With the Orbiter, ARRI launches an innovative LED lighting system into orbit, which features interchangeable optics and light control accessories and which can function as a spot as well as a softlight. But classic ARRI lights haven’t been scrapped at all, points out Ivo Ivanovski, ARRI’s General Manager of the Lighting Division.
What does the new Orbiter light offer?
We used modern technology to design a very bright spotlight that has
many options for directing and shaping light. It had to be flexible and innovative, have a perfect colorimetry and, moreover, it had to be user-friendly and durable.
The 400 W Orbiter consumes as much electrical energy as the SkyPanel S60. Is it just as bright or is it more efficient because of its modern LEDs?
The SkyPanel and Orbiter are differ- ent. The SkyPanel is a spotlight, which distributes light on a surface. The Orbiter was designed to optimize luminance density. We selected LED to get the maximum amount of light possible onto a small surface. These LEDs were developed exclusively for ARRI.
Is the Orbiter going to replace the SkyPanel?
If only a softlight is needed, then the Sky- Panel remains the best softlight available. One of Orbiter’s advantages is that it can easily be converted from a softlight to spotlight – and vice-versa. This versatility is often needed both on location and in the studio.
Which HMI daylight-balanced light is comparable to the Orbiter in terms of light output?
In a one-to-one comparison with other open-face optic lighting, the Orbiter can be compared to the PocketPAR 400 W. Unlike Orbiter’s daylight-balanced lights – as LED lights generally are – it generates less heat and no ultraviolet radiation. This is why it can be used for short distances and why it can achieve light intensity which is similar to the M8. Orbiter’s minimum safety distance is only 50 centimeters.
What kind of optics are available?
As for recently added features, we offer vari- ous open-face optics as well as softbanks and domes, which provide soft, omnidirectional light. The Orbiter isn’t just another new LED light; instead, it’s a complete lighting system and we’re developing new accessories for it which will soon follow.
Are bigger LED lights also being planned?
We regularly discuss this with our customers. In this respect, LED technology doesn’t have any limits. We’ve already built proto- types, but their weight and size prevent them from appealing to the market right now.
Why are the lights so heavy?
LEDs need a metal heat sink to deflect heat. When a light is being designed, thermal simulations are made in order to create a suitable heat sink. This defines the weight of an LED light. Thanks to the optimization of light density, it’s already possible to use less aluminum and plastic for optics and accessories, which reduces its weight.
Is ecodesign an issue?
It’s a challenge in the electronics sector for products to remain in service for years in the face of new developments. We managed to accomplish this well, so far, with ARRI’s L-Series and the SkyPanel, the most successful softlight panel. During the design of these products, we took into consideration that, after having been sold, they are going to be in service for a very long time, so maintenance and spare parts have to be available for decades.
In what direction is the trend going?
The next step is going to software development and connectivity, so that lights can be connected and directed. We created the Lighting Operating System for the Orbiter, which is expandable and allows for the addition of new features.
Photos: © Lothar Reichel/ARRI