The tube LED gentle has been a preferred kind issue for filmmakers for a number of years now as a result of ease of transport and mounting, the flexibility to wrap gentle round a topic, and the easy modular design making it simple so as to add extra tubes for extra gentle. Lighting producer Quasar Science, now a Vitec firm, has up to date their RGBX Rainbow sequence with a second technology referred to as the Rainbow 2 and the Double Rainbow.
I’ve been a fan of Quasar Science’s merchandise for years now. Primarily I make the most of their T-8 and Crossfade tubes, even including Quasar tubes in a number of Kino Housings. The daylight or tungsten T-8 tubes could be zip-tied and even taped to ceiling tiles to switch ugly overhead workplace lighting, and their small weight and low energy draw make them simple to work with.
Although I’ve by no means had a chance to work with the unique Rainbow Fixture, the up to date variations – given the connection choices on paper and the mounting system – are positively interesting to me.
Quasar Science Double Rainbow
The Double Rainbow is obtainable in a 2′ 50W and 4′ 100W model, and I had entry to each sizes for this assessment. Presently, the pricing sits at $900 for the two′ and $1,300 for the 4′. These costs place the Double Rainbow fixtures as a premium providing within the LED tube class.
One of many banner options for the Quasar Science Rainbow sequence is the addition of pixels, with the 4 ft. Double Rainbow containing 48 pixels and the 4 ft. Rainbow 2 containing 24 individually controllable pixels. That is extra pixels than the brand new PavoTube II from Nanlite (which we additionally reviewed!) or the Astera Titan. As used right here, “pixels” are small LED diodes or clusters of diodes that may be managed independently or programmed as a bunch. I like utilizing programmable pixels for gentle engine zone management in course of automobile filming or particular VFX gags
I’ll admit I used to be skeptical that the general LED tube exterior design we’ve all turn out to be used to wanted a lot tweaking. It’s because T-12 or 1.5-inch diameter-sized tubes have turn out to be a normal dimension primarily based on the older fluorescent tubes. Additionally, there may be a whole third social gathering ecosystem of equipment accessible for T-12 tubes. Due to its non-standard dimension, the double Rainbow at present doesn’t have a ton of assist from third events. Hopefully, that can change over time!
To me, the outside look of the Double Rainbow (principally double the width of the Rainbow 2) is gorgeous, and, story allowing, I’d select it over a T-12 tube, thereby avoiding the music-video-look cliché.
Taking a 2′ Double Rainbow out of the case, I used to be instantly impressed by the construct high quality and connectivity choices. USB-C for firmware, Ethernet port for daisy-chaining, and wired or wi-fi DMX make this fixture very helpful for skilled shoots or in-studio or on-stage tasks the place grid entry could be difficult. You need to use ethernet to move instructions from fixture to fixture, however sadly, at the moment, you’ll be able to’t move by energy from fixture to fixture. Quasar Science does make Multibank energy adapters, however they don’t seem to be accessible within the core package.
One space that’s nonetheless to be fleshed out for each fixtures is Bluetooth app choices. I primarily work as a DP and due to this fact don’t contact DMX. I go away that connectivity to stage board operators or the numerous succesful skilled gaffers. Nevertheless, I’ve been identified to take out my telephone or iPad and fiddle with a 1st social gathering Bluetooth-based lighting producer app or two. Quasar Science hasn’t launched theirs but (however may fairly quickly). If Quasar Science can execute on a high quality 1st social gathering app, that can improve the worth proposition.
The onboard controls on the Double Rainbow sequence are wonderful (see the picture above). I choose them over the Rainbow 2 – seemingly as a result of there may be extra actual property to work with on the Double Rainbow. Issues obtained difficult for me after I tried to program completely different pixels to show completely different colours through the use of the menu. Such a work could be quicker on an app.
Quasar Science – Rainbow 2
There’s a whole lot of crossover within the function set between these two lights, however the obvious distinction is the shape issue.
The Rainbow 2, on the skin, feels very similar to the color-capable tubes which have turn out to be increasingly well-liked on units today. It’s a well-recognized kind issue, and that’s not unhealthy for the compatibility causes I discussed relating to the Double Rainbow. You may have a number of choices when it comes to size and value: 2′ 25W ($500), 4′ 50W ($750) and 8′ 100W ($1000). Not like the Rainbow 2, the Double Rainbow at present doesn’t have an 8′ size.
Twenty pre-built results can be found in each fixtures – these vary from Cop Automotive to Rainbow. The power to regulate particular person pixels truly provides you extra selection and specificity with the results than what I’ve seen from different producers on this house.
You’ll wish to pay cautious consideration to firmware updates with each sorts of Rainbow fixtures. As of February 2022, Quasar Science has launched 5 separate firmware updates, together with streamlining UI, bettering CRMX choices, and different high quality of life enhancements.
