June 23, 2015

Relio, the Professional LED Light that Fits In Your Pocket, Is Back & Better than Ever

Relio
If you were wondering when Relio, the high-powered color accurate LED fixture that fits in the palm of your hand, would come back to market, today is your lucky day.

Back in December, we wrote about Relio, and the response was fantastic, even despite the fact that the company had already run out of its initial stock of lights. Since that time, the fine folks at Relio have been hunkered away, figuring out how to not only manufacture the lights more efficiently and in a more cost effective way for buyers (the original batch was made by hand), but they've also been improving the design. Yesterday, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for the new and improved Relio. Here's the video:

The Relio still comes in three different models, each with a different color temperature. There are 3000K, 3500K, and 4500K models, each of which outputs roughly 500 lux at a meter away. These lights are also extremely color accurate, with a CRI of 92 for the 3000K model, and a CRI of 96 for the other two. This puts the Relio in a class all its own in terms of color accuracy, at least compared to LEDs in this price range and at this size.

Here are a few of the other technical features of the Relio:

Relio Features

A Brief Review

I've had the opportunity to play around with a Relio for the past few months, and I can say without any hesitation that it has become one of my favorite lights. In fact, if I'm out shooting, I always have it with me because it takes up no room in my bag and there are plenty of ways to power it given the micro USB connection on back. I've used standard USB cables running from things like my computer and my TV to power it, and I've also used an old phone charger. If you wanted to power it wirelessly, I'm sure you could use any of the thousands of wireless charging devices for phones and tablets and such.

Relio

Outside of the basics of getting it powered, the Relio produces a lot of light, especially for something so small. My basic measurements had it at about 50 footcandles at 5 feet. It's by no means a replacement for larger lights, but given how sensitive our cameras are getting these days, there's quite a lot that you can accomplish with a Relio (or several), especially in terms of adding accent lights into your scene.

My only beef with Relio is that the light is incredibly hard, even when there's a sheet of diffusion in front of it. That's to be expected with a light this small, but it means that you probably wouldn't want to use it for lighting people's faces unless you want to see some super gnarly nose shadows. It also produces a relatively narrow beam of light, which makes it great for spotlighting objects at a close distance and for creating little pools of light in the background of your scenes (this is my favorite use). Overall, however, I think the Relio is a great tool to have with you on set because of its size and versatility.

With that out of the way, here are the Relio prices through their Kickstarter campaign.

Relio LED Light Kickstarter Prices

If you're interested in learning more about Relio and  picking up a light of your own, head on over to their Kickstarter campaign    

Your Comment

13 Comments

i was dreading the price during the scroll down.
but that...that i can afford. i am okay with this. relioooooooooo

June 24, 2015 at 8:27AM

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Sam Downton-Jones
Director, DOP, Editor.
79

What happened to the Lumic Cube? I thought that was THE most promising Kickstarter Lighting solution for Indie Films to have come out.
Also, it was much cheaper and with features even some of the most high end lighting devices do not have (wirelessly controllable via a phone and many devices could be synched).

Lume Cube, WHERE are you???

June 24, 2015 at 9:47AM

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sanveer mehlwal
Filmmaker
224

I have a few questions about this product:

-Why didn't you use 3200° and 5600°? Those color temperatures you offer are pretty much useless to me.
-Are the lights dimmable? Because at full blast these extremely bright lights are pretty much useless for interviews where the eyeline is close to the light.
-Is a battery built in or a battery pack available? I kinda hate cables.
-Why should I buy your lights instead of standard LED lights from ebay or Amazon that cost 5 times less? Pretty much the cheapest LEDs are not too bad when it comes to color accuracy.

No offense, but your Kickstarter video is terrible.

