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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #1
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LED obsession - Indie kit?

Thought I'd start a new discussion so as not to detract from the Z96 LED light thread.

My Pro 160-LED should arrive next week and I'm going to order the Z96 soon.

I'd like to build a kit that could be totally battery powered and really portable. I am posting links to various lights that look interesting and I'd like some feedback if you have any thoughts / experience with these lights.

We know about Coollights - great quality, limited availability.

Now the 900 LED version of that light is out: CN-900HP LED Camera Video Light Studio Lighting Dimmer - eBay (item 220638315438 end time Aug-15-10 00:24:26 PDT)

Then there is this light that looks powerful, but who can tell?
Video&Studio 56W LED light dimmable,XLR,Battery mount - eBay (item 300446852271 end time Aug-14-10 18:49:15 PDT)

Then I just found these - 10W & 12W respectively:
10W LED studio light for digital video 12VDC 100-240VAC - eBay (item 300446852256 end time Aug-14-10 18:49:10 PDT)

12W LED video light for digital video 12VDC 100-240VAC - eBay (item 300446852265 end time Aug-14-10 18:49:13 PDT)

Two Comer 1800 videos:
3 point lighting with three 1800s: YouTube - 3-Point Lighting Setup using 3 Comer CM-LBPS1800 lights
A single 1800 lighting a stage: YouTube - Using Comer CM-LBPS1800 LED Light On Stage

And finally to add the Home Depot element - the 2;20 mark get interesting:
YouTube - Stanley 35w HID Spotlight in action
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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #2
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Forgot to add this groovy ring light:

21watt LED Ring Camera light dimmer 12VDC 100-240VAC - eBay (item 300444460570 end time Aug-06-10 21:23:17 PDT)
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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:11 PM   #3
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I like the idea of this thread.

For outside daylight interviews we currently run 2 Flolight 256 LEDS, but i would have to have something like the:

CN-900HP LED Camera Video Light Studio Lighting Dimmer - eBay (item 220638315438 end time Aug-15-10 00:24:26 PDT)

For the odd studio / night shoot we do.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 02:10 AM   #4
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The 35W HID looked interesting from the point of view of a really horrible, splotchy almost parallel beam.

As far as I can tell, so far LED technology is still lacking in beam quality. Brightness is creeping up gradually, but this brings problems in itself. If you have a twenty year old Redhead or Arri 1K Fresnel, you can buy a new one and they match quite well with the old one - so if you damage one of the ones you use to light your greenscreen, you can buy another. If you buy two or four LEDs to wash your new greenscreen, and one dies, the chances are you will need to buy multiples to ensure the replacements all match. Even identical models, bought a few months apart exhibit differences because the manufacturers buy the LEDs in batches, and each batch is slightly different. The things produce very uneven light, and although with a bit of diffuser on the front they're much better - they are still quite random in nature. Look at the traditional tungsten kit - all the manufacturers provide proper photometric data. LED manufacturers don't. Maybe the odd brightness figure but in general, they're very keen on power consumption of the LEDs - so many 10W LEDs or more 3 W LEDs. What does the beam look like? No idea. Will it look the same as a Tungsten fixture? No.

You can dim a tungsten lamp, all that happens is the colour temp drops. LEDs that do have DMX control start to get flickery, so look even worse.

All these new bits of kit are quite interesting, and the heat reduction alone is good reason to buy some - but the beam quality as an illumination source is not really up to it. (Yet).

It's interesting to note that in the entertainment industry, LED is working really well - not so much as illumination tools, but as interesting things to look at. However, when they want to throw even light onto a large white cyc - people moan about the evenness. In pubs and clubs, however, they're great for throwing colour onto a stage.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:18 AM   #5
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Hey Paul,

So you're saying I should buy them all ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Each of your points are real concerns that we should be thinking about. I had not considered color matching down the road.

I'm still going to pick up some inexpensive lights to mess with; I can't help myself.

You're right about that HID - it is ugly, but would look great as searchlight.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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This is new... and interesting. 3000 lumens.

Grip-LED light by DZP Video - eBay (item 290456535689 end time Jul-28-10 12:40:52 PDT)

He's using this panel here that I've been seeing:

36 Watt LED DayLight White Photograph Video Light Panel - eBay (item 130328509326 end time Jul-28-10 20:16:14 PDT)
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Old July 29th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #7
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Led light CN-160 L.A. Color Shop

I got my CN-160 in the mail yesterday from L.A. Color Shop

Tried all of my Sony batteries. The only one that fits is the NP-F750 ! ...it's loose fitting and I have to put a piece of plastic wedge in the case to keep it on. Poor design...dont think I could trust it working on a shoot. Guess I will have to use the AA batteries..havent tried them yet.

Jeff
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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Jeff,

Bummer about the battery fit. My 160 should be here any day now. I'll check it out and let you guys know.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #9
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I think one of the big problems with LED lighting in the present state is that unlike our older tools, LED lighting has somewhat vague specifications - so it's really difficult to make sense of X number of Lux, or Lumens, or Footcandles - and nobody really has yet come up with a system for assessing lighting fixtures that have multiple individual sources. This is especially true when some fixtures handle brightness by selective switching of individual circuits of LEDs - so as they get dimmer, the field gets worse. If on the other hand you start to dim LEDs, then the darn things flicker.

