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First Impressions: Lowel GL-1 Power LED

23rd Nov 2012

If you’ve ever worked in the film industry or in television you know that lighting is a very important part of the filming process. Unless the scene being shot is a night scene there is always a need for portable, easy to use and easy to manipulate lighting options. It used to be that the film industry used what they called a ‘sun gun’ which was basically a powerful halogen light that had a handle and a battery belt making it portable and movable. In fact this type of light adaption was well-known in the movie industry and, when it was needed to light a set, was often referred to as the ‘Statue of Liberty’ light due to the fact that the person holding it was normally in a position with it raised over their head like Lady Liberty. Today there’s a newer, better and much more powerful option available to bring light to TV and film and that’s the Lowel GL-1 Power LED light gun from a company called Tiffen.  With an incredible 3000-degree Kelvin light temperature and a beam that can be changed from spot to flood the GL-1 offers not only a powerful but an extremely portable light source that can be used virtually anywhere.  In fact due to the ability to dim the light it can be used for close-up shots and also as far away as 20 feet. Like a power drill it is lightweight, ultra-portable and has a state-of-the-art LED light that, along with diffusers and other accessories, can provide a wide range of light sources, colors and styles. It also can be mounted on a tripod for even more flexibility on the set. Interestingly, the GL-1 was not designed by someone in Hollywood but by wedding photographers Brian Marcus and John Solano.  As they witnessed digital cameras getting faster they needed a light source that could keep up and their traditional flash apparatus weren’t up to the task, especially in low light situations. The GL-1 is battery powered and has an even edge with no hot spots, perfect for weddings, filming and even TV news broadcasts. It can be dimmed from 100% down to 5% of power and the color ‘temperature’ will not shift making it a very valuable on-set light source and showing that LED lights are a great way to get a little light on your subject whether it’s a movie star or just the stars of the wedding party that you’re shooting.