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

tops2

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
512
Great review as always .
Time for me to add a SC5w to my collection or a SC600w mkIII Or both.:paypal:

Get both and let me know how the SC600 mkIII complements the SC5w. :grin2:

I got the SC5w, and contemplating the mkIII or SC63w!
 

tops2

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
512
Omg.. My favorite light. Long run time. Bright when I want it to be. Enough throw for my usage. Love the quick access to 6 levels. Good UI (even though I still make mistakes from time to time). Love moonlight level now. Solid feel. Perfect tint and colors whether I'm inside or outside. The flood is awesome! It lights up such a nice area in my opinion. I'm always using this light in the house...kind of driving my wife nuts that I use the SC5w instead of the house light sometimes.

Main negative for me is the weight and size. While not huge, it's still big enough. It's a lot more noticeable when wearing gym shorts/pants...so I don't carry this when I go to the gym... The other negative is the clip! Oh so strong! I swapped it with third party clip and feels much easier to use, although less secure... And even though I like the UI most of the time...once in a while I still mess up.

That said, it's my favorite light. I basically don't use my other lights much anymore.


I'm still considering the mkIII or SC63w, but honestly I don't need them for where I live (suburbs). I want them mostly for fun. I'm starting to lean towards mkIII now since SC5w is small enough to be EDC so just want a to maximize for throw. SC63w feels like it's a compromise between not small enough (vs SC5w) and not as powerful as the mkIII. But feels like every other day I switch between which I'd pick.

I just received my Olight S1 today from the group buy. It's even smaller and lighter than the SC5w..but that's pretty much it. I may EDC it for the gym and for when I know I'll be back before dark.
 

C.M.S

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
148
Location
Kansas
Omg.. My favorite light. Long run time. Bright when I want it to be. Enough throw for my usage. Love the quick access to 6 levels. Good UI (even though I still make mistakes from time to time). Love moonlight level now. Solid feel. Perfect tint and colors whether I'm inside or outside. The flood is awesome! It lights up such a nice area in my opinion. I'm always using this light in the house...kind of driving my wife nuts that I use the SC5w instead of the house light sometimes.

Main negative for me is the weight and size. While not huge, it's still big enough. It's a lot more noticeable when wearing gym shorts/pants...so I don't carry this when I go to the gym... The other negative is the clip! Oh so strong! I swapped it with third party clip and feels much easier to use, although less secure... And even though I like the UI most of the time...once in a while I still mess up.

That said, it's my favorite light. I basically don't use my other lights much anymore.


I'm still considering the mkIII or SC63w, but honestly I don't need them for where I live (suburbs). I want them mostly for fun. I'm starting to lean towards mkIII now since SC5w is small enough to be EDC so just want a to maximize for throw. SC63w feels like it's a compromise between not small enough (vs SC5w) and not as powerful as the mkIII. But feels like every other day I switch between which I'd pick.

I just received my Olight S1 today from the group buy. It's even smaller and lighter than the SC5w..but that's pretty much it. I may EDC it for the gym and for when I know I'll be back before dark.


The mkIII has the bigger sized head for better heat dissipation , i have the mkII and love it .
 

C.M.S

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
148
Location
Kansas
Omg.. My favorite light. Long run time. Bright when I want it to be. Enough throw for my usage. Love the quick access to 6 levels. Good UI (even though I still make mistakes from time to time). Love moonlight level now. Solid feel. Perfect tint and colors whether I'm inside or outside. The flood is awesome! It lights up such a nice area in my opinion. I'm always using this light in the house...kind of driving my wife nuts that I use the SC5w instead of the house light sometimes.

Main negative for me is the weight and size. While not huge, it's still big enough. It's a lot more noticeable when wearing gym shorts/pants...so I don't carry this when I go to the gym... The other negative is the clip! Oh so strong! I swapped it with third party clip and feels much easier to use, although less secure... And even though I like the UI most of the time...once in a while I still mess up.

That said, it's my favorite light. I basically don't use my other lights much anymore.


I'm still considering the mkIII or SC63w, but honestly I don't need them for where I live (suburbs). I want them mostly for fun. I'm starting to lean towards mkIII now since SC5w is small enough to be EDC so just want a to maximize for throw. SC63w feels like it's a compromise between not small enough (vs SC5w) and not as powerful as the mkIII. But feels like every other day I switch between which I'd pick.

I just received my Olight S1 today from the group buy. It's even smaller and lighter than the SC5w..but that's pretty much it. I may EDC it for the gym and for when I know I'll be back before dark.


The mkIII has the bigger sized head for better heat dissipation , i have the mkII and love it .
 

Swedpat

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
3,448
Location
Boden, Sweden
It's not the first time I am late to say it: thanks Selfbuilt for another great review!

I ordered this light at monday and received it at thursday. As usual when it's an option I chosed the neutral tint. Since several years I have two Zebralight headlamps: H501W and H501red, so I know these are very high class equipment. At first I planned to get SC52d High CRI, but I like the new design of SC5 better, and think that the larger knurled body will provide better hold.
And I don't think I am wrong. The hold comfort is excellent for such a small light, and the switch is exactly on the right place.

