About The Project

SoftPanels LED lights with Autocolor for Cine/Video/Photo Lighting. Made by experts, with a LED COLOR METER built into every light!

 

 

 

A color meter built into every light™

SoftPanels™ are a completely new approach to LED lighting with a built-in color meter and intelligent color management technology in every light, thereby providing unprecedented color precision and smart control over the emitted light. In other words, by utilizing the built-in integrated digital color meter along with the proprietary Autocolor matching technology, these new innovative fixtures can instantly read the current ambient color conditions, and then exactly color-balance their LED color output to match that of the scene’s ambient conditions:

With this new level of control, you can instantly color-match other lights, as well as ambient conditions, thereby enjoying far more color consistency in a variety of studio and location applications.

Furthermore, with the provided Skin Tone Enhance feature you can improve skin tones with a push of a button to give a warmer and more cinematic feel thus substantially decrease the time required to do primary color corrections in post:

Importantly, many times video produces unhealthy looking skin tone, but with SoftPanels new Skin Enhance feature this is easy solved.

These new lights also offer a new breakthrough Precise Manual Color Mode with verified color temperature accuracy, a feature that even today’s highest-end professional production LED lights lack. Specifically, conventional variable-color LED lighting fixtures often provide a numerical readout of the color temperature that the fixture is supposedly producing. In addition, these traditional LED lights can also provide pre-set buttons to ‘approximate’ a fixed color temperature [e.g., 5500ºK, 3200ºk, etc.]. In either case, these are only estimates, which are often off by as much as 1000º to 2,000º degrees Kelvin, which introduces substantial color errors that can greatly affect the quality of your work:

Although the preset indicates 5500K, the actual light output is 6615K – a blue color-shift error of over 1000K 

These color errors are only magnified when you mix multiple legacy LED lights on the same scene [each having a different color temperature]. This lack of color precision using multiple conventional LED fixtures greatly increases the time required to color correct in post, and further creates a problem when correcting for one portion of the image, other areas of the image go undesirably in the opposite direction [i.e., color crossover due to multiple color mismatched conventional LED lights].

Conversely, SoftPanels enables precision on-set color workflow where you can instantly dial-in one or more SoftPanels to a precise and verified fixed color temperature, anywhere between 2700ºK and 6500ºK using its built-in LED/ambient color metering system. Thus you completely avoid the color mismatch issues found with conventional LED lights, and can rest assured that the color you've manually set, will actually match the color coming out of the fixture. This real-time verified color system gives you far more color-consistency from scene to scene.

As for the SoftPanels specifications, each unit provides a variable color adjustment from 2700K to 6500K, along with true full-range 100% ~ 1% dimming, and a 95 CRI using high color fidelity LEDs.

The SoftPanels units come in three familiar soft box sizes – 3x4ft (90x120cm), 2x3ft (60x90cm), and 1x2ft (30x60cm) respectively, yet have a ultra-thin slimline 5 in. (130mm) 'fit anywhere' depth. The 3x4ft version has a powerful 600 watts of LED output, which is equivalent to the output of a 5,000-watt tungsten soft light, yet plugs into an ordinary household power outlet. On top of that, the light emitted by SoftPanels is flicker free, each unit runs silently, and the 2x3ft and 1x2ft can both be run off camera batteries. In addition, all SoftPanels panels come with a honeycomb grid, gel frame, and soft case [all at no additional cost], and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally.

LED lights with Autocolor technology are the culmination of over 30 years experience designing and building lighting fixtures for Film and Television industry, including dozens of industry awards for LED lighting innovations.

SoftPanels brings you a breakthrough level of lighting precision and new features, all at afraction of the price of legacy soft lights.

We call it SoftPanels. You'll call it a revolution in lighting.

