The new LED array lights that are sweeping the industry have a lot going for them. Fundamentally, they’re amazingly efficient turning most of the power applied to them into light rather than heat – the big problem with traditional tungsten lighting.
The problem is that the most popular form factor, parallel rows of high output LEDs have some problems. Since each individual LED is essentially a tiny spotlight, they work oddly when it comes to light modifiers such as barn doors and flags.
Instead of a nice defined edge, putting a flag in front of one of these popular panels doesn’t get you a nice masked light edge, but rather just a blockage of some of the mini spotlights. The problem is that this is often NOT the light control profile you want.
So light equipment manufacturers are looking for ways to provide better tools for making these units work a bit more like traditional lighting instruments. One approach is the new-lensed “soft boxes” for LED panels from Chimera.
By incorporating both a soft-sided light control box with a lightweight integrated plastic sheet lens, the unit’s gain back some of the beam control that’s been missing.
In the video below, Chimera President Bob Winters talks about some of the company’s new designs.