New Lighting Gear

In the new energy- and eco-conscious world, lighting users are always looking to save everything from power and heat to weight and size while still boosting efficiency. This explains why, although new HMI, tungsten and fluorescent fixtures are also pursuing the same goals, LED lighting is currently king of the castle. The latest generation of lights were recently on display at NAB, and HDVP takes a look at some of the new offerings from such top companies as Chimera, Gekko, K 5600, Kino Flo, Litepanels, PRG, Rotolight and Zylight.


Founded over a decade ago by a group of gaffers and engineers, Litepanels, part of the Vitec Group, has long been considered a pioneer in LED technology for film and TV use. At NAB, they debuted their Inca Series tungsten-balanced LED Fresnel fixtures, which came on the market in June. Their series’ name is taken not from the great Inca empire of pre-Columbian America, but from the fact that these new lights handily replace incandescent lighting fixtures.

"We’re looking at a global market, including studios looking to convert to LED from traditional products," reports Pat Grosswendt, Litepanels’ cofounder and chief technical consultant. "We’re also aimng at new facilities that are already using tungsten and so don’t need to re-balance when they switch."

Inca Fresnels incorporate LEDs that are color-matched to the incandescent tungsten halogen fixtures still in use in many television stations and teleproduction facilities. In a down economy, the LEDs make good economic sense as they allow studios and facilities to make the change from incandescent to LED fixtures in a gradually staged, multiyear plan where necessary. The greatly reduced energy consumption of Litepanels LED fixtures provides an ROI of less than three years, making them a smart business decision. In fact, the Inca 4 and Inca 6 use less than 10% of the power consumed by conventional tungsten halogen fixtures. The Inca 4 draws about 39W and provides comparable illumination to a 300W traditional tungsten Fresnel. The Inca 6 draws about 104W and provides comparable illumination to a 650W traditional tungsten Fresnel.


The scene calls for the hero to chase the villain down a long, moodily lit corridor. The director wants to see the emotion in both men’s faces during the long Steadicam shot—no easy task to light. Enter the kisslite. It’s a 3200K and 5600K white light source—a versatile, lightweight and portable LED ring-light system providing all the benefits of solid-state illumination for commercial, drama and documentary shooting and billed by Gekko as "the perfect tool for Steadicam."

The light has been used to great effect on the acclaimed long-running BBC police procedural Waking the Dead by DP Mike Spragg, who called it "one of the most flattering of light sources," especially when added to a conventional lighting setup. Living up to its name, kisslite offers a lightweight beauty light source or fill, and it’s also ideal for handheld, dolly and crane shots, where a lightweight fill is required without compromising the quality of the dominant light source. The kisslite ring-light unit clamps onto the barrel of most popular fixed-barrel lenses, and it also features an adapter clamp for standard ARRI 19mm and 15mm bars, lightweight 15mm bars and Panavision PV bars. Step-down rings are available for most lenses from 117mm to 77mm.