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January 27, 2013

Fiilex Lights: Sub-$1000 LED Studio Lights With a Twist

LED studio lights keep making leaps and bounds in technological advancement, but the price of such lights has tended to remain relatively high. However the Fiilex P360 and the P200 FlexJet are two LED studio lights touting a high CRI at all color temperatures (and the ability to smoothly tune between them), an option to run on broadcast batteries, and a light/compact form factor, each costing less than $1000. The P200 also features a lighting tool you're not likely to find in other studio lights: fiber optics.

P360 Features:

  • High Intensity LED Light
  • Smooth Tunable Color Temperature
  • Single Point Dense Matrix LED Light Source
  • High CRI at all Color Temperatures
  • Lightweight, Compact, Easy for Travel
  • Low Power Consumption (90W Max.)
  • Advanced Vapor Cooling System
  • Compatible with Broadcast Batteries

The P200 FlexJet's features are essentially the same as the P360, except that the maximum power consumption is 60W, it has 8 different color settings (3200K Tungsten, 4500K Metal Halide, 5600K Daylight, Magenta, Yellow, Aqua, Cyan, and Blue), and can mount fiber optic accessories.

Now you probably noticed that in the above video all of the lights used were pretty close to the subjects, and with good reason. A quick comparison of the photometric data of the P360 and the Arri 300W Plus Fresnel, shows the P360 giving off a little over a third to almost half the footcandles (depending on the color temperature setting) of the Arri when adjusted as a spotlight, and roughly one-third the footcandles as a flood light. The P360's ability to focus light also seems more limited than the Arri. So unless you're lighting a fairly close shot, the P360 probably isn't a good candidate to be your key light. And unfortunately, there was no photometric data on the Fiilex website for the P200 FlexJet, but regardless it looks like it's designed to be used as a fill light.

OK, so these lights aren't going to supplant most of the lights in a typical tungsten kit, but in what situations would they be useful? The P360 looks like it would be a good choice as a basic portable fill/hair light on both interior and exterior shoots, and to light subjects in confined spaces (such as car interiors), or act as a light source coming from a confined space (think something akin to the suitcase in Pulp Fiction). The P200 FlexJet -- while ostensibly a less powerful light source than the P360 -- offers even more flexibility in the aforementioned applications, with the ability to choose a wider range of colors, shape the light in multiple ways, and to channel the light to a specific location with the fiber optic attachments. The Fillex website also suggests using the fiber optic attachments for underwater lighting and light painting.

These lights aren't widely available just yet. As of this writing, the only place I can find that is offering them is Samy's Camera, and currently they're only taking pre-orders. The P360 will run you about $700 and the P200 FlexJet is going for $800 (no word yet on how much the softbox, fresnel lens, or fiber optic attachments will cost).

What do you think of Fiilex's LED lights? Would they be a useful addition to your light kit?

Link: Fiilex LED Lights

[via Cinescopophilia]

Your Comment

26 Comments

Saw this video last week or something ..... I'm buying these for sure . All of my small fixture lights are LED I refuse to buy any incandescent lights. We have a few HMI's 2.5's and 4k as soon as LED gets to that stage with proper fall off etc at decent prices those HMI's are gone.

Only light I'm looking at otherwise is a bresie light

January 27, 2013

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Nigel Thompson

Nila's are great but not controllable enough. I'll still buy them in a heartbeat

January 27, 2013

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Nigel Thompson

nice! take my money

January 27, 2013

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gerald

The light output seems quite low. For the price, they wouldn't be worth my money.

January 27, 2013

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FabDex

These are incredibly versatile, but FabDex has a point -- $1000 is way out of range for me given their output.

January 27, 2013

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DIYFilmSchool.net

i don´t know...
my 50cents: i think skintones are looking like dead fish with led lighting. also the light output is very low.

January 27, 2013

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chris d

You're right on the money. As most people on this site probably know already, LEDs aren't full spectrum. That's why tungsten lamps and sunlight (and, to a degree, HMI's) look so much better than anything else. Then again, I feel the same way about film vs digital.

