Happy to announce we picked up our first ARRI M18. After going back and forth about ballasts I decided to go with the power gems Arri LTM combo 1800w PFC electronic ballast. The power factor correction of the Power Gems is a huge upside for this M18. The standard Arri ballast actually draws a little over 20 amps which can be problematic for many circuits that are older or have other inline fixtures within the same circuit. The EB180P Power Gems ballast has power factor correction ensuring that the ballast draws little additional energy that is not transferred to the lamp head coming in at 16amp vs 20.5 with the Arri. When on set the last thing you want to worry about is a breaker tripping or a line catching fire. With our new ballast you will have 4 amps to spare on a 20 amp circuit!
Northwest Grip has a brand new Lite Panel Astra LED pre-ordered for shipment in Dec 2014. This light has me (Casey) quite psyched up. It’s not everyday a new product comes out that stands out from the crowd in the lighting sector. I’ve been following the progression of this light for some time now and I finally had the opportunity to place my order.
Why is the Astra so exciting? First things first, it’s 4X brighter than the previous generation of 1X1 panels. That’s insane! Secondly, I like the idea of a bi-color light but loosing half the output never seemed worth it. Well with the Astra being 4X brighter, even as a bi-color it’s twice as bright as a straight day light or straight 3200K LED panel!
Third: I love that lite panel got hip to attaching the transformer to the yoke. This may seem trivial but when your on set and have to manage 25-50 cables, having one cord coming off this light with a self contained transformer fixed is really nice! The transformer can be swapped out for a V-mount or Gold mount battery for “off the grid use.”
Fourth: Lite panel had a moment of forward thinking and angled the yoke forward so the diode panel itself is positioned out from the stand and yoke allowing a better and unobstructed tilt down when needing to light subjects at a steep angle.
The fan, good or bad? Ok yes, there is a fan. Audio guys be ware! No the fan is ultra ultra quiet. The unit can be run withough the fan but the power is limited to 70% of the full output as to not overhead the circuits. No real biggie in my opinion. Also it’s great that the fan is “user replaceable.” I’ll make a video review once this comes in so you can get the full breakdown of this cool lighting tool!