LED Light Recommendations

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timbutt2

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LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 09, 2020 12:37 am

Okay, since I have time to sit during the COVID-19 lockdown and I'm not able to order the Aputure lights I was going to order... I'm curious, what LED Lights do people recommend? What light is equivalent to what, and how does it compare? How much light does it output? What are feature differences, prices differences, and durability differences?

So I've been looking at the Aputure 120D MII and 300D MII lights as my next purchases. However, I worked with some Nanlite Forza's last year on a short and was impressed. So, I decided to give them another look.

Aputure 300D MII seems equal to the Nanlite Forza 300. Benefit of getting Nanlite is that there's also a more powerful 500 option. There's the lower 60 as well.

But the question is how do all the lights compare? So, I'll leave it to others to weigh in.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 09, 2020 2:35 am

Measuring the color quality of LED lights is not an easy task since established standards like CRI don't apply very well. Have a look at this place: https://www.personal-view.com/talks/cat ... hting-gear

I think the owner of the site nails it pretty well for the lights he tested in his "Russian Lab".
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 09, 2020 2:46 am

Tim, I’ve been taking advantage reading Film & Digital Times’ (fdtimes.com) free issues (from issue 92 to 101 I think). I’m surprised how often Light Panels are used. I think they’re worth consideration. If you’re buying, build quality is very important so it’s not just about colour accuracy. As long as you understand how your lights behave, I’m sure you can adjust, perhaps building a LUT tuned to the lights and appropriate to your story needs.
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Robert Castiglione

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostMon Apr 13, 2020 5:31 am

I have always preferred incadescent bulbs but recently made a foray into the LED world.

I bought a Rotalight (the quite big cinema one) and I think its very good. I have used it on music videos to convincing effect. Good colour rendition and highly portable. Dimmable so it is very flexible

I also bought some the high CRI lghting cob lights from YujiLEDs. Paired with the Chimera " birdcage" lantern lighting fixture they are really very good. You can buy both daylight and tungsten.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostMon Apr 13, 2020 6:28 am

I've been very happy with the Aputure 120D MkII that I purchased not long ago, along with one of the v2 Fresnel attachments (which I also highly recommend). One of the gaffers I work with regularly has a v1 300D, which has also been great to have on set. We used it to light a mansion exterior at night. I used a single 120D MkII + Fresnel powered by a v-mount battery on an outdoor shoot with great success creating patches of simulated sunlight on the vegetation, rim lighting, and kickers in closeups.

I'm also glad that I purchased a pair of Lowel LED Totas because they are only $300 apiece, and emit a lot of light. The only down side is that they're limited to broad swathes of light.

Another set worth considering is the Rosco DMG Lumiere line, especially the RGB versions. The local Rosco rep let me try one of the earlier models on a shoot, the middle one in terms of power + size. We Used it to light a ten foot silk to provide fill light for a bar, and ended up not needing to supplement it.

That YujiLED + Chimera combo looks really appealing -- I definitely want to check that out now!

I'm not familiar with the Nanlites yet, so I can't compare them. Gah. I was hoping to check out more lights at NAB this year :(
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Robert Castiglione

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostMon Apr 13, 2020 6:49 am

Hi Rakesh,

I really like the chimera birdcage a lot. It has a skirt so you can control the light. if you take the skirt off (which is always fun ha ha) then you get the benefits of a chinese ball type light.

Several of those on set have proven really useful.

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Rakesh Malik

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostMon Apr 13, 2020 4:12 pm

I'm adding that Chimera birdcage to my wish list at B&H :)
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 7:43 am

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 2:26 pm

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 2:31 pm

I ended up ordering 3 Nanlite Forza lights for now. 2 60s and 1 300. Will order another 300 and 2 500s in time. I chose to get a bunch of the accessories for each light including softboxes and fresnel & barn doors. Took advantage of a 25% off sale on each light as well on B&H. I used the B&H card with 0% interest for a year, so that should make it a little easier until the work picks up again.

