Category Archives: LED

ARRI’s Orbiter Belongs on your next Grip Truck Rental!

As much as I have a love-tolerate relationship with this lighting company, I have to tip my hat to them for the ARRI Orbiter, another game-changing light. Groundbreaking technology comes to mind. Innovation at its best. For sure I’m going to have two of these on my grip truck in Miami the minute they’re released. I’m writing a check today to get on the shortlist for the very first batch to come to Miami so that you’ll have them on your next grip truck rental.

Increased Processing Speed

After the design of the ARRI Skypanel, it blows my mind that they can come out with something as innovative as this new movie light. For starters, the processor is super, super fast. Its four times faster than the Skypanel. It has 125 times more memory and has smooth dimming features. There’s a lot more connectivity and its completely waterproof. Note: The ARRI Orbiter is a lot bigger than it looks in the photos. It’s not something you toss into a soft bag and run-and-gun. LOL.


This light is going to have multiple applications. Also, it’s going to be a fantastic theatrical light. The removable control panel is entirely innovative. A six-color light engine LED (lime, cyan, amber, blue, green, red) in their arrangement creates an all-in-one light field with apparent brightness (which ARRI is not saying how bright). They are making claims that skin tones will look natural and amazing. But that’s just a bunch of market-speak until I see the light in action on set.

Variety of Optics


Probably one of the coolest things about this new light is that it has a variety of optics you can put in front of the light, open face, projection, dome and light bank for a wide variety of scenes. This light can throw a beam far, pull that attachment off and add a soft bank, and now you have a big soft source. That’s crazy versatile. Think of the movie Transformers and what those amazing robots could do. That’s what this light is. Of course, you can power this thing with batteries, but like the Skypanel it probably will be a lot dimmer.

Color Temperature Features


With a magnetometer and a guide, it allows you to sample existing color temperature and then flip a switch to match it. That’s mind-boggling. This function can either be continuous or momentary. If it’s on continuous, it measures the ambient color and changes the light output accordingly. With the press of a button on momentary, it will take just a single reading. If the light is changing in a scene, this lighting fixture can adapt on the fly. Color changes happen without any human involvement. That’s game-changing. Hey, as a gaffer am I even needed on the set? Maybe, but certainly, a grip truck rental with an Arri Orbiter in it will be!

LiOS, lighting operating system


A lot of the great stuff that was in the Skypanel is now in the Orbiter. ARRI has a new software operating system called LiOS, lighting operating system. The light can store over 240 of your “go-to colors” in its big memory bank. The interface is straightforward. Simplification is coming with DMX, and there’s plenty of room for other innovations as this light evolves.

Three Operational Modes


ARRI’s Orbiter has three operational modes to optimize the fixture’s performance for different applications. High color rendering mode provides the best color quality possible, high output mode generates the best brightness with slightly lower color rendition, while low noise mode creates a balance for quiet operation with decent output. I’ve talked to other gaffers and Directors of Photography around the country these past few days since the light was released to the press. We’re all scratching our heads wondering how BRIGHT this thing really is? Quite frankly we’re not going to get our hopes up. Doubt this thing’s going to replace an HMI for now.


As we all know the enemy of the LED light is heat, if the light is too hot, the LED will not last, turning into a service and maintenance nightmare. Apparently, multiple heat sensors internally are designed to cool to the optimal operating temperature. And, because this baby has a magnetometer it will be very useful for sensing the pan, tilt, and roll of the light. Additionally, the meta-data can be used for re-creating scenes as it relates to special effects work. That I would never have guessed!

The Arri Orbiter belongs on your grip truck rental

What everybody is wondering is how much light does this bad boy put out. ARRI is not saying. It’s frustrating. It seems like it’s going to be a bit less than for most gaffers liking. They’re already saying that at its maximum brightness you’ll have slightly lower color rendition. What remains to be seen is how noisy the fans will be when our good buddies the sound guys are on location. Guessing it will be quiet? Even so, this movie light is super, super versatile and it’s going to be a staple on my grip trucks and available for your upcoming grip truck rental.

Additional info

Read below for more info on the ARRI Orbiter from our friends at Abelcine:

  • Open Face – Produces a high-output, directional beam of light in several different beam angles, including 15°, 30°, and 60°Ideal for throwing light long distances or providing a broad swath of light
  • Projection – High-quality projection optics contain high-end lenses that provide even illumination and color across the entire beam field for superior results
  • Available fixed beam angles are 15°, 25°, 35° (wider angles may be added in the future)
  • The zoom projection optics allow for flexibility in all kinds of applications.
  • Dome – Fabric spheres available in three different diameters: small (approx. 0.25m), medium (~0.5m) and large (~0.9 m).
  • The dome emits omnidirectional light, great for illuminating a large area with a beautiful, soft quality of light
  • Light Bank – The light bank adapter creates a direct mounting point for your Chimera and DoPchoice products
  • With easy attachment and no additional optical elements needed, the light bank adapter allows for a controlled soft light with incredible output
  • Extremely powerful output for maximum brightness and perfect colors
  • Variety of optics: open face, projection, dome, and light banks
  • ARRI Spectra six-color, wide gamut light engine
  • Perfected smooth dimming to zero
  • Lighting Operating System (LiOS) with powerful software features
  • Removable, intuitive control panel
  • Wireless DMX
  • Integrated color sensor for matching ambient light
  • A full suite of connectors and sensors
  • Weatherproof housing
  • Lightweight internal power supply and a 3-pin XLR battery input for 48V batteries

Dave’s Grip & Lighting provides grip truck rental, lighting gear and crew services in South Florida.

