'knockoff' lights

7hns

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sorry if this isnt a great question, but what have people found the differentiating factors are between the inexpensive lights (ultrafire, etc) vs the name brand (fenix, jetbeam...)? Most of these inexpensive products are closing the gap on their counterparts so just curious if anyone has kind of replaced or started buying the cheaper ones ($5-$20) and what the experience has been
 

DIPSTIX

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^what he said. Except for surefire. Im not paying hundreds of dollars for a 600lm light when i can pay zebra light the same and get a sc600
 

scout24

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Which of those is a knockoff light, dipstix?
Let's stick to answering the OP's question, k? :)
 
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DIPSTIX

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Neither one is a knock off. What i am saying is that i would personally not pay for a more expensive light when there are cheaper just as reliable lights on the market. You just have to do your research and figure out what light is best in terms of output, durability, quality, and price. You will be surprised
 

7hns

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Yes so how do you argue with the value and reviews of something like this BYB 800 Lumens Rechargeable CREE T6 LED Flashlight, Adjustable Focus Handheld Flashlight with AC Charger and 26650 Battery, Bonus Solar Power Keychain Flashlight Included https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z8X3BL4/?tag=cpf0b6-20

Or this.... OxyLED Super Bright 800 Lumens CREE T6 LED Flashlight Bundle with Rechargeable Batteries, AC Charger + Charger Base and White Tube, Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JE329YO/?tag=cpf0b6-20
 

KITROBASKIN

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There is no argument, and no interest.

Isn't a knock-off a close copy of a more expensive light? And a counterfeit would have the fake brand name on it?

In my pocket right now is a $7 flashlight but it is not a knock-off. If it does the job, it does the job.
 

TCY

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IMHO you are paying the extra bucks for design, higher quality LED, reliability and customer service. Many cheap lights use LEDs with horrible blue tint to cut cost and brag about high output, and they might not be ready to go when you need them the most.

For general use the two you linked are good enough but when you are out there in the woods, or in some scenarios that requires constant illumination, they cannot be relied upon.
 

chillinn

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Many cheap lights use LEDs with horrible blue tint to cut cost and brag about high output, and they might not be ready to go when you need them the most.

You're certainly not wrong, but the LED itself doesn't really cost anything* even in expensive lights. Makes you wonder why so many expensive and top brand lights, with excellent customer service, durability, reliability, interface, heat-sinking, and aesthetic and functional design blow it with a cruddy emitter, regarding tint, CCT, and/or CRI (and PWM) (if we ignore their usually decent lumen output, driver efficiency, or electronic component quality). This actually is really annoying to me that of all the flashlights made in the world, of all the effort put into the high end mass produced flashlights, absolutely none of them (but perhaps some rare and excellent examples of custom lights which are really handmade one-offs) nail all the possible best qualities. Why can't one or two of them produce something that is perfect every-which-way? WHY???! :/ Why must there always be a compromise somewhere?

* ZebraLight emitters, as the exception, may actually have a non-negligible LED cost because they are hand picked, which will incorporate an extra element of labor cost.
 
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TCY

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You're certainly not wrong, but the LED itself doesn't really cost anything even in expensive lights. Makes you wonder why so many expensive and top brand lights, with excellent customer service, reliability and design blow it with a cruddy emitter, regarding tint, CCT, or CRI (if we ignore their usually decent output or efficiency). ZebraLight emitters, as the exception, may actually have a non-negligble LED cost because they are hand picked, which will incorporate an extra element of labor cost.

I was going to give a list that cheapo lights cut costs on starting from LED but then I just couldn't be bothered lol. I was once gifted a cheap knockoff light that produces a disgusting tint which drives me away from buying more cheap budget lights, this memory forced me to start talking about LED before everything else. Thanks for pointing it out though.

BTW I believe only some of the ZL models use cherry picked emitters for minimal tint variations. I still remember the tint lottery everyone had to go through when buying a ZL light. Fun time.
 

chillinn

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I was going to give a list that cheapo lights cut costs on starting from LED

I suppose it can make sense when you multiply a 10¢ per unit savings on producing 2 million flashlights, but from the customers' perspective, if you're willing to put down $300 on a mass produced light, what the heck is another 10¢? Even if that light is a cheapo light that goes for $5, what is another $1 to the customer for an emitter with excellent spectral output and a driver that doesn't cause migraines and grand mal seizures, that pleases the eye rather than makes it water? The idiom that comes to mind is they are bending over a buck to pick up a dime. A better flashlight will sell more units at any price point.
 
