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Thread: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

  1. #1
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    Default Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    I lost my old zebralight AA while travelling. One of my favourite lights and now looking to replace it.

    I'm confused with all the options on the website.
    Whats the difference between; SC5, SC52 L2, SC53?

    I'm not looking for any of the floody lights. I'd like a warm tint, but not necessarily hi-CRI (if that means a significant drop in max lumens). I also have a few 14500 sitting around, so would like something compatible with that.
    Last edited by hazna; 05-12-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    The 52 is only model that will accept 14500 batteries. Sc5 models will be brightest but also physically bigger. Sc53 are smaller, AA only (Eneloop recommended) and have different led options including the C version which is the warmest and also high cri. Then those models will have floody (frosted optic) and flood (mule\pure flood) options.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazna View Post
    I lost my old zebralight AA while travelling.
    sorry for your loss,
    now is your chance to upgrade.. I vote for High CRI ;-)

    curious:
    which model did you lose, and what types of batteries did you use?

    I collected data from:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...o_s/view#gid=0
    and from the Zebra website, based on what they show available, these are the choices (only one is LiIon capable):


    Quote Originally Posted by gurdygurds View Post
    The 52 is only model that will accept 14500 batteries. Sc5 models will be brightest but also physically bigger. Sc53 are smaller
    excellent summary
    the extra brightness also means batteries run down faster, and the lights are also heavier..

    imo there is no advantage to LiIon in a Zebra AA, I would use Eneloop.

    I would choose the SC53c because it is the one with the Highest CRI, that also has the lowest possible Low, is Neutral White (that the OP expresses interest in), and it is the smallest and lightest.

    the SC5w II is the brightest, biggest, and heaviest

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    If you think you need a 14500 for higher output, you should probably just take the leap and go for a SC64w or SC64w HI. Those are 18650 lights, and still very small. Not as small as the SC52/53 (AA lights), but more pocketable than the SC5 (a larger AA light).

    As much as I like my SC5w as a very bright AA light, it's a bit too thick for pocket-carry. And I like the smaller and floodier SC52 or SC53 for indoor use.

    So, I'd go with either a SC53c (for indoors) or SC64w HI (if you want to use it outdoors).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    I have carried the AA ZL models since the SC52 first arrived on the scene and in my experience that model is still the best and most flexible overall really or at least it has been for me.
    The SC5 is simply larger and a little tougher to carry in pocket where the smallest differences between lights is amplified by the fact that they are all so small to begin with.
    This made the SC5 carry like a small brick in my pocket while the SC52 seems much smaller than any measured difference might suggest.

    So a few months ago I tried making the move further upward and have beed carrying an SC64 in the same way that I did the SC52 and I have to admit that it is working out better than I feared it might.
    I still like the easy any AA battery option as needed but......
    The SC5 still carries like an even bigger light to me and the runtime is so much better with the SC64 that it is a no brainer for me now.

    I did/do prefer the SC52 as well for the double fuel capability and would carry one with a 14500 about as much as not but in the SC64 I really get both high output AND runtime with a small compromise in size.

    As for the SC53 I can not understand why they essentially mimicked the SC5 in the smaller form of the SC52 though the newer UI in the SC53 would be a perfect fit for the SC52 but it will never happen clearly either.

    Hope this is a little clearer than mud now?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    sorry for your loss,
    now is your chance to upgrade.. I vote for High CRI ;-)

    curious:
    which model did you lose, and what types of batteries did you use?
    I had a zebralight sc50 (I think), it's probably 3-5 generations old. I used combination of nimh AA and 14500 with this light. I still have around 4-5 x 14500 sitting, which would not see much use if I weren't get another light with this capability. I also have a sc600w a few generations old .

    I am amazed at the progress that has been made overtime with the zebralights... to get 500+ lumens from a AA eneloop is a pretty mean feat.

    Looking at the difference in lumen outputs with high CRI and cool white are not that pronounced, so will give a high CRI light a go. (Never had high CRI but have had warm tints).

    It seems like the general consensus is the sc52/3 - though lower max output are more comfortable to carry, so will focus on this range.

    I do note a difference in UI between various generations, with the latest being able to set up g6/g7 levels.
    There also is a difference in emitters between various models and generations?

    At the moment tossing up between the sc52 L2 - which allows me to run 14500, but has older software and only seems available in cool tint
    Or sc53c - which doesn't accept 14500 and has the latest software.
    one has an xml2 emitter and the other XPL2 emitter. What is the difference? I'm guessing the xml is more floody than the xpl?
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    If you want to stick to AA batteries (which has many benefits), then consider the SC5w if you plan to use it outdoors. Although it's bulkier than the SC53, it does have higher output and also significantly more throw. Because it has a larger reflector, the beam is tighter and throws nicely for outdoors. The SC53 is just too floody to see very far.

    If you don't plan to use it outdoors, or only within a few meters, then the SC53c would be my choice due to its smaller size (and nicer tint).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Just got my Zebralight SC53W with Eneloop is the perfect match.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    I prefer... options. Don't like to get hemmed in with limitations. My ZL SC 52cw is carried with 14500's and when traveling, carry an extra 14500, three Eneloops. If I need more, I buy more alkalines. With the 18650's, I carry and travel with a ZL SC62cw with one protected or unprotected cell with four extra. A very small cell charger is carried on occasion. Having either a protected or unprotected cell, choices! YMMV. I like this combination as it gives me... options.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    I have several Zebralight AAs. SC53c is my favorite. It has a very nice incandescent-like tint. I also have SC52d which is the earlier high CRI model. The tint is cooler though, but it's my choice if I want more throw because the smaller LED makes it the best thrower of the Zebralight AA models.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Quote Originally Posted by Climb14er View Post
    I prefer... options. Don't like to get hemmed in with limitations. My ZL SC 52cw is carried with 14500's and when traveling, carry an extra 14500, three Eneloops. If I need more, I buy more alkalines. With the 18650's, I carry and travel with a ZL SC62cw with one protected or unprotected cell with four extra. A very small cell charger is carried on occasion. Having either a protected or unprotected cell, choices! YMMV. I like this combination as it gives me... options.
    That's a good point. A very small USB charger, like the Xtar MC1, is incredibly easy to carry for recharging all lithium-ion cells. I'm not aware of any NiMH charger that is so small. I usually stock my SC52's with Eneloops, but maybe your point about small chargers should make me consider 14500 when travelling.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    That's a good point. A very small USB charger, like the Xtar MC1, is incredibly easy to carry for recharging all lithium-ion cells. I'm not aware of any NiMH charger that is so small. I usually stock my SC52's with Eneloops, but maybe your point about small chargers should make me consider 14500 when travelling.
    The Xtar MC1 is what I carry. I don't think about a small charger for the NiMH batteries/cells as mentioned, carry an extra 14500, some Eneloops and could always buy Alkalines in a pinch. That's why I like the SC52 so much. Very fine design.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Everyone should have a few Zebras. I have a herd of 4. The SC5w actually gets the least use; between its greater size and the fact that its clip goes over the head ribs and makes it hard to pull away from whatever clothing it's clipped to, I now just leave it on my desk.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Difference between Zebralight AA flashlight models?

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    A very small USB charger
    The Olight Universal charger works on LiIons, and it also works on Eneloops

    the charger tapers down as the cell fills, and then shuts off and turns on a green indicator light



    more pics and details in this thread
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...ave-experience
    Last edited by jon_slider; 05-19-2019 at 07:45 PM.

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