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.