Working With the Litepanels Astra 1×1

Working With the Litepanels Astra 1×1

1×1 LED light panels have become an integral part of my daily workflow.  While I’m very happy with the light weight, convenience of being able to work with battery power and the versatility that bi-color fixtures afford, I’ve always wished I could get more power out of the fixtures.  Recently Litepanels, the first name in 1×1 LED lights, introduces their latest 1×1, the Astra.  The Astra is a bi-color 1×1 LED offering 4 times the light output of traditional 1×1’s. The all new design incorporates an angled yoke which allows for greater tilt range. Integrated into the yoke is a holder for the power supply and optional battery mount. (A necessary option in my book) The increased power requires a fan to help cool the light’s components. Although the fan is extremely silent, there is an option to switch have the fan to completely operation.  While in the passive cooling mode. The light output is reduced to about 2 times that of a typical 1×1.  At a price just a few hundred dollars more than the old version of the Litepanels 1×1 bi-color, I’ll certainly be exploring what working with the Litepanels Astra 1×1 is really like.


  • Output is up to 4X brighter than traditional LED panels
    – High performance LEDs with custom paired optics
    – Higher intensity = Longer throw = Wider effective beam spread
  • Superior color reproduction
    – High color rendition (CRI)
    – Adjustable (daylight to tungsten), accurate color temperatures
  • Efficient thermal management with user selectable dual cooling mode
    – Completely silent passive cooling mode
    – Ultra-quiet active cooling mode with double light output
  • Ultra-smooth dimming from 100% to 0
    – No noticeable color shift throughout the entire range
    – Flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle
  • Flexible, modular concept
    – Optional communications module allows the brightness, color temperature, and cooling mode to be controlled via DMX512 protocol (Additional module options under development)
    – Optional yoke mounted Gold Mount® or V-Mount battery plates
    – Field replaceable fan module and external power supply
  • Modern fixture design
    – Easily identifiable and ergonomic manual controls for dimming, color, and power status
    – Aluminum I-beam core construction to provide maximum durability and superior thermal management
    – Aluminum accessory mounting points and lens/filter rails
    – End cap exhaust vents angle downward to direct air flow away from the fixture and help prevent foreign material from entering
    – Durable, industry standard 3-pin XLR locking power connector
  • Custom curved yoke design
    – Wide, unobstructed tilt range
    – Yoke mounted power supply and optional battery plates with dual integrated cable guides
    – Removable TVMP connector for flexible mounting options
    – Two alternate ¼-20 mounting points

For more info visit Litepanels.

Hive Lighting Introduces the Bee Daylight Plasma Light

Hive Lighting Introduces the Bee Daylight Plasma Light

NAB 2014 – Hive Lighting introduces the Bee, daylight plasma light. Plasma lights are a mix of the high efficiency of an LED with the high light output of an HMI. The newest product from the leader in plasma lighting is the, “Bee”.  The Bee is basically an open face daylight source that comes in a 11lb. 1’x1′ package.  It’s output is comparable to a Mighty, but with a lot less heat.  One of the really nice features is the tunable daylight color adjustments that  allow you to select a color temp somewhere between 4800K and 6500K.

A complete kit including ballast, barndoors, scrims and a stand will set you back less than $3000.

Check it out.

For more info visit



Zylight Joins Forces with Ushio America

Zylight Joins Forces with Ushio America

F8 new photo 1 23 14 JPGInnovative Zylight Selected for Investment and Support from Lighting Leader Ushio America

LOS ANGELES – January 23, 2014 – Zylight LLC., a privately-owned manufacturer of intelligent LED lighting instruments for the cinema and broadcast production industries was selected by specialty and general market lighting leaderUshio America, Inc. to receive a strategic investment that brings additional funding and infrastructure support to Zylight.

“This partnership allows Zylight to accelerate our speed in bringing innovations to our customers,” said Joe Arnao, President, Zylight. “We’re thrilled at the confidence Ushio has shown in us, selecting our technology above all others to drive their entry into the broadcast lighting market. We’ve always been confident in the value and benefits of our innovative instruments. With the resources and stature of Ushio behind us, we’re excited about the future and in our expanded level of service we’ll offer customers.”

Founded in 2003, Zylight is known for its many technological firsts, including: wireless and remote lighting control; High-Density light-emitting diode (HD-led™) for the brightest, most natural lighting available in a compact LED; Color Mode for the production of millions of colors without gels or filters; and its collapsible F8 LED Fresnel with quantum dot technology. Zylight is based in Los Angeles.  The company will continue to operate independently under the Zylight name and assemble products in the USA.

Zylight pioneered several solid state lighting instrument platforms and wireless integration technology. The company’s patented products have been used in extreme conditions from the deserts of Africa to the frigid summit of Mount Everest and many places in between.

Started in 1967, Ushio America is one of the world’s largest specialty lighting companies and has a leadership position in several markets such as SSTV, Digital Cinema, Scientific and Medical, Video Projection, UV Curing and Semiconductor. Ushio America has over 4,000 products in its portfolio, from unique specialty light sources to general illumination lamps for architectural and task lighting.

According to Keith SanGiacomo, General Manager, Marketing and New Business Development for Ushio America, Inc., “The investment in Zylight brings the solid financial and technological backing of Ushio together with Zylight’s leading edge technology. The Zylight products speak for themselves in terms of innovation, advanced technology and value to our customers, and we’re excited about the new offerings and

future developments. This strategic partnership not only provides Ushio with an expanded offering in the entertainment fixture market, but also allows us access to Zylight’s innovative technology for applications in other market segments as well.”

