BBS LED Lighting Pushes the Envelope of Color Accuracy


Starting out as LED retrofitters for major brands, partners Ken Fischer and Toby Sali joined forces to market BBS Lighting—a company whose driving force was pushing the limit of color accuracy into the Color Rendering Index stratosphere. Looking for radical methods to push the CRI envelope ultimately led to the 11 x 14" Area 48 LED Light, with a CRI of 97 out of a theoretical 100 @ 3200K.

Traditional methods integrate the phosphor that determines color fidelity and light balance into the LED; inconsistencies lead to inaccurate color rendition, especially in multi-LED arrays. Observing this compelled the folks at BBS to separate the phosphors in a rigid consistent sheet that mounts on the front of the fixture. Each phosphor panel is factory tested and imprinted with a "real" CRI. The light can be ordered with choice of interchangeable 3200K (standard), 2700, 4300, 5600, and 6500K panels. There's also a chroma green panel for color-keying.

Although its color accuracy gets most of the press, the Area 48's core features are unimpeachable. The fixture is console-controllable via DMX with 0-100%, 8 or 16 bit dimming, locally or remotely. It has a low-heat output that's equivalent to a 1,200W tungsten flood light while consuming only 150W, which translates to low operating costs and a fast return on investment. The included 100-240VAC power supply allows worldwide use, but optional V-Mount and Gold Mount battery plates offer independence from mains power—an essential feature for the location shooter.

Other accessories include softboxes, grids, an angle-reducing intensifier, both padded and road cases, grip gear, and a special yoke that allows ganging of four units to form a light bank. 

Besides the Area 48, BBS offers the Ledheimer LED Multipurpose Beam Light, a workhorse available in 3200 or 5600K that ships with narrow, medium, and wide reflectors and is DMX controllable. A four-light version is also available.

True to its roots, BBS still manufactures light engines, offering LED sources for the ETC Force Four, DeSisti Leonardo 90W Tungsten CCT Fresnel, the ARRI ST1, and Juliat 600 Series Zoom Spots.