Litepanels swims underwater3 September 2009
Litepanels has teamed with Hollywood-based specialist HydroFlex to develop a family of next gen underwater lighting fixtures, the Litepanels SeaSun Underwater housing series.
Many of the advantages that Litepanels LED lighting technology bring to above-water production crews provide similar advantages to those shooting beneath the waves, including small form-factors, panchromatic light output, low power draw and low heat generation.
Size does matter to underwater production crews, where equipment needs to be weighted to be nearly neutrally buoyant when submerged. The smaller the overall volume of a lighting fixture, the less weight must be added so that the device remains slightly negatively buoyant and does not tend to rise to the surface if released under the water. This means Litepanels’ SeaSun fixtures are easy to lift aboard a support vessel at the end of a dive, and the small form factor also means less drag when a diver swims with the light.
As an underwater production crew descends beneath the surface, many colours of light from the sun are filtered out by the water. Litepanels’ panchromatic LEDs (which emit a continuous spectrum of light colour) are ideal for supplementing ambient light below the surface because of their even colour spectrum, with no chromatic peaks that could throw off throw off colour reproduction.
The low power draw of Litepanels LED lighting fixtures also means that divers carrying the lights underwater can do so untethered from power cables to a surface craft, and can provide long shooting times from small battery packs carried with the SeaSun light fixtures.
The advantage of the underwater fixtures’ low heat generation is that, unlike many traditional underwater lights which must be extinguished before surfacing in order to prevent heat damage to their housings, SeaSun fixtures can be taken out of the water while still lit without fear of damage to the fixture.
SeaSun underwater lighting fixtures are available utilising both Litepanels 1×1 and MicroPro fixture designs. SeaSun 1x1s are available in a Litepanels’ Standard (5600˚K or 3200˚K in flood or spot), Bi-Color (infinitely variable from 5600˚K to 3200˚K) and Bi-Focus (5600˚K with variable focus) models. The smaller SeaSun MicroPro operates off of six AA batteries, and can provide light continuously for up to five hours when utilising Energizer e2 Lithium Ion AA batteries.
Litepanels SeaSun fixture housings are constructed of aluminium and plexiglass, and are rated watertight to a depth of 100 feet.