Prolycht’s Orion 300 FS is a relatively affordable six-color LED studio light

Lighting manufacturer and research company Prolycht has introduced a six-color LED version of its Orion 300 spotlight that it says produces a much wider gamut of colors and is more able to accurately emulate ambient light sources than regular RGB models.

The new Orion 300 FS (Full Spectrum) adds Amber, Lime and Cyan LEDs to the standard Red, Green and Blue mix to produce a much more flexible light. Prolycht’s founder, Anqing Lui, says the new light outputs parts of the blue/yellow and green spectrum that other lights can’t, while also offering a white balance range from 2000-20,000 kelvin – regular RGBWW lights can manage 2800-10,000K.

Lui says too that the Orion 300 FS lights will match each other much more accurately than most other lights, as the six colors allow finer tuning via the light’s Hyperlight color engine so that two or three lights can output light with exactly the same characteristics. The current CRI (Color Rendering Index) standard is out-of-date he claims, and allows lights that look visually different to appear to on paper to be the same. This then makes it impossible for photographers to balance more than one light in the shot even when they have a high CRI rating.

Anqing Lui says these three images were shot with LED lights that have matching CRI ratings, but which all produce quite different skin tones. This, he says, demonstrates the CRI measure isn’t useful anymore

Lui says the problem is that making individual LEDs put out exactly the same color is very difficult and that most LEDs used for lighting are not consistent. 5600K LEDs are usually green or magenta, he says, and red LEDs are difficult to make with a consistent output, but by using six colors these inaccuracies can be compensated for.

Each Orion 300 FS is calibrated by having its output measured by a spectrometer tens of thousands of times over the course of ten minutes and the data fed back to the light’s color engine. This builds a unique profile for each light that ensures it puts out exactly the right temperatures, and that its output will match other Orion 300 FS heads being used at the same time.

A demonstration of the white balance range of the Orion 300 FS

This light doesn’t use white LEDs at all, relying on mixing its six colors to create white and to accurately match kelvin values throughout the range. Bi-color lights that use 5600K and 3200K LEDs are usually able to produce accurate kelvin matching at those Daylight and Tungsten white balance settings, but they are less able to produce a clean white point at color temperatures in between without the help of gels. The Hyperlight color engine of the Orion 300 FS however lets the user set an accurate white point in kelvin that the camera can match, and then allows colors to be added with saturation control so that the same specific color can be recorded at a range of kelvin settings to match other lights or lighting on-set in different situations.

The idea of this six-color light is interesting because it solves a number of problems we face when using bi-color lights and RGB/RGBWW lights, namely getting two units to output what looks like the same color when they are used together even when they have high CRI scores, and moving on from the limited range of colors that can be produced with an RGB mix. Users of these lights will also be familiar with the problems of getting an attractive skin tones when the lights are moved from their basic daylight/tungsten settings.

The RGBALC Orion 300 FS can actually produce a wider gamut than most cameras can record, so Prolycht is working on profiling different camera sensors so that it can tailor its output to ensure the light and saturation is within the range of the camera’s abilities to capture it accurately. The company is also developing its remote control app so that it will be able to sample existing light sources and feed the information to the Orion 300 FS so that it can match the characteristics. This will produce more convincing ‘candle-lit’ scenes, shoots outside with emulated street lighting or industrial fluorescent tubes, for example.
While the $2150 price tag may not yet place this technology in the hands of every day photographers and film-makers it is a whole lot less than the Arri Orbiter which uses similar technology but which costs $6300 for the basic lighting unit. In time prices will come down further, and we’ll all have access to six-color LED lights.

The Orion 300 FS with its control unit

This Prolycht Orion 300 FS uses the standard Bowen’s mount so accepts a wide range of existing modifiers as well as those from Prolycht’s own series. It can be powered using AC or with V-Lock batteries – of which it takes two. Control comes via the rear color touch screen or through a smartphone/tablet via the Chromalink app. It comes loaded with a gel data base with hundreds of Lee and Rosco presets to emulate different filter colors, but of course color values can be input manually too.

For more information on the Orion 300 FS see the Prolycht website, and see the Orbiter on the Arri site.

Press release

Light Done Right – Introducing the Prolycht Orion 300 FS full color RGBACL spotlight

The Prolycht Orion 300 FS is a powerful LED spotlight that revolutionizes professional lighting with its incredible full color spectrum output. By using multiple LEDs in six colors precisely mixed together – red, green, blue, amber, cyan and lime (RGBACL) – the Hyperlight color engine at the core of the Orion 300 FS can emit almost any color and accurately emulate any light source.

Paint your scene with washes of bold color, dancing flames, embers of evening light subtly focused on your subject, or flashing red and blue cop car effects – all using the Orion 300 FS. The user can quickly choose any color temperature from 2000K right up to 20,000K, or from hundreds of preset Lee or Rosco filter colors. The Orion 300 FS can also emulate the specific color signatures of dozens of light sources such as halide street lamps or cool fluorescents to match with background fixtures. Throughout its entire wide range of color temperatures the light maintains accurate, pleasing skin tones.

