Photon Beard in world-first plasma energy luminaire launch2 June 2011
Photon Beard has announced a new, highly efficient lamp based on Light-Emitting Plasma. The Photonspot Nova 270 is a focusable daylight balanced source with a Fresnel lens, aimed initially at the location market as a lightweight replacement for smaller HMIs, writes David Fox.
“It is the first luminaire in our industry to use this technology. It is very energy efficient – more so than HMI or LED,” stated Peter Daffarn, Photon Beard’s managing director. Being plasma, it doesn’t pass electricity through a light-generating element, but focuses radio frequency energy on to a small, gas-filled glass bulb that excites the mixture of gases so much that it becomes plasma.
It boasts “very low heat generation. LED still produces a lot of heat out the back. So does Plasma but it is about half of LED,” he added.
It has a high CRI (94), giving the 5300K light “very good colour rendition” and it is flicker free, which is “very important for high speed photography.”
It is a single source “so it provides good hard shadows and easily focusable light,” he added. “The Nova 270 produces sharp shadows on both spot and flood and the barn doors provide good clean edges to the beam.”
Unlike an HMI light, Nova needs no ballast, so it weighs less and there is less to go wrong. Its 30v DC power requirement means that it can run on mains or battery.
There will be more to come from the Nova line. “We are working on at least one variant of the Nova 270, available by IBC time, but can’t say much at this stage. The technology is also fairly new and there will be other wattages available in the future – just not sure when yet.”
Daffarn believes that the Nova will be particularly well-suited to location lighting (out on a film set in daylight) and high-speed photography due to its lack of flicker.
“This is the first energy efficient, focusable Fresnel that actually delivers a usable amount of light for a reasonable cost,” he claimed. It produces almost the full spectrum of visible light, outputting 14,000 lumens, should have a useful lifetime of around 20,000 hours (the source is replaceable), and needs no cooling fans. The 273W light is claimed to give a similar output to a 2000W tungsten Fresnel.