Buy The Best Solar Lights: 9 Traps to Avoid

Are you a purchaser? And do you want to buy the best solar lights from China? This post must be your best choice.

You know today China is the largest manufacturing country in the world. And they’re good at making the cheap products that you don’t want to refuse. But the cheaper the products, the more traps. If you think this view is correct, please continue reading. If time is not enough, please subscribe to us. I will send it to your mailbox so you can read it anytime.

How to buy the best solar lights?

To buy the best solar lights, you should be discreetly before purchase. Especially in China, there must be 9 traps to avoid when sourcing.

Sunparadise’s has specialized in the solar lights industry for 8 years, and we are familiar with all the ugliness and shady of the industry. We have specially compiled this blog to help you avoid losses. This blog will reveal the following to you:

And now, sunparadise’s sorts out the insider of the solar lights industry without reservation, I really hope that our peers will never find this page!

Trap #1: Battery Traps

Exaggerate the actual capacity of the battery

You may get a price list from a Chinese supplier easily, and with a suitable capacity parameter. What’s more, you were impressed by the lower price. After thinking twice, you feel it’s not bad. Nevertheless, you are going to be cheated now.

Note: Sincerely, there will be reduced battery capacity deliberately by many manufacturers. Because they must keep the so-called competitive price. There is a saying in China: Price is Everything. Thus, many solar lights manufacturers sacrifice quality and integrity in order to reduce costs. The best solar lights for longevity must have high-quality batteries.

Exaggerate The Actual Capacity Of The Battery

The lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery

The lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, also called LFP battery (with “LFP” standing for “lithium ferrophosphate“), specifically a lithium-ion battery, which uses LiFePO4 as a cathode material, and a graphitic carbon electrode with a metallic current collector grid as the anode. 

The specific capacity of LiFePO4 is higher than that of the related Li(NiCoMn)O2 chemistry. 

LiNixMnyCozO2 also called NMC battery(with “NMC” standing for “Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide”), it’s industry term called Ternary Lithium battery

LFP is finding a number of roles in vehicle use, utility-scale stationary applications, and backup power, and now in solar lights.

The Lithium Iron Phosphate (lifepo4) Battery

You can see that the cycle number more than 1500 times. 

The ternary lithium battery about 500 cycle times which is the 1/3 lifetime of the LFP.

So you’ll ask your suppliers use the LFP batteries for the production in order to a long time period. 

Because of the LFP far batteries better than the other lithium-ion battery. 

Even some supplier highly recommended the LPF. This is a particularly normal logic.

Now, I’ll tell you a secret someone not known.

You know that there is a lot of electric Vehicle on the road now. But what happens when the batteries reach the useful lifetime?

Electric Bus Lithium Battery 580v 600a

Of course, it is recycled by the recycling company.

How will recycling companies handle these batteries?

1st step, they will disassemble the batteries into a single battery.

2nd step, test and classify these batteries into A, B, C, D level.

3rd step, sell them.

Play Video

Of course, parts of this batteries will flow to the solar application include solar lights.

How to judge your supplier use the cycling battery or not?

The price, just the price. They will give you a good parameter with the lower price. You may think that I have found a real manufacturer, a conscience manufacturer. Now you can think about it, the price of “B” level recycled batteries price is 1/4 of the new batteries.

The Inferior Battery

Many solar lights suppliers will prove their battery capacity by showing pictures with you.  But did you really get the truth through photos? Maybe not, let’s check the following cases.

The Inferior Battery

Sand filled battery and burning battery! What a terrible disaster. You must be careful when dealing with the batteries.

Tips to buy best solar lights avoid this trap

  • Keeping clear-headed facing the price temptation (Price determines value).
  • Spending efforts to compare more solar lights suppliers, it’s never too bad to be careful.
  • Being more professional.
Good Quality Batteries

Trap #2: Solar Panels Trap

Solar panels are in substandard power

Similar to the battery, if you wanna buy best solar lights, you should avoid the traps of solar panel. Maybe you have known monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon, even SunPower, so you won’t be cheated. 

But the panel size is another important stander to measure the power of a solar panel. 

The power is only proportional to the area of the board (length x width). So, remember to get the solar panel size from your solar lights suppliers.

Now, I offer a Relevant size for reference.

relevent table

We all know that lighting conditions can affect the charging efficiency of solar panels.

Due to the geographical location of each country and region, the lighting conditions vary greatly. 

When choosing the same lamp power, you should choose the solar panel power suitable for your area. The same solar light, other areas can be used, could not be used in your country. 

