FEATURE | L IGHT I NG UPDATE
DMG It would be easy to assume that a colour mixing light only really needs three channels. After all, video monitors (including giant video walls which are actually made out of LEDs) can mix a wide variety of colours from red, green and blue, and they look fine. Essentially all colour-mixing LED lights use at least four, though, and Rosco DMG’s Mix series uses six. The Mini, SLI and now Maxi Mix lights are flat panels, with the largest 360W device, at 1200 by 360mm, approximating the layout of a four-tube fluorescent fitting. The mid-sized, 200-watt SLI lists for £1700 and offers a keen £8.50 a watt, an attractive price for something involving some rather clever technology. Rosco DMG (in common with several other companies) uses LEDs emitting what the company calls lime green and amber, which are presumably phosphor-converted LEDs. Illuminating a green- or amber- emitting phosphor with a blue LED creates green or amber light with a smoother, more consistent spectrum that’s less likely to cause unexpected problems when used to illuminate brightly-coloured objects. Phosphor conversion of saturated-colour LEDs is an emerging technology at the time of writing, especially for the difficult blue channel, but something to look out for as it can put the final buff on good colour performance. It’s possible that Astera has leveraged this technology in its hugely flexible Titan Tube. The Titan seems intended for advanced effects work, built like a four-foot fluorescent tube but broken up into 16 pixels with inbuilt effects and
Phosphor conversion of saturated-colour LEDs is an emerging technology, especially for the blue channel
individual addressability. It is possibly the only device here not to include a white- emitting LED, and is described as having “mint” and “amber” emitters – presumably phosphor-converted, and good enough to mix a satisfactory white with a TLCI in the mid-90s. While the Titan might be used in huge numbers on a gameshow set, it’s also good enough, and flexible enough with the company’s comprehensive smartphone app, to go out on music videos or even as a straightforward keylight. At around £525 apiece, depending on quantity, the Titan Tube works out at £7.30 a watt and it is hugely flexible. For people needing an LED tube without the special effects capability, Quasar Science has now become now a household name. While the company doesn’t quite have a product to match the multi-pixel flexibility of Astera, the Q-LED Rainbow series offers full colour mixing, with the four-foot, 100W version still marked “available 2019” on the company website. Quasar has long provided a lot of conveniences for people keen to replace the fluorescent tubes of old, and the option to use mains or DC power and wired or wireless control are useful ones whether the tubes are zip-tied into an old Kino-Flo housing or duct-taped into a corner. The 48-inch, fifty-watt option lists for $600 (£458) or £9.16 a watt.
IMAGES BB&S has launched a full colour mixing version of its Area 48 series, above; more Astera Titan Tubes in use, left
62 DEF I N I T ION | JUNE 20 1 9
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