My final thoughts on Sunwayman lights: - COMPLETELY AVOID

This is not a hate rant against a light manufacturer, it is a warning to anyone who purchases a Sunwayman and ends up in the same boat as i am in with their lights.

All four of the Sunwayman lights i have in my collection have failed with little use. (two arrived already defective)
Two P02A penlights, a F40A, and a M30A.
I have nearly 300 lights, and have tested, used, modded, repaired, etc lights form nearly every brand, but Sunwayman have been the only complete failure to my experience with lights.

(I’m not sure if this is the right forum category for this type of topic expressing my dissatisfaction with a brand of lights and the problems i have been having with them.)

To add to my thoughts about Sunwayman in general, Sunwayman ignored my email attempts to contact them about all the issues i have had with all these lights, the only one time they replied is when i had bought a replacement driver for the failed M30A that cost my $20 bucks plus shipping. (which has also burned out)

the first P02A arrived with a dead switch, (and the tail cap assembly is heavily cemented/locked with locktite, and could not be disassembled to repair or replace the switch.
The second P02A replacement sent to me by the seller has now failed too after very little use. (used 3 times.)
I tried to take the tail cap apart to repair them as the switches failed completely, but due to the heavy cement they used, both lights were destroyed trying to get them apart. I even tried a bit of heat, (can’t heat them up to much due to the plastic switch parts)
Basically these lights have a bad switch flaw, and their use of cement makes them non repairable, and a complete waste of the high cost they sell for.
the only other two Sunwayman lights i bought, a F40A and a used M30A have both also failed. The M30A was bought used with a bad driver last year, i did manage to buy a new driver from Sunwayman last year for that light, but it failed again completely.
The brand new over-priced F40A came with a driver that flickers badly on Low, and now sometimes turns itself off randomly, and Sunwayman ignored my emails on that light.
Either i had a lot of bad luck with Sunwayman lights, or they are really unreliable overpriced junk. So now i have all four of the Sunwayman lights tossed in the junk aluminum bin, and will no longer purchase, or never recommend Sunwayman lights to anyone, due to their problems/flaws and bad zero customer service.I have had hundreds of lights over the years, ( and still have over 320 in my collection) and use many of them quite often, but none has given me as bad number of chronic problems & failures as all my Sunwayman models have.

Below are the photos of the two P02A lights when i tried to get the tail caps apart to try to repair the faulty switches on the P02A pen lights after Sunwayman continued to ignore my service inquiries. the cement was so strong it stripped the threads completely out of there body on one of the P02A lights, the other the tail assembly twisted & warped the body before it came loose & unthreaded:

I have 4 sunwaymans. 2 have died. One had issues on arrival. The other died just from very light use.
The 2 others are basically shelf queens (D40A) and the other one is starting to get some daily use. I will be able to report on its failure or not :wink:

HOWEVER, I have had a good CS experience with one of their failed flashlights and will be sending it back to Sunwayman, China for repair. (Not have had time to go to the Post to have it shipped back)

Sunwayman have completely ignored my requests for help & service on these lights.
In my opinion/experience they are a horrible manufacturer in so many ways, (Poor customer service, poor product reliability, high level of flawed products, quality versus prices ratio, etc.)
The only lights that ever failed me like this out of all the lights i have and used, are my Sunwayman lights. All 4 of them.

Completely avoid to open them.

Thanks for the post. I have little or no use at all for poorly made items whose sole engineering accomplishment is successfully keeping me out of them.

Tried cs@sunwayman.com

yep, sent several emails over the last couple months with zero response.

They ignored my email to their CS, then after a couple months of them ignoring me i tried to get the two P02A lights apart to replace the failed switches, but the cement on the threads looked as strong as JB Weld and literally ruined the threads & lights trying to get them apart, (basically their lights are not serviceable & more so disposable when they fail.

One of the things I look for is whether something can be taken apart. Goes way back to childhood and never got over the inclination. Putting it back together is all on me and I’m not so good about that. Don’t recall being good about it back then either.

I’ve always loved me some control ring, and I have a 3 year old V11R that was re-greased 2 years ago and is still carried and going strong. Just a couple months ago I gifted my 4 year old M20C to a friend, who is a mechanical engineer and uses it every day on the job. My D40A has seen many hours deep in the woods. I always carry a backup, but so far, SWM has not forced me to use it. I have a couple others like the F10R for which I’m not a huge fan, but I can’t remember one failing on me.

But having said that, I think each light I have have bought from them seems to be an incremental step down in quality, and it’s been quite some time since I’ve said “I must have that model!” to myself about one of their products. It seems like they tried to get too gimmicky instead of focusing on making the badass lights they got a reputation for. MAP is more important than the consumer. Margin is more important than quality. I love a few of my SWM products but I could take or leave them these days.

I have not seen or held a Sunwayman product, but in looking around when I started this hobby I saw that a few years back they were generally regarded as a good light. I was considering them as my first “good” LED light purchase, now I am glad I didn’t proceed with that. Perhaps they’ve followed the PMIC trend and cheapened themselves into nothingness the same as many Chinese manufacturers and sellers have done.

