Pro As Arri 650W Light vs Arri 650W

Realizing LED lights won't solve every solution (yet), I decided to see if there's any recent reviews on the 'As Arri' lights. Here's a recent video post from Vimeo member Black Raven Films showing the As Arri 650W vs the Arri 650W. There seems to be some slight improvments compared to when they were first released.

If you're not up to scoop with the As Arri lights, these are supposed to be so close in design to the Arri with a construction of corrosion resistant extruded and die cast aluminium, they can use the same bulbs, glass, barndoors, diffusers, ballast, scrims, etc. There are several people using these lights, and if you have a set, leave some comments on how they are working out for you. The As Arri lights are available in small 150W to larger 1000W models (found here).

As Arri Light Kit
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29 thoughts on “Pro As Arri 650W Light vs Arri 650W

  1. Tony

    If I'm ever on a set and see cheap knockoffs like these "As Arri" lights, I'll know I'm not dealing with professionals. If I can find out who supplied the lights, I'll have a discussion with them. If you are a professional, you should be embarrassed to have anything to do with anyone who uses counterfeit gear, and let your opinion be known.

    Shooting a self-funded, low budget, hobby project? Go for it, but once get the ball rolling, you need to know better than to bring this kind of gear on set. You degrade and devalue everyone who is taking a professional approach, and in the industry of professional film and video, you might as well learn now that there are standards that you must adhere to if you are to be taken seriously as a professional. All this matters. Don't learn the hard way, and please stop supporting these companies who make this counterfeit gear. ...and it is counterfeit, or they would use their own designs, own names, own colors, and not have to piggyback on the name and design of a trusted leader.

  2. Thomas

    Ok here's the scoop on shoots. I know its off the track here but had to share how to save about 89.00. DIY snoot for as arri 650... Just couldn't bring myself to spent 89 to 130 for what looks like a 6.25 inch funnel....hmmmmm not adept in rolling metal for a high temp resistant lite modifyer. Dang I'm so frugel, then after my first shoot while trying to sleep at 3am I took a measurement.....6.25" then th apopheny hit me at breakfast what if I can ...oh wait there's that gallon paint can...oh my god it fit on the barn door perfectly...thats right a 3.97 cent paint can with the bottom cut out when in place produced a perfect 3' ball of lite from about 6 feet....its our secret a snoot for the arri 650 that cost 3.97 at Hoke Depot just 2.89 for flat night temp resistant black paint...IM SO CHEAP

  3. Hello all,
    First before I get to the chinese lights.

    Ok, I'm a owner of a rental house in the Los Angels area that supplies to the movie industry.
    I replaced all my small lights, 650w and under with all Arri.
    I did this starting in 2005. They replaced the Mole line in our inventory, I had a lot of trouble with the Mole's, a constant replacement of sockets to assembly's for them. The Mole line in our eyes, best for 1k and up, even better then Arri in this category.
    The only trouble I have seen with the smaller Arri's is their electrical parts. mainly the switches and the wiring. I heave ended up replacing all the the wiring in the Arri lights with American made wire and that seem to alleviate the problems of wire constantly breaking.
    As for the coment from our brother in the U.K., Arri doesn't have the answer either when it come to wiring.

    Ok, so the people that are trying to compare the stands between the As-Arri to Arri, well lets all be honest here. The Arri light stands are a joke, the worst stands ever made, until I saw the Chinese one's. Lets not compare crap with crap.

    Now, for the guy that keeps referring the globes as bulbs, like we are planting flowers. They are globes, only a non-professional would ever call the bulbs, and if you are a so called professional you need to get out from behind the camera and go spend some time with the electric team and no your film school did not teach you properly.
    Thank you for your telling us about your learning curve approach of lighting procedure, you mean I can put a sand bag on a lighting stand to keep it in place, I don't know what grip crew you have been working with but thats grip 101, sand bags go on all light stands. Oh, and as for turning off the lights before moving them, are you kidding me? That is the procedure for every single light made around the world, you always turn off the light before moving it. Again, I would hate to see the electric guys your working with if they are constantly blowing your globes from moving them around while burning.
    The FRK and FKW globes have always been an delicate globe no matter what light housing they are in, if you don't want L and D then hire good quality people. Sometimes crap happens anyways, no matter how careful you are.

    As for the the comparison of the finishes. My Arri's have to be painted every single year, as soon as they get wrapped up with black wrap and not properly vented the paint burns.
    So I'm not sure any of the light manufactures have this one down.
    My comparison with the As Arri lights. They work, they turn on but they do not and I repeat do not put out the same quality of light. They have dead spots in the beam of the light. You can see this when you turn them on and burn them against a white wall.
    I found out some other good points, yes some of the parts are interchangeable with Arri, but a lot of the integral parts are not, as we found out, the rail. Had a real hard time getting that one from China.
    I agree with the guy above, if longevity is a concern stick with Arri. If price is a concern over quality then go with the As-Arri.
    I'm ready for some feed back, so bring it on. I'm tired of reading all the comments from these so called D.P.'s and the only camera they have ever held is their D5 or D7.

