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I just received a couple of those Arri knock off Fresnel lights this morning, one 650 watt model and one 300 watt model. Close up there are scuff marks on the aluminum and the blue pot metal cast on the front and back have a few minor imperfections, but over all the build feels solid.

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The barn doors as well as the mesh protector gird seem solid enough. Shutters open and close without much problem and stay in place without drifting downward. The Fresnel lens looks well mounted and over all the front hardware feels pretty good.

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There were reports that some of the first models on the market had wiring issues. I’ve inspected the wiring on both the 650 watt model and 300 watt model and both seem to be well protected with high temp pet braided sleeves as well as ceramic termination blocks. It also looks like there is plenty of extra wire for focusing movements. If there are any wiring issues it looks like it should be pretty easy to fix.

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In line with the power cable is a combo power switch and dimmer box. I’ve only tested this out for about an hour, but it appears to work well. The dimmer has smooth travel and feels responsive however the case itself is made out of plastic so it probably wont stand up to a lot of abuse.

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The light stand mount isn’t amazing and I had to clean up a few of the threads to get thing to work properly. Once I taped and cleaned out a few of the parts everything seems to work a lot better. Over all the hardware seems to be what you would expect from a lower price knock off. It works fine but they aren’t as well made as the lights being copied.

The next issue will be finding an affordable source of bulbs for these guys. Most of the ebay sellers want $12 to $15 a bulb for the 650 watt models but I’ve found them in a 24 pack for $68.60 which works out to about $2.85 a bulb. Now I need to find an affordable source for the 300 watt models. If you have any recommendations let me know. I’ll post more info on these once I’ve had a chance to take them on a few shoots.

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