The first round of LED lighting products to hit the market got a bit of a bad wrap in the pro sector. Poor color reproduction, inconsistent color temperature and the weird dappled pattern made by the reflection of the LED banks sent many gaffers running for their traditional tungstens.
When none less than Mole-Richardson steps into the game, it’s bound to raise some eyebrows. So what did Mole-Richardson come up with and is it worth ditching your current lighting kit for?
First up, the company chose to house their LED lights in a form factor nearly identical to their traditional lights. This will no doubt give many gaffers some sense of comfort when working with the product. The fresnel lens and standard focus adjustment will be familiar to anyone who’s worked with Mole lighting before.
What won’t be familiar are the controls for dimming light intensity and color temperature. And this is in fact one of the critical points for LED lighting. Can it maintain a consistent lighting temperature while dimmed, and can it faithfully reproduce the full color spectrum at both daylight and tungsten white point settings?
As you might expect from a company like Mole-Richardson, the lighting seems remarkably consistent across different intensity levels, regardless of whether set to daylight or tungsten white point.
Another strong point for the Mole LED lighting is output: The current biggest gun of the family is the 900W Senior LED which has the equivalent output of a 5 kW traditional tungsten.
Rather than create a large matrix of LEDs to build up output power, Mole-Richardson developed their own “Quantum Dot LED,” a single-source LED perfect for focusing through the fresnel.
Beam shaping on the LED spotlights will feel a little different to adjusting a traditional tungsten fresnel, but the difference is one that will fade with familiarity once you start working with the LED version. And when you’re looking at 5K output for 900 watts, you can start thinking about leaving that noisy generator at the rental facility and working with standard household power.
Now the Mole-Richardson LED’s are a premium product, so prepare to pay accordingly. But factor in the color flexibility, low-power consumption, and a lifespan of gazillions of hours (or something close to it) and you have a pretty killer deal.
Mole-Richardson has always been a trusted brand in the industry and it seems they’ve been cautious in waiting to release a product that matches the company’s reputation.
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