December 19, 2013

Introducing Strahlen: Professional LED Lights for Indie Filmmakers, Plus an Interview with Founder Andy Waplinger

These days, we seem to be at the beginning of an LED lighting revolution, and the future of the technology is certainly bright (dah-dun-chhh). However, the LED lighting solutions that are currently available on the market are either cheaply built, really difficult to modify, or they're just insanely expensive. Last year, Andy Waplinger, a freelance filmmaker out of San Diego, set out to create the perfect LED light for low-budget and professional filmmakers alike. He created Strahlen, and the company's first product, the ST-100, a ruggedly simplistic, yet incredibly powerful LED light is now available. I recently talked with Andy about the creation of these lights. Read on to see what Strahlen's all about.

Before we get into the interview with Andy, let's take a look at the Strahlen ST-100. Here's the campaign video:

Here are a few of the fantastic feature and spec photos:

Strahlen 1

Strahlen Creative Flexibility

Strahlen Build

Strahlen Design

Here are the specs of the ST-100:

Power Consumption:Color Rendering Index:

Color Temperature:

Beam Angle:

Lifespan:

Built-in Mounts:

Addt. Mount:

Light Mount:

Dimming Range:

Noise Output:

Size:

Weight:

Power Input:

Warranty:

100W90

Tungsten | Daylight | Bi-Color

110 degrees

50,000 hours

Bowens S-type | 3" Magnetic Attachment

Chimera 6.5"

Baby mount (5/8")

10-100%

18 dBa

16.5" x 7.5" x 5.5"

5.8lbs

90-305V AC, 47-63Hz

One year limited

And now that you've seen the basics of these wonderful little lights, here's the NFS interview with Strahlen founder, Andy Waplinger.

NFS: Give us a little bit of your background in film production.

Andy: I’ve been involved with film production since my early middle school days. I began working on our school’s morning TV broadcast in 6th grade and progressed throughout high school.

I originally intended to study electrical engineering but decided instead to pursue filmmaking. I went to a small liberal arts college, Juniata College, where I studied Digital Media Arts. While there I worked on and created several award-winning short pieces. I was also lucky enough to intern in the camera department on Showtime’s Weeds where I was slinging cable, swapping lenses, and grabbing coffee. It was the best hands-on experience I could’ve asked for, and I got to work with an exceptional crew on one of my favorite shows.

After graduating, I immediately moved to San Diego where I’ve been working as a freelance filmmaker/photographer.

NFS: Before you started Strahlen, you saw a deficiency in the LED video light market. What were some of the problems with the existing products on the market?

Andy: I was looking to upgrade my equipment with LED lights, so I began researching what was available. The lights I found tended to fall into three areas – they were too expensive, poorly made, or difficult to modify (or some combination of the three).

Since I have a background in electronics and mechanical design, I decided that I’d rather build my own lights so that I could get exactly what I wanted – LED lights that wouldn’t break the bank, could withstand the repeated abuse of a production environment, and could be modified with a wide variety of light modifiers.

NFS: How does the Strahlen ST-100 alleviate these problems?

Andy: I set out to build the ST-100 using three basic principles – flexibility, durability, and value.

The ST-100 is the most flexible light on the market. It has a Bowens S-type mount, which allows for budget-friendly light modifiers, and a magnetic mount built-in to attach a dome diffuser or fixed Fresnel. We’re also offering a Chimera 6.5” mount as an add-on, opening the door to a virtually limitless amount of possibilities.

The design of the ST-100 is made to be very robust thanks to its all-aluminum housing. We also don’t use any plastic in the construction, either - just durable, high-strength, lightweight aluminum all the way around.

The ST-100 also offers unmatched value. All of that flexibility and durability is packaged into a unit that starts at under $1000.

Strahlen Models

NFS: What separates the ST-100 from all of the other LED lights currently on the market?

Andy: In addition to the three items I just mentioned, the ST-100 also features:

-Silent cooling – the cooling system produces only 18dBa. You can hardly tell it’s running from even a foot away in a completely silent space. It won’t ruin your audio, ever.

-Integrated design – everything is completely integrated into the housing, so you don’t have an extra power supply to carry around. It also uses a standard AC power cable, which are available virtually everywhere.

-Industry standard models – the ST-100 comes in tungsten- and daylight-balanced models, as well as a bi-color model, which can go between tungsten or daylight at the flick of a switch.

