5 is still going, very dim, but going. I lost the track of time but it has been going for about 150 minutes and still going. The 32 does have more useable light for the longest period of time but the 5 is clearly the winner.
 
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AVService

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Well all I can really add is these pics since mine arrived Today.

SC80,SC5 and SC52.

SC5 is almost a hybrid style wise between the other two.

1fb12e83b72fc96eba1c97ec54b398f5.jpg
5669690b1f33af94715fa3b5c3ee340d.jpg
feeb53b09a85e818a2ca938db6923e37.jpg
 

Tapis

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Can someone comment about the heat dissipation on high? Is the light getting pretty hot (like the SC62w)? Is it a problem running it at high indefinitely until the battery is empty?
 
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recDNA

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You realize it steps down right? No small flashlight can produce 500 lumens for full runtime unless it is below zero out.
 

Wrecked

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Just to summarize why I think this light does not and should not replace the SC52.

The SC5...

1. is larger.
2. is FAR heavier. I mean, it's 45% heavier than an SC62! (sans battery)
3. will be a pocket shredder and more difficult to take in and out of pocket. This is a major shortcoming to those of us who've had lights with this problem before.

#1 and #2 are the primary reason some people carried an SC52 to begin with. The SC52 is lightweight and small.

The performance of the SC5 is without a doubt EXTREMELY impressive, however, in the real world I think I'd rather EDC the SC52. I have three of them (SC52Ws) already and I think I'll buy another couple to have just in case it's never replaced with something comparable, which the SC5 is not, IMO. I think I'll pick up a couple more SC62Ws too while I'm at it.

Thanks as always for the excellent review, selfbuilt!

I agree - the SC5 is no replacement for the SC52 just like the SC80 (similar in size to the SC5) wasn't a replacement for the SC51. I thought about getting the SC5 until I saw the comparison photos. I didn't like the size of the SC80 and it seems very similar. I have several SC52 and SC51 lights and I'm quite happy with their size/form factor.


EDIT: Just heard from Zebralight - SC52 will be replaced by SC53!
 
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markr6

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SC5Fc and SC5Fd on the chart. I'm not really into the frosted versions, though.

In the notes:
Individually measured OTF chromaticity to be within an area that's less than half (on the CIE 1931 color space) of the LUXEON T we use, to achieve the industry's smallest tint variations.
 

The Whispering Gallery

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SC5Fc and SC5Fd on the chart. I'm not really into the frosted versions, though.

In the notes:
Individually measured OTF chromaticity to be within an area that's less than half (on the CIE 1931 color space) of the LUXEON T we use, to achieve the industry's smallest tint variations.

Very interesting that the chart states 85 CRI XM-L2 leds for SC5Fc (4000K) and SC5Fd (5000K) and runtime at max output of 0.8 hrs. A 4000K SC5c or SC53c would be amazing if there was a decent increase in lumens compared to the 5000K SC52d. Take my money!
:paypal:
 

BigBluefish

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As usual, great review, selfbuilt.

Is there an SC5c. -5d coming without the frosted lens? I've got an SC62d and love it. Don't really need more lumens, but hey, if I can get of them, and from one of my Eneloop Pro's why not?

Pity about the clip, though. I might have to get an SC32w for front pocket carry, and the SC5-whatever for jacket pocket carry. Unless there isn't going to be a high-cri version with the unfrosted lense, in which case I'll have to scrounge up an SC52d or -c, or just an SC52w. Since my 14500s aren't doing anything else these days. They get a little toasty in an E03. :)
 

Mr Floppy

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Very interesting that the chart states 85 CRI XM-L2 leds for SC5Fc (4000K) and SC5Fd (5000K)

As mentioned in the other thread, zebralight some times don't fully update that document. I have not seen an 85 cri xm-l2 that is above 3200K, and definitely not one at 5000K.
 

recDNA

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Back to the sc5 for a moment...it is my understanding that the sc5 has a smooth reflector and sc5w has an op reflector. Has anyone measure the difference in lux between the two? If not and someone who reads this has both lights and the equipment could you let us know? Thanks
 
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