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Video review: Airbox lights inflatable softbox for 1×1 LED panel lights

Video review: Airbox lights inflatable softbox for 1×1 LED panel lights

Airbox Lights 1×1 Inflatable Soft Box Review from Matthew Allard on Vimeo.

LED lights are showing up on just about every set these days and the LED 1×1 has got to be the most ubiquitous model out there. Just about every light manufacture, all over the world offers a 1×1.  As convenient as these lights can be, the one big complaint of this popular style of light is that it can be a bit harsh.  There are all kinds of ways to soften a 1×1 and Airbox has yet another offering.  Matthew Allard of has done a very nice, detailed review of the Airbox lights inflatable softbox for 1×1 LED panel lights.

Joker Boxes – Utility Apple Box

Joker Boxes – Utility Apple Box

We all know that great productions can require a lot of gear. Its important that the gear not only be effective but efficient as well. DP Ben Mesker found away to get even more utility out of one on film production most ubiquitous tool – the Apple Box.

Mesker invented the Joker Box.  Think of the the Joker Box an evolution of the a basic stage box.  The most basic improvement is when stacked, these boxes interlock, making for safer more stable stacking during transport or when using a stack to support weight. The real improvement is inside the  box. Unlike typical apple boxes, the Joker Boxes have a removable lid (actaully 5 lid types, but I’ll cover a that later) that exposes an interior storage area that  can be configured with dividers and internal organizational bins. There are 3 box styles.  Two large boxes, the “Flex” and the “Grip” and a smaller “Half.”  The Flex is designed for the greatest variety of configurations while the Grip is outfitted specifically for organizing all your grip gear and tools.

Joker Boxes offer 5 types of lids that add utility to the package.

  • The Basic Lid is just that – a flat pancake of plywood that contains the contents of the box, but can also be used for situations that require a flat rigid surface.
  • The Clipboard Lid is just like the Basic Lid, but adds a clip to one end for holding papers.
  • The Big Pigeon adds the ability to attach a baby stud and functions as a large pigeon plate light stands.  Mesker designed it with large circle cutouts in the corners to allow for a variety of mounting options.
  • The Split Pigeon divides the lid into two smaller versions of the Big Pigeon.
  • The Slate/Pigeon replaces one the smaller pigeons with a handy insert slate.

For information on pricing and dimensions, check them out at

Area 48 – New Approach to Portable LED Lighting

Area 48 – New Approach to Portable LED Lighting

BBS Lighting AREA 48 LED from Visual Buddha on Vimeo.

BBS_Area_48_ON_Right_Angle_Tungsten_largeIf you can endure this kinda silly video, you’ll learn a little something about very interesting new portable LED fixture.  The Area 48 is a small and light weight LED source that employs remote phosphor technology to produce a very soft a flattering quality of light.  With the ability to be powered by a pro camera battery and the choice of various daylight, tungsten and pure green phosphors, this proves to be a very versatile unit.

$2995 – BBS Lighting

Area 48 Fixture Includes:

  • 3200K or 5600K High CRI Phosphor Panel
  • Integrated Barndoors
  • Angled Yoke with 5/8″ Female Baby Pin TVMP
  • 160 Watt Power Supply & AC Power CordAccessories:
  • Chroma Green 525n, 95 CRI 2700k , 97 CRI 3200k, 95 CRI 4300k, 96 CRI 5600k and 95 CRI 6500k Phosphor Panels
  • V-lock Battery Plate or Gold Mount (AB) Battery Plate
  • Dop Choice 40 degree Snapgrid
  • Dop Choice Snapbox including diffuser
  • Dop Choice Snapgrid XS for Snapbox
  • 160 watt external power supply for Area 48 ( 4 pin xlr)
  • Canvas Carrying Cases for 1 or 2 units
  • Phosphor Panel Pouch
  • Universal AC power cords

Area 48 Features:

  • Ultra High CRI, 95 CRI 2700k / 97 CRI 3200k / 95 CRI 4300k / 96 CRI 5600k / 95 CRI 6500k
  • Extremely High Light Output
  • Excellent Shadow Rendering
  • Flicker-Free Dimming from 0 – 100%
  • 8 / 16 Bit Dimming 0-100%
  • Special Effects Strobing Mode
  • Silent Operation (no fan)
  • V-Mount or Gold Mount (AB) Battery options
  • Internal DMX 512 for remote control
  • 4 Pin XLR for Power / Power + DMX
  • Very Compact Versatile Unit



  • AC Power: 100 – 240V50/60 Hz
  • Max Power Consumption 150W
  • Battery Operational Voltage Range: 12V– 20V


  • Premium LED Array – 50K hour life


  • Manual or internal DMX512
  • DMX in/out for Daisy-Chaining
  • 8 / 16 Bit Dimming 0 – 100%
  • Up to 4 Control Channels in 16 Bit
  • Mode, Selectable via Digital Display


  • W: 356mm/13.97”
  • H: 275mm/10.82”
  • D: 115mm/ 4.53”
  • Weight: 3.6 kg / 7.94 lbs
  • Weight: 3.6 kg / 7.94 lbs


  • Ambient Operating Temperature: 0-40°C / 0-104°F