Benchmark:NRG Research 51903 3-light Kit


Spotting Up the Three



51903 3-light Kit

($990)

NRG Research, Inc.

233 Rogue River Highway

Bldg. #1144

Grants Pass, OR 97527

(800) 753-0357

www.nrgresearch.com

For most videographers, lighting is an elusive element of video that either goes over their heads or over their budgets. But as most professional and experienced videographers will tell you, lighting is one of the most critical aspects of producing high-quality video. NRG Research, Inc. offers a complete 3-light kit that addresses both of these lighting aspects: money and experience. Part of the Location Pro Lighting Series, the 51903 3-light Kit is an affordable and versatile lighting kit that would fit nicely in an automobile trunk of any advanced or professional videographer.

Have Lights Will Travel

These lamps were designed for travel and quick set up on location. One of the first