There’s no denying that LED lights have all but replaced traditional lighting fixtures in most shooting environments, from home videos to multi-million-dollar multiplex sensations. As LED technology gets more and more indistinguishable from incandescent and HMI sources, it has become a bit overwhelming to keep up with all the notable innovations achieved by a variety of leading manufacturers. The first half of 2023 has been filled with exciting releases, including professional-grade lights for fledgling filmmakers and content creators, massive monolights capable of simulating sunlight, and useful accessories for gaffers, grips, and other professionals. Here are just a few of these new entries in the world of LED lighting, all currently available at B&H.
amaran S Series COB Monolights: Premium Lighting at an Accessible Price
When amaran emerged just a few years ago as the entry-level counterpart to Aputure’s popular line of LED fixtures, it held its own by delivering units with impressive quality of light at wallet-friendly prices. Last year’s T series LED tubes and F series flexible light mats helped make aesthetic accenting and convenient portable illumination accessible for those pivoting toward a more professional setup. In 2023, amaran introduced a new trio of monolights to supplement its already extensive catalog of LEDs.
Available in either 65W, 100W, or 200W options with configurations, the S Series of COB LED lights from amaran utilizes upgraded LED technology to heighten the quality of a budget fixture. Available in fixed daylight-balanced and variable color temperature models, these point-source lights produce accurate and stunning whites. The exclusion of RGB capability means more of the COB can be dedicated to delivering brighter and more natural-appearing illumination.
It is no doubt because of this that the S Series COB lights feature such high color-accuracy ratings, with CRI and TLCI numbers in the high 90s, as well as impressive SSI ratings above 85. These fixtures provide a huge improvement to the lighting offered solely by ring lights or other low-powered LEDs, offering color rendition that produces flattering skin tones and true-to-life images. Since the amaran COB LEDs can be operated by the popular Sidus Link app, there is no need to switch ecosystems if you decide to upgrade even further to professional-level lighting from Aputure.
Aputure LightDome III: Headache-Free Softbox Setup
Speaking of Aputure, its recent introduction of a third iteration to the LightDome series of quick-deploy softboxes has an innovative feature that distinguishes it from other light modifiers. Although it still affixes to the faces of lights using a Bowens-style locking mechanism (which is conveniently available on select amaran and Aputure monolights), the LightDome III’s mount is capable of folding in half when the softbox is to be stowed away.
Rather than collapsing into a deflated-umbrella shape, it can be folded completely flat. Every second on set counts, and the LightDome III circumvents the fiddly process of shoving a cylindrical tangle of rods and fabric into a floppy carrying case. The new softbox deploys just as quickly and easily as its predecessors, but slips seamlessly into a low-profile carrying sleeve. It is available with two outer diffusion cloths for different applications, as well as an inner baffle to diffuse and reduce illumination greatly, and a 40-degree fabric grid for further light-shaping capabilities.
Godox KNOWLED MG1200Bi: Innovative Illumination with G-Mount Modifiers
As an addition to its KNOWLED line of high-output and feature-packed lights, the MG1200Bi is Godox’s most powerful LED fixture to date. It can replicate the searing sources of large traditional lights while drawing a fraction of the power. Mount it high and point through a window for simulated moonlight, or adjust to a warmer color temperature for a cozy firelight scene.
What makes the MG1200Bi stand out, however, is its never-before-seen front accessory mount. Godox has introduced its new G-mount for adding light modifiers to this and any future large-scale LED fixtures, which features electronic “touch spots” that allow the light to communicate with reflector dishes, Fresnel lenses, and more.
Like many COB LED lights, the MG1200Bi uses a series of reflectors and lenses to throw its light in a variety of looks and beam angles. The light-modification system is built as a platform for future innovations, but it is currently used for a host of safety and time-saving features for accessories mounted on the MG1200Bi.
When one detaches one of the differently attuned reflector dishes or the GF14 Fresnel lens from the front of the fixture, the touch spots will recognize this disconnection and automatically instruct the COB to switch off, allowing you to mount the newly-chosen modifier safely without risk of eye damage.
The specialized Spotlight Mount also takes advantage of the G-mount’s electronic interface by using it to power its internal fans. The lighting effects achieved using spotlight mounts and ellipsoidal lenses can generate a lot of heat, even with LED technology, so the G-mount-driven cooling system makes sure the light and lens remain adjustable throughout the shoot without causing burns to technicians.
The G-mount opens a huge window of unique functionalities, thanks to its electronic contact points, and one can only speculate as to what Godox will come up with next!
Intellytech LiteCloth 3.0: An Ever-Expanding Line of Flexible Fixtures
With its signature line of LiteCloth foldable lights, Intellytech has always been at the forefront of lightweight and extremely low-profile LED fixtures. Every iteration has introduced new sizes and features to the ecosystem, allowing filmmakers and professional content creators to achieve complex lighting setups with high-fidelity color in any sized studio. LiteCloth 3.0 debuted earlier this year, adding a host of Mega and Mini Mega LED mats for large-scale productions that require an immense amount of natural illumination or full-spectrum color.
Expanding beyond the traditional travel-sized LiteCloths that featured up to four LED panels, the 3.0 series relabels these smaller mats as Mini Megas, while the Mega Litecloths sport up to eight panels for an ultra-wide wash of full or bi-color light. These larger fixtures still maintain the easy-to-assemble frame and softbox attachment characteristic of Litecloth, and are compatible with a wide range of accessories, available from Intellytech, to transform the unit for use as a portable interview key light, lightweight studio space light, and more.
Hudson Spider Flop Daddy: Instant Shade on Set
Hudson Spider recently introduced its unique multi-arm LED light design with the brand’s Mozzie and Redback fixtures. This year, instead of innovating in the world of light output, the company has added a highly versatile and adaptable light control accessory to its product lines.
When ambient illumination makes it difficult for crew members to do precise and accurate work, the Hudson Spider Flop Daddy instantly metamorphizes a standard 4x4 floppy flag into four-walled tent. Whether one is pulling focus wirelessly, maintaining video village, producing a new segment, or touching up hair and makeup, the Flop Daddy provides protection from the elements and privacy from others.
This is not just a product for grips and lighting technicians—it packs conveniently away in a lightweight shoulder bag to allow script supervisors, ADs, and other crew members without large kits to bring the Flop Daddy to the set. Its outer white walls will reflect heat to keep users comfortable. They’ll also roll up to reveal an inner mesh window layer. Because of this flexibility, the specialized flag attachment can be used for studio and location lighting control for producing more specific, three-dimensional cuts.
For more information about these new lights and accessories, including additional features, specs, and highlights, be sure to check out their full product pages. Or drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to reply to your comments and questions.