Sirui just made an interesting announcement. A 100 watt auto-inflatable LED light. It is not the first inflatable light we’ve seen here. Pipelight, whom we met at IBC, also made an inflatable light. But unlike Pipelight, SIRUI targets everyday users and not just huge production companies.
Interstingly, SIRUI is not launching this product the usual way but via a croud funding platform on their own website. While there is an inherent risk in supporting a product before it ships, the april target date suggests that the product may actually be almost ready. (Looking at the update section indicates that the A100B is already in production)
An auto-inflatable LED light
One way to look at the A100B is to compare it to its closest cibling – the mat light / flexible light / fabric light (e.g. Godox FL150S, or Amaran F21x). But unlike those lights, the A100B does not need a frame to deploy. The secret? A pump that auto inflates the fixture into a (semi) rigid frame.
There are two immediate benefits to such a light: the small and flat footprint, and the quick setup and teardown. Being a flat light is pretty obvious. The fabric-like structure takes significantly less space than a standard COB light with an octa. But we have seen this feature before with fabric lights, and some panels. What sets the A100B apart is that it does not require a frame, so it sets up faster and has less parts.
According to SIRUI, “The A100B is the world’s first bi-color self-inflating flat light source. Turn on the light to start the inflation, and once the light is fully inflated, the inflation stops. This unique design frees your hands and greatly facilitates the setup process“.
I am assuming here that there is a built in pump and a valve that keeps the air in. To deflate the light, you have to open a small cap, similar to the ones you’d find on an inflatable mat. This makes the light extremely compact in packaging as well.
SIRUI claims that the light runs so quite that it is not audible. My guess is that once the lgigt iflates, the pump stops, but we will have to actually use the light to be sure.
Having a light, soft light can go a long way in terms of mounting and setup options. SIRUI placed a magnet on the back of the light, and its entire system is built on attaching mounting point to that magnet.
This mechanism gives you plenty of mounting options. Aside the trivial hand-holding and mounting the light on a stand, you can also magnetize the light to a any metallic surface. I did not try the light myself, but hopefully it’s light enough to stick to a plate on te ceiling. That would be incredible.
SIRUI marks the A100B as Splash-Resistant. There is no word how strong or consistent that splash may be, I can say that using such a self contained light in a rainy environment would be a delight, and I hope it is at least somewhat at least light rain proof.
A100B Light Signature
As a self contained light, the A100B has a front face that is actually a diffuser. Just imagine a large pool matt with a translucent top. This goes back to the quick setup that I talked about earlier. There is no need to set up a frame and then attach a diffuser to that frame. On the other hand, if you prefer power over softness, there is no way to take this diffusion off.
The size of the A100B inflatable light is 68.5cm x 50cm x 10cm, which is similar to a medium panel. That should be soft enough for shooting up close, although it could be a bit dramatic as a single light. The good news is that a width of 10 centimeters provides perfect diffusion, so you will not see any single LEDs.
There is an option grid available, if you require some spill control. But remember, this will always be a soft light. With a COB LED, you trade softness for foot print and set-up time. But with this light, you are always set on soft. It’s not a bad thing, just something to be aware of.
High Output & Color Accuracy
According to SIRUI, the light is rated at CRI 96 and TLCI of 98. This is more than enough for 99.99% of the most filmakers. Like most bi-color lights, there is no green/magenta correction. Buthaving the “B” in the A100B name, hopefully suggests that an A100C will follow at a certain point.
A100B power and control
The A100B offers two ways to control the light, on board buttons/dials/OLED screen which is pretty standard, and an app which looks similar to the one we tested with the SIRUI Dragon lights.
When we tested the app with te Dragon lights, it was pretty complete, and this will probably be the case with the A100B as well.
In terms of power, SIRUI offers to power options, a power adapter and a 14V Vmount battery.
|Light||SIRUI A100B||Godox FL150S||Amaran F21c|
|Rated Power||100 Watt||150 Watt||100 Watt|
|Color||2,800K - 8,500K||3,300K to 5,600K||2,500K-7,500K|
|Panel Surface||68.5cm x 50cm||60cm x 60cm||61cm x 30.5 cm|
Pricing and Availblity
SIRUI has a presale page on their website, and they offer the following options:
- Auto-inflate Light+ Grid: $515.90
- Auto-inflate Light: $474.00
- Grid: $41.80
According to SIRUI
- Shipping Starts in Early April.
- Priority local delivery.
- No extra cost after order from US, CA, EU, AU, SG, JP, KR, HK, TW, RU