Litepanels Gemini for Your Best Shoot Ever

New lights don’t often impress me. Quite frankly, all of this advancement in technology is often overblown, IMHO. But, this little beauty of a fixture, the Litepanels Gemini 2×1 LED Soft Panels, is my exception to that rule. They are the rental lights I now promote and a standard fixture on my grip trucks. Let me tell you why.

Litepanels Gemini On the Job Benefits

Short on time? You can do a lot with a Litepanels Gemini rental. Since you don’t need gels, just think of the savings on C47’s alone. Concerned about aesthetics? We’ve seen it with our own eyes — the Gemini wraps light nicely around its subjects, it works well as a bounce, and it’s soft enough for fill. It’s also worth noting that if you rent several of these Geminis you can replace space lights in a studio when their hung from above in a grid. The other cool thing about the Litepanels Gemini is it has a built-in ballast. One more part you won’t lose! Plus it can run on a battery. Also, Litepanels Geminis are lightweight at 22 lbs making it 40% lighter than the Arri SkyPanel. To me, they’re a much better solution when working with a small crew.

Litepanels Gemini Highlights

Bi-color is now the norm! In HIS mode you have total control over Hue, Saturation, and Intensity. RGBW mode lets you dial in a wide range of colors with Red, Green, Blue and white independently. Need to create the old standard TV refection in the face of a subject? That’s so easy now. The Gemini has useful effects like TV, Fire, Emergency, Paparazzi, Strobe, and Fireworks, to name a few. Plus and minus green is a godsend and a real time saver when shooting in retail stores with fluorescents. When it comes to form factor, you can read the LED screen on the light when it is high up on a stand. And, Sound Dept. do not fear, the fan on this light is super quiet.

Arri SkyPanel vs. Litepanels Gemini

Litepanels announced the Gemini 2×1 LED Soft Panel in September 2017.   Before this, Arri SkyPanel was arguably the most requested rental light on the market. Lightpanels wanted to take away some of Arri’s thunder by designing a light that was thinner and with no external ballast. The Arri SkyPanel that we rent is only slightly brighter than Litepanels’ Gemini — a difference gaffers tell me is not a negative. But the Arri SkyPanel weighs around 30lbs. A Litepanels Gemini rental combines daylight, tungsten, and red-green-blue LEDs. Both lights offer a very similar feature set. The Gemini comes with a host of new features not seen on Litepanels’ fixtures before. Not only is its Kelvin color temperature adjustable from 2700 to 6000K, but it also offers four different lighting modes, six presets for user-defined color temperature and plus/minus green control. It’s also Litepanels’ first 2×1 panel light, and the first to use RGB-Warm White LEDs.

As with most lighting equipment, these new lights are nothing more than a means to an end. However, we can now get there quicker with the new Litepanel Gemini.

Amazing Beauty Shots with this Mega Ring Light

Beauty Ring Light Rental MiamiThis mega ring light rental illuminates so well it can take 20 years off of any face and produce a gorgeous ring reflection in the eye. It sets up quick and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to rent!   Plus, it’s so simple to use. My 10 year old uses this light to shoot photos of her friends.

Simple to use, simple to rent

Stick your camera in the center of the ring light and shoot to your hearts content.  It’s fully dimmable so you have great control over the light that it casts . Just add a little CTO to warm up the light. This sturdy unit is made of metal and is ultra durable.

You can get our mega ring light rental and pick it up in a small van.  You’ll want two Matthews beefy baby stands, two Maffer or Cardellini grip clamps, two sand bags, a stinger or two with your ring light rental and you’re good to go!   Note that It doesn’t come in a case, but if needed we can make a huge box out of plywood for shipment.   Heads up:  we have only mega ring light rental, so supply is limited.

Invented for those up close and personal shots

Believe it or not, a dentist Lester A. Dine invented the ring light in 1952 for dental photography.  Ring lights come in continuous versions and flash versions and are often used in portrait and macro photography. Ring lights  provide ultra even illumination by casting very few shadows. The downside is they have to be close to the subject. However, the bright illumination of our mega ring light rental allows you to back the light off and get a great result.  I’d say every Director of Photography and photographer needs to be skilled at using these wonderful instruments.

p.s. Remind me to shoot a great portrait of my lovely wife once this light comes back from its current rental.

LED Lighting

Led lighting has come a long way over the past 7 years. 

I rent Led lighting to my customers on just about every production I work as Gaffer on these days.   Ease of use is a big factor. I reach for the Astra-Lite Panels the most.  Battery powered, lightweight, nimble,  variable color temperature option on the fly and extremely powerful.  Astra light panels are quick and effective. The power consumption on LED lighting is amazing.  Color rendering used to be an issue but no more in my opinion!  You literally can shoot at night in the street with only 4 anton bauer batteries for 3 to 6 hours dependent on the brightness setting. 

Astra Lite Panels

Astra Lite Panels- LED Lighting
Astra Lite Panels- LED Lighting

“This compact 2-light kit has everything you need to light on-camera stand ups or a small location. The included
battery adapter plates make these kits a great mobile lighting solution. Both the Astra 1×1 Bi-Color panels provide soft, full spectrum illumination.”

The Advantage of LED Lighting

The big advantage of LEDs is that they tend to stay relatively cool and are super energy efficient. The light also takes Chimera diffusers or modifiers (still photographers language)  which soften, wrap and broaden the LED light.  You can mount these lights on the hood of a car on a bicycle or hold it in your hand and aim it at your subject.  If you are a 1 man crew the Astra Light panel is the hot ticket!  The Astra light panel is powerful enough to use on Miami beach to fill your subject or act as an eye light on a corporate interview shoots.  In Fort Lauderdale, LEDs are quickly replacing fluorescents as well in commercial applications.

The rental price for LED lighting is a great bang for your buck. Call Daves Grip and Lighting today for a great price on LED lighting rental.