The available output of SC5 is just impressive, especially considering that it's powered by a normal single AA battery. Still my intention is not to use it at the higher levels. Neither the lowest: I will likely have the light mainly programmed at the L1, M1, and M2B levels.
But it's good to know that super low and super high levels are available if I would need them.

I thought it before and SC5w has confirmed it for me: Zebralight really belongs to the high end of flashlights. Everything is perfect. The machining and the function is really top notch, everything radiates Surefire class. And the body color reminds of the Surefire E-series.
For me SC5 is the closest to the perfect 1AA EDC flashlight I have ever experienced, and surely it's a strong candidate to the finest 1AA light available at the market today.

Zebralight SC5w compared to Quark Mini AA, Fenix E12 and Xeno EO3:




Zebralight SC5w together with Surefire E1L Outdoorsman:

 
Last edited:

cancow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
157
Nice! I just wish they made a AA version. I don't get all the popularity of 1 cell lights. The have less run time harder th handle, and easier to lose. Maybe I just have big hands.
 

Swedpat

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
3,448
Location
Boden, Sweden
Nice! I just wish they made a 2AA version. I don't get all the popularity of 1 cell lights. The have less run time harder th handle, and easier to lose. Maybe I just have big hands.

There are pros and cons with different battery configurations. The advantage with single cell is the battery simpleness and the compactness.
A single cell light will better fit in a small pocket, for example in the front pocket of a par of jeans, where a 2AA model can be too long to be comfortable to carry.
A single AA cell light also means you can use every AA cell without taking any account to its model or discharge level; no need matching cells like in a multiple cell light.

By the way: I filled on 2 in the quote because I understand you meant it.
 
Last edited:

Burgess

Flashaholic
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
6,425
Location
USA
While I agree with everything SwedPat wrote (above),

I myself would * LOVE * a 2xAA version of the SC5 !


:twothumbs
_
 
Last edited:

Swedpat

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
3,448
Location
Boden, Sweden
I would get a 2AA version if it will be released. Because SC5 is short for a 1AA light a 2AA version would be short for a 2AA light.
Also I wish Zebralight would offer a thrower option with same UI but with larger and deeper reflector and XP-G2 LED!
 

markr6

Flashaholic
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
9,258
I would get a 2AA version if it will be released. Because SC5 is short for a 1AA light a 2AA version would be short for a 2AA light.
Also I wish Zebralight would offer a thrower option with same UI but with larger and deeper reflector and XP-G2 LED!

I would like to see them break out of the "small as possible" mindset, eventually. They're doing great there, but let's expand! Specifically the SC5, since it's overkill for a 1xAA. I just never use mine. But a 2xAA would give it a nice runtime on the higher modes, something I would keep in my car or around the house.
 

Swedpat

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
3,448
Location
Boden, Sweden
I would like to see them break out of the "small as possible" mindset, eventually. They're doing great there, but let's expand! Specifically the SC5, since it's overkill for a 1xAA. I just never use mine. But a 2xAA would give it a nice runtime on the higher modes, something I would keep in my car or around the house.

When I think about it the SC5 could be some cm longer. It had been better in the hand and still not too long for any activity.

By the way: I just measured runtime at my SC5w with an alkaline battery. It's a Kjell & Company model(a swedish retail chain that sells accessories for home electronics). Expiry date is 04-2020.

I chosed the third H2 mode (stated 107lm). Result: the output was flat stable for 1hr 52min, then instantly dropped to the next lower level programmed to M2(19lm).
While not as long runtime with alkaline as with NiMh, I find it pretty good anyway. SC5 really is a suited companion for travel and when you don't want to rely on getting the opportunity to recharge the cells. Alkalines are available everywhere and buying a 4 or 10-pack where you find it will give many hours of useful lighting even at decent brightness level if needed.
Even if I mostly use my quality lights with NiMh and lithium I find it worthwhile to have the possibility to get good use of alkalines as well. Actually it's pretty much the main reason I use AA-lights at all.

Shortly after this test I (just for curiosity) replaced the cell with another unused from same batch in order to try if the alkaline is able to push the light to max level at all. Yes; for maybe 2s or so it was full power and then it started to slowly drop. Within around 30s the brightness was less than half. Some minute more the light was very warm so I turned it off.
 
Last edited:

Burgess

Flashaholic
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
6,425
Location
USA
I completed a Run-Time Test on my ZebraLight SC5w flashlight,
using a Duracell Quantum alkaline battery (expires 2023).

On M1 (45 Lumens), it lasted 6.8 Hours (still fully regulated).

Then instant drop to L1 for 240+ mins. Didn't dare go longer ! :)

Why ? Cuz' it's an Alkaline, after all ! :whistle:


( no, there wasn't any leakage. THIS time . . . . )
 
Top