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Old September 26th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #1
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Can't wait for this

Check out this press release from GE. An article in a local paper in my area -- can't post because of copyright reasons -- quotes GE as saying they can now produce a revolutionary type of lighting that will cost about the same as fluorescent tubes and is produced in large illuminated sheets that can be literally wallpapered in place. One application would be for cheap office lighting. They just got $13 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to demonstrate the feasibility of mass production in four years. This is real Jetsons stuff. No more worrying about hiding the lights (in four years or so -- sigh).

http://www.ge.com/cgi-bin/cnn-storyd...olor=%23551A8B
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Old September 26th, 2003, 07:59 PM   #2
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But what's the spectral distribution? Nothing beats incandescent.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 10:19 AM   #3
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I have no idea how the lights will read on tape. I don't see this as replacing professional lighting techniques or anything, but it sure looks like it will be cheap, portable, and energy efficient. I would think all the people who are using flourescents now would be the first one's to switch over.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 10:42 AM   #4
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Sure sounds promising especially in studio situations. Imagine a whole background of controllable light, not to mention a roof and walls. If you could control the panels individually you would have some awesome lighting control.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 11:27 AM   #5
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On a more immediate level (possibly), high-power LED's are starting to make their presence in the lighting world. Panels of LED's run cool, are fully dimmable without changing color temperature, and are flatter than fluourescent fixtures, as well as being many times brighter.

Here's one current incarnation as an "obie" light.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 11:37 AM   #6
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This flat-sheet lighting sounds like an interesting development. "Hey, boss, do you think this is gonna be a 4 yard or 6 yard job?"

It's also been interesting to follow the development of LED lighting. Producing a consistent white light LED has apparently been quite a challenge until some recent development. That Ringlite reminds me of the circum-lens lights sometimes used in macro (still) photography.

Charles, what would you envision some of the applications of a Ringlite to be in filmmaking?
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Old September 27th, 2003, 11:43 AM   #7
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Hope they have a diffuser panel for that light. I know one would not use it by itself on a set but it looks like a flashlight effect.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 12:27 PM   #8
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The Ringlite is another incarnation of the venerable obie light, which is used as an eyelight or fill light. It would rarely be used as the primary light source for a scene. The concept was popular in fashion and music videos a few years ago--you could actually see the circular light in the talent's eyes (also see some scenes in Alien Resurrection). The result, if the light and camera are close to the subject, is a stylized and extraordinarily soft light that wraps around the features shadowlessly. More often it is used to create a basic fill for moving shots, especially Steadicam. On "Scrubs" it is mounted to the rig for the hallway walk-and-talks, providing a bit more flattering light than just the overhead fluorescents alone.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 03:19 PM   #9
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I work for a business newspaper and our photographer just turned in photos she took of GEís working prototype of the lighting wallpaper. It looks a lot brighter than I had guessed it would be. She used a digital Nikon camera, and I donít know if she color balanced, but the light from this thing is very white. The lighting in the surrounding room looks slightly orangish in comparison. Can't tell what kind of lights are on the ceiling. I'll ask her when she gets in.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 08:23 PM   #10
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I've always liked the use of ring lighting in 60s and 70s fashion photography, as Charles mentioned, and have wondered why it isn't used more today.

The only example I can think of where it's been used in a film is "Splendor" with Kathleen Robertson, Johnathon Schaech, and Matt Keeslar. There are short interview-type scenes where Kathleen Robertson discusses her feelings that are lit with a ring light.

The ring light "look" looks great (check out her eyes) and I've been wanting to duplicate that ever since I saw the film. I've found some fluorescent ring light bulbs that would work fine, and a common ceiling-mount donut-shaped reflector that has a hole big enough to slip an XL1 lens through. The only thing I haven't found yet (due to language difficulties) is an electronic ballast to hook up to the light.

I've had this idea on the back burner for a long time...ever since I saw "Splendor" a couple of years ago. Thanks for bringing this topic up to remind me. I may see about ordering a flicker-free ballast from somewhere and following through with this.
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 12:22 PM   #11
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It sounds like this is the first large-scale manufacturing attempt at printed-film OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), which promises to revolutionize not only lighting, but more importantly display technology. The really cool thing about this idea is to make a very thin, emissive screen which will be just a bright as a CRT, use a fraction of the power of either LCD or Plasma, and eventually be dirt cheap as it's just printed on a plastic film.

Once this technology gets well imbedded into the marketplace, you can say goodbye to all kinds of traditional displays: any computer display or TV screen; all kinds of retail signage, including billboards (why print a new billboard when you can print an OLED once, then rotate the software display for new signs, or even multple moving displays on a single billboard) (on second thought - that's a horrible idea. Does anybody really want to see full motion video billboards?); all kinds of home and business lighting - goodbye flourescent green; maybe even the motion picture screen.

I guess that being in this industry, I'm most excited about the display possibilities, but using it as a lighting instrument makes a whole lot of sense. Can you imagine customizing your lighting for difficult situations, like a car interior at night? "OK, cut off a couple of strips in the shape of the dashboard and sunshades, then hook 'em up to the dimmer and battery - we'll have this car lit in about 10 minutes!"

Here's a few OLED links:

www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/display/index.jhtml
www.universaldisplay.com/tech.php
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