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Old April 23rd, 2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Hi.
Right away I must say that I am not the most talented person when it comes to lighting a set or scene or interview. I do believe however that light can bring magic and life to a scene and I hope to learn more. I actually enjoy learning more.

I have been thinking about building a good lighting set and the choices out there are overwhelming to say the least.

However I understand that Litepanels produce some of the finest tools for the task. I will try to explain what I am after. Portability is a key and a must for me, as I mostly work alone. Short setup time and no heat would be nice. I understand that LED lights are a lot cooler than my current Halogen lights.

As a documentarist I find myself in a lot of different places, each of them with different challenges when it comes to light. Sometimes I would like to add more light to a living room, office, hallway or even on an old boat that I am working on right now as part of my new documentary. Other times I need to shoot an interview at the same time, as I often don`t get the chance to go back.

I have been looking at the Litepanels 1x1 LS flood daylight 5600K as my main light and Sola Eng or Micro Pro panels as extra lights. For stands I have been looking at Manfrotto 5001B Nano stands. I would also prefer the option of battery operated lightsas I dont`t want to mess wict powercables if I can avoid it.

Is what I am asking to much or perhaps I am starting out in the wrong direction? Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Svein,

I would highly recommend Doug Jensen's DVD on LED lighting.

I think it will resolve many of your doubts, and is an excellent training resource.

How to Set up and Shoot Awesome Interviews with LED Lights

http://www.dvinfo.net/article/produc...tex-media.html
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

+1 on Dougs DVDs. Worth the cost and will definitely help you out in so many ways!
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Zylight z90 is a fantastic light. It includes remote control capability so you can adjust it from your camera. Best of all is that color temperature is adjustable without affecting brightness.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:44 PM   #5
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Svein...I have to add my vote for Doug Jensen's "LED Interview" training DVD. It's a great training tool and so much more. I just watched again for the sixth or seventh time and every-time I do, I catch another tid-bit of information I missed during the previous viewings. FYI, Doug has an earlier version of the training DVD, using a Tungsten light kit.

Based on the 'LED' training DVD, I purchased the 'LitePanels' kit recommended in the DVD. That is with a slight variation. I did not purchase the L-P Bi-Color Flood, instead opting for the the standard 1x1 Flood. All operate on 'battery' power which is a great feature. I remember the days of 'hot lights' and I don't miss those days at all.

I warn you, the price, will make you take a breath. Although, I suspect you have already discovered that and gotten past it. Besides, when you consider the longevity of the 'LED' bulbs, replacing burned out bulbs, power consumption and not having to trip-over electrical cords, I think LEDs are the 'answer'. Again, this is JMHO, YMMV.

Good hunting,

J.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #6
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Paul, Don, James,

Thanks for the plug. It's always great to hear that one of my training videos hit the mark!

Doug
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 01:36 AM   #7
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Hi all.
I have just ordered Mr. Jensen`s DVD as suggested. I have bought training DVDs from Vortex media before and they are really well produced. It looks like a good starting point.

Thank you to all of you for pointing me in the right direction. I am looking forward to watching the DVD.

I was pretty set on Litepanels but have widened my choices to Ikan, Zylight and Litepanels. It would be nice to go to a show where one could actually see the lights. It is one thing reading the specs and looking at small images on the web, entirely different to watch and touch them in real life. The best feedback and reports however is from people who actually use them on a regular basis.

Last edited by Svein Rune Skilnand; May 2nd, 2013 at 01:42 AM. Reason: added txt
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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:01 PM   #8
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

First off, it sounds like you're going in the right direction, not the wrong one. I shoot with a kit like the one you're describing all the time. On jobs where I'm alone and I'm not really supposed to do any lighting, I still bring a couple 1x1 Litepanels, a Switronix TorchLED tl200, and sometimes one or two other smaller LEDs. An LED-only kit is great for documentary work or single-shooter work. The convenience of batteries is really major. For stands I bring two super lightweight Impact stands from b&H and a mini-tripod style stand that's Ultrapod brand. That one is great for stashing a little light up on top of something really quickly. It also folds up really small.