I had a tough time deciding to pull the trigger, but I did it. Thanks everyone for their input. And, keep sharing your thoughts here.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 3:00 pm

I'm just a believer of Tungsten Fresnel because they give out more light and no color cast that many of the LEDs have, albeit they use a lot of power and are hot. Cost has been much more cheaper than LED Fresnel. I got a set from CAME-TV that has 1 x 650w, 1 x 1000w, 1 x 2000w, and 3 x 150w with dimmers for about $1100, and it was on a deal with stands, case, and a couple of scrims. Anything more than that, I prefer to rent or leave it to the gaffer to provide.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 3:55 pm

How are you powering 4100 watts when all your lights are active? In Canada a lot of circuits top out at 15 amps, with 20 or 30 amps reserved for stoves and clothes dryers. 4100 watts is a problem unless you have a studio with multiple 20 or 30 amp circuits available.
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LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 4:08 pm

Tim, the Nanlite Forza seem to throw more light than the Aputure while consuming less wattage. Let us know how you find the quality of light. Forget those ratings; what’s important is how even the light is, how well they work for you in terms of build quality and how easy is colour correcting (especially skin tones) in DaVinci Resolve.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 4:55 pm

rick.lang wrote:How are you powering 4100 watts when all your lights are active? In Canada a lot of circuits top out at 15 amps, with 20 or 30 amps reserved for stoves and clothes dryers. 4100 watts is a problem unless you have a studio with multiple 20 or 30 amp circuits available.

Rick, I take you're responding to my post. I'm not powering all lights at once, never had to. It's just I have a larger array of available Fresnel for the buck. We did used a 30 amps 5500w generator once shooting outdoors in the woods which handled a few of the lights - I think totaling to about 3950w. Yes, it's not convenient like LED but I'm just saying tungsten still is my preference - throws more light evenly and no color cast.

In all seriousness, I bought a few lights for my gear collection, to practice and play. But on projects, I don't bother bringing my own lights or handling lights. I always work with a gaffer who handles all that. All I have to tell him/her is how much stops of light I want to be thrown to the subject and where the different stops to create highlight to shadows and the gaffer deals with figuring all of it, including renting/bringing of the lights.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 6:05 pm

rick.lang wrote:Tim, the Nanlite Forza seem to throw more light than the Aputure while consuming less wattage. Let us know how you find the quality of light. Forget those ratings; what’s important is how even the light is, how well they work for you in terms of build quality and how easy is colour correcting (especially skin tones) in DaVinci Resolve.
Again, I shot a short film with these lights last year on the original URSA Mini 4.6K. So I know they worked well on that short.

Still haven’t seen an edit from the director for that short film, but I did do some color grade tests and found the skin tones looked good with those lights.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 6:11 pm

Tim, top example looks quite good in terms of natural skin tones.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 6:13 pm

Thanks, Ellory.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 7:02 pm

rick.lang wrote:Tim, top example looks quite good in terms of natural skin tones.

Well, yeah the bottom two are more creative looks with colored gels on the lights. Sorry, the story was about an artist with a drug addiction. Sadly, the director based it on the recovery of her uncle, and then after finishing shooting the uncle relapsed and died. So, I understand why she hasn't been able to finish the edit.
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LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 7:22 pm

So very sad and difficult for her. I’m hopeful she will get back to it when she is ready, given the urgency to try to save other lives with her film including that coda. If I could, I’d help her with that.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 16, 2020 5:30 am

rick.lang wrote:How are you powering 4100 watts when all your lights are active? In Canada a lot of circuits top out at 15 amps, with 20 or 30 amps reserved for stoves and clothes dryers. 4100 watts is a problem unless you have a studio with multiple 20 or 30 amp circuits available.


