Weight vs quality?
During the IBC Expo in Amsterdam, a representative from the German LED manufacturer, Sumolight approached FilmPro magazine to feature SUMOSPACE in their LED lamp test edition, which can be found in the Edition Number 1(29)2017. Sumolight wanted to put SUMOSPACE to the test against some of the best LED lamps on the Polish market.
The Berlin-based manufacturer has two LED lamps in their rich product range. The SUMOSPACE, a 500-watt lamp and the SUMO100+ a 100-watt lamp both comprising of Bi-color color renditions. Sumolight sent us their latest product, the SUMOSPACE, fully equipped with all its accessories for multiple lighting solutions.
We performed our “LED lamp test”, the same test as our previous LED lamp test because we wanted to maintain the same reference point. Our primary light source reference was two Dedolite DLH4-3200 K lamps. Currently, this is the most popular LED lamp on the Polish market, packing a TCLI index of 100. From our camera tests, we chose to use the Panasonic Varicam 35 camera. The true winner of our big camera tests conducted two years ago. (Panasonic was the unanimous winner due to its color reproduction and the powerful tonal range.) For the SUMOSPACE test, we used a top-of-the-line camera lens, the Zeiss Master Prime 85mm, T1.3, and for obvious reasons – the DSC Labs ChromaDuMonde 24 + 4 color chart. Mainly known as the ultimate color chart test for its purity and clear interpretation of vector images.
From these precise outcomes on the vectroscope, the vector images used were the V-log interpretation from the Varicam V-709. This reference points out the same result as in our previous lamp tests. Every time the 3200 K and 5600 K reference lights were adjusted to the 3200 K and 5600 K LEDs, the white balance was utilized to eliminate the deviation of the color temperature towards the green or purple spectrum across the vector image. As a result, we do not have any white shifts, and the whole process gave a more consistent picture. The LED was aligned to 3200 K and 5600 K using a UPRtek spectrophotometer with the calibrated precision of only a few Kelvin. In other words – very accurate.
From the overall test, only one comparative vector diagram was presentable. All the other vector diagrams were simply too alike.
Regardless of the color temperature, either 3200 K or 5600 K this outcome had no significance other than the absence of changes in the color representation of the LED light.
If you look at the diagram below – you can clearly see that this diagram truly shows the TWO sets of vector images. This was a surprise.
Throughout testing the various LED lamps at the beginning of this year, I noted that the LEDs test from Akurat and Dedolight were, in my opinion, perfect. Today I can say that none of the previously tested LEDs behaved as superbly as the SUMOSPACE Bi-color 500 W. The very smooth adjustment of the Color Temperature is within the range of 2800 K – 6500 K. During the color temperature transitions, the light intensity remained consistent. The manufacturer’s technical information showed the real power of the lamp, not the sum, which is the common approach used in marketing to hide any inconsistency. In other words – nothing fades!
The color rendering index given by the manufacturer is CRI Ra = 95, TLCI = 99.
Our test measurements for 3200 K light are CRI Ra = 95 R13 and R15 = 94, TLCI = 93.5.
Measurements for light 5600 K CRI Ra = 94 R13 and 15 = 96 TLCI = 97.3
It is worth noting that R13 is a mapping of Caucasian skin color and R15 is Asian.
The SUMOSPACE can be used as a direct and diffused light source. The “naked” lamp emits a very wide light beam, at a 120-degrees. Light intensity obtained at the same distances is twice as high as that obtained with the Arri Skypanel 60 / 400 W working at an angle of 110-degrees. I do not know how Sumolight does it. But this is the result of the test. The efficiency of SUMOSPACE can be defined in one word – Respect.
SUMOSPACE has the ability to change its beam angle with interchangeable lenses. Some examples of the various beam angles were tested. At 120-degrees (the “naked” lamp), emits light broadly, but after inserting the 60-degree lenses the light stream narrowed and intensified, producing a light output the same as the new generation 1200 W HMI Fresnel. When the 30-degree lenses were inserted, the intensity of the light was resembling an HMI 2500 W with a 60-degree beam angle.
Sumolight supplies a super mount enabling SUMOSPACE to connect seven lamps into a honeycomb lighting panel (a fairly large application) with a luminescence area of about 1.5 meters in diameter and a total power of 3500 W, giving us a unit comparable to the 18 KW HMI (when tested with the 30-degree lenses inserted on the SUMOSPACE). Yes, it’s no mistake. This outcome corresponds to the 18 KW lamp.
The SUMOSPACE as a single unit can be easily modified to a soft light with the addition of a diffuser (90cm in diameter). It can also adapt itself as a space light by swapping out the diffuser, with the skirt and black skirt panels, making it equivalent to a 1200 HMI unit.
