09.11.12

Lupolux DayLED

Lupolux DayLED 1000

Daylight balanced, continuous LED lights - cool to the touch but cool to use? KARL SHAW finds out.

Isn’t photography brilliant. So many disciplines that fall under the photography ‘umbrella’. So many choices, challenges, problems, decisions and rules that can be followed or broken, according to taste. Take the landscape photographer for instance; there’s little that he or she can do to create or alter the light. Yes, there are filters which tone down or alter said light, but landscape photographers play on time of day, angles and camera craft to produce their images. There’s no real need to supplement the light that comes from the sun, or moon for that matter. Why would you want to? You’re capturing a vista, a whole scene, a gorgeous sunrise or sunset - unless you want to illuminate a subject within the scene - job done with the available light.

Things are very different when you start to photograph people - especially outside. The very least you need to do is control light - whether you opt for a reflector to bounce sunlight, a speedlight for fill or battery powered studio heads, you are making creative decisions based on the effect you want to achieve. Inside is a whole different ball game.

 

When not on location I’m usually locked away in the studio photographing the beautiful people where I have at my disposal numerous ways of creating, diffusing, bouncing and shaping light. Which method I choose is based on the look and feel I want to create. Each light source has its own quality that’s hard to put into words and each light source produces light very differently from the next.

So, we’ve established that within photography there are numerous disciplines such as portrait, landscape, macro, or sport to name just a few and each discipline has its own sub-disciplines - for want of a better phrase, that can be broken down, taken apart and pigeon holed into its own sub category - complicated stuff.

If you’re still with me I’ll move onto lighting - specifically portraiture. When you look into the vast array of light producers, shapers and modifiers on the market it’s not difficult to get confused by each manufacturer’s products - only too easy to get drawn in and persuaded to part with your hard earned money when a brand new product promises to make life a whole lot easier and make your images a whole lot better hits the shelves.

To some, flash photography is a dark art, something akin to witchcraft that requires the resolving power only someone working in NASA’s control room possesses. Well, it’s not really rocket science but it is something that takes time to master, time to fully get your head around all the variables and time to instinctively set up multiple lights and get them working in harmony with each other. At least with continuous light what you see is what you get. Okay, you get modelling lights with flash but they don’t exactly show you the whole picture - no pun intended.

I’ve always been a fan of continuous lights so I’ve been itching to get my hands on the daddy of them all - the Lupolux DayLED. They’re not a gift - £576 for the 650W version and £780 for the 1000W. You may think that’s quite expensive for a single light, but, I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for - a statement that has never been more true than in the photographic world. In a studio environment where equipment can be in constant use for over 12 hours a day and are prone to the occasional knock or two it really is false economy to be tempted with cheaper alternatives. The Lupolux DayLED, or ‘Lupos’ to you and me, are certainly built to last - constructed from carbon fibre reinforced polymer, the makers claim will last a lifetime - I don’t doubt that statement at all.

So they’re well made. But if it was only about durability I’d surely get away with strapping a dozen Maglites together. I’m joking of course - but to me if I’m spending upwards of £1,000 on one light, more if I want a couple of units then the light had better be a bit special.

This is where the Lupos excel; the quality of light is special, very special indeed. Balanced at 5,600°K, and shone through a Fresnel lens, you can’t fail to be impressed by how clean and crisp the light output appears; there’s no yellowing, no colour casts, just pure ‘white’ light that has that lovely contrasty, Hollywood-style lighting.

And, because the Lupos use LEDs rather than tungsten, the units are cool to the touch. If you’re used to lights that get very hot, very quickly, you’ll appreciate being able to move the lights without fear of burns or popping bulbs - your models will still have a very bright light in their eyes but at least they won’t be suffering from the kind of excessive heat that other units can throw out. Another great thing about LED lights is that they don’t need warming up - switch on and away you go with pretty much instant, controllable light.

Speaking of control, things get better. Because the Lupos are basically spotlights there’s no incremental dial, no ‘high’, ‘medium’, or ‘low’ settings, no toggling between outputs. A dimmer-like dial controls the light from 0 to 100 per cent so you have as much or as little light as you need. There’s barn doors attached too. These come into their own for controlling spill and closing the light down onto your subject - you can also attach diffusers or gels.

You can even take them on location with the option of attaching to a battery pack - and because of their low output, they’ll last all day. They can also be controlled remotely through a control desk as part of a lighting rig for stage shows or video productions.

At a recent workshop at Banana Studios in Newcastle we used a couple of Lupos in one of the setups. Everyone who attended was impressed with the quality of light and agreed that the Lupos certainly added something that you just cannot get with flash.

If you’re in the market for continuous lights I can’t recommend these highly enough. Yes, they’re not the cheapest but as mentioned; you do get what you pay for - the quality of light is sublime, the build quality is second to none and you can control them to your heart’s content. They are literally brilliant!

Spec:

DayLED 650
50 W Powerled array.
Extremely light (carbon fibre).
Extremely low power consumption (50 W) and high light efficiency (650 W).
Spot or flood light.
Hot restrike.
0 - 100 dimming.
14 V battery connection.
DMX connection.
High CRI value.
Consumption: 50 W
LED colour temperature: 5600 K or 3200 K
Voltage: 90 V - 240 V
Yoke: included (available on request special handle for portable use with battery)
Fresnel lens: 120 mm
Weight: 2.5 kg
Dimensions: 190 mm x 160 mm x 180 mm
LED life: 50000 h
Price: £576

DayLED 1000
90 W Powerled array.
Extremely light (carbon fibre).
Extremely low power consumption (90 W) and high light efficiency (1000 W).
Spot or flood light.
Hot restrike.
0 - 100 dimming.
14 V battery connection.
DMX connection.
High CRI value.
Consumption: 90 W
LED colour temperature: 5600 K or 3200 K
Voltage: 90 V - 240 V
Yoke: included
Fresnel lens: 150 mm
Weight: 3.5 kg
Dimensions: 210 mm x 260 mm x 230 mm
LED life: 50000 h
Price: £780

DOWNLOAD our images, featured above using the Lupolux DayLED. Just click on the resiurces links below to get the high-res files.

 

Resources

  1. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 2

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 2

  2. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 1

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 1

  3. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 7

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 7

  4. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 4

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 4

  5. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 6

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 6

  6. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 5

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 5

  7. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 3

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 3

  8. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 8

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 8

  9. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 9

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 9

  10. Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 10

    Karl Shaw tests the Lupolux DayLED 10

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