Picture this: a Makita/Dewalt cordless drill. Cut the top drill section off. Glue a dedolight-like focusing LED on top. You get the rough idea of the new Lowel GL-1 light.
It’s kind of a new take on the old sun-gun, which was a hot halogen handheld light tethered to a battery-belt. Film historians will remember the sun-gun and its “Statue of Liberty” pose. Once upon a time, news was shot with 16 and 35mm film cameras, with a three-man crew: cameraman, soundman, and electrician. Remember, these were the days when ISO speeds were so low you almost measured exposure with a thermometer. When the cameraman needed light, he’d yell “Statue of Liberty!” The electrician held the torch aloft, and, although it was usually not art, the source could be moved off to the side. Economics eventually reduced crew size to the one-man-band with a news camcorder, which inevitably had its on-board light mounted directly above the lens. This “in your face” full-frontal lighting style was sometimes called “6 o’clock news lighting.”
The new Lowel GL-1 is a clever, quick, self-contained, self-powered way to move your light source off the camera.
The GL-1 light was designed in conjunction with wedding photographers Brian Marcus (above, left) and John Solano (right). They were looking for new tools as digital cameras got better and faster. They were shooting weddings in lower light, and traditional flash was no longer satisfying.
The Lowel GL-1 Power LED is a battery-powered, focusable and dimmable tungsten color LED light. The beam is even, from edge to edge, with no hot spots. It dims from 5-100% without shift in color temperature.
Brian said that he has been getting about 5 hours of non-continuous lighting from the self-contained DC Power on a typical wedding assignment. News and documentary crews would probably get similar results.
There are two ways to dim:
1. Use the adjustable Dimming Trigger (like a cordless drill’s variable speed control) for short-term handheld use
2. Lock the light on and use the rear dial for intensity control.
The GL1 can be used sun-gun style or with diffusion/soft-boxes attached.
Lowel GL1 Power LED Specifications
- Silent internal fan
- 1/4-20 Screw-Thread on GL-1 Base for tripod/stand mounting
- Dimmable focusing LED fixture
- Dimming Range – 5-100%
- Color Temperature – 3000K
- Color Rendering Index – 90
- Focus Range – 5:1 (approximate)
- Output at 5 feet, full spot: 398 footcandles
- Output at 5 feet, full flood: 73 footcandles