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Thread: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

  1. #1

    Default Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Could someone tell me how they compare as a light? I know they have different uses and the Gerber has a much longer runtime, but I just want to know how the usability of the light of each torch compares - brightness, spill, throw etc

  2. #2

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    I don't even own an Arc and can readily tell you, get that one. Gerber is ok for around the house dim, but take it outside and shine it at the grass and it's gonna drink up what little light it puts out to begin with.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Thanks, but I've actually just got it. But I've got the bug I'm just looking at something I could have in my bag for emergencies. The Arc is on my keys so I'm always going to have it on me, but it might still be nice to have a back up in my bag. The gerber would probably fill this slot nicely, its small, tough, looks cool, is reliable and fairly cheap

    I'm loving my new Arc I still haven't had the chance to use it properly but I played with it a tiny bit yesterday and am VERY happy!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    If you get one, set aside some extra cash for one of the modders here to upgrade the LED, seriously. I'm sitting here currently with a Gerber IU and a Dorcy 1xAAA shining the wall. It's no contest, Dorcy has it and for much cheaper.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Planterz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    You're comparing apples and oranges here. Or more accurately, golfball size apples with basketball sized oranges. The Arc is smaller, as you'd expect from a AAA light, and 2X brighter. The UI is larger, being a AA light, and not as bright. However the UI provides useful light for many, many hours (easily 20+), although as an EDC, the Arc is no slouch with 5.5 hours of usable light. of course, the "5.5 hours" is to 50%, when it's putting out as much light as the UI on a fresh battery.

    If you want a keychain light, go with the Arc. If you want a glovebox for emergencies, the UI might be a better choice (put a lithium battery in there and it'll be there when you need it for 10+ years). The UI would still make a good pocket light, but if you plan on using it daily, I'd go with a Fenix instead, and use rechargables. That is, if you want a AA light.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    I always consider 8-10 hours runtime as an emergency light. Because if after those 8-10 hours are over it's gonna be daytime. If you're still in an emergency by then, you're just flat-out in big trouble.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    So when the Arc is down to 50% its still brighter than the IU?

    I appreciate they have different uses, and indeed its probably not fair to compare them. I don't think I'll invest in the IU, I generally need something bright/small/tough, it doesn't need to be as bright as an L0P, but bright enough to light up a room or find something when I've dropped it in the dark. I think the Arc would deal with all of these situations without a problem.

    Realistically, I don't often have a bag with me, I always have my keys and so I'll always have my Arc. Thanks guys

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Planterz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    I'm going by the reviews on flashlightreviews.com, but yeah, the Gerber IU starts off at half the brightness of the Arc AAA-P, and his "runtime" mark is when the light hits 50% of its peak brightness. If you want to compare the 50% light of the UI to the output of the Arc, it's at about 8.5 hours of the Arc if you use an alkaline. For really long output with the Arc, the alkaline keeps going longer than with a lithium, while the lithium outperforms an alkaline until the same 50% mark at 5 hours, give or take a few minutes. This is one strange case where in an "emergency" situation, an alkaline might be better than a lithium.

    There's no runtime graph at FLR for the UI (either Gerber or Infinity), so I can only compare the initial brightnesses. The Arc on an alkaline might put out light equal or so to the UI for 8.5 hours, but past that, the Arc will turn to "moon mode", which is minimal, while the UI should still be going strong.

