The other day I spoke a little about Cree’s daylight LED bulb, and the day before that I discussed lumens, lux, and candela, which are all related to an emitter or lighting product’s intensity output.
Color temperature and CRI are two important properties that help determine the quality of light. I discussed these properties in a Zebralight H502 LED headlamp review a while back, but here’s a quick refresher:
Color temperature refers to the hue of white light. Lower color temperatures are considered warm, and higher color temperatures are cool.
Generally, warmer light has color temperature in the 2700K to 3300K range, neutral white is in the 4000K to 4300K range, and daylight is in the 5000K to 6000K range. These ranges are subjective, as warm and cool do not correspond to fixed color temperature ranges.
CRI, or color rendition index, refers to how accurately colors appear under a light source.
When an object appears to be red, it’s not actually red; what you’re seeing is red light being reflected by the object. White objects reflect all visible light wavelengths, black objects absorb all visible light wavelengths. Different color objects reflect different color wavelengths.
Lower CRI white light sources will have color peaks and dips. The light might appear white, but the quality of light won’t be comparable to natural sunlight or near-blackbody sources such as incandescent bulbs.
Under a low-CRI white light source, such as a cheap LED lamp, objects will often look muddy or unnatural, compared to when viewed under diffuse sunlight.
Color temperature and CRI aren’t relevant for a lot of applications. But there are applications where these properties are crucial, such as photography and anything else that involves accurate colors.
As a side note, reading resistor color codes is a lot easier with higher CRI light sources, otherwise orange, red, and brown can be hard to tell apart. The same is true for green and blue.
Now, about the actual product…
Fiilex has come out with a new high-CRI professional LED task lamp that they say is ideal for video blogging, web conferencing, textile and graphic color proofing, makeup and beauty applications, paint and plastics sampling, and other such applications.
The new V70 LED task lamp features flexible gooseneck-style lamp position adjustment, variable color temperature, and dimming control.
- 13W LED emitter matrix with 50,000 hour lifespan
- Dense matrix-style LED (multiple tiny LEDs on a single chip)
- Passive cooling (no fans)
- CRI over 90 at all color temperatures
- Warm (3200K), light warm (4600K), cool (6000K) color temperature settings
- 3-step dimmer control
- A magnetically-attached glass diffuser dome (optional) can be added to produce softer light and greater spread
During the introductory launch period, each V70 LED lamp will ship out with a free dome diffuser. After that, the domes will be a $59 add-on.
I had been looking into Fiilex’s LED lighting products to see if they would be suitable for ToolGuyd’s photo and video lighting needs, and as with many things this means I did a LOT of research. Overall, I am impressed with the brand and am very intrigued by their products.
A lot of LED lighting products these days are made with off-the-shelf parts. This is akin to how Milwaukee, Dewalt, and other power tool brands build their battery packs. They don’t manufacturer the Li-ion cells themselves, they buy them from other manufacturers. But Fiilex doesn’t do this, they make their own LED emitter packages.
Fiilex isn’t a standalone brand, they’re a subsidiary of DiCon Fiberoptics Inc., an R&D firm that focuses on MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) and micro-optical components for industrial applications.
Fiilex’s light sources are actually composed of single-chip multi-LED packages. Different groups of LEDs are tuned to emit different frequencies, and it seems each LED has multiple emitters as well. This is how Fiilex is able to create high-CRI light sources where a single LED matrix covers a wide spectrum of visible light wavelengths.
Their products are designed in the USA and either assembled in the USA or in Fiilex’s company-owned factory in Taiwan.
This is all why I am very impressed with Fiilex as a company, and very interested in their products.
To be perfectly honest, I think their V70 LED task lamp is a bit too focused towards artistic applications than industrial and workshop use. I like the idea of it, and the $200 price tag isn’t outlandish for what you get, but it’s not well tuned for how I would use it.
With the V70, I like the idea of spinning control knobs and the easy-adjust gooseneck positioning design. What I don’t like is the 6000K daylight-ish color temperature, which is apparently more favored by printing professionals, and how the lamp is designed to produce a harder light by default. I suppose that’s why they’re offering free glass diffusion domes to early adopters.
I plan to keep my eye on Fiilex. They have come out with some interesting LED lighting technologies in the past year, and my hopes is that they have a workshop or industrial-suitable model in the works. Maybe with impact protection and dust-resistant construction?
If anyone dares to try the V70 for their office, workshop, or home, please let me know how you like it!