Review with Video: Why Not Cheapos, EBAY Cheapo "CREE" Lights

CYMac

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Jun 16, 2012
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I have had enough of cheapos, it's time to tell people why not get one. Those zoomable CREE whatever names on EBAY and such is just getting me mad. I have to buy a few to test it myself. LOL! They are cheap, they are everywhere, and beloved by people who don't know anything about flashlights. WOW They are bright? Not really. The color of the beam is awful, way too blue and purplish, and the beam zoom'd-out is useless for close range, while zoom'd-in is useless for the long range, I can't even make a sense out of these lights myself. They are literally useless for my practical daily purposes. After the real-life testing on their practical purposes, I decided to test them with some abuse and see if they are as "military grade" as they claim. After making these videos, I will never use them for anything serious. The lens is just ridiculous, it's plastic? It's "glued" with 2 points or 3 points of hot glue on the edge.. what the heck...

Why do people buy these things? I know they are cheap, but is there any danger beside the light breaking? I mean, is the internals (the boards and stuff) prone to explosion or overheating or any kind of potential scary accidents? With such low quality control and standard, I wonder if the bulbs are all recycle'd bulbs in china and they just stick it on some random garbage boards..? They just seems to be so not trust-worthy.

Of course, now there is the G700 and other similar stuff being super-hyperly-promoted on youtube ads that is just annoying to see. I don't know what to say, it's like a plague in the flashlight market. I have to "brainwash" my friends back to see what real flashlight should be...





 

CYMac

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Ugh!
Not another "what I hate about" thread...

What's wrong with telling people what you find out about "bad" flashlights? Without negative comments a HONEST review that tells you what's bad about something, people will never know why those are sold cheap and why not to waste their money on.

Negative comments brings positive future, we can't just focus on "this is good, this is good for.." right?!
 

bykfixer

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If this were the first time somebody had showcased how poorly made those eBay Cree lights are...fine. But this is like the 994th time.

As long as there are folks expecting something for nothing lights like these will exist.

Toss 'em in the garbage and move on.
 
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CYMac

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If this were the first time somebody had showcased how poorly made those eBay Cree lights are...fine. But this is like the 994th time.

As long as there are folks expecting something for nothing lights like these will exist.

Toss 'em in the garbage and move on.

Well, not everyone read EVERY post in the forum everyday dude. Everyday there can be a new guy in the forum, who just came by and they are not expected to "STUDY" the whole historical archives of threads and then see what have been talked about before they speak or post right? I find that a lot of people on the forum just "expect" people to have studied the whole forum before they post, which is ridiculous. We don't have the time to do so, and sometimes we just post to social or vent a bit, who cares? You know it, then you should move on and not read something that is not your interest. Why have to restrict people from posting? It's just doesn't make any sense to me. Anyway, hope I have not break any forum rules, and ya, I hate rules, so restrictive and hard to follow sometimes. Sigh
 

TheShadowGuy

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Jun 10, 2015
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365
In defense of them, plenty are available for $4 and less. At that price, the comparables are the 9-led things, a few small keychain lights, a few old spotlight things that take a giant and expensive 6v battery, and not much else. From a reputable seller at the cheap price point, they aren't that bad. I'd take one over basically any other sub-$5 light. They are so simple that most issues can be worked around, can use li-ion, zoom makes them a little more versatile, they output a useful amount of light, and generally have a better tint than those angry blue 9-led things. Overall, it will serve most of the average person's needs on the cheap. It doesn't come close in quality to other lights us flashaholics enjoy, but it doesn't have to. Its goal is being passable at a minimal price, and it accomplishes this.

It goes without saying that there are many sellers with ludicrous claims and ridiculous prices, but I can't fault the light itself. As far as uneducated consumers go, some don't care. Some do, and I'm sure most of us flashaholics would talk the ear off anyone willing to listen. :)
 

bykfixer

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In defense of them, plenty are available for $4 and less. At that price, the comparables are the 9-led things, a few small keychain lights, a few old spotlight things that take a giant and expensive 6v battery, and not much else. From a reputable seller at the cheap price point, they aren't that bad. I'd take one over basically any other sub-$5 light. They are so simple that most issues can be worked around, can use li-ion, zoom makes them a little more versatile, they output a useful amount of light, and generally have a better tint than those angry blue 9-led things. Overall, it will serve most of the average person's needs on the cheap. It doesn't come close in quality to other lights us flashaholics enjoy, but it doesn't have to. Its goal is being passable at a minimal price, and it accomplishes this.

It goes without saying that there are many sellers with ludicrous claims and ridiculous prices, but I can't fault the light itself. As far as uneducated consumers go, some don't care. Some do, and I'm sure most of us flashaholics would talk the ear off anyone willing to listen. :)

Thanks for that. Well put.
 

panosx

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Jun 22, 2016
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If we want to talk about what to look in a "value for money" buy the first think is the use , some people need water resistant flashlight , plus battery life
and some others need only a flashlight for general purpose .


All the "cheapo" stuff have (as first option ) the target group of that "general purpose" .

