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Old February 20th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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LED vs FLO kit / Coollights vs FloLight

Hi everyone, I'm about to buy a kit that would work either for photography or video and both in studio or "on location" environment.

My kit would look like : 2 "key lights" and one "fill/back/hair".
-In flo's, it could be 2x 4 tubes and 1x2 tubes.
-In LED, it's 2 big ones (LED500 or LED600) and 1 small one (LED350 or whatever they are called)

I'm looking for something power-independent, that's why I'm looking more into the LEDs that can be battery operated (Vmount or XLR with a battery belt).

Flo's need to be AC powered right?

What would be your thoughts on that? I don't care if it's heavy, I just want to operate it outside far from a power source, and I don't want to pay 1000$ for a Anton Baueur battery.

Then.. comes the Coollights vs FloLight question.

Coollights look awesome, Richard has answered many questions and I think he represents well his company.

I don't really know FloLight, but they have a very nice kit : 2 big LEDs, and one small (the on-camera one that I also need)...

I'm torn! Any hints please? Thanks
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Old February 20th, 2010, 05:06 PM   #2
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Also, I've read a few horror stories about skin tones when using LED fixtures.. and the amount of minusgreen or color correction that is needed after shooting just scares me.

On the other hand, how could I power flo's without cording them into AC from an house?
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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Hmm, lots of views, no replies, what's up?
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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The questions you're posting have been answered in this forum, so that's probably why you're not getting much of a response.

Also, as far as LED lights and skin tones are concerned, there are examples posted here, too.

Use the "search" function to help you find what you're looking for.

As for battery power, you're right about the flolights needing AC. You can run an inverter off a large battery. There's a point of diminishing returns at which you'll be better off pulling cable or running a generator.

The LED lights will run off a battery. But how big a battery do you have, and how long do you need it to run? You can get tech specs on what the light draws, then from there calculate how long a particular battery will run.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #5
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I have an LED 500 and not the 600. I'm considering getting a 600. The reasons: it probably has more light output, but since I can't find specs on the 500 it's hard to tell. My LED500 has a constant buzzing sound. I've never heard it in the audio, but it's disconcerting nonetheless. 1/8th of my LEDs are out. I'm not sure the power board is the most reliable. Also the ability to put a softbox on the 600 really appeals to me.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Brett:

If your LED 500 was the Flolight from Prompter People, you will like the LED 600, it is a better light. At my old production company, we had two of the Flolight LED 500s. They were more green than the LED 600, had less output, and yes, ours were noisy. One died, so we sent it back to Flolights and they did fix it and sent it back so no complaints on the service, just the light itself wasn't very good.

Dan
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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Thanks, Dan. You confirmed my suspicions. Do you recommend the Spot or Flood version? Leaning towards flood. But if I put a soft box on it most of the time, will the spot be more flexible?
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Old March 13th, 2010, 05:34 AM   #8
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i have both the spot and flood version of the cool lights 600. They are different, but honestly, i rarely look which one i'm grabbing when i reach for an led. I mainly seek out the spot if i need the most intensity like a hairlight or fill outdoors. For faces i prefer the light diffused, and by the time you chuck spun on either one, the differences are minimal... so for a key, yeah, i reckon a spot + softbox would be a nice combo. (although one of each fixture is even better)

The "minusgreen" thing is so misunderstood. Yes, if you shoot with raw LED you'll need to do minusgreen in post which screws up the rest of the image. Thats why you use a minusgreen gel on the light itself and you have a lovely daylight source that requires no post correction.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #9
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Hi Brett:

I agree with Andrew.

Important distinction. I have both a Spot and a Flood LED 600 and I would recommend a spot if you are ever going to use it with a softbox, as I do. The 600 Flood doesn't have the horsepower to use effectively with a softbox while the 600 Spot does. If I were buying again, I would have bought two of the 600 Spots instead. The Flood is good if you are going to use the lights directly on your subject but I typically just bounce the 600 Flood into a Flexfill to use as a fill source. It works fine for that but the spot would have actually had more horsepower to do that.

It all depends on how you plan on using the LEDs. For me, generally, I only use them with a softbox or a Flexfill, I don't like the look of the raw LEDs on talent, they are a bit harsh. But I have seen others use them as hard lights and it looked okay. A lot of it depends on your lighting skills and style but for me, they look best soft.

Dan
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Old March 13th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #10
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I find that the subjects skin is a big factor with LEDs. I can't explain why, but some people look great with them and others don't, even with the same setup. My guess is that there is something sort of weird about the hotspot of LEDs that can create a bad shine if someone's skin is a little more reflective. I always use diffusion with my 500 to help. The soft box on the 600 will be even better. So LED 600 spot with soft box it is. Thanks guys for the advice.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for the hints guys.

Myself, I'll go for 2x LED600's one spot with softbox for key and one flood for fill. And I'm getting an extra LED256 for hairlight or to get some ambiance in a room.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #12
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I have the exact same setup Etienne, you'll love it.

Brett, it has to do with the subject's reflectance value and luminosity with their skin and the fact that there are some lower levels of the red/orange spectrum in these LEDs. You will definitely want to use the included half minus green gel all of the time and really just use your judgment as far as if the LEDs make someone look good. I find that in general, I can make some people look much better with tungsten. LEDs are not the be all, end all. They are handy, practical and fun to use, but I still use my tungsten and flos all of the time as well.

Dan
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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #13
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I have tried both the CL600 and the Flolight 1000 (spot models).

The Flolight is about 1 stop brighter (use the reflective inserts on the barndoors), with a larger spread (18" fixture vs. 11"). I find this a big difference if you are competing with windows. (If they offered a way to connect two units to get another stop and a broader spread, it would be very useful).

The color temp on my units is 4950 for the CL600, 5050 for the Flolight. Both have a green spike, which can be filtered out (1/2 minus green). Both lights are a bit harsh, and of course diffusion reduces the output. Both can accept 12v power.

The softbox that is offered with the Cool Lights is very nice, no such option for the Flolight though one could be made.

The Flolight is more expensive, but can be found for less under different brand names on ebay (they look identical to me in the photos).

I think the cool lights are built slightly better, but neither is tank-like.

I can't quantify it, but I like the color of the CL600 better. They both register neutral on my color meter, but the CL600 feels warmer. I'm guessing the LEDs have a bit more fullness in their spectrum.

Customer service at Cool Lights is great (their website ordering is a bit clunky though), while I'm not sure about customer service at Flolight.

My guess is that by this time next year we will have much better choices.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #14
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Etienne,

There are 12V solid state 'fluorescents' (actually LEDs) that may be of interest to you. These are from LED Lighting Solutions by LEDHOT and I know other manufacturers offer them as well.

Your observation of not wanting to shove $1K to Anton-Bauer for a battery sure rang a bell. I'd vastly prefer to pick up one of these.

Luck.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Keller View Post
The Flolight is about 1 stop brighter (use the reflective inserts on the barndoors), with a larger spread (18" fixture vs. 11"). I find this a big difference if you are competing with windows. (If they offered a way to connect two units to get another stop and a broader spread, it would be very useful).
.
Thanks for your comments. With 400 more LEDs and 50 watts more power (that's double the LED 600) for that unit, one would hope its at least one stop brighter.

Our new 1200 bi-color panel I've been working on does 18000 Lux at 3 feet (1m). Should work much better for fighting daylight. And CRI will no longer be an issue with that. No more need for minus green filter panels or even CTO since you can dial in the color temp with our manual dimmers for each color to custom mix.
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Last edited by Richard Andrewski; April 15th, 2010 at 07:51 AM.
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