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Sumolight: A light that can take the heat

The heat of a Baghdad summer, peaking at 47°C, is tough on a passively cooled LED light, but the new Sumo100 kept on shining for the CBS Evening News crew, which was fortunate. “As the Iraqi security forces had seized most of our kit the week earlier I was heavily reliant on what remained, and could not afford anything to fail,” explained lighting cameraman Scott Munro.

The black metal parts of the Sumolight, Arri Boom stands and Sony PDW-700 camera became too hot to touch within 10-15 minutes in the heat, and the black power extension cable fuse button popped, while the hinges of a plastic case softened and broke. The external housing of the Sumolight “heated up very fast, too hot to touch, but the lamp kept working very well. [It] is wonderfully constructed, and operated well in the extreme heat.” He didn’t even notice any dimming.

It is “very hard to deal with the mid-day Middle East sun’s brightness foreground versus background,” he explained. He had the correspondent under a California Sunbouncer Scrim “with the Sumo as a lovely fill light. The versatility of it is great. I’ve swung it on a boom stand in many directions, and used handheld a few times too.”

The light, which has a very high Television Lighting Consistency Index of 99, “has a beautiful softness and warmth to it, especially around 3200K. I’m noticing with a lot of the LEDs which are gelled to 3200K they do not look as good as the old tungsten filament colour. This is the closest I’ve seen,” added Munro.

The Sumo100 offers interchangeable optics for 30°, 60° and 120° beam angle, output of 1200 lux at 3m and smooth and accurate colour adjustment 3000K – 5700K.