Author Topic: Cheap Chinese lights for video  (Read 282 times)

Offline Caverdaddy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Cheap Chinese lights for video
« on: November 16, 2018, 11:53:27 am »
Has anybody trialled using cheap Chinese 'rip-off' lights for video?
eg. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/32000LM-SKYRAY-12-x-CREE-XM-L-T6-LED-Torch-Lamp-4-x-18650-Hunting-Flashlight/361693575966?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D968c05f5b40e4fb99d663bb153513a0a%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D202458461652%26itm%3D361693575966&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

(not sure how to add hyper links!)

These are about a tenth of the price of a Stenlight version which is obviously a much better brand and waterproof etc.

I've also looked at the cheap Chinese bikelights online and wonder if they're any use? They all quote a ludicrous amount of lumens (30,000 etc.) which are presumably very unrealistic.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07219ZLNR/?coliid=I2EURCXFCTJUC0&colid=27R9EB4WT6DDD&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I know there's the old saying you get what you pay for, but at a tenth of the price do any of these lights actually do the job?

TIA


Offline JoshW

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • WSCC, YSS

Offline royfellows

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1071
    • mineexplorer.com
Re: Cheap Chinese lights for video
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2018, 12:30:00 pm »
I bought a similar one for £20 a while back and wrote a review on aditnow, just looked but cant seem to find it.
Anyway.

These torches have a large array of LEDs to impress, like sales wise. They actually drive them all in parallel so output from the driver is shared. The one I tested had junk electronics and full power was basically what all 4 cells could output, about 7.5 amps of fresh charge nosediving as they depleted. So 6 LEDs sharing = 1.25 amps each and they Cree XML T6s. From data sheet this generates just over 3000 lumens of fresh charged cells, nosediving as they deplete.

From memory the electronics were basically a PWM resistor circuit switching though a MOSFET to direct to give full power.

Other issue was waterproof integrity which mainly related to the switch.

I tried 4 Ultra High Discharge cells in it and everything blew. Undaunted I bought a new and better driver board from Fasttech, this once actually had an inductor coil on it, and patiently replaced all 6 LEDs. I removed the switch and drilled out the casing to take one of my Lynx basic push buttons, and hey presto, I had a half decent torch.

So main issues as they come is nosediving as the cells deplete and letting water.

Yes it is good for photography, to diffuse the light put a semi clear plastic bag over it, I actually forked out for a 60mm Nitecore diffuser

Hope this is useful

"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, 'Masters of the Universe'

Offline thomasr

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 109
Re: Cheap Chinese lights for video
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 12:36:54 pm »
Same old story buy  cheap and risk failure at a critical point. :ang: specially high risk sport such as off roading at night

Offline grahams

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 931
Re: Cheap Chinese lights for video
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2018, 12:43:27 pm »
I bought one of these (or one which appears identical) a couple of years ago for about £7. Mine is rated at 10,000 lm. The case is a work of art and beautifully engineered, the electronics less so - when not in use, the torch drains the batteries. For video or photography the temperature of the light is absolutely perfect and there's a lot of it - much brighter than a car headlight. Beam spread is reasonable (i.e. tightish but is not a spotlight) and is very even. On the brightest setting battery life is around an hour but the torch gets quite warm in continuous use. These Chinese lights are far from perfect as they aren't waterproof and the control/onoff switch is very badly positioned. Only you can decide whether these lights are fit for your purpose given the compromises but they are very cheap.
Sceptics wanted!

Offline Ian Ball

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Cheap Chinese lights for video
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2018, 02:52:19 pm »
Dosens Bike Light

I picked up one of these and I've got to say, it's good.  4 settings the main one claiming 5 hours from a charge, but it gets hot pretty quickly and steps down. It would be very bright in most cave passages although spotty.  They have o rings on the battery port and the charging side with a decent thread run although the port is in in the middle of the thread so I wouldn't expect this to survive a serious dunking.

The headlamp attachment is painful on your forehead but I wear it a lot, slightly loose as it's decent.

I made a diffuser using a hot glue gun which works really well although the beam is very spotty.

The handle bar attachment is a piece of threaded bar, 5mm is it?  the standard tripod attachment on the bottom of a camera so I also grabbed a 5" tripod thinking I could use it as a backlighting torch, not that I have done yet.

I don't think it is bright enough for large areas, and too narrow a beam for most photography and a diffuser softens it some more.

As a cheap bike light it is very good, but I wouldn't rely on it underground.  I've had it for a year and had no problems with it. 

I can't comment on the electronic quality, I'm sure it's cheap as the battery looks like a rewrapped cell, it was a button top in case you are wondering but I've used it to charge a few flat top 18650s.

The rear bike light I'm sure works fine too, but I lost it without ever using it!

Offline royfellows

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1071
    • mineexplorer.com
Re: Cheap Chinese lights for video
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2018, 02:54:56 pm »
electronics less so - when not in use, the torch drains the batteries.

Yes, and I have just designed a new lamp with a CMOS lockdown controller that takes 16uA (16 millionths of an amp) on standby.
Its funny bit the Chinese low voltage (parallel cells) PCBs are generally appalling, but the higher voltage ones are quite reasonable switch mode circuits. Strange.
"You are not consumers, you are the product" Google and Facebook, 'Masters of the Universe'

Offline JasonC

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1013
  • KCC
Re: Cheap Chinese lights for video
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 04:53:35 pm »
Dosens Bike Light

I picked up one of these ...

So did I, after it being recommended here.  I've only used it on my bike but confirm what Ian says.  My only problem was that a pin in the charging port bent on trying to charge it for only about the second time.  But as the battery comes out, I was able to recharge it in a £3.99 Chinese charger, so it still lives.

As Ian says, the beam is very tight, but maybe a handful of them would do for video lighting underground.