Spekular is spectacular! Hmmm – a little over the top? Not really. I recently had the opportunity to put this new LED lighting system from Spiffy Gear to the test. Spiffy Gear are the folks that brought us the Light Blaster (buy link).
Spekular is a modular lighting system that can take on all kinds of shapes depending on your needs and this can save you money and the time needed to pack and set-up light modifiers especially when you are working on location. Spekular comes as a kit of 4 LED sections. Each section is built with aluminum and ABS plastic. The sections can be configured using the included hinged connectors or with the accessory extension kit.
To use Spekular, start with a control section and add a stand mount. Then depending on the configuration you want to make – in the example below I am going to make a simple panel – you just slip a hinged connector on one end and keep adding pieces. They just slide right in and then you tighten them in place so that the unit is not going to come apart while you use it.
I won’t bore you with all of the technical details in this article – but I would encourage you to check them out in the video at the top of the post. Spekular far outperforms similar lights both in performance and more reasonable pricing.
Here is a shot with my subject placed in front of an Orange backdrop and Spekular in a square arrangement. I have used three additional Spekular panels behind my subject – one is creating a nice glow on the orange background and the other two are placed camera right and camera left as rim lights. Click here to go directly the finished shot in the video.
Next is the same arrangement – minus the background light with my subject in front of a black seamless. Click here to go directly the finished shot in the video.
Spiffy Gear also has a cool accessory called the Star Adapter. This adaptor lets you attach 8 of the LED bars to a central ring. This arrangement gives you a really sweet broad light source and a very cool catchlight. This shot was done with my subject sitting in front of a Thunder Gray backdrop. Click here to go directly the finished shot in the video.
I was able to recreate quite a few of my favorite lighting styles with Spekular – but how about having some fun with color?
With my subject in front of the black background, I placed two bars on camera left as my main light. Two bars on camera right with a blue gel and then used two bars with a pink gel behind my model on camera right and one bar with a pink gel behind my model on camera left. The pink gels light up her blonde hair and the blue gel is coloring the shadowed side of her face. Click here to go directly the finished shot in the video.
Overall, I am very impressed with this new system. For those of you who are GEARtographers – open your wallets, this is a “must have”. For the rest of you, it will depend on your needs. I think that Spekular will be a great addition to the lighting arsenal for studio photographers who shoot people, products or food. I also think that Spekular will be a big hit with cinematographers and videographers because of its modular capabilities.