Malkoff        
Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Posts
    97

    Default What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Is anyone else feeling left in the dark on why Zebralight has not released even ONE new light over the last TWO years? They have released multiple new lights every year prior to 2019, then after the SC700Fd, Nothing.

    The only thing that has changed since then (that I know of) is they have ceased to ship outside the USA.

    The "A6" entry level TIR optic headlamp has been vaporware for quite some time, along with their possible multi-cell flashlight, which isn't even listed on their product spreadsheet anymore.



    *EDIT - SUMMARY*

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts! It sounds like the consensus is nobody knows exactly why ZL has taken a hiatus on new lights but some factors could be:
    1. LED technological advances have slowed in pace
    2. Most of the existing form factors are pretty refined, and further changes would require A) significant form factor changes B) significant testing to ensure ZL's remain known for stability/reliability.
    3. Who cares? It saves us from being tempted to buy another solid light.
    Last edited by jonathanluu2; 02-25-2021 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Summarizing

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gainesville,FL
    Posts
    8,849

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Could be 1000 different reasons, who knows. ZL may be down, but don't count them out, great lights!
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  3. #3

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I was wondering the same thing, but kinda glad since that's another $100 saved
    GOOD TINT!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    In some ways I actually really appreciate the stability. Most of their designs have gone through several generations of refinement, and further alterations would require significant changes to their design philosophy. Even the rumoured built-in charging for the next generation flies in the face of their past effort to shave literal millimetres off the length of certain lights. Personally I think their whole AA line-up needs a major refresh, but I'm not sure how I would improve many of their 18650 lights. It's a completely different market from enthusiast lights like the D4V2 or FW3A, where manufacturers drive constant change to maintain interest and demand. Zebralight just makes a solid design that has passed the test of time.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    They got rid of the purple coating on the SC600w IV Plus... that was enough for me.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic WebHobbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rockport, Indiana
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I'd like to see a 21700 light with a smaller head.....I can't carry my 700. As much as I love it, it must be an "around the house and property light" with that head diameter.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Flashlight technology also hasn't progressed as much in the last two years, so it's no surprise that they haven't upgraded quite as much. Zebralight tends to like stability.

    When LEDs first came out, we saw pretty steady increases every year. LED technology improved rapidly, and they kept getting brighter and brighter. But things have started to slow down in the last few years. One of the biggest issues is heat - even if the LED *can* be brighter, it's hard to drive it that hard without throwing off enough heat to make things problematic for a small flashlight. As flashaholics, we all want the power of the sun in our hands...but we don't want to have the *heat* of the sun to go with it. ;-)

    - FITP
    Obscenely bright or unbelievably tiny are my weaknesses...

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    3,935

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by holygeez03 View Post
    They got rid of the purple coating on the SC600w IV Plus... that was enough for me.

    What purple coating?
    Last edited by GarageBoy; 02-25-2021 at 09:47 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    The AR coating

  10. #10
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by holygeez03 View Post
    The AR coating
    Or is it...



    Last edited by jonathanluu2; 02-25-2021 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Purple

  11. #11
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathanluu2 View Post
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts! It sounds like the consensus is nobody knows exactly why ZL has taken a hiatus on new lights but some factors could be:
    1. LED technological advances have slowed in pace
    2. Most of the existing form factors are pretty refined, and further changes would require A) significant form factor changes B) significant testing to ensure ZL's remain known for stability/reliability.
    3. Who cares? It saves us from being tempted to buy another solid light.
    Count me as someone who is disappointed as well. Like many, I have several ZL lights including some of their original AA and RCR123 headlamps along with a couple off their newer 18650 lights. I do like their form factor and ability to have a very low, low.

    As for your summary above:

    1. Agreed, although it's interesting how some manufacturers, Klarus, Acebeam, even Nitecore and JetBeam have been introducing new 21700 lights. We only had the ZL 700 and I was hoping to see more.

    2. ZL seemed to have been content with their single button click/double click UI which definitely works although it's not always the most ideal esp when it comes to cycling back to a low setting. I recently picked up a slightly older Acebeam 18650 headlamp with combined magnetic dial / clicky and have to say I was impressed and quite like it. So, in other words, ZL's UI is tried and proven but there are other options and innovation is still possible.

