Tools of the Trade: The Intellytech LC-100 2.0
A flexible lighting solution for professional video shoots
*I purchased this product myself without intent to review it. No compensation was given for the following.
As a freelancer, you’re constantly chasing the piece of kit that will “complete” your gear package. This is a bit of a quixotic quest. You’re always going to “need” one more thing. If it’s not a light, it’s a gimbal. Once you get that gimbal, you need a support vest. Once you get that support vest...and you get the idea. Eventually, you’re standing knee deep in baby stands and clamps wondering if the Mercedes Sprinter van can do double duty as your daily driver.
Something you can reasonably do is identify the most glaring holes in your arsenal and try to fill them. My lighting set-up had nearly everything an owner operator would need to shoot interviews and smaller narrative set ups. Except for one thing: a foldable/cloth panel LED light.
Up until this point, I had used lights like the LiteMat by Litegear in rental situations and really dug the versatility. Litegear makes some great soft panels that can serve as large soft sources for interviews. They can also be rigged overhead to provide an even spread of light with pleasing falloff in mid to high ceiling settings, like kitchens.
I didn’t need a standard 4’x4’ mat though. I had a very specific need for this purchase. I wanted a 1’x2’ that could do double duty as a fill light on interviews or be rigged overhead in tight spaces like the inside of a vehicle.
I checked the usual vendors, but couldn’t find exactly the balance of output, features, and price point I was looking for, until I came across the Intellytech LC-100 2.0. I was familiar with their fixtures from a visit to NAB. They make lights using quality materials that pack a lot of punch. They also happen to run some solid sales directly on their website.
I was able to score the 1’x2’ Intellytech (model #) at 40% off. It’s a foldable bi-color light that has roughly the output of a 1,000 watt tungsten soft light fixture, but at 100 watts. It’s a robust piece of kit that comes with its own hard case and softbox with grid cloth.
This piece of equipment has enabled me to deploy it in various instances and I have been pleased each time. It first saw use as a fill light in interview setups. Interestingly enough, it paired with a Litepanels Gemini and only required a little tuning to match. (The Gemini ran at 4800K the Intellytech at 4850K.) The output and falloff were very pleasing in a live manufacturing center foyer set-up wherein we didn’t have a ton of control on all lighting factors.
A week later it saw unexpected use as a key light for some “man on the street” styled interviews and it really did the trick there. I needed something that could go on a heavy-duty kit stand and work with a battery so that setups could be adjusted within minutes and this achieved that. I was able to see about three hours of use per battery, while typically having to run the light no higher than at a 75 percent brightness setting. Again, the color tuning capabilities of the light were helpful as I dealt with various lighting hurdles.
A couple of weeks after that, I even found use for the light during an automotive photoshoot. We rigged the light about 8.5 feet overhead in a white tent setup to provide perpetual illumination of trunk and hatch spaces on the vehicles that we were taking photos of. We paired this with a second 1’x2’ flexible styled light and saw excellent results.
Within a few weeks, this light had justified its existence in my kit. It was affordable, easy to transport, and versatile. Setup and manipulation is a breeze. There are effects and other features that I haven’t even touched on that provide added value.
I absolutely recommend it for anyone putting together a personal lighting kit. It’s “that good” in a pinch. I probably need to force myself NOT to use it on my next shoot so I don’t start treating it as the proverbial hammer that turns every problem into a nail.
Intellytech has some other smaller and larger fixture options that are appealing as well. Give them a try with confidence.