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Spotlight on the Latest LED Lighting Fixtures and Accessories

An overview of interesting 2018 models in LED lighting fixtures and accessories for cinematography, filmmaking and television production.

David Alexander Willis

Manufacturers offer new options for illuminating modern productions.

With several startups now on the scene — as well as brand-new models and lines from established sources — the last year in LED lighting has been impressive, to say the least. There have also been plenty of updates, improvements and enhancements to older fixtures. Here’s an overview of new offerings.

Claiming a lifespan that’s 2,000 times longer, output that’s twice as bright and operating at a quarter of the cost of a metal-halide system, Anthem One’s approach to LED, for example, is modular. Packing 30,000 potential lumens and a variable CRI of up to 98, the Anthem One is based on swappable solid-state wafers coated with an array of micro LEDs. The 5.5” (140mm) cube weighs 7.6 lbs. (3.5 kg) and houses Kensington lock ports for security as well as ¼-20 threaded bottom-socket and an array of neodymium magnets for mounting options, allowing users to assemble multiple Anthem Ones into a single panel, or even to secure it to steel beams or any other magnetic surface. Drawing less than 200W, the Anthem Power ballast is an intelligent power supply that can be plugged into any 110V or 220V socket. Pricing begins at $1,499.

The Anthem One modular LED system

Wireless RF control has been added to two models in the powerful and portable Stella Pro series of single-point LED lines. Using the optional Elinchrom Skyport Protocol Controller, users can run more than 20 lights in 10 frequency channels and four light groups at a range of up to 656' (200 meters) outdoors or 197' (60 meters) indoors. The daylight-temperature, $1,999 Stella Pro 5000 RF and $2,199 Stella Pro 8000 RF have a Chip on Board (COB) Single Point Lighting Array of 29 LED emitters. Capable of up to 6.25 hours of cordless runtime in the Stella Pro 5000 RF and four hours in the Stella Pro 8000 RF, the internal Li-ion battery also makes the Stella Pro lights safe for aircraft carry-on. Several snap-on modifiers are available for the 120-degree light beam, as are kits that include lightweight Kupo light stands, which can be snapped together for portability.

Battery-powered Stella Pro RF 8000 single-point LED light for location work.

The Aladdin Fabric-Lite is a flexible and foldable 3' x 3' lighting panel that can be combined to create panels as large as 12’ x 12’. Using Velcro and grommets, the Fabric-Lite can be mounted in most configurations, including all types of butterfly, overhead, wall and ceiling mounts. Available in 200W and 350W powering options, there are also three dimmer selections: One output up to 350W (operable with AC from 90-260 volts as well as DC from 12-30 volts for the 200W and DC 48V for the 350W panel), 4 outputs up to 200W each, and 9 outputs utilizing 200W or 350W each. There are several other more conventional lights available recently from Aladdin, as well, like the bi-color (2900-6500K) Base-Lite 100 and 200 (100W and 200W, respectively) with CRI 98, which can be powered from V-Lock or Gold Mount batteries. Their Bi-Flex M7 is a smaller, flexible panel that has a size of 30cm x 30cm and a thickness of 5mm. With a multitude of distributors worldwide, Aladdin lights are available in the US via Zylight.

Aladdin Fabric-Lite

As seen at IBC 2017, K5600’s Joker series — now a quarter-century old — has been completely redesigned as the Joker². Still available in the same 400W, 800W and 1600W strengths, the heads have threaded ring to mount clear or frosted borosilicate cover for tool-less re-lamping of either 3200K or 5600K bulbs. Accepting most existing K5600 Joker accessories, the three-way-axis mount and yoke has a stronger braking system and internal hook to better enable larger light shaping tools such as light banks, ellipsoid spots and K5600 Softubes, which transform narrow beams into a lengthwise linear source of soft, even light. Next-generation ballasts have one-stop dimmer and wireless DMX compatibility with Apple devices. The Joker² 800 model has improved plug-in igniter to convert the HMI system to 2K tungsten in less than a minute.

K5600's upcoming Joker² in 400, 800 and 1600 watts.

