The LED innovator Litepanels has the Twins 1×1 heavy, a full RGBWW unit that packs a lot of punch into one small package.
The big compromise we all make with lighting units is, “Will it be soft, which is more flattering but usually doesn’t throw that far? Or will it be powerful, which usually means a harder, less flattering light?”
Litepanels, one of the driving forces in LED lighting, have released Twins 1×1 heavy, a new RGBWW light that aims to close the gap between these two worlds.
With an incredibly bright output of over 3,000 lux at 3 m Twins 1×1 heavy is one of the brightest 1×1 light sources on the market today. The 46 ° beam angle can be adjusted for softness if needed, but is versatile enough to give you power and control in a wide variety of situations. The reason Litepanels chose a beam angle of 46 ° is because it is the same standard used by the Astra 6X, a popular LED panel that is available in daylight or in two colors.
What’s even more impressive is that the Twins 1×1 heavy connects two other worlds. It is an RGBWW device that offers the full range of RGB light output as well as dedicated lamps for daylight and tungsten white light settings for full color matching.
Pure RGB devices often have difficulties in emitting high-intensity and color-accurate white light. So when you have an RGBWW device you have the flexibility to have both a wide range of RGB device colors and high performance and accuracy of the WW.
With an RGBWW spectrum, the Gemini 1×1 Hard matches a better color spectrum than the Astra series.
We had the chance to spend a few days testing the Gemini 1×1 Hard and we were particularly impressed with its sheer light volume, especially since it can be designed to run on a single battery, even though we have one Double battery recommend setups for longer runtimes.
The device accepts 10-33VDC so it adapts well as 24V setups become more common on the set.
While engineering measures like 3,000 lux at 10 feet are of course useful if you work in lux a lot, I always want to see what stop I’m getting as I work in bezels more often with my gaffer.
If you record in daylight at 800 ISO 24fps and a 180 ° shutter, the device outputs an aperture of 1: 11 in daylight at full power. That’s a powerful punch to start thinking of this hot backlight device when you want something that gives you 4-5 over key in a dramatic scene.
With its lightweight design, it will be easy to assemble and you will be able to get those glowing halos that are not always possible with less punchy units.
To be clear, it’s still a 1×1 light, so the light doesn’t get particularly “harsh” even in terms of a clean shadow light when you’re working relatively close to a subject. The light hardness still depends on the size of the unit. When that unit is close enough to a person’s face, you get a soft nasal shadow.
The trick that makes this device “tough” is that the relative light size decreases as you remove it further. Since the light device is so powerful, you can start backing up. If you secure it there will be harder shadows. If all you need is an F / 4 from this device, you may be able to get that spotlight with the device nearly 40 feet away, working at full blow in daylight mode without a diffuser.
This setup will give you the “tougher” feel just by the sheer relative size.
The luminaire comes with diffusers, both a flat screen and a dome, which can be combined or used individually to improve the hardness of the device if necessary.
They are both easy and quick to assemble and will likely live on light for many shoots. The great thing about them is that they won’t change the shadow cast dramatically as it doesn’t change the size dramatically. It just takes off the hard edge. Unless you need full punch from the device, you’ll likely be leaving one or both of them on for quite a long time.
The 0.1% dimming floor is also very much appreciated in the Gemini 1×1 Hard. While the main focus on this light is of course on the upper areas, one of our biggest frustrations with some lighting units was the high dimmable floor.
When time is short and you only need one hair less fill, it is great when you are able to sink yourself very deep on a device. We have worked with other LED panels that weaken and then have a large drop before turning off. This was not the case with the Gemini 1×1 Hard.
You get very fine control over the light output at the bottom, which is a ton when shooting in low light. If you use it as a filler material for a night case that works with ISO 5000 and T1.4, you will be making a lot of adjustments at the bottom of the dimming range.
The Twins 1×1 heavy starts at the surprisingly low price of $ 2,250. It is available in standard or stick egg yolks and various performance options.
Based on our hands-on experience, they are likely to be able to hit this price point despite all the power by focusing on the key features, low volume, and some advanced features.
The device supports wired and wireless DMX as well as Bluetooth control, so it does exactly what you need. But it’s not about something like a colorimeter and automatic light control, for example. While some of these features seem interesting to the competition, they drive the price up, and we respect the raw performance focus here.
Overall that is Twins 1×1 heavy is in a good sweet spot. Simple, sturdy controls and a focus on light output and controllability make this one that is likely to be incredibly popular.