- The Fake-Cree LED Awareness Thread - The new "low" in Budget lights.

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freeme
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Oh boy.

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LightRider
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Hi guys, I’m new here

I’m looking to purchase some LEDS for a project but I am worried that I wont get genuine product. I want to purchase:

10 CREE XM-L RGB+ Neutral White Emitters order code: XMLCTW-A0-0000-00C2AAAB1
And
6 CREE XM-L2 T6 5A Neutral White Emitters order code: XMLBWT-00-0000-000BT60F5 or XMLBWT-00-0000-000BT60E5

There are not many venders to choose from but I have found just a few.
HOW CAN I BE SURE I GET THE REAL THING?

Thanks for any help!

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PPDB22 wrote:
Hi guys, I'm new here I'm looking to purchase some LEDS for a project but I am worried that I wont get genuine product. I want to purchase: 10 CREE XM-L RGB+ Neutral White Emitters order code: XMLCTW-A0-0000-00C2AAAB1 And 6 CREE XM-L2 T6 5A Neutral White Emitters order code: XMLBWT-00-0000-000BT60F5 or XMLBWT-00-0000-000BT60E5 There are not many venders to choose from but I have found just a few. HOW CAN I BE SURE I GET THE REAL THING? Thanks for any help!

If you stick to trusted sellers, you should be alright. Mouser, Digikey, intl-outdoor.com, Mountain electronics, Illumn.com, to name a few. And sellers like ledDNA (not my favorite) should also still be ok. Actually any seller that sells bare leds I would still trust. The problem sofar seems to be complete flashlights with false led claims.

LightRider
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Ok…

I was looking at the xm-l2 t6 5a emitters from leddna.
And
The xm-l rgbw from topledlight.com

What about topledlight.com?

One thing I am having trouble with is determining what is actually being sold. For example topledlight.com is selling the xm-l rgbw in cool white and in warm white. Now Crees database only lists a cool white and neutral white. So there is no warm white order code. So in this example topledlight.com uses two valid order codes from Cree. The cool white and the neutral white. So they are using the neutral white order code for their warm white(3200k) listing. When I asked them about it he said that he forgot to remove the order code after copying and pasting information from another listing. And that the warm white option is not listed in the Cree database because it is a custom ordered item… I want the neutral white, but I guess I could settle for warm if I was sure it was genuine.

Does that sound right to you?
When I have been looking I see that this is very common among many venders. IDK what to think?

hank
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Cree ought to be able to micro-etch/engrave a copyrighted text or logo or something on the bases of their emitters, if they don’t already do that.

Heck, in a week or two, at the current rate of change, they can put a computer right under each emitter ….

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I need to take some pictures to show you guys, but I have recently received several "fake" LatticeBright XM-Ls in lights and even a few fake XP-G2s.  If you've seen a lot of genuine LEDs you can spot the difference by eye, but they are really pretty close.  It is obvious that they are attempting to make them look like the real deal.  Pretty sketchy.

I remember reading a few threads about fake XP-G2s a while back...I think they were probably LatticeBrights, even though we didn't know it at the time.  Thread 1. Thread 2.  Until these we hadn't seen fakes that were that good.

A few months ago I talked to a Cree rep. and this is what he had to say:

Quote:
We have about 10 lawyers in our office, fighting the LED counterfeit issues we see out of Asia.  It may look like Cree, it may say Cree, doesn’t mean it s Cree

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I’m glad that I bought mine from Mouser.

http://www.latticebright.com/En/cgxl1/2015-06/30/NewsView-220.html

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Eeeeek… Look at that thermal resistance! My prototype would burn in minutes.

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kronological wrote:
What we need to do is be able to tell the difference. Those Latticebright LEDs are very similar to the real thing. I would hate to put out a review in which I mistakenly identified counterfeits as genuine.

Who has received these counterfeits? Can you please share with us how to tell them apart? Is there a way?

If we can somehow acquire one of each of these Latticebright clones, to take Macro-photos of them along side the genuine CREE emitters to display the differences would be good to help us identify them apart.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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definitely the specs are inferior to the genuine CREE RGBW counterpart..

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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freeme wrote:

Oh boy.

That top one looks like a rip-off of an Osram, and the other lower one (sort of resembles a XHP HI?) is only 940 lumens?

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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DBSAR wrote:
kronological wrote:
What we need to do is be able to tell the difference. Those Latticebright LEDs are very similar to the real thing. I would hate to put out a review in which I mistakenly identified counterfeits as genuine.

Who has received these counterfeits? Can you please share with us how to tell them apart? Is there a way?

If we can somehow acquire one of each of these Latticebright clones, to take Macro-photos of them along side the genuine CREE emitters to display the differences would be good to help us identify them apart.


Now that’s a good idea. Richard, maybe you could send some of the fakes you found to Dale for some good side by side macro shots…
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DBSAR wrote:
freeme wrote:

Oh boy.

That top one looks like a rip-off of an Osram, and the other lower one (sort of resembles a XHP HI?) is only 940 lumens?

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Rolz wrote:
People who are aware of this issue will back off buying on ebay and less reputable sellers.

Nice thought but highly unlikely

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RMM wrote:
I need to take some pictures to show you guys, but I have recently received several “fake” LatticeBright XM-Ls in lights and even a few fake XP-G2s.

Please do! Thank you RMM! Beer Beer
hank
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I suspect that the group effort here would be useful to Cree documenting what’s coming from where — once we can be sure what we’re seeing.

Hey, I’m a North Carolina boy, born in Durham; Cree’s become a point of pride there.

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hank wrote:
I suspect that the group effort here would be useful to Cree documenting what’s coming from where — once we can be sure what we’re seeing.

Hey, I’m a North Carolina boy, born in Durham; Cree’s become a point of pride there.

