The low-heat, high-output and very compact BBS Pipeline Reporter remote phosphor lights, small and portable enough to be hidden in any scene. Photo by David Alexander Willis
You know a product is going to be good when you meet with a lighting company and the first thing they do is knock the bulbs sharply against a table to prove their sturdiness. BBS Lighting, which stands for Brother, Brother and Sons, is based out of Copenhagen. Concentrating on LED and remote phosphor lighting technologies, the company showcased their line at NAB in April, where I was able to see firsthand just how durable and versatile the lights are.
HDVP received the diminutive Pipeline Reporter for review. At a price point of $849, this is a versatile and incredibly compact remote phosphor solution, and the kit is available in 3200K, 4300K and 5600K. The Pipeline Reporter includes two 1-foot fixtures, with a TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) rating of more than 95 across all three color temperatures. Dimmable from 0-100%, light spreads out from the fixtures in a soft, diffuse half-circle, with an equivalent output of 1,000 lumens per foot while drawing a max of only 10W each.Each light weighs only a half-pound, so they can be taped easily for placement. They also include very small, incredibly well-articulated Manfrotto desktop tripods that offer widespread leverage in positioning and lockdown. The ¼”-20 threads are universally standard so the lights can be mounted to other systems.
The Pipeline Reporter includes a 100-240 VAC power supply with splitter to feed both lights via a ¼”-20 tap. Unfortunately, the length of the splitter cable severely restricts how far apart you can place the lights. Extension cables and several powering options can be purchased separately to improve the distance, however, and 14 VDC battery options are available, making them far more versatile for detail lights, lighting up smaller areas or for hiding in a shot.
The kit comes with three plug-adapters and an 11x15x4.5-inch hardshell case with customized foam cutouts for travel and worldwide usage. The whole system is simple, but powerful, and ready to go right out of the box with setup that took only a minute. The fixtures are also silent and flicker-free. BBS has made single-bulb units available in 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-foot lengths at a range of $100 to $300, including both wired and non-wired ends for use with other lighting systems or for tailoring the bulbs and power for your own needs. BBS offers a number of power options separately.
As the name suggests, the Pipeline Reporter is aimed primarily at ENG situations where reporters or location correspondents need portable lights that can be used when broadcasting from desktops or when using a computer to record video reports or to webcast. For more advanced needs, the company has also announced an impressive new light bank system that merges LED bulbs and remote phosphor substrate into a single high-output light that has a similar but much more powerful 180º of soft, flattering spread.
The Pipeline 4-Bank is available in 3- and 4-foot lengths, delivering a high TLCI rating of 95+ and a life span of 50,000 hours. The bulbs are so tough because the aluminum flat channels have been dipped in phosphor that measures 1/10th of an inch in thickness, helping the bulbs to resist damage or breakage. Like the Pipeline Reporter, the LEDs are only an inch in diameter themselves. They output at more than 1,000 lumens per foot for a total of 12,000 lumens when using the 3-foot system and 16,000 lumens with the 4-foot light bank.
The 4 Bank lights are available in 3200K, 4300K or 5600K color temperatures, with a bi-color fixture that can use the light banks to mix 3200K and 5600K to find any color temperature within that range. Each unit has a built-in 4-channel control with 8- or 16-bit DMX control, as well as manual dimming that provides a flickerless range from 0-100% without any color shift. The low-heat units run from a 48V power supply. Foil-lined softboxes and light grids have been customized for use with the Pipeline 4-Bank, too. The lighting fixtures can also be stacked to build a wall of light, as needed.
The 3-foot 4 Bank model starts at under $2,000, while the 4-foot version begins at just under $2,500. BBS also has several open-face LED fixtures, Fresnel units, pars and even a very cool $2,999 Flyer LED Kit pole light, which is a small overhead diffusion source that can be used as a balloon-style light while requiring only a single operator to handhold.
Learn more about BBS lighting solutions at bbslighting.com.