Next-Gen Lighting

Users have gone LED crazy, and it seems as if the development of new tungsten, fluorescent and HMI lighting has been largely overshadowed by user demand for new forms of LED lighting. LEDs are typically smaller, weigh less, consume less power, give off far less heat, and are greener and more efficient than any other form of lighting used in television and film production.

Most first-generation LED lights are an iteration of a panel that contains hundreds of 5mm LEDs. While the quality of light given by these panels is softer than an open-faced tungsten or HMI source, the multiple shadows given off from hundreds of individual LED bulbs often isn’t appealing. Most of the first-generation LEDs have a rapid falloff, requiring them to be used very close to the subject they’re lighting. LEDs typically have a prominent spike in the green portion of the color spectrum, requiring correction using minus-green gels or filters, or a major shift in color correction to offset. Users have had to adapt and change the way they light in order to utilize LED lighting.

The newest generation of LEDs hitting the market recently (let’s call these lights LED v2.0) reflect manufacturers beginning to address many of these limitations, boosting output and color accuracy, and introducing bicolor, Fresnel and several other technologies that users have been asking for. Let’s take a look at the latest offerings that expand and redefine LED lighting for 2012.

ikan CORP

Houston, Texas-based ikan Corp. offers a wide variety of LED lighting, ranging from small, inexpensive on-camera lights, all the way to professionally priced bicolor LED panels. Here are two examples of the unique features that ikan has been developing in response to market demand.

ID 1000. "A very unique feature of this light is that the ID 1000 includes an RF wireless remote control, giving the user wireless command over the light’s power and the ability to regulate the output of the ID 1000 or the ID 500," says ikan’s Michael Webb. "Each light can have its own remote so you can have more than three channels, or you can pair all the lights you want to one remote." The ID 1000 ($999) features 1,000 5mm daylight-balanced LEDs in a typical panel configuration. The light can be powered with an AC/DC 12-24V power source, including professional brick-style batteries. The same light is available in a smaller, less powerful 500 LED version, the ID 500 ($499).

ID 400. The ID 400 ($499) features the same brick-battery capabilities and the same wireless RF remote system as the ID 1000 and ID 500, but the big difference is that the user easily can mix and match the different color temperature and beam capabilities of the ID 400 by changing out the four MR-16 LED bulbs. The ID 400 sells for the same price as the ID 500 panel, but the difference is that the ID 1000 and ID 500 both utilize 5mm LED panels. The ID 400 comes with a set of tungsten flood bulbs, but daylight spot, daylight flood and tungsten flood bulbs are available separately. "This capability effectively makes the ID 400 one of the lowest-cost, bicolor stand-mounted LED solutions on the market," says Webb.