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Looking for that not-quite EDC lamp.

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by el_murdoque, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    I own the FW3A. I was asking for more detail about what the OP disliked to help with making recommendations. For example if his issue was only the floody beam the FW1A would be a potential replacement, but the issues with the button would remove the FW1A from consideration, similarly if it were only the button issues but he liked the beam the Lumintop EDC18 would be a potential replacement and so on.

    High output, throwy beam, onboard charging & good pocketability is a tough set of criteria.
     
  2. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    It surely is. That's why I took it here, to the enthusiastic experts to be discussed.
    Much more fun than just the old 'I want a flashlight to keep in the cupboard, which one should I get' thread where everyone simply can recommend one's favorite light and be done with it ;-)
     
  3. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    Are you listening, Zebralight? How about an SC600w Hi with an integrated charger? Fill the gap!

    Make it high CRI with a good tint and the flashaholic world will beat a path to your door! ;)
     
    Last edited by PragmaticMurphyist, Oct 28, 2019
    #23 PragmaticMurphyist, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  4. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    I'd preorder that in a heartbeat!
     
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  5. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    ....but back to the point:
    Since I needed to add one article to an order last week in order to achieve free shipping, I now am the proud owner of the olight universal charger and must admit that I like that one very much. It went straight into my EDC bag and makes my powerbank even more powerful.
    With that new background, I must grudgingly accept that I now am free to use an 18650 light that offers no USB charging.

    I already spent a while on the Zebralight website and I picked two favorites:
    Both are SC600w Mk IV.
    One would be the HI version with the XHP35 emitter and the other would be the Plus version with the XHP50.2 emitter.
    From all I could gather, the main differences are that the plus offers more Lumen (1300 vs 1400), but the HI has a narrower hotspot (8° vs 14°).
    My gut says to go with the XHP35. I always preferred a narrower hotspot whenever I had the choice. Also, As I repeatedly wrote, I am looking for a lamp that does a good amount of light for an extended period. The XHP50.2 will offer 900 extra Lumens, but my guess is that it'll drain the cell faster, and generate a lot more heat, which will both entail shorter runtimes. And the 8° vs 14° might also mean that the XHP35 will still cover more distance. In the beamshots I've seen, the 50.2 was a lot warmer while the 35 looked neutral. Is it true that the tint varies with the quality of the emitters and you might get one that is warmer/colder than what you see advertised?
     
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  6. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    My experience is limited, so I'm afraid I can't answer with any authority. If you haven't already, I'd suggest searching on "SC600w" on candlepowerforums - there are some good relevant threads on there, including re tint-shift on the Plus and a question re the Plus vs the Hi.

    Another useful resource is the Zebralight product comparison sheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WRnPsoYXE9oYKMievC1NOWQyrvSVk8HxkkEMBjAPo_s/edit#gid=0


    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  7. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    But I NEED a grappling hook, gosh durn it!!!.

    That said, I am pretty sure I am only a month or two away from having an "I am Iron Man" moment on the rear deck with a wrist-mounted light.

    I am already working on my alibi and adult-rationalization stories.

    This post will self-destruct destruct in...

    [​IMG]

    ATB,
    Sam
     
  8. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    You could always throw in a Fenix (or Nitecore or Klarus) 18650 with a built in micro USB charge port. It costs a little bit, but it's very convenient.
     
  9. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    Have you tried that?

    I highly doubt that would work since Zebralight only accepts unprotected cells. I don't have any built in USB cells to test but according to Fenix product specs it's 70 mm which will definitely not fit in the mark III at least.
     
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  10. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Ah. I was not aware that the ZL required unprotected cells.

    I do wish battery manufacturers would standardize production. An 18650 cell should be 65 mm long, not 70 mm. If it loses a little capacity to achieve protection or charging, so be it. The dimensions need to conform to the named size.
     
  11. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, exactly my thinking. Just imagine someone did that with a more established form factor like CR123 or AA. Building cells that are 5mm longer and won't fit half of the things you wanted them for. I'd predict this model would be off the market pretty fast.
    I have no clue about how these names come together, but when an unprotected 18650 measures 65mm and the 16340 in my S1 Baton measures exactly 34mm my guess would be that the length is specified in the name. So where is the sense in making cells that should be called 18700 and pass them off as 18650 ?
     
  12. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    My understanding is 18650 = 18 mm diameter, 65 mm long, 0 = round

    I think manufacturers have been relying on the forgiving nature of springs but there are limits, and ZL often use pogo pins to manage the current draw.
     
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  13. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    The cell is 18 mm in diameter, 65 mm long but when you add extras like protection circuits or USB ports it will be longer. So the standard is being followed to a high degree by cell manufacturers (of which there are very few), but customers requesting extra features means that the size will be different when cell branders (of which there are many) get their hands on them and add things. Buy unprotected 18650 and you will get a cell that is 65 mm long.

