Usually when you are ordering LED lights, you are looking to either buy a soft unit or a punchy unit. You'll use the soft unit for lighting faces, for providing fill light, maybe even rig it up for a soft backlight. But you know that it won't have punch, meaning it unlikely to throw light very far and still provide much useable illumination. If you want to rig up a light on top of the house to light the whole backyard, for instance, you might go for a punchier unit that has some throw to it to actually get the light to reach distance. With the new Vortex8, Creamsource is asking, why not do both with one light?
The Australia-based Creamsource is best known stateside for their popular Doppio bi-color unit, though they have had a very nifty RGBW unit out for a year or so now, the Micro Color. Their lights are know for being durable, versatile, and cost effective units and they show up on a host of big productions. What makes the new Vortex8 particularly interesting is the focus on taking versatile further than we normally associate it, making a punchy 2x1 LED.
What precisely does that mean? Well, by using narrowly focused LED lens array the Vortex8 can put out 13,900lux at 9ft in 5600K mode, which is nearly 1300 footcandles. It's a bright unit. They also prompt that they put that out at $7.69 per watt of power used, which is a very affordable price in the LED space. But what makes it better is that same light is still rigged up as a panel light with separate LED diodes so you can easily slap on a diffuser and create a soft light with the same unit.
If it's a punchy light, why keep the 2x1 shape? Well, among many other benefits, it's easy to rig. What if you want a really big punch light? It's easy to rig together panel lights into a massive panel, say putting 4 units together into a 4x4 array, while keeping the gaps between unit relatively small to create the feeling of a single source of punchy light.
One important thing to remember is that it is at it's brightest doing 5600K light. Setting it to a rich, saturated purple, for instance, and it will be much less bright, just due to the nature of how these units work. Of course, the same is true for a traditional light; stick a purple gel on it and it gets much darker. In pure daylight mode, however, it is a very competitive unit.
Available this fall for $4,999. Check out Creamsource for more info.