LED Spots. Good vs Bad. Know the difference
In case you didn't know, we spend a lot of time trying to bring you the best quality items available. We make most of them, we source some, and we commission some to be manufactured to our standards.
LED spots are one of the items we have commissioned to be manufactured to our standards & specifications. We choose the grade of aluminium, LED chip spec, hardware material, lens material, cable thickness and material etc etc.
Now, you can bet your ass these items will be copied and sold anywhere from the local flea market to the local vegie shop. To the untrained eye they might look the same. But there's one moerse difference. The price. Now, if your common sense tells you that a set of spots that cost R350 are "Exactly the same boet" as the Max Inc ones for R1400+, then you deserve those cheap spots.
There's a reason there's a price difference. The quality of the materials used are vastly different. Besides that, the cheapies will also promise you the moon and the stars like "2 year Guarantee" and "Genuine CREE" and "3000 Lumens" etc etc. It's very simple, no one is going to sell a quality well made item at a ridiculously low price, mostly because quality items are expensive to manufacture.
Take our 18W CREE spots for example. These spots are extremely bright and extremely well made. They are made for us using only the best materials such as:
- Genuine CREE LED Chips, 6 of them at 3w each
- High Grade Aluminium
- Stainless Steel screws and mounting bracket
- High Voltage Silicone wire capable of 300v and fire proof
- Extra thick Polycarbonate Lens
- Male and female waterproof connectors
- High grade electrical board and silver solder
- Multi fin design to dissipate heat
- IP 67 Weatherproof rating
These spots are copied a lot! And sold at ridiculously low prices, well cheap materials are exactly that, cheap. Our spots will give you:
- Constant light output and colour for the duration of the spot
- Weatherproof, no water ingress. Stainless steel hardware, no rust and much stronger.
- High Grade Aluminium, dissipates heat better and is stronger.
- High voltage silicone cable will not perish with time.
- Cables come complete with waterproof connectors
- Multi fin design keeps the unit cooler making it last longer
Check out the real vs fake comparison
Look closely, you will see differences everywhere. Look at the thin cooling fins and only 6 of them. The thinner bolts and plated, not solid stainless steel. Notice the location of the bolts?
It's simple, you get what you pay for every time. To highlight the differences even more here's a great article i found on LED's on charlstonlights.com
50000 hours is very big amount of time. Does each led light stand to this standard? Almost all manufacturers write those big figures in product description. But what is the reality?
Reality is not always same as promising in all LED lights. Forget the warranty; one or two years are just 10% of the total working hours. What is the life after the warranty period? What if you are commercial user?
Customer is not always getting what they expect from cheap products. So what to consider when choosing between low and high quality LED lights?
This might be weird but this is true, You can’t get good quality in very low weight product. As all LED lights require good heat dispassion, It can’t be accomplished without good amount of aluminum. Thin heat sink can provide more area in less weight, but it can’t transfer enough heat for the removal. Only active (fan based) cooling provides solution to this. Some china based producers provide 12-20W lights in very low weight that feels like plastic body. These products won’t perform well even in small span of time.
LED chips are manufactured by various big and small enterprises in the world. Japan and USA based suppliers make highest quality for longer life and more reliability. All is the matter of materials used in making chip. Larger chip provide more lights, good stability against current variations, but it costs more. Cheap and small led chip provides less light and stability. Ceramic COB lights are totally different in terms of size, they use multiple small chips to provide more lights and stability.
Another costly thing in LED lights is rare earth phosphor. Cheap producer use low quality phosphor to lower the cost. If you see spot light with little different colors of white, it might be sign of low quality. Maintaining same colors in white is challenging task for LED producers. Color rendering is also point to be considered. Cheap LED lights generally don’t have good CRI, As good CRI also requires high quality phosphor.
Many people choose LED lights as a new trend in interiors. They really don’t consider what kind of lights they need. Most of the cheap LED lights have same optics for multiple requirements. A spot light can’t make enough illumination in drawing room. Opaque cover is not always for good lighting. It might be used to hide cheap components in Lights.
Finally all together, how they construct LED lights is also important. Design, look, feel and strength need to be checked at time of choosing LED. If paint or powder coating is not applied well, there might be good chance that inside construction are also cheap. Chinese manufacturer produce large amount of products to compete price. Fast & careless production might not last longer.