Rick, that is what you do, find several 20 or 30 amp circuits. As 4100 watts is 34 amps on 120 VAC system. So two 20 amp or one 20 amp,and one 15 amp circuit will work. On location it is harder to find separate circuits, so I always had long 20 and 30 amp rated ext. cords with stage boxes on them.

You take a 240 VAC feed 30 amp breaker and split the two legs into two 120 VAC 30 amp circuits. Portable setups used a 220 p/30 amp dryer type plug, and feed it into a box with two 20 amp plugs per each side, using double gang breakers, so you end up with 4 110 VAC 20 amp receptacles, to plug lights into.

This is how I had the Studio lights setup in our local TV Studio, 4 20 amp circuits in the ceiling light grid, all on dimmers, and four 20 amp circuits on the Studio Floor, using stage boxes connected into two 30 amp 110 VAC receptacles, giving us four 20 amp circuits. Yes, I know 20+20=49, but with AC circuits you get a fudge factor, as you are only actually drawing about 15-18 amps per plug. As long as the total draw is in the ball park it works.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 16, 2020 8:49 pm

Good to know where there’s a will there’s a way!

Every home I’ve owned, I’ve wished the power box had more power than what is just takes to manage normal household demands. I suppose an electrician would be happy to accommodate a larger circuit box. Although I know many of the slots in my box are unoccupied so it may be easy to create in a home studio in the garage.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 12:09 am

How many amps is the service to your house? Typically US started out with 100 amp, but now many homes are 200 amp. We had a 400 amp service panel to the TV Studio, which was split between the Cable Head/Video Server Room and the Studio.

If you have a 200 amp drop, then you can use some of the extra slots in the main panel to add circuits to the garage. You can tell by looking at the main two circuit breakers on the top of the breaker panel, normally labeled Main....
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 3:27 am

Yes, I have 200 amp service.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 4:39 am

OK, so what are you waiting for! :roll:
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 9:16 am

Lights!
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Kim Janson

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 11:54 am

LEDs a lot of them 40, an old project I newer quite had the time for. They are 10W each DC-LE14275 I think they where quite ok when I bought them but maybe better ones are available now.

Screenshot 2020-04-17 at 14.53.58.jpg
Screenshot 2020-04-17 at 14.53.58.jpg (916.91 KiB) Viewed 3473 times


Maybe should put them under a drone, 400W 36 000 LM light on the sky :)

But this brings also an old Idea on mind, is there any commercial solution available that would synch with the video? If shutter angle is 90 degrees, the LED would need to be on only 1/4 of the time, and it could be run at higher power for the time it is on.

It could be of course a bit inconvenient for the actors to have 24Hz flashing lights, but other than that it should have many advantages.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 1:42 pm

Define commercial, you can fire a DMX cue every frame with an LTC trigger. Use wireless DMX for transmission, fine tune sync with an audio delay.

Commercial as in 57 grams, pairs over BT, fits in your hand, and costs nickels????

Stills cams have wireless flash sync already, seems the most likely point of synchronization though the most difficult to unlock.

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 17, 2020 2:12 pm

We could get the synch pulse from SDI, we thought that for Virtual Studio application to synch with virtually generated frames, but never tested it. The same should work well synching the LEDS.

Overall I hope the cameras would give frame start, middle and end pulse. It would make many things so much easier. I mean directly from the sensor, a simple pulse.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 22, 2020 9:17 pm

Hello Aputure LS 300X! They just took things up a notch with this Bi-Color light. Best thing is I can still use the same accessories I have for the Bowens Mount. Might have to purchase one of these as soon as I pay off the other lights I got.

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 22, 2020 10:56 pm

$1,699 at B&H Photo and looks like a winner.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Apr 22, 2020 11:29 pm

rick.lang wrote:$1,699 at B&H Photo and looks like a winner.

