Is buying LED lights from China a safe bet?
Most wholesalers and resellers who order LED lights from China have this concern. I would say it is safe as long you are partnering with a reputable LED lights manufacturer. The company must have years of experience, professional staff, and follow the required industry standards.
I will discuss how to locate a reliable LED lights manufacturer in the later section. First, let us investigate why this issue is so prevalent.
China has a considerable share in the global LED market. In 2020, China LED market achieved a value of USD 28.8 billion. According to a study, the market will cross the USD 29 billion mark by 2025.
The industry is quite large. As a result, there are numberless LED lights manufacturers in China. Unfortunately, not all follow mandatory guidelines and quality standards.
Some companies are not authorized. Even they do not pass certifications for quality from responsible authorities. Usually, products of such companies come without a warranty.
How can you expect to receive quality LED lights from such manufacturers? These companies use poor-quality components. They employ low-cost capacitors that soon overheat and cause the bulb to burst.
Generally, these companies sell their poor-quality LED lights on some top-rated marketplace websites. Moreover, quality control authorities do not have control over such platforms. As a result, you end up buying low-quality LEDs.
Besides this harsh reality, there is also a misconception about Chinese LED manufacturers. Several retailers do not order LED lights from China because they are cheap.
I have noticed that many individuals feel that cheap equates to low quality. However, this is not the case every time.
Chinese LED lights are generally less expensive than European LED lights. One key reason for this is that China is an epicenter of raw material. Besides this, they have an ideal business ecosystem.
Lower labor rates and a competitive shipping sector also reduce the cost of their LEDs.
As a consequence, China manufactures European-standard LED lights, but at a low cost. So it does not mean their products have poor quality.
So what I mean is, do not get caught in this misunderstanding. At the same time, be smart enough to identify unauthorized LED light firms in China.
Let’s look at how to identify a high-quality LED lights manufacturer in China.
How to Spot a Legitimate LED Lights Manufacturer in China?
Good Experience & Reputation
Learn about these two qualities in your potential manufacturer. If you can do that you are not going to buy poor-quality lights from China, for sure.
No manufacturer would like to spoil its reputation by supplying cheap LED lights. Bear in mind that it takes years to earn a name in the market.
Your first step should be choosing a company that has been catering industry for at least five years. Moreover, they must have a good market reputation. Fraud companies can not stand the test of time.
The two best methods to learn about the experience and esteem of your manufacturer are as per below.
Read Reviews of Manufacturer
Read online reviews about your potential manufacturer. Every reputable manufacturer has a website and customer reviews listed on them.
Check out reviews and get to know what people have to say about their service and product quality.
You may also check reviews on the 3rd party websites like Google Business, Better Business Bureau, and more. Don’t forget to see their social media accounts as well.
See if you can get feedback from people who have already worked with them. It will give you accurate insight into the manufacturer. You can ask the company for reference portfolios.
Get to know About Their Clients
An experienced company often supplies its products globally. When they serve worldwide retailers, they have to follow international quality standards.
A legal manufacturer should also mention its projects and cooperations on its website. See if your potential manufacturer does the same. You can see their previous clients and projects for reference.
Check if the manufacturer gives you a warranty against manufacturing defects. Even if you buy poor-quality LED lights from China, you can’t analyze their quality in a day or two.
It will take at least a month to find if lights will meet the expectation of your customers.
As a result, you should look for a manufacturer that provides a valid warranty on the product.
Business License & Registration Number
Poor quality LED lights are often manufactured by illegal companies. They do not own a business license and registration number.
The LED lights manufacturer you deal with must have a business registration number. It should be valid from the government of China.
A reliable manufacturer won’t refuse to show 18 digit Unified Social Credit Code. Apart from the registration number, you may also examine the business license.
Keep in mind that the design of a business license in China may vary from province to province. You will discover the same important information on them.
Generally, the information contains the registration number, firm name, address, and legal representative.
Safety Certifications & Testing Process
Find out what safety certifications and testing procedures they have in place. A trustworthy company must have LED lights certified by CE, ROHS, UL, TUV, FCC, and other authorities.
Additionally, the manufacturer must earn quality certification from the local quality testing authority. Make sure your potential manufacturer complies with ISO90001 certification. You can verify it by looking at the Accreditation Body Stamp.
The certification ensures that the company meets the requirements for Quality Management System. Moreover, it has been continuously improving its product and services.
Learn about their quality testing procedures as well. Quality control must be enforced by the firm. They should conduct precise testing for the quality of raw material and manufacturing.
Ask for Product Sample
As a distributor or retailer, you will need to buy LED lights in quantity. Because you will make a big investment, you should not be hesitant to request a sample product.
Most China LED light manufacturers would not refuse a sample. Especially, if you are purchasing in bulk. Examine the sample and take appropriate action based on the results of the analysis
Things to Keep in Mind When Ordering LED Lights From China
Besides identifying a legit LED lights manufacturer, recognize the quality of LED lights as well. Pay attention to factors like the source of light, power supply, Housing, control system, packaging, and so on.
Below are a few tips to help you out.
The power supply is a crucial factor to look at when choosing LED lights. Most LED strip lights operate at 24V or 12V DC. At home, the standard power outlet operates at 120/240V AC. As a result, before using LED strip lights on them, power must be converted to a low voltage DC signal.
Ensure the power supply has appropriate power capacity for LED lights.
Keep following things in mind when choosing a power supply.
In the absence of a stable and correct amount of voltage supply, your LEDs might overheat and become non-functional ahead of time. Make sure LED lights you give an order of having a stable power supply.
Make sure the power supply voltage you select is accordant to the voltage of your LED lights. In addition to this, you need to check out power supply related PF, HVD, IP, dimming/on-off is qualified.
