If you're looking for a small (hard) source LED light with bright output, you might want to consider the Aputure COB120T (tungsten 3200K) or COB120D (daylight 6000K). It's an impressive design that offers many sought after features such as the ability to be powered with batteries (v-mount or AB mount), Wireless Control, and a native Bowens mount for light modifying using inexpensive and readily available Bowen mount accessories.
With high output somewhere between a 500w and 750w Arri Fresnel, integrated umbrella holder, and bowens mount, it can be adapted to a number of different use cases. Remove the collector and it can throw enough light to boost ambience in a room, or set it behind a scrim for a large soft source. But as versatile as it is, there may be few things to keep in mind if you're planning to add this to your kit.
The Aputure COB120 LED Lights is smaller and lighter than an Arri 1K fresnel, but all of it's parts, I wouldn't refer to them as super compact. I'm a big fan of lights that can be battery powered, but if you plan to power the Aputure COB120, you'll need to ensure you're buying good (typically meaning a bit more expensive) batteries that can handle the constant draw. High output doesn't necessarily equal far throw. If you're in need of throwing the light output further, they do offer a Fresnel adapter, but I can't say i'm a big fan of the overall bulky design.
Outside of those small things, the COB120 has a quality build, excellent color reproduction, and many desirable features you would want in an LED light. Starting at around $600 US each, I don't think you necessarily have to have a complete lighting kit comprised of COB120s, but having a one or two would certainly be a great addition to any lighting kit.
Get $400 OFF any combination of a 3 Piece BladeLight Kit! These new FloLight BladeLights are available in Daylight, Tungsten, or Green Screen, and in either an 18" or 36". Your kit will also include Free Shipping (within the US), a FREE Set of Light Stands, Soft Carry Cases, Power Supplies, and a number of BladeLight accessories.
This is the largest discount ever provided for the BladeLight since it's recent announcement. And if you set yourself up with a small 18" kit, it's pretty close to Buying 2 lights and getting 1 Free Bladelight type of offer.
But here's the catch! They've allowed me to offer this deal, but only to 4 people (and limit 1 kit per customer). Because of this limit, i'll be sending out the 4 coupon codes through my Exclusive Deals newsletter sometime next week. The first 4 people to use the coupon codes, gets the deal!
The K4000/K4000s LED Lights can be powered by V-mount battery, 3.5mm DC input, or by a more robust V-mount to AC wall adapter. The filters are offset to eliminate multi-shadow effects typically found on panels that use multi-led bulb arrays. Sold separately these lights run up to $500/each, but as a 3 piece kit (which includes a travel case) these lights end up running as low as $330/each (found here). If you want to get a few more ideas on how professionals are using these lights, take a look at the F&V Video Gallery page (found here).
K4000 Single Color / K4000S Bi-Color LED Video Light Kits
Thanks to ceevisionzfilms for pointing this out on Twitter. It's a set of two dimmable 500 LED video lights + Light Stands shipping from a USA seller. Divide all the pieces up and this 2 piece LED light kit is a pretty nice deal. If you know of better pricing for an LED light kit, leave comments. You can check out this deal following the link (click here).
Linco is showing off a new light head that can be turned on/off with an included remote. The only problem is that from the specs, each head is linked to it's own remote. If you're running a few of these in studio, I can see how carrying a pocket full of remotes can get ugly confusing. Outside of the wireless remote gimmick, these Linco lights are one of the best performing CFL lighting kits for the buck with brighter light output, better color temperature, and less flickering. The heads are more durable and the proprietary umbrella-like softbox breaks down and sets up quick. It's about twice the price of the cheaper CFL Softbox lights I'm using in studio. Mine suck if you ever have to travel with them, but luckily they don't need to leave the building. The Linco Flora lighting kits are available on both Amazon (click here) and via eBay (click here).
It's not about some secret high-tech million dollar R&D project that's been hijacked and stolen. What Tony better explains in this video is that the patents filed are based on the 'use of LED lights in Photo and Video'. I'm no legal expert, but that pretty much sounds like absolutely no other LED lights, regardless of it's origin, have the rights to be used for anything photo or video related (unless it be LitePanels). LitePanels is a young (not even a teenager) company founded around 2005. What's sad is that this filing would even effect highly respected Lighting companies that have been providing quality lights to the film industry for decades like Arri (since 1917) and Mole Richardson.