June 24, 2015 at 10:49AM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
482

Hi Paul, thank you for your suggestion on the video, we are shooting a better one.
Your questions:
- White LEDs are quite a delicate matter. They are blue diodes covered with patented phosphorus that convert part of that blue light into green, red and yellow one. The mixture gives out white light. Yes, indeed, there are a lot of minor producers with claimed 90+ CRI in every CCT possible, but we chose to stick with two of the most respected LED producers in the world, and they *certify* their minimum CRI with absolute seriousness. They offer 90+ CRI LEDs in selected bins, and the ones closest to the planckian locus (= closer to natural black-body light emission) fall into 3000K, 3500K and 4500K CCTs.
- No, they are not. Dimming leds is complicated: you can decrease their current, or make them blink so fast at full brightness they seem to dim (it’s called PWM). Also, dimming produces emitted color drift, because phosphorus response is not linear, and CRI wouldn’t be constant across the whole range. Moreover, dimming by PWM may pose issues when filming at high-fps, producing beatings / stripes you surely may have encountered when filming with neon lights. Given that, the best way to dim Relio is by placing a shading mask in front of it (with the included PMMA holder).
- No battery, it would last 10 minutes and degrade in 1 month because of heat. Relio has a MTBF of 50000 hours, no device with internal battery could have that durability estimation.
- Because we spent countless hours matching and calibrating TIR lenses, the beam is perfect, no spills and coronas on the side, it has high-efficiency, high-frequency step-down electronics and because Relio won’t fall apart in the first 10 minutes of use.

If you have any other question, feel free to ask :)

June 24, 2015 at 1:29PM

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Relio
154

ok i see your focus on color accuracy and perfection when it comes to the light beam. let me apologize for my negative tone. i thought you were another company selling pretty expensive "of the shelf" led lights.

but never forget that the small lights your are selling are defintely in the amateur and semi professional market, because of their size and output. no matter how much perfection and professional leds you put into them. ive a couple of $15 led lights from ebay and never noticed any of the downsides you mention with cheaper solutions. i dont question the fact that all of these downsides exist, but in the market you entered less than 3% of the people would actually notice them.

to me it comes down to this: with a cheap multi led light from ebay im getting 5600° and 3200° (with an included orangefilter). i also have a battery built in and because of the higher number of led light bulbs its less likely to "blind" a person whose eyeline is close to the light. its also dimmable without applying any filter in front of it. since i dont see any color being off or flickering occuring, theres just no reason for me to get relio lights.

so you need to show us that youre not trying to enter the amateur market by giving us videos and proof that your lights can be used to light a professional set up scene. know what i mean?

your product is targeting a different group of people than your marketing.

June 25, 2015 at 4:33AM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
482

Hi Paul, we are listening.
Your opinion and tips will be valued.

June 25, 2015 at 10:16AM

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Relio
154

Serious, what's the point?
I have two 100W 92CRI and many 5~10W Leds bought on ebay for a few bucks.

Why this Relio Led is so special?

June 24, 2015 at 12:57PM

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theuerweirich@me.com
Director of Fotography
348

Hi Theuer, @see the extensive reply above, if you have any other question feel free to ask :)

June 24, 2015 at 1:31PM

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Relio
154

Just for the record, there are no real "wireless" power options out there, at least not for anything but a couple of phones and watches. They wouldn't apply to a device like this, since it requires a USB cable for power. I believe you meant to say "portable" power solutions.

June 24, 2015 at 5:54PM

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Edmund Lloyd
Cinematographer/Director
109

What is light, without color?
Shouldn't the question be: What is color, without light?

June 24, 2015 at 9:31PM

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Danny T
Photographer
449

Yep. It depends on the perspective ;)

June 24, 2015 at 10:06PM

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Relio
154

Hasn't the CRI been discredited as an evaluative tool, in favor of TLCI? Seems so: https://www.cinema5d.com/led-light-accuracy-tlci

I'm curious to see a rating on these babies with this current system.

June 26, 2015 at 12:56AM, Edited June 26, 12:56AM

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David Gurney
DP
2019

Man I was ready to click the back this project link then I saw the price after the US conversion and the price after shipping. Around $160. Not Relios fault but just enough to make me second guess it and not purchase one.

June 26, 2015 at 2:41AM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1241