BACKGROUND

With dozens of awards for LED lighting innovation, including two Emmy awards "for fundamentally changing the recording of Television", Kevin Baxter is the recognized expert in LED lighting for film and video. He's engineered, built and delivered tens of thousands of LED lighting fixtures to cinematographers, videographers, and photographers.  The innovation continues, as SoftPanels has just swept the 2016 Innovation awards at the NAB TV Broadcaster show:

2016 NAB Show Update | SoftPanels' New LED Lights Wins Three Best of Show Awards from TV Technology Magazine, Digital Video Magazine, and Government Video Magazine

Best of Show Awards are judged by a panel of engineers and industry experts on the criteria of innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry. Only a small number of products were selected to receive a Best of Show Award from among hundreds of products in the competition.

But lets talk about you. You are looking for the very best LED lights. You want them to be smartly designed, extremely accurate, powerful, easy to use... and affordable.  

Imagine a radically new line of intelligent production lighting fixtures called SoftPanels. These slim-line lighting sources fit anywhere, are cool to the touch, portable, self-contained, and offering infinitely variable color output from 2700ºK to 6500ºK.

MORE PRECISE LIGHTING WITH THESE RADICAL NEW FEATURES:

AUTOCOLOR™ 'Button': Plus let’s suppose that every SoftPanels light has a built-in color metering system, which at the touch of a button, instantly measures the ambient room color temperature, and then automatically color-balances its color light output to match those ambient conditions

Imaging professionals have long had to depend on eyeballing the color temperature when using conventional LED lights due to the inability of legacy handheld color meters to properly read the color of LED-based lighting sources.

This imprecise technique becomes particularly problematic when there’s a mix of cool daylight and warm indoor practical fixtures affecting the scene. Now with the push of a single button on the SoftPanels fixture, an exact color temperature is read and then automatically and precisely matched by the lighting fixture’s LED metering and variable color technology. Such precision greatly reduces the time needed for color correction in post production.

SKIN TONE ENHANCE 'BUTTON': “Not only do the patent-pending SoftPanels deliver a perfectly matched color temperature,” said Kevin Baxter, Softpanels’ CTO. “There’s also a Skin Enhance button. You simply press this second button, and instantly the light color warms up, giving skin a much more pleasing and healthy 'suntan' look [via what is essentially an instant electronic warming filter]. Importantly, many times video produces unhealthy looking skin tone, and SoftPanels ‘easy button’ skin enhance feature instantly makes this problem go away.” In addition, on-camera subjects that have a lighter-toned skin, simply look even better with warmer, more ‘suntan’ skin tone.  This becomes readily apparent when you view before-and-after images of subject’s skin tone using the breakthrough Skin Tone enhance feature.

In addition, the Skin Tone enhance feature does not just throw in a rigid fixed amount of warming, but instead its advanced color management system first determines the exact color position on the black body line for the current conditions, and then determines just the right proportional amount of warming needed so the skin tone is consistent from scene-to-scene.

By using Autocolor and Skin Tone sweetening on set, your imagery is great right “out of the gate”, thereby freeing you to focus on other elements of the shoot, and also allowing more shots in a day-- all with consistent, matched color [saving many hours of post production work].

In addition to the automatic options, SoftPanels also provides a Precise Manual Color mode, where the integrated digital color meter continiously measures color in real time as you manually adjust the variable color to insure the displayed color temperature matches the actual light output from the fixture. Many legacy LED lights do not match their color preset buttons, and can often be off by more than 1000 kelvin.

OLD vs NEW: Legacy LED lights without SoftPanels integrated color meter can simply be inaccurate simply inaccurate, as illustrated below where the control panel says the light is 5500k, but in reality, the light is actually outputting a much bluer 6615k:

Conversely, SoftPanels’ active color monitoring and management system provides real-time color verification allowing users to quickly achieve an exact color temperature on one or across multiple SoftPanels fixtures. This feature further saves on the time needed for post production color correction work.

What about pricing?

Pricing? A dream come true at less than half that of legacy LED softlights [or get two for the price of one]. Or choose a SoftPanels 2x3 which is 3X the size and 3X the power of the legacy 1x2s for less money. Too good to be true? Not anymore. It’s a whole new kind of production lighting. We call it SoftPanels. You'll call it a revolution in lighting.  

