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Thread: Arc AAA brightness

  1. #1

    Default Arc AAA brightness

    I got my Arc AAA a few months ago and have been very happy with it. I thought it was pretty bright for such a small light. Then just a few days ago I ordered a fenix L0D, and saw how bright an AAA light could really be. I knew it would be brighter, but had no idea by how much.

    Now I know the Arc isn't really supposed to be the brightest thing out there, but the thing that really got me was that I found it wasn't even as bright as the little button light that came free with my purchase from lighthound(the color isn't such an ugly yellow either).

    So, is it that this LED is not very bright to begin with, or that the regulating circuit is underpowering it in favor of better run time, or a little of both?
    Is there some direct LED swap that can be done with very little modification, keeping the same regulating circuit? I was under the impression that they use Nichia 5mm LEDs, and that those are some of the brightest in that form factor. But this little free light seems like it is using something better. Could I switch out for the LED in that one?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    Millermods does mods to the Arc AAA, http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=138285

  3. #3

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    I know, I just don't think I'm ready to pay $120 for an EDC right now.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    Quote Originally Posted by Peepsalot View Post
    I know, I just don't think I'm ready to pay $120 for an EDC right now.
    I'm sure you will eventually...

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    The Arc looks the way it functions...for survival. Not super bright, but lasts a long time on one battery. Me? I'd keep the Arc and Fenix on the chain if I were you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    If you have a recent AAA-P, it's about as bright as anything you'll find at that power level. The Fenix, Millermods, and yes the coin cell light, are all brighter by using more power. The coin light will have very limited runtime at that brightness, but will actually stay usably bright (dimmer than the Arc) for several hours. Arc chose its brightness level by deciding it wanted to make a light that would still be at 50%(?) brightness after ~5 hours on a battery. It then calculated the amount of energy available from an AAA cell and set the power level accordingly. It did not decide it wanted to make a light of a certain brightness and then let that determine how long the battery would last.

    The Arc is not about lumens per dollar. It's like a high quality wristwatch or writing pen, that does exactly one everyday task conveniently and reliably with no fuss and no computerized junk sticking out, that you can have with you all the time and that is always a source of both utility and enjoyment.
    Last edited by paulr; 08-09-2007 at 12:49 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    If you have a recent AAA-P, it's about as bright as anything you'll find at that power level.
    How recent is recent? How can I tell if I have the latest model?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    if you are using a AAA cell, you can't afford a mini-M6 kind of power consumption. The coin cell lights are horribly over driven and the LEDs would last as long as the battery if you are lucky.
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  9. #9

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    Quote Originally Posted by Peepsalot View Post
    How recent is recent? How can I tell if I have the latest model?
    As far as I know, you can't tell the difference. The light hasn't changed - they are simply using more efficient LED's now as compared to last year.

    Let the coin-cell light run side-by-side with the Arc AAA for 30 to 45 minutes and see which is brighter. I'd take an older Arc AAA every time.

    I really like my MillerMod. I've had it for a bit over a year and it was one of the smartest purchases I've made. At first, I thought it was expensive. As soon as I got it, though, I completely forgot what it cost.
    Last edited by Codeman; 08-09-2007 at 01:29 PM.
    Ray
    Good people need to be there for each other. It's the only way to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    Quote Originally Posted by Peepsalot View Post
    How recent is recent? How can I tell if I have the latest model?
    The old company shut down in 2005, I think. So if you bought one new since then, that's the new version. The new version is a little more tapered at the head while the old one was closer to straight sided.

    They did change the led in the new version sometime last year or so, but only to get a slightly softer color. The luminous efficiency stayed about the same or even decreased by a tiny amount.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    I too like my Millermod. I had bought an LOP but found for me, just the slight difference in size with the Arc AAA being slightly smaller seem to make a big difference in how it sat in my pocket and keychain and I found it easier to carry so I went ahead and did a two stage Millermod (I think at the time about $50) and have been very pleased with the result.

    I think if you just use your AAA light periodically, the Arc AAA is still a very good light if you don't mind the price and in particular if as people say the output now is less blue. Mine was very blue. I wouldn't call it a white LED, I'd call it a blue LED. You can throw a lithium AAA cell in it and if not used for long periods of time on a daily basis, will go you a long time.
    I live in a van down by the river

  12. #12

    Default Re: Arc AAA brightness

    The color tint on the newer LED's is better in the flood, but they still have a blue spot. I just received a new AAA-P a few weeks ago that is slightly brighter than the one I bought last year, and it's noticably brighter than the AAA Limited Edition I have that was made by the original company.
    Ray
    Good people need to be there for each other. It's the only way to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

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