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Thread: The Official Zebralight Thread .

  1. #3751
    Flashaholic* marco.weiss's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Great report Owen, love it man. +50

    I love zebralight
    In fact the user interface is excellent
    After years away from the brand I turned my eyes to zebralight and decided to purchase the h53fc model (compact, light and with good autonomy te 50 lumens) and possibly the h600fc model as well

  2. #3752
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    Christo Pull Hair Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Stepping out of lurker mode to share my recent not great experiences with ZL.

    I've got five ZebraLights and they are some of my favorite lights to EDC. I'm a first responder and don't consider them duty grade, primarily because of my experience below, but I do carry either my SC63w or SC600w Mk IV Plus as a backup light when I'm in uniform. I've been very pleased with all my ZL's as having great features, color, and tint, and regularly recommend them to friends and coworkers, which makes my recent experiences all the more frustrating.

    First strike was last year when I dropped my SC600w Mk IV Plus from waist height. The light became intermittent and when I opened it up, I discovered that the top of the battery had crushed in, making the battery too short to make good connnection. So I wrote to ZL to let them know of what I consider a product flaw and expected them to at least offer a replacement battery. Their one-line response was that I could order a new battery and included a link for same. Frustration factor = 50%.

    More recently, after wanting a SC700d since they were released, but not wanting to add yet another new battery model to the inventory, I finally decided to bite the bullet and ordered one two days after Christmas. Now, these lights have been listed as backordered every time I have checked their inventory ever since they were released, so I first sent a query to their CS asking what their anticipated shipping time was. Their one line response was, "in a few days."

    So I ordered one along with an H502 that was on sale, expecting they would ship in a week or two. I especially expected they would when my credit card was charged immediately. So when over two weeks had gone by with nary a word, I sent another query to CS and was told they would get back to me on Monday. Of course, Monday came and went, so I enquired again on Wednesday and was told the SC700 would ship in two weeks and the H502 in three. Frustration factor = 70%.

    Fast forward to two weeks later, ala today, when I'm checking my credit card and notice that they refunded my purchase LAST WEEK and did not send any kind of update. So, again to CS, asking if they will be fulfilling the order, and they respond that the order was cancelled and, "Please make another order if you would like." Frustration factor = 80%.

    I have to say, at that point I did send them a rather blunt opinion of their crappy CS. Their response was that if I order today, it will be shipped later this week or early next week. Frustration factor = 90%.

    Well, since I've got two boxes of 21700 batteries sitting on the table here looking for a light to power, I went ahead and placed a new order. Wish me luck, because at this point, I think that's all I've got.

    Such a bummer that a light as good as the ZL's get this dismal CS support. Things that make you go, "hmm."

    - GR
    Life is too short to own cheap flashlights.

  3. #3753
    Enlightened Luminesce's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Hi GPS Rider, based on my recent experience with ZL, I believe the model you order makes all the difference in how fast it's shipped. My 1st SC700DF shipped a day after I ordered it last month. After seeing how well I liked it, I then decided to also order the SC700D along with some other items. So far it's been 11 days w/o any shipping info. My guess is, the floody version doesn't sell as well so the one I got happened to be in stock. Or maybe, one of the other items I ordered is OS and they are waiting for everything to be in stock before shipping.

    It did take ZL 5 months to repair a light for me not too many years ago, so I know turn around can be slow but this seems to be par in many businesses. A two-way radio I sent in on Dec 19 for repair, is just now is being serviced by the techs, almost 7 weeks before they got to it. Sometimes things don't work out the way we want. Hopefully ZL gets some stock in soon. I don't like paying for something and being told to wait 2 months before I can get it.

    I do agree with anyone who says, the item (no matter what it is) should not be billed until the company ships it, no matter who the company is. But having worked in retail, I do know that some companies do this to bank on your money, even if it only makes them a tiny profit. "Not saying" ZL is doing this but it doesn't sit well with consumers when "any" company works in this fashion. Hope you get your light soon.

  4. #3754

    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Personally GPS rider.. dropping something and damaging it are not defects...

