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#1 King Cheung

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 04:59 PM

Hi, everyone,
I am thinking to get some litepanels LED lighting products.
http://litepanels.com/
Any experience sharing? Any suggestion? How would you compare it to Kino Flo?
Thanks in advance.
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:49 PM

Hi, everyone,
I am thinking to get some litepanels LED lighting products.
http://litepanels.com/
Any experience sharing? Any suggestion? How would you compare it to Kino Flo?
Thanks in advance.



I like them. They're quick, easy to set up and use, dimmable, no heat. The light does fall off fairly quickly so they're not a substitute for a regular tungsten source, but they are very useful in some situations and a bit more versatile than KINOS sometimes.
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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:12 PM

Hi, everyone,
I am thinking to get some litepanels LED lighting products.
http://litepanels.com/
Any experience sharing? Any suggestion? How would you compare it to Kino Flo?
Thanks in advance.


Like every other DP & Gaffer, I have put together my favorite lighting package based upon my more than 20 years operating a lighting rental and production service company. For my package, I have picked lights that I feel offer both the highest output (lumens/watt) and the best production capability and have combined them with distribution technology I've developed that enhances the production capability of the new Honda Inverter Generators. As yet, I have not found a LED lighting fixture that warrants inclusion in my package. Trust me, I have looked at all of them and some still to come. Here are a few of my reasons why I prefer the Parabeam 400 fixtures over LED Panels and it has to do with more than just their spectral distribution.

In HD Digital Cinema, the quality of light is more critical than ever. In High Def every detail of “on-camera” talent is rendered clearly on the screen – even the imperfections. Where LED and traditional hard light sources can exaggerate textural details, it is my opinion that fluorescent soft light is better for lighting talent in High Def productions because it can subdue those same textures and render a more cosmetic appearance. Primarily for this reason, I prefer the Kino Flo Parabeam fixtures, over LED Panels and other light sources, to serve as a Key source. Here are a few other reasons as well.

What distinguishes the Parabeam fixtures from LED Panels and other fluorescent lights is their throw, power efficiency, and the innovative accessories Kino Flo makes available for the fixtures. Accessories include barndoors, a gel frame, a diffusion panel, and Honeycomb Louvers. These features enhance the production capabilities of the Parabeam fixtures and make them suitable to serve as a key, or even backlight, source where conventional fluorescent movie lights and LED light panels are not.

Both conventional fluorescent movie lights (Kino Flo’s included) and LED light panels have a very broad light output that is hard to control. These lights also tend to drop off rapidly which means that to serve as a Key source, the units need to be positioned close to the subject they are lighting. These characteristics make them best suited to serve as Key sources in documentary interview set ups where the Keys are typically positioned close to the interview subject. In that capacity conventional fluorescent lights and LED light panels (with heavy diffusion) can generate a wonderful soft light that wraps around the interview subject without wilting them. But, given these characteristics, conventional fluorescent movie lights and LED light panels have only limited applications as fill sources in dramatic set lighting.

The ParaBeam fixtures, on the other hand, have computer aided designed (CAD) parabolic reflectors that focus their light output where it is needed most for lighting dramatic scenes - at a medium distance – making them better suited as a Key source for HD Digital Cinema. If you compare the photometric tables of the Parabeam 400 and the Diva 400 (which uses the same four lamps), you will notice that at 16’ the Parabeam 400 puts out almost three times the light level (28FC) than the Diva 400 (10FC) even though they both use the same tubes. You can always diffuse a Parabeam to create a soft source, but nothing you do will make a Diva 400 or LED light panel punchier.

In fact, a Parabeam 400 generates as much light at 16’ as the 4’ 8-Tube Kino Flathead 80 fixture, yet uses less than a quarter of the power (2 Amps verses 9.2 Amps.) While the seven amp difference is not a major consideration when using house power, it can make a difference when your power is limited (coming from a portable generator) because you can use four Parabeam 400s for the same power as a 4’ – 8 Bank Kino Flathead 80. And unlike the ballasts of Kino Flo’s fixture that use the T12 tubes, the Parabeam ballasts also include filters to reduce the return of harmonic currents into the power stream and improve their power efficiency. This makes them an especially efficient fluorescent light source that is comparable to the power efficiency of LED light panels and suitable for battery operation. For instance a Parabeam 400 puts out more light than even Zylight’s new high output LED light panel yet draws just .2 Amps more power.

While the newest LED light panels (that use the higher output LEDs) approach the Parabeams in output, the Parabeam fixtures are more easily controlled – an essential requirement in a Key source. Parabeam fixtures are controlled by interchanging Kino Flos’ innovative Honeycomb Louvers. Louvers are available in 90, 60 and 45 degrees. Swapping louvers provides beam control similar to that of swapping lenses on an HMI Par. These features enhance the production capabilities of the Parabeam fixtures and make them suitable to serve as a Key or Backlight source where conventional fluorescent movie lights and LED light panels will spill all over the set.