On another forum I keep up with there are a few company owners who have shared their knowledge on how to best deal with Chinese manufacturing and customer service. For their own products, they have to physically go to China (or are located there) so they can oversee production and reject unwanted changes or lowering of QC on the spot before their money pays for a sub-par production lot. Nothing else works because once you’ve paid for it they don’t want it back- we know how that ‘game’ goes ala GB’s partial store credit refunds etc. This is one reason Simon can be so consistently good with the Convoy lights (many kudos to Simon!). And we know how the sellers are, not checking the veracity of claimed specs or the product quality, but simply ‘passing the buck’ to a ripped-off end buyer using “we didn’t know” as the ultimate excuse. They don’t want to suffer a loss since they can’t get their money back either.

The good folks I mentioned above also tell me that the language barrier is huge, and that the best way to describe a problem you’re having is to keep the sentences and message short and clear using very simple very clear terms. Forget eloquence and detailed descriptions, act as if you’re describing it to a 5 year old. And don’t denigrate them, everyone feels some sense of pride and hearing goes away when that pride gets injured. Just list the problem and state what you want them to do about it. If they make a counter-offer of less than what you want decline it politely and restate what you want from them as being the only solution you will accept. The CS people there are overworked without oversight so as long as they respond somehow they deem their job done. They have to respond to a backlog of thousands of messages, some patience is required. No guarantees, but this approach will generally get you better results.

There is also a culture gap regarding what is the proper way for a company to act. Us Westerners believe deeply in fairness and a good company name, they see mostly the bottom line in the accountant’s ledger- the rest is very secondary to that. They do not understand the value of a good name; rather they see a company size (and profitability) as the only gauge of a company’s value. They are bigger than you, you are just a drop of water in a big ocean to them. If you think they care about you the individual customer, you are wrong- that is the way of their culture. Any leverage you may have is only prior to you handing over your money so that is where you must focus.

I feel it is a shame to see Sunwayman follow the PMIC trend but they are not alone. I much appreciate those here who update us as to what companies are currently selling so we can make good purchase decisions. Threads like this have saved me grief; I am grateful as well as sorry that you had the sour experience.

Phil

Service@sunwayman.com is their current email on their site now.

I like the 2 or 3 I have, but then, I don’t use them often. I found them to be quality lights but with very much proprietary features. I’ve modified one before and it wasn’t easy.

Nice warning though, for an expensive light you’d expect far better.

A pointer would be welcome if it’s a publicly readable forum. The USA used to be just as bad a century or more ago. It’s worth working for change.

Thanks for the heads up DBSAR. I was thinking of starting a thread about lights/brands to avoid.

I have four swm lights.

V10a carried daily for four years, several times dropped on concrete, cosmetically damaged, functions flawlessly.

M40a mce used twice a week on high for one hour over six months per year, for roughly four years, dropped onto concrete from waist height a few times, works flawlessly.

D80a, used on high for one hour twice a week for a month or two, faultless.

M40a xml, used twice a week on high for one hour over four months, worked flawlessly, then stored. Six months later pulled out of storage and found not to work. The UK shop ignored my emails. Contacted swm customer service, repaired and serviced nicely under warranty. Customer service were polite, friendly, responsive and communicated in excellent English. Overall the service was first rate. I’ve had worse experience from UK shops. I could not examine the electronics so I cannot say why it failed.

One out of four failing could be better, but four lights are not enough to draw conclusions. Some dealers have said swm are a reliable brand, but Surefire is the best.

It is very odd they do not respond to you, perhaps your emails get sucked into an anti spam filter. Have you tried another email account? I find it hard to believe they ignore you but not me. But I do believe your account completely.

I sent them emails from two different email accounts, and to all their various emails i could find on their website. They replies once, and once only last year when i ordered a driver from them for the first failure of the M30, meaning they did receive my email. Its obvious now they are ignoring my emails looking for warranty service for other lights.

sent to that one too. (sent to all the email address i cloud find from them, and used two different of my email addresses.

I’ve had mixed results with Sunwayman.

  • Sunwayman V10A with XPG (from a few years ago): During a battery change I accidentally dropped the head onto a wooden floor from a height of 1 meter. The drop was so small there wasn’t even a scratch on the anodizing… but the light never worked again. Checking inside, I discovered that a surface mount device had popped off the driver. Apparently the soldering wasn’t properly done.
  • Sunwaymwan V10R with XML: Worked fine until I accidentally put the battery in the wrong direction and turned it on for about 2 seconds. This was enough to screw up the calibration for the magnetic ring. The light still works, but over 2/3 of the rings travel is just through varying levels of moonlight. Then the light abruptly shoots from moonlight to maximum power over a 2mm rotation. The light is still useable, but it’s now only practical on moonlight or max.
  • Sunwayman C20C: Excellent light with no problems. Well built body construction. Course as soon as I got these lights I gutted them and made them into hosts (one currently equipped with triple XPG2, the other with an XPH70)
  • Sunwayman V11R high CRI: no problems. I’ve been very careful about battery polarity though.

I think the quality on a lot of the ‘top brands’ has fallen. I don’t think Olight produce lights with as nice a finish as they did a few years ago.