    If you want a fairly bright pocket sized light with a long runtime, I suggest either a Fenix L1T used on the low mode, or a Peak Pacific with AA body on a lithium (12 perfectly regulated hours).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    I don't have a AAA-P, but by looking at FLR's output measurements, I can say that my Gerber IU is brighter than my TM-313X and about equal (if not slightly brighter) than my TM-311H which measure equal and greater output, respectively, than the Arc AAA-P. I don't know if Gerber's using better 5mm LEDs now, but I had the expectation that my IU would be dim when I bought it, but was pleasantly surprised that it's pretty darn bright. I also tested it to make usable (defined as I can navigate a dark indoors and have decent color recognition at 5-6ft) for 5 days straight on a partially used alkaline, so runtime would be even longer on a fresh cell. I use my IU around the house now and then. I keep it mostly as an emergency light and have another IU to use in a BOB I'm making.
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
    Nuwai: 2x QIII TWOH (Green and Titanium), TM-313X Ti (QV1J DD 14500)
    Surefire: M2+C2-HA+Detonator, E2D, VG FB1+EXe, VG FB3+E2C+C2
    Vital Gear F2, Huntlight FT01, Jetbeam Jet1 AA and 123A, Fenix E1 (Silver), Luxogen LR5A-3W & LR12 CR2 (SCC P4), Spiderfire LR8, NexTorch Z1, Gerber Infinity Ultra (2x Green), Dae's UV 12LED
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Ah, jsr, you are the one I remembered commenting on a really bright new Gerber IU. The older ones (mine are from late last year) were indeed dimmer than a Dorcy AAA, and I had little use for them without a LED upgrade. With a Nichia CS, I can't tell a difference in brightness from my ARC AAA-P. Tint of course depends on what bin CS you put in there. But I love the IU with a good LED in there, and it sounds like the newer ones may be loaded up right out of the package.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Quote Originally Posted by jsr
    I don't have a AAA-P, but by looking at FLR's output measurements, I can say that my Gerber IU is brighter than my TM-313X and about equal (if not slightly brighter) than my f which measure equal and greater output, respectively, than the Arc AAA-P. I don't know if Gerber's using better 5mm LEDs now, but I had the expectation that my IU would be dim when I bought it, but was pleasantly surprised that it's pretty darn bright.
    When and where did you buy your Gerber IU? I bought mine December 13, 2005 and my Gerber IU is very dim. It's good enough to get around a dark house at night with dark adapted eyes but it does not have enough power to be usable in a lit up room. I like the size, clip and build - I have dropped the light from chest height a few times and only cosmetic damage. It seems to be built like a tank.

    Brian

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    double post - message deleted

    Brian
    Last edited by bwm; 06-21-2006 at 04:21 PM. Reason: double post

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    brian and hondo - I purchased my IUs at REI during their sale...I think that was around May or so...not too long ago. I can light up a room ok. Using ceiling bounce, I can see everything in the room...not great color rendition or anything, but I can see it. With dark adapted eyes, turning on my IU messes up my night vision pretty good and need to readjust before I can see things in the dark again. With all the reviews that said they were dim, I was very pleasantly surprised by the output of mine. I have another one still in the package, so I'm not sure if it performs the same so I can't say if all the IUs upgraded or if I just got a freakishly bright one.
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
    Nuwai: 2x QIII TWOH (Green and Titanium), TM-313X Ti (QV1J DD 14500)
    Surefire: M2+C2-HA+Detonator, E2D, VG FB1+EXe, VG FB3+E2C+C2
    Vital Gear F2, Huntlight FT01, Jetbeam Jet1 AA and 123A, Fenix E1 (Silver), Luxogen LR5A-3W & LR12 CR2 (SCC P4), Spiderfire LR8, NexTorch Z1, Gerber Infinity Ultra (2x Green), Dae's UV 12LED
    Emergency Kit & Knives Pics - Lights & Knives Pics - Small Knife/Lights

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    I have a Gerber IU and an (modded) ArcAAA is on it's way. I also consider to buy a stock ArcAAA-P just for fun

    First my experiences with Gerber IU:

    for a AA-sized flashlight it's rather large and heavy. it's designed for very long runtime. the light is really dim and has a significant blue tint. its clip isn't strong enough for secure pocket attachment and the surface won't withstand rough use.

    Compared to the ArcAAA I hardly can imagine a realisitic situation where the IU will be prefered.