Kino Flo Parabeam fixtures are ideal for filming with the Red One. Since the Red’s native color balance is 5000K, it looks best when the lighting package consists of 5500K sources. Kino Flo Parabeam fixtures are a cost effective alternative to HMIs because they can use 5500K tubes. They provide beam control similar to that of swapping lenses on an HMI by interchanging their honeycomb louvers. And, they are even more efficient sources than HMIs. When using 5500K tubes to light for the Red’s 5000K native color balance, you can warm the lights without losing output to CTO gels by simply mixing in 3200K tubes with the 5500k tubes. Given the light sensitivity of the Red Camera, the more focused light of the Parabeam 400s is all that is needed for a key light even at a distance.

The power that I save by using Parabeam 400s for key sources in my package, enables me to power more lights on the enhanced 7500W output of my modified Honda EU6500is generator. Using a 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro on my modified Honda EU6500is I am able to power a lighting package that consists of a 2.5kw, 1200, & 800 HMI Pars, a couple of Parabeam 400s and Parabeam 200s, and a Flat Head 80. Given the light sensitivity of the Red Camera this is all the light I need to light a large night exterior. (Use this link - http://www.screenlig...generators.html - for a detailed description of the benefits to using Kino Parabeam 400s on portable generators (the section on the Parabeams is about three quarters of the way through the article.)

Compared to LED fixtures, Kino Flo Parabeam fixtures are just as efficient but offer greater versatility. Able to interchange different color temperature tubes, and vary beam spread with their interchangeable honeycomb louvers, the Parabeam fixture can do what it takes four different LED Litepanel fixtures to accomplish – Spot and Flood in both 5500K and 3200K. Offering better light quality, output, beam control, and versatility, the Kino Flo ParaBeams make for a better key or back light for HD cinema production than just about any other light source. Not to mention that you can buy two Parabeam 400s for the asking price of a single LED light panel.

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip , Boston
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:59 PM

Not to mention that you can buy two Parabeam 400s for the asking price of a single LED light panel.


And there's the crux of the answer. LED's can be nice, but figure out the total life lumens per dollar -- purchase price, replacement bulbs, electricity consumed -- go with what gives you the most photons for your dollar.




-- J.S.
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#5 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:34 PM

I like Guy's setup a lot - that's a hell of a lot of Lumens to get out of one small putt putt. Not sold on the parabeams though ;)

LEDs are a strange beast but they have their uses. I don't like their color in general, especially the cheaper ones which tend to go fairly magenta. Also they tend to feel fairly hard, and as Guy points out, can be tough on faces.

That said, the small litepanels are great if you need to throw a quick eyelight on the camera for a big moving shot since they are battery powered and fit on an Israeli arm. They're also good for a quick car setup if you don't have the time to run power and inverters and such.

The 1x1 panels are great for daytime stuff where you need a battery powered light to carry around. I think they put out almost as much as a Joker, but they're easier to carry and don't run out of batteries in 7 minutes.

The only kino flo unit LEDs have replaced for me is the microflo - which I'm glad to be rid of. Other than that I wouldn't compare them to Kino Flo at all. They have different uses and different qualities.
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#6 Guy Holt

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:24 PM

I like Guy's setup a lot - that's a hell of a lot of Lumens to get out of one small putt putt. Not sold on the parabeams though ;)

LEDs are a strange beast but they have their uses. I don't like their color in general, especially the cheaper ones which tend to go fairly magenta. Also they tend to feel fairly hard, and as Guy points out, can be tough on faces.

That said, the small litepanels are great if you need to throw a quick eyelight on the camera for a big moving shot since they are battery powered and fit on an Israeli arm. They're also good for a quick car setup if you don't have the time to run power and inverters and such.

The 1x1 panels are great for daytime stuff where you need a battery powered light to carry around. I think they put out almost as much as a Joker, but they're easier to carry and don't run out of batteries in 7 minutes.

The only kino flo unit LEDs have replaced for me is the microflo - which I'm glad to be rid of. Other than that I wouldn't compare them to Kino Flo at all. They have different uses and different qualities.


I’m not saying that LED light panels don’t have their use. They are ideal in some of the special applications Matt mentions. What I am saying is that for my basic lighting package that serves me well 95% of the time, I find the Kino Flo Parabeams to be the better value because they have more output, a better CRI, and are more versatile than the LED light panels I have worked with. The photometrics for LEDs are seldom given beyond a near distance (6ft in the case of Coolights’ website) because the levels drop off rapidly - making them more suitable as a fill source. And I would bet that none of the photometrics LED manufacturers provide include the transmission loss to the ½ minus green required to bring them up to a comparable CRI as a Kino Flo.

Posted Image
Two Shot of Night exterior scene lit with our HD P&P Pkg


While the Parabeams are not for every application they do offer superior CRI, better throw, and are more easily controlled – making them more suitable as a Key source. And with their ability to interchange tubes, the Parabeams allow you to warm/cool the lights, by simply mixing in 3200K tubes with the 5500k tubes, without losing output to CTO/CTB gels the way you do correcting LED light panels.