  4. Larry Paipa

    Hi, some body knows some shop where I can buy the kit "as arri" in NYC? I can't buy by internet becouse I just gona go for week to NYC. I live in south America and the deliveries to here are pretty hard... I really appreciate any info thanks...


  5. Jason

    i have some of these, and they are close enough to an arri light but its the trim that is the issue, the Edison plug is inverted so you have to plug it in upside down, basically you cannot plug two into one double outlet the cord makes it impossible with the plug inverted. easy enough to buy a new Edison at home depot. the aluminum does discolor after only a few hours of use. cosmetic but also a tell tell that the gauge of aluminum is thinner. now the worst part of the entire light, if you adjust the yoke to tilt the light while it has been on for a while the knob also heats up and the plastic will be soft, turn it too many time and that plastic knob will pull right off.

    these are fixable issue however by the time you replace the knobs and edison plugs you start to get to the arri price after the original price plus customs tax.

  6. Guys are you serious??? Have some morals? Get real! Have some morals and buy GERMAN? Wake up...these are a budget film makers dream. A great first step. Arri kit eventually? Sure. But for now it's knock off city. By the way Mr High and mighty amongst you tell the pharmacist you want the name brand medicine that is the exact same ingredients as your generic so you can go ahead and feel morally superior for turning down the whopping 90% it would have been or do you compromise you so called "morals"? I thought so.

  7. I say, "shame on people for supporting knock-offs". Have some integrity and morals! Companies that totally rip-off other products don't have any of the R&D invested, and are pure scum.

    There's a line between charging people too much, but I personally don't see that as a problem with Arri lights. The cost of an Arri 150-300-650 light compared to the amount of use and money they can generate, shouldn't even be an argument. If you took a risk and don't find yourself using the lights, the re-sales always seem pretty high with Arri.

  8. Paul

    I also should point out that there are many versions of these knockoff ARRI lights. They all have different issues, and none of the ones I've seen (4 different brands) even come close to the true ARRI. I wanted them to work, but I don't feel safe with them, AND they use non-universal parts and don't always fit on stands either. Maybe in a year a couple of the better knockoffs will rise to the top, and I've seen that happen with gear from overseas, but considering that true ARRI lights will work without much thought for YEARS and even take some abuse, it seems that the real ones are better unless you're just beginning and willing to fuss with these knockoffs a bit.

  9. Paul

    I bought a fake 650 and also a 150. They look like ARRI lights, but they aren't even close in build quality. The wiring is suspect. The 150 doesn't use the same bulb setup as an ARRI 150. The barndoors aren't swappable with ARRI barndoors even though they say they are. And the barndoors build is bad...floppy barndoors that don't hold. Also, the spot-focus knob is cheap and it can twist the internal filament right off the track. Not the same design as tried and true ARRI lights. I rewired mine to feel safer, and once I did that, they DO produce a decent light, but the build, and the cheap innards make me wish I would have just picked up 2nd hand ARRI lights. You get what you pay for. It's not worth my reputation to get sued or have something bad happen with these lights on a set. I tend to use them for private things since I don't want to trust them on a set. Not worth it in my opinion.

  10. 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,

  11. Pingback:

    1000w Fresnel LED Product Overview » CheesyCam

  12. Ant

    I'm not sure about other countries, but in the UK any electrical items used by 'employees' (that means anyone under your control, regardless of if their an actual employee, an independent contractor or a volunteer), must be PAT tested. These cheap lights without fail never have a live connection in their wiring, which means they cannot pass PAT testing, which means (in addition to them being unsafe) they are completely unsuitable for any kind of even semi-professional use. If you have a camera assistant or someone helping you on your job, you'll be breaking the law by using non-PAT Tested lights. I'm sure other countries have similar legislation.

    If you're looking to save money, second hand real Arri Fresnels are only about twice the price of the fake Arri's. Do you really need 4 lights? No, get 2 and a reflector.

  13. Austin

    Well first off Burke, great name. My last name is actually Burke so I got a chuckle out of that. And I completely understand the you get what you pay for, but when you are only a senior in high school working a part time job and freelance work on the side, its hard to dump $2k in to lights.

