New LitePanels Bi-Color LED Light "Astra," Four Times Brighter Than The Original 1x1

The LitePanels 1x1 has arguably been the industry standard for LED lighting in many news and documentary productions. At the recent CineGear show, LitePanels demoed their latest product, an update to the award winning 1x1. The new "Astra" light claims to have an output 4x greater than the original 1x1. Nate Weber from shares the first look in this video.

With a redesigned housing, the Astra places the power adapter and battery plate apart from the actual light itself. As someone who has used the original system, I can see the benefit to keeping that weight and bulk off of the primary unit. For a closer look at the Astra, here are the specs from the LitePanels website.

Technical Specifications

Color Temperature: Tungsten - Daylight
Size: 17.7 x 16.3 x 5.3” / 45 x 41.3 x 13.4cm
Weight: 7 lbs. / 3.2kg

Maximum Power Draw: 110W
Power Supply: 24V DC via AC Adapter Includes Fixture, Yoke w/TVMP, Power Supply, Power Cord
Power Requirements 13-24V DC / 100-240VAC
DMX via RJ45 (Optional Communications Module)

They boast a "high CRI" in the product description, but I don't see an exact number anywhere. Once these become available, users tests should hopefully reveal if there is any nasty green tint or other shifting in use.

These are the photometrics as listed by LitePanels, not too shabby at all compared to the original 1x1.

Right now the list price is $1,350. I know there are a lot of options on the market now for LEDs, and these are certainly of the more expensive variety. Hopefully continued development and refinement of the 1x1 will mean lower costs on older models and on other brands of 1x1 LEDs, making them more affordable for everyone.

B&H has the Astra available for pre-order


Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

Log in or register to post comments

I would not find a separate power supply attractive, but that's just me. Definitely overpriced too.

It's unfortunate the mark-up on lighting equipment is so out of control. Well, most photography gear I suppose.

The bare minimum is 2x the price of the components, even then there's not much of a profit at the end. premium components like these led lights need a minimum of 5x-6x component price. total price of components is ~100$ and machining is another 100$ for the body to look good.

Anyone know of less expensive alternatives to this w/ similar output levels?

There are a range of alternatives, but I think this new 1x1 is pretty good though. Keep in mind that there actually is some relationship between what you pay and what you get. Not linear, I know, but there is a relationship. The super cheap chinese ones on Ebay? Well, they work but the color is usually pretty dodgy, and forget about getting a premium rental price from a client for a non-name brand light. This new 1x1 from LitePanels is pretty damn good, I played with a couple at Cinegear. Super bright, nice color, and really nice ergonomics and weight. the curved yoke so you can always tilt to where you want, putting the battery etc down on the yoke is smart. Remember that LP is a successful company with lots of R&D money, not to mention they invented LED panel lighting. 1500$ isn't that bad for a really good panel.
So you need a cheaper one? Try the F&V. It's the best in its price range. Ready to spend more? Buy this Astra, or go up a notch or two and buy a Creamsource. Down a level, Dedolight Felloni, Dracast, Flolight. (only discussing panels here, there are excellent non-panel LEDs also)
But remember that all of these units are still LED panels, and they still have some of the same drawbacks. A bunch of multiple little hard points of light, not soft, hard to look at, can't cut them cleanly. Diffusion right on the face of the light is never going to soften them up that much. (yes, it's my company) makes excellent inflatable softboxes that fit all of these units, it doesn't matter which one you buy. The source gets bigger and softer, you can add more diffusion or color in the front pocket, put a crate on to control them.

I don't have a vested interest in any of the companies mentioned except my own, Happy to answer private questions on the topic should they arise.
Tom Guiney
Airbox Lights

The Astra looks interesting but after seeing a demo (i should also mention HEARING the demo's fan) I would recommend an alternative, the Socanland High Output Nova-CTD or Socanland High Output Nova-CTD Spot. The high output Socanland Nova's are like the Astra, bi-color and over 100 Watts.

The Astra was nice but because it has a fan it was a deal killer for me. Sure you can turn it off, but if you do your output is reduced by half... so if you want the power you need the fan on and that will pic up on your mics. The Socanland Nova-CTD is silent as it has no fan and the Spot version of the light (30 degrees instead of 60) is almost 2 times brighter than the Astra!!! The spread on the Nova-CTD Spot was the same as the Astra but the Socanland Nova has so much more punch. The Nova-CTD (Standard Flood Version @ 60 degrees) has a considerably wider spread than both lights. The Socanland is also lighter (3 pounds compared to 7), includes a battery plate at no extra charge (Anton Bauer or V), doesn't have the issue with the awkward extra power supply, and has a metal frame (not plastic like the Astra). Also has very accurate color temperatures and is available now instead of for a pre-order which seems to get more and more delayed with each month.

If you order it in the 2 light kit its discounted by 10%. The kit also includes barn-doors, diffusion, and a 2 light case. Here is a link: (you have to select the kit which would be kits C, D, or E).

Here is a link to all of the High-Output Socanland Lights where you can find a single color version of the Nova as well as a 1'x2' light which has an amazingly wide spread but isn't as portable:

Another cool thing is if you use the Discount Code, "Astra Killer" $100 is taken off of your order as long as you purchase a High-Output model.

Again, the Astra seems like a nice alternative compared to the older models, but the Socanland Nova series just makes so much more sense.