Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?

Designed to be a professional lighting platform with the strengths of the best systems available, while eliminating every single weakness they possess, Anthem One is one year old now.

Anthem One: is this the LED light to rule them all?

Presented as a groundbreaking LED technology, Anthem One has a new Strobe system that will allow its Light Cards to last 500% longer than a xenon flash bulb. There is also a mobile battery for video.

Announced as “twice as bright, half the weight, one-third the size and 2,000 times the lifespan… for one-fourth the cost of any HMI 400W system”, Anthem One, an “LED Lighting For Film, Photography & Much More!” , made it to Kickstarter early in 2018, only to be cancelled by the project creator in February 2018, despite the fact that during the first two days of the campaign the project had almost 200% of its funding goal.

Reasons?  According to a note published by Justin Eugene Evans,  inventor of the Anthem One, the Kickstarter campaign was cancelled because “We’ve managed to raise significant capital from private investors”.  This made it possible, according to the note, to deliver the product in two months. After six years improving and refining the idea, the Anthem Lighting System, comprised of Anthem One, Anthem Power, Anthem Power Plus, Anthem Light Cards and Anthem Accessories was ready to take the world.

Anthem One: is this the LED light to rule them all?

A lighting system that improves with time

It’s just another lighting solution using LED… so, why so much excitement? Well, apparently, Anthem One is more than another new LED light, it’s a system with interchangeable LEDs that produce completely different light fields. Anthem One uses Anthem Light Cards; swappable, tough, solid-state wafers coated with an array of micro LEDs. Each Anthem Light Card is as thin as a credit card and last up to 50,000 hours. Anthem Light Cards are available in a wide variety of frequencies including UV, broad spectrum agriculture, military grade IR and several types of visible light. The interchangeability of Anthem Light Cards makes them ideal for over 25 markets, including motion pictures, military, security, outdoor events, agriculture and mining.

Justin Eugene Evans, Anthem One’s inventor, said this, when the system was introduced: “Think of it like Keurig’s coffee machine. Anthem One is the Coffee Maker. Each Light Card is like a K-Cup. The customer decides what flavor of light field they need for their industry. They can easily swap Light Cards to output a completely different light field. And as LEDs get brighter, they can upgrade Anthem Light Card while still using the rest of the Anthem One lighting system. It’s the only lighting system in the world that improves with time.”

Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?

Six years to create Anthem One

Justin says “I began my career as a filmmaker and cinematographer. And I’ve always been disappointed by the expense and limitations of industrial-grade lighting technology. Various technologies have come out in the last 17 years but nothing came close to the punch of a metal halide. But, metal halides are dangerous, hot, clumsy and expensive. So, I spent the last six years of my life inventing Anthem One; a lighting system that breaks all the rules for dozens of industries.”

According to the inventor, he and his team spent six years analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of metal halides (HMIs), flourescents (Kino-Flos), LED Panels, LED-COBs, incandescents and plasma-based lighting systems. With that knowledge, he says, “we created Anthem One, a professional lighting platform that borrows the strength of each system while eliminating every single weakness they possess.”

Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?

A system to last for decades

Anthem One is a 5.5” (140mm) cube weighing 6.7 lbs. (3 kg). Anthem One’s exterior hides an array of neodymium magnets which allow users to snap it to steel beams or assemble multiple Anthem Ones into an array. Each unit is, according to those who tried the system, silently and actively cooled. A variety of accessories mount to Anthem One via its hidden magnets, Kensington lock ports or ¼-20 threaded bottom-socket.

Anthem One is operated by Anthem Power (Whisper Edition or Extreme Heat Edition), a universal 110v/220v power supply, or Anthem Power (Mobile Edition), a patent-pending, computer-controlled lithium-ion battery that reroutes voltage around misperforming cells to rebalance its output on-the-fly. “Our battery is built around a Matrix Circuit. Cells can be rerouted and reconfigured in real time to create a new series or parallel circuit. In addition, it’s the only repairable battery system in the world. With proper care, the system can last for decades”, says Justin Eugene Evans.

Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?