I'm seeing it for $1,199 on B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... x_led.html
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LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 23, 2020 12:28 am

You’re right. It must have been $1,699 CAN on the Vistek Canada preorder site. My mistake.
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LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 23, 2020 9:59 am

I watched a part of a video yesterday comparing both the Aputure and Nanlite Forsa. Given the Forsa was a hundred dollars cheaper but didn’t include a remote to control the lights and didn’t have quite as good a design compared to the integrated ballast and controller Aputure uses, it did not seem to me that the saving was a significant factor. I’ll come back when I’ve finished watching that YouTube video.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 23, 2020 5:54 pm

Looking at the performance now, the Forsa does have better specs in terms of CCT and Lux. The 300d II is considerably off its rated CCT and CRI but TLCI is good although not as good as the Forsa. The fan noise from the Aputure was so quiet I couldn’t hear it in the test video (at least quieter than my room), but the Forsa fan was easily noticeable in this test and that could be a showstopper. I suppose I’d still favour the Aputure after all. But neither ‘budget’ light is going to be perfect.

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 23, 2020 9:01 pm

rick.lang wrote:Looking at the performance now, the Forsa does have better specs in terms of CCT and Lux. The 300d II is considerably off its rated CCT and CRI but TLCI is good although not as good as the Forsa. The fan noise from the Aputure was so quiet I couldn’t hear it in the test video (at least quieter than my room), but the Forsa fan was easily noticeable in this test and that could be a showstopper. I suppose I’d still favour the Aputure after all. But neither ‘budget’ light is going to be perfect.

The one thing that is nice about the Forza is that you can turn off the fan and the light reduces to 70% output. I tested that out just now because I got my lights today. Loving the Forza lights. The 60 fits in my hand it's so small. The Fresnel also amplifies the light output perfectly.

The better specs of the Forza's are what got me to purchase them. I'm pretty satisfied so far. Will be testing them on a shoot soon hopefully. In talks with a car detailer to do a short 30-sec video.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 23, 2020 10:49 pm

I have a few specialty led's but find I still mostly use tungsten when shooting narrative, except maybe for fill on day interiors lit primarily by window. Night tungsten just looks better to me, matching lamps and what not. Night exterior doesn't need to be blue and an open face 1k red head can light a big area for $300. Used tungsten is dirt cheap and will last forever, bulbs are typically not that expensive. You want small light weight? Lowell kits will be way smaller than comparable output LED. Carry long 12 gauge extension cords and you are good. Kitchen Counter is your best bet for isolated plugs, and I did build a breakout box for dryer plugs as well.

I've never had heat be a huge issue, you have to let them cool before packing up, big deal.

One thing to consider is that all LED fixtures are electronics with no user reparable parts, figure a 5 year life span if you're lucky, if you blow the emitter it is done. If it is too hot and humid, like it is most summers when I shoot, the LED might not survive. I had one die in an exceptionally hot location without really thinking about it. I found out later it was only rated for 25C ambient temperature, and it 30 most days that summer. They might not project heat out the front, but do get hot, be careful of the heat sink.

My tungsten kits are nearly 30 years old now and still perfect, just need new bulbs now and then. If I was shooting every day, the bulbs might pay for LED, who knows.

Another consideration is colour. Tungsten might vary a bit warm to cool, but will still match a grade fairly well. With daylight led, some might be slightly green, others slightly magenta which makes matching hard and looks unnatural. As stated cri doesn't mean much, so might need to stick with a specific brand to get consistent colour. The Aputure 300x looks cool, but one costs more than my whole tungsten kit. I'm tempted to pick up some of those Arri knock off fresnels, just the smaller ones, 650, 300, 150.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostThu Apr 23, 2020 11:03 pm

An alternative when power is available. I didn’t realize there was such a large difference in price, but of course these modern LED fixtures come with a lot of features besides turning on a light emitter. Agree adjusting blue-yellow axis is much easier than the magenta-green axis.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 24, 2020 3:25 pm

Just remember the 300X is not like a 300Dii in terms of luminance power. It is more like a 120Dii in terms of how much light it can produce. Its called 300X because it consumes about the same amout of power.