Drawing 180W at maximum output, BB&S Lighting’s latest offering is the Force 7 LED Leko ellipsoidal head. Rating at CRI 97 with a condenser optical system, straight shutters and single-point LED, the Force 7 is a good choice for working with talent on broadcast, motion pictures and live events. Designed for an even spread of light at 750W, a single Force 7 can cover two to three anchors at a news desk. Available in 3000K, 5600K and 6500K, the external, yoke-mounted 48V power supply has smooth dimming all the way to zero. The Force 7 is sized for ETC Source 4 barrels and lenses. List price: $1,995.

BB&S Lighting’s Force 7 LED Leko ellipsoidal head.

Elation’s “Key Light” KL Fresnel series of 3000K warm-white wash lights are now available in 50W, 150W and 350W models. With equivalent output exceeding 1600, 5200, and 6400 lumens, respectively, the KL Fresnel series mimics traditional tungsten halogen lights. The KL Fresnel 4 (CRI 91) and KL Fresnel 6 (CRI 97) fixtures house a manual zoom, while the KL Fresnel 8 (CRI 97) has a motorized system. With filter frame and removable barn doors, each offer 16-bit, selectable dimming curve modes as well as gamma correction and adjustable LED refresh rate for flicker-free operation. Outfitted with 5pin XLR and powerCON TRUE1 in/out connections, a four-button, two-rotary dial control panel and LCD menu provide local controls. Estimated street prices: $400 (KL Fresnel 4), $800 (KL Fresnel 6), and $1,200 (KL Fresnel 8)

The Elation KL Fresnel 8.

At $595, the P360 Classic portable LED fixture from Fiilex tops their flagship line of portable LED heads with enhanced brightness and a dimmable, flicker-free CCT range of 2800-6500K. The P360 Classic has an extended yoke and spigot as well as an accessory lock. With available add-on options including magnetic diffusers, gel holders, larger softboxes and a 5" zoom Fresnel that can increase beam intensity by up to 800%, it draws 90W of power, weighs only 1.9 lbs and runs from 12-28V broadcast batteries.

The portable Fiilex P360 Classic LED fixture.

Arri’s SkyPanel S360-C and the S60, announced at IBC 2017, are getting some coverage from DoPchoice. The company, which manufactures a litany of light-modification tools for companies including Aladdin, BB&S Lighting, DMG Lumière and LiteGear, has unveiled Snapbag softboxes and the octagonally shaped Octa 5 and Octa 7 in sizes to fit the Arri S60 and any smaller panels. The diffusion can accommodate two SkyPanel S60 units when used with the sturdy, high-tensile aluminum Double-Bracket. For the the Arri S360-C, DoP Choice released an entire line of output control options, including Snoot for spill-light reduction, Snapgrid for light direction and Snapbox for light softening. No additional hardware is required for mounting. Pricing begins at $324.

A DoP Choice Double Bracket used to add diffusion and more to two Arri SkyPanel S60 units.

Starting at roughly $165 for a 5 meter reel, the versatile RoscoLED Tape lines have been given tape options that now include RGB + Cool White, RGB + Warm White and RGB Amber. With ultra-warm, 1800K color temperature available in both Static White and VariWhite RoscoLED Tape, VariColor also has been updated with RGBA or Warm White and Cool White emitters. Rosco supplies six power options and nine aluminum protective housings for installations as well as Variable PWM/DMX decoding for dimming and remote control options. A bi-color VariWhite Gaffer Kit is now available with both strip or 3" x 6" tiles.

The RoscoLED Gaffer Kit.

Rotolight has updated the advanced Anova Pro panel as well las their more compact $399 Rotolight Neo and $995 Rotolight AEOS lights with internal Elinchrom Skyport 2.4 Ghz HSS wireless flash receiver, compatible with Canon, Elinchrom, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic or Fuji strobing systems. Capable of 10,700 lux at 3' while consuming 72W, the $1,625 Rotolight Anova Pro 2 is the fourth generation in the Anova lineage. In addition to Elinchrom wireless support at 656' (200m), it also increases output by 70% over the previous model. Able to simulate a number of CineSFX effects, like fire, lightning, television, gunshot and paparazzi, the light has adjustable white balance of 6300K to 3150K.

