youtube channel for steve oakley
Facebook logo for steve oakley

Saturday, September 21, 2013

All LED Lights Tonite !

Today was a little different. While I've often used maybe 1 or 2 LED lights out of several for a shoot, today was different. We went all LED. It was a typical talking head shoot. Normally I would of put up around 2-3KW of tungsten back in the old days of not so long ago. Maybe I would of added a flo light into the mix for fill or back light.  Today, we did this - 

1X1 panel light, 1K LED's, 60W full up, 2 layers of 1/2 frost, 1 6X4 silk as key, flagged off bottom with some black

1 24 LED hi emitter light ( 60W ), 2 layers of 1/2 frost, 1 layer  1/2 CTB ( native WB is 4300K ) as fill dimmed to about 50%

1 24 LED hi emitter light ( 60W ) as hair ( back ) light, 1/2 frost, dimmed to 25%

1 100w LED Fresnel on background with 1/2 frost and straw barndoored down

So another words our total power draw was about 205W accounting for the dimmer settings or quiet literally 1/10th the power draw of what I might of normally used. This was a really small room to shoot in, yet it never got too hot. If it had been the usual tungsten setup it would of been baking with the lights plus 4-5 people in there. 

All of that said, a few months ago I did a shoot that used a lot of tungsten lights, burning maybe 10Kw for something not so different. Ok, tungsten light makes for good skin tones, but so does having good make up. Tungsten lights have good CRI, at least for the sensors ( or film ! ) we normally work with. LED's have often had the problem of poor CRI / green tint. Well while its not perfect yet, its getting close. The 24 Hi power emitter LED's I have are custom lights - you can't buy them unless you know "the right guy who makes them", but they have great throw. Unlike panel lights using wide angle LED's, these have CRI 94 emitters, polycarbonate diffuser lenses over each emitter, and don't fall off after a few feet. Dimming or diffsuing them as needed they have become a key part of my lighting setup. Never mind the dual ball mount that makes aiming them easy because, yes they do require good aim to put light where you want it, unlike panel type lights. 

Of course we didn't talk about the audio setup where I fed not just the camera, but my laptop via USB XLR interface, one mic so that the director in NYC could hear the talent and do his thing. The web cam fed a google video chat with my audio so the director 1100 miles away could see what was going on. Virtual directing, welcome to 2013 ! Easier for everyone invovled !