ARRI's SkyPanel is a new line of LED fixtures. They will initially be available in two sizes: the S60 and S30. The S60 is a mid-range model, featuring a light aperture of 645 x 300mm. The S30 is a smaller, more portable version; half the length of the S60, good for on-the-go mobile applications. Both models are available in fully colour tuneable and remote phosphor versions.
Incorporating features of ARRI’s L-Series LED Fresnels, SkyPanel ‘C’ (Colour) versions are fully tuneable; correlated colour temperature is adjustable between 2,800K and 10,000K. Full plus and minus green correction can be achieved with the turn of a knob, and in addition to CCT control, vivid colour selection and saturation adjustment is also possible. Applications for this controllability range from adjusting the CCT to set the mood of a scene, to selecting the perfect green colour to wash a greenscreen.
"Soft lights are known for their smooth quality of light and even, uniform beam field – SkyPanel is no different. The combination of the curated selection of diffusion panels, LED mixing chamber and large light aperture allow for the light to wrap around objects, eliminating sharp shadows and making for a perfect beauty light. The beam field is homogeneous in both color and intensity.
"Mixing some 2,000 calibrated red, green, blue and white LEDs into one beam of soft light, SkyPanel produces not just excellent light, but excellent shadows as well. The shadows are soft in nature and do not exhibit multiple edges or strange colours. Recognising that a diffused light source is not enough to make a true soft light, ARRI has also given SkyPanel one of the largest light apertures in its power class. This substantial opening contributes significantly to the soft quality of light and wrapping of the source around a subject."
The SkyPanel was designed to be used primarily as a soft light to illuminate people. However, features were also designed into the fixture to make it versatile. The diffusor panels on the front of the lamphead are interchangeable, so going from a heavy diffusion to a lite diffusion can be done in seconds. (ARRI is to roll out further diffusion accessories that will accommodate other applications).
The SkyPanel also makes a good space light; by providing a large pool of downward soft light, as well as the ability to change CCT and vivid colours, SkyPanel offers a alternative to conventional space lights.
If tuneability is not required, a remote phosphor version of the SkyPanel is also available. Remote phosphor technology uses powerful blue LEDs to excite a panel coated in phosphors, which is positioned further away from the LEDs. The remote phosphor versions of SkyPanel are roughly 10% brighter than the colour versions and have a lower price point. Different colour temperature panels are available, including 2,700K; 3,200K; 4,300K; 5,600K; and 6,500K.
Other features include an on-board battery input for mobile applications, LAN port for network connectivity, USB-A port for firmware updates via thumb drive, and many more.
The SkyPanel S60 will start shipping in September 2015, with the S30 becoming available shortly afterwards.