A New Relatively Affordable LED Fixture, a Soft Light, & More from Mole Richardson

The only company that comes close to the ubiquity of Arri lights on professional sets is Mole Richardson, and at NAB this year, the company showed off several new powerful LED fixtures. Joe Marine went to investigate:

The most exciting announcement here is the Vari-Mole, which, as the Mole Richardson representative in the video mentions, is aimed largely as a "starter" light or a kit light for independent filmmakers. Coming in at $800 (and available for pre-order here), the Vari-Mole is 100 watt LED hard light fixture that is bi-color (tunable between 2700K-5600K) and has the equivalent output of a 650 watt tungsten head. Though it does not have an integrated fresnel lens, the Vari-Mole does have easily interchangeable lenses so that you can spot and flood the light. The Vari-Mole also has a CRI of between 93 and 95.

Obviously, $800 is far from a budget solution for many of us, especially for a single fixture, but considering the costs of color-tunable LEDs from top manufactures like Arri and Mole, that price point is a nice entryway into higher-end light fixtures from a manufacturer whose lights have a reputation for lasting a lifetime.

To learn more about the Vari-Mole and Mole Richardson's entire line of LEDs check out this handy pdf document that lays out all of the specs and photometrics.


No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2015 is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock.

No Film School's coverage of NAB is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock

Your Comment

12 Comments

I don't think I'll be buying this. The intensity dial on the back only goes up to 10%.

April 19, 2015 at 3:09PM

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Ian Nicholson
Head Tutor at Sydney Short Film School
144

Woah $800 is pretty good! I wonder how it stacks up against the Fiilex Q500 which is a 750W equivalent and cost $1900.

April 19, 2015 at 3:45PM

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John Mark
DP
88

If someone would figure out a reliable way to mount a leko lens on either this or the Fiilex, this may proove incredibly useful.

If you or anyone knows of such a solution, I am all ears!

April 20, 2015 at 4:41PM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1333

Affordable, hmm :D

April 19, 2015 at 4:21PM, Edited April 19, 4:21PM

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Bob Omulo
DOP
169

I really love those space lights

April 19, 2015 at 5:42PM

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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
627

I'm curious whether the Vari-Mole lights can be powered by battery. Anyone know? That's always seemed to me one big advantage of LEDs in general.

April 19, 2015 at 6:31PM

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Adrian Tan
Videographer
1050

Second.

April 20, 2015 at 12:25PM

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Forrest Cavale
Director
74

I say 200-300 USD is affordable, but maybe I'm cheap.

April 20, 2015 at 5:45AM

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Joakim
289

And at the price point, you'll surely get your money's worth. Crap CRI and they'll break down within a year. I've seen Moles that were possibly used on the set of Godfather. They take a beating and last probably better than anything out there.

April 20, 2015 at 7:33AM

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Christopher Holt
Producer/Director
99

Hear, hear! The obsession with cheap gear forgets the need for said gear to do its job for an extended time.

April 20, 2015 at 10:39AM

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Taylor Russ
Director of Photography
675

Depends. If you're doing regular production cheap units pay for themselves in no time. If they crap out you buy another one, and in a year's time the designs will have advanced. It's a gamble, but it can work.

April 21, 2015 at 5:51PM

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Vidrazor
567

So many great things about LED lights, battery powered solution is definitely a good thing to add, wifi/bluetooth control would be sick too. Price is expensive but this is new stuff and LED tend to last longer and easier to replace.

http://www.shootinchina.com

April 20, 2015 at 7:35AM

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I have the DR-70D and it works fantastically. Can be bus-powered, so when coupled with a low-profile USB power brick you have an incredibly portable, long-lasting high-quality audio workhorse

April 20, 2015 at 10:51AM

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That 900 watt LED Fresnel is 5K/1200 watt HMI equivalent and will only be $4400 at B&H. That's pretty awesome!

April 20, 2015 at 5:35PM, Edited April 20, 5:35PM

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The 1k HMI equivalent is just enormous.

April 20, 2015 at 11:42PM

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Einar Gabbassoff
D&CD at Frame One Studio
1374