Why do I feel guilty buying Chinese lights over American?

woodrow

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I have several lights on my wish list right now. 3 by Lumapower, 1 Huntlight, 2 by Fenix and I want to buy 4 Palmblaze's to put together just to see the beam... My problem is that I feel guilty. I like buying Streamlight, Surefire, UK and other long term mostly USA made lights. My problem is that compared to the Cree/Soul leds, They are just not a good value or BRIGHT.

I started to think, Is their lack of innovation my (our) fault. I have defended Surefire and others in threads, noting how I am sure it would take a larger company longer to change ect. + Surefire has military contracts to fill. I do not see tons of soldiers on CNN with Sl Propoly's. What about SL, UK, PT ect. Whats there excuse? Shouldn't industry insiders have known about the new AND BETTER TECHNOLODGY long before us consumers? Shouldn't there allready be a Propolly, Survivor, Stinger Cree lamp. Shouldn't there allready be a Inova T3 cree? (do not get me wrong, I like the K2 versonion, but still!)

So for me, I am saying goodbye to the old stuff and refuse to feel guilty. I wish the old companies the very best of luck, but its not my fault they are state of the art for 2004 in 2007. Welcome to the new world...be fast or be eaten. What do you all think?
 

MikeSalt

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Don't feel guilty. If the Chinese can cater for your needs better than the home-grown industry, that's the fault of the home-grown industries. Performance per $, and, in fact, quality per $, it's hard to beat the Chinese.
 

mightysparrow

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+1, but moreover, you'd only be harming the U.S. light industry and its suppliers if you bought inferior products, thereby encouraging them to fall and stay farther and farther behind their overseas competitors. This is what happened to the U.S. auto industry and contributed much to the long-term ills that industry is suffering from today, among other causes such as the higher labor benefits we are used to receiving for our work here in the U.S. and the higher profits our boards and stockholders are accustomed to receiving, also.
 

KROMATICS

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woodrow said:
I started to think, Is their lack of innovation my (our) fault. I have defended Surefire and others in threads, noting how I am sure it would take a larger company longer to change ect. + Surefire has military contracts to fill. I do not see tons of soldiers on CNN with Sl Propoly's.


Who says they are not inovating? Surefire showed off a bunch of stuff at Shot Show. They have put a lot of effort into their new optics for the Cree LEDs and they are working on new designs as we speak. They prefer to do a lot of R&D instead of just thowing in the very latest LEDs without extensive testing first. This is especially important when offering good warranty coverage.
 

mchlwise

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Tough to have this kind of discussion without bringing up sensitive issues, but...

My feeling on it is: This country was built on capitalism, and is where it is because of competition and people finding ways to do something better and cheaper and offer more.

I see no reason to buy a product which is far inferior simply because it came from the same country I do.

I am very much for supporting the country, the local economy, and domestic businessmen. BUT... they have to be competitive for me to do so, and as mentioned previously buying an inferior product and supporting it's manufacture doesn't do anybody any good.
 

SEMIJim

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mchlwise said:
I am very much for supporting the country, the local economy, and domestic businessmen. BUT... they have to be competitive for me to do so, and as mentioned previously buying an inferior product and supporting it's manufacture doesn't do anybody any good.
Precisely my position.

I'll try to buy US-made by a US-owned company first, moving foreign-ward as necessary. Likewise: I try to buy locally first - the smaller and more specialized the store, the better, and move outward toward big, impersonal stores, then the Internet, as required. But no matter who makes it or from whom I purchase: I expect them to be competitive--recognizing there's more to it than just price.
 

Badbeams3

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Yea, the Surefire lights I saw in a thread from the shot show looked great. Whereever that thread went. With Cree`s in them they will once again be of interest here on CPF.

I don`t feel guilty not buying American lights...I`m a poor boy...I need value...bang for the buck over highest quality. I`ll leave buying the higher priced stuff to those with bigger paychecks...more spendable cash.

If Surefire comes up with an AA powered Cree light at a reasonable price...they want/will get my business. Otherwise...I guess pleasing me is not top of their list. And that ok.
 

flashy bazook

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KROMATICS said:
Who says they are not inovating? Surefire showed off a bunch of stuff at Shot Show. They have put a lot of effort into their new optics for the Cree LEDs and they are working on new designs as we speak. They prefer to do a lot of R&D instead of just thowing in the very latest LEDs without extensive testing first. This is especially important when offering good warranty coverage.

by the way - did you get any info. on pricing for these new CREE LED's that SF is going to be putting out?

I mean it is really great they are doing the work and innovating, just not so great if they then want $300 bucks (OK, $295) for one of them CREE's.
 

270winchester

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why? conscience and buying strategy.

I'm perfectly happy with my Surefires, HDS, McGIzmo lights, Arc, etc.

I don't need 40 differen off shore lights in my closet to show off to my friends so I can so "I have x number of lights, I'm a flashaholic", I just need some lights that I know are made here and have excellent engineering put into them with known reputations.

At one point HDS was selling their basics for 90 bucks. COnsider how much Fenix charges for its P1d and Jet beam's prices, the value is definitely there. Oh yeah Henry doesn't inflate lumens to get you to buy his lights, neither does SUrefire, heck Don doesn't publish his lights' lumen rating, period. I feel better knowing where my lights came from

Off topic, the price of a P1d_CE(the only non American light I own), I was able to buy a set of automotive driving lights made in Germany, Savey our money and buy a few high quality lights and upgrade your lighting in other aspects of your life :D

Being poor is not an excuse to not support home grown industries. I am a student and working on the side. there is no big fat paycheck for at the ned of the month. I just don't drink and smoke, you would be amazed how much money you can save without any vices.
 