  5. #3755
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Quote Originally Posted by GPS Rider View Post
    First strike was last year when I dropped my SC600w Mk IV Plus from waist height. The light became intermittent and when I opened it up, I discovered that the top of the battery had crushed in, making the battery too short to make good connnection. So I wrote to ZL to let them know of what I consider a product flaw and expected them to at least offer a replacement battery. Their one-line response was that I could order a new battery and included a link for same. Frustration factor = 50%.
    This is a potential issue with any light that doesn't have traditional springs for both cell terminals. It was far more of a problem with the original pogo pin configuration they used on the SC600w III, so they have addressed it. They don't claim the light is rated for any kind of fall, so the fact it survived with no damage beyond a dented terminal on a $6 cell seems reasonable to me.

    As for the rest, it all sounds very familiar and is basically just a part of dealing with Zebralight. They have no real competition in their market niche, and their production can't keep up with demand, so unfortunately they don't have much motivation to improve their customer service. It sucks, but there's not much you can do about it other than warn others.

  6. #3756
    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    I always add a 16mm x 1mm (ID x CS) o-ring up front when applicable. Works great with the raised positive of the GA.



    I have also experienced the misfortune of dented cells with ZL in the past. None since installing a bumper at the positive.
    Last edited by adamlau; 02-05-2021 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Additional Commentary

  7. #3757
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Dropping your light and denting the battery is not a product flaw, and it's unfair to expect Zebralight to give you a free battery. They use pogo pins to make the light as compact as possible.
    Maybe an opportunity to improve the design, but that's as far as I would go.

    Love the O-ring idea!


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  8. #3758
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    I have used a couple of cardboard rings used for 18650 battery re-wraps. I stick them on the positive ends of the cells. It works well.

    However, I no longer do it, since it can make recharging them a bit finicky on some chargers. Also, I agree this really shouldn't be necessary.

    Best thing to do is just never drop your light.



  9. #3759
    Flashaholic* Connor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    To be fair all of the flat-top cells are not meant to be used "loose" by end users .. they're industry cells. They just happen to be the cheapest/shortest/most available option.
    'I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law.'

  10. #3760
    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Or we can say that ZL designed certain models around flat tops. Hence, our expectations.

  11. #3761
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Yeah, even though Zebralight doesn't publish any drop specs, I think it's reasonable to expect that both the light and the battery will survive a 1 meter drop onto a hard surface. These are not inexpensive lights!

    Personally, I have dropped some of my AA zebras, and they have survived fine. I'm more careful of the 18650 models, since I don't like to trash my cells. IMO, this is a design flaw that should be addressed. Even if it means adding 1mm to the length of the light. I think they may have partially addressed the issue by adding more pogo pins, but from what I've read, it doesn't seem to eliminate the problem.

  12. #3762
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    I've said it before. I'd take a ZL that was 1/4-1/2 inch longer, to better accommodate and protect the cell. I'm actually disturbed to hear that these lights are so fragile, if that's really the case.

    WTF good is an EDC, if you have to hope and pray that every time you drop it, it will refire? I'm not one that drops my stuff, but damn, a waist high drop onto any surface should not render a product useless.

    Maybe I should reconsider my EDC going forward.


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    Last edited by this_is_nascar; 02-06-2021 at 04:03 PM.
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  13. #3763
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Personally I have sent back 2 ZLís that were dead after a drop. Both 18650 one headlamp one SC600. If youíre concerned about a drop proof light Iíll highly suggest a HDS. Canít have it all, ZLís are great lights, just donít drop them lol.
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  14. #3764
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceScannerMan View Post
    Personally I have sent back 2 ZLís that were dead after a drop. Both 18650 one headlamp one SC600. If youíre concerned about a drop proof light Iíll highly suggest a HDS. Canít have it all, ZLís are great lights, just donít drop them lol.
    Seriously, hearing this really makes me give 2nd thoughts to keeping a ZL as my EDC. Why would I or anyone else want to risk this? I always have a 1xAAA as a secondary light, just in case, but obviously the output isn't comparable.

