The Litepanels’ Hilio series are high output led fixtures that deliver the intensity, light quality and versatility of a traditional HMI par at just a fraction of the power consumption. Hilio panels emit a raw, narrow beam that provides the intensity you need for longer throws required to light an exterior, wash a set with soft light, or even illuminate a green screen.
As soon as I turned the Hilio LED light on, I noticed that this light is really bright. I’ve never used a single LED fixture that was able to give off this amount of light. Despite Hilio’s high intensity, this light is also energy efficient. There’s no ballast and you can plug 5 of these into one typical house circuit eliminating the need for a geni truck or a tie-in. For those of you on a budget, you know what a savings this is.
Pat Grosswendt, co-fonder of Litepanels and Hollywood gaffer of 35 years, speaks with me on his personal experience using and helping to design Hilio. Pat mentions a few things that I think are worth keeping in mind:
Power Consumption – The Hilio has a power draw of only 350W with the equivalent light output of a 2000W light.
Calculating Wattage – When calculating how many watts a unit is worth, a quick and easy way to do this is by dropping two zeros from the wattage of your lights. For example, if you need to power a 2000W light, you’ll need 20 amps. If you need to power six 2000W lights, you’ll need 120 amps. If you have a light bulb that is 100W, drop two zeros and you’ll know that you’ll be using 1 amp. This is useful for pre-production planning, as no one wants to throw breakers mid shoot.
In our first setting, we opened the barn door and shot me from just inside the entrance. We used a single Hilio D12 LED light as my key and allowed the full strength of the high-noon sun to light the farm scene behind me. Competing with the power of the sun’s light usually requires a net behind the talent to create a screen that cuts the sun’s light in order to achieve correct exposure of the subject. We were able to effectively light the subject (yours truly) and retain the shadows, highlights and detail in the backdrop behind me using only one Hilio as my key. Keep in mind that we achieved our shot with little effort and minimal equipment.
Our second example was shot as the sun was setting. Keeping golden highlights and the detail of our background scene was important for this shot. We needed to use the warm light of the setting sun for mood and also retain its glow on the grass behind me in order to see the detail. With our subject (me) in the shade, we also needed to introduce a light source to achieve correct exposure of my face. The goal here was to properly light the subject without compromising the integrity of the beautiful background scenery. Using a single Hilio D12 LED light (plugged into a house outlet) we lit our subject and were able to retain the warmth and detail of the golden grass behind me as the sun set across it.
After getting to use the Hilio D12 high output LED light panel in real world applications (two shown in the video), I found that the intensity of this light exceeded my expectations. Being able to compete with broad daylight is not an easy triumph for an LED light and the Hilio outperformed any LED fixture I’ve ever worked with in this respect – hands down. The light’s intensity coupled with its low power consumption is a winning combination in terms of versatility for the Hilio.
I also liked The nanoptic lenses that I was able to simply slide into the Hilio fixture. Like a traditional par, these lenses shape the light vertically, horizontally, or simply soften the beam but without the cost of expensive glass. This is a unique feature to the Hilio series that gives the user much more control and opens the light up to a whole host of uses both in the field and in the studio.