January 27, 2013

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jonathan

Agree 100%. Though small and portable they will NOT be able to give soft skin tone like a KinoFlo.

Great for some things, but not for models, actresses etc.

January 27, 2013

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jordan carr

the softness of the kinoflo fixtures is due to the large light source (those long lamps). you could get the same softness (though, probably, with less strength) by putting one of these leds through a diffusion frame. it's not exact, but you could approximate the quality, no?

now, skin tones from an led should not be too dissimilar to a cfl source, such as a kinoflo, both having non-continuous light spectrums. perhaps even worse on kino's part, being a bit spikier.

there is something to be said for the convenience of these fixtures/lamps, but none of them look as good as tungsten.

January 27, 2013

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jonathan

Maybe, but Rosco tried this with their light pads - pointing LEDs inward to throw light through a larger diffused surface. It was "ok" when I used them but still no KinoFlo. They lost so much power going through the diffused surface that they would only work when placed REALLY close to the on set talent.

While I haven't seen these in action so I really can't comment on their CRI, it will still be a hard sell vs a decent KinoFlo setup (BarFly etc). Hate how fragile CFLs are but they produce such amazing soft light - it is obvious why directors like David Fincher use them so much.

January 27, 2013

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jordan carr

KinFlo themselves makes an LED panel now where the LEDs light a diffusion screen and the output is really soft and even. I saw it on the IBC last year, the color reproduction also looked really nice for LEDs plus you could dial in any color temperature from 2700 to 7000.
I didn't ask the price but I guess it is pretty costly and doesn't have too much output.

However, LEDs are getting better and better by the day. I was in a restaurant today that had new consumer LED lighting fixtures, and the light already looked a lot better than all the consumer fluorescent bulbs I have seen in my life.
LEDs are able to put out a much nicer and broader spectrum than fluorescent lights, the only problem is that for them to have a really good CRI, their output isn't that good anymore. But they will get there in a few years, I am sure.

Up until now, I am still using a halogen even as an on-camera light, using a small LED light as a hair-light or kicker mostly, sometimes as a dayilight fill. But whenever I need the on-camera light as a main light source, the halogen still just looks better in peoples faces.

February 1, 2013

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Heiko

And by "fibre optics" you mean "lightsabers"? :p

January 27, 2013

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Luke

I'm as broke as it gets, I use 10W and 30W LED floodlights. I know they are very far from being suitable, but they light, they are cheap, lightweight and don't consume much electricity.

January 27, 2013

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maghoxfr

Cool lights but they could go easy on the strobe transitions... It was like watching a Japanese TV show

January 27, 2013

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While these don't really do it for me as far as output vs cost, I'm really excited to see where this technology will be in ever 2 or 3 years.

January 27, 2013

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alex

I don't think these lights should replace your usual fixtures but supplement them. It's part of the transition to LED . Of course these wont replace your HMIs. And for proper skin tones spend the money and get yourself one of the ARRI L7 series but that tube lite thingamabob is quite innovative and the other can be quite useful in many situations. And the Beaty about all these new lights.
Nila , PRG HS, 1x1s, the ones above and Arri L7 is that they can ALL run off of my 6500W generator at the same time ...... Saving me time and money

January 28, 2013

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Nigel Thompson

if they were five times more powerful i would consider them.

January 30, 2013

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What kind of a satanic video is that. Take that crap off man you are putting evil images into my mind.

January 31, 2013

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Dylan

After watching the video I don't see any advantage to using these lights at all. There are better solutions lets see what happens down the road. The power is way off for the money.