-90 CRI – our LEDs are very close to an ideal light source (100 CRI). A broadcast engineer even took it upon himself to test our colorimetry against other major manufacturers, and we beat out everyone in the room.

NFS: Talk about the importance of CRI values in video lights.

Andy: Not all light sources are created equal. A light’s Color Rendering Index is crucial because it quantifies how well colors are rendered under a certain light compared to an ideal “black body radiator” (i.e. a tungsten filament).

You want your lights to have as high and consistent of a CRI as possible – this allows you to mix light sources without having to worry about poor color rendering or inconsistent looks.

We’ve used the ST-100 in a variety of mixed environments, and it has blended right in perfectly every time. Our demo reel shows several examples of the ST-100 in those mixed environments.

NFS: Talk about the design philosophy behind the ST-100, and talk about the importance of modularity in regards to light modification.

Andy: The design philosophy of the ST-100 is a combination of pragmatism and flexibility. It’s designed to be clean and confident with no frills, but still give you everything you need to create the look you desire.

Its combination of modifier attachments – S-type, magnetic, and Chimera – and ability to dim from 10-100% gives you the ability to modify the look and feel of the ST-100 to exactly suit your personal preferences.

NFS: Talk about the price of the ST-100. How does Strahlen provide more bang for buck than competing lights.

Andy: From its color quality to its modifiability to its construction, the ST-100 was designed with the overarching principle of providing the best possible value. The ST-100 breaks down the barriers of entry and allows filmmakers and photographers to enter into the LED market without having to worry about so many of the issues and limitations that plague other LED lights.

Our single LED models (ST-100T and ST-100D) are available during the campaign for only $800 a light, and our bi-color model (ST-100B) is available for $1200. Even at retail pricing ($999 and $1399, respectively), the ST-100 packs an incredible punch in value.

If you’re interested in testing the waters before jumping into full ownership of the ST-100, we’re offering a 2-week rental of our bi-color three light kit for just $500, shipped to and from anywhere in the US, anytime during 2014.

We’re also running two very limited specials that provide an even steeper discount on our 3 light kits of the ST-100T/D and ST-100B. There isn’t a better way to enter into the LED market.

Strahlen Perks

NFS: Anything else worth telling the NFS audience?

Andy: My goal is to empower others. I want to give others the freedom and flexibility that Strahlen has given me. I’m excited that Strahlen has matured to a point where that’s possible.

I work tirelessly on Strahlen (trust me, you can ask all of my friends and family) because I believe so strongly in what the ST-100 can bring to other filmmakers and photographers. Every day I work to make the ST-100 better than it was the day before.

My promise to those who choose to support Strahlen is that I won’t ever stop. Your feedback will always be heard and great ideas will always be implemented.

Join Strahlen and let’s light the future together.

---------------------------------

If you're interested in Strahlen LED lighting, make sure you head on over to their IndieGoGo campaign to see the rest of their promotional material and to get your very own ST-100.

What do you guys think? Does Strahlen fill a much-needed niche in the LED lighting market? And more importantly, are these lights priced right for independent filmmakers? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: Strahlen: LED Lights with Unparalleled Versatility -- IndieGoGo

Your Comment

63 Comments

Looks really nice, but at those prices, most indie filmmakers I know would be renting these. I personally would invest my limited funds in light-sensitive bodies and fast glass and buy smaller lights/rent a lighting package.

I wish him the best of luck though they look like an awesome, quality lighting solution.

December 19, 2013 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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We've positioned the lights to be right on the line of own vs. rent. We want to give filmmakers/photographers the opportunity to make a solid investment into high quality, flexible LED lights of their own without having to completely drain their bank account (or go into crippling debt). But we also want them to be readily available at rental houses nationwide at a competitive price.

As part of the campaign, we're offering a 2-week rental of our 3-light bi-color kit anytime in 2014. We'll ship it to and from anywhere in the US for free with a couple weeks notice. This way you can try out the ST-100 without having to make a purchase.

Thanks for the support! I'd love to see your name up on our Funders page, and be sure to share the campaign with everybody!

December 19, 2013 at 3:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I feel the prices are spot on!

These are priced around Kino Flo's which are industry standard and are much cheaper than HMIs for Daylight color temperature (yes I know HMI lights are wonderful, but not very affordable for low budget filmmaking.)

I would much rather pay this to get a durable, practical, high CRI light than pay less for a lower quality.

Very exciting product in my opinion.

