Well, I should have known better and if the pace of things was slower, e.g I had more sleep, I would have thought of a very simple way to test first, before buying. The 4-way barn doors for the Litepanels’ 1×1 lights are a major fail. I thought it might be the case since the lights themselves are not a single source but actually 576 sources (LEDs.) I searched online and couldn’t find a review of the barn doors so I bought two to take for a spin.
The barn doors are a mix of plastic and metal. The doors are metal and their plastic frame is reinforced at points with metal brackets. But the frame itself is not quite rigid enough for the four doors. It is nicely designed in appearance and function, offering a filter slot to replace the one in the fixture the barn doors take up. But the doors don’t hold tight, the top one drifts down (with no way to tighten it,) and the doors create vertical and horizontal patterns which would ruin a shot. Even if you add Litepanels’ 1 stop diffusion gel there is still a pattern visible when using the barn doors.
Since, these barn doors cannot function as they are supposed to (to control the light,) this accessory should not manufactured or sold, especially at $202.50 ea.
I do love my 1×1 Litepanels, I have four I use for video and and still shoots. They are the easiest lights to work with that I have ever used. They have a consistent color temp light to light, they don’t have a color shift when dimmed, they don’t have an overall green spike like cheaper knock-offs, they are very easy to filter and when battery powered are a real joy on set. Litepanels does seem to miss the boat sometimes. The foot of the Sola ENG is one case (I have had both of mine crack, loosening the 1/4-20 metal thread which is set in plastic. I glued them with marine epoxy to keep them working and they do work fine once done,) the barn doors for the Sola ENG are another (they don’t always hold their position,) and now the barn doors for the 1x1s.
If you own a LED light and want to see if barndoors will work on it just make a flap out of cardboard and rotate it into the light as if it was hinged.
Top barn door in motion.
Thanks for the article about the barn doors on the Litepanels. Now I know not to waste money there. This looks like lots of light with very little control. That will limit its usability in most studio situations for me, since I believe that light should go where you want it to go, and nowhere else. I appreciate the testing that you did. Thank you!
Bruce – FWIW, they do make tighter beam 1x1s, 30 deg & 15 deg, as well as fresnels. I do like the 1x1s, especially on location running off of batteries, filtering them to mix with ambient, and since I do very small footprint productions.
Looked at your site – impressive stuff!
Jon – with the barndoors fitted and open on the Litepanels 1×1, do the open barndoor flaps limit the tilt range on the yoke like I have seen on some other 1×1 panels?
Tim – Yes, with the barndoor flaps open it would limit the tilt range (simply having the barndoor frame mounted on the light limits the movement.) I didn’t make note of how much given the other issues.
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