Back in September of 2017, Litepanels announced the Gemini Bi-Color panel. Recently, they had it’s coming out party for the US at the ASC Clubhouse in Los Angeles, and we got a chance to see it close up. Alan Ipakchian, global brand manager for Litepanels was good enough to talk to us on camera about the light and what makes it so special.
First, Bi-color doesn’t do it justice. The light can reproduce every color in the spectrum with its RGBs as well as daylight and tungsten LEDs. This allows you to fine-tune the light to match a myriad of situations. You can control the hue, saturation and color temperature. This also lends the light to do effects similar to the Arri SkyPanel.
Although they had a Gemini on display lighting the fireplace at the ASC Clubhouse using a “fire effect”, Ipakchian declined to talk about effects as he said they are still being developed possibly with some third party vendors. I found this curious because it’s its ability to do effects which will make it a real threat to the Arri Skypanel which is about $1500 more than the Gemini. I’ve talked to a cinematographer who used the lights recently to reproduce campfire and said they worked great, and the effect at the clubhouse was compelling.
Besides the price and the lack of onboard effects, (which will probably change soon,) the key difference in the lights is Litepanels inclusion of a tungsten LED in the group of RGB and Daylight. The Skypanel only has the Daylight and uses the RGBs to produce tungsten.
Other cool features include the ability to turn the fan off, a warning when you’re overheating the LEDs, and an internal power supply so nothing dangling to deal with.
Here’s more about the Gemini from Litepanels:
Litepanels®, a pioneer in LED lighting for the film, photographic, and broadcast industries and a Vitec Group brand, today introduced the Litepanels Gemini — an all-new 2×1, RGB-WW soft panel that combines daylight, tungsten, and red-green-blue LEDs to deliver highly flexible and precise color adjustment. The Gemini soft panel produces true, full-spectrum white light and an extensive choice of control options designed to suit any professional lighting application. Visitors to IBC2017 will get an exclusive first look at Gemini’s high-quality light output on the Litepanels stand (12.E65).
“When we introduced our original 1×1 panel, we altered the lighting industry landscape forever and fundamentally changed the way DPs choose to light film and television projects. Our customers have been asking for a wide, soft light source like the original, but in a 2×1 form factor. We have delivered with Gemini, and we’ve raised the bar for professional lighting once again,” said Pat Grosswendt, Co-founder of Litepanels and professional gaffer. “Now, users not only have the convenience of achieving their desired lighting setup without having to gang together multiple lights, but they can also rest assured that Gemini, as a true RGB-WW panel, will light their talent with the industry’s most accurate white light.”
Until now, users of most 2×1 panels have achieved white light by mixing red, green, and blue, which can create undesirable color spikes. Gemini eliminates this problem by giving users a daylight-to-tungsten light foundation and then enabling them to finely adjust color throughout the full, 360-degree color wheel. This means that users can match a broad range of ambient lighting conditions quickly and simply. One example might be shooting in an old warehouse with florescent lighting, where accurate white balancing could be easily achieved by adding or removing green.
Gemini offers this unmatched flexibility through its easy-to-use, intuitive menu interface with LCD screens in three lighting modes:
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) Mode, for bicolor (daylight to tungsten) with +/- green adjustment
Color Mode, offering hue saturation and intensity (HSI) control for full color and saturation control
Gel Mode, providing the ability to dial up a variety of popular gels
All three modes offer users complete intensity control with smooth dimming from 100 percent to zero without any color shift. Users can define presets to save their favorite lighting attributes, including intensity, for quick and convenient recall.
Gemini offers flexible remote control through DMX (5-pin XLR or RJ45), Wireless DMX (both using standard 512 protocol), or Bluetooth, an industry first. Gemini can be remotely controlled using the Litepanels SmartLite or SmartLite Director apps for Apple devices.
Recent independent testing demonstrated that Gemini delivers outstanding photometric performance, measuring TLCI/CRI levels of 97 in daylight and 99 in tungsten. This means that lighting professionals can reliably achieve exceptional color and realistic skin tones — ultimately eliminating the need for color correction and saving postproduction time and money.
With its on-board power supply, Gemini is significantly lighter than competing panels that require an external ballast. Without the need for external power components, the panel is significantly more agile, allowing it to be transported easily and rigged rapidly with fewer cable connections. Gemini panels can also run from battery power (3-pin XLR 28 VDC), or power can be daisy-chained from other devices using an industry-standard powerCON connection.
“The color quality of the Litepanels Gemini allows me to precisely match existing tungsten lighting sources in a variety of applications, especially when dimming. I can dim all the way to zero, which is incredible,” said award-winning cinematographer Andrew Dunn, BSC. “My gaffer, Jose Ruiz, and I find rigging the Gemini incredibly easy. Its output compared to its weight makes it even more extraordinary, giving us on-set versatility that is a tremendous time-saver.”
Dunn added, “Gemini works well as a bounce, and it’s soft enough to be used as a fill for our talent. For one particular film, we were able to use Gemini to bring out the inner beauty of our leading ladies and make them feel (and know) that they were being lit in the best possible light. Plus, the ability to dial in a range of unique colors and smash them into a background so easily brought depth, texture, and interest to the scene.”
Like all Litepanels products, Gemini is complemented by a full line of light-shaping accessories, such as honeycomb grids and barn doors, to offer users extra creative lighting control. By the end of this year, Litepanels will release a mounting hardware kit that will enable customers to stack multiple Gemini panels either vertically or horizontally.
The Litepanels Gemini 2×1 panel is now available at a suggested retail price of $4,440
For more information about the Litepanels Gemini, go to their website at gemini.litepanels.com