Take a 5.5-inch cube you can hold in your hands and imagine it can put out 30,000 lumens of daylight-balanced light. You change intensities and color temperatures not by switching out the bulb, but by switching out light cards. And if you could then snap the lights together via hidden magnets to double or quadruple your power, you'd now have the new Anthem One. You would be right to be wary of all the new products claiming to do everything better and at less cost than its competitors. But Anthem One isn't some Kickstarter project that will be delivered next year. It's already for sale and will ship in just a couple months.
Anthem One makes a lot of claims it will have to live up to in practice. Compared to the 200+ hours that HMI bulbs often last (and it's often recommended to only use HMI bulbs for half of their life expectancy due to color shifts, etc.), one light card can last as long as 50,000 hours. With a fan to help cool the light for as long as a light card will last, the Anthem One stays relatively cool compared to other continuous lighting solutions of similar brightnesses.
Users can choose from four photography and video-oriented light cards featuring different brightness and temperature characteristics including 20,000 lumens at 4,000K, 21,000 lumens at 3200K, 25,000 lumens at 5600K, and 30,000 lumens at 5,600K. Light cards also exist for military and agricultural applications and will be expanded in the future to additional levels of brightness or color temperatures, which is why Anthem One likens light cards more to computer RAM or hard drives than to bulbs. The spread of each light source ranges from 120° to 60° depending on the attached lens. Each features zero to 100-percent dimming with no color change with the help of an added dimmer to the system.
Snap four Anthem Ones together, and you have a light as powerful as a 1,600-watt HMI at 11 inches square and 5.5 inches deep (although you would also have four Anthem Power and/or Anthem Power Plus power supplies in total to power them all).
For the full Anthem One light kit, which comes with an Anthem Power and cables, but no light card, expect to pay $1,499. A version with an Anthem Power Plus, which includes a lithium-ion battery system for up to three hours of use at 100-percent power, is available for $2,499. Something of note, however, is that the non-battery-enabled Anthem Power is not available separately. So keep this in mind if you plan to maximize your options (not that the Anthem Power Plus won't cover all the bases... but the battery could be seen as a liability or extra complication if not needed). An extra Anthem Power Plus is available for the simple difference of $999 at any time.
While switching out a light card takes less than a minute, it does require re-applying thermal paste and a 10-minute half-power seating process for the thermal paste to spread and adhere properly. This means that switching light cards might not be done as quickly as switching bulbs. But the overall flexibility and cost savings may be well worth it.
Interestingly, the accessories for the Anthem One — from the light cards at $169 to the two-lens kit and doors at $69 each — are all rather well-priced when considering other professional, high-end lighting systems. The promised longevity alone generates a ridiculously fast return on investment compared to the competition, and that's not something Anthem One wants you to forget. However, if it works, it does seem to be one wildly impressive solution to prohibitively expensive continuous lighting systems.
Are these specifications alone enough to entice you to try out this system?