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Making Light Work Since 1882

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At Photon Beard (originally R.R. Beard), we like to think that we take a very practical, and where necessary an innovative approach to what we do; taking an appropriate source of light, and adding the ability to shine it where you want it, while giving particular attention to the quality of the light that falls on the subject.

Starting back in the days of lime light, we brought a greater degree of controllability to theatre lighting by inventing and patenting the automatic gas pressure regulator. This can be seen these days on many a portable gas bottle, but at the time this allowed for tighter control of the oxygen flow which in turn was vital in getting sufficient and controllable light from a lime burner. Same lime light, but now working better and more efficiently than ever before.

Since the days of lime light, and the subsequent arrival of electricity, we've built luminaires around just about every source of light that has been invented, be it arc, tungsten, discharge, plasma, and now in more recent times LED.

Our approach to LED lighting has very much been with a practical eye on both the quality of light, and now more than ever the efficiency of its ability to light the subject. As LED has developed to better fit the requirements of lighting for television, there are now many products that utilise LED as a light source, and although these do in many cases produce a beautiful soft, broad and diffused illumination, this does not always lend itself to lighting, for example, a news desk from three or four metres away without masking off a lot of spill. This masked and absorbed spill can account for a significant proportion of the light that was produced by the LEDs, so this is where taking a practical look at the overall energy efficiency, which is a primary advantage of LED, was enough to nudge us at Photon Beard in alternative directions.

Our goal was to produce a soft light that directs more of the light towards the subject with less spill to mask and absorb. The solution we developed was Highlight LED, created using a custom designed and unique curved remote phosphor light emitting surface that gives excellent daylight or tungsten colour balance with high CRI and TLCI, coupled with reflectors to help deliver the light to where it is wanted. Highlight LED is a luminaire range that can be built in several configurations to give power from 90W up to 360W using multiples of our 90W module. This is studio softlighting with a punch and throw that will be very familiar to anyone experienced in lighting with fluorescent studio fixtures, but in this case with all the enhanced advantages of remote phosphor LED.

This article also features in the November edition of Broadcast Film & Video.

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