Is bad ? Not at all ,if the use is typical
 

LeafSamurai

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Oct 29, 2014
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Christchurch, NZ
Good job CYMac. I do appreciate the effort you put in making these videos and although there have been a LOT of posts about how far these lights are made, it's always nice to see a new perspective on them and it's also useful for newbies who want a reason to buy quality flashlights.
 

CYMac

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Jun 16, 2012
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Thanks, actually that was my intention when I first decided to make these videos. Instead of just sugar coating and trying to be Mr. Nice to tell people they are just good for their price etc.. you know what? My friends don't get it, they will not want to try a Nitecore or something because they think why do we need to buy a $60 light when a $4 there is so bright? Well if you have to give them some details about the electronics etc... it's impossible, everyone goes away and just buy a cheapo. I made these videos, they see, they know it's "fragile", and it's not reliable, period. No more cheapos for them, they bought a nitecore p12 and BOOM addicted to quality lights that they are proud to own and show their friends, simple as that. I know people just try to sound nice to everything and not be a "hater", but sometimes you really need to go direct and to the point when talking to newbies who really can be misleaded easily if you are too nice and sugar coating the truth. These XXX-fire stuff is a knockoff or cheapo, they are to be avoided, then tell the newbies, why need to cover it up and sounds like mr. nice anyway.... Personally, I don't agree in being mr. nice to these things myself. Oh well, that's my perspective, not forcing people to agree anyway.

Good job CYMac. I do appreciate the effort you put in making these videos and although there have been a LOT of posts about how far these lights are made, it's always nice to see a new perspective on them and it's also useful for newbies who want a reason to buy quality flashlights.
 

CYMac

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Awesome channel! Definitely subbed :D

Thanks for subbing! :) I also review guns and stuff too, and I got another channel for gunz because there are too much stuff to publish at once, so I have to split it up for 2 channels..! The other one is called "MakHobby" channel. check that out if you like! (I also have a 3rd channel on my music and more "asian" side of things called "Tin Yat Dragon"!!! Just trying to not get too advertising here, so will skip the link, you can search me up easily!)
 

Sambob

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Dec 17, 2015
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I actually found the videos Informative, I've bought a number of the "cheapos" and I knew I wasn't going to get Thrunite quality for $3 but, I had no Idea these thing's were that fragile.
 

Tre_Asay

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Jun 12, 2015
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Caldwell Idaho
See my sig line. As long as people buy crap, manufacturer's will make and sell crap.
I agree, Buying American made is more expensive, but for someone who actually uses a product daily, and doesn't just put it in a drawer somewhere to feel prepared it is worth it.
And not everyone has to spend a huge amount of money to get a good flashlight. There is no turning back once you start considering things like color temperature, CRI, UI, and reliability.
 

markr6

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Jul 16, 2012
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9,258
After buying a bunch of junk, I found that "buy once, cry once" applies here as it does with my other hobbies. Well, not just "once" but you know what I mean :)
 

DRAWs

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Indonesia
That light have a small efficacy dude, i have one years ago, and i destroyed it.😄😄😄
 

dhvl1357

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May 20, 2016
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Was I the only one who thought, "damn, these $3-6 lights are taking waaay more abuse than I'd have imagined they did"?

I mean, I own a lot of quality lights, but cheapos (sk68s, hugsbys, Convoys, et al) all have their place in a flashoholic's collection. I don't get angry when friends buy cheapos despite my advice coz well, sometimes people have to find out for themselves (and generally do; who listens, right?)

In my case, I regularly use (and depend on) everything from pencil-beam throwers to wide flood beams and EDC at least 3 nice lights (throw in a couple of 18650 lights and a headlamp if I have a bag) but most folks I know only use lights when the power's out or when they're travelling, so for them a couple of reliable/CPF/BLF recommended "cheapos" generally do the trick. Especially if you come from where I do (India) where $60 is 1/3 of the average middle class paycheque.

So, yeah, while the videos are a great source of information, I'd prefer a generally toned down version instead of the "don't buy cheapos" lament. I hope you can take this as positive criticism (but I understand if it is hard to do that).


Cheers!
 

mikekoz

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Jul 19, 2007
Messages
1,255
I actually like to hear the other (negative) side of these lights. A while back, there was a never ending thread about them (sk68) that seemed to make them look like they were the best thing since sliced bread. When I chimed in to give my opinion of them, which was kind of neutral, I got a bit of a rude response. I actually own four of them, but they are all sitting in a junk box somewhere. They are not terrible, but it does not cost much more to get a quality light. Most of my lights cost me under $35.00 and I am somebody who believes a flashlight is only worth so much. For example, I would not spend over $150.00 for one. I have done so once when I got my Fenix TK70, and will not do it again. Saying that, I will very rarely spend over $60.00 on a light. These lights are not reliable and you will appreciate that one day when you just need one to turn on. Also, it is just a flashlight either way. If you have one and like it fine, but do not put down other folks that do not care for them as much as yourself. IT IS JUST A FLASHLIGHT!! :eek:
 
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