Here is a little story about 'counterfeit" parts pertaining to LED"s - A Reel Crime
I saw one other poster in this forum posting wondering why every Chinese light he buys has a different tint to them. I wonder why? Everything I buy from Cutter Electronics have the same tint.
The medical device manufacturing company I work for has really had to protect ourselves from purchasing counterfeit LED's as they are flooding the markets with them just as they are flooding the bike light market with cheap lights.
I'm lovin the reflow solder job in the lower right pic!
well, all those electronic appliances we buy so cheaply have to go somewhere when we throw them away. It would be ironic to think that the "disposable" MS lights we buy from China for next to nothing get sent back there when they break to be made into more disposable lights.
Electronics recycling is one those many moral slight of hands that we use. We think we're being responsible citizens by recycling the computers/ TVs/ phones etc that we regularly replace (instead of sending them to landfill), whereas the reality is that they end up on huge piles in China, India and other parts of the developing world to be pick over by children and reprocessed at significant cost to their health.
But no one wants to think about that when they buy their next shiny phone/ PC/ flatscreen TV..
Hard to believe that someone can eek out a living pulling old circuit boards apart.
As to counterfeit LEDs; Yeah I suppose it happens. Everything gets copied. The good part is that LED's have been around a while so it shouldn't be that much of a problem.
Just keep in mind the Chinese vendors that sell this stuff have to deal with the problems that arise from cheap component sales. If word gets out that their stuff stinks they lose money. Even in China there is competition. Good stuff brings return customers, bad stuff doesn't. ...Universal truth.
Abe Lincoln perhaps said it best, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time".
A high performance LED is not something that is easily copied. CREE, SSC, Phillips, and a few others sink millions of dollars every year into constantly improving the output and efficiency of there LEDs. It's a bit like the computer processor business and with incandescent light bulbs being band, it's big business. China does have "domestic" LED's but there no where close to the big 3.
Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
As far as cheap Chinese vendors go. If you haven't looked on E-bay lately, the $50 knock-offs don't even have a brand name. There selling just on low price. If a seller gets the reputation of selling junk, they just change there name, change the look of the light slightly and keep right on going. Come on, someone who claims 1800 lumens out of a CREE XM-L is not trying to build a reputation.
I think it's better to quote P.T. Barnum - "There's a sucker born every minute"
No offense Cat-man-do, but I get a little emotional about this.
No offense taken.
Originally Posted by Action LED Lights
No one likes the extravagant lumen claims and what you see on e-smay is worse case scenario. Nothing wrong with buying generic $50 light sets as long as you know what you're buying. If you buy one and it works you got your monies worth.
I never buy anything on e-bay. That doesn't mean I don't take chances once in a while.
I see lot's of people selling cheap lights on e-bay. I figure most of the stuff must work or people wouldn't buy it. Not my problem though. What people do with their money is their business not mine. There are bad choices, good choices and mediocre choices. Different strokes for different folks.
Every "T6" XML on Ebay/DX is very likely a cheap copy.
Originally Posted by Action LED Lights
Pretty easy to substitute a much lower bin.
Do you have any way of telling what bin is in the lights you sell?
Maybe yes, maybe no but since Cree has a factory in China no need to counterfeit if you already have the real thing.
Originally Posted by znomit
Sadly it does lead one to wonder what is done with the die's that don't make the normal binning grades.
Global Mfg & engineering
Sorry for the political & economic soap box that follows.
I'm all for lowering the costs of goods. However it has gone so far as to lower our standard of living. Recall news informing everyone to cut and scale back? Working at a fortune 50 (yes 50) company our engineers responsible for aerospace and defense no longer have viable health insurance. We are now competing for our jobs building weapons systems with other ITAR restricted countries. Yes I have told customers that we no longer make a simple part as procurement goes thru India. When building navigation equipment for the USAF and commercial sectors I have witnessed the lid falling off of ICs for deliverable components. The entire lot turned out to be counterfeit. Thankfully This was identified before it made it into an aircraft. We have had to avionics back parts because it was later identified they had counterfeit parts. Business decision makers are only interested in meeting the letter of the contract regardless if it meets the intent of the contract. Engineers and program managers are helpless as they tow the line or try to resolve issues seeing their career being held back years or put to rest before their time.
Next time you fly consider what avionics are in that 747 or military jet on the runway protecting our country. Good thing we have redundancy in systems, but still for life critical applications how many times do we want to roll the dice.
Our cycling lights are no different. Technology is moving forward at and the CREE emitters keep improving, but what about the battery? With the tsunami in Japan this past year the Lithium battery market took a hit. Japan is rebuilding but will take time to get those plants up and running. Korea have been cranking out as many batteries as possible but without being able to meet global demand China picked up the remainder. During battery testing for the UN it was discovered that Japanese and Korean cells are about the same in terms of performance and reliability. Chinese made cells to the same specifications meet the lower end of the performance tolerance with wild predictions in reliability. This year alone locally two of my friends picked up some night rider lights with serious battery failures straight out of the box.
Today for the $$ I would say we are getting better performance out of the lights in general, but concerned about the reliability and build quality of what is available.
Sorry for the rant or views expressed above. Yes engineers were harmed in the making of this film. Along with quite a few other industries.
have you ever been to a developing country and met people that live on less than $1 a day? They're not doing it from choice, they're going it because they have to.
Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
I prefer the adage - you get what you pay for. The manufacturers of expensive systems aren't running some kind of scam, just as the manufacturers of cheap systems aren't using magical pixie dust to make their products for peanuts.
No but I don't live in a vacuum. I also know that if the Western countries don't import goods from disadvantaged countries that those people won't even get what they're getting now. It's kind of a , "Damned if you do, damned if you don't situation". In the mean time I won't lose sleep over buying that Chinese bike light because likely 80% of every item in my home is already made somewhere other than the country where I live.
Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
Poverty is one of those ugly realities of life. Like all sad things in life it bothers me. Like most people I've learned to disassociate myself from the sadder issues of life. I've found that if you don't it would be very easy to lose your sanity. In the mean time I help those who I can and hope like hell that one of those sad realities don't start knocking on my own back door.
Last edited by Cat-man-do; 02-26-2012 at 11:39 PM.