Review: Prolux PLX-Bi1500

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Good lighting is key to a good image regardless whether its photo, video or film. While out on location, one of the major challenges is varying light temperatures. Continue reading

Wed 5 Feb 2014

Stefan Stanciu


Good lighting is key to a good image regardless whether its photo, video or film.  While out on location, one of the major challenges is varying light temperatures.  They days of fiddling around with blue gels and getting your fingers burnt on the scorching hot barn doors are now over thanks to innovative LED lighting products such as the Prolux PLX-Bi1500.  This light can be powered from the mains using a 12v adaptor or via a V-Lock battery.  Not only can the brightness be adjusted from 10%-100% but because half of the LEDs are rated at 3200k and the other half at 5600k, its possible to have any colour temperature between 3200k and 5600k.

 

Why is this a big deal you may ask?  Picture this (no pun intended!): You’re shooting an interview outdoors and you need a little fill light on the subject’s face due to the high amount of ambient light behind your subject.  Set the colour temperature to 5600k as this is closest to daylight and your subject looks natural but well lit.  You then are asked to film indoors where the room is lit with normal incandescent bulbs producing a yellow light.  No problem, adjust the colour temperature to 3200k and the PLX-Bi1500 complements the existing lighting.

 

The light comes with a good quality light stand as well as a power adapter.  If you’re out on the road a lot then being battery powered is your best bet.  The mounting bracket can be attached to any side or the light allowing it to be mounted on a floor stand, or suspended from above on a light grid.  The supplied carry case is no larger than the average laptop bag allowing the light to go virtually anywhere.

 

The included diffuser does a good job at breaking up the individual light beams and during tests in our small studio I’m happy to report the quality of this light is indeed very good.  The diffuser is attached using four magnets in the corners and will happily stay on even in windy situations.  To be honest, I haven’t removed this at all as I prefer the diffused light.  Its surprisingly bright for its size and in our studio we had it mounted about 2m away from the subject and had to dim to about 50% to blend in with the other lights.  Working outdoors, we’ve found we had to use it on full power to cope with bright daylight.  As with any multi-led panel, the beam cannot be adjusted, its a permanent “flood” pattern which generally works well for most short distance work.  The barn doors actually have far less effect on larger panels compared to smaller (fresnel size) lights.  They are however useful in preventing light from spilling outside of the desired area.  If I could improve this light, I’d add DMX control to make it more studio friendly but that would probably push its price beyond the reach of most people looking for an affordable yet portable light.  All in, the PLX-Bi1500 has been one of our most used bits of kit over the last two years.  Thumbs up from me!

 

Our PLX-Bi1500, was supplied by TNP Broadcast.  If you’re in the market for this or any other LED lights, give them a call and they will be happy to help.

 

 

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