    The same happens with 16340, 14500 and all other Li-ion cells. The reason it doesn't happen with primary cells like CR123A or AA/R6 is because they don't have/need these extras. An 18650 alkaline or lithium cell wouldn't need it either.

    What cell branders do is basically create a single cell "battery pack" with the protection circuit.

    There's a problem here because the average customer have no clue about things like this and companies use confusing terms but then again 18650 was never intended to reach the public in the quantities it has. It was intended to be built into battery packs with their own (external) protection and used by people who knew what they were doing in areas which required high power. Then vaping and high power flashlights made an entrance and the 18650 market exploded, sometimes literally.

    This is part of the reason why I practically always recommend a single AAA or AA light unless the person is specifically looking for something else or have specific needs.

    You don't need a protected cell if you a. have a device with the same protection or b. know what you're doing. Most people are not interested in learning all that and for those people a protection circuit of some kind (cell or device, or both) is highly recommended.

    Running an unprotected cell in an unprotected device while at the same time not having a clue what one is doing is what makes the news. The "exploding vapes" had to do with people running unregulated "mech mods" to the absolute max capacity and treating the cell exactly the opposite of what you're supposed to.

    What a protection circuit actually is:
    https://lygte-info.dk/info/battery protection UK.html
     
    Last edited by Swe_Nurse, Nov 1, 2019
    #33 Swe_Nurse, Nov 1, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  14. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Well yes, but you can see the weird aftertaste it leaves with you when the name of the cell does ONLY contain the outer dimensions of the cell, not the voltage or anything else, and there are 18650 cells that are 69mm long.
     
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  15. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    ...nonetheless, since I run a strict 'a new one can only join the herd when an old one leaves' policy and my FW3A just got sold,
    I finally pulled the trigger on the SC600w Mk.IV HI.
    I'm excited.
     
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  16. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    I don't really see the problem, size is just one of many properties of a cell.

    If I go out and buy "AA batteries" I can get alkaline, zinc-carbon, zinc-chloride, lithium-iron or even more variants if I include of rechargeable varieties. All of them might be roughly the same size but they differ in far more important areas such as voltage, capacity, discharge capabilities, potential for leakage and so on. The size measurement is only a rough indicator, same as in the case of the 18650.

    I don't think I've ever seen an 18650 sold from a reputable dealer without having the length clearly stated in mm (and often inches as well). In the end it have very little to do with the manufacturer and everything to do with customers that are ignorant of these differences, despite asking specifically for these changes (such as in the case of a PCB-protected cell).

    The name of a cell is stated for practicality, to differentiate between a CR123A vs an 18650 vs a 9v battery/PP3 vs a CR2032 and so on. Its only ever supposed to give you a rough idea of what you're looking for, you need to read the specifications. It would be highly impractical to list every property of the cell in the name.

    "18650, protected" or "18650, USB-port" always mean "longer than 65 mm" while "18650, (unprotected)" almost always means "65 mm long".
     
  17. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    I just wanted to offer my thanks to those advocates of Zebralight who more or less insisted I should get one of these.

    This light is exactly what I wanted (minus the onboard loading of the cell).
    I totally get why everyone is so hyped about the UI - I quite like it. I worked my way towards the menu where you can set the light levels only to realize that the factory settings are totally fine with me. The only thing that needs getting used to is that upon a long button press while the light is on, the cycle will always be L-M-H, starting at low. I'm used to the cycle starting at whatever level one is in at present, so when I'm running medium I might switch to low by accident. I guess I'll get used to this.
     
  18. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. May it serve you long and well.
     
    Last edited by PragmaticMurphyist, Nov 8, 2019
    #38 PragmaticMurphyist, Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  19. Donald

    Donald Loaded Pockets

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    el_murdoque, Congratulations on your new Zebralight.

    I have always wanted a Zebralight but have so many Olights that it is hard to justify. It sounds like you are not racing around on two wheeled vehicles on dark streets or trails any longer, but if you need a quick and lightweight way to attach your new light to a handle bar be it bicycle, lawn mower, snow blower, etc., you might want to pick up an Olight FB-1 bike mount which allows a "flashlight with a diameter of 10-35mm to attach to your bicycle handlebars." I have one on my lawn mower handle...mostly for fun...since a headlamp is adequate to finish the job if it gets dark. But I like having it just in case and both the flashlight and headlamp together are nice.
     
  20. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    I actually own two very much like these. One on the bike, one for 'you never know'.
    Usually, I never have one with me when needed, though. The last time I made do with a velcro strap and a rubber band. That worked a lot better than anticipated.
     
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