That’s right, someone should start a thread just for that!

Someone else please start it, nobody ever reads mine Wink

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dchomak wrote:
hank wrote:
I suspect that the group effort here would be useful to Cree documenting what’s coming from where — once we can be sure what we’re seeing.

Hey, I’m a North Carolina boy, born in Durham; Cree’s become a point of pride there.

That’s right, someone should start a thread just for that!

Someone else please start it, nobody ever reads mine Wink

This thread is already for the fake Cree stuff Silly the OP & title can be changed or edited to apply more if needed.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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Richard… Could you elaborate on where and how you got these fake LEDs?

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viperbart wrote:
Richard... Could you elaborate on where and how you got these fake LEDs?

Most of them have come in lights, from a few different sources.  I got a batch of Small Sun ZY-T08s with fake LEDs (I didn't sell them, I used them to modify, but that was the last straw and why I don't carry it anymore--I think I still have all of the fake LEDs I pulled out of them).  I also got some random headlamps with them as well.  I will take some pictures tonight and post them here.  I don't know if I can find the XP-G2, but I know I have a few of the XM-L fakes on-hand in a baggy somewhere.  

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RMM wrote:

viperbart wrote:
Richard... Could you elaborate on where and how you got these fake LEDs?

Most of them have come in lights, from a few different sources.  I got a batch of Small Sun ZY-T08s with fake LEDs (I didn't sell them, I used them to modify, but that was the last straw and why I don't carry it anymore--I think I still have all of the fake LEDs I pulled out of them).  I also got some random headlamps with them as well.  I will take some pictures tonight and post them here.  I don't know if I can find the XP-G2, but I know I have a few of the XM-L fakes on-hand in a baggy somewhere.  

They are Not fake.   They are just......    Different.Tongue Out

Think of how many millions of lights they will ship out with clone leds in them. You know, I have always felt the aluminum used in Chinese lights was sub-par and it's been that way forever, so why not have everything sub-par? Drivers with just one resistor and no modes, leds that only put out a few lumens, plastic lenses, plastic reflectors. Heck, as long as they sell...

I'm glad I have someone like RMM to buy components from. At least I know they are legit.Wink

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RMM wrote:
I have a few of the XM-L fakes on-hand in a baggy somewhere.

Don’t get those mixed in with your lumens packaged in those tiny little baggies. People expect 100% pure lumens. They dont want to buy lumens that have been stomped on. Big Smile

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Lol don't worry, they're nowhere near the others.  The others are all in tapes, individually labeled baggies, in separate sealed containers according to type.  There won't be any mixups.  The bad ones are all in a crappy baggy somewhere still on the MCPCBs.  

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http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2015/06/cree-restructures-led-busin...

"Cree has announced restructuring in its LED manufacturing business that has been driven by higher than anticipated erosion on packaged LED selling prices..."

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"Swoboda also briefly discussed the LED-based lighting division at Cree. Overall, he said the company would reduce its focus on LED components and general consumer lighting and shift focus to higher-end consumer and commercial lighting products. He said lower LED and consumer LED bulb revenue is the reason for lower projections."

 

 

From the same website, different article http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2015/08/cree-and-epistar-sign-major...

"LED manufacturers Cree and Taiwan-based Epistar have announced a global intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement covering all nitride-based-LED patents owned by each and some non-nitride-based patents as well"

"The new deal does not mark the first time Cree has struck a deal with an LED manufacturer based in Taiwan. Last year, Cree invested in Lextar, another company with mid-power expertise. At the time of that announcement, Cree said it would source LEDs from Lextar."

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led4power wrote:

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2015/06/cree-restructures-led-busin...

“Cree has announced restructuring in its LED manufacturing business that has been driven by higher than anticipated erosion on packaged LED selling prices…”

My take after reading that article is that Cree will not be going after the low end of the market, bur rather the high power and higher margin portion. They can’t compete with other manufacturers as LED chips are becoming a commodity. In fact the article mentions the CREE branded LED T8 florescent bulb replacements that we see in Home Depot put out by Cree actually have LED chips other than Cree’s in an effort to reduce costs. Some of those bulbs are now on recall.

I think the days of buying budget lights with real XM-L’s and other high end Cree’s is just about over. The cheaper knock off chips have gotten “good enough” Not good enough for enthusiasts like ourselves, but good enough for the mass market. After all, just how bright does a flashlight need to be anyway?

The good news, if you want to call it that, is only very expensive lights and modded lights will be the highest performers. Historically that is how it has always been, it’s just that for the past few years one could by a pretty good performing light for a relatively cheap price. Years from now, looking back at that period of time, it will appear to us as just a blip in the history of LED lights. Prices will continue to fall and the output of the clone chips will rise, probably to the level of the current higher cost Cree’s. Of course by then, we will be building and modding our own lights with more expensive even more powerful and higher end LED’s.

As veterens of this forum, when newbies join and ask about the LED’s in their lights, we should not disparage their purchase if they contain (and most certainly will) the fake LED’s. We should point out the differences and show them that there are even better options.
I believe the market for low end lights has already been lost and so does Cree.

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I did a current/output test yesterday on the leds claimed to be XP-L's (at least they do not even look like XP-L) that were in the Bestfire lights sold by dx and Fasttech. They show ~XP-E2 performance (but with a XP-G size die and even larger apparent lightsource). They are not bad leds but far from high end. When I'm back from this weekend away with the family I will post more about it.

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Hey Richard. I’m wondering if you might request some samples from this latticebright outfit? I would, but they are likely to want an actual business to send them to.

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Here is a comparison shot of the two "XM-L" LEDs.  In person, especially installed in a light, the difference is much less noticeable.  

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kronological
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Wow. How about output…how do the two compare???

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