Rotolight Anova Pro 2

Chimera’s updated lines of Lightbanks give the Arri SkyPanel S60 and S30 omnidirectional output. When lighting from overhead, the Chimera Lantern hangs as a balloon shape of diffuse material to soften output in a flattering spread. The included skirt can be rolled using zippers and Velcro to vary spill. Including Low Heat and High Heat Lightbanks, F2 and F2X Overhead Lightbanks, TECH Lightbanks, Strip Banks, OctaPlus Banks, Panels and Frames, Window Patterns, Lanterns and Speed Rings, Chimera products are handcrafted in the USA. Estimated street price: $1,000 and $800, respectively.

New sizes in Chimera's overhead Lantern Lightbanks for the Arri SkyPanel S60 and S30

Known for remote phosphor lighting solutions, Cineo’s latest is the Standard 410. With 25,000 lumens of output, the chassis weighs under 27 lbs (12kg) while providing a large 1' x 2' (30cm x 60cm) diffuse face. Aimed at studio productions, the tunable white light can also be used as full-gamut RGB through the Integrated LumenRadio CRMX bi-directional DMX/RDM wireless control or via wired DMX. List price: $4,995

Cineo Standard 410 remote phosphor panels.

Featuring a built-in color meter, SoftPanels lights, offering Autocolor, will automatically adjust settings and output to ambient light conditions. The Skin Tone Enhance button provides a warmer feel at the push of a button, and the company says that color temperature range of 2700K to 7200K has been hand-calibrated to a tolerance of +\- 80K. Equivalent to 1000W tungsten soft light (2900 lux/269 FC at 4') or 3000W tungsten soft light (5500 lux/510 FC at 4'), SoftPanels lights are available as the $1,995 1' x 2' (30cm x 60cm) or $3,495 2' x 3' (60cm x 90cm) models. With a depth of 5", each includes honeycomb grid with 60-degree spread, filter holder and soft case. DMX-capable, the SoftPanels lights can be run from AC mains (90-260 volts), V-lock or Gold mount. Kit purchases are available.

SoftPanels lights, available as 1’ x 2’ (30cm x 60cm) or 2’ x 3’ (60cm x 90cm)

Westcott’s Solix will emit up to 2100 lux at 1 meter of 5600K at a beam angle of 120 degrees. Westcott’s light shaping tools include the Pro Softboxes, Signature Softboxes, Shallow Softboxes, Stripbanks and 5' Octabanks; the speedring system on the Solix can be rotated 360 degrees for alignment. At a weight of 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), it also has removable barndoors and frosted diffusion that affix through magnetic front. Rated at 50,000+ hours of life, the light draws 60W. It also has tilter bracket with umbrella receptacle and light stand mount incorporated into the design. Starting at $449 for the Westcott Solix Compact Kit, the light has flicker-free output at up to 960fps.

Westcott’s Solix daylight head.

Concurrently announcing distribution for the Follow-Me system, an independent software that allows utilization of standard moving lights as follow-spots, A.C. Lighting is partnering with Italian company ProLights on their ranges of LED-based Moving Heads, Static Lights and Battery Powered Lights. With LED spot, wash light, wash-beam and beam options, the Moving Heads are also compact. The Static Lights replace traditional four-cell DWE blinder with LED technology, and, finally, the Battery Powered Lights are “ultra” compact, wireless luminaires designed as accent lights to complement uplighting inside and outside of a room.

A.C. Lighting distribution for ProLights' ranges of LED-based Moving Heads, Static Lights, and Battery Powered Lights.

In addition to the $4,200 Gemini 2x1 RGB-WW panel, announced at IBC 2017, Litepanels has released models in their lines of Astra and Sola LED lights. With a 50% increase to output, the Astra 3X and the Astra 6X lights, available in daylight or tunable bi-color, are three- and six-times as bright as the original Astra 1x1 panel. Conversely, power consumption has also been reduced. Thanks to a new LED design, the Sola 4+ features an 120% increase in output over the Sola 4 while drawing only 53W. Consuming 104W, the Sola 6+ has 50% more brightness. Both Litepanels Sola models are daylight-balanced. Pricing begins at: $4,200 Gemini 2x1, $1,235 Astra 6X, $855 Astra 3X, $1,489 Sola 6+, $829 Sola 4+.

The Litepanels daylight Sola 6+.

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