Vasanth S. Kumar, Project Manager, Barbizon Lighting India Pvt. Ltd.

Lighting is a very important part in broadcast industry, especially in TV studios. Studios have fixtures that are mostly tungsten and fluorescent (cool) lights. With evolution in LED technology, the things are changing. Though cost is a major factor, which plays an important role in the selection of LEDs in Indian market, yet a few other factors are equally important, which need to be considered like heat dissipation, filtering of the transients, lumens, CRI (color rendering index), CQS (color quality scale), R9 (saturated red), TLCI (television lighting consistency index) metrics, etc., because these are the attributes which decide the quality of LED. The studios are set up with an intention to run for at least 10 years of trouble-free working. Often the customer is tempted by the bright and cheap LEDs. {mosimage}

Unfortunately, it does not give guarantee for a long life. They are never tested for UV emission. This is very hazardous for your hosts. The hosts sometime complain about the strain on their eyes which is the result of glare and flickering of LEDs. Poor LEDs also affect output, especially in Chroma key setups where you would see more green or magenta tint.

There have been a lot of claims from manufacturers about their LEDs having 50 to 60 K hours of life. It is the inner electronics which is responsible for it. That can only be achieved when LEDs can handle power fluctuation and give bright output without burning the LED by consuming too much of current. It is never recommended to run the LED through dimmers; instead, they should run with the LED drivers for a longer life.

The biggest advantage of LEDs is their ability to attain the color temperature which starts from 2200 to 10000 K which was not possible by tungsten without using gels for color correction. This is quite useful for white balancing. Nowadays, the phosphorous panels as an accessory can change the color temperature and it is possible to attain a CRI of more than 95, which is much better than the fluorescent fixtures which has mere 70-80 CRI generally. Power LEDs are costly but they imitate the tungsten light or daylight very nicely. These LEDs also have a good throw which can be used at higher altitude with different lenses. The best use of the LEDs can be for Cyclorama, which can provide a nice vibrant wash and can be changed at a touch on the color wheel of the system.

No doubt LEDs are getting better day by day and are slowly replacing tungsten from the present lighting design and drastically bringing down the power consumption. But one should be educated about the product before procuring and use correct tools to verify the claims of the manufacturer. These details are quite useful in cutting down the cost if one plans to buy expensive cameras, cooling options, and overall studio setup.

A little professional approach is always good while designing studio lighting as it can give perfection, quality, and a 
cost-effective solution in the long run.