December 19, 2013 at 4:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Morgan Simpson

I'm so glad that we're on the same page! You completely understand where we set our targets.

I'd love for you to pick up an ST-100 (or two, or three) for yourself! I think you'd really enjoy them.

Thanks for the support!

December 19, 2013 at 7:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Compared to the pricing on other options I like what I see Andy. I wish you success and am looking forward to buying from you.

December 20, 2013 at 1:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gary

Since I apparently can't respond to you directly, Gary, I'll reply here -

That's great! I hope that you'll be contributing to the campaign and getting the ST-100 for yourself!

December 20, 2013 at 8:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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What I can say...at those prices I cannot afford them... there its a cheaper alternative on China...very cheap and they do the same thing ;)

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/729571692/New_Arrival_Bi_color_100W_LE...

December 21, 2013 at 3:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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and..they look more professional also ;)

December 21, 2013 at 3:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Great idea and concept! Love the design and versatility of the lights. I got one question about CRI. What is the relationship between cri and the green cast very commonly found in led lights. Shouldn't it be that if the color rendering iindex is really high that colors are portrayed very accurate and there is no green spike in the lights? Or are these two independent things?

December 19, 2013 at 1:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Paul

Thanks, Paul! We're happy that you're a fan!

You're right, a high CRI does mean that the colors are portrayed accurately, which influences whether the dreaded green spike exists or not. That being said, a light's tint (green/magenta) is also separate from CRI.

We're using very high-quality, US-made LEDs that have some of the best color reproduction available and don't exhibit the dreaded green spike.

If you'd like to take a look at the colorimetry of the ST-100, hop over to our Info page (http://strahlenlights.com/info) and click on Just the Specs. We have our colorimetry data for both the tungsten and daylight models available for comparison.

December 19, 2013 at 2:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Thanks Andy for clarification. I was confused as I looked at the Demo Reel video posted in this article and it seemed that there is a green cast on talents... And good to hear about that ST-100 have such a good quality LEDs. Any other videos that any other ST-100 footage and can you tell me what light modifiers were used in Demo Reel?

December 19, 2013 at 3:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Paul

Absolutely, my pleasure!

There are a couple other videos that have used the ST-100, but they're in post at the moment and I don't have access to them yet. I could send you the links to the full-length videos that I had pulled some of the example clips from if you'd like.

The modifiers used in the video are:
"Leave" - 36" octobox
"Donor" - 36" octobox; Open face
"NSA Commercial" - 36" octobox
"Juniata" - 3'x4' softbox; Open face w/ barn doors
"Strahlen Campaign" - 36" octobox + open face w/ barn doors; snoot

December 19, 2013 at 7:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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HI andy.. I would really love to see a video showing how easy it is to set up these lights.. find/use softbox accessories, barndoors e.c.t. I imagine that using a standard socket would mean that it is easy to set up such things.. but I would like to see it all in action with easy of use e.c.t.
Would also be interesting to compare it side by side to a 500w tungsten to see the difference/similarities
Just a thought.. either way when I have the money for one the campaign will be most likely over.... but it's good to plan ahead.

December 20, 2013 at 11:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Hello!

I'll work on shooting some quick videos that show what you're looking for. It's always good to plan ahead!

In the meantime, you also might be able to find videos on YouTube that demonstrate how the Bowens S-type mount and Chimera mount work.

Thanks!

December 20, 2013 at 10:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brenton,

Here's a quick video showing how to use the standard Bowens mount - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHTaRSBLXGg

We'll have more videos in the coming weeks highlight some of the other items you're interested in.

Thanks!

December 22, 2013 at 11:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I like it, wonder if putting 800$ include free shipping internationally not just domestic for the US.

December 19, 2013 at 1:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The $800 includes free shipping only to the US, but if we have international buyers, we would absolutely subsidize the shipping costs as a thank you for supporting Strahlen!

December 19, 2013 at 2:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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this post feels a lot like an advertisement ...I appreciate letting people know about new products....but how about comparing them to other things on the market and talking about how they actually stack up.

9000 lumens is not that impressive to begin with. and 90CRI is also not the best situation.

December 19, 2013 at 2:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jon apple

This light looks very similar in concept to the Alzo 3000 LED. They share a lot of the same specs. I would love to see comparisons of the ST-100 vs similar lights like the Alzo 3000 LED before I would ever pony up $800 on an idiegogo campaign. One of the complaints against the Alzo is fan noise (they list it as 5db) interfering with audio. It would be great to hear some audio samples with this light seeing as it has a fan also and noise is always for interviews.

December 19, 2013 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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AdRath

I can promise you that these will never ruin your audio, especially in an interview setting.

Please email me at andy@strahlenlights.com and let me know what tests or information you'd like. I'd be happy to conduct additional testing for you and send over the results.

Thanks!

December 19, 2013 at 6:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Why not just take an inexpensive multi-bulb (5-9) contraption from the likes of Julius or Cowboy, replace their low end fluorescents with the high CRI LED's rated for the same wattage and just be done with it? Granted, this is a hard light but there are a ton of Fresnels available too.

December 19, 2013 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Look pretty nice. For my needs though, I need lights that can run on batteries as well since I generally shoot outdoors or powerless areas. Good luck though!

December 19, 2013 at 4:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mike

We're working on a battery solution as well! The more money we raise during the campaign, the faster we'll be able to implement battery-powered operation for the ST-100. Help us out if you're interested in making the ST-100 battery-powered - http://igg.me/at/strahlenlights

Thanks!

December 19, 2013 at 6:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Looks superb. I find the price a little high for most 'indies' but for a highly paid professional that's a fair price I suppose.
Obviously I don't know what the costs are of making them are though.

December 19, 2013 at 4:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Like I said earlier, we made the ST-100 to be at a price point on the line of buy vs. rent. You could make the investment and buy the ST-100 without draining your bank account, or you could rent them for a competitive rate at your rental house.

Our goal is to get these in rental houses across the nation. With your contribution, we can manufacture more units on our first run and get them into rental houses sooner - http://igg.me/at/strahlenlights

Thanks!

December 19, 2013 at 6:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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These are a great idea, but to be perfectly frank, way too expensive. Perhaps as more people buy them, the price may go down - but for now, I have to stick with my Lowel lights and cheap Chinese LEDS. Some of them are getting better. Look into the "Mettle" 1024 LCD lights on Ebay - they have no green spike!

December 19, 2013 at 5:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ed Wright

Very nice. People complaining about prices are being short sighted. The nice thing about spending money on lights is that they should last you a decade or more. There are some Mole Richardsons I've worked with that are easily 30-40 years old and still kicking. Spending money on lights and tripods makes good sense.

That said, I would like to see a comparison to other well known lights before I drop money on a new company. I know when setting up a 1k open face tungsten light how it's going to throw and how I'm going to need to modify it. I know in what situation I would want to use a Joker HMI. But this new LED light, I'm not sure. At least not sure enough to throw down money. That demo video is nice, but I would rather see an A/B video with a variety of well known lights in the same scene.

I hope my prudence makes sense, Andy.

December 19, 2013 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Sam

"There are some Mole Richardsons I've worked with that are easily 30-40 years old and still kicking."

Yeah, and I own some of 'em! I love those lights - except for the heat. But then again, on-set fires make for good bar conversations... and S'mores.

December 19, 2013 at 6:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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That's exactly how we feel. The ST-100 is built to last. The LEDs themselves are supposed to be good for +16 years at 12 hours a day, 5 days a week at full power, the power supply and cooling system are top-notch, and the housing is purposely made to take a beating.

Please contact me at andy@strahlenlights.com and let's establish the specifics of the tests you'd like to see. I'm happy to do whatever I can!

December 19, 2013 at 11:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I've had a chance to play around with the lights a little as I'm here in San Diego. I can't compare them to any other LED lights since these are the first I've had any experience with, but I like that they're travel-friendly and that they take industry-standard light modifiers. That flexibility on its own may make the overall cost of ownership lower once you factor in the cost of dedicated light modifiers for other units.

@mike - I believe Andy Waplinger and his team are working to develop battery packs for these, a project near to or at the top of their "to-do" list.

December 19, 2013 at 5:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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i like the light, but too pricey :-/

December 19, 2013 at 7:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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There is another type of led light except 15000 lumens led (150 watts) on Ebay. 3 lights, 3 stands and carrying case for only $678. The fan isn't silent although claims to be. Free shipping.

December 19, 2013 at 7:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ron

Not bad if you don't mind Chinese knock-offs. ; )

December 19, 2013 at 8:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Good luck collecting a warranty coming out of Shenzhen, China.