January 31, 2013

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Gary Simmons

Um. . . no. "Affordable" LED light sources for motion pictures are still quite a nightmare. LEDs have sort of exploited the flaws in CRI numbers, and while terms like "high CRI" sound great, how hard is it to just give the number? The major manufacturers (Phillips, Osram, etc.) have sunk tons of money into LED's and the problems in getting a usable, consistent, full spectrum output mean only those with a lot of R & D to invest are going to be making anything that will show up on the set of a DP who understands light and color. Sure, you can buy LEDs at the hardware store, make your own lights, and get an image. When your talent's flesh looks like a dead fish, the red dress is magenta, and the green wallpaper is teal, you'll know there's a problem. If you don't see a problem, hey, keep shooting stuff like this goofy demo and your mom will always think you're a genius (although even she might think it's a bit creepy). More relevant to most in this forum is that the very specific output of any cheap LED is going to vary color rendition depending on your camera, and it's settings. You can figure out how your camera renders your LED light, but don't be surprised when the exact same light with more or less hours is very different, even though you couldn't tell by eye. And don't be surprised when a second camera sees each LED light quite differently. And don't be surprised when two LED lights will not match in color. LEDs will change color with the air temp, and if they can't heat sink properly, they're going to be way off. The promise of LED is exciting, and the Live Event people are loving them (though the video crews for those live events are not). But there is no accurate, predictable, color from inexpensive LEDs. Before you buy any LED online find out how much noise it makes.

February 1, 2013

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Russell Steen

Yes, the stage people love their new LED toys and they do so much not care about color temperature and color rendition, it is horrible.

I was operating the camera for a big screen at an event lately and was told the main lights on the stage were still halogen. However, they used so many different LED lights that also hit the people on stage that I manually had to crank my white balance to around 3800 with more reds and less green to get a half way decent looking picture on the screen...

As for white balancing the old fashioned way, I would not even have known where to start because every light looked different and every stage mood essentially had a totally different color temperature and CRI.

The stage guys just don't care, just like they don't care that in the middle front of the stage it is 4 stops brighter than just a few steps back and left - but that's another story that doesn't have to do with LED lights... ;)

February 1, 2013

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Heiko

I do a fair amount of band shooting, as well as press release type of events, and it's just a hodgepodge these days. It's a mess! These is such a mix of sources and color temperatures, and the cheaper clubs LED's flicker badly. And in my experience with LED, when you're given mixed sources, that's when their flaws become more apparent. You can't gel to color correct in those situations a lot of the time, even with better brand "high CRI" stuff like the Roscos. (This is especially funny to me considering their longstanding reputation as a gel manufacturer!).

I still avoid LEDs whenever I can, but when you have to travel by plane, it's so much cheaper and easier, especially when those types of projects where you fly with lighting equipment, it's just interviews. Those Roscos don't need sandbags, but I don't use any kinoflos that light (well, actually, I guess I do---I use the a 9" miniflo fairly often as an eyelight or fill).

February 6, 2013

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Daniel Mimura

I'm not interested in this light in any way (see my above comment and many other comments on nfs about LED), but the fiber optic thing has huge potential for shapeable specular highlights and specialized shapes of light without resorting to cucoloris or black wrap (subtractive instead of additive) light. I wonder how it would work to use fiber optic cables and shine small fresnels or spotty lights like surefire flashlights through them.

February 6, 2013

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Daniel Mimura

This looks really promising. I just switched over to 5w LEDs to 50w halogens spots at home and the output is virtually identical. Made me curious if someone was making a product like this for photo and video lighting. Will have to give one a spin...

March 2, 2013

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Lavonne

April 14, 2013

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I love the P360. I use it for Hollywood glamour 1930s style head shots. I have the Fresnel and diffusion cup. Using a small boom, I place the light high and in front of the model at about 3 feet from her face. Looks like the old Hurrell style of photography. The light is bright in a dark studio with plenty of light at 3 feet from the model's face. I love the dimmer knob which fine tunes the output. I can warm it up by turning the other knob to the correct Kelvin temperature. In low key situations, the light is great and separates a model from the rest of the background. I use a second P360 from the high rear position to light the hair and separate the subject from the dark background. This is my dream light in such situations.

July 6, 2014

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Tony M.