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LEDs In Broadcast – The Benefits In Action

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Wesley Dodd of Celebro Studios explains how LED lighting can enhance any broadcast environment.

The humble LED studio light has come a long way since its introduction. It wasn't all smooth sailing to begin with, but the initial challenges (particularly around light quality and manufacturing) have been overcome and the broadcast, media and entertainment industries are now more accepting of the technology and its benefits.

The wider benefits of LED lighting
The advantages of using LED lighting are significant. It is cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly, and is also kinder to the talent in terms of limited glare and no additional heat.

The level of benefit varies based on which brand of LEDs are used. However, overall, they are up to 96% more energy efficient than tungsten, they produce far less heat – which means the need for cooling is minimised – they are more flexible and portable, and they have a longer lifespan.

A studio's requirements
Celebro Media Studios, the UK's first 4K television studio, is a prime example. Celebro was specifically established to cater for live television applications and is used by several global broadcasters, such as the BBC, MTV and Turkish state broadcaster, TRT World. When the space was being designed and built, there was a specific focus on innovation.

"We wanted to be at the forefront of technology. Everything from the monitors on the wall to the cables under the floor are suitable for 4K transmissions," said Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro. "This, of course, has been extended to the lighting too. Many people in our industry are sceptical when it comes to LEDs as they have probably encountered problems with too much green light, flickering, or some other kind of issue. We had to fight through those perceptions to some extent, and find a light that just didn’t have any of those problems."

With that in mind, Celebro fitted its studios with LEDs from British manufacturer Rotolight – initially 11 Rotolight Anova V2 bi-colour lights, which soon increased to over 50 units.

Dodd said: "The Rotolight Anova is the perfect light for working in the live television environment. We are able to light people accurately and very, very quickly, which has saved us time, mistakes on air, and a lot of money. The power efficiency and the lack of maintenance were a massive deal for us. If we were using anything else, tungsten or fluorescents, we would be spending time replacing them. We've been spoiled and we don't know how lucky we are."

Dodd is also a big fan of the fact that the Anova features different colour temperatures on one light.

"This is something that very few other LEDs can offer. At our studios, when we show people we've got an LED light that goes from 3200 to 6300 Kelvin – that's the moment they raise their eyebrows and realise the functionality they're getting."

Rotolight's product range delivers unparalleled levels of colour quality and functionality plus versatility, superior colour rendering and soft light output, making it ideal for cinematographers, videographers and photographers. The company's Anova PRO is especially well-suited to the studio environment, with AccuColour™ technology for exceptional colour rendering (scoring in the highest category on the independently-tested Television Lighting Consistency Index) and dual controls for fast, tuneable colour.

The Anova PRO also sets itself apart with only 48-watt power consumption at 100% output and five industry-first features which save time and money.

These features include CineSFX™, which allows users to recreate lighting effects such as fire and lightning. These effects can be recreated for large-scale productions using another feature, FX Slave™, that can control more than 500 third-party light sources.

The results
Users of Celebro may not always be fans of LED lighting at the start of a project, but in the end they are always won over by the quality, versatility and functionality.

"We once had a DoP at the studios who refused to use LEDs and had tungsten lighting shipped in. However, as the shoot went on, the tungstens were slowly replaced by the Rotolight LEDs thanks to their functionality, light quality and performance. By the end of the shoot they were only using LEDs."

"Rotolight is by far my favourite light to use," explained Dodd. "They produce a beautifully soft light, skin tones are excellent and colour accuracy is extremely high. We also find it's a very quick light to use. You basically point it at someone and they're lit. For us, this means cost savings, plus getting our customers on air sooner and more efficiently versus another LEDs. Most importantly, our clients are very happy. Every presenter that walks into our studios always asks, 'What are your lights? They make me look good!'."

This article is also available to read in the latest edition of Broadcast Film & Video here, page 14.

Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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