You will discover firmware updates HERE.
Each Rainbow lights could be wall-powered by a locking 100v-240v AC enter or through the use of an exterior battery with a 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC barrel 12v-30v enter. Quasar Science instructed me they’re delivery all future models with a 3-pin Lemo-based system, which might be a welcomed enchancment over a finicky barrel connector.
One of many key variations between the Rainbow 2 and Double Rainbow fixtures in contrast with the Astera Titan sequence is the shortage of a built-in inner battery for energy. I admit I swing forwards and backwards on the professionals and cons of getting an inner battery in a lighting fixture versus permitting for exterior energy solely. In the intervening time, I’ve landed on a preferred saying within the cinema gear world: completely different instruments for various jobs.
Within the documentary world, you’ll be able to transfer a hair quicker utilizing fixtures with inner batteries. Nonetheless, the addition of exterior batteries actually provides you extra flexibility in a scripted cinema surroundings. A fast battery change on a course of automobile and you might be again up and operating with out the necessity to swap your complete fixture, which can produce other modifiers on it, and be chained in a hard-to-reach spot for security.
Another excuse exterior batteries are helpful is that inner batteries finally attain their finish of life, which suggests sending your complete fixture in for a battery alternative as a result of only a few producers permit inner batteries to be user-changeable.
Ossium Mounting System
The Ossium Mounting System deserves its personal part as a result of it’s simply so gosh darn helpful. At its core, the Ossium system feels very very similar to a normal NATO rail that you simply’d discover on most digicam rigs, and it’s equally as useful. There’s a lot to like right here. A number of security factors within the type of locking press pins preserve a tube from slipping to the bottom, and the Ossium child pin even has a bit of cap on the finish you will need to unscrew to take away it from a gobo C-Stand grip head.
Past the child pin, there’s an Ossium rotator and V-mount battery plate, and even a magnetic mount. Gone are the times of going to Residence Depot and grabbing a bunch of screws to attempt to mount a tube in a given spot. Each Rainbow 2 and Double Rainbow even have many 1/4 20 mounting factors. All of this implies no extra gaff taping LED tubes to the ceiling!
The Ossium system additionally helps to make each Rainbow fixtures conveniently modular. Quasar Science has already launched a body that means that you can connect 12 lamps to a yoke system, useful for enormous key lights or nighttime scenes, or basic house lighting. I really feel as if this body and the equipment are solely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s potential, and I’d wish to see a number of different producers like DoPChoice or Chimera take into consideration embracing the Ossium system (patents permitting) with some further equipment.
Total Output and Colour Temperature Readings
I grabbed a number of measurements on my Sekonic C-700U Spectrometer (now up to date with the C-800U) to see how precisely the Rainbow 2 Q25 dealt with colour temp (kelvin) and output (lx) from a distance of three ft. Listed here are my readings with a goal of 5600K and output set to 100%. I had no equipment hooked up for any of those readings.
A studying of 5478K with a goal of 5600K is superb for the Q25. Right here’s a measurement from the Rainbow 2 Q50 with a goal of 5600K – once more with out equipment and with output set to 100%.
A studying of 5529K with a goal of 5600K is superb for the Q50. Right here’s a measurement from the Double Rainbow RR50 with a goal of 5600K – once more with out equipment and with output set to 100%.
A studying of 5549K with a goal of 5600K is superb for the RR50. Right here’s a measurement from the Double Rainbow RR100 with a goal of 5600K – once more with out equipment and with output set to 100%.
A studying of 5610K with a goal of 5600K is incredible — it doesn’t get any higher than that.
Let’s check out all 4 illuminance [lx] readings when focusing on 5600K. It is smart that [lx] readings are roughly doubled throughout the board when evaluating the Rainbow 2 to the Double Rainbow. What’s fascinating to me is that the RR100 is definitely considerably brighter at 1300 [lx].
In case you are solely contemplating a dollars- to-[lx] ratio when enthusiastic about your buy choice, for my part, the way in which to go is the RR100.
Total these are very, very spectacular outcomes.
The Ossium mounting system is a breath of contemporary air in a tube-lighting phase that has notoriously finicky mounting choices.
The output and kelvin readings for the Rainbow and Double Rainbow fixtures are uniformly wonderful. We don’t have a 1st social gathering Bluetooth app but, and with luck, that can come quickly. Nonetheless, the flexibility to regulate both Rainbow gentle over wi-fi or wired DMX with out a further accent is helpful.
Total, I’m impressed by each the Rainbow 2 and the Double Rainbow, and I’m hopeful that the listing of equipment will proceed to develop from Quasar Science and different third events. Two thumbs up.
Hyperlink: Quasar Science
What do you suppose? Will you be including the Rainbow 2 or Double Rainbow to your package? Tell us within the feedback beneath!