Jump to content

Led unit that's worth it

Tiago Pimentel

Recommended Posts



I'm one of those guys that still uses tungsten fresnels because they're cheap to rent and they render beautiful skin tones. And, of course, they are incredibly versatile. But now that I'm thinking of actually buying a lighting kit, I'm starting to think more and more about LEDs. What are your thoughts about Led lighting? I mean, it's brilliant just to think you can dial whatever brightness or color temperature you want.


But, I mean, are there any LEDs that can render skin tones correctly, be as flexible (able to spot or flood) as a fresnel, as don't cost 3x more? The only LED lighs I've used are from Rotolight. I really liked them, but they are floods, so they won't work if I need a sharp shadow... Of course, Sky Panels are great but completely out of my budget. Any suggestions?


Thanks for helping!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tiago,


Let me state up front this is a sales pitch - we manufacture the light I am about to recommend.


Have a look at our PB80, LED Redhead.

Whilst it is not focusable it does produce a nice sharp shadow and the quality of the light is very high in both tungsten or daylight.

You cannot dial in whatever colour temp you need but then that function does come with a price in terms of light output.


The PB80 can be 3200K or 5600k, mains or battery powered.

Is dimmable using the knob on the back.


Check it out here http://www.photonbeard.com/led-redhead.html and watch the demo that was done for us by a customer who bought one of the early ones.


If you need any more info just get in touch.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, I mean, are there any LEDs that can render skin tones correctly, be as flexible (able to spot or flood) as a fresnel, as don't cost 3x more?

No. Used HMIs are close to that, but they make sense when you're a working gaffer or come from G&E and know how to service them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member


Skypanels are amazing and incredibly versatile, but as good and as incredibly popular as they are, the colour-tunable ones still aren't particularly great on skin anyway. And that's an important thing to remember about LEDs (not that skypanels have iffy white light, but that it doesn't matter how popular or fancy they are, each needs to be examined on its own merits, because they all have different strengths and weaknesses).

If colour rendering is your top priority, then remote phosphor LEDs seem to remain the best option for now. There aren't a lot of vendors who manufacture them, but BBS, Cineo, Arri and Peter's Photon Beard all produce remote phosphor units. And both the light and colour quality is excellent (they also have no issues with multi-source shadows like regular LEDs).

Remote phosphor also yields a higher output (per watt) than other LED technologies (assuming equivalent beam angles).

However if spot and flood capabilities are what you need, then you're limited to looking at the few LED fresnels, LED Dedolights (and a few units that use holographic lenses).

Edited by Mark Kenfield
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

Most of the LEDs on the market currently as mentioned are soft-lights (at least the good ones)-- i haven't yet come across any hard LEDs I particularly like; though i did get to play with Lite-Panel Inca and Solas which are OK.

If you're going to buy I highly recommend looking into Quasar tubes, Skypanels (as mentioned, though personally I dislike their design, not their light), and Lite Mates (probably my favorite and the most versitile, though i'm not crazy, yet with the new version they just put out).

I find, anymore, that these are my "augmentation lights" so while I may be using a large HMI or Tungsten light for the wide (or a skypanel if the location is right) i'll be walking these in for coverage pretty quickly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

I don't particularly rate Skypanels. They're big, heavy, and expensive.


LED will be at least three times the price of tungsten for equivalent output. Those are the breaks. It is cheaper than HMI for the same output in many circumstances, although LED doesn't currently go nearly as big as HMI and HMI doesn't go much below a few hundred watts, so it's not a very realistic comparison.


Some LED is probably good enough these days that you don't really need to worry about colour quality, though a lot isn't, so be careful.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Forum Sponsors


FJS International

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Visual Products


Cinematography Books and Gear

  • Create New...