The luminance is of cause not constant on it, so it CAN deliver luminance like a 300Dii, but only at specific temperatures. Just FIY.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 24, 2020 7:08 pm

timbutt2 wrote:But the question is how do all the lights compare? So, I'll leave it to others to weigh in.


Tim I think you have to test for your own circumstances.

There's a huge amount of marketing fluff to get through. I find most LED's to be a bit problematic in some way if you're looking for pure beauty or accuracy.

But they are hard to match on energy efficiency and flexibility.

A lot of lessor brands can have a lot of variation lamp to lamp as well.

There are some good resources for checking this if you want. I bought a sekonic C800 color meter and it is designed to measure colour accuracy ESPECIALLY from LED sources. I promise you'll start to feel differently once you start comparing a few spectral emission charts.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... Y8QAvD_BwE

BUT, that's not to say LED's can't be really useful. And for lot's of people that are happy to accept the downsides they get great work.

I personally love the Rosco / DMG series. Of the LED lights I've tested they have one of the best colour rendering on skin tone.

Controversially, I'll say that I don't like Sky Panels. I've found them to not be very good on actors. I won't use them as a key. But I would with a Rosco DMG.
https://us.rosco.com/en/products/brand/dmg-lumiere

I also like Cream Source. They're very good for colour as well.
https://creamsource.com/

Astera are nice for effects. I've used them for some key work and they can be good.
https://astera-led.com/

Digital Sputnik are also very good as well.
https://digitalsputnik.com/

I'm sure you'll find these to be...expensive....

But if you want actual nice useful light, these are my go to....

Oh, and these guys are GREAT and no-one knows about them. I think it's very very cool and I've started using them a but.

Ruby Lights....this is a terrible website, they're a french company, but this is one of the most useful and cool lights I've used for a while. They make a long length of bi-colour LEDs but it's sewn into a flexible velcro and magnetised case that you can nail, velcro, or magnetically stick anywhere. They also have cool magnetically applied light modifiers that go on the front. They're quick and flexible and tiny. I love them.
https://rubylight.fr/le-boa/

Also in the nifty and cheap I love kick lights. They're like a tiny skypanel created way before there were skypanels. They don't have the output but they really are fun and useful and like nothing else out there...and pretty cheap for what they do.

http://riftlabs.com/kick/

JB
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Ellory Yu

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostFri Apr 24, 2020 7:26 pm

I have just been using conventional day and tungsten Fresnel lights but have a few times entertained to get a Apurture 300. Before the lockdown, I was at an Apurture demo and saw their MC series and those little lights are super impressive. For just a shy bit over the price of the 300, I can get the MC 12 which with a DMX controller, just imagine what I can do with them - augment the conventional lights I already have. So I have put in a pre-order for a set.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... t_led.html



The quality of the lights are truly Apurture and it will give me other creative lighting needed.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostSat Apr 25, 2020 12:12 am

Ellory Yu wrote:I have just been using conventional day and tungsten Fresnel lights but have a few times entertained to get a Apurture 300. Before the lockdown, I was at an Apurture demo and saw their MC series and those little lights are super impressive. For just a shy bit over the price of the 300, I can get the MC 12 which with a DMX controller, just imagine what I can do with them - augment the conventional lights I already have. So I have put in a pre-order for a set.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... t_led.html



The quality of the lights are truly Apurture and it will give me other creative lighting needed.


They look pretty cool and a good price....

JB
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Robert Niessner

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostSat Apr 25, 2020 12:08 pm

I have two of the Relio lights which are made by an Italian engineer who is obsessed with light quality. With a TLCI of 98% and a light normalisation LUTs for a virtual TLCI of 100%.

