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Gels For Your Led Light


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#1 'skamoe

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 05:28 AM

One of my main concerns about the LED lights is how narrow the beam is. So I've attempted to widen it a little bit, here are the results. The top one is with no diffuser at all. As you can see, the beam looks very harsh and has a yellow falloff due to the optics of the LED's themselves.
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The next one is with the diffuser that comes with the light, the bottom one is with a LEE 228 gel. You can see how the center of the frame is slightly darker, but the right side of the frame gets brighter. The same would go for the left side if there were actually an object there.
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Since it's a gel, you'll have to do a little work to make it fit in the light. What I did was I used the diffuser that came with the light as an edge to cut the gel along. Then, I cut off an additional eighth or so of an inch and put some gaffer tape around the edges so that it's a little more sturdy and doesn't flop around and cause unwanted noise. Here's what it looks like on the fixture.
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I think that this should only really be a concern for those who shoot in HD since SD has a 4:3 frame that's more easily filled by an on-camera light such as these, and really in most cases, the diffuser that comes with the light does the job. But for situations where there is barely any ambient light, I would go with the gel.

On top of all of this, I also disassembled the whole thing and stuck a little roll of gaffer tape in between the circuit board with all of the LED's and the plastic panel separating that board from the other circuitry, bending it horizontally a bit. This means that rather than the LED's facing straight forward, some face maybe 5-10 to the side. I didn't notice this making a huge difference obviously, but it might do something.

Also, if you need a replacement for the clear diffusion, you can get a Rosco 3046. It's a flexible material, but it's pretty much the same thing - it has an embossed surface which scatters the light.

Now, regarding the high color temperature. This isn't really a problem unless you have lots of ambient light. If it's significantly dark wherever you're shooting, you can set the white balance so that it will look just like a tungsten light would, and you might even get a better image since cameras have a native white balance of daylight, not tungsten. However, if you're shooting under lots of sodium vapor lights, they appear extremely saturated since they have an incredibly low color temperature. This is where a correction gel will come into play, since the orange diffuser is useless.

Everything here was shot with the camera balanced for 3200. So for the first one, with just the clear diffusion, the light appears very blue since it puts out around 5200. If I had white balanced the camera for 5200, the sodium lit background would look oversaturated as I explained earlier.
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This one is with the shitass "orange" diffuser, which seems to add even more green to the output than there is to begin with. If I white balanced the camera for whatever the hell color temperature this is, the background would appear violet / magenta.
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This one is with a LEE 152 pale gold gel inserted in between the light and the clear diffusion. This gel takes out the green content and warms the the color temperature down (I know, seems to not make sense) to around 3700. As an alternative, you can also get a Rosco 162, this has a transmission of 78% as opposed to 71%. The tradeoff is that it will be slightly less effective at changing the color temperature. If you're on a camera which is very good in low light and you have a ton of extra light to play with, you can get a Rosco 108. This will pretty much bring you all the way down to tungsten balance, but it has a 68% transmission. The Rosco 152 will also work since it's the exact same thing as the LEE version, I'm not sure about the LEE versions of the Rosco 108 and 162 though.
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Finally, this one was shot with a tungsten light, just to give an idea of how they compare.
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If anyone would like either of the gels I used in these tests, send me a PM with the model of the light you're using and I can mail you whatever size you need for a couple dollars.

#2 jake . g

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:07 AM

This is a dope ass idea, you should try find a way to make the light more similar to worklights & stuff because the orange diffuser mine came with gives off a wierd green tint when I use it with work lights

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#3 ben_ericson

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 09:12 PM

This is a dope ass idea, you should try find a way to make the light more similar to worklights & stuff because the orange diffuser mine came with gives off a wierd green tint when I use it with work lights


Gotta get a color balancing LED panel, I feel like diffusers just soften the light, which makes it pointless... Best way is definitely to go halogen or get one of the brighter panels with the color balance feature.

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#4 StevenJ1989

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:45 PM

thanks for sharing




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#5 'skamoe

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:55 PM

Gotta get a color balancing LED panel, I feel like diffusers just soften the light, which makes it pointless... Best way is definitely to go halogen or get one of the brighter panels with the color balance feature.

The idea isn't to soften it, it's to broaden the beam. The shadows don't become any less harsh. In order to diffuse the light, there has to be some distance between the light and the diffusion media so that the size of the source is effectively increased. That's not happening here.

#6 Singewald

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:58 AM

Saltwater fishes and corals like to be white led 12v on cycles, so the led lunar light is always on, i bought a timer for my biocubes so that it is always pluged in, BUT it doesnt come on until the light system turns to led strip light 12v night mode, then it turns on the lunar light.

If you dont get a timer(i highly recommend the warm led
one from corallife) you would have to plug in the lunar light as it wouldnt be a good idea to leave it on when teh tank has both lights on/

#7 dennisfilmer

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:02 AM

Thats rad. Thats the one draw back I have about the LED, it seems more like a spot light with just a big circle of harsh light. I'll have to mess with something like this.

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#8 lisawagner

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

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