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

We are now waking up to the Fake LED dilemma we all are faced with when buying budget lights from many of the budget-light sellers we buy from, and we all likely had the wool-pulled-over-our-eyes so to speak of over a year now apparently, until now we’re aware if this mass-fraud of claiming that these lights have genuine “Cree” leds, when in fact they have low-quality, inefficient, trash, fakes & knock-off Emitters.
As the recent rash of some sellers claiming their lights they sell have real CREE emitters in them, (like the recent XP-L fakes flowing in in lights that have obvious fakes) its likely to get much worse with the other types and models of LEDs, and more difficult to know what are fakes and what are real genuine CREE emitters. One good example is this “Latticebright” company: http://www.latticebright.com/En/cpzs/cpzs1.html
notice how their emitters look nearly identical to many CREE models. its likely soon that most non-established branded budget lights we get will likely have these off-brand fake-Cree LEDs instead of real CREE manufactured genuine emitters.

I edited this OP for others to post their side-by-side photos comparing the fakes to the genuine Cree emitters, to help us to identify the fake ones from the real ones.

Below are three examples: An unknown or Latticebright XM-L fake and the latticebright original clone VS. the CREE XM-L. Notable identifiable differences, The far left fake has a much smaller die, (appears to be close to the size of a XP-G die) cThe middle clone has smaller die, and “square” gold pads under the bond wires on the die in the middle image, while Genuine Cree XM-L emitters are round. -Far left image provided by The_Miller, and the two right Images provided by RMM

This photo below of the Latticebright clones on LB & Cree stars provided by Tom-E. Take note of the LB symbol found on many of their stars, also the LB fake emitters can be found even on CREE stars as we see here

Below this photo provided by Dchomak, shows the genuine CREE XP-E on the left, fake on the right. Notable differences: XP-E has dimpled textured coating on the base around the dome, fake is smooth. Fake also appears to have phosphor extended past the die, (Cree does not) the Fake HT-PE has a small hole in one corner, while the cree XP-E does not

Photo below was provided by Antiparanoico, showing the real Cree XP-E (Left) to another variant the latticebright XP-E fake (right) the genuine Cree has a smaller die, and the corner mark is round, where the fake has a larger die and no round dots in any corner

Photo below was provided by Keltex78, showing the real Cree XM-L on the left, and the fake on the lower right. Note here the base substrate of the Cree is darker green/grey color, while the fake is of a white ceramic color Also you can clearly see the smaller die of the fake, and smoother coating on the green area around the dome.

See post #60: RMM’s great comparison picture of a counterfeit “XM-L” vs real Cree

latticebright Counterfeit Cree leds

Counterfeit XM-L2

Counterfeit XP-G2

Counterfeit XM-L

Counterfeit XP-G2

Click to enlarge any image to original size (bit pixely).

I’m afraid some Dark days are coming. :frowning:

Can we make a call for good, straight on photos of any counterfeits members might get?

The Latticebrignt pics seem less than ideal for comparison with a questioned LED since they are at a significant angle.

Unfortunately...That was only a matter of time. Ya never know. We may end up with something good.

Something good? From counterfeit Cree LEDs?

It’s awful and all, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time… I don’t have a single light that didn’t get an emitter swap.

Usually fakes start out good then degrade as time goes on so at the outset it is possible that we get decent emitters but on the other hand it would also be a good idea to start scarfing up any deals on genuine product also.

Much the same here. Most of the budget lights come with a way-to-bluish cool white emitter, and those lights that i use daily i end up swapping them with a better tint.

the names seemed a tad bit close too

I would suggest contacting Cree and sending them info. I do not think they will take it lightly and even though their facility is in China, the US offices should be able to at least file law suits in the US.

It is shoddy and it is one of the biggest reasons I do not like to work with the Chinese. Sorry, I know not everyone is bad, but the present culture there, seems to applaud, condone and give incentive to this type of thing. Of course, if the rest of the world, (meaning all of us), didn't approve and demand it, there wouldn't be monetary incentive to do it.

Good points OL. While some may be good, ( well atleast ok maybe) other CREE “Clones” will likely be more inefficient, inconsistent tint claims, low CRI, etc. I am even noticing some of the Latticebright emitters even only have one bond-wire. (good bye to trying to drive more amps through that to achieve more output.

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

Of course, the other question would be, "Is Cree making these and selling them?" Well, it is a possibility. There's only so many facilities that can make these leds. If not Cree, then who is manufacturing them?

Could easily be someone who was in and copied the facility Cree has too…

I feel that we will be safe for the time being to expect established brands like Olight, Nitecore, Fenix, Sunwayman, 4sevens, etc. will still come with premium CREE emitters, but those one-off brands & over-cloned lights, (all the various *fire brands, etc.) will soon be showing up with unknown, low-cost LED emitters with little QC ( and already may be using them)

Those close-ups of those counterfeit-emitters are quite convincing…

In the past we’ve seen dodgy drivers in some cheaper torches, and now we need to contend with fake LEDs too.

The fakes are very similar in appearance. The XM-L2 would be an easy one to mistaken

The chinese do have led factories.

I agree on all counts, it seems to be the way they do business (and is not caused by their government as someone else said).

This really sucks though, fake Cree emitters that are hard to tell from the genuine article, i wonder if there is anything Cree can do to combat this.

Jk :bigsmile:

I decided some time ago to buy only premium lights, olight etc. Sometimes there are bargains to be had. $44 for an olight warrior, $18 for a Skilhunt x0 are just some examples. It is not worth taking the risk buying more budget lights, by time you mod it, it ends up being more expensive.

I recently went against my own instinct and bought a convoy that was fake and someone pointed out they also had fake drivers! Now with the possibility of fake LEDs as well. No thanks!