650 watt Lighting Kit Review – ‘As Arri’

I've had the chance to work with Arri's 650 and 1000 watt lighting kits a few times and they are beautiful. The fresnels allow the lights to be adjusted in Flood or Spot which makes them easier to throw the light where you need it. Of course, they are a bit pricey. Just a few months ago I posted an article about certain lighting kits that claimed to be 'As Arri' found here: http://cheesycam.com/arri-blueline-jietu-fresnel-lighting/

As Arri light kit review samples

These 'As Arri' lighting kits sold at less than a third the price and claimed to be an exact 1:1 replica of Arri lighting kits. So close in fact many of the replacement parts can be ordered from Arri such as the bulbs, Fresnel glass lens, ballast, barn doors, scrims, etc. They are available in 150, 300, 500, 650, 1000, and 2000 watts. The most common kit being a 3 pc 650w should cover most situations.

Not much information is available on the web, so these still aren't very popular, but just recently a brave soul (Vimeo Member) Josh Donnelly took a chance and posted a video review. Looks like it's time to bump this one back up on the wish list.... [Thanks Josh]

blue-line-jietu-fresnel
find-price-button 150w - 2000w Fresnel Lighting Kits 'as Arri'





24 thoughts on “650 watt Lighting Kit Review – ‘As Arri’

  1. Hey guys, I just purchused 2 1000k "as arri" today. I am curious to know if anyone has information on the scrim size to fit these barndoors? I can't seem to find information on them.

    Thank you!

    -EZ

  2. Christian

    I recently bought a 650w As Arri and the lens cracked completely through on my 3rd shoot. Was running for about 2 hours. Not sure if this is the case on all but thought I would provide my experience. Ordered a lens replacement from Arri so we'll see how that goes.

  3. I have bought 2x 650w, one 300w and three 150w As Arris recently. They seem a bit rough in build comparing them with the real ones but they do job just as well. However there are a few issues with the wiring. Although the 650s had an earthing fitted the 300s and the 150s didn't. They were fitted with a twin flex cable when it should have been twin and earth. It is the law in the EU for every metal appliance to be correctly earthed in order to pass what is used here in the UK, the PAT test. The 650 was earthed but poorly and I have decided to re-wire the whole lot with UK grade heat resistant cable. In order to do this you have to take the lights apart and it can be a very fiddly job if you don't have the patience. I have used a real Arri to copy the wiring pattern and they now work like a dream and legal to use in our studio.

    They are good value for money but as I have found out the 300watters and below are illegal to use in the EU if you just rely on the manufacturers standard:
    -one of the switches packed it before it even got the rewire while another was connected incorrectly with the Neutral to the Live
    - the lightbulbs tend to pop sooner than Euro ones.
    -The spec of the cable tends to be of low grade and unreliable when exposed to heat. You will need a decent 1.5mm cable, 4mm crimps, crimping tool, 4mm drill, 4mm bolts and nuts and lots of patience.
    -fiddly to re-assemble

    I knew what I expected and I was happy to re-wire them all the way to the ceramic terminal for peace of mind. They are now all happy rubbing shoulders with the real Arris and proudly sport a PAT label for a prestigious studio.

    Wonderful fresnels, just don't rely on their factory wiring. Please get a competent person to sort them out for you.

    Best regards,

  4. David

    I found a website that calculates import fees for ebay items, and according to that site, anything that is less than $200 (importing to the US) is not likely to be hit with import fees. A $400 purchase would generate an import fee of about $18 provided that the seller marks the item in the correct category.

    The site does warn that Shipping companies may try to add other fees to the shipping of the item.

    As for getting scrims that fit, My DIY mindset realised that a scrim could be made using the top lid and seal rim from a metal 1 gallon paint can. (Use a new/empty can from the hardware store.) You would have to cut out a hole in the lid, and cut the mating rim from the can.
    The rim can be cut from the can using a regular old food can opener. Once you have those piece cut out, sandwich the Stainless steel mesh screen (from a hardware store) between the lid and rim, then hammer the lid into the rim. Then trim off the excess screen.
    The final diameter of your DIY scrim should be roughly 6 1/4" to 6 5/16".

  5. DarkStarAz

    Did anyone order these as-arris from hong kong?
    What was the delivery time?
    Were you charged import fees?

  6. Grover

    These have me interested. I am looking for my own kit but have used Arris for almost 18 years. I will get these or Arris for sure!
    Thanks for some tips! I like the washer idea but I have one other suggestion if all the other parts are the same as the Arri's has anyone tried replacing the barn door brackets. Perhaps the difference is in the deepness of the actual arri bracket. If replaced, it might fit the 6"5/8 arri scrims. Maybe worth checking out the measurements!
    Best of luck!

