Relio Launches New Tungsten Unit and 2020 Kickstarter

Hyper-flexible LED unit Relio has expanded with a 98.5TLCI 2700K Tungsten unit, and a Kickstarter for getting a discount for the patient for the Relio² 2020

Relio is an Italian lighting company that is focused above all else on accuracy and flexibility.

They make small units that are designed for either lighting the whole scene if doing macro, tabletop, or insert work, or being part of the overall lighting plan (a special light on a key prop, say) in a bigger setup.

But they go far beyond what we normally expect with a tiny light, with exceptionally-high color accuracy, the ability to load a 3D LUT into the unit to dial in precisely the light you want, and flicker free performance at 10,000 FPS.

While the Relio² has been available for a few months now, the 2020 kickstarter is all about accessories that make the units more functional for filmmakers.  Available in a filmmaker focused studio kit, Relio² now also makes power easier with the "six pack," a unit that allows you to power up to six lights off of a single Sony NP battery.

This should make life easier for filmmakers who want to build an on-camera lighting setup or otherwise use the powerful little units to build in a special lighting element to the scene; it's much easier to swap out a single, affordable Sony NP than it is to constantly be changing batteries for six separate units.

They even have a new 2700K "Tungsten" unit meant for sunset lighting situations. While Tungsten light was nominally 3200K, tungsten units were regularly lower, and if you put them on a dimmer they would often shift down to a beautiful 2600-2800K warm glow. This is something that has been missing with modern light units, and having the option of creating that classic sunset glow with the new Tungsten should have a variety of applications.

They even have a polarized attachment for their emitter to allow for controlling reflections when doing product work.

By getting all the light waves in in alignment coming from the unit, filmmakers and photographers can get more power out of on on-unit polarizer to cut down on distracting glare.

Tech Specs

  • 98 TLCI, 100 with LUT
  • Tiny 35mm x 35mm units
  • MicroUSB connector
  • 1A at 5V DC draw
  •  IP53 water resistance with magnetic microUSB plug-end inserted, otherwise IP42
  • Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 license for 3D printed accessories
  • Wavelengths available 3500K, 4000K, 5700K, 660nm, 590nm, 520nm, 470nm, 450nm, 850nm, 1050nm, full- spectrum IR850~1050nm, 360nm, 395nm
  • ARM Cortex M0 32bit 40MHz, with integrated Bluetooth® LE 4.2 antenna CPU
  • 50,000 hour predicted lamp life
  • User swappable lens, 10º, 25º, 60º, 90º, 10×70º
  • AL 6082 “Anticorodal“ aluminum alloy, AISI 316L low-carbon stainless steel alloy body

As with all Kickstarters, we do want to warn that Kickstarter is a funding process and not a shopping center. Relio has been making lights since 2015 and have a pretty good track recorder of delivering on units.

Pricing starts at $222.

Head over to the Kickstarter for more.     

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Your Comment


I bought 2 of the original lights and they were 1) expensive 2) not very usable, ie: connect / disconnect for power, need lot's a "stuff" to make mounting work...but most important... 3) within 10 times use on one and about 20 times on the second (over 3 months) both micro usb connectors became detached from the exterior housing making them unusable ... buyer beware, there are much better alternatives for small lighting

December 14, 2019 at 4:29PM


Hi Michael, in these years we shipped thousands of Relios and a just a few of them had the USB detachment issue you are mentioning.
If you remember the first economic camera from a very famous brand, this exact issue happened to them.
When new technology and new brands approach the market, what really matters is the company standing up to these initial issues.

We replaced every unit with defective USB when people contacted us and claimed their warranty.
Most of the times by even covering both forward and return shipping.
Of every unit we replaced, no one EVER reported further issues.

We just checked and never received any notification from you, any request for repair, any communication indicating a malfunction.
If you actually used them and they broke after 3 months, why didn't you tell us?
The actual warraty coverage of two years wuold’ve 100% applied.

Relio² is being used by three Universities in Italy to perform photographic and scientific work, and they chose Relio for its extreme reliability and light quality, and for our scientific knowledge in light engineering and color theory.
Most notable work with these Universities? Lighting original Leonardo da Vinci drawings for gigapixel, 3-dimensional photography.

Now, let me address your comments, one by one.

1) EXPENSIVENESS: We manufacture in Italy, we assemble in Italy, we engineer in Italy, we live in Italy. Chinese products where engineering, assembling and manufacturing are made by huge factories with thousands of employees cannot be compared to Relio, which is a company run by a few guys that do every step in the production process.
The original 2014 Relio was our first product and was the first – EVER – micro lighting device with a focus on Color Rendering on the market. The cheap alternatives you now see on the market have all – EACH OF THEM – been inspired by Relio itself.
The hours of engineering, thought, prototyping, market positioning and placement we did was not at zero cost, especially when ACTUALLY done in a Western Country.

2) NOT USABLE: Yes, it was a version one. A V1. Very minimalistic and did just one thing: great light.
If you had a look at the 2018 Relio² ( and at these new 2020 Editions ( – and I suppose you didn't – you can see that we introduced a blazing-fast Bluetooth connection, new connectors, ruggedized USB ports, magnetic quick-swap lenses and accessories, upgradeable LED modules, open-source accessories, and a whopping leap forward in CRI offering. This is (a lot more than) what you would expect from a V2, not a V1 manufactured from a newborn company not subsidized by multinational corps.

3) DEFECTIVENESS: We stand up to our products. And these new Relio² are marvellous devices that blast-away EVERY competitor in terms of manufacturing quality, power and level of electronics engineering. Want a replacement with Relio² modules? Contact us and we’ll make you happy. This is well-and-beyond what a startup would do, but we are happy to maintain a positive approach.

4) BETTER ALTERNATIVES: No. There aren't. The alternatives are all flood lights. Relio² modules are highly collimated lights, capable of emitting beams as tight at 10º or as large as 90º. They have extreme luminance (2200+ lux @ 1m/3ft) and a duty cycle of 100% @ full power, without overheating or any power throttling. They are flicker-free up to 10kfps and continuously upgradeable with open-source components. They are DMX-ready. They are Arduino-ready. The Bluetooth is open-source. The accessories are open-source.

This is the whole picture, and should help you re-evaluate Relio² market positioning, which is NOT “Prosumer-grade Action Camera Lighting Equipment”.

TL;DR : You never told us anything about the defectiveness otherwise you would have gotten free replacements in no-time. Relio was a great device and minor issue can happen in newborn companies and products. It's the level of assistance that matters. The new Relio² kits are a marvel. Relio² rocks FTW! ;-)

December 15, 2019 at 7:46AM