    I think ArcAAA's runtime is sufficent for 99% of situations and its size is ideal for every day use.
    Flashing-Bernie

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Sounds like the only safe assumption if you want a ARC-P/Inova X1 level of brightness out of a IU is to plan on modding in a Nichia CS or comparable LED. If you get one out of the package that meets all your needs, bonus! The mod is really not bad, a good first mod even. jsr - in the name of science you should open the other light! Really, better still would be to take your IU to a Target and compare the brightness to an X1 new model, they are typical of Nichia CS output (lights can be demo'd in the package). I found it worthy of owning at least one, so I can compare outside the package, and my IU from last year can't touch the output until I put in a CS. Now they are dead even, except for tint differences.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    I hardly can imagine a realisitic situation where the IU will be prefered.
    Camping, backpacking, power outage, longterm emergency (Katrina) are all fairly realistic situations. Eight hours max for the Arc-P vs. 20 hours or so for the IU. The Arc is brighter for a few hours, then grows dimmer.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Quote Originally Posted by Spordin
    Camping, backpacking, power outage, longterm emergency (Katrina) are all fairly realistic situations. Eight hours max for the Arc-P vs. 20 hours or so for the IU. The Arc is brighter for a few hours, then grows dimmer.
    So going by that, 3 AA's in the IU would provide 60 or so hours. While my newly acquired Coleman LED micropacker lantern states 120 hours per set of 3AA's and absolutely stomps my IU in output and does it for only 9 bucks.

    It's currently 2 hours into it's maiden voyage of runtime test.
    Last edited by Lit Up; 06-23-2006 at 03:38 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Hondo - next time I'm at Target, I'll try to remember to bring my IU. But with all the lighting inside the store, one might mistake a brighter hotspot for a brighter output. I don't think they have a dark room at target for me to do a bounce test. I'll try none-the-less.

    Lit Up - I tested my IU to last 5 days on a partially used alkaline battery. If it were a fresh battery, I estimate it could've done another day.
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
    Nuwai: 2x QIII TWOH (Green and Titanium), TM-313X Ti (QV1J DD 14500)
    Surefire: M2+C2-HA+Detonator, E2D, VG FB1+EXe, VG FB3+E2C+C2
    Vital Gear F2, Huntlight FT01, Jetbeam Jet1 AA and 123A, Fenix E1 (Silver), Luxogen LR5A-3W & LR12 CR2 (SCC P4), Spiderfire LR8, NexTorch Z1, Gerber Infinity Ultra (2x Green), Dae's UV 12LED
    Emergency Kit & Knives Pics - Lights & Knives Pics - Small Knife/Lights

  19. #19

    Default Re: Arc AAA-P vs Gerber IU

    Quote Originally Posted by jsr
    Lit Up - I tested my IU to last 5 days on a partially used alkaline battery. If it were a fresh battery, I estimate it could've done another day.
    I'm coming up on a day here with the lantern. Not sure how old the batteries are; they came with it. Some cheap brand.

    In other news: AdvancedMart 0.5 watt 1xAA. You should give this a try for a pocketable light that's more budget friendly than the Fenix. I'm really impressed with it. It's about half the output of my old Dorcy 1 watt 2xAA, which was a bit overkill for EDC and backpocket friendly at best.
    Same length and size of the Gerber. Not as much runtime (around 6 hours claimed but haven't tested mine yet) but much more useful for a 'have on you always' light IMO. Inside or outside. Whereas I would use the IU solely indoors. It's a good inbetween of a Gerber and an earlier Fenix model.

    If I need more light outdoors, I'll go get my Mag 2D LED. Especially after tonight's performance after work. A co-worker was asking me where he could get the Mag upgrade LED for his 6D cell Mag as our local Wally-Market is not currently carrying them, so I told him to look on the net.
    There was a batch of trees about 60-80 yards off and he shined his 6D over there to show me. The "spot," which didn't really illuminate much and looked like an oblong doughnut, wasn't all that impressive. So I fired up my wee little 2D LED version and proceeded to dance a very circular spot around the tree tops for him. (with 13 hour old batteries I might add) He was impressed and REALLY wants the upgrade now.
    Last edited by Lit Up; 06-24-2006 at 12:22 AM.

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