    Is this this case for all 18650 iterations of ZL? What about there AA platform?

    This really bums me out hearing this. What's the point of potting?


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  15. #3765
    Flashaholic* nightshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Mine are older models, and it's purely anecdotal, but my H52 and H600 have endured dozens of falls. Many to concrete and steel surfaces and most greater than 1 meter height.

  16. #3766
    Flashaholic* Connor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceScannerMan View Post
    Personally I have sent back 2 ZLís that were dead after a drop. Both 18650 one headlamp one SC600. If youíre concerned about a drop proof light Iíll highly suggest a HDS. Canít have it all, ZLís are great lights, just donít drop them lol.
    Could you tell us what exactly was broken after these drops? I had the impression that ZLs are reasonably robust (except for the "flat-top terminal getting smashed in on an unlucky drop" thing).
    Last edited by Connor; 02-06-2021 at 09:45 PM.
    'I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law.'

  17. #3767

    Default The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Talking about damage, i droped SC64w HI last week from aircraft cockpit by accident. Roughly 10ft hight. Other than dented tailcap, no other damage or malfunctions.
    Maybe there are Monday batches that are a bit more sensitive then others...


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  18. #3768

    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    these lights seem designed to be small and light. you can probably only make them so sturdy.
    that said, i've dropped mine from waist height onto concrete a few times with no issues. just lucky i guess.

  19. #3769
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_nascar View Post
    Seriously, hearing this really makes me give 2nd thoughts to keeping a ZL as my EDC. Why would I or anyone else want to risk this? I always have a 1xAAA as a secondary light, just in case, but obviously the output isn't comparable.

    Is this this case for all 18650 iterations of ZL? What about there AA platform?

    This really bums me out hearing this. What's the point of potting?


    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    I think you're over reacting a bit. I've used my Zebras at work every night for many years, and while I'm careful with my gear, they do get dropped occasionally, and it's never resulted in a light that wouldn't fire. Of course, I always have a 2nd light, just in case, but typically, the only time I need it is when I actually need two lights simultaneously for lighting a path.

    I'm sorry GPS Rider had a bad experience with his light as well as with ZL customer service, but no light is perfect, and no company is perfect, not even HDS. Anything man made is going to have a chance of failure, which is why one of our flashaholic tenants is to always carry a backup, especially in mission critical situations.

    As others have mentioned, I don't believe the dented cell experienced by GPS Rider was the result of a "defect", but rather, bad luck in the way his light landed. However, it does point out an area where there might be room for improvement in ZL's design, and should, by all means, be brought to their attention.

    I do occasionally purchase a light from a different company, just for grins and to see what's out there, but I've yet to find a light that I prefer to any of my Zebras, and so, I will continue to use them nightly at work.

  20. #3770
    Enlightened Luminesce's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Just watched the video of post #311 for the "Re: Fraz Labs Mechanical Flashlights thread...". I'm sure others have "abused" their lights by accident but the video shows taking abuse too a whole new level, enjoy!

  21. #3771
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Excellent suggestion, sir, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by adamlau View Post
    I always add a 16mm x 1mm (ID x CS) o-ring up front when applicable. Works great with the raised positive of the GA.

    I have also experienced the misfortune of dented cells with ZL in the past. None since installing a bumper at the positive.
    Life is too short to own cheap flashlights.

  22. #3772
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    I've got three of Henry's lights, and while they are exceptional lights and very sturdy, they are not really well suited for duty use, either. My duty use lights are all made by Mr. Malkoff.

    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceScannerMan View Post
    Personally I have sent back 2 ZLís that were dead after a drop. Both 18650 one headlamp one SC600. If youíre concerned about a drop proof light Iíll highly suggest a HDS. Canít have it all, ZLís are great lights, just donít drop them lol.
    Life is too short to own cheap flashlights.