The word SUMO in the company’s name does not correlate to the weight of this unit, but rather the power of their lights. The weight of the SUMOSPACE is only 5.5Kg. Opposed to other 400W LEDs, it is a featherweight. All the other lamps that have taken part in our big lamp test are fairly heavy – ranging in the 15-25Kg division.
This lamp is passively cooled, which means – no fans. In the case of typical LED lamps, fans are common, resulting in increased noise levels, which is, of course, bad for sound. In the case of Sumolight – sound technicians will love it.
The SUMOSPACE can be controlled by all current communication systems, for example, WiFi, DMX, etc. SUMOSAPCE is designed in a way that it can be transported as a “stack” – similar to fruit boxes. In this instance, individual cases are not needed for transporting the SUMOSPACE. Overall, the SUMOSPACE in terms of weight, light efficiency and versatility boast the most attractive price on the market. And it’s not PR. It’s just like that. Period.
Minor digression. I honestly don’t know how to calculate the power of the LED units so it can be clear for me. All technical specifications are based on completely different reference points. Total chaos. There is no one standard way to provide technical specifications. Some indicate the number of LEDs and the intensity of light with a scale which is “invented” totally out of nowhere. Others are presenting the summarised power of the warm and cold diodes, and the intensity dependence on the distance function using strange units of measure etc.
The laws of physics regarding light have not changed for the time being. And they will not change in the near future. We all know that the intensity of light is dependent on the square of the distance, or square of the surface area to which the luminous flux is active, which in our practice is connected basically with the root of two. In this case, the change in luminosity is twofold.
And maybe it would force the manufacturers in the case of LEDs to provide us with the light intensity of a given unit in a particular way. For example, using data are taken from the fourth meter and fixed the angle of light stream, ie. 40-degrees? This type of parameter will give us a uniform comparison to all lights. (If a lamp works only using specific angle – i.e. 110 or 80-degrees, the manufacturer should convert its data to match values “pretending” that lamp uses mentioned 40-degrees.) For us, every change in the distance or angle of light using square of two means that it is twice brighter or twice darker.
Camerimage festival starts soon. Many manufacturers will attend as well as cinematographers. This is the place where you can initiate a discussion about new scale usage for lamps that will allow us to calculate or understand everything about lamps in a very simple way. Regardless of the manufacturer. This approach can help not only users but manufacturers as well. We will finally see what they really did. And there will be no BS. It is also about the reliability of the manufacturers and their products.
For years, we have used the Exposure Value scale to determine the exposure. EV = 0 calculated from 1 Lux x 1 second x 100 ISO. Thus, by the same token, it would be possible to establish a scale called, for example, LUX VALUE, based on proportionality, where the starting point of the comparative light intensity would be, for example, already mentioned fourth meter and the angle of 40-degrees. why not?
Let’s go back to the photometric measurements of the SUMOSPACE Bi-color 500 W using UPRtek CV 600 spectrophotometer (which adds a few useful features to the Seconik C-700 btw). When measuring color temperature, we can read additional information about CRI and TLCI. We can read as well where the white point is situated or any specific color – on the CIE chromaticity charts 1931 and 1976.
CRI – Color Rendering Index is a color render indicator that determines how well we are perceiving colors of illuminated objects. It demonstrates the quality of light. Reference is, of course, full solar spectrum. The scale used starts from 0 and ends at 100. This index has nothing to do with color mapping when capturing images with digital cameras. Cameras are different animals if we may say that. But this is a different story – for the next article.
When the CRI of the measured light is 100, and we personally find that something is wrong with the perceived color, or – totally opposite – when CRI is 20, and we are saying: “Wow, what great colors”, this means that we should immediately go to the doctors of many medical specializations.
TLCI – The Television Lighting Consistency Index is an indicator of how color fidelity will be recorded when using a given light source on a 0-100 scale. When the TLCI index is less than 50, it means that we will have big problems with color reproduction, even during color grading process.
A few words about the tools we used during the tests. In the diagrams below we can check the parameters of the Sumo lamps. The screenshots are related to the SUMOSPACE Bi-color 500W measurements using a spectrophotometer. Everything should be legible. The second important function that the spectrophotometer offers is the possibility to test the possible pulsations of the lamps according to what is set in the parameters of the camera. The spectrophotometer will show us the correct settings for the sector at a given frame so that the image does not flicker. The film world is on the one hand very open, and from the other side – quite “closed” – not willing to change too much. Open to new ideas, unusual visual solutions, crazy things that change our perception of the cinema, but still quite conservative, when it comes to light. The point is, that the changes in technology are happening quite fast and the cinematographers cannot always keep up with what is happening in the market. This is because they usually use proven and therefore secure solutions, and they are little suspicious when it comes to new, not widely popular lighting units; new types of lights, etc.
Sumolight as a novum can be doomed to a slow “appearance” in the minds of cinematographers, but if Sumolight appears in their hands – or you may say in that specific “sumo ring” – it will be very difficult to throw it out. Like with real sumo fighters.