  7. Adam

    Just got a new Arri 650W from B & H and a Pro As Arri 650W from Steven Studios in China off Ebay. Was wondering if the extra $264 was worth it so I put them side by side to see what I could see.

    http://vimeo.com/39818406

  8. Raffi

    Thanks for the help, gents. I ordered the Arri replacements from B&H for the 650 and 300. In case anyone else has the same issue, I found 150watt replacements from BuyLightFixtures.com. The base that you want for the Jietu 150watt is a G6.35.

  9. Tom

    I've had mine a half a year and like it so far, for the price. But it's less compatible with Arri than the "exact clone" hype would suggest.

  10. Tom

    I will second the smelliness factor... these lights had a volatile organic chemical smell similar to drying oil paint whenever I ran them for dozens of hours... I don't even want to know what toxic factory they were made in.

  11. Tom

    I just ordered a couple of ARRI scrims and a filter holder from B&H, and was disappointed that they wouldn't fit into the slot on the JieTu "As Arri" 650 fresnel I bought on ebay. The Arri scrims are 6 5/8" max, while the slots on the lights are more like 6 3/8". I did find that I was able to stack two metal washers (they need to be narrow outer diameter) under the screws that hold the barndoor slots onto the lights. That gave me enough range to get the Arri scrims and filter holder on. This workaround isn't ideal in that the shimming makes the joint less robust, but for saving hundreds I'm satisfied.

    I happen to have my replacement bulbs here so I will read off what the package says. I have both the 650 and 300 watt Osram bulbs:

    FRK 650w 120V GY9.5 NAED 54631
    FKW 300W 120V GY9.5 NAED 64711

  12. Raffi

    For those who have purchased and replaced, would you happen to have a link to the actual replacement bulbs? I found what looks right for the 650w and the 300w, but the base of the bulb pictured for the 140w looks very different.

  13. Has anyone had more experience with these and changed their opinion either way? Most of the posts I've seen are from people who had bought them recently. Do they hold up over time? Is the light output the same as real arris? Thanks!

  14. FP

    Hey Josh,

    Thanks for reviewing these! I took the plunge and bought one of the kits:
    (2) 650
    (1) 300
    (3) Stands
    (1) Case

    The stands are OK and certainly work well for “normal” use. I don’t think they would last very long working off a grip truck or on taco carts, but for the single user, they’re fine. The case is adequate for “normal” use as well, but I don’t think it would hold up over time, especially if checking-in on flights. The case came with roller wheels that, for now, are working well.

    When the lights arrived, I turned them all on for about an hour. One of the 650's smoked for about 10mins before finally burning off the paint or coating on the lens cage. Any new professional tungsten light is prone to burning dust, paint, and coating – especially the first time in use, but this was a bit excessive. After about 10 hours of use, one of the “stock” 650 bulbs blew. Quick change to a new bulb has been working well ever since.

    All-in-all, these are great lights for the price. My only gripe is that standard Arri scrims will not fit these lights and the seller does not have proper fitting scrims available. If anyone has found a solution for this, I’d love to hear.

    Thanks again!

  15. j hanna

    I know this is an old post but I just placed an offer on 1 for $125. the 150 watt one. Any more experiences with them emm?

  16. Recently purchased these after talking to Josh about them. They seem 90% legit Arri. The only issue I have is that the standard 6-5/8" scrims from Arri are really tight. The top latch does not close completely, making me worry about the barn doors falling out while I adjust the lights.

    Overall, I think it was a good purchase, but time will tell how well these hold up.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @PWI - Thanks for the input. Many have mentioned to aquire real arri glass and bulbs, as well as a ballast.

  18. These lights are a good deal, well made for the price with a few issues.

    Of the three as Arri 650's I purchased, two of the fresnel lenses cracked from heat with the first use. B&H sells the real Arri lenses for $60+ which will perfectly fit the fake Arri's.

    The bulbs in the fake Arri's are 650's but their light output is much less than a quality lamp. By the way the lenses cracked from heat with the original low output lamps.

  19. This is great value for the money,

    All is almost good except the swith as it's not water proof or well connected inside.

    The very important thing is to buy new bulb as osram one,
    The beam is way better! and way stronger.

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @Owen - The lens is there to spread to adjust light spread. You can make it flood or if you pull the bulb back it will become a spot light (very narrow beam). Softboxes soften the light and scrims cut light output a bit. There's no dimmer (even on the Arri's).

  21. What's the light qualities like?...the actual light, not the build.

    I've never used lights with a piece of textured glass in front of it. How would it look with a soft box or a scrim?

  22. Taylor

    These are interesting. I'm tempted to check them out as well. I suppose I'm just scared about how long they would last. If I bought them and knew they would go for 10 years it would be worth it. Otherwise, I may get stuck with something that blows up after a few months.

  23. Jared Foster

    This is tempting. I currently rent the real Arri kits at least 4 times a year. At these prices I can almost justify it. I have never heard of these so thanks for the heads up. This is why I love your blog!

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