December 19, 2013 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Hanna

There are companies that will distribute these various Chinese or Indian made products in the US (for a mark-up, naturally). Julius Studios have, as an example, a 1000 LED panel (14x14) at $250. And, if you can get the color aberrations out in grading ...

December 20, 2013 at 1:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I bought one of the 150 watt led light. Equivalent to 15000 watts. Got it for $$280 ($260 plus extra duty charge of $20). After I bought the one, another vendor had 3 lights including stands and case for $$678. Color is pretty darn accurate. Build quality is good. The noise from the fan is the only setback. I have a few ideas to work around the noise. I didn't buy an extended warranty. That could be another draw back if the light goes dark.

December 20, 2013 at 5:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ron

You can buy a 3 year warranty for a less than $200.

December 20, 2013 at 5:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ron

I think you can get something similar for a better price:

http://www.goldenshell.com.cn/en/productsDetalis.asp?id=1439

December 19, 2013 at 8:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Peter

But again, Chinese origin. I'd consider buying something simple from China, things like machined parts (spuds, bolts, etc.), but electronics not so much.

@AdRath - I was at the Strahlen launch party this past Wednesday, where a few lights were set up and running (and I'd seen them running before) and I can vouch for their low noise level. At the launch, there was recorded music playing so that would affect it a bit, but standing within a foot or so of the light I couldn't hear it running.

Note: I'm not connected in any way to Strahlen, although I've met Andy a few times. The lights SEEM to be top-notch, although I haven't seen them put through the torture test of regular use. I'd certainly go for these before I'd opt for Chinese knock-offs, especially if I need to travel with the lights. And of course they run cool...

https://scontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/555087_1015184827649816...

December 20, 2013 at 1:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Oops, edit: Launch party this past Saturday, not Wednesday.

December 20, 2013 at 1:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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At this price I can get two Dedolight dled 4.1, each with 40 watts of output, running on battery or mains.

December 20, 2013 at 3:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mariano

Ok. So I had one of the very first WESTCOTT SKYLUX LED lights shipped (thanks to Stan at Super Digital City). Wanted to **love** that light. Got it and thoroughly tested it. I *do* own 1x1 LED panels as well as smaller battery operated ones. Here's my experience with the SKYLUX (a near dead ringer for the unit being pimped here).

1. The CRI on the Skylux was insanely awesome. Color tests showed it barely measurably different than noonday sun. Never ever tested a light that accurate for color, strobe or continuous. Absolutely blew away filtered tungsten.
2. Price on Westcott was really close. Closer if you ask a good retailer.
3. Size: Westcott was much smaller, though it did have an in-line transformer.
4. Power… this is nearly always wading into BS. Every maker says "as powerful as XXX watts" and I have Arri tungsten lights and have compared that claim. So far, every maker (Skylux included) is full of it. I could put a blue FILTER on a 300 watt Arri (in flood mode, not spot) and **still* have as much power as a Skylux that was "as bright as a 600watt tungsten" or whatever their claim was. Unfiltered (balance camera) and they're not even in the same continent for light power. Frankly, I have my skepticism here too. The Westcott tested at 20% under stated Lumens output.
5. The Westcott also has a Bowens connector and here's what happened: Put on an accessory and even with the silent(*) fan running… it would rattle the reflector. And a conical thin-walled device that is vibrating is also called a speaker cone. Oops. I shared this with Westcott and they have a mod to deal with it, but not sure how that turned out. (see the end).
6. (*) The silent fan. Yes. The silent fan. Well, turns out the Skylux also had a "silent fan" that --- wasn't silent. This ended up as the deal killer for me. I'll cut to the end: I sold the Skylux because of fan noise. Even when I rigged it so the accessory (reflector/softbox ring, etc) didn't rattle -- the fan was ALWAYS picked up on mic. Yes, on camera mic, duh. But ALSO *always* picked up with a boom pole and shotgun mic. Even when the light was 6' from subject and mic was merely 12" above subject's head aimed at their mouth. Light in front of subject, behind subject, beside subject. Fan noise always there, even if quiet. Yeah, I could noise print that and remove it in post but really don't want to do that to audio (strip a section out of the bandwidth) nor do I want to add that to my production time every time. And this was with ONE light. Imagine the rush with three or more lights running "silently."

I have no affiliation with anybody mentioned here in my post, or the thread. But that's a real-life, tested, compared, measured experience. And I'm hesitant to drop $500 just to test what sounds like a nearly identical unit (with transformer built in). Don't get me wrong, I really, really liked the Westcott Skylux. It's just that for really picky audio -- I couldn't go there. I'd love to believe this solves where the Skylux lagged.

