Engineering Service, Inc.
Litepanels Astra 1×1 E fixture is lower-Intensity but fanless and highly affordable LEDs for Mid-level production
One look around these days and it’s easy to see. Bluetooth is everywhere — in our cars, smartphones, home security systems, and water sprinklers.
More and more, many of us are operating our cameras and tweaking the camera menus via Bluetooth and controlling our lighting the same way, quietly and unobtrusively, above the fray and from across the set.
Camera control via Bluetooth has steadily gained traction across the board among camera makers. Wireless and Bluetooth control of camera functions, including menus, is now de rigeur, even on professional camcorders like Panasonic's VariCam 35 and Sony’s PMW-F55.
In the same way, various lighting manufacturers are also integrating wireless control into their designs. One clear impetus for this is the desire among filmmakers to maintain a more tranquil set.
Bluetooth-controlled lighting reduces the chatter and clatter that are common on many sets; the movement of ladders and lips and beefy, boisterous grips can be highly disconcerting to God’s-gift directors and performers struggling to remain focused.
Even on larger and more sophisticated sets, where lighting may be DMX-controlled, the use of a wireless system to control individual "specials" — an actress’s eyelight, for example — can be very convenient and advantageous.
The point is that wireless Bluetooth controlled lighting, if it hasn’t already done so, is coming very soon to a set near us. We would do well to embrace it with open yokes and control it, silently and unnoticed, from the chaise lounge in the corner.
What’s Cool: Bluetooth control helps foster quiet, orderly set; fanless operation; flicker-free and dimmable 0-100% with negligible color shift
What’s Not: E model outputs lower maximum intensity than pricier versions; Bluetooth app currently for iOS only; no in-app graphical representation of lighting configuration
- Available in Bi-Color (as tested) and Daylight versions;
- Optional DMX control module;
- Power: 27W (max), 100–240 VAC or 13–24 VDC via V-Mount or Gold Mount adapter plate and battery;
- Standard 5/8-inch baby mount;
- Ships with removable 5/8-inch TVMP connecter for hanging or stand mounting;
- Weight: 3.2 kg.
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