Those are not strong lights (only 5 W) but very versatile with magnetic plate, exchangeable optics. You can hide them easily in the background. And there are special lights for a certain color spectrum like pure red, blue, green, yellow. Unlike RGB leds those pure colors are super saturated.

https://www.relio.it/features

And there is now a new edition which got some clever new addons:
https://www.relio.it/2020
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rick.lang

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LED Light Recommendations

PostSat Apr 25, 2020 1:57 pm

Nice, Robert. Never seen those. I wonder how to acquire these Relio lights in the New World assuming the Kickstarter campaign is over.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostSat Apr 25, 2020 2:53 pm

Rick, they have to serve the kickstarter backers first, after that their shop will be open for ordering again.
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostSat May 16, 2020 3:13 pm

Lights LUX Readings.jpg
Lights LUX Readings.jpg (497.18 KiB) Viewed 2514 times


I decided to do some deep dive research into the claimed lux reading from the manufacturers. Nanlite gives a lot of great information. Aputure has some good information for some lights, and others not so much. Arri I used their Photometric Calculator.

I threw in my Dracast LED Bi-Color lights as well for good measure since I've used them a good amount for quick set up interviews.
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Kim Janson

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostTue Jun 30, 2020 8:54 am

My DIY proto LED project got a bit forward. 120 W led light. The installation is 3D printed and attached to a big radiator fin. Super simple build. it is currently still controlled with a laboratory power supply.

LED.jpg
LED.jpg (639.89 KiB) Viewed 1636 times


This hole thing is just to experiment and learn. The challenges:

1. Electronics that make it fully dimmable. in this video it is like between 0 to less than 1% power. (controlled with the laboratory Power supply at this time.)



2. Diffuser. The shadows do not look that nice currently

Difuser needed.jpg
Difuser needed.jpg (638.79 KiB) Viewed 1636 times


3. Stabile power supply, This is brightly lid working area, many different kind of lamps. They are quite cold colour compared to this LED, but also they flash with the 50 Hz power. The LED is powered from DC so no flashing on the area it is covering. The power is about 50% on this video. It is some challenge to have a good power supply like the laboratory power supply used on this video.



BTW, on the first video, there is the same working lights, but the LED is very dim. iPhone seems to have algorithms to adapt to 50Hz lights, but not when there is a non flashing bright light like on this second video.

4. The cooling. Though the cooling fin is quite big, it can take only few minutes full 120W power, there is no fans on it.

On way to reduce needed power, would be to provide power only when needed. If the shutter angle is 90 degrees, only 1/4th of power is needed, if the power is on only when the picture is taken. That is the challenge. normally the cameras do not provide the information when the picture is taken. It would be really nice to have that also for other purposes than this. A simple pulse that goes up, for the time picture is taken.

The BMMCC provides analogue video out. from that I can get the frame pulses, but that is the pulse the video is send, not when it is taken. Probably at given settings the time remains constant, but when camera settings change the constant change. Also the shutter angle needs to be got separately. It is all too complicated, but maybe I try it.

As related "Define commercial, you can fire a DMX cue every frame with an LTC trigger. Use wireless DMX for transmission, fine tune sync with an audio delay. " Howard, could you explain a bit more on this. How would BMD cameras connect with this and where to get the pulse to control the LEDs.

As said this is just to learn and experiment. for video lights there is plenty of good inexpensive options. These for example look pretty interesting.



But they could maybe use better power supply and diffuser :)

Ps. This will get the same LEDs as I tested above. The propeller downwash should take care of the cooling as they are installed on the aluminium motor arms. The LEDs will point down to provide some light when flying close to objects. It is an integrated drone and gimbal for 360 camera. also purely experimental.

98387603_2122603274552805_6087295627232804864_o.jpg
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Howard Roll

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostTue Jun 30, 2020 5:36 pm

If you can extract a sync pulse for frame timing from the analog output you should be able to sync the light to the camera shutter using just luminance. Essentially point the camera at the light and sync to itself, the actual timing delay doesn't matter only the phase.

Rolling shutter integration would necessitate longer pulse widths than 90 degrees. 180 degree shutter and 15-20ms of rolling shutter, which is pretty average, is going to necessitate a pulse width of almost 100% to avoid rolling shutter flash artifacts.

