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Gekko Kelvin Tile REVIEW by Jon Pratchett I like LED lighting. I know there are a lot of people who tell us that it can’t produce the wide colour gamut of tungsten, and I agree. But it’s getting close and the shear ease at which you can set them up and control their brightness, not to mention the lack of heat and the ability to run them for hours off a battery for me out ways the possible colour issues. That said, I do a lot of interviews and our simple lighting kit included a number of Chinese imported LED lights. These worked great, they ran off V-lock Batteries and you could adjust the brightness of them and I have been using them for a couple of years now. However when looking at the footage captured I always noticed there was a lot of green in the light. Despite white balancing everything correctly, I always had to colour correct the footage a bit to get rid of this green tinge. With this in mind I got myself a couple of the Gekko Kelvin tile LED lights. These lights, which are a remarkable price on CVP’s website at the moment, looked just what I needed to upgrade my unbranded lights. The Kelvin tile is approx 12” square light made up of banks of 6 colour LED’s. These LED’s allow you to adjust the colour of the light from 2200k to 6500k. They are VERY well made. Compared to my cheap aluminium lights these are solid steel frames with a solid ball and socket mounting on the back. Located on the back is a V-lock battery plate, power switch and then the lighting control panel. This panel has a variable control for brightness and one for colour temperature. There are also two small switches where you can switch between a preset 3000k or 5500k, as well as the manual control these lights also have full DMX control over 5pin XLR. On location at Aston Villa Football Club I’ve used these lights on a number of jobs now, in different lighting situations and so far have been very impressed with them. Recently on a shoot I did at Aston Villa Football Club for BroadcastShow, they proved invaluable as we could match them nicely to the light colour coming in from the window, and due to the small room we were in, I could dial down the brightness knowing the colour quality was not going to be reduced, which is what tends to happen with the LESSER lights. The ability to dial in the colour in order to perhaps match other light or warm things up slightly makes a massive difference. The colour quality is excellent with no sign of the green tinge I always seem to get with my cheaper imported lights. The light is nice a soft, ideal for interview setups producing a nice wide, soft and accurate light that makes lighting a scene very easy. One thing about these lights you must be aware of though is their weight. They are heavy. Don’t think you can put these on low cost lighting stands, you can’t. If you plan on having someone hold the light for a particular take (something I have needed to do recently) then make sure you have a strong person on hand to hold it for you. That said they are heavy because of how they are made. These lights will take a beating, and continue to work. The only weak spot I have found with them in the plastic diffuser on the front which does a great job, but is a little too brittle for my liking. If you don’t need super low weight lights, but want extremely good variable colour LED’s with a lovely soft but powerful light you won’t go far wrong by getting your hands on a set of Gekko Kelvin tiles. Just make sure you have some decent quality light stands to hold them up. To see the interview using these lights please go to: www.broadcastshow.com/ reviews/ or scan the QR code 60 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY074FEB13.indd 60 11/02/2013 16:53