Just as Cine Gear Expo 2012 is opening, Litepanels is unveiling a brand new line in their successful and award-winning 1x1 LED panel series. While the 1x1 panels have been coming down in price since their arrival, they certainly are not a budget solution in the world of lighting in terms of output. With the new LS line, they hope to address that very issue, while still providing the same durability and virtually heat-free operation.
Litepanels has undoubtedly been paying attention to all of the new players in the lighting game, and in response they've removed the studio functions (DMX and remote control dimming) from their 1x1 series in order to make a more wallet-friendly version. Here's a bit of info about the new lights from their press release:
Not only is the 1x1 LS compatible with all other 1x1 units, including use of the same accessories, gels and travel cases, but it retains many of the other trademark Litepanels characteristics such as low power draw (45 Watts) and Cool to the Touch™ heat-free operation. Light output by the 1x1 LS is flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle and dims from 100% to 0 without color shift. Available in daylight balanced flood (50° beam) or spot (30° beam), the 1x1 LS can be powered by an included AC adapter or by any Gold Mount or V-Mount professional battery so you can light anywhere and shoot everywhere.
At some point they may augment the new LS line with tungsten and bi-color versions, but for right now the two daylight-balanced panels will be the only two offered. The Litepanels 1x1 line is facing increasing competition from companies offering similar panels, and certainly they will see more competition in the coming years from new technologies, plasma being the most promising. There is no word on pricing yet, but if Litepanels wants to call this a budget line, these panels should be priced well under $1,000. The current going rate for the mono 1x1 panels is around $1,550, and with many more players in the market, this budget line will have to be priced accordingly to compete.
Just recently Litepanels was attempting to block the import of other LED film/video lighting fixtures into the United States from other countries. Hopefully they will continue moving in a productive manner and continue working to lower the cost of their current solutions, rather than eliminate other players from the game.
If you don't already own any of the old 1x1 panels, what price would entice you to purchase one of the new LS panels?