Good Luck

sync.jpg
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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostTue Jun 30, 2020 6:04 pm

Kim Janson wrote:My DIY proto LED project got a bit forward. 120 W led light. me.)


Love seeing all this.

What LED engines are you using ? That’s going to determine everything.

A LONG time ago, in the early 2000’s I started a LED lighting company to try and make LED lights. Remember this is before sky panels and Astera.

PWM or pulsing the DC means you can generally drive the LED harder than it’s spec, but in shorter time intervals so that you don’t cook the LED (too much).

You might reduce it’s operating life from 100 000 hours to “only” 10 000 hours but you can get a lot more light from it.

You can also start to do interesting things if you can “detect” the shutter phase of a camera. So you can then PULSE in sync or even, out of sync. Imagine having a set that’s LIT for safety but the camera can’t “see” the light because it’s always off when the shutter is OPEN.

You can also start doing interesting things with the number pulses in a given cycle from a colour channel. Maybe you have more GREEN pulses and less RED ones, so you can start to do different coloured motion blur effects.

I built a light that could do this and we were were working on a colour sensor that could “match” the light output to the ambient colour, or to a given Pantone patch.

We also were using active cooling to try and keep the LED engine at the constant temp (like the BMD sensors works) to maintain consistent colour perforce. As the LED heats you can get changes in colour output.

All fun stuff and I love seeing people come up with stuff like this.

JB
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Kim Janson

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Re: LED Light Recommendations

PostWed Jul 01, 2020 7:17 am

Synching with exposure would indeed open interesting opportunities. Higher power, less heat, longer battery life, but also effects like mentioned above. I have also been thinking testing effects like alternating light direction every second frame, light reacting to sound, but keeping the output constant during each exposure etc.

The prototype of dimmable power supply, i.e fast hack of a up converter works nicely. :D it is providing adjustable current now. Next attaching a micro controller to it and to see if the current can be controlled fast enough, or if other methods are needed for frame accurate control.

Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 10.07.00.jpg
Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 10.07.00.jpg (344.26 KiB) Viewed 1507 times


I especially like this as it accepts any voltage between 4 and 28V. the only limitations are that max input current is 5A, i.e at 4V only 20W is possible and full 120W requires 24V. The other limitation is that it is fully dimmable only below 20V. Pretty ideal for v-lock battery, with that max power is then around 60W, so the cooling should be also ok.

That though mean that 6 of 10W LED would be enough. now it is 12. It feels though that the light output per Watt is not fully linear, so maybe I keep it like this.

BTW, this inverter operates at 500 kHz, so the LED is getting pure DC, no flickering. Some of the inexpensive dimmers use much lower frequencies and could cause problems at very short exposure times like used on high speed camera.

Edit: first test with external control. the good news is the LED reacts very sharply to the simple control, so it is just attaching a micro controller to it and somehow getting the exposure synch from the camera. The bad news is that for eye, the pulsed LED looks just not tolerable at 30 FPS, like a strong strobe. so this will be for higher frame rates and special purpose.

On this video I set the frequency on purpose a bit of (30.6 Hz) , and short duty cycle se we can see the LED getting brighter and the light moving from bottom to up. In real life it is just flashing 30.6 Hz short pulses constantly.

Note the working lights are on so they cause also the flashing.



So next synching it with the video and using proper camera instead of iPhone :)

Sorry for getting off topic, I will start a new thread for next update.

oh well just this update still, I got it synching to analogue video out, kind of, just a brief hack, but anyway enough to realise something that is very obvious now. The analogue video is generated in camera, and it has its own frame rate. (PAL or NTCS) so it seems with these cameras the only way would be to synch the camera to the LED, I do not have time to look into it now. Just hope the cameras would provide the exposure pulse out, it would make many things so simple.

The LED control is working great, here testing 6000 times per second on off.

Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 17.32.14.jpg
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