Fiilex—pronounced like Felix the Cat—is an end-to-end light manufacturer that controls its own chip production all the way to designing custom built fresnel lenses that accommodate the specific needs of an individual light.

As opposed to buying off-the-shelf mass manufacturer fresnels, the company custom designs its lenses to provide ultimate control, needed for a long focus range without color fringing. The result? The new Q8 Travel 300 watt light released over the weekend, possessing an impressive zoom range of 12°-60° with a clean light throughout.

Notice that we didn't say "glass," but rather "lens." The reason for this is because Fiilex's fresnel lens is actually acrylic, not glass. This makes for a sturdy, heat-resistant, and (most importantly) extremely lightweight lens. You can check out some of the thinking that went into the design in the video below. 

Very lightweight

The lightness in weight allows the manufacturer to move the lens a tremendous distance without throwing off the balance of your light. We were able to get some hands-on time with the just-released unit over the weekend and were especially impressed with the flexibility and high level of control the lightweight fresnel allows.

You typically wouldn't want to push the lens too far out in front since it can make the unit rather front-heavy. However, since the lens is so light, the unit was still balanced—even at full extension— and doesn't feel like you need to over-tighten the Yoke to keep it upright.

Nofilmschool_fiilex_q8-8Full SpotCredit: Charles Haine

Positive color response

One of the key differentiators the manufacturer focuses on is the changes in color temperature that occur under different operating temperatures. As we read the unit at various times of use (and at different intensities), we were still impressed with the overall color response and especially how consistent it remained in a variety of situations.

The unit delivers a wide spectrum, smooth curve light that hits close to the color target without sacrificing other wavelengths. It's also quite flattering for flesh tones. 


Weight may be an issue

Although the build quality was impressive, we hesitate to refer to the unit as "portable." It's better to think of the "travel" part of the name as referring to the long travel of the lens and less about its use as a travel light. It's a 16lb head unit and the power adapter is 5.7lbs.

We found it to be one of the best physically constructed LED units we had ever worked with.

While it comes well packaged in a rolling case (and would definitely be portable on a number of shoots), if "travel" on a light inspires visions of island-hopping around the Caribbean with a few lightweight units stored in backpacks, this is not the light for that. This is an absolutely durable, tough, strong, well-built light that will survive a lot of travel work and years in the back of a truck, but its heaviness might rule it out for a job where you're shooting on a fourth-floor walkup or hiking your gear up the side of a hill. 

Nofilmschool_fiilex_q8-10Credit: Charles Haine

Extreme durability

We do wish to emphasize durability once more. Having shot tests with it all weekend, we found it to be one of the best physically constructed LED units we had ever worked with. At around $3,000, the unit is pricier than the competition, for sure, but it has the potential to last twice as long as its competitors.

When it comes to LEDs, it's rare for the units to feel like they've been built for infinite use, but with these, it really feels like they are well thought out and engineered. Among other great details is a pin coming off the 5lb power supply for mounting in a Gobo Head for support (to avoid stressing the cable).

Nofilmschool_fiilex_q8-3Credit: Fiilex

For more information, check out the Fiilex site.

Tech Specs:

  • 8 Inch fresnel and LED Array designed in parallel
  • Full range from spot to flood: 12° - 60°
  • 340W power consumption
  • Flicker free at any framerate
  • Ultra low smooth dimming down to 0.1% intensity
  • Compatible With Innovative Dimmers Cintenna DMX TX/RX
  • Weather-resistant: IP-24
  • Tunable CCT (2800 - 6500K)
  • Hue control (±0.25 green/magenta)
  • 16lb head, 5.7lb power adapter