December 20, 2013 at 11:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Erik Stenbakken

Try the RPS version. I've used them on major broadcast interviews with no audio problem.
Shame re the Westcott - that's a nice looking unit.

December 20, 2013 at 1:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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marklondon

"The Westcott also has a Bowens connector and here’s what happened: Put on an accessory and even with the silent(*) fan running… it would rattle the reflector."

I can't address your experience specifically and I have no reason to doubt you, but from what I saw at the launch party, none of the attached light modifiers made any noise either - no rattling. I posted a photo here earlier of my hand on a grid spot attached to one of the lights, so I was as close as one could get. (Maybe the lights were angled just right to eliminate noise, I dunno.)

I'm not hawking these lights, trust me, but I can say that I didn't see any obvious problems - noise, fit, build quality, etc. As for their true light output or CRI, I can't say one way or another how they stack up. It would be great if he could get a set of these into the hands of a magazine reviewer or some prominent cinematography blogger for review.

December 20, 2013 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Don't worry, Dave, they weren't angled for any trickery! They really are that quiet. :)

We're working to get them into the hands of Nofilmschool and Fstoppers for product reviews as well!

December 20, 2013 at 4:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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This may not have been the issue with all lights. But having been to parties before where one can barely hear another person above the din of the gathering… I'd say that might not be a good environment for a sonic test. Dunno how quiet the party was, I didn't get invited :-(

I will say that Westcott was absolutely stand-up about the whole thing. Hard to beat their customer service and interest in their product.

As to reviews of the thing… I did one on video but didn't finish/post it once I sold it. Kinda ran out of steam. But it was as comprehensive as I could make it with color meter, light meter, and mic & camera. No sound level meter though.

December 20, 2013 at 4:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Erik Stenbakken

Don't worry, we'll be sure to invite you next time!

The party certainly wasn't loud. Ambient music in the background and people chatting normally - still not the right place for a sonic test, but if the lights were noisy you would've been able to hear it if you were up close.

I'd be very interested in seeing your comprehensive results with the SkyLux if you ever decide to finish it.

December 21, 2013 at 5:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Thanks for the feedback on your experience with the SkyLux. It definitely set a bar that we've been working to raise.

1) We're very proud of our color reproduction capabilities. Anecdotally I can tell you that at a local LED light event, a broadcast engineer took it upon himself to walk around with a spectrometer comparing every manufacturer showcasing their lights (and I guarantee you've heard of at least 3/4 of them). At the end he informed us that our colorimetry beat everybody there.

More scientifically, though, our colorimetry data is available at http://strahlenlights.com/info and click on Just the Specs.

2) We feel like we've priced the ST-100 extremely fairly amidst our competition. We offer several advantages over our competitors while offering incredibly high value.

3) Internalizing the power supply makes a pretty big difference in the ease of use of the units. The ST-100 also weights almost 25% less overall.

4) I agree with you on this. Everybody always seems to be greatly overstating their claims, and that pisses me off. We're trying to be as transparent about this is possible. Our foot-candle charts are also available under Just the Specs so that you can compare the ST-100 against others. Additionally, we're offering a fixed fresnel attachment, which boosts output by ~2.5x.

5) I've had a variety of modifiers on these units, and I've never heard any rattling of any kind. Complete silence.

6) The ST-100 is made for video - and a light becomes immediately worthless the second they can be picked up on mics. We made silence our number one priority and did a lot of testing to make sure we could back up our claim. At this moment I have it sitting 4 feet from my ear, fan towards me, and I can't tell that it's running.

After seeing lights like the SkyLux, it's been our goal to surpass them and set a new standard - I'm confident that the ST-100 does just that. If you were a fan of the SkyLux, but it feel just too short, then I think the ST-100 would be perfect for you.

If you'd like to talk more or request anything, feel free to email me at andy@strahlenlights.com. Thanks!

December 20, 2013 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Where can I buy them? No, wait can't. waste of time again

December 20, 2013 at 11:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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John

A waste of whose time exactly? It sounds like, from your statement, that you've never read about future product releases until now. Surely you must be kidding. (And no, I won't call you Shirley.)