With the SoftPanels™ LED lights, we've combined brilliant engineering with expert film industry experience to bring you the whole enchilada. For example, conventional 1x2 ft. LED soft lights would cost you twice the price, without receiving any of the the new features offered by Softpanels. Also, lights ordered on SoftPanels Kickstarter campaign are scheduled to start delivery in May.

BUT we need your help. 

Final tooling and manufacturing is expensive. The project is now at the final phase, with the ability to start delivering lights next month in May. In order to finish the tooling we need to reach our funding goal of $30,000. With your help, we know this is possible. In exchange, you'll be getting your chosen SoftPanels at a major discount. In addition, members of the Original Backers Club will receive additional discounts on all future products - Please know that your support is greatly appreciated.

Check the Kickstarter rewards to see what SoftPanels LED light (or lights!) will work best for you. We can only complete this goal with your help.


Softpanels lineup: 3x4ft [90x120cm], 2x3ft [60x90cm], 1x2ft [30x60cm]

We’ve designed the Softpanels not only to exacting specifications and production standards, but with highly innovative features like AutoColor,  built-in Skin Tone enhancement, and Precise Manual Color. 

Great for Lighting People and Products for both Motion and Still Photography


SoftPanels ultra-even soft light output makes them also perfect for photograpers

SoftPanels are also a perfect fit for still photography as ultra thin solid-state softboxes, which can be used as the main lighting source for photographing people or for tabletop product photography with their ultra-high color fidelity. Such an approach also allows the photographer to use same large cool-running ‘continuous’ light source to shoot both stills and video [which clients are now requesting more and more]- and something that is not possible with conventional strobe lighting. Of equal importance, SoftPanels’ have ultra high light output - especially the 3 ft. x 4 ft. model with its 600 watts of LED! [which is equivalent to the output of a 5,000-watt tungsten soft light]- thereby providing more than enough light to easily freeze action shots using these LED light sources and a high shutter speed. Photographers further benefit by the ability to view their lighting in real-time, vs. the non real-time and guess work required when lighting with non-continuous strobes.

Ergonomic control knobs on the back enables instant full-range dimming from 100% to 0 with no noticeable color shift [DMX is also included for remote dimming and control], as well as real-time monitored variable color. Absolutely silent & flicker-free and heat-free, the system can be positioned comfortably close to a subject's face, filling it with an unmatched quality of soft, wrap-around soft lighting.


Choose V-Mount or Gold [AB] Mount on the 1x2 and 2x3 models

 To provide for untethered operation, they also can be powered by V-Mount or A/B mount batteries with its integrated battery plate. This integrated battery feature is simply not available on legacy LED soft lights.

Honeycomb light grid and filter holder included at no extra cost

SOFTPANELS PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS AND COMPONENTS

1x2 SOFTPANELS LED soft light [all-in-one package]

  • 1x2 ft [30x60cm] LED Light, including honeycomb grid and gel frame accessories
  • Soft Case
  • Built-in digital LED Color Meter
  • AUTOCOLOR matching feature
  • SKIN ENHANCE Feature
  • Variable Color: 2700K to 6500K
  • 95 CRI Ultra High Color Fidelity LEDs, with extended red spectrum coverage [for great skin tone rendition]
  • Full range ultra smooth 100% to 0 Dimming
  • High light output - equivalent to a 1000w tungsten soft light: 186 FC at  ft [2904 lux at 1m]
  • Absolutely silent operation [no fan]
  • Flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle
  • 100 Watts - Runs on AC or one high-current Battery [chose either V-mount or Gold integrated battery mounting plate]
  • Universal AC input 90-260 volts
  • Very energy efficient, less than 1A, 120VAC
  • Weight: 16.5 lbs  [7.5 kg]  [all-in-one - no separate ballast]
  • 20 ft. AC Power Cord - choose USA, UK, or Euro plug [or bare wire]
  • Light mounts in both Vertical or Horizontal position
  • DMX built into every light for remote control of color and dimming
  • Soft wrap around light quality  - great for HD imagery