Lights:
I like what I've got OK, but if I were you I would check out Cineroid.com. Their LEDs aren't the cheapest, but they are much MUCH brighter than most others, Litepanels included. here's a vid: News Shooter | NAB 2013: Cineroid Retina EVF, LED light and pattern generator

I played with their lights at NAB, and the color is really good, 90 and 95 CRI for their daylight and tungsten LEDs. They also pack very small. And so bright! The light quality of all of these LED lights can be problematic; When you want it bigger and therefore softer, you should check out Airboxlights.com's inflatable softboxes. (disclosure: I designed the Airbox softboxes)

F&V light seems to have some of the best quality for the price; I like their products. Good values. Something like about 1000$ for three 1x1 panels!! Litepanels products are still good, they are the industry standard, but you should really consider Cineroid and F&V.

The Switronix TorchLED is a good value small light. Pretty good color, really bright, color mixing, and it came with a battery. Good deal.

A blog post on this topic- Airboxlights.com and Conviction Films on Lighting for Film and Video: noteworthy lights from #NAB

Tom Guiney
DP, gaffer, inventor
Airboxlights.com
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 09:45 PM   #9
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

F&V lights are great. The build is good and the price is great. I'm also a big believer in just about any small LED that you can strap an AirBoxlighting portable soft box onto.

I do give the original Lite Panels 1x1 some extra points for having a good gel holder frame. It also will allow for the use of the Chimera,, Yes thats right Chimera makes a very nice soft box for the 1x1.

smaller F&V fixtures use nice magnets to hold the correction CTO plate and a diff plate onto the fixture.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #10
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Thanks all.

I have just finished watching Vortex Media`s DVD on how to set up and light and interview using LEDs.

That was one fantastic training DVD. It covered just about everything I wanted to know. Now I know how little I know about lighting an interview.

I want to buy a good lighting kit, however, I am not able to afford all the lights in the suggested package so here is what I have narrowed my choices down to that I can afford or think will work for me. Also considering what I am able to buy in Norway. Cost, weight and logistics are important to me.

One Litepanels Sola Eng as fill light ( also thinking of using this as an on- camera light when travelling or shooting news/ on the fly footage)
One Litepanels Chroma as backlight
One Swit S2100 LED panel bi color as Key light ( instead of Litepanels 1x1 5600K spot which I cannot afford at this point)

Or
Two Swit S2040 as filll light/ backlight
One Swit S2100 LED panel bi color as Key light.

Does this seem like a reasonable package? Is it possible to mix and match lights from different brands and get good/ great results?

I am thinking there may be times when I am not able to set up or even practical to carry a Swit S2100 or LP 1x1, so I would be going with the smaller lights for simple setup.

The Swit S2100 would also be used at times where there is little ambient light and I would need more to light up the room/ hall or wherever my job takes me.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 05:24 AM   #11
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Svein,

Thank you for the compliments on the DVD. Iím glad that you liked it.

I am not familiar with the Swit S2100,however, if it looks anything like the other Swit lights it is not large enough to function as a good key light. I would strongly recommend against using a Swit light as your key, and I also question the use of a Sola ENG as a fill light.

If you cannot afford a decent set of LED lights that will actually get the job done properly, then donít waste money on any LED lights at all. If you are on a tight budget go with traditional tungsten lighting. Youíll miss out on some of the advantages of LED lights, but youíll save a lot of money and get much better results than you will get with the wrong kinds of LED lights. Donít make the mistake of trading the convenience of LED lights for lousy results on-camera. What matters most is what is on the screen.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

Svein...Mr. Jensen's advice is consistent. When I first began to discuss the purchase of my current 'LitePanels LED' kit with Doug, he immediately 'qualified' his recommendation for an 'LED solution' by saying, if the 'cost' of a complete LED light kit is too much, go with the traditional Tungsten light kit. At a 5th of the cost, albeit not as convenient, you still have a lighting kit professionals have been using for decades to professionally light interviews, stills, etc. Having used 'hot lights' in the past, I made my decision, early on, to 'bite the bullet' and purchase a complete L-P LED kit, based on Doug's 'post DVD' recommendations. I have never regretted my decision.

Good hunting!

Best regards,

J.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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Re: Building a light kit with Litepanels LED, please help

The cheap stuff is really bad. Not only the quality of the light but the stability of the housings. The cheap ones will quickly break. and while they may still turn on they wont attach to the stands anymore, or the power cables will wiggle loose, or etc,,,,,,,,, There is a reason most of the Arri and Mole 1k and smaller light kits are still working and thats because when and I do mean when, they finally have issues, you can get parts to fix them.
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