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TheShadowGuy

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Kitrobaskin is right, I wouldn't call a light a knockoff unless it directly takes from another, more expensive design. Not all knockoffs are bad either.
Pedanticism aside, I'll try to summarize the main points.
1. Build quality. Better and more up to date components placed with more care. Centered, newer generation LEDs, better heatsinking, more uniform samples, etc. The gap has narrowed between the stuff you describe and the more reputable stuff in this regard, but it is far from gone.
2. Quality control. Especially with Chinese manufacturing, QC varies wildly depending on the brand's specifications. Whether it is full cleaning, proper lubrication, or even making sure the light turns on, the more reputable brands tend to perform better in this regard.
3. More reliable marketing. Take all marketing with a grain of salt, but the more reputable brands tend to make less wild claims with more accurate specs, so it is easier to know what you are getting.
4. Efficient and better regulated electronics. Less PWM, better runtimes, more stable output, superior UI. Even some of my favorite budget lights fail in this regard.
5. Durability. It is a consequence of higher build quality and stricter QC.
6. Safety. Features like low voltage cutoff and reverse polarity protection help. Quality batteries and chargers pose significantly less fire and explosive risk.
7. Design. From multiple switches to giving thought to waterproofing, from choices of optics to knurling considerations, the more reputable brands have better designs. Gimmicky zoom and rattling battery sleeves aren't great.
8. Value proposition. With lights such as those you describe, you frequently see included nameless or ****fire batteries and chargers included, gimmicky zoom, 3xAAA and 18650 compatibility, and other similar features to appeal as widely as possible to the uninformed masses, but sacrifices basically everything else. Reputable brands sell you a quality light, if batteries are included (generally optional) they tend to be quality, etc. The value is in the light itself and not in cheap gimmicks and accessories.

This last point brings up one other thing. There are quality lights even at low price points. While not quite at the same level as other frequently discussed lights, they are respectable in their own right. I refer to these as good budget lights. For example, compare a Convoy S2+ to either of the lights you posted; the difference is clear and highlights many of the points I described. The existence of good budget lights is why I refer to 'reputable brands' rather than 'more expensive lights' in this post, as the two descriptors, while loosely correlated, are not equivalent.

Hopefully that makes sense. :)
 

dingusbird

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I bought a trustfire on amazon that had great reviews, apparently some of the units shipped where fakes. The light is bright but one LED was DOA and there is major reliability issues, the batteries that shipped with it I threw out because I was weary about using them because they were horribly made fakes, the label had spelling errors on it so it was obviously a fake. Lesson learned, buy from a reputable dealer and if you want a quality light without gambling you are going to have to pay the price.
 

scout24

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Thank you for clarifying your comments.

Neither one is a knock off. What i am saying is that i would personally not pay for a more expensive light when there are cheaper just as reliable lights on the market. You just have to do your research and figure out what light is best in terms of output, durability, quality, and price. You will be surprised
 

jon_slider

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Sometimes it is hard to say which light is a Knockoff. Sometimes they are made in the same Factory, but to different specs.

For example:
Prometheus Beta w N219a using a PWM driver with LMH mode sequence. I believe this was built by Lumintop on contract to darksucks.com and costs $79
IMG_7502.JPG


Sometime later, Lumintop came out with the Copper Worm with N219b and NoPWM, costs $39. The modes are MLH, but Lumintop is known to have built the ReyLight Copper Tool, on contract, with an LMH driver. Point being, Lumintop will change drivers on a contract request.
LUMINTOP-WORM-LED-Copper-Keychain-Flashlight-001.jpg


Another example
#35
VOLLSION … made... the Tain's Ottavino and Piccolo!

the Tain is Titanium (bottom right)
Screen%2BShot%2B2016-06-20%2Bat%2B9.20.40%2BPM.jpg

The Tain came out AFTER the Eoslamp SP11-s, but nobody calls the Tain a knockoff. After the Tain came the Vollsion SP11-S, which some people call a knockoff of the Tain. It is true the Tain used a more expensive material, and higher polish.

imo It is not uncommon for US businesses to use Chinese manufacturers. Maratac and Prometheus use Lumintop. They "add value" by using special materials, higher polish, different LEDs, different driver specs...

So, a Knockoff may be a less expensive version, possibly built with less expensive materials or inferior driver or LED, but not always. The Worm imo uses a better driver and better LED than the Beta that came before.

another example:
First came the Maus look at the tail:


after that came the Maratac Peanut 3rd from the left, look at the tail compared to the Maus
Here you go..CooYoo, Jetbeam mini-1, Maratac Peanut, DQG Hobi, DQG Spy, DQG Fairy.


From this I speculate that both the Maus and the Peanut are contracting with the same factory. Note the Maus uses a different body design, more expensive material, and more expensive LED. I would not call the Maratac Peanut a knockoff, I just think it may be made by the same Chinese company as the DQG (and possibly the Maus), with different specs.

another example
The Maratac AAA is made by Lumintop on contract, to Maratac specs. But again I would not call the Maratac a knockoff, because it uses some different design elements. Note they share the same pocket clip btw. (although I ground off the pocket clip ends so my Maratacs will tail stand)
IMG_3664.JPG


To come back on topic, The term Knockoff means Cheap Copy, but we dont use that term for an expensive copy with premium materials...

So in order for this thread to be more useful, I suggest that people post pics of lights that they think are knockoffs, and pictures of the light they think is being copied for less money (or copied and enhanced, for more money)

and disclaimer, dont get upset if you own a Tain or a Muyshondt and I suggest they are made in China. They are still finished to high standards and use premium materials. Im just saying the manufacturing is probably not done in house by Mushondt nor Tain, but if you know otherwise, Im open to learning.
 
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archimedes

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I thought it had been posted that Tain was made in Taiwan ?

And, as for your speculation about Muyshondt ... :popcorn:
 

jorn

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Had a ss worm (2 mode no pwm) long before the beta was released.
 

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