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Eco-Friendly Lighting Systems Get ‘Green Light’

Portable systems also sought by users

Lighting systems that are compact, portable and “green”—providing a considerable amount of light while drawing low power—are in demand by broadcasters and video producers, according to manufacturers of those products.

Market feedback shows that “people are looking for a small portable lighting kit that can be carried onboard a commercial airplane without having to check their lighting system into the baggage hold,” says Chris Marchitelli, the president of marketing for lighting systems producer Litepanels Inc.

Users also are looking for products that use green technologies, says Michael Walsh, a representative for lighting systems producer CineMills. Conventional lighting is based on designs made 75 years ago; those systems are less efficient in terms of power consumption and residual heat generated by each unit, he said. Today, light-emitting diodes are seen as the eco-friendly wave of the future. They generate light output without the gasses or glass found on conventional fixtures, he said.

In addition, where bulbs may have a life cycle of only about 150 hours, some LED products promise a lifecycle of up to 70,000 hours without any perceivable difference in light output or color quality, Walsh said.
Here’s a sampling of portable and green products on the market:


CineMills’ LEDZ Brute 3 CineMills offers the LEDZ Brute Series of lighting, the company’s most sustainable series of lighting, its most durable product, said Michael Walsh. The LEDZ applies LED green technology. “It’s the conversation everyone wants to have with us about lighting for motion pictures, television, documentaries or ENG,” he said.

The BRUTE 3 is a versatile, lightweight, powerful light that can be used in many applications, CineMills says. With a color temp of 5500 Kelvins and a full-range spectrum, it has a circular beam and a much longer range than other LED lighting solutions, the company says. The BRUTE 3 will have an optional on-board battery that will run the unit for an hour and a battery “Quick Pack” for 8 hours of operation.

The BRUTE 3 started as the Mini-Parr and has worked its way up through a progression of design and engineering improvements. It is described as “super durable” and is available with onboard or inline dimmers, depending on the system’s application.


Dedotec USA Inc.’s Dedolight DLED 4.0 LED Dedotec USA Inc. offers the Dedolight DLED 4.0 LED focusing light fixture, a 40 watt LED fixture available in three versions: daylight, tungsten and a bicolor version that can be switched between the two, says Paul Tepper, the company’s president. The Dedolight is “a small compact light with a high-color rendition,” he said.

All lights offered by Dedotec are focusing lights, including its halogen and HMI lights, Tepper said. The DLED 4.0 LED focusing light fixture is the company’s latest lighting system. It runs off A/C or D/C batteries and can be used anywhere without having to change any switches, he said. It auto senses between 90 and 270 volts, he said.

In addition the system will accept barn doors that work without creating multiple shadows, and projection attachments that enable users to project a pattern on a background or to highlight certain areas of a shot with framing shutters and other accessories that are available, Tepper said.


K5600 Lighting’s Joker-bug 400w K5600 Lighting offers the Joker-bug 400w lighting system, which is a compact system—the head only weight 4.5 pounds—versatile/portable light that can be used indoors and out, says Beth Nardin, the company’s head of sales for the eastern United States.

The Joker-bug 400w operates on 110–220 volts, making it flexible in how it is used, Nardin said. There are several accessories that enable it to go from “a punchy source to a light that can project patterns to a soft light,” she said. Those variations enable the Joker-bug 400w to be used in many ways without having to purchase different lights, she said.

The Joker-bug 400w is “a powerful light source in a compact package,” Nardin said. “It can go from something that will light outdoors, to lighting an interview in a conference room very quickly with no major changes,” she said. The system is described as extremely rugged and weather proof.


Kino Flo Lighting Systems’ Celeb 200 Kino Flo Lighting Systems offers the Kino Flo Celeb 200, a system for location and studio and which provides a soft, cool, energy-efficient light source that is color controlled, says Scott Stueckle, the company’s sales manager. “It is appropriate for interviews because it provides soft lighting in intimate situations,” he said.

The Celeb 200 provides technical innovations such as a dial-in variable color temperature control, full-range dimming and programmable 2700–5500 Kelvin presets. “Between those points it maintains the Kelvin temperature but your light level doesn’t change. You can go to whichever light level you want, but the color stay rock-solid,” he said.

In addition, the Celeb 200 is lightweight enough that it can be loaded into the backseat of a car. For travel it fits into the overhead compartment of commercial aircraft, Stueckle said.


Litepanels Inc.’s Sola ENG Flight Kit Litepanels Inc.’s ENG Flight Kit contains three Sola ENG lights with ball head shoe mounts, says Toby Sali of the company’s marketing staff. In addition to the ENG lights, the flight kit contains three TVMP adapters, three Sola barndoors, three 2-pin D-Tap Cables, three Nano Stands and soft box and diffusion. The Sola ENG lights each draw 30 watts. When using a single Anton/Bauer Dionic battery, one back plate, three 2-pin D-Tap Cables, a user can conduct a 60-minute interview, he added.

Nonetheless, the Sola ENG Flight Kit’s compactness is its leading feature. All of that gear is placed into a Pelican Case with custom foam, a retractable extension handle and polyurethane wheels, weighing 30 pounds, Sali said. The compact fixtures offer a dimmable and focusable daylight balanced source, so the user has everything needed to work “on the fly,” Sali said. The Flight Kit can be carried onto a commercial aircraft and stowed in an overhead bin. “Travelers can take it right through airport security.”


Nila’s Boxer Nila’s latest lighting system is the Boxer, which has an IP rating of 65 and which was built for the U.S. House of Representatives, says Jim Sanfilippo, the company’s president. Nila produces high-output LED lighting fixtures for motion pictures and television. The Nila Boxer draws a mere 250 watts, and it does not flicker or break, even in the harshest environments. Built-in dimmers are DMX-controllable and the 90–240 volt supply works anywhere in the world.

For the floor of the House, 24 Boxers replaced a system of 1,000-watt lights, providing 5 percent more lighting while decreasing power load by almost 80 percent, Sanfillippo said.

The savings start with the life of the lights, which jump from about 1,000 hours of life per fixture to over 20,000 hours for the Boxer. “The maintenance cycle (for lights) decreased exponentially,” he said. In addition, the air conditioning’s power load dropped almost four times from 24,000 watts used with the old lights, to 5,690 watts used with the Boxer.

“When we did our original calculations we thought that the payback from the power saving and decreased maintenance would take about 28 months; it turned out to be 18 months,” he said. “That means the change in lighting at the Capitol has been paid for and it’s now saving the taxpayers money and providing better-quality light,” he added.

In addition, the Boxer has studio applications and is in use by French Television, which has 25 studios that are completely lit with Nila products, Sanfilippo says. “About six of those studios have a combination of the Boxer and (Nila’s) NH unit, which is about one-quarter of the light output of the Boxer,” he said.

And it is durable enough to take on the road, Sanfilippo said. CNN has five Boxers on the north lawn of the White House and has been using the Boxer on its mobile studio bus, the Election Express, which travels the country for election coverage. “They originally had HMIs on that vehicle; as soon as they acquired the Boxers they sold off the HMIs,” he said.


PRG’s TruColor HS PRG offers the TruColor HS, introduced in April, and which is a new technology in terms of digital lighting in that independent phosphors use LED lights as the illumination source, said Rich Pierceall, a company spokesman. The advantage of independent phosphors is color accuracy, he said. Remote phosphor technology eliminates the color-accuracy limitations PRG believes are inherent in LED fixtures. Instead of relying on LEDs as a source of illumination, TruColor HS’ independent phosphor emits high-quality predictable light when excited by high-frequency wavelengths like blue LEDs.

The TruColor HS provides “consistent fixture-to-fixture lighting” because the phosphors are embedded in a polycarbonate panel, and those panels are manufactured through a much different process than is used with a phosphored LED, Pierceall said. Therefore the TruColor HS can achieve 3200 Kelvin at a CRI in the 96–97 range, he said. The light that emanates from phosphor panels is softer than conventional or digital lighting sources, he said.


PrimeTime Lighting Systems’ LED 3111 PrimeTime Lighting Systems offers its LED 3111, a 31-watt, 11-degree native beam lens LED fixture for studio lighting applications, said Jim Rock, the director of business development. The LED 3111 differs from other lighting systems in that it has a secondary aperture system, distinct and separate from the primary lenses by a distance of up to eight inches.

The secondary aperture system allows users to place beam-shaping horizontal gels or honeycombs six to eight inches from the primary lens source, enabling the on-air talent to view a teleprompter without hesitation because the multipoint light source of the LED 3111 is transformed into a single point light source that is in the talent’s peripheral vision, Rock said. The secondary aperture also eliminates multiple shadows caused by a multipoint light source LED fixture.

The LED 3111 draws 35 watts of power, one-third of an amp at 120 volts. It is available in tungsten and/or daylight color temperatures, Rock said. It is available with 11-degree native beam lenses or 48-degree native beam lenses. The LED 3111 is suitable for front or key lighting talent positions with the secondary aperture; without that aperture it is suitable as a backlight, he said.


Videssence’s Non-Dim KE025-56K-FC-N/D Videssence offers the Non-Dim KE025-56K-FC-N/D, which draws .25 of an amp, enabling users on location to power the units by plugging them into the cigarette lighter of a vehicle, said Gary Thomas, the national sales manager.

The Non-Dim KE025 creates little heat and provides 40,000 hours of lamp life, Thomas said. In addition the kit includes barn doors, frames and a five- to 30-degree lens. Multi-purpose fixtures can mount in tight quarters and provide short or long throw depending on the spread lens used.

The key light can be turned into a soft source by putting the 30-degree lens in it, he said. The product can be plugged into a dimmer and dimmed like a hot light. “So once you’re finished with your shoot, you can immediately fold them back up, put them in the case, and you can haul it away,” he said. The heavy-duty flight case is made of fiberglass laminate, internally framed with light metal, and has metal corner braces and framing. Dense foam compartments protect components. Fully loaded the kit weighs 58 pounds and is 25 inches long, 16 inches wide and 18 inches high. “It is on wheels with a pull-out handle,” he said.