This is what your supplier will not tell you. Because the solar lights supplier does not tailor it for you, what he can do is to hide the facts.

Inferior solar panel

But for a inferior solar panel, the bigger the size, the greater the damage.

Inferior Solar Panel

Only two columns are workable on a whole solar panel, the remaining parts are even without circuits.

There are many small workshops in China that produce products with poor quality. Be sure to learn how to distinguish.

The Black Solar Panel

The black solar panel, no color difference overall, high conversion efficiency.

Inferior Solar Panels Blurred Color

Inferior solar panels, blurred color, many spots, low efficiency.

The Panel Is Smooth

The panel is smooth.

Bubbles On The Surface.

Bubbles on the surface.

Counterfeit Sunpower Brand products

As we know, the Sunpower brand is full famous the world specialized in the solar field, Some unscrupulous manufacture in China counterfeit the brand’s products and sell them in China.

Why SunPower?

Sunpower Solar Panel
  1. The conversion of SunPower solar panel is as high as 22%, and there is no grid line to ensure the stability and durability of power output.
  2. ISO9001, CE certification.
  3. Efficient PET and corrosion-resistant EVA provide effective protection for the panel, and EVA acts as a bond to achieve a sealing effect.
  4. The stable performance guarantees the output of power, which is higher than the 17% conversion efficiency of ordinary single crystal, and the current can be 40-50% higher, which has a practical charging effect.
  5. The excellent low-light effect, the higher the conversion efficiency, the better the low-lightness in the same single crystal.

Trap #3: Poor quality light source and without waterproof

To buy the best solar lights, you have to concern the light bulb. Because what if it’s broken, the rest parts are useless.

To reducing costs, many solar lights manufactures choose inferior low-efficiency light source (without heat sink), and the inner wires are without waterproof measure.

To speeding up production, many processes are reduced.

Inferior Ling Source

Because the heat is not scattered, Severe light decay after a period of time.

 And because the water inside the light source, the light source will be completely broken.

Lamp at Begin

At Begin

Lamp After 3 Month

 After 3 Mths

Lamp After 1 Year

1 year later

Let’s check the quality light source and its crafts.

The housing shell under the circuit board was designed to enhance heat transfer and ensure perfect contact with the LED board and housing to maximize heat dissipation.

High Quality Lighting Source
  • Integrated optical lens improves downward light output ratio to meet 5-7% higher efficiency than other competitors.
  • Adopted the Bridgelux light source, and the high-transmission lens with the waterproof apron.
  • Full IP66 protection ensures the best lighting performance and reduces the maintenance cycles to save time and money.
Heat Sink
  • The maximum thermal power to be dissipated by the housing is around 50W. A surface area of > 0.14 m2 ensures enough heat dissipation.
Heat Sink 2

The fins are used to dissipate heat, improve the life of the light source, and reduce the light decay.

  • Adopted the Bridgelux light source, and the high-transmission lens with the waterproof apron. Achieving the overall waterproof effect.
  • The fins are used to dissipate heat, improve the life of the light source, and reduce the light decay.

Trap #4: The Copycat Controller, Problems All Around

It has to say that the controller is the brain of the solar light, the best solar lights must match a suitable high-quality controller. The main component of the controller is a circuit board which sealed by the waterproof glue. 

You can not see with eyes. So some small workshop replicate the circuit board and make the same appearance with the trustworthy brands.

Circuit board plagiarism is a mature industry in China, but its level varies. No company’s products are absolutely original. Even if it is not original, you can’t deny that it has excellent electronic engineers.

The solar controller manufacturers are mainly concentrated in Shenzhen, China. I would like to recommend Srne and Depower for your reference. But there are also many small factories, which make copies only, and have no responsibility for quality.

Copycat Controller

Copycat version

Original version

Tips to Avoid Traps:

If you have higher requirements on the products, you can select the Srne.

If your products are required cost-effective, you can select the Depower.

  •  Srne Brand Website:

srnesolar.com

  • Depower Brand Website:

en.depowersupply.cn

Trap #5: Hardware & light pole used poor material

Best solar lights means best quality, you shouldn’t buy any cutting corners products. As shown in the picture below, the cutting corners can causes many risks.

 

Cutting Corners

Not only the pole, but also the hardware of the lamp will also cut corners by the unscrupulous merchant. 

In China’s manufacturing industry, there is a strange phenomenon, that is, the price of raw materials has increased, but your product cannot increase the price.

The reason is simple, because there are many factories producing similar products. Some small manufacturers cannot engage in research and development, so they can only copy and imitate and reduce prices. If there is no room for price reduction, then what they are best at is cutting corners.

