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Thoughts on LED Studio lights?

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Benjamin Cohen
Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jun 30, 2015 at 3:18:23 pm

Im a video producer for a life insurance company, we shoot mostly talking heads. We use some standard soft boxes but they create an awful hum and get HOT! . Are LEDs the way to go? If so, how much are we looking for a good color temp adjustable kit? 2k? 1500>


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Derek Boettcher
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jun 30, 2015 at 3:57:08 pm
Last Edited By Derek Boettcher on Jun 30, 2015 at 3:59:46 pm

I absolutely love my LED lights. I used to use halogen, and you are absolutely correct, they get HOT; LEDs are the way to go as they are dimmable, hold their color temperature, draw less power, produce less heat, and are more efficient at throwing light. There are a lot of USA companies that sell LED lights for 2000 a pop, but I found a great alternative.

You can get a decent kit from came-tv.com
Personally I went with a 4 900watt equivalent set, stands and 2 1500 watt equivalent fresnels for 1700 dollars or less (I can't remember the exact number). These suckers are bright! Full metal body design, very easy to use. Get the high CRI lights as the color will be closest to the listed temperatures.


http://www.came-tv.com/high-cri-4-x-900-led-video-light-5600k-studio-broadc...
http://www.came-tv.com/4-x-stands-max-work-24m-only-for-our-buyer-p-570.htm...
http://www.came-tv.com/wireless-remote-2xbicolor-ce1500ws-led-focusabe-spot...

Best,
Derek Boettcher
Creative Management
BTH Media Group
http://bthmedia.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:41:25 am
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:44:28 am

For energy efficiency they can't be beat.

For lighting control, LED's all pretty much suck unless they're contained in a fresnel rig of some kind. With the panels, It's virtually impossible to shape the light they put out.You've got flood, and if you move the barn doors to form a square cone formation - you have a tiny bit less food. That's it. On ALL LED panels, not just these, barn doors are kinda worthless.

So if you're OK with lighting with all broad sources (and lots of folks are) - they're fine.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Derek Boettcher
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 1, 2015 at 1:24:06 am

Will, yes and no. The fresnels are actually pretty good with focusing the light, it was very surprising. It works very similarly to halogen fresnels with a disk to focus. Not as good as an ellipsoidal but still fairly comparable to other girls lights. The van does do help a lot when focused on. Otherwise, you are correct, it is a little harder to control the light with the panels.

Best,
Derek Boettcher
Creative Management
BTH Media Group
http://bthmedia.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 1, 2015 at 4:03:16 pm

Fluorescent panels have the low heat/ low power draw of LED's but perhaps better quality of softness in the light, and tend to be cheaper.
We use Videssence but there are others, KinoFLo being the recognized name brand most people know.


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 8:14:05 pm

Absolutely, while I haven't seen every single LED fixture out there, I'll take Diva 400 over an LED panel any day.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Todd Terry
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 8:30:03 pm

[Vince Becquiot] " I'll take Diva 400 over an LED panel any day."

In studio, yes, definitely.

On location, no... or rather "rarely," if ever.

For the last two years we've moved almost exclusively to LED lighting, and it is all battery powered (mostly with AB goldmount bricks). With the exception of big-area shoots when we're breaking out the HMIs (which we still do on occasion) I never ever have to arrange a genny or look for AC power.

If I never have to look for juice... or lift, load, or run a stinger again as long as I live... it will be too soon.

Compared to the "olden days" here... I do sometimes give up a little bit of creative control, but it is minimal... and lighting a scene is twice as fast, twice as cool, and with gear that is a fraction of the bulk and weight as before.

I usually travel with about a dozen LED instruments ranging from fairly big to tiny... and it's a breeze compared to our tungsten/flo/HMI days.

It is amazing how freeing it is to "cut the cord" and no longer be dependent on external power.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Vince Becquiot
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 8:41:35 pm

Hey Todd,

Which fixtures have you bought? Most of the panels I've tried had an awful look to them, especially on faces.

It seemed impossible to get rid of the harshness without killing most of the output. That was a couple of years ago, so maybe I'm missing out.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Craig Alan
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Aug 1, 2015 at 2:03:21 am

[Todd Terry] "In studio, yes, definitely."


My rep at kino flo swears by the new LED banks over the DIVAS.

What is your real world experience in a studio environment where the stingers are still annoying but hardly a deal breaker?

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: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 2, 2015 at 9:20:06 pm

Are you primarily concerned with just lighting the talking heads, or do you want to be able to light the backgrounds/atmosphere as well? If both, you'll probably want to have a couple different kinds of lights, most likely soft light for the talent and some more controllable sources like fresnels for backgrounds.

There's also the question of size/portability. If you need something that breaks down and sets up very quickly and is pretty small, then yeah, bi-color LED panels would be fine. I would recommend getting a couple of them that are pretty strong so you can have the option to soften them even further by knocking them through a diffusion frame. In addition to being more flattering, you can get enough coverage to light more than one person in the frame if needed. A couple of good ones with a travel case and stands should be around $1600-2500 depending on how high-end you get.

You could also do the same thing with flos as well. They're not quite as energy-efficient as LEDs, but they're plenty close enough to not concern yourself with tripping a breaker. In my opinion, a larger-sized flo is often softer and more flattering right out of the box then your typical LED panels are. That's another option, especially if battery power, a typical advantage of LED's, isn't a real necessity.


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Benjamin Cohen
Re: Thoughts on LED Studio lights?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 8:32:12 pm

Yes, just talking heads. Thanks everyone for the feedback!


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