Quality of a Capacitor
A capacitor’s job is to manage and reduce power supply ripple. It aids in the prevention of flickering. Moreover, it eliminates the excessive heat in LED lights.
Unfortunately, some manufacturers use low-quality capacitors to cut costs. It naturally minimizes the life span of LED lights.
So before ordering LED lights from China, make an inquiry about the quality of capacitors. Especially, you need to check the capacitor’s label for the maximum voltage rating. Also, check the other components carefully.
If your LED lights have dimmers to adjust their brightness, the power supply must have the capability of dimming as well. Generally, a dimmable power supply comes with two types of dimmer controllers.
PWM Dimming: It is a common dimming solution that helps in adjusting the current of white LED devices.
TRIAC Dimming: It’s an advanced dimming controller switch that lets you control the electrical energy passing into an LED light.
Beware, if you are not able to find the critical specification on LED bulbs, the firm could be fraudulent. On branded LED lights, you can read the information on power consumption.
Additionally, you get details on light characteristics, dimensions, durability, packaging, and technical specifications.
Heat dissipation is another factor to consider when purchasing LED lights from China. LED lights produce heat that must be dissipated. It increases the life of LEDs by preventing premature failure
The heat sink plays a major role in managing heat dissipation. Make sure the manufacturer has used good-quality aluminum or copper for making heat sink.
Shell of LED Light
Although it is not necessary, some cheap quality LED lights are low in weight than the genuine product. It happens because those manufacturers use a thin heat sink. They use a low amount of aluminum in their LEDs heat sink. As a result, they do not remove enough heat.
Additionally, check out the lamp body material. Generally, it is made out of iron/aluminum/alloy/plastic. Make sure the shell is given the treatments like oxidation/plating/painting for better quality.
The chip of LED Lights
The chip is the primary component of an LED light. It transforms electrical energy into light.
Make sure the LED light chip you choose is of the proper size. The chip size has a crucial role in the efficiency of luminous. Remember, the larger the chip is, the higher luminous and flux the LED will produce.
Some Chinese manufacturers use poor-quality support material for chips. It significantly influences heat transferring ability. Choose alloy over iron for the chip’s support material as it has better heat dissipation capability.
Several people overlook it, but the kind of glue used in the chip matters a lot. In general, silicone outperforms epoxy in terms of stability, heat resistance, and yellow degeneration resistance.
If your manufacturer uses a mixture of glue, you should pay attention to the ratio of mixed glue. Otherwise, cracking will occur due to thermal expansion and contraction.
LED strip lights connect the LED chip to the external pins via a wired electrical connection. So you also need to check the quality of this wire in the chip.
Manufacturers use four types of material for wire.
Gold wire is the best. Avoid the manufacturer who uses alloy wire.
Quality of Phosphor
Phosphor is a critical substance in LEDs. It produces light when exposed to radiation from a blue, ultra-violet, or electron beam source.
Some cheap led lights manufacturers in China use low-quality phosphor to reduce their overheads. However, it has a huge impact on the light quality of LEDs.
If you notice your LED lights have a different shade of white, it can be a sign of poor quality. For manufacturers, it is challenging to produce bright white light with inferior quality phosphor.
Lumen per Watt Performance
Compare the lumen per watt efficiency of LEDs. It is an excellent way to compare the quality of LEDs from different manufacturers as well.
Thus, you will find out the efficiency of a bulb based on how many lumens it produces per watt of electricity consumed.
You can calculate this by dividing the number of watts by the count of lumens.
You also need to check the IP ratings of LED lights you buy from China. IP stands for Ingress Protection. The rating measures the protection capability of LED lights against liquid and dirt.
LED lights should have an IP65 rating. It ensures the light is safe from dust ingress and low-pressure water splash.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Color Rendering Index is a specification that indicates the visual output of a light. The metric value for CRI is 0 to 100. A number close to 100 is better. A CRI of 80 or higher is satisfactory.
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
Correlated Color Temperature represents the tones of white light an LED light produces. It is expressed in K. (Kelvin). CCT determines the exact color of a light source. Therefore, you can find out if the color of a light bulb will look good in a particular environment.
Depending on the light hue, CCT ranges from 1800K to 6500K. The CCT of warm light will be between 1800K- 300K, whereas the CCT of a cool light will be greater than 4000K.
So you need to take note of this as well.
The light color should be the same for lights from the same batch of goods and lights from different batches of goods.
Factory Guarantee Experiment
It is necessary to consider whether the factory has a variety of guarantee experiments. For example, anti-saline test for raw materials, high and low-temperature thermal shock test, and products’ aging and waterproof tests. Also, check if the manufacturer does the packaging pressure and anti-drop tests.
The Controller of LED Lights
There is a wide range of LED light controllers available, but you need to choose the one that is best for you.
Select it as per the purpose of the application. If you are buying LED strip lights in small areas like bedrooms or offices, use RF LED controller. For strip lights in large areas like an office building, you can choose a DMX controller.
Don’t neglect the quality, timeliness, signal accuracy, and stability of the controller.
In addition to this, ensure the controller meets your customers’ requirements for all possible application scenarios. At last, pay attention to the level and cooperation of the designer.
There is nothing wrong with buying LED lights from China. It is going to be a profitable business for you. Chinese manufacturers offer international standard LED lights at a low price. Moreover, they have a better business eco-system comparatively.
Besides this, you will be able to meet your consumers’ demands. After all, a Chinese manufacturer can assure adequate supply.
At last, I would say yes, it is safe to buy LED lights from China. All you need to do is, pick the right led lights manufacturer and LED lights.