    3. LOL! Good point! I took a hiatus from lights for a couple of years (lost my orig CPF ID in the process) but came back and realized there are still some new lights worth buying! I recently bought a few 21700 lights and was really looking forward to some new ZL lights but, sadly, it seems they are letting go of their previous position of being one of the better innovators with headlamps and small form factor 18650 and AA lights. Guess time will tell if they come back stronger...
    SF 6P, E1e, E2e, C2, M2, M3, Z2, HDS 60GT, Zebralight SC600w MKIV Plus. EDC rotation: Lumintop Geek, SF Titan Plus, Jetbeam RRT-0, SF E1e w/ Tana Nichia B219 TripLED

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,971

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I've been disappointed with Zebralight over the past year, but OTOH it's been good for my wallet. Now that they've stopped selling outside the US, I'm happy they're still not releasing any new lights. I have pretty-much every model I want, with the exception of the SC700d (which I really don't want anyway).

    While their designs are starting to get stale, I think they still hold up and are very good lights for what they are. They're not pocket-rockets, but that's not really what you're buying. They are very efficient, well-regulated lights, which sadly is not common with most other companies.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I'm curious what kind of features people think current Zebralight models are missing that would be compatible with their general design philosophy. What kind of changes do you realistically expect in a next generation Zebralight?

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Monterey, CA
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
    I'm curious what kind of features people think current Zebralight models are missing that would be compatible with their general design philosophy. What kind of changes do you realistically expect in a next generation Zebralight?
    That's a good question, Bob, and it got me to thinking. Several ideas come to mind.

    First, I'd like to see a smaller 21700 light, one that might work for pocket carry. No need for it to be super bright, so less mass will be ok, I'm mainly interested in the longer runtime the larger cell has to offer.

    Second, I'd love to see them come up with a headlamp that has two LEDs, one with a floody beam shape, and the other more throwy, with the option of adding a multicell battery pack.

    And finally, I think it's about time we had a keyring sized Zebralight. Man, that would be on my keyring in a minute.

    But, to be honest, I'm perfectly happy with what they offer now. I use my Zebras every day and night and don't find them dated at all, but heck, a little something new now and then wouldn't hurt either : )

  15. #15
    desert.snake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Eastern Europe
    Posts
    1,059

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I wonder if they fixed the problem with the freezing of the lantern in the cold? I remember there were reports that the light disappears in the cold.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA RVA
    Posts
    432

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I would like an updated red headlamp.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6,349

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    I wanna' see the Q50 !

    < sigh >

  18. #18

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess View Post
    I wanna' see the Q50 !

    < sigh >

    I know! Funny thing is I probably don't even want it at this point. But maybe?
    GOOD TINT!

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Valpo Hawkeye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Valparaiso, IN
    Posts
    1,266

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Whether or not they’re designing new lights, it doesn’t seem like they’re producing their existing models. Lots and lots of out of stocks. Bummer...
    The only easy day was yesterday... now go run!

  20. #20

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Does anyone else make a pocket flashlight with the lightweight and output of Zebralight?

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk

  21. #21

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    lightweight and output
    Lumintop FW1A is 11% lighter than Zebra SC600

    what do you think of the output?

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    3,377

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    Lumintop FW1A is 11% lighter than Zebra SC600

    what do you think of the output?
    SC64c LE is 38 grams. FW1A is ~57g. Difference of 19g, or FW1A is 50% heavier than SC64. Wife and I use a headstrap in order to occasionally put it on our heads when we need hands free. The difference is felt on the head; not the end of the world but the lighter weight is preferred.

    The COVID 19 disruption continues in ways we may not be aware, including supply and transport warping. Wondering if this is a factor on (relatively small operation) Zebralight, including possible new models:

    https://apnews.com/article/coronavir...9d5898afd5b7af

  23. #23
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    From what i understand, while Zebralight designs its lights here in the United States, they are primarily made in China. I'm sure the formation of new lights requires travelling back and forth btween the two countries and the china virus kinda shut that down. That would also explain why they are out of the lights that they have already released. Before the wuhon virus, Zebralight was at the cutting edge of flashlight technology at least from my perspective. Most of their lights were high CRI and on the high end of lumen instensity for those high CRI lights. They added more flexibilty to their UI that made the light cstomizable to whatever the consumer prefers. Quite frankly, even with this lull in Zebralight models coming out, the other flashlight manufacturers still haven't caught up. My opinion of course.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Monterey, CA
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: What Happened to Zebralight R&D?

    MX421, I agree completely, and don't forget one of the most amazing design features of their lights, the incredible efficiency of their drivers. Many other manufactures tout how their lights can offer days, and maybe even weeks, of output when run at lower levels, while Zebralights offers MONTHS of incredibly stable and extremely low level output that as far as I can tell is unmatched in the industry.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •