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Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels

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Erik Anschicks
Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:56:15 pm

Has anyone had any hands-on field experience with any of the Mole LED Fresnel line of lights?

On-paper tech specs look pretty great. Especially compared to other LED options, given the price. If I'm reading this right (see links) footcandle output on the 150w LED on up to the larger units exceeds that of the Cineo TruColor HS and the Litepanel Hilio when looking at equal beam angles, i.e. degree spread in the panels vs. the equivalent degree in spot/flood.

Mole 150w - http://mole.com/lighting/led/baby/pdf/baby_pd.pdf

Cineo HS - http://www.cineolighting.com/index.php/pages/product_hs/106

Hilio - http://www.litepanels.com/hilio.php

Now I know full well they're a different type of light than my other examples, being a fresnel as opposed to a panel of soft wash, although the Hilio is quite spotty at 15 degrees. But I'd rather put on a piece of 250 or 216 on the 150w Mole and still probably have a similar output level than pay an additional 2K+ for the wider spread of the HS. The CRI of the Moles are somewhat lower at 90 and they are bigger (but not prohibitively so), but as far as output performance to price, it looks like a much better deal. I'm a big fan of Mole's tungsten units and I've been frustrated at the degree of difficulty to control the light output of LEDs, like cutting or flagging them. To me, they're basically good as key lights for talent and just general wash, so the idea of being able to have the same or better output with familiar fresnel performance at a much cheaper price sounds very enticing.

Just to be clear, I'm not bashing the Cineo lights, I have used them and like them a great deal!

Am I missing something? Anyone field-test these guys?


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Craig Alan
Re: Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Jun 1, 2014 at 3:27:21 pm

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=979454&gclid=CNzqu8D...

This self-contained trough allows you to convert your existing Tungsten Fresnels to a Tungsten LED with no modifications needed to the head. You can keep your original Tungsten for future use, and switch between the two in minutes, should the need arise.

Either try one this way or rent one.

I can't answer your specific questions but I think this is the future of lighting. Kino Flo has a whole set of new LED lights that are made to replace their flours. They do not give the same type of light that their older models do. I do not think they are as flattering to skin tones. And there the soft, not as controlled washes, are at least in the same ballpark. Its like you put a film lens on a DSL and you get beautiful shots but it is not the same as film and never will be. But it is what we have as tools and there are great advantages to the new tech. Arri has a very nice led fresnel as well. You can dial in the temp. It stays cooler burns much less electric. It cost too much and is very heavy and so far LEDs cannot be controlled the way the old lamps can. But the potential to get rid of the stingers save a ton in electricity and the increasing ability to mask and color correct portions of a shot in post means this is the new work flow. For now I have no problems using LEDs to light our CYC but I do need to back the talent even further from the wall because the light scatters everywhere. Love my mole back lights and dramatic effect on faces. Kino Flos are just idiot proof. Everyone looks good. But I'd love a kit of LEDs to take on location. Use whatever power is available and get a set of batteries to run them. I have not heard that any of the new LED Fresnels are as controllable as the old ones. This summer I'm going to go check them out at mole richardson.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Jun 12, 2014 at 2:42:59 am

As far as I know, at this point in time the Mole LED's do not have a battery option, though I can't imagine they aren't working on that.

If you're looking for a good, controllable LED kit, earlier this year I made a substantial investment in some new lights and have been extremely pleased with the new Dedolight DLED's. I have 3x DLED4.1s and 1 9.1. Since I've only had them for about 3 months, I can't speak to the long-term but so far, they have been a perfect location kit. CRI I believe is in the low-mid 90's and they match really well with HMI's. To one of your points, as far as I can tell they are every bit as controllable and robust as their tungsten predecessors. Pricey, but not as much as the litepanel Sola/Inca series and I think these are better overall (if you don't NEED DMX capability).

They take batteries, but it's not a perfect solution as you also need what they call the mobile "BAT" power supply in addition to the AC supply, so there's more "stuff" you need to pack. But then again, these aren't really run and gun-type lights like panels, I use them in my workflow as I would a standard tungsten fresnel so it doesn't really matter to me.


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Craig Alan
Re: Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Jun 12, 2014 at 11:48:23 am

When you say as controllable as a tungsten Fresnel - you really don't get any more spill when you use a flag or the barn doors?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Jun 12, 2014 at 3:34:02 pm
Last Edited By Erik Anschicks on Jun 12, 2014 at 3:46:01 pm

In fact, as the below pictures show, you get even LESS spill:





On the right is the Dedo DLED4.1 (daylight), on the left a 200w LTM Pepper Fresnel. Same distance mounted on a triple-header, even used the same barn doors! They are both in full flood configuration, and I made the doors into the same "martini glass" shape. The Dedo is a much more clean and controlled beam, not to mention about a full stop and a third (almost half!) brighter.

To be fair, Dedolights are the exception. Odds are you won't get the same level of control on other LED fresnels, just as the tungsten Dedos gave better control than about any other tungsten fresnel. But that's what I recommended, so that's the test in this case!

Dedos have been long renowned for their control and what they call the "clean beam" concept where the light is even across the spread of the beam. They produce the cleanest and most even beam I know of in the Fresnel world (though technically they aren't a traditional Fresnel lens but rather a dual aspherical lens system) and are quite comparable with a Source Four. It's great to see their LEDs have the same performance as their predecessors!


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Craig Alan
Re: Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Jun 13, 2014 at 5:09:43 am

Wow. Thanks Erick.
What distance are these from the wall? They are dimable, right?
Does the LED throw as far as the tungsten?
I couldn't tell from the mole descriptions when they mentioned wattage whether they meant equivalent to tungsten fresnel or actually wattage.
Also since historically LEDs seemed to have less control, I imagine what you are showing was the result of new lens design. So retrofit might be a bad idea? I noticed that Mole has come out with space lights LED, fresnel lights LED etc. These new lights are expensive but no doubt start to pay for themselves in lower electric bills and cooler temps (which in LA is again an energy saver). Plus way more comfortable for talent and safer to handle. Plus halogens are expensive and have lower life spans than LEDs. When you say comparable with a source four, do you mean a Leko/spot? On full flood I expect a softer look from a fresnel. The LED here looks extremely sharp. One of things I like about fresnels is how many looks you can create with it. On the other hand, mole for example brags that you can control color temp regardless of how much or little you dim the LED. And one fixture can go studio or day light temp or anywhere in-between. That's pretty cool.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: Mole-Richardson LED Fresnels
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:04:17 pm

Craig:

To your questions -

- I didn't measure the distance exactly, but I'd guesstimate it was around 8-10 feet from the wall. Yes, they are dimmable, from about 10-100%, and there is minimal, if any, color shift at all. When I tested them, I metered them once at full blast and then at about the lowest setting and they changed AT MOST 1-200 degrees Kelvin, and sometimes there was no color difference at all.

- The DLED4.1 pulls 40w of power, but is the lux equivalent of about a 125w HMI. Quite bright really!

- As far as I can tell, the throw is exactly like a traditional fresnel.

- It's really not a new lens design, as I mentioned before Dedolights have a patented aspheric lens system that have been used in their previous units that's been installed in these. I think you mean more like the panels, which have a bunch of small individual LEDs close together. Those indeed have very limited throw, punch, or control. The actual LED in the Dedo, as well as what's in the litepanel Solas, Zylights, or Moles, is one big bright one designed to replicate the single-source bulb design of traditional tungsten fixtures. I would imagine the Mole isn't totally different from the Dedo in this regard, so I think the retrofit would have similar performance when it comes to light shaping.

- Yes, I meant a Source Four fixture that's like a traditional theatrical Leko design, which can be razor-sharp or softer by adjusting the barrel to affect the focus. The Dedo can't do that out of the box, but you can by a projector kit with shutters built in that can make it do so. The front of the DLED4.1 is the same size as the DLH4 tungsten ones, so you can use the same projector kit, accessories, or barn doors on the new DLED's as you could with the older ones.

- Yes, I would agree the Dedo is a sharper, more clean beam than most fresnels. That's part of the Dedo "look" per se, where it's meant to eliminate almost any light spill so as to offer the highest level of control. When you do that, by definition you get a sharper beam. I've found a bit of VERY soft diffusion, like a very light frost, replicates the smoother fall-off of a fresnel beam pretty nicely. That being said, I personally rarely feel the need to do that.

I'd rather have that level of control and then soften it later if needs be. A hard light is the most flexible type you can have. It's been said on this forum before but it bears repeating: You can always make a hard light soft, but you can't do the reverse. I don't always NEED the level of control a Dedo offers, but just knowing that I can make that light do about anything I need it to makes it worth it to me!


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