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mightysparrow

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"Being poor is not an excuse to not support home grown industries. I am a student and working on the side. there is no big fat paycheck for at the ned of the month. I just don't drink and smoke, you would be amazed how much money you can save without any vices."
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I don't smoke or drink either, and I believe in free-market capitalism. Our country has been pushing it on the rest of the world since before it was an independent country. Not that is isn't working solely to our advantage, are we do cry about not being on top in every transaction in this industry and say we sould adopt the protectionist subsidies and tarrifs and unfair trade practices of socialist and communist countries? Double-standards, for sure! We cannot claim to want it both ways. We claim to be a capitalist country. Are we, or aren't we?

And do we have the guts and skill to compete fairly with other countries for dollars, or don't we? If we don't we should stop advertising ourselves as a "free-market capitalist" country and admit that we have more in common with China and Cuba than we like to think. I'm an old fashioned American: I believe in free-market capitalism as the best form of economic exchange, for both economic and political opportunities for all people.
 

selfbuilt

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[philosophical mode on]

Before this degenerates into the usual heated discussion of China vs U.S.A (and gets appropriately locked by the mods), there is actually an interesting philisophical question posed here: why would someone feel guilty for something that they don't believe is wrong?

Regardless of whether or not YOU think the OP should feel guilty, he clearly states that he does in fact feel guilt - but implies that he doesn't believe he should. Hence his question: WHY does he feel guilty?

I would suggest this is really a symptom of the conditioning that we all receive through our social contacts & experiences.

Don't get me wrong - I understand the arguments "buy American" folks will make - just as I understand the ones about supporting capitalism and the free market economy by rewarding whomever is providing the best value for the money. To each his own.

But if you honestly believe the later view, then why feel guilt over not buying American? Could it be because so many of your compatriots subscribe to the former view, thus making you feel unpatriotic in comparison?

I personally hold the later view, and honestly feel no guilt what-so-ever. I suspect that's because I'm a Canadian, so "buy American" has no more real sway on my decision-making than "buy British" or "buy German" would (why should it?). Not that I'm suggesting I'm not equally conditioned by my own social contacts - I do say "eh?" a lot, for example :).

My point is just that it's worth considering the social context of one's sense of guilt, as opposed to the usual absolute judgements that typically get expoused by the self-righteous.

[Philosophical mode off]
 

woodrow

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I do smoke...Cubans when I can get them, Dominicans when I cannot, and I drink Canada's finest export Crown Royal. I am not sure what drinking and smoking has to do with flashlights. I also look forward to buying great American Cree lights...hopefully not just from Surefire, but also from UK and Streamlight. Those are two brands that I also really wish the best to.

Thank all of you for your comments affirming that I should not feel guilty for making other buying decissions in the mean time. Supporting a inferior (less bright and less effecient...not lower quality) does not help a manufacture to change. Thanks for that piece of advice.
brad
 

Bearcat

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I am sure that Surefire is one of the best lights made, however, it must be three times over priced if the US military is buying it. Surely, there is another light that will do the job just as well for 1/3 the price of a Surefire.
 

270winchester

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google the phrase "Chinese foreign currency reserve"

ah screw it, go ahead, ditch the domestic makers, disregard the flashlight pioneers on this forum whose designs have been copied by these off shore companies. Go buy your 20 dollar special from some vendor that appeared on CPF overnight and brag about it in the LED forum. It seems like that's all CPF is good for these day.
 

Badbeams3

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Perhaps a happy population is less likely to support thier gov should it wish to join in a war. Buying stuff from China might make thier standard of living better. Should a major world war be in the stars for us...we might be better off with the folks in China being content with thier lives. Save American lives in the future.

Nonsense...perhaps...my crystal ball doesn`t work these days...but it could be true.
 
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woodrow

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lets not turn this thread into Chinese vs. Surefire. When I posted it, I was more worried about other domestic (I think) companies like Streamlight, Uk, PT ect. I am sure that Surefire is doing fine and will continue to do so. It is the other guys I am more worried about. Maglights are also on the shelf of every other store in town. I am not worried about them either.

Sorry about the smoking and drinking retort. I do not spend that much money on either of these two 'vices' but I do enjoy them on the day every week or two I sit back and reflect on things. I just enjoy reflection better with a good cigar and a quality drink.

Again, Surefire is going to be fine. I am more worried about the other little USA made companies that I would love to see come out with the newer technology at a more rapid pace. That was why I felt guilty. And when I feel guilty for something I don't feel I should (but still do a little) I tend to defend my position a little harder than I should. My apologies.
brad
 

VF1Jskull1

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GeorgePaul said:
I believe that the prices of the new models will be the same as the models they're replacing.

If they want to boost business, reduce their retail prices by 40%... this may get things going... until then, sub-$100 chinese mfg'd lights will sell like hotcakes...
 

Pax et Lux

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Surefire doesn't compete on price, but on quality. It's a good business model - there will always be someone who can undercut you, especially considering so many imports coming from dictatorships (ie China), so don't play that game.

While Fenix got the Cree light out immediately, I would immagine Surefire's business model is based on being of a certain quality, not the first out. Personally, I would rather wait, and pay the extra for a light I'd likely still be using in five years time - cheaper in the long run.

I know this sounds snobbish, but buying cheap costs you more money in the long run. That's my argument for supporting US business - and I'm not a US citizen myself.
 
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