December 21, 2013 at 11:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Looks like a nice fixture.
I do think you're stepping into brutally competitive waters - I own other (much more expensive) US made LED fixtures, and also some much cheaper Chinese LED fixtures. The US made ones I have are far more robust and powerful than this unit (it will probably last me 10-15 years) and the Chinese ones I have similar to your design are quiet, good CRI, terrific throw and fit all my Bowens softboxes/beauty dishes/barn doors at @ 1/2 your price. I have a 'portable sun' rig made from the Chinese units that gives me 4K equiv of day light I can run from the cigarette lighter in my car, and cost just over $1,200.
I wish you well.

December 20, 2013 at 1:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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marklondon

I'd appreciate if you could send me some info regarding the Chinese made HMI's you have and the Sun Rig you built ;)

December 20, 2013 at 2:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Vlad

Do tell! Always looking for solutions and 4K of light from that low a wattage pull is … lusty. If willing to share, I'm only a google search away: Erik Stenbakken

December 20, 2013 at 5:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Erik Stenbakken

Do tell!! :)

December 20, 2013 at 7:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nick

Just curious, what would the ST-100 be equivalent to in terms of ARRI lights?

December 20, 2013 at 7:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nick

If you take a look at our foot-candle graphs (http://strahlenlights.com/info -> Just the Specs), you can easily compare the ST-100 to other lights you might be looking at.

The ST-100 Tungsten as an open-face light is a bit shy of the ARRI 300 Plus in flood mode - around 225-250W. With our fresnel attachment, it's greater than the 300 Plus in flood - around 325W.

The ST-100 Daylight is brighter than the Tungsten, so as an open-face it's about equal to the 300 Plus in flood, and with the fresnel attachment, it's a bit shy of the ARRI 650 Plus in flood - around 600-625W.

December 21, 2013 at 5:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I like the look of this and guess if you have the money and live in the US they would be a good bet. Personally my budget is lower, I'm keeping an eye on the Jinbei EF200 or the nicefoto LED 1500A.

December 21, 2013 at 2:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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AndyH

Glad you like the product! If you change your mind, we're planning to get it international pretty quickly.

December 21, 2013 at 5:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Cool that you made a light from scratch.. but the structure doesnt look that robust. single sided bales have sucked on every single lamp that's come out with them. Having a cpu cable on the back and not some fixed cable is also super sketchy, no one wants a lamp that will shut off from the shear weight of its own cable. This might be nice for photography but theres no way in hell i could trust this on a professional set.

Also your rental rate is absurd! 500? As a rental company owner, using industry standard calculations, your rental cost at 2 weeks should be roughly 150 without shipping. 500 would only be appropriate if your unit cost 6,000 retail.

December 21, 2013 at 5:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Eh

I promise you that they're quite robust and are made to take a beating. We opted to go with a universal cable instead of a proprietary cable to make things easy for both us and the consumer - they're readily available anywhere and easy to use.

The rental perk isn't absurd at all. That's a $4300 kit available for two weeks shipped to and from your door.

December 21, 2013 at 5:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gaff tape or a knot should hold that sucker in place. ; )

December 21, 2013 at 11:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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As far as i know from the various kit i've seen and used, this is where its at in regards to the future of LED:

http://www.cineolighting.com/index.php/pages/product_ls/115

Strahlen looks intresting but as always it comes down to the end result out there making a video.

December 21, 2013 at 8:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Sam St. John

I think the confusion is that you are saying to offer an entry level priced product, which you are not.

I can buy one of these: http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/1467275286/High_quality_waterproof_IP6...
Slap a lightstand on a batter and throw diffusion and some gels and get pretty close at a ENTRY LEVEL price.

For what you are asking for, I may as well get an HMI or a new Mole Richardson LED.

I think a revolutionary price would be to create something simple and VERY affordable, like in the $200 - $300 range at most. Being able to create a rechargeable mobile power source, replacing sand bags, would be a more convenient option to having glamorized colour control; most budget lighting is very skewed using CFI's and cheap LED panels anyway.

Good idea, but sloppy marketing positioning. All this means is that high output LED isn't quite there for the prosumer level. It is great to create a product with color and hardware quality in mind, it shows you know what you're doing, but think about your customers needs first. Those with that sort of budget capacity will look to other options first.

February 5, 2014 at 12:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jeremy Christopher

Great article! If you need some quality and professional led lighting services I suggest you to look at https://www.localunitedservices.com/ These guys are great and they also provide heat and electrical, as well as plumbing services.

October 7, 2014 at 2:32PM

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