  23. #3773

    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminesce View Post
    Just watched the video of post #311 for the "Re: Fraz Labs Mechanical Flashlights thread...". I'm sure others have "abused" their lights by accident but the video shows taking abuse too a whole new level, enjoy!
    would enjoy it more with a link to the post (or better yet, the video) in question. why make us search?

    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...=1#post5405552

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qexi1iPo_4k

    it was satisfying seeing it fly through the air.
    Last edited by SYZYGY; 02-06-2021 at 08:47 PM.

  24. #3774
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Ha ha I didnít mean to create a poop storm by my comment. Please note I have had at least 15 maybe more ZLís over the years and have dropped some of them with no harm. Guess the 2 that quit working I dropped them just right. Both on to hard surfaces.

    Nascar, I wouldnít stop carrying ZL man, they are great. Loving my SC64 LE with Samsung 4000K. Probably my favorite.
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  25. #3775
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceScannerMan View Post
    Ha ha I didnít mean to create a poop storm by my comment. Please note I have had at least 15 maybe more ZLís over the years and have dropped some of them with no harm. Guess the 2 that quit working I dropped them just right. Both on to hard surfaces.

    Nascar, I wouldnít stop carrying ZL man, they are great. Loving my SC64 LE with Samsung 4000K. Probably my favorite.
    I agree. I'm not going to cease carrying what I think is my best EDC for a potential problem that's never occurred to me. If and when it does happen, I'll make a decision at that time.


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  26. #3776
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    I'll have to check out that video.


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  27. #3777
    Enlightened Luminesce's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SYZYGY View Post
    would enjoy it more with a link to the post (or better yet, the video) in question. why make us search?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qexi1iPo_4k

    it was satisfying seeing it fly through the air.
    I may be wrong in my understanding of CPF posting rules but I thought that they do not want us to Double or Cross Post links to other CPF posts. Didn't think about posting the link to youtube. Since no one has mentioned it yet, even though the 1st video may cause a few people to say "ouch", Fraz's 2nd video, https://youtu.be/oISuKpfAZrk is even better, if not a bit painful to watch

    If I didn't already have a variety of ZL's to suit my needs at this time, one of his lights would make a good bedside light with its variable brightness ability. Interesting flashlight, would make a unique gift for someone who can appreciate such a gift.

  28. #3778
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    Well, that's it, I've totally lost it. You know you're getting old when you forget about one of the spares you have, that's been tucked away, just in case.



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  29. #3779

    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminesce View Post
    I may be wrong in my understanding of CPF posting rules but I thought that they do not want us to Double or Cross Post links to other CPF posts. Didn't think about posting the link to youtube. Since no one has mentioned it yet, even though the 1st video may cause a few people to say "ouch", Fraz's 2nd video, https://youtu.be/oISuKpfAZrk is even better, if not a bit painful to watch

    If I didn't already have a variety of ZL's to suit my needs at this time, one of his lights would make a good bedside light with its variable brightness ability. Interesting flashlight, would make a unique gift for someone who can appreciate such a gift.
    you even edited the link out of the post you quoted. haha

    i believe you misinterpreted the rule (my emphasis on the operative words):

    Quote Originally Posted by CPF Rule 9
    DO NOT post a thread whose sole purpose is to link to or refer to another thread on the board, whether it is yours or someone else's.
    also, that light you linked to looks tough. he gave it a good smack.

    -----

    on another note, maybe i misunderstood, but it sounded like it was implied that ZL designing around unprotected cells makes for a worse situation in drops due to denting or whatever. if that's the case, can someone please explain?
    Last edited by SYZYGY; 02-07-2021 at 09:45 PM.

  30. #3780
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official Zebralight Thread .

    This is one of my SC64w Hi versions, that's been my EDC since owning it. I continue to try and trick it out, so it better meet my needs.

    My 1st addition was the magnet. It holds pretty well, but I do want to find a greyish colored marker or something, so it blends in a bit better. My 2nd thing was wrapping a piece of D-C Fix around the 18650 for those few times that I want or need to smooth out the hotspot.

    My 3rd and most recent modification was to install this green tritium glow vial, which allows an easier means to find the light on my dresser.



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