Litepanels has just announced a new addition to their LED lineup- the Litepanels Gemini. The Gemini is a 2×1, RGB-WW soft panel that combines daylight, tungsten, and red-green-blue LEDs.
According to Litepanels the Gemini soft panel is able to produces true, full-spectrum white light, which they claim it is the industry’s most accurate white light. The Gemini has an extensive choice of control options that make the fixture suitable for a range of lighting applications.
Most 2×1 panels on the market create white light by mixing red, green, and blue, which unless it is done well, can create undesirable colour spikes. Litepanels claim that the Gemini eliminates this problem by giving users a daylight-to-tungsten light foundation and then enables them to finely adjust colour throughout the full, 360-degree color wheel. The philosophy behind doing it this way is that users should be able to match a broad range of ambient lighting conditions with more ease. For example if you were shooting in a room that had a lot of overhead florescent lighting which you couldn’t turn off, you could in theory add or remove green to try and get your light to match more closely to the ambient lighting conditions.
Gemini offers three lighting modes:
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) Mode
Allows bicolor (daylight to tungsten) with +/- green adjustment
Offers hue saturation and intensity (HSI) control for full colour and saturation control
Provides the ability to dial up a variety of popular gels
While all these options are great, they are hardly revolutionary features. +/- green adjustment, hue saturation and intensity (HSI) control, and the ability to dial up gels has been available in lights like the Arri Skypanel series for quite sometime.
According to Litepanels the Gemini can be dimmed from 100 percent to zero without any colour shift. Another nice feature is that users can create presets of their favorite lighting attributes, including intensity, and save them for future use.
Litepanels claim that the Gemini can output 9713lx when set at 5600k at a distance of 1m and 8155lx when set at 3200k. As a comparison an Arri Skypanel SC-60 puts out 10900lx when set at 5600k at a distance of 1m and 10400lx when set at 3200k.
Gemini offers remote control through DMX (5-pin XLR or RJ45), Wireless DMX (both using standard 512 protocol), or Bluetooth. If you use bluetooth, Gemini can be remotely controlled using the Litepanels SmartLite or SmartLite Director apps that are available fir iOS devices.
Litepanels claim that recent independent testing showed that the Gemini recorded TLCI/CRI scores of 97 in daylight and 99 in tungsten.
The Gemini has a on-board power supply, which Litepanles says is significantly lighter than competing panels that require an external ballast. Not all 2×1 panels have external ballasts and just off the top of my head I know that the 2×1 F&V Z800S has a on-board power supply. Speaking of weight the Gemini comes in at 10.1kg (22.1lbs). As a comparison the Arri SC-60 Skypanel weighs in at 17 kg (37.5lb) if you include the light and the power supply.
The Gemini can also run from battery power (3-pin XLR 28 VDC), but you can’t run it off a camera battery. Power can also be daisy-chained from other devices using an industry-standard powerCON connection.
2×1 panels can create a really nice light source, but unfortunately because of their physical size and dimensions they aren’t easy to travel with. Trying to find a case or bag that is big enough to fit one is not an easy task. The Gemini also doesn’t look like it has the option to be used with a centre mount yolk.
To me the Gemini looks more at home in a studio environment than it does out in the field. Yes you can run it off a 3-pin XLR 28 VDC battery source, but by the time you combine this with the physical size and weight of the Gemini, you end up with a heavy and not easily transportable location lighting solution.
Optional accessories such as honeycomb grids and barn doors are also available. At the end of this year, Litepanels will release a mounting hardware kit that will enable customers to stack multiple Gemini panels either vertically or horizontally to create larger fixtures.
The Litepanels Gemini 2×1 panel is now available at a suggested retail price of $4,440US (4,200 euros), which isn’t particularly cheap, but it is around $1,200 US cheaper than say a light such as the Arri SC-60 Skypanel.
Are you interested in 2×1 panel style lights? Do you think they are two big to transport or travel with? Let us know in the comments section below.