LED Floodlights

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Not such a bargain...
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Are cheap LED floodlights the bargain they appear to be?

10W, 20W, 30W, 50W, 80W, 100W

Anyone in the market for a LED floodlight will have seen the "bargain" lights just like the one in the photo above. In comparison to those sold by reputable retailers such as LED Hut etc, they look very similar indeed and one would be forgiven for thinking that there is a good likelihood that there is no difference except for the price tag. I know that is a suspicion I harboured given that just about everything including the quality models are made in China nowadays and like anyone else I was tempted by the prospect of having my requirements met at a low price.

I already have a good quality slim 30W floodlight, made in China of course but branded and sold by a UK online retailer.  I wanted a little more light than that was providing so I duly ordered a 50W cool white which looked almost identical from a Chinese seller, one who claimed to be a manufacturer thus adding a veneer of respectability.

I had already seen an excellent video on Youtube from disappointed user bigclivedotcom and I contacted the seller to tell them I expected to receive exactly what I had paid for. Upon receipt of the light, all looked good. The box had 50W printed on it as did the glass cover so being hopeful I plugged it into a quality power meter and saw that it was most certainly not 50W but was in fact merely 30. Chinese sellers know only too well that returning an item to them is prohibitively expensive and therefore unlikely to happen. That is hardly an incentive to be honest but there you go. I have bought quite a few items from China and this is honestly the first time I have been supplied with an item that is clearly designed to deceive but it is irritating nonetheless.

At this point my only options were to demand some sort of restitution from the seller. My choices were limited so I asked for either a 50w driver and LED chip or the difference in price between their 30w and 50w lights. Given that the latter was less than £3 it wasn't hard to guess which option they would choose and the princely sum of £2.97 was returned to me. No apology was offered indicating to me that they know full well what they are selling. The funny thing is that for all the effort to mislabel the light, there was a little sticker on the bottom of the aluminium case which indicated that the 50 LEDs in the chip were not 1w each as would be expected in a 50w light but were actually merely 0.75w.

Having nothing to lose I opened the light to see what else I could find and discovered as have many others that the earth wire was not connected nor long enough to reach any place where it could be connected. I also saw that they had fitted a 780ma driver that was designed for internal use only i.e. it was not waterproof as the one in my quality light is and these factors coupled with the gaping hole in the sealant meant this light was actually quite unsafe. Simply put, the bodywork is conductive, the rain would have entered at the top and the driver (led power supply unit) would have gotten wet. Would you fancy putting your hand anywhere on it?

I decided to write this in order to hopefully inform others that these lights are not what they seem, they are not worth the money and they are not safe. The case itself is fine and is much the same as more expensive lights but by the time you would rectify all the faults and replace the internals so you would actually have the amount of light you thought you were getting then the expensive lights aren't so expensive after all.

I should add that these lights can be bought from UK sellers as well so buying from them is no guarantee that their lights will be any better. Be warned, and spend just a little more to get something decent.
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