by Tim Fok | 9th November 2016
Litepanels are offering a flash sale on their Astra E panels, placing the “lower powered” daylight model into sub-$500 figures. The sale is for US retailers only, and will last until 5pm PST on 10th November. I’ve been using the Litepanels Astra for years. For me, they’re one of the most versatile portable light fixtures on the market. Dimmable, bicolor, great color reproduction and most of all, powerful. The latter means you can use these fixtures in ways no other panel can. You have the ability to modify your light heavily to obtain much larger and softer sources, whilst retaining good light levels and still remining portable. The Astra comes in three brightness models: the straight-named Astra being the most powerful, followed by the Astra EP and finally the Astra E. There are daylight, tungsten and bicolor versions of each model as well as an Astra Soft. This flash sale is for the Astra Daylight E version, a great cost-effective option for more controlled environments like studio or interiors without lots of windows to compete with. The current sale is valid in the US until 5pm PST on 10th November, saving you $133.00.Read more
by Tim Fok | 23rd February 2016
Litepanels has announced the latest panel in the Astra family. The Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft takes the portable, high intensity, mixed-temperature goodness of the original panel and adds a diffusion face to allow a much softer light cast. The Litepanels Astra is fast becoming an industry standard when considering a 1X1 panel. It provides an accurate high intensity bi-color light that can be both battery and AC powered. It’s just got better with inclusion of a diffused new face creating a fantastic soft portable key light solution. I’ve owned and used the original Litepanel 1X1 Bi-Color for close to a year now, it’s become my number 1 go-to key light due to its no fuss AC/batt powering options, high power output and fantastic color accuracy that is well maintained throughout the zoom and kelvin temperature range. When I’m using the Astra 1X1 as a key light, 90% of the time it’s through a 1 or 2 stop silk flag. The remaining 10% of the time it’s used on its own as I don’t have the time/space/free hands to carry a silk modifier. The new Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft gives you soft-light results right out of the bag; there is now less of a requirement to take a flag kit with you to soften you key light. Of course, a silk flag setup gives you much more control over the quality of the light. You can alter the distance of the flag to subject and light source to get different results; a flag is generally bigger in surface area than a 1X1 panel also so at face value the flag setup will be softer. However having a soft face built in is a fantastic solution for where you require a quick and/or compact setup, one that leaves you no time or space to add additional modifiers. Of course heavy diffusion comes with reduced light output. I’ll update this article with information on whether the Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft has an increase in power compared to the original Astra to compensate for the extra diffusion. Either way, you can take comfort in the fact that the Astra is four times the power of the original Litepanels 1X1. EDIT: I caught up with Litepanels today at BVE and the Astra Bi-Color Soft is the same power as the original. When powered via AC it really packs a punch. It does a great job on batteries too (power output on batteries less than AC); make sure you’re equipped with high draw V-locks (look for 110W+ max discharge figures) to ensure the light doesn’t cut out at high brightness. The Astra 1X1 Bi-Color Soft will make a great key light for corporate talking heads as well as news & events filmmakers and even documentary and narrative. Anywhere that requires soft, accurate light with the ability to alter brightness and temperature, the Litepanels Astra B-Colour Soft would be a good consideration.Read more
by Tim Fok | 11th June 2014
Litepanels has announced a new 1X1 LED panel. The Litepanels Astra is a bi-color modular design providing light up to 4 times brighter than its predecessor. In an upcoming episode of our talk show “ON THE COUCH“, my colleague Nino Leitner hosted Ali Ahmadi from Litepanels (along with other Vitec Videocom representatives) who presented the new 1×1 in person. (The episode will be posted within a week.) The Litepanels Astra takes on quite a sleek appearance, with the power supply relocated to the yoke making room for a user switchable fan and modular control panel. The fan can be turned on and off, and is key to achieving its 4 times brighter status (with the fan turned off, the Astra can provide up to x2 times its predecessor). The light is bi-color providing both tungsten and daylight LEDs, Fading either up and down provides any temperature in between. Unfortunately Litepanels do not provide an exact CRI rating, but is quoted to have “Superior color reproduction” with a “High color rendition (CRI)”. The yoke is has been re-designed so that it is curved. This is nice as it gives the light more flexibility; you have a greater angle of adjustment before the yoke gets in the way of your light beam and casts a shadow. The modular control panel can be inserted quickly. Litepanels state that this is designed to offer the user with a selection of control panels, presumably enabling the user to save costs if they don’t want certain features. The current optional control modules offers DMX in/out control and a digital interface to monitor information such as brightness and color values. Key features of the Litepanel Astra: – Aluminum I-beam core construction – Higher intensity = Longer throw = Wider effective beam spread – High color rendition (CRI) – Adjustable (daylight to tungsten), accurate color temperatures – Completely silent passive cooling mode – Ultra-quiet active cooling mode with double light output – No noticeable color shift throughout the entire range – Flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle – Optional communications module allows the brightness, color temperature, and cooling mode to be controlled via DMX512 protocol (Additional module options under development) – Optional yoke mounted Gold Mount® or V-Mount battery plates – Field replaceable fan module and external power supply – Aluminum accessory mounting points and lens/filter rails – Durable, industry standard 3-pin XLR locking power connector – x2 ¼-20 mounting points on Yoke And the Specification: Size: 17.7 x 16.3 x 5.3” / 45 x 41.3 x 13.4cm Weight: 7 lbs. / 3.2kg Maximum Power Draw: 110W Power Supply: 24V DC via AC Adapter Power Requirements 13-24V DC / 100-240VAC DMX via RJ45 (Optional Communications Module)Read more
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