Posted Image
Wide Shot of Night exterior scene lit with a pkg. consisting of PFC 2.5 & 1.2 HMI Pars, PFC 800w Joker HMI, Kino Flo Flat Head 80, 2 ParaBeam 400s, and a ParaBeam 200 powered by a modified Honda EU6500is.


I think the Parabeam 400 fixtures are a better value for general applications because one Parabeam 400 can do what it takes four different LED light panel fixtures to accomplish – Spot and Flood in both 5500K and 3200K. And where we sell the Parabeam 400 for about $1650 it still costs less than even four Coolight LED 600 light panels required to get the same versatility. Finally, with power factor correction built into their ballasts they are nearly as power efficient as the universal LEDs and do not kick harmonics back into the power stream which make them an ideal light to use on small portable generators like our modified Honda EU6500is.

Posted Image
Note Distance at which the two ParaBeam 400s are serving as Keys.


I readily concede that LED light panels make for better on-camera obie lights and a 200W HMI pocket par is better for "daytime stuff where you need a battery powered light to carry around" because nothing less will serve for daylight fill in that situation in my estimation. My point is that the Kino Flo Parabeams will serve you better the other 95% of the time.

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip , Boston
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#7 timHealy

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:12 AM

don't forget to include how much you can rent something to production for in your calculations.

best

Tim

And there's the crux of the answer. LED's can be nice, but figure out the total life lumens per dollar -- purchase price, replacement bulbs, electricity consumed -- go with what gives you the most photons for your dollar.
-- J.S.


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#8 Gustavo Brum

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:24 AM

Well, not every shot is a wide shot...little Litepanels as well as the 1x1 can be very useful mainly because you can hide them in places where a normal lighting fixture will not fit.
Also if it's a scene with a lot of action you can easily have these fixtures to act as keys when the character passes near an open fridge and situations like that.
They can also be mounted near the camera for an eye light and since they can be dimmed (the news can be color corrected on the fly) you can fine tune them to get exactly what you need.
Although they are overpriced, in my opinion, Litepanels fixtures can be a great addition to your bag of tricks.

Edited by Gustavo Brum, 28 January 2010 - 01:27 AM.

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#9 Tama Berkeljon

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:37 AM

Well, not every shot is a wide shot...little Litepanels as well as the 1x1 can be very useful mainly because you can hide them in places where a normal lighting fixture will not fit.
Also if it's a scene with a lot of action you can easily have these fixtures to act as keys when the character passes near an open fridge and situations like that.
They can also be mounted near the camera for an eye light and since they can be dimmed (the news can be color corrected on the fly) you can fine tune them to get exactly what you need.
Although they are overpriced, in my opinion, Litepanels fixtures can be a great addition to your bag of tricks.


Litepanels are a fantastic lightweight low power fixture. I think one of the best features they have is weight to light output ratio.
Led's have come quite some way since Litepanels though. Some new high power led's are now producing more lumens per watt than flouresent fixtures, and a larger portion of this light produced is projected from the source to the subject, especially in fixtures using the high efficiency lenses (which can transmit over 90% of the produced light forwards).

But that said, I think it is very much a case for the right light for the job - a small led fixture when shooting close in can be just as versatile as slighty larger lamp such as a Parabeam or Diva a little further away.
When choosing your equipment, its useful to have a variable working envelope, if your budget allows.
Some lights such as our Creamsource LED lamps allow you the flexiability of a large work area (fight the square law, get your lights back further for more consistency throughout the action ) but also dim down for close quarters encounters with your talent.

We've recently been working on a new tool (compare) which allows you to select several different lights and see their effects when drawn away from a wall (beam width, Lux/fc at subject) and we are just about to put up an image range of the Kino 400 diva light which you will be able to compare to the Litepanels 1x1 (or our Creamsource LED light, should you wish to)
I will post back on this forum when the tool includes this image range - should be between Friday 29th and Tuesday the 2nd feb.

If any of you have a play with the compare tool, I would love to hear your feedback, as it is very new, and I'm keen to make it very versatile and useful.

It can be found here : http://www.outsight.com.au/compare.shtml

Thanks kindly,

Tama.
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#10 JD Hartman

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:26 PM

Well, not every shot is a wide shot...little Litepanels as well as the 1x1 can be very useful mainly because you can hide them in places where a normal lighting fixture will not fit.
Also if it's a scene with a lot of action you can easily have these fixtures to act as keys when the character passes near an open fridge and situations like that.
They can also be mounted near the camera for an eye light and since they can be dimmed (the news can be color corrected on the fly) you can fine tune them to get exactly what you need.
Although they are overpriced, in my opinion, Litepanels fixtures can be a great addition to your bag of tricks.


It's not a one-size-fits-all world. A single tube Kino can also be hidden virtually anywhere. So can a tungsten Nook light. I'd rather be able to offer a variety of lighting solutions, instead of just the latest and greatest innovation.
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