Zebralight SC52w-L2 comparison to SC52

thedoc007

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It's possible that the SC52w-L2 generates more heat, but since the brightness levels I measured were identical, I doubt this is a significant factor. Perhaps the neutral white XML2 emitter generates more heat than the cool white XML emitter?

Any ideas for the difference?

Warmer emitters are virtually always less efficient than cool ones. So this is to be expected. If they are identical brightness, the warm one version should be driven harder, and therefore generate more heat.

If you take current measurements from both lights on a fresh battery, it should be clear.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Warmer emitters are virtually always less efficient than cool ones. So this is to be expected. If they are identical brightness, the warm one version should be driven harder, and therefore generate more heat.

If you take current measurements from both lights on a fresh battery, it should be clear.

No, current readings from the SC52 and SC52w-L2 are the same. The brightness gain from the warm emitter is because it's an XML2, whereas the SC52 is an XML. The XML2 gain cancels out the loss from it being a warmer LED.

I'm not sure if the SC52-L2 is driven harder or not. I suspect the driver is the same, and it's slightly brighter than the SC52w-L2, but I don't have one to compare.
 

hatman

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Thanks for the fine report and photos.

Are you in a position to do some follow-up tests using a 14500?
 

thedoc007

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No, current readings from the SC52 and SC52w-L2 are the same. The brightness gain from the warm emitter is because it's an XML2, whereas the SC52 is an XML. The XML2 gain cancels out the loss from it being a warmer LED.

Ah, ok. Didn't realize you were comparing two different models. But my point stands, more or less. If you have two identical models/emitters, one with warm and one with cool emitter, if they are the same brightness, it is almost certain the warm one will generate more heat.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Are you in a position to do some follow-up tests using a 14500?

Sorry, I don't have any 14500 cells. But from what I understand, the only difference is the H1 mode goes to 500 lumens for 1 minute then steps down to the same 280 as a AA cell gives. At some point I'll get a couple of 14500 cells for my SC52's, but I mostly use the H2b mode for high so a super-bright H1 mode probably wouldn't get used much. The battery doesn't last very long on H1, which is why I use a dimmer mode.
 

StorminMatt

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Sorry, I don't have any 14500 cells. But from what I understand, the only difference is the H1 mode goes to 500 lumens for 1 minute then steps down to the same 280 as a AA cell gives. At some point I'll get a couple of 14500 cells for my SC52's, but I mostly use the H2b mode for high so a super-bright H1 mode probably wouldn't get used much. The battery doesn't last very long on H1, which is why I use a dimmer mode.

Keep in mind that the 500 lumen H1 with a 14500 only lasts a minute before stepping down to 280 lumens. So the usefulness of this mode (and perhaps using a 14500 in the first place) is rather limited. On the other hand, it is said that another advantage to running a 14500 vs NiMH AA is that regulation is flatter at 280 lumens. But since I only have one SC52w, I have not been able to test this. Yet another possible advantage to using a 14500 might be longer runtime. Although a 14500 holds no more energy than a NiMH AA, the higher voltage gives it the advantage of not needing to use the rather inefficient boost regulator (not needing to boost voltage increases the amount of energy available to the emitter).
 
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StorminMatt

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I actually decided to run a test with an IMR Kinoko 750mAH (600mAH real capacity) 14500 and Eneloop 2000 to see which runs flatter in H1. Basically, I ran the light in H1 for a half hour and switched down to H2. H2 runs quite flat on NiMH. So the difference between H1 and H2 will give you a good idea of how much H1 has dimmed. Simply put, there is little difference between H1 and H2 with an Eneloop 2000 after a half hour. At forty minutes, there is ZERO difference between H1 and H2 with NiMH. With a 14500, there is a healthy difference between H1 and H2 until the light automatically steps down to medium (after 35-40 minutes with these particular 14500s). So it would appear that the light DOES run flatter with the 14500.
 

StandardBattery

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Excellent comparisons! Thanks! I think I need a new SC52, my current Zebra AAs don't get much use, but I keep one in the tool kit in case I need more runtime than the EDC, and they are great gifts being battery friendly for the non-flashaholics. I'd probably pass on this one except the tint looks yummy, and I don't think I have an XML version of their AA light. The last I bought was a cool white SC-52 in 2012 I think. Interesting I think it was still rated at 280 Lumens. I can't keep all the models straight right now having been out of it for a while.
 

StorminMatt

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I'd probably pass on this one except the tint looks yummy, and I don't think I have an XML version of their AA light. The last I bought was a cool white SC-52 in 2012 I think. Interesting I think it was still rated at 280 Lumens. I can't keep all the models straight right now having been out of it for a while.

If you have an SC52, it has an XM-L. If you have the older, smooth bodied SC51, then you have an XP-G. As far as upgrading, not sure how worthwhile this is if you already have an SC52. You only gain 20 lumens with the latest iteration if you stick with a cool tint. So unless yours is thrashed or you want to upgrade to the warmer tint, it's probably not really worth upgrading.
 

StandardBattery

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If you have an SC52, it has an XM-L. If you have the older, smooth bodied SC51, then you have an XP-G. As far as upgrading, not sure how worthwhile this is if you already have an SC52. You only gain 20 lumens with the latest iteration if you stick with a cool tint. So unless yours is thrashed or you want to upgrade to the warmer tint, it's probably not really worth upgrading.
Thanks for the info, my most recent AA is an SC52 CW it has the ridges, so i will check the emitter. I already ordered the new one, but i'm sure i'll appreciate the warmer tint as i tend to favour those by far. It looks like one of them will make the gift pile or the existing one will just stay in the tool bag. Cool white tint seems to work well in that application.
 

hatman

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I have the previous SC52W as well as the L2W. The tints are slightly different but both are warm and lovely.