The output can be hard or soft and shaped with a wide variety of tools. The Orion 300 FS uses the ubiquitous Bowens-style reflector mount and Prolycht offers a comprehensive range of modifiers including a 2x Fresnel lens, projection lens with gobos, dome softbox, diffuser, lantern, barn doors and reflector. The Orion 300 FS head is also compatible with a huge wide array of third-party modifiers.

The extreme accuracy, combined with the ability to shape and control light in a multitude of ways, offers cinematographers and gaffers remarkable new creative opportunities in a light of this size, power and cost.

Precision lighting redefined

The Orion 300 FS uses six-channel RGBACL LEDs controlled by Prolycht’s unique Hyperlight color engine that guarantees quality of light not achievable with LEDs until now. This technology eliminates the gaps in the spectrum found on other LED fixtures that result in unwanted or unexpected results. In fact, the Hyperlight color engine is so powerful it is even capable of creating new light spectrums not seen before in cinema lighting which have specific technical or creative applications.

The kit

The Orion 300 FS consists of a head with yoke, plus a separate ballast/control module for flexible mounting. It is supplied with standard reflector, 5-meter connection cable, power cord, production case, safety rope and a quick release clamp to clip the ballast to a lightstand.

Power options

The light can be run from mains or battery power and is available in V-lock or AB battery plate versions. Its sturdy metal construction is designed for the rigors of the professional film set.

Power to project

The Orion 300 FS is a powerful light, measuring 261 fc at 9ft (3-meter) with the standard reflector. Attach the new Prolycht 2x Fresnel lens and that increases to an impressive 1055 fc at 9ft (3-meter) with a 15-degree beam angle, which is brighter than a 1.2k HMI. This new 2x Fresnel is also the first to be specifically designed to work with Prolycht’s color LED spotlights, with the optics precisely aligned to the Orion 300 FS emitter array. The Orion 300 FS with the 2x Fresnel lens is the first focusing color-tunable fixture for the film and video industry.

Prolycht also offers a 23-degree projection lens accessory for the Orion 300 FS. The collimated lens system features sharp focus and shaping controls with no color fringing and even edge-to-center brightness. It includes a standard 4-leaf adjustable gobo, an adjustable iris gobo and 16 precut metal gobo designs.

Control at your fingertips

The Orion 300 FS has the ability to dial in accurate daylight, tungsten, or any other color the gaffer or DP requires via the intuitive interface on the unit, or via Prolycht’s free Chroma Link iOS app. Multiple units can also be controlled remotely using the Chroma Link app, DMX or several other popular protocols. This allows Gaffers and DPs to light entire sets using Orion 300 FS lights, outputting any desired color.

Created with science

Prolycht is the vision of Dr Anqing Liu, who set out to create a better LED light by using his many years of experience studying color reproduction and perceptual color. As a leading color expert Dr Liu was formerly a research scientist at Philips and an academic at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He contributed to the current CIE (International Commission on Illumination) standards which are used to evaluate lighting. Frustrated by the inferior color fidelity he saw on most professional LED lighting fixtures, Dr. Liu developed the Hyperlight color engine and founded Prolycht. The Orion 300 FS represents the current state of the art in tunable full spectrum LED technology.

Designed with professionals

The Prolycht team has fused their state-of-the-art color science and lighting technologies with practical input from a team that includes renowned Hollywood Director of Photography Rodney Charters ASC.

Charters’ career spans decades and is perhaps best known for his work on the hit series 24, as well as shows like Shameless (US), Dallas, Dynasty, Nash Bridges, Roswell, Magnum P.I. (2018) and feature films including Going in Style, which starred Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. He has served as principal cinema consultant for the new Orion 300 FS, utilizing his many years of expertise to ensure it is a perfect lighting solution for professionals.

Charters said: “With the Orion 300 FS I can throw color anywhere I want with complete precision. Skin tones are simply beautiful. Prolycht have made the light I’ve been dreaming of all these years.”

Industry veteran Mitch Gross also serves as technical consultant for the light. He brings his years of experience both on set, and working for companies like Convergent Design, Panasonic USA and AbelCine.

Gross said: “I’m always looking for interesting new technologies that can be useful on set. It isn’t often that something as innovative as the Orion 300 FS with its amazing color engine comes along. Finally an LED spotlight that one doesn’t have to fight to get proper color.”

Dr Liu said: “The Orion 300 FS is the next step in cinema lighting and the culmination of years of research. Working with true professionals like Rodney Charters ASC and Mitch Gross has helped us refine everything about the Orion and reaffirmed confidence in our core technologies through rigorous testing. I’m thrilled with the results.”