Lightmalls played the old switcheroo with their 5*9x driver. (settled for $20 credit)

I want to like lightmalls I really do. They have some great products and some decent prices too. My recent purchase however is turning into one big headache. I purchased this driver thinking it would be great to put in a 9xcree that I was modding. Notice the large capacitor.\_\_133369278.jpg!

However what I received was the same driver that is for sale at Int-outdoors for less, that I happen to already own.

When I contacted them asking to send it back they replied that their supplier said the one they sent was better and that it had an “invisible” ceramic capacitor and that it was better. At my advice they have added pictures of the driver they sent me but they still have the pictures of the original one as well, both pictures are up. So be aware that if you order you will not get the one with the large capacitor. You will get the one with the invisible ceramic one.

So this is my question, is the “invisible” ceramic capacitor actually better? Isn’t the point of the large capacitor to smooth out the bumps in the current? I’m sure I’m not saying that right but I think it’s generally right. It kind of smooths out the flow if you know what I mean.

So am I right to ask for a refund or not?

It sounds like youve figured out that youve probably been had. But just in case the driver was actually improved, can you test it without soldering the driver board? Maybe solder only the leads to connect the emitters for a good electrical path and see what you get. If it turns up rotten, then ask for your money back. Failing that ——> paypal dispute within 45 days of ordering.

Hopefully you’ve got an improved driver already in your hands… fingers crossed.

Hey you!
Who? Me?
Yes you! Want to buy an invisible W?


I have both of them in my hands right now and looked at absolutely everything. they are identical. I'm not even going to run current through it I don't want them to have any excuse not to take it back. They better pay for shipping too. I just have a hard time believing that they know they sent me a different driver and are even arguing about it. I have been a pretty good customer and even did a couple reviews one light was great and the other not so great but either way they got a fair review and free publicity.

I guess I was just wondering if anyone knows about the capacitor I bought it assuming it would flatten out the current and maybe I'm wrong about that part. It's just something I read a long time ago and could be outdated. Either way I didn't get what I paid for and wouldn't have bought it if I thought it was the same driver I already had.

I sent them a reply to their "invisible capacitor" reply and hopefully they will just be cool and refund obviously I'm not going to get the driver I paid for because they changed some of their pictures.

Thanks for the wishing me luck.

Well, duh, they look identical because the cap is invisible… you cannot see it!
Trust us when we say it is there though.
If you believe that, then I have a 50x XM-L2 V5 107CRI 1x16340 EDC light for you. 43000 lumens. You can only see one emitter though; the rest are invisible. :smiley:

Product doesn’t match the photos, so you should be able to return it or at least get some kind of refund. Them saying it performs as good or better than the real one is not good enough, for me anyway.
Good luck with this one. Hopefully it all goes well.

If its any consolation, we were all fooled by LM when we thought BLF would be given a custom developed single cell boost driver. There was a whole lot of effort and anticipation flushed down the toilet in that one, resulting in the shattered dreams of all those involved. Man, I still want to curse my damn mouth off every time I even think about it!!! |( |(

Perhaps its time to re-examine LM’s rating on this forum. I had hoped lessons would have been learned and service would have picked up, but there are several posts indicating that it has gone the opposite way.

It might actually be better. If by "invisible" they just mean "small" (this is chinese to english conversion afterall) - the ceramic might actually perform better. In high frequency switch mode converters, ESR is as, if not more important than the raw amount of capacitance. A 1000uF Electrolytic might very well perform less well than a 4.7uF ceramic. Depends on the circuit, the frequency, and the load - but it's very possible.

I'd lift that inductor (big thingy covered in shrink tube) and see if there is a ceramic cap in the same place as the electrolytic can in the pictures..


P.S. Not that they shouldn't send you what you order. I despise bait and switch - even if it is with a 'better' product. Sometimes I want the EXACT thing I order, better worse or indifferent.

Yeah, for the most part - but the size required can vary wildly depending on the load, the load transients, the switch frequency, the average and peak inductor current, the ESR of the cap, etc, etc, etc.

I can't say with any certainty that the ceramic is better than the electrolytic since I don't know the specifics of the driver (engineering style specifics, not sales literature specifics), but I also can't say with any certainty that it isn't.


PPtk, you make a good point. A low ESR would be much better. The problem is he already had one of those from I-O and ended up getting the same unexpectedly.
It might be worth comparing those two identical drivers, just to rule out a possible improvement that isn’t physically visible on the board.

Of course there is derating over temperature and DC voltage that ceramics are not so good for.. This is very interesting video and worth reading.

No capacitor that I can see where the one in the picture is.

They have now offered a refund, but expect me to pay for shipping which is $16.75. I told them I wanted them to pay for shipping, refund my money, store credit or I would file with paypal as fraud. Their choice.

I believe it is fraud because they knew they were sending something other than what I paid for and they still have the listing up. I thought they had changed the pictures but I see now that it still shows the large capacitor.

So the ball is once again in their court. Hopefully they will do what is right and at least pay for shipping and also take down the pictures they have up.

@PilotPTK thanks for the info.

@Relic, right on, they need to send what I bought not what they think I want.

You have more patience than I. Paypal dispute would have already been filed if it were me.

Better, worse, or indifferent - it isn't what you ordered.


Just to let people know I settled out of paypal court for a $20 store credit. Who knows I might find something to use it in. Even though I’m not a big fan of this driver.