  14. I don't own these but I'm a strong believer in you get what you pay for (at least when it comes to cameras, lights and stands). I'm a little bothered by the name of these and wouldn't be surprised to see a lawsuit soon... I own a few read Arri 650w Fresnels and they have honestly been the best $2k I've ever spent on video equipment yet... Someone tried to talk me into buying cool blue fresnels but I've heard some bad stuff about those as well... oh well... On a budget these "As Arri" look ok. But I'd personally much rather save the money and buy a light I'll have forever than one i'd have to replace in a year or two.

  15. Jack

    @Dave Bode
    Your post is very helpful. Thanks for this. I change my mind: 2x Source Four Jr >> 3x as Arri 650W. Possibilities and quality are much, much better.

  16. Andy

    I got the As Arri 300 and 650w units. the 650 has discoloration from heat. The aluminum cover is slightly browned. The build obviously isnt as nice as Arri lights. They feel lighter and cheaper. I've taken them on ton's of jobs and they've managed to hold up. Just last week after owning them since Jan. 2011, I realized that the the plug was never grounded. The Edison plug only has the positive and negative but nothing connected to the ground. Not to mention the annoyingly short 5-6ft power cable. Also the baby pin receiver on the yoke do not fit all c stands. I had to use the baby pins from the light stand it came with and bite that with the gobo head instead. I tried to bore out the hole a bit, but clearly I need a stronger drill bit. I actually bought some Manfrotto baby pin receivers and replaced the ones on the As Arris so it can accommodate all stands. Overall, for the price point it's not bad at all. But I'm moving on up in the chain, I can't be rocking these knock offs for too much longer. Been buying Arri and Mole's to fill in the package. Great light for beginners or budget filmmakers.

  17. Austin

    Hm was going to think about getting a new laptop for college but I could use a nice light kit, hm these As Arri's don't seem half bad.

  18. The Source Four and the Jr uses a dichroic cold mirror that absorbs something like 90% of the infrared wavelengths, so the lights do not project heat on your or your talent.

    You can save your fresnels for keeping pizza warm.

  19. You should check out the ETC Source Four and the Source Four Jr. Yes, they are not exactly the same as a fresnel, but the light output is simply astonishing. They are really quite impressive. At the same distance a Source Four Jr with a 50 degree lens is more than double the light output of a Arri 650 Plus.

    I have a friend who has an As Arri kit with 3 650s and a 300. The stands are way to short, the strain relief is cheap and flimsy, and after 6 months of use only one of the knobs turns correctly. The other knobs are stuck and one of them just broke off. Plus the light output is really not that much.

    Another option is the Lowel Pro light. It also has a fantastic output for the price.

    I made a little comparison between lights using photo metric data from the websites and spec sheets. This is a pdf on my dropbox Check it out. Fresnels are somewhat of a crude light source and not efficient at all.

  20. Steve

    Well, I bought a 1-1k, 3 650W, 3 300w, and 2 150w. There are a few issues with these lights that I will point out to you if your interested in these. For starters the case they come in wont last long as the strap will ripe off after a few times lugging around. I have also had a real problem getting the bulbs into these things. A couple of times I broke the ceramic area where the bulb plugs into so its very difficult to get your bulbs in and out. You have to be very careful when putting in your bulbs. When the lights are on you have to be very careful not to bump the assembly at all as I find these lights are also very sensitive and one little knock when the lights are on will probably blow the bulb. So with these I would always recommend turning them off before moving. This also creates a problem when trying to focus them while on. You run into the chance of blowing the bulb as well if your not careful. The stands they come with are not very large so I would recommend getting some sandbags or you will find your light on the ground.

    The construction of these lights are acceptable and look like a real Arri accept there are quite a few manufacturer defects you will run into so not perfect. The barn doors are great and solid so no issues there with them. If you take care of them and don't abuse them I could see them lasting a while. You can't go wrong with them at the price point they are at but keep in mind they do have issues that you need to deal with for them to be satisfactory. I would give these a 7 out of 10 mainly because of the bulb issues and the case they come in not being very durable.

    Good Luck

  21. Josh Bradley

    They look pretty much the same right now but what about in 2 years or even 20?

    I have 3 Arri 800w that are over 20 years old and still working perfectly.

    The extra $260 might seem a lot now, but no one knows if these lights will last.

  22. Dollar Bob

    How long before Arri blocks import? Hell, they're stealing their brand-name and the design. I can almost accept knocking off the design, but stealing the name is a bit over the top.

  23. Chris

    I have two 300s, a 650 and a 1k. They are identical in quality and finish to the Arri lights - at a fraction of the price. I've bought Arri scrims for all the lights and Chimera speed rings for the 650 & 1k to use with Chimera bags. All work as if on an Arri. I even had a lens crack on one of my 300s while traveling. Bought an Arri replacement and it fit perfectly.

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