Litepanels sued Dot Line Corp. (Dot Line) and Infocus Camera & Imaging, LLC (ICI) in federal court in Tyler, Texas, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,948,823 (’823 Patent) and 7,604,361 (’361 Patent) (litepanels_complaint.pdf).
The ’823 Patent is entitled “Wide area lighting apparatus and effects system” and is directed to a camera mountable lighting frame (302) having multiple lamp segments (306) arranged in a radial pattern around a center hole (303). Each lamp segment 306 comprises a plurality of LEDs (305).
The portable frame could be circular (as picture above) or rectangular. When the portable frame is mounted to a movable camera, the frame follows the movements of the camera.
The ’361 Patent is a continuation-in-part of the ’823 Patent and is entitled “Versatile lighting apparatus and associated kit.” It is directed to an LED light panel with a self-contained battery unit that provides power to the light elements but not to the camera.
So it sounds like LitePanels has a bit of bullying experience in this area, and has successfully sued large companies like Sony with ease. Worried now?
If you read the patents that have been violated carefully, there's nothing very high tech. Here's the patents that were filed against Sony.
Patent 6948823: A lighting effects system comprises an arrangement of lamp elements, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or other light elements, on a panel or frame. The panel or frame may be relatively lightweight, and may include one or more circuit boards for direct mounting of the lamp elements. The panel or frame may have an opening through which a camera can view. A mounting bracket and assembly may be used for attaching the panel or frame to a camera. The lamp elements may be electronically controllable so as to provide differing intensity levels, collectively, individually, or in designated groups, and may be strobed, dimmed or otherwise controlled according to manually selected or programmable patterns. Different color lamp elements may be mounted on the same panel/frame, and, in particular, daylight and tungsten colored lamp elements may be mounted on the same panel/frame and their relative intensities selectively controlled by control circuitry.
Patent 7604361: A lighting apparatus comprises a light panel having a panel frame, and a plurality of LEDs or other light elements secured to the panel frame. A self-contained battery unit securably attaches to the outside of the panel frame. The light panel may have a dimmer switch, and may also be capable of receiving power from a source other than the self-contained battery unit. The lighting apparatus can be mounted to a camera or a stand through adapters. Diffusion lenses or color gels can be integrated with or detachable from the light panel. The lighting apparatus may conveniently be provided in the form of a kit, with one or more of a light panel, self-contained battery unit, compact stand, connecting cable(s), adapter(s), lenses or color gels, and so on, provided in a single package.
I agree with most professionals working in the field that LitePanels creates high quality products, and the results speak for themselves. True professionals who rely on quality will always use such tools. I'll admit that if your next film budget allows you to bring LitePanel products on, you would be completely satisfied. Of course, I don't agree that they should have the complete rights to 'all use of LED lighting for anything Photo and Video related'.
So now that you're up to speed, what can you do about it? Well if you don't believe that 'one young company' should own all the rights to using LED lighting for anything photo and video related here's what you can do. I understand we all live busy lives, but without even breaking a sweat or handwriting documents, the easiest thing to do is to twitter this article, facebook it, Google Plus it, just get the word out. When you wake up the next morning, twitter it again.
LED video lights are great not only because they are well diffused, durable, and generate low heat for close encounters. They also have a huge advantage when it comes to power requirements. If you've ever been out to a location shoot with some super hot tungstens, or HMI's you'll have to calculate the wattage of each head and seperate them into different power outlets so you're not blowing out fuses and circuit breakers. Blowing out the power in your location is bad news, and just brings things to a halt. Just one of the things you'll learn in Film School Lighting. Now that prices for LED tech has dropped, the cheap LED video panels I showed a while back pretty much flew off the shelves. It definitely seemed like it, but after talking to a few sources, it appears that the popular LED Video panels are now at a worldwide shortage. Looks like there is so much demand the manufacturer can't keep up. Part of the shortage is because many big name companies have bought these panels in huge amounts rebranding and marking up prices. Hopefully you're not depending on these things being available when your next project comes around, as they are slowly disappearing as we speak.
If you're a DIY type and are looking to save a few bucks, you might take a peek at some already assembled inexpensive LED light panels that comes complete with an AC power adapter. They are powered via 24v, so not too difficult to come up with a portable power solution as well. All you'll need is to come up with some type of light stand mount, and you should be good to go.