Lighting is one of the most basic and essential necessities for any kind of still or video production.
This may seem overly obvious, but it is amazing how often we say that video “doesn’t look right” and most often it is because the video is not “properly” lit. Flolight, a division of PrompterPeople, manufactures lighting fixtures that enable properly lit subjects at an affordable, cost-effective price. THe goal at Flolight has been to offer high-quality lights at affordable prices. This objective has helped Flolight grow to be one of the largest lighting companies in the US. They are committed to providing quality LED and fluorescent lights since both types of lighting consume less power, are easy to use and are safer to use than the older style hot lights that often cause burns when they are handled. In addition, Flolight offers diagrams and tutorials online that demonstrate how to achieve various kinds of basic lighting set-ups.
Most lights being purchased today are either LED or fluorescent for the aforementioned reasons. “Hot” or incandescent lights are still around and can be less expensive at first appearance than the newer LED and fluorescents. You could compare them to the old gas guzzlers in the automotive realm; hot lights consume more energy, both through current draw and also the high cost of air conditioning studios. They are not very “green”. Also, most hot lights require fairly frequent changes of the bulbs, some last only 50 hours. When you factor in power and bulb replacement the hot lights are “not so hot” to own. The LED’s in Flolight’s LED lights last upwards of twenty thousand hours, some up to thirty thousand hours. High-end fluorescents similarly last around twenty thousand hours. (See article, The LED Primer)
LED and fluorescent lights draw much less current, run cool, and put off very little heat, making them very efficient. For example, two of their fluorescent tubes draw just 110 watts and give off the equivalent of a 500-watt hot light, which does draw 500 watts but is very inefficient by dispersing a lot of the energy as heat. LED lights are even more efficient. The MicroBeam LED 512 is the equivalent of the 500-watt hot light and draws less than 50 watts.
Which is better?
Fluorescent lights tend to be a bit easier to just set up, point at someone and get a nice soft light. Because the fluorescent source is fairly large, the entire tube, it produces a nice soft wrap-around light. Flolight use High CRI 93 tubes. So, fluorescents are a good first light. The downside of the fluorescent is the fragility of the tube. As long as you don’t drop them, you are fine. They are perfect for green screens or other studio use where they are positioned and pretty much left in place. They will travel well if properly packed, as in our kits with hard cases. Did we mention kits? Flolight have a lot of them available and we’ll get to that and the good stuff: the promotional discount.
If you do a lot of traveling, even lugging the lights around school, you may be better off with LED lights. LEDs are more durable than fluorescent tubes. Even if you drop a light and break 2 or 3 of the LED’s you still have hundreds of working LED’s. THe LED lights have either 512 or 1024 1 watt High CRI (color rendering index) LED’s. Only 2 companies in the US are currently selling these High CRI LED’s that rate at 93 (out of 100) on the CRI scale. There are in-expensive LED lights available, they do not have the high CRI, and will not have the color temperature accuracy of these lights. They are cheap because they are using the LED’s that are essentially lower grade rejects from the factory. Flolight’s LED’s are High CRI and are in use by organizations like CNN, CBS, Reuters and many, many independent producers, film-makers, corporations and schools. Many of the news organizations and other users buy lighting kits, because they are a great value and set up for particular uses. Currently, Flolight is offering an additional 5% promotion on the already great prices of the kits. Here are the kits we recommend.
KIT-FL-110HMD3 $549 normally, $521.55 promo. This basic kit comes with 3 FL-110 non-dimmable 500 watt equivalent fixtures complete with stands and soft carrying bags. Available in Daylight or Tunsten. This is a good interview kit or can be used for a very small set. They can upgrade one, two or all of these lights to dimmable if you need, call or email Flolight for the cost.
KIT-FL-220AWD3 $1299 normally, $1234 promo. This bigger Flo kit has 2 1000 watt equivalent FL-220AWD and one dimmable FL-110AWD. Besides having more output for a bigger set this kit has wireless dimming so the lights can be dimmed all together or individually.
KIT-FL-330AWD3GR 2795 normally, 2655 promo. This kit has five lights. 3 for the talent and 2 to light a green screen. Perfect for green screen studios and will work for location work also. 4 FL-330AWD 1400 watt equiv. fixtures, 1 FL-220 AWD. Stands and carry bags included.
All kits are available with configured hard cases and the fixtures can be hung from a grid with optional baby pipe clamps.
The MicroBeam 128, MicroBeam 256, MicroBeam 512 and MicroBeam 1024 comprise their LED line. The number in the model is the number of High CRI 1 watt LEDs each unit has.
The MicroBeam 128 ($298) and MicroBeam 256 ($399) were developed for on-camera lighting and are available separately or in kits. Each has a rugged aluminum housing that makes it tougher and longer lasting than competing LED units. They also tend to be more light output than the other brand that has High CRI LED’s. These come with AC Power supply, soft bag and the ability to be battery powered. They are available either 3200K or 5600K color temperature and either wide 60 degree beam or 30 degree spot (which is easily diffused to wide).
KITLED3X1S-SOFT-DS $899, $854 promo. This kit has 3 on-camera MicroBeam 128 as used by news organizations and the TMZ. Can be used as location kit or the lights can be split up among 3 cameras. Includes articulated mounting arms for flexible mounting.
KITLED2X2S-1X1S-HARD-DF $1349 normally, $1281 promo. We call this the SWAT KIT because it is always ready to do the job and will handle a lot of situations. 2 of the MicroBeam 256 and one MicroBeam 128 with mounting arms in a compact ATA rugged flight case the size of an attaché case.
Larger LED Kits
The MicroBeam 512 ($549) and MicroBeam 1024 ($949) are great for location and studio. These come with AC Power supply, soft bag and the ability to be battery powered. They are available either 3200K or 5600K color temperature and either wide 60 degree beam or 30 degree spot (which is easily diffused to wide). The 512 and 1024 also come with a gel holder so standard theatrical gels can be used to change color or diffuse.
KITLED2X5N-1X1S-SOFT-DS 1399 normally, $1329. CNN is buying this kit for location interviews, need we say more? Also available with V-mounts for locations where you need to run totally on battery. 2 MicroBeam 512’s and one MicroBeam 128 for a hairlight. Also available with a hard case.
KITLED2X10N-1X5N-SOFT-DS $2349 normally, 2231.55 promo. The bigger brother of the CNN kit for larger setups and small sets. 2 MicroBeam 1024 and one MicroBeam 512. 2500 watts of High CRI LED power. Gets you anywhere you want to go, stands included.
The LED kits are available in wide, spot, daylight, tungsten and any combination. Flolight have smaller kits and larger kits, all available with soft or hard cases.
You can mix the LED and fluorescent lights as we have consistent color temperatures. LED’s tend to be a bit more “specular” or not as soft in look as the fluorescents. Diffusion will make the LED’s softer if you wish, or you can go with the natural LED look that lends a bit more definition to the image.