Even though an array of LEDs can be any shape or size, square seems to be the dominant form factor, and one foot by one foot is a pretty good size. It's the one chosen by Litepanels for their previous and new LED panels, the ASTRA 1 x 1 Bi-Color Panel, which has just been announced
Litepanels claims that their original 1 x 1 panel "Revolutionized" the lighting industry, and the Astra 1 x 1 Bi-Color Panel is effectively the next generation of this product line.
The quality of LED lights depends on the quality and consistency of the LEDs. With this in mind, the ASTRA is made with "premium quality" surface-mount LEDs with Total Internal Reflection optics, the combination of which allows users to vary the overall color between Tungsten and Daylight.
The quality of LEDs can vary within a single batch and to compensate for this the LEDs used in the new panels are carefully "binned" to provide the necessary accuracy and consistency.
The ASTRA panels have four times the light output and a longer throw.
To preserve the quality of light from the LEDs, it's important to control the temperature of the lights, and the new panels have both passive and active cooling modes, with full processor control. The passive mode is for completely silent use and the active mode uses an "ultra-quiet" fan, and in this mode, double the light output is available.
You can read Litepanels' full press release below.
Litepanels Introduces ASTRA 1x1 Bi-Color Fixture
Company Raises the Bar with Next Generation LED Panel Series
CHATSWORTH, Calif., (June 3, 2014 ) – Litepanels®, a Vitec Group brand and premier provider of LED lighting for the broadcast and production industries, is introducing its new ASTRA 1x1 Bi-Color panel at Cine Gear Expo (Booth 64) in Los Angeles on June 6-7. Building on the legacy of the company’s original 1x1 fixture, which revolutionized the lighting industry, the ASTRA 1x1 sets a new standard for the form and function of professional LED panels. Following the Litepanels tradition of a one square foot form factor, the ASTRA 1x1 Bi-Color offers a light output that is up to four times brighter than the company’s traditional 1x1 Bi-Color fixture, high CRI (Color Rendering Index), and user-selectable active or passive cooling modes.
The innovative daylight-to-tungsten tunable color model is the first in the company’s new ASTRA line of panels, with additional fixtures in the series set to debut later this year. While the original Litepanels’ 1x1 series was often imitated by competitors, its quality and performance has never been duplicated. In keeping with that tradition of excellence, the development of the next generation ASTRA product line was years in the making and every design element was meticulously crafted.
“The original Litepanels 1x1 has been used on thousands of sets and shoots worldwide since hitting the marketplace,” noted Chris Marchitelli, vice president of Marketing for Litepanels. “We’ve always known that our next generation panel would need to push the performance envelope, so we approached our new ASTRA line very thoughtfully. We took our time, drew from our wealth of experience building professional LED fixtures, and accessed the wonderful feedback we’ve gotten from our loyal customers. The time, effort, research and development we put into the ASTRA series has produced an LED panel that is truly astounding, yet highly affordable. When you put your hands on this light, you’ll see that we exceeded our own expectations.”
The ASTRA 1x1 Bi-Color panels are designed with select premium quality surface mount LEDs that are paired with custom designed TIR (total internal reflection) optics. The fixtures offer a tunable Bi-Color output, allowing users to adjust color from daylight to tungsten as needed. The high CRI LEDs have also been formulated to consistently deliver accurate color temperatures and visually pleasing color reproduction. Tightly binned LEDs and fine-tuned optics provide the new ASTRA 1x1 with higher intensity, a longer throw, and a wider effective beam spread than the company’s original 1x1 fixture. This allows the panel to compete with strong exterior light sources or illuminate a large area effectively with a single fixture.
Proper thermal management is the key to maintaining the long life and color accuracy of LED fixtures. To meet these demands, Litepanels’ ASTRA 1x1 offers both passive and active cooling modes. The passive cooling mode provides a completely silent operation, while the active cooling mode enables an ultra-quiet fan module and double light output. An internal microprocessor monitors the temperature, minimizes fan speed, delivers smooth dimming from 100 percent to zero with no noticeable color shift, and ensures a completely flicker-free performance at any frame rate or shutter angle. With the addition of an optional communications module, the brightness, color temperature and cooling mode of the fixtures are all controllable via DMX512 protocol.
Redefining the look of LED panels, the ASTRA series employs a modern, modular design. The modular-based ASTRA system currently includes a field replaceable fan module and the optional RJ45 DMX module with an LCD menu and function display. Additional wired and wireless communication modules are currently in development and will continue to be introduced to future proof the fixtures as new technologies become available. The unit’s manual controls are ergonomically designed for ease of use in the field, ensuring ready identification of dimming controls, color controls, and power status.
The new panels are produced with aluminum I-beam core construction to provide maximum durability and superior thermal management, and also feature strong, integrated aluminum accessory mounting points and lens/filter rails. The high impact, durable resin end caps feature downward angled exhaust vents carefully designed to direct air flow away from the fixture, minimizing obstructions and helping to prevent foreign materials from entering the panel.
“The ASTRA line is a very exciting addition to the Litepanels family of products,” commented Marchitelli. “We are always striving to set new standards and deliver the best in LED technology to our customers. We’ve done that with the ASTRA 1x1, which is likely the most versatile LED panel ever built. It’s both sturdy and lightweight, flexible and strong, and provides a higher output and better color than has ever been seen before. We’re especially pleased to be introducing this product at the Cine Gear Expo, as Los Angeles is where Litepanels got its start.”
The ASTRA 1x1’s extensive list of features continues in the curved yoke design with a wide tilt range, dual integrated cable guides, and a combination yoke-mounted power supply with a 3-pin XLR locking power connector and optional Gold Mount® or V-Mount battery plates. The yoke also features a removable TVMP connector and additional ¼-20 mounting points.
The ASTRA 1x1 Bi-Color panel will be available worldwide in the summer of 2014.