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  1. #1
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    Help me understand the Chinese light market?

    Hi

    I don't understand these Chinese lights.

    1. There seem to be a number of retailers eg Dealextreme, Aliexpress, Lightmalls. Are these each the actual retailers, that is, they're not some sort of shopfront site where smaller retailers actually sell through these sites


    2. If you go to those sites there seem to be different brands of lights, many of which are available from a number of different sites. The brands include Magicshine, Singfire, Ultrafire, Trustfire, Solarstorm, Fandyfire. If a light is branded as say Ultrafire, does that mean that it is coming from that manufacturer, or are there knock-offs, which copy the brand as well as the style of light.

    3. If there are knock-offs (actual counterfeits which claim to be a manufacture that they are not), does this vary depending on the brand. For example are well know brand such as Magicshine and Solarstorm ripped off more than say Singfire. I'm talking about a light branded as Magicshine, but that comes out of some generic factory, not a light that might look like a Magicshine, but is not branded as Magicshine

    4. If there is a light that looks like a Magicshine, but is branded as something else, is that light likely to be a completely manufacture from a different factory ie it's not Magicshine selling surplus production as a different brand, as part of some marketing strategy to keep the profit up on the genuine article. (I think this might just be question 3 rehashed).

    5. How reliable is the tech data on the LEDs. Eg if a light is supposed to have xm-l2 u2 LED, what are the chances of it actually having an inferior LED. Does this vary by manufacturer?

    I don't know if this information is available, but it would be good to know.

  2. #2
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    1. Dealextreme is a retailer AFAIK. I'm pretty sure Aliexpress is a shopfront. I've never looked at Lightmalls

    2. Copying, private labeling, counterfeiting all appear to be SOP for the light manufacturers/sellers there. Add to that constantly varying components both internal and external from what are supposed to be identical lights.

    3. Same as 2

    4. Same as 3

    5. I would not believe it at all. There is no way for the consumer to tell the difference in a u2 vs t3 bin without access to a suite of calibrated test equipment. I've seen where MS tries to save a few pennies on underspec'd driver components. The temptation to save 50 cents on a lower bin would be irresistible.

    I have been floored by the variations that users have reported to me when trying to modify my GoPro adapters to fit their light.

  3. #3
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    So curious if anyone can tell if this is really an XML2 U2. I thught someone said there was a difference in another thread.

    $52.19 SolarStorm XT40 4*Cree XM-L2 U2 4-Mode 3000LM LED Bike Light / Headlamp - black / 1*battery pack / US plug at FastTech - Worldwide Free Shipping

  4. #4
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    ^^ not Tte topic of this thread...should post up separately.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    So curious if anyone can tell if this is really an XML2 U2. I thught someone said there was a difference in another thread.

    $52.19 SolarStorm XT40 4*Cree XM-L2 U2 4-Mode 3000LM LED Bike Light / Headlamp - black / 1*battery pack / US plug at FastTech - Worldwide Free Shipping
    The picture on the site you linked shows an XML not even an XML2. There is no way to tell what bin or tint it is. I stand by my statement in post 2 item 5. Current price difference of a T5 vs U2 bin from a major supplier of Cree LEDs is $1.08. Hard to believe they would not scrimp on the bin selection to add >$4 profit to each light when there is no way for the consumer to tell.

  6. #6
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    If you like to struggle to save some $ at the expense of long time of delivery, fidgeting with connectors, batteries that might or might not work and require waterproofing, units that might fall apart depending on what batch you get ... go for the "Chinese" light market.

    If you want piece of mind, warranty and sure footed reliability, get your lights from a normal channel.

    I took the second option and purchased 2 Gemini Duo from Action-led. Taking into consideration the end of year discounts, coupons, and flexibility of the order (you can get individual components or whole packages) I ended up spending maybe a $100 more for two lights, 2900 lumen total, including hard case waterproof batteries, accessories and mounts that work perfectly together.

  7. #7
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    IMO, if you decide you want to test the Chinese lights, the way to go is watch the threads here. Someone will buy a promising looking light, take it apart and report the verdict here. If it is of decent quality, snap one up and hope you are getting one from the same batch. Keep in mind, this guarantees nothing, since different factories are constantly copying both the western 'source' designs, as well as any Chinese lights that seem to be selling well. (An example of the latter is the gemini duo clones).

    As Davide said, if you want any peace of mind, go with a proven channel.

  8. #8
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    A friend of mine bought two of this light for $17 and has been very happy with it.

    Amazon.com: ATC CREE XML T6 LED 1200 Lumen Bike Light / Bike Bicycle Light HeadLight headLamp with improved battery and charger: Sports & Outdoors

    Box was covered in Chinese writing with the only English "Inspire your heart" with a MTB photo in the background.

  9. #9
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    Personally I use the Dinotte XML 3 (1200 Lumens) on my helmet and the Light in Motion Taz (1200 lumens) on the bar. I chose to spend more $$$ with the goal of increasing reliability.

  10. #10
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    Help me understand the Chinese light market?

    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    A friend of mine bought two of this light for $17 and has been very happy with it.

    Amazon.com: ATC CREE XML T6 LED 1200 Lumen Bike Light / Bike Bicycle Light HeadLight headLamp with improved battery and charger: Sports & Outdoors

    Box was covered in Chinese writing with the only English "Inspire your heart" with a MTB photo in the background.
    I have two of these as well, have been going strong for a couple months. Came with a headband, two rubber bands for mounting, a charger and the light itself. The actual runtime is an actual 3-4 hours as well. They out shine some $150-200 lights and a couple buddies have them as well. Mine were 22 a couple months back, though for $44 I got two shipped in two days and still shining bright.

  11. #11
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    Yeah I really don't see how you can go wrong with the $17 ones from amazon. Buy 3 or 4 they are cheap enough to have backups or ones to loan to friends. If you do get a bad one returns to amazon are hassle free. If one does die on the trail well you are suppose to ride with at least two lights anyway.

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