I run both with 14500s. Every once in a while, I read about someone who uses Eneloops and I give them a try. I always return to my 14500s. What a great combination they are with these lights.

Thanks for a most informative thread.
 

NutSAK

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I usually feed mine with AW 14500 also. However, according to Selfbuilt's review, runtimes are slightly better with an Eneloop cell. So, if the "burst" mode that 14500 provides isn't needed, the more durable Eneloop cell is the way to go, IMO.
 

markr6

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I usually feed mine with AW 14500 also. However, according to Selfbuilt's review, runtimes are slightly better with an Eneloop cell. So, if the "burst" mode that 14500 provides isn't needed, the more durable Eneloop cell is the way to go, IMO.

The burst mode can be addictive and drains the battery incredibly fast. I thought it was a false indication when I got 2 blinks on the voltage indicator one day. Seems like I just charged the battery that same day...and I did! But I still leave a 14500 in since I don't use it much (basically a bedroom nightstand light)
 

NutSAK

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The burst mode can be addictive and drains the battery incredibly fast. I thought it was a false indication when I got 2 blinks on the voltage indicator one day. Seems like I just charged the battery that same day...and I did! But I still leave a 14500 in since I don't use it much (basically a bedroom nightstand light)

Yeah, I know what you mean. I really just keep the 14500 in there for the optional "wow" factor, but I never truly need it. :ohgeez:
 

StorminMatt

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I usually feed mine with AW 14500 also. However, according to Selfbuilt's review, runtimes are slightly better with an Eneloop cell. So, if the "burst" mode that 14500 provides isn't needed, the more durable Eneloop cell is the way to go, IMO.

Maybe it depends on what mode you are using. But with a Sanyo 14500UR cell (min 800mAH), I get exactly an hour of runtime on H1 before it steps down to medium. With an Eneloop 2000, after forty minutes, it's still going. But output is no better on H1 than H2. Lower modes might be a different story. But at the highest output, a good 14500 (like the Sanyo 14500UR) will DEFINITELY net you better runtime.
 

DavidMB

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I really liked your review!, but I'm also disappointed that a triple click sets off strobe mode. I have a feeling that I'd set it off too.
 

thedoc007

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I really liked your review!, but I'm also disappointed that a triple click sets off strobe mode.

Me too. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a tactical light, and instant access to strobe is not important to me. Not only that, but it is less intuitive now. Single click is high, double click is medium, and then you might think triple click is low. But no, it takes you to a completely different mode! Definitely wish they had left the interface as is...the interface is one of the strongest points in Zebralights favor over most other lights, in my opinion. The fewer changes they make, the better.
 
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NutSAK

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Maybe it depends on what mode you are using. But with a Sanyo 14500UR cell (min 800mAH), I get exactly an hour of runtime on H1 before it steps down to medium. With an Eneloop 2000, after forty minutes, it's still going. But output is no better on H1 than H2. Lower modes might be a different story. But at the highest output, a good 14500 (like the Sanyo 14500UR) will DEFINITELY net you better runtime.

My comparisons of runtime (and Selfbuilt's) between 14500 and Eneloop are based upon AW cells, which don't have as much capacity as your Sanyos. The 14500UR would indeed provide better runtime than an Eneloop in the SC52, when the cell is new.

Regardless, my preference for Eneloops still stands based on long-term durability. I have generation 1 Eneloops that I've used since 2006 that still have over 90% of their original capacity. That's certainly better durability than any Li-Ion I've owned. Buy a $10-12 Sanyo 14500UR and a $3 Eneloop now, put them through the same number of charge/discharge cycles and in 2 years that Eneloop will provide better runtime than the 14500UR due to the Li-Ion's propensity for capacity loss.
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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Regardless, my preference for Eneloops still stands based on long-term durability. I have generation 1 Eneloops that I've used since 2006 that still have over 90% of their original capacity. That's certainly better durability than any Li-Ion I've owned. Buy a $10-12 Sanyo 14500UR and a $3 Eneloop now, put them through the same number of charge/discharge cycles and in 2 years that Eneloop will provide better runtime than the 14500UR due to the Li-Ion's propensity for capacity loss.

Yes, I tested an 8 year old gen 1 Eneloop that I used for a couple of hundred cycles, against a brand new gen 3 Eneloop (cycled a couple of times to break it in). The capacities were almost identical (tested at a 2 amp draw). I was really surprised, I thought for sure the old Eneloop would be suffering. They really do have great long-lasting performance.
 

StorminMatt

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I know I've butted heads with people on this subject numerous times. But I'm just not a huge fan of Eneloops. The capacity is simply too low for my needs. Whether I'm dealing with NiMH or Li-Ion, I feel that there are better choices out there for my needs, and perhaps the needs of many other people out there. Will they still have the same capacity after six years? Maybe. Maybe not (certainly not in the case of Li-Ion). But you know what? I don't need them to last that long. Batteries are cheap. If my Duracell Ion Cores don't last beyond a couple of years, I buy four more for $11 at Walmart. $11 just isn't much in the grander scheme of things - certainly not enough for me to want to put up with lower capacity batteries because they MAY last longer. The same goes for the Sanyo 14500UR (which can actually be had for $6-$7 each rather than $10). I know it REALLY goes against the grain on sites like this to even suggest that Eneloops are NOT the best battery for all situations. But I'm not going to use something simply because I'm told that I'm a fool if I use anything else. I use what works best for me.
 
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