In the pre-pandemic years, lighting fixtures for film and video production all seemed to all take on innovative attributes as light tubes or flexible mats. While some sources used LED’s, others offered the latest in Remote Phosphor technologies with varying results. Many of the latest LED fixtures use RGB LEDs, increasing the spectrum available by adding multiple White LED’s for increased luminance and for increased bias control in the color spectrum.
The latest advancement in LED lighting from newcomer Prolycht, takes that up by utilizing the latest six-channel (RGB+A+C+L) color matrix, using the addition of Amber, Cyan and Lime lights to the base RGB source, creating a light source that displays the Full Color Spectrum and allows it to be controlled from 2,000K to over 20,000K, without the insidious green spikes or limited color rendering of some sources. Those oddly colored LED’s allow projection of a nearly continuous color spectrum, with increased levels of brightness accurately. There is nothing new in the way this works, photo printers and printing presses have used additional ink color channels to refine or customize colors in print materials for decades, here the LED lighting technology is catching up by mimicking an analog solution used to achieve better colors on paper.
Yet it is that color quality in Prolycht’s Orion 300FS, that you have to see for yourself to appreciate. There is a unique quality observed in viewing full spectrum light sources that is far more pleasing and comfortable to the human eye. Yet the color quality of the light is but part of the story here, as the 300FS unit comes with an astonishing array of capabilities that allow you to match 46 existing natural and artificial sources by just dialing them via the menu tree. The unit also comes with presets for over 300 different Rosco & Lee designated filter types, an additional 19 user customizable effects that include fire types, lightning strikes, emergency vehicles from US and EU and more.
There are many little things that make life easier on set, such as a magenta / green bias adjustments, 5pin DMX I/O, RJ-45 Ethernet, with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity that includes the free ChromaLink App with full control of the unit remotely whether you are using a phone or a full lighting board.
Separated into an 8lb/3.7kg lamp and a 7lb/3.2kg control ballast, the Orion 300FS is far easier to work with onset because of the reduced weight of the lamp and its Bowens mount accessories. The 2-part aluminum design of the head and ballast allow it to be used on lighter weight stands and boom arms, while a simple 5 meter, 4pin cable with an IP 65/67 rating (waterproof) with a twist-lock LP-style connection connects the 2 pieces, highlighting the processing capabilities that are available in both the Lamp-head and Control Ballast. That distributed processing eliminates the need for an expensive and complex cable architecture between the 2 devices, allowing the available 10m extension cable to maintain flexibility at an affordable cost.
Due to an issue with my schedule, I loaned the demo unit to Michael Muser, an Instagram influencer (@photo_muze), Podcaster, Sommelier and business partner with Chef Curtis Duffy. Mike is an incredible visual artist, generating nearly all of the social media content for their Michelin starred restaurant Ever here in Chicago.
Working in Muser’s new studio space, I set up the light, told him how to download and setup the Chroma Link app to control the light, powered it up and left him to his own devices. Since Mike shoots all of the food and people for promotion, I left him with both the 36” Prolycht soft box with grid, leaving out the internal diffuser panel, giving the source a little more localized contrast, essentially a soft diffuse light, yet strong with directionality. I also included a 4ft x 6ft Chimera Lightbox to give him a “window” sized source utilizing the inexpensive Bowens S-type adaptor for mounting.
While Mike and I could not be farther apart in our visual styles or technical abilities, we both relished the simplicity of use and the quality of luminance. “There was something in the quality of the light that was missing from the lighting I have been working with, the Prolycht light just looks better. “I see cleaner looking highlights and more appealing food” chimed Muser, referring to the color equality of the full color spectrum output from the Orion verses his existing LED sources.
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With a street price around $2100 USD, the Orion 300FS is roughly one-third the cost of its closest RGB+ACL lighting competitor. The Bowens S-type reflector mount is stronger, easier to use and costs far less than I remembered. Prolycht is directly positioning this lighting system at owner-operators, industrial, corporate and the online influencer segments of video production with Bluetooth and the ChromaLink App, while not ignoring the Ethernet and DMX connectivity to seamlessly integrate into your existing studio or stage lighting grid.
Note: I was told the Prolycht company name is a play on the word licht, the Scottish word for light and it is pronounced as “Pro-Light.”