California Sunshine in Moscow

by Roman Hoffmann

The Luminys SoftSun 100K and 50K light heads ( are now available in Moscow. Bogdan Chaplinsky and his crew at Bogdan I Brigada  (, one of Russia’s largest rental houses, manage these two units.

At a presentation on February 4, 2010 in one of Bogdan’s stages, 20 Russian gaffers, lighting technicians and Dedo Weigert’s crew gathered around the two biggest and most powerful film lighting sources on earth.

“The ignition of 100,000 watts is always a tense and magical moment,” said Christian Augustin, of Dedo Weigert Film, who did the technical upgrade of the two units. “This technology almost crosses the line of what is physically possible. You need a 250 kVA generator to power the 100K as well as the 50K unit.”

Luminys (former Lightning Strikes) is the Hollywood company known for its “Back to the Future” type lighting invented by David Pringle. Bogdan Chaplinsky (no relation to Charlie), founder and owner of Bogdan I Brigada, has a large inventory of lighting equipment, dollies, cranes and generators for film and TV productions. He now rents the 50K and 100K SoftSuns.

Roman Hoffmann talked with Bogdan Chaplinsky and David Pringle:

Bogdan, are you afraid of 100,000 Watts? 100.000 watts isn’t scary, but the size of the light was a bit frightening, until it was put on stands and ignited.

Do you think that the SoftSuns will become popular in Russia? I hope so, but it is not easy to predict, because people first have to get familiar with this extraordinary equipment.

David, how many 18K units does a 100K SoftSun replace on a set? To cover the same area as a 100K SoftSun, about three 18K units are needed at a distance of 100 feet (30.5m). To then achieve a uniform intensity equal to a 100K SoftSun set at full flood at a distance of 100ft (297 footcandles/3,197 lux), a total of seven 18K units are needed (18K  = approx 138.9 footcandles/1,495 lux at 100ft/30.5m), taking into consideration the 50% falloff from the center beam. It should be noted that additional diffusion on the 18Ks will be necessary to match the soft light of the SoftSun, resulting in some loss of light from the 18K units.

What are the advantages of the SoftSun? SoftSun requires no warm-up time. Maximum power and proper color temperature are achieved the moment it is struck. It is also dimmable and the only daylight color temperature light source that can be dimmed through 97% of its range with minimal shift in color temperature. Dimming can also be remotely controlled via DMX. SoftSun is flicker-free at any shutter angle or frame rate to 1,500 fps. The color spectrum of the lamp is smooth and even with none of the undesirable color spikes or gaps associated with HMI or Tungsten lamps. Color stays true regardless of lamp age.

After trying to replace the sun, what is your next plan? Well yes, we have in mind a 200K SoftSun mounted on a truck.

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