2x3 LED SOFTPANELS  [all-in-one package]

  • 2x3 ft [60x90cm] LED Light, including honeycomb grid and gel frame accessories
  • Soft Case
  • Built-in digital LED Color Meter
  • AUTOCOLOR matching feature
  • SKIN ENHANCE Feature
  • Variable Color: 2700K to 6500K
  • 95 CRI Ultra High Color Fidelity LEDs, with extended red spectrum coverage [for great skin tone rendition]
  • Full range ultra smooth 100% to 0 Dimming
  • High light output - equivalent to a 3000w tungsten soft light
  • Absolutely silent operation [no fan]
  • 300 Watts - Runs on AC or two high-current Battery [chose either V-mount or Gold integrated battery mounting plates]
  • Universal AC input 90-260 volts
  • Very energy efficient, less than 3A, 120VAC
  • Weight: 30.3 lbs [13.8 kg] [all-in-one - no separate ballast]
  • Flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle
  • 20 ft. AC Power Cord - choose USA, UK, or Euro plug [or bare wire]
  • Light mounts in both Vertical or Horizontal position DMX built into every light for remote control of color and dimming
  • Soft wrap around light quality - great for HD imagery

3x4 LED SOFTPANELS  [all-in-one package]

  • 3x4 ft [90x120cm] LED Light, including honeycomb grid and gel frame accessories
  • Soft Case
  • Built-in digital LED Color Meter
  • AUTOCOLOR matching feature
  • SKIN ENHANCE Feature
  • Variable Color: 2700K to 6500K
  • 95 CRI Ultra High Color Fidelity LEDs, with extended red spectrum coverage [for great skin tone rendition]
  • Full range ultra smooth 100% to 0 Dimming
  • High light output - equivalent to a 5000w tungsten soft light
  • Absolutely silent operation [no fan]
  • 600 Watts - Runs on AC
  • Universal AC input 90-260 volts
  • Very energy efficient, less than 6A, 120VAC
  • Weight: 45.5 lbs [20.7 kg] [all-in-one - no separate ballast]
  • Flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle
  • 20 ft. AC Power Cord - choose USA, UK, or Euro plug [or bare wire]
  • Light mounts in both Vertical or Horizontal position
  • DMX built into every light for remote control of color and dimming
  • Soft wrap around light quality - great for HD imagery

Backer Rewards!

We are offering each backer with a major price reduction over the retail price of these units. 

Not only does the superior technology of SoftPanels come to you at a fraction of the price from other manufacturers. But by participating in this campaign, you'll get your chosen SoftPanels at 25% off their proposed retail price.

That's like finding the perfect LED light for half price... then getting another 25% (which is, actually, exactly what you are doing by backing this campaign).

In addition to that, with each SoftPanels backer level that includes a light, you'll be getting our custom grey/white balance card. The SoftPanels grey/white balance card is perfect for speeding up your post-production workflow.

We Need You!

Remember, we need to raise the full amount of $30,000 by the close of this campaign to complete the final tooling and initial production run of your SoftPanels.

By backing this campaign, you will receive the latest technology and innovations in LED lighting for film and photography backed by years of industry leading experience at an unheard of price.

Choose your backer reward now!

and many thanks to Panavision Hollywood for allowing us to film our Kickstarter video at their location. 

Risks and challenges

With many years of experience in bringing tens of thousands of LED lighting fixtures to the Cine/Video/Photo industry the risks are relatively low. 
But each project carries inherent risks. Whether it be a slight delay in delivery time due to a late delivery of a component, or a need to tweak the tooling a bit, rest assured that with our combined experience and contacts, the advanced SoftPanels you order is EXACTLY what you'll be getting.