Tripping the light fantastic – Matt Allard rounds up the best new light products on show at Inter BEE
By technical editor Matt Allard:
Japanese distributor KOTO were at the Inter BEE show in Tokyo with the new BB&S Flyer portable boom pole operated lighting solution at InterBee. Released a few months ago I hadn’t actually seen one until now so was keen to check out how it worked and performed. The concept is a portable light that can illuminate your subject from above. The LED light head is attached to a boom so an operator can hold it in much the same way as an audio boom pole. It was reasonably light weight but with the boom extended you still need to have a reasonable amount of strength and fitness to hold it for sustained periods of time. The FLYER kit consists of a LED lamp head, FlyBall diffuser, V-lock battery belt pack , flyer remote control, 5 meter remote cable and a clamp. The whole kit comes in a nice hard case for easy transportation.
With the Flyball diffuser it produced a beautifully soft light which is a great alternative to the China ball solutions that are popular in film and television. The flyer lamp head features a bi-colour LED system where the colour temperature can be adjusted between 3000k to 5800k.
The light also has the ability to be dimmed up or down. As well as the V-lock battery plate it can also be powered off an Anton Bauer gold mount or run from mains power. The Flyer looks to be a great solution compared to DIY kits that some shooters have constructed themselves over the years to get a similar result.
Lighthouse is a Hong Kong based lighting company and they were showing their FS25 Flexible Strip LED lights. Designed originally for stage use these kinds of lights have already become popular in music video and drama shoots. As they improve I can also see them being used by real world shooters to create interesting lighting effects. Each strip is lightweight and can be up to 6m in length. They are completely flexible and the strip is made out of silicon so they can be mounted on any surface whether it is flat, curved, concave or convex. The strip lights are also IP66 rated which means they are also completely waterproof. The colour of the some of the LEDs was also controllable but it didn’t appear that this was terribly accurate.
Fuji Lights were showing an interesting high powered LED light called the Docast LSA-H. It has a colour temperature of 5000K, has a maximum output of 18,800lm and consumes 180W. The physical dimensions of the light head are very small considering the output. At only 14cm wide, 15cm high and 10cm deep in weighs in at just 2.2kg. You can dim the light from 100% to 10% and it is also AC & DC powered.
The catch is that even though the head itself is small you still have to run it from a ballast box that larger than the light itself. The light can be run off 100-240V AC or 12-17V DC. Soft boxes and other diffusion devices are also available.
Fuji Lights were also showing a prototype of their take on the flexible LED light. Flexible LED from Korean company Alladin were a hit at IBC in Amsterdam earlier in the year where we awarded them a newsshooter.com ’Best in Show’ award. Now it seems other manufacturers are keen to try their hand at the new lighting concept and strangely Fuji Lights also had the Aladdin range on display at their booth alongside their own version.
The Fuji flexible LED light was only being shown in a tungsten version, but I’m guessing daylight or bi-color versions are in the works. They had three different sizes on display a 30cm x 30cm, 30cm x 15cm and a 15cm x 15cm. Like the Aladdin version these are also water proof and fully dimmable. Fuji Lights claim a high CRI value of 95 for greater colour accuracy. What I saw was still very much at the prototype stage so there is no information yet about pricing or availability
Aurora Lite banks is a Korean company that was established in 1993. They started off making a unique softbox called the Octabox which is used by a lot of professional photographers today. Since then they have ventured into flash, continuous lighting and LED lights for broadcast. What caught my eye were their Lite Bank range of opaque back-lit LED light panels. I found these lights produced a very even spread of beautiful soft light.
To do this they use daylight balanced LED bulbs that are placed at a constant distance behind the face of the panel. This produces a soft lighting source without the usual striped shadow patterns associated with LEDs. They produce minimal heat, are flicker free and have a CRI over 90. A tungsten version is also available upon request. These are designed mainly for studio use and are not as portable as most other LEDs. Being quite big and heavy they are more suited to fixed lighting installations. Prices are competitive, ranging from around $900US up to about $2000US.
There are 6 models available:
BLP-612-S 250W 60cmx 120cm (13.0Kg)
BLP612, 250W 60cmx120cm (12.0Kg)
BLP312 120W 30cmx120cm (10.5Kg)
BLP-69 180W 60cmx90cm (11.0Kg)
BLP66 120W 60cmx60cm (10.0Kg)
BLP 36 60W 30cmx60cm (7.0Kg)
They also had a nice range called the Aurora Edge-Lit LED light panel, the ELP-90, ELP-90S and ELP-60. These are ultra thin at just 1.5cm and use a acrylic light guide board that has laser etched grooves across the light. It provides a very soft, even lighting source. The Aurora LED panel is a much more portable solution than the Aurora Lite Bank. These can be fixed onto the ceiling, wall, and floor, or can mounted onto a light stand via a tilting bracket Prices range from around $900US up to $1500US.