At the same time, some large-scale and innovative manufacturers will increase their competitiveness by developing new molds or products.

The picture shown above is the product produced by small factories with small scale and no innovation ability.

 

Tips to Avoid Traps:

Try to find out some large-scale and moderate-priced manufacturers. If you are really not sure about the supplier’s situation, you can provide specific parameters for them to produce according to the parameters.

I will provide a pole technical Parameter form for your reference. These parameters are in line with industry technical standards.

solar lights pole

Trap #6: Power Management Mode is Turned On

As a solar lights, there are 2 working mode can be set.

Working mode 1: 

If you set the first 4 hours on full power and the next 4 hours on half power, and the lamp is at full brightness in the first stage. In the next stage, the lamp is at 50% brightness. 

Working mode 2:

If you set the sensing mode, when people near the lamp, the sensor will detect and the lamp will turn to full brightness. And after the person far away from the lamp 30 seconds later, the lamp will reduce to 30% brightness.

When you actually experience it, you will find that it is the intelligence which makes the energy-efficient being possible. 

So, we say that the solar street light is a kind of virtuous cycle product in the lighting field.

But something you need warning. 

Warning: Power Management Mode is Turned On

The solar lights supplier will promise you that the lamp will operate in bad weather for 3-5 days. Even 365 days operation.

How is this achieved?

Actually, all of the manufactures will be turned on the power management mode, but they won’t tell you.

As the picture below, it provides power management mode 1 & mode 2 to select, this function is generally hidden, and you will never know the secret.

Remote Controller

What is the difference between turn on and turn off the power management mode?

BATTERY POWER DROP

Battery Power Drop

TURN ON

TURN OFF

solar lights

Now you know all the truth, don’t tell anyone .

Another 3 Traps

Another 3 Traps

Trap #7: Solar lights Warranty

2 years warranty, 3 years warranty, 5 years warranty even 10 years warranty, How was it come from?

Your solar lights suppliers promise you, right?

But what is the specific meaning, no one can make it clear.

You will inevitably be confused, Is it that the more expensive the solar lights product I bought, the longer the warranty period, and the cheaper the shorter the warranty period? You can judge this way, but it is not completely correct.

There is a slang in China, “Only buy the right and not expensive.”

What kind of product is right?

  • The product has been developed for many years, and the shape and structure are only slightly changed in design, rather than newly developed products that have just been put on the market.

Mature products represent that all technical problems have been solved and the products have been recognized by the market. This is more useful than various test reports for newly designed and developed products.

  • The supplier who provides you with a product must have a meticulous logic and clear thinking on the product design.
  • Products with large shipments indicate that there is no problem with product quality and it is worth believing.

Trap #8: Mass Production and Pre-sample are inconsistent

You received a sample from the supplier, and after a series of tests, everything is perfect. And you took pictures of various details. You decide to place an order with them. Everything went well and the cooperation was very good. But finally one day you started to push down prices to this supplier, and put forward various demanding requirements, anyway, just don’t want to cooperate any more. 

Why it happened?

Because other suppliers have quoted you an ultra-lower price. And constantly whispering to you how bad of the peer who quote you high prices. So you can’t bear it, and turn to them.

Then your WTF days beginning, “Why are your goods and samples different?” “ Why is there a lamp that is not bright just three days after installation?”  “f*ck here, f**k there…” You start living with endless complaints until one day this supplier ignores you.

And why this happened too?

Low prices hurt you, refuse low prices, choose the moderate price.

Trap #9: Fake certification

As long as you pay enough money in China, someone certainly will do it for you.

We are socialism with Chinese characteristics, So everything will have some Chinese characteristics. Forged certificates are too common for us. Except for UL TUV, everything else is easy.

And our intellectual property protection is very weak.

So you can understand this, China is a big assembly plant, what do you need, what do we do for you.

Customers who require certification should avoid the trap.

How to avoid?

You can place some small orders, After everything is working well, you can place some big orders. Because none of us has the ability to meet the future, So you can only look for suppliers carefully. The longer you deposit in the industry, the richer your experience, the more industry resources you have accumulated. It also means that the more money you make in this industry.

Final conclusion, You have read this chapter, Maybe you often buy products in China. Some Chinese are diligent and cunning, you may encounter this kind of supplier in future procurement activities. This article can enhance some of your buying skills.

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Frank Cheung

Frank Cheung

A blogger interested in solar and LED lighting. He studies how to make people's lives greener and more environmentally friendly. Also served as a faculty member for non-profit organizations.