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Insteon’s New LED Bulb is Dimmable and Wirelessly Controllable. But is it a Good Practical Light?

06.27.12 @ 3:35PM Tags : , , , , ,

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about The Kick camera light and what it’s features could mean for the future of studio lighting, one of which was the possibility of controlling the attributes of multiple lights from a smart phone . While this is a feature that hasn’t yet come to pass for studio lights, it is starting to appear in practicals:

On the surface, this looks kind of cool: a wirelessly controllable, dimmable LED bulb that, according to the product website, has an operating range of 50 meters.


But since this bulb is aimed at the home automation market and not filmmakers, it seems that some important details have been left out. Firstly, the video shows the bulb giving off a warm white light, but unfortunately I can’t find any information on the bulb’s color temperature or CRI values so there’s no way to know how well this will match up with other studio lights. Nor is there any information listed about lumen output (just that it’s supposed to be a 60W equivalent), or the bulb’s refresh rate (is the bulb is flicker free or was the camera that shot the promo using syncro scan?). Secondly, according to the product website the bulb “emits a subtle buzzing noise that is barely noticeable. However, when several bulbs are installed in a single location, the buzzing may become more apparent.” As anyone who’s done sound recording knows, what is subtle to the ear can be quite pronounced to a mic, so using these bulbs on set could possibly create issues if you’re trying to get a clean sound recording.

To me it seems there are too many unknowns at this point to determine whether or not this bulb would be useful as a practical light, but if you decide to take the plunge and try it out, Insteon’s LED bulb will run you about $30 (as of this writing it’s currently backordered until the end of July), but you will also need their $100 SmartLinc Hub connected to a router in order to control them with iOS or Android.

Link: Insteon LED Bulb

Via: [Cinescopophilia]

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  • Thanks Justin .
    can you please explain more about syncro scan in camera ?

    • Justin Minich on 07.5.12 @ 3:15PM

      Hi hamid,

      The syncro scan setting is used to sync up a camera’s shutter with the refresh rates of light sources such as computer monitors, older fluorescent lights, and LED’s in order to eliminate flickering.

  • I have yet to see an LED for the home market that has acceptable CRI.
    Most affordable LED bulbs have such bad CRI that it hurts your eyes, you don’t even have to look through the camera. There are better LEDs on the market, like the ones used in professional gear, but I am still not convinced by LED lighting in terms of CRI

  • Daniel Mimura on 07.4.12 @ 2:55AM

    The refresh rate is almost always awful with non-photographic LEDs. And many of those are awful too.

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