Our clients are saving significantly thanks to wider adoption of the new LED lighting technology. The potential power differential can as as great as 75% when compared to incandescent lighting. Although LED lighting has been around for a decade it’s use in Film/ TV production has been limited largely to panel lights. Which were mainly used in field production. In that context they were competing to replace existing fixtures which pulled less than 15 Amps. Which is the capacity of most household plugs. The design of the fixtures limited their use to soft sources and in fact the lights had a tendency to cast multiple shadows unless diffused further. So the cost and relatively restricted uses of the lights compared to existing sources had limited it’s appeal. But no more…
Advances in fixture design have moved LED lighting from a bit player to a starring role on Production. Arri leads the way with the Skypanel soft light and L-series of LED Fresnels. These fixtures are increasingly replacing both Tungsten, Fluorescent and HMI lighting on set. At 400 watts a L10 is as bright as a 2k Junior. The L7 compares to 1k Baby Fresnels while pulling only 160 watts. These fixtures are also available in color changing models, which saves you on gel. The Skypanel line has been enjoying the widest popularity of an fixture of any fixture I’ve ever seen. This soft light which pulls only 400 watts but has an output equal to a 4k Soft Light or
a 6k Space Light, depending on how you rig it.
Mole-Richardson is innovating as well with LED fixtures such as the 1600w Tener. That’s a light that is as bright as a 10Kw Fresnel but pulls only 1600 watts. ETC has a retrofit LED lamp housing which pulls only 155watts but has a half stop brighter output than a unit lamped with the traditional HPL750 globe.
Let talk about the main event, money and savings. Cine Rent West has been increasing their use of LED heads in the past year. With their increased use has come a marked drop in power consumption on stage. A recent product shoot used was only around 8Kw. The usual draw of approximately 1000Kw. Coach and Sarge Cine supplemented the existing LEDs. Using Cine Rent West’s and Coach and Sarge’s LEDs the electricity charge was expected to be on 18.00 as opposed the the usual 200.00 fee for such a shoot. The power charge for a reoccurring shoot went from 500.00 last year to only 20.00 this year.
We recently sold 28 L10 and 28 L7 Fresnel heads to a local studio. The L10 heads replace a 2KW fixture and the L7 replaces a 1Kw. In the past the 1k and 2k lights would pull 76Kw every day. Now, with the LED fixture they will be using only 15680 watts. 60320 watts saved! Not to mention the reduced operating expenses on globes and gel replacement.