Designed for run-and-gun shooters

Anthem One retails for $1499, roughly 1/4th the cost of a comparable HMI (metal halide) lighting system. Combined with the extreme-longevity of Anthem Light Cards, customers will find Anthem One pays for itself in weeks or days, according to the company. Because it is a system, the company has developed a range of accessories that enable users to control and modify Anthem One’s light field even further. “Our first accessories focus primarily on the media industries. Lenses, speed ring adapters, doors & arms allow media professionals to use Anthem One in a manner to which they are already accustomed. Our next wave of accessories includes architectural and industrial applications”, says Adrian Ruddock, Anthem One’s Vice President.

One item that may interest some users is the Anthem Backpack, used as a one-light carrying case for Anthem One or to provide mobility to Anthem Power (Mobile Edition) while shooting, transforming Anthem One into a mobile powerhouse. The accessory makes it easier to work for run-and gun shooters, as there are no cables on the ground, no generator no G&L preparation. Jump on a motorcycle, climb into the back of a jeep or leap from an airplane and you light with a level of mobility never before possible.

Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?Whisper Edition for audio recording

In terms of batteries, there are two models available, the Anthem Power (Whisper Edition) and the Extreme Heat Edition. The first is designed for audio recording in extremely quiet environments where even the quietest of noises can be picked up by a microphone, while the second is designed for operating Anthem One in extremely hot environments or where sufficient ambient sound makes fan noise irrelevant. Because all Anthem Powers are interchangeable, the Anthem Lighting System is, says the company, the only modular lighting system in the world. Hot-swap Anthem Power (Extreme Heat Edition) with a different edition of Anthem Power to change Anthem One’s operating parameters.

Two more battery types are announced, and they point to solutions that may interest both photographers – Anthem Power (Strobe Edition)  – and video shooters – Anthem Power (Mobile Edition) -, as they represent not only a potential reduction of costs, if the indication given by the company is correct, but also, especially in the case of photographers a path that, I believe, some will want to explore further.

Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?

A strobe able to last 500,000 flashes

The Anthem Power (Strobe Edition) converts Anthem One into a professional strobe light, comparable to a 1000W/s strobe. It contains a 110V/220V universal power supply and proprietary LED strobe driver. It supports both TTL and Pocket Wizard. Strobe attack, pulse length, decay, latency, recycle time, interval and burst count specs will be released soon, says the company, stating that “however, all metrics are nano-second precise and consistent, far more precise than a xenon flash bulb”.

Anthem Light Cards will last, says the company,  approximately 500,000 flashes or roughly 500% longer than a traditional xenon flash bulb. That’s 30 years of use if a photographer shoots 50 photos a day, 365 days a year when operated by Anthem Power (Strobe Edition). Anthem Power (Strobe Edition) can be operated in temperatures exceeding 37.5 C (100 F).

Anthem One: is this the LED lighting system to rule them all?

A backpack for skydiving

Anthem Power (Mobile Edition)  allows users to light by land, sea and air without the need for available power. It contains 70 Samsung lithium-ion cells in our proprietary, patent-pending battery as well as our standard 110V/220V universal power supply. It lasts up to 3 hours at 100% brightness or 6 hours at 50% brightness. It requires approximately 2 hours to recharge. It is cooled by three powerful, air-chugging 2500 RPM fans that operate at approximately 22 dBA, about the noise level of a desktop computer.

Combined with Anthem Backpack, Anthem Power (Mobile Edition) allows you to light from the back of a motorcycle, while skydiving from 13,000 feet, while hiking through the Grand Canyon or while shooting a walk-and-talk on a busy New York street without the need for generators, cables, noise, gas or additional crew. Anthem Power (Mobile Edition) is recommended for documentarians, ENG mobile news crews, reality-TV productions, music videos, single-camera TV shows and feature films. Anthem Power (Mobile Edition) can be safely operated continuously at 100% brightness in environments with an ambient temperature up to 35 C (95 F) or 90% brightness in ambient temperatures up to 37.5 C (100 F).

Visit the website of Anthem One for more information about the different products now available.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…