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Thread: Reinventing the light bulb has photographic implications

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    Reinventing the light bulb has photographic implications

    I think this is probably the most exciting new idea for lighting I've ever seen. I hope you agree. What's more, you'll recognise the accent on the presenter as very familiar.



    PS. The lead-in story about photographic applications can be found here no Petapixel.
    Last edited by WhoDo; 23-09-2012 at 9:54am.
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    how unbelievably cool
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil70 View Post
    how unbelievably cool
    Imagine working in the studio with your Android-powered DSLR (full frame or even medium format maybe) and being able to dial in the intensity and colour of all of your lights, individually or in groups, right from the back of your camera! No more sync cables, no more remotes, no need for high powered and expensive strobes; just multiple low-cost LED heads for continuous lighting behind any kind of modifier you like and any colour that takes your fancy! Hell, I may even be able to take a decent portrait or two with a setup like that!

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    ummmm, nope, don't recognise the voice at all ??
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    Something very simple, extrapolated into a wonderfully useful idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    ummmm, nope, don't recognise the voice at all ??
    Maaattteee, I did say "accent" not "voice" and Strine is the universal lingo now ya know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Something very simple, extrapolated into a wonderfully useful idea.
    How much easier yet more interesting will it make studio portraiture, for example, Rick. One of the big issues with continuous lighting is heat. LED's give out no heat at all, and their light is very, very directional. When I was making gaming signs for clubs and casinos, I preferred LED lights as the source for that reason, and the ability to make them turn on and off at a whim was a bonus, too.

    To get all of this functionality in a tiny light globe-sized package is just brilliant IMHO. I hope they take over the world, and not just in photography. The savings in electricity generation costs alone would be worth the effort.
    Last edited by WhoDo; 23-09-2012 at 5:46pm.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I hate to say it, but I don't really think this is new. It is quite easy to buy lights like this, though this is the first I have seen with a smart phone app. Most just have a wifi remote control. You can get them for $7.36 on ebay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    I hate to say it, but I don't really think this is new. It is quite easy to buy lights like this, though this is the first I have seen with a smart phone app. Most just have a wifi remote control. You can get them for $7.36 on ebay.
    Not suggesting you're wrong, Steve, but are you sure? Can the eBay equivalent change colours and dim too? I know that LED globes are nothing new. I was using LED globes 12 years ago, in my (then) business of creating gaming signs. They could do lots of stuff but relied on a fairly chunky controller and wired connections back then. Programming the sequences wasn't all that simple either.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I've got one. It looks like a light globe but it comes with a small wireless controller that allows you to change the colour and the brightness. Very clever and very cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    I've got one. It looks like a light globe but it comes with a small wireless controller that allows you to change the colour and the brightness. Very clever and very cheap.
    Well if that's the case then a lot of people have wasted a lot of money investing in the LIFX startup venture!

    Is it bright enough to use in a bank of continuous lights for photography? Oh, and can multiple globes be controlled singly or in groups?
    Last edited by WhoDo; 24-09-2012 at 9:23pm.

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    What ever the case....out now or not...I want them!! Fantastic idea. Love the way you can use it as a night light and program it to slowly dim. Ingenious!
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    I'm not sure if you can control groups of lights with one controller, but I would guess so. The problem might be with individual control. I do think the iPhone control is a good idea and it would need the ability to differentiate between globes, but that should be easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Monny View Post
    What ever the case....out now or not...I want them!! Fantastic idea. Love the way you can use it as a night light and program it to slowly dim. Ingenious!
    Spoken like a true mother!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    I'm not sure if you can control groups of lights with one controller, but I would guess so. The problem might be with individual control. I do think the iPhone control is a good idea and it would need the ability to differentiate between globes, but that should be easy.
    According to the blurb, the globes can be grouped and operated as a group or as individual units. I could imagine the ability to add intensity to one side of a single continuous bank, and subtract it from the other, giving amazing control over studio lighting for portraiture for example. Then you throw in the ability to add colour without gels and wham! Instant hit in my book! Of course they need to be closer to your $7.36 version than their $69 version. They also claim a life expectancy of 25 years! Studio photography suddenly got really cheap to do well IMHO.
    Last edited by WhoDo; 24-09-2012 at 10:05pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    ...... Of course they need to be closer to your $7.36 version than their $69 version. They also claim a life expectancy of 25 years! Studio photography suddenly got really cheap to do well IMHO.
    Something like this, with a well written app, I'd expect $30 or so.
    The Chinese will cotton onto the idea soon enough and wham! these guys will be out of business.

    Of course the Chinese version will fall into a heap on the software side of things.

    I'm curious too tho, I understand that it operates as a standard lightbulb, but when the light is switched off via the app, rather than the switch, how much standby power is it consuming?
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    Just saw a similar thing for $20 on site sponsor Zazz's daily offering for today. It too is remote controlled wirelessly, but no mention of being able to control multiple units or group them and control separately. Must be the Chinese version you mentioned, Arthur.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I have a question. Does a lamp that works from 3 discreet colours (eg red, green and blue) produce the same effect as a pure wavelength colour? By this I mean does the subject that the light is cast on appear as the same colour as it would with the pure wavelength (eg natural sunlight)? Since the camera sensor is r,g,b anyway, that end of it should be the same, but is the reflected light the same???

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    good question Steve.

    When Andrew and I were at the photography show at the MEC(Melb) a few months back I remember seeing an LED studio lighting kit/device where the colour of the light was controlled variably via some software(I think only PC at that stage, but with an app based version in the making).

    The difference between that led light kit, which used a large series of the standard bulb type LED, as opposed to the brighter 1-5W chip type.
    Their colour changing solution was to use white and yellow bulbs, and vary the intensity of each colour accordingly. Obviously more yellow for warmth, and more intense white for cooler light.

    That's a stark contrast to the RGB solution that these guys are using.

    I suspect that the colour of light reflected off the subject will appear close to as expected in terms of temperature.

    I'm not sure how the wavelength(s) of light will with these globes will affect photography tho.
    As the vast majority of digital cameras have their sensors filtered into a narrow wavelength band, the actual wavelength that these tricolor LED bulbs produced will be insignificant.
    (ie. whatever wavelength they emit, will be filtered by the sensor anyhow)

    I'm only guessing at this tho, but this guess is backed up with the experience of the LED studio light equipment I and Andrew became interested in at the show.
    The colour reproduction capability of these lights was close to ideal if I remember correctly.
    They may not have been the brightest lighting in the field, but when the software was dialled in for them to produce 5500(or so) flash/strobe quality light output, I vaguely remember that the results looked quite good.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I suspect that you are right in most cases, Arthur. There may be some unusually coloured subjects that do come out different. For example coloured surfaces that change the frequency of the incident light to something with a longer wavelength as in the case of flourescence. This should not matter for normal pigmented surfaces, but could be interesting with some fungi. Also, structural colours could be radically different because they do rely on specific wavelengths to reflect anything at all. Again, this is probably quite rare and would not apply to things like human faces.

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    I've seen this which is of a similar flavour, one of these up scaled would be interesting too

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...udio-for-photo

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    Nice concept, especially the simplicity and software part of it, but a bit pricey given the home target.

    I'd be worried about the life of the wireless module. LEDs last forever minus a day, but there is more to those bulbs than just the LEDs. There are dmx-over-wireless solutions in the artistic lighting world, and they are often notoriously unreliable.
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