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#33603 - 07/04/05 12:34 PM Re: Arc AAA

I pre ordered a AAA Premium, it should ship later this week.
Gotta love the Arcs!

#33604 - 07/04/05 01:38 PM Re: Arc AAA
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
How do they compare with the Photon Freedom microlight? Or Doug's variation ?
Quality is addictive.

#33605 - 07/04/05 04:29 PM Re: Arc AAA
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
First thing to consider is that most of us have experience only with the old Arc design. However, Tthe new design is supposed simply be an incremental improvement over the old one, so it seems reasonable that we can make comparisons based on past experience.

Second thing to consider is that the previous Arc went under and the new Arc has not shipped any production units yet (AFAIK). The usual buyer beware applies. I hope Peter isn't charging people's credit card until product ships, but I don't know.

In any case, I feel the Arc AAA is much better light than the Photon (and other button cell LED lights) in many ways.

The biggest difference is the approach. The Arc is regulated and uses a power source with much more engergy capacity. The result is the Arc runs at pretty constaint output levels where the Photon starts off strong and then drops off fairly significantly. To really see how signficaint this is, check out the runtime graphs in the posts linked below.

The Arc is also much more sturdy than any of the coin cell lights. It's waterproof and pretty much bomb proof.

The AAA battery format is more easily available and more likely to be cross-compatible with something else in your kit.

You can use alkaline, lithium or rechargable batteries in the Arc and it is very easy to change the battery.

The screw down design of the Arc makes it nearly impossible for accidental activation.

All in all, the Arc AAA is suprisingly small, and a very serious tool and a good alternative to the Gerber Infinity Ultra when you really need something small and lightweight. Run it with the new lithium AAA batteries for even better weight, runtime, shelf life and tempature tolerance.

The other side of course is the Photon is so light as to almost not be there.

In general, if you have space in your kit, the Infinity Ultra can be a better alternative because it uses an even better power source and is cheaper. The new Ultra probably isn't built quite as well as the Arc, but it is still quite rugged.

Here are some posts from CPF:

New Photon Freedom vs New Arc AAA Rev4 Premium

Photon 3 runtime plot by Craig (The LED Museum from this post.

Infinity Ultra G (same as Infinity Ultra) runtime plot by Roy:

This_is_Nascar's comparison lithium vs alkaline showing the benefits of lithium batteries.

This_is_Nascar's runtime plot, new Arc vs old Arc from Re: Arc-AAA beta test and general topics - Part 2 thread.

This_is_Nascar's New Arc lithium vs alkaline from same thread.


Edited by JohnN (07/04/05 05:44 PM)

#33606 - 07/04/05 04:29 PM Re: Arc AAA
groo Offline

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 722
Loc: Florida
Keep in mind the Arc AAA is twice the price....

For our purposes, the Arc AAA has the following advantages:
  • It's metal, not plastic.
  • It's water proof (to 100ft) not water resistant.
  • Uses AAA batteries (easier to find, replace)
  • "Built like a tank". An Arc AAA can withstand abuse that will break a Photon. Try running over a Photon with you car... :-)

The Arc has always had a recessed LED to prevent the annoying side emission Doug's model is designed to prevent. The Arc lacks the different flashing modes and brightness controls. The Arc is switched on by twisting the head, not pressing a button.

Doug's model is a great compromise for the price. Like anything else, the more you pay (to a point) the more you get.

#33607 - 07/04/05 10:11 PM Re: Arc AAA
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
It basically comes down to: There is no perfect mini-flashlight yet, there is always a tradeoff. You just have to decide what you want more in your light and if it is worth it to spend that much or go with something that is maybe half the price, but 90% as effective. There are plenty of people over at CPF that will make you a completely custom flashlight anyway you want it, but is it worth it to pay, say, $300 for a tiny flashlight. That is up to you. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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