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Old December 17th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Cool Lights CL-LED600, Dimmable or not?

I'm about to pull the trigger on a nice set of Cool Lights CL-LED600's and an LED 256. The actual package will consist of 2 LED600 spots with soft boxes, 1 LED600 flood and 1 LED 256. My conundrum is, do I wait for the dimmable 600's to be restocked, or is there enough control already with the 5 selectable banks? I have some Kino Flos with selectable banks and that function is essentially the same as a dimmer in my mind, just without the infinite range. Thoughts?
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Old December 18th, 2010, 06:17 AM   #2
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I didn't realize they made a non-dimmable model. swank!

I only dim my 600s as a last resort. All LEDs shift a bit and the more you dim, the more the green spike seems to show up.

That said, my leds are almost always the first thing out of the truck because directors/dps love the ability to control exactly how much hair/fill they want. If its not urgent, I think the versatility is worth a bit of a wait.

However, you can totally accomplish the same thing with bank switching and moving the light forward and backwards. Might not be as elegant, but still. As non-committal as it is... it does depend on how you shoot.

If you put it in a soft box, i don't think you'd bother with the dimmer. Thats could just be me, though.

Cheers!
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Old December 18th, 2010, 06:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for your response. You've confirmed my suspicions about the dimmers. I have them for my tungsten lights, but they don't have selectable banks! BTW, the non-dimmable lights are $50 cheaper...or, the dimmable lights are only $50 more. It's a matter of perspective.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response. I use dimmers for my tungsten lights, and my flos have selectable banks, and both serve the same purpose...combined with a little clever moving of instruments.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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I have two of the LED600s with the dimmers. That said, I always try to avoid using the dimmers as I too sense the green spike and color shift that comes out more when you dim, I use the bank switches and life is good. If I was buying today, I would skip the dimmers.

In a softbox, with an LED600, you always need the maximum output so dimmer is not needed when used with softbox or at least it hasn't ever been needed by me.

Dan
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Old December 19th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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Thanks Dan. The whole prospect of the increased green spike with the dimmers is defintiely steering me away from the dimmable lights.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #7
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My new LED's came in today. I'll post a review soon, but my immediate ompson it's that they are really well made and throw off some nice light.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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One minor hiccup

Well...we used our Cool Light LED's for the first time today. Overall, they worked quite well. Of the five we bought, we used two 600 floods and a 600 spot in conjunction with a few 2K tungsten tubs. Of course, we used the CTO filters the LED's come with and they looked pretty good. The advantages are they are lightweight, compact and draw very little power. The one major disadvantage is that the light does drop off quickly, but the throw is more than adequate for what we need. As other posters have pointed out, the barn doors while useful, are not nearly as efficient as they are on a traditional lighting instruments, because you're dealing with hundreds of light sources. So, at a certain point, you start to see shadows from the individual bulbs.

I did have ONE minor issue with one of the flood lights though. After being on for a while, three of the LED's failed to illuminate. Mind you, this was the first time the lights had actually been used, so I was a bit concerned. i made a quick call to Cool Lights and I was told to send an email and they would send me a prepaid shipping form so they could fix or replace it. The bulbs did flicker on and off a few times, so I'm inclined to believe it's a bad solder, rather than bad bulbs. I sent the email and I'm awaiting their response. I'll keep you posted.

Overall though, I'm still impressed at the build of the units, their functioning and the overall value these instruments represent.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 09:09 PM   #9
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Talk about service!

Well, I've already received an email from Richard Andrewski at Cool Lights with an RMA and instructions on how to send my problem light back for service, at their cost. The most amazong thing is that I sent my email LATE Friday afternoon and got his email today, on a SUNDAY! It seems he doesn't take a day off. Now that's customer service!
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Old January 25th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #10
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Quick update...the guys at Cool Lights are awesome to work with and very responsive to any issues. The lights themselves have been a dream to work with and look great on camera. The size, portability and ease of use make these our new "go to" lights in our kit. Oh, and did I mention the price? They're a steal for what you can do with them.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Caputo View Post
Well, I've already received an email from Richard Andrewski at Cool Lights with an RMA and instructions on how to send my problem light back for service, at their cost. The most amazong thing is that I sent my email LATE Friday afternoon and got his email today, on a SUNDAY! It seems he doesn't take a day off. Now that's customer service!
+1 for their customer service, I've had a few dealings myself, and they have been nothing but awesome!!
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Old February 12th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #12
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With my 600s there are two ways to reduce the light.
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Originally Posted by Andrew Dean View Post
I only dim my 600s as a last resort. All LEDs shift a bit and the more you dim, the more the green spike seems to show up.
There is the knob on the bottom that will vary the light output to all the LEDs, and then there are some rocker switches that will turn off rows of LEDs without causing any dimming.

So the question is, if one uses the rocker switches while leaving the LEDs at full power but just turn off some rows of LEDs, would the light color/temperature still shift?
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Old February 12th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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No shift at all with bank selects.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #14
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Advantage with the CL-LED600 "Dimmable"

That's what I thought - that there wouldn't be any difference with color temperature - but sometimes what seems intuitive isn't necessarily so and that's why I asked the question.

So that's one major advantage of having the dimmable version - that one doesn't have to mess around with light balancing.

The rocker switches provide quite a few variations in light output without having to move the fixture.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 03:17 PM   #15
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just to clarify...

The green spike becomes an issue the more you dim. Or, conversely, it doesn't show up much at all when you just dim a little bit.

I'd say that you can dim about 20% without any significant green shift. If i need to dim more than that, i flick off a bank. In this way you can dial in a very precise amount of light through most of the range of the fixture. If i were buying again, i'd definitely opt for the dimming model. There have been enough times I've needed "just a tad less/more" that $50 is totally worth it to me. Another less common scenario is if you are lighting up a car interior at night. In that close proximity, full power, even on one bank, is often too much. Plus, the shadows became too obvious with only one bank. It worked out much better to turn on all the banks and dim down to a faint glow. It approximated a dashboard light very effectively. (and in that context the green spike looks correct anyways)

If I couldn't dim, i could totally find another solution, but I do think the dimming is handy to have as an option. Of course, now that I think about it, i opted not to get the dimming models on my fluoros for color reasons... so I guess I don't take my own advise.
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