With proper optics, measurement is far easier, because the quality of the light is taken for granted. We're only interested in condensing or spreading it, or maybe diffusing it, or even chopping bits of it out. With LEDs, the individual sources don't have any verifiable standard. Ok - a fixture might have a certain amount of White (or coloured) 3W LEDs - but rarely are we treated to any info on these. 3W power consumption? Presumably. How much output, over what individual angle? My (admittedly limited) experience is that a single led does not have a symetrical light distribution, it's rather ragged, with a few visible darker areas and maybe a highlight or two - but an identical one has these defects in different orientations - so making a fixture from a cluster is rather a random product. The other thing is that they have very long lifespans, measured by MTBF - but in a quick check recently, out of 12 fixtures, each one with 150 odd LEDs, there were two individual elements missing.

I'm positive LEDs will become the best tool - I'm not sure they're quite there yet. The Chinese seem to simply be building them as a piece of electronics, easy for them - and to be honest, I suspect that making one could be a DIY kit for anyone who could solder competently - and what have we got? $400 pieces of kit in a $10 case, using maybe $50 worth of electronics? No complex, expensive optics, not problems with heat constraints - simply a power supply, a bag of cheap bits and a box!

Look at cheap childrens LED toys, Christmas Trees - rubbish like that. It costs small change to make - and these things we see on ebay are really very overpriced for the content. A 3W LED can be sourced for pennies!
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #10
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Paul,

I appreciate the time you have put into your well thought out and reasoned opposition to the current state of LED lights. This was / is not a debate of the pros and cons of LEDs. I was merely interested in people's experience with the current lights on the market.

I agree that LEDs have a ways to go. However, that is another conversation entirely.

Anyone else have actual experience with these any of these lights?
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 07:06 AM   #11
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It now looks as if the 1200 LED light is being sold:

1200-LED Video Light for Studio Lighting With Dimmer - eBay (item 170520728176 end time Aug-28-10 17:32:26 PDT)

On a side note, I got my Pro 160-LED on Friday. I'll echo what everyone has said, it is light, flimsy and of dubious quality, but it does put out some light.

I'll post a side by side comparison with my Z96 when it arrives, hopefully, this week.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 09:36 PM   #12
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Need a standard test for comparison

The problem with many products from Asia, and it seems particularly from China, maybe because they export so much, is that they start off by filling a void and they're constructed of what ever materials there are. This happened back in the days of sailboats in Taiwan in the 1970s and now it is China with the LED lights discussed in our forum. They look good in pictures but when you finally get to touch one it is a little less than what you had hoped for.

What is needed is some testing, and since no test lab has stepped forward to do it, maybe it could be done with individuals. For example:

1. Light pattern. Lay out a standard grid on a white wall, use push-pins and dark string or thread, mark off a grid, say 1-ft for the USA or 1-meter for the rest of the world, set up the light on a stand at a certain distance from the wall, then take a picture of the pattern. Submit the picture of the test setup and light pattern to the forum which could make these available for viewing by the cast of thousands.

2. Provide a discussion of the construction of the light fixture, kind of materials, quality of construction, functionality, etc.

3. Light output: color, quantity - now this would be harder - open for discussion. Unless the tests use the same measuring instruments or meters it would be just order of magnitude.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 08:23 AM   #13
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CN-160 v Z96

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockton Massey View Post
It now looks as if the 1200 LED light is being sold:

1200-LED Video Light for Studio Lighting With Dimmer - eBay (item 170520728176 end time Aug-28-10 17:32:26 PDT)

On a side note, I got my Pro 160-LED on Friday. I'll echo what everyone has said, it is light, flimsy and of dubious quality, but it does put out some light.

I'll post a side by side comparison with my Z96 when it arrives, hopefully, this week.
Stockton, how did the two lights compare?
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Old September 17th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
...Light output: color, quantity - now this would be harder - open for discussion. Unless the tests use the same measuring instruments or meters it would be just order of magnitude.
Take a 45' modular shipping container, paint the interior flat black, mount solar cells of a known efficiency against one end and run a rail down the center, then simply run the light up the rail until it's flat against the solar panels. Measure the electrical output in 1' intervals and graph the result.

Mind you manufacturers have ZERO interest in demystifying light output and making it possible to compare apples to apples.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #15
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Interesting concept Mark but it won't give you anything but a comparison between fixtures tested, no usefull photometrics. What your suggesting is essentially an anechoic chamber for light, the desire is to only record the original light source without any influence from reflected or incident light on the readings, an 8' wide painted box just ain't gonna do this for you. You would still get a good comparrison between fixtures because the testing environment is repeatable and controllable but it will not provide any data to compare with anyone elses data for comparisons outside your environment. If you look at the Creamsource website they have a similar LED testing method showing the results as a fun tool to view certain fixture side by side.
If you want to ramp up your idea add 45degree angled slats along your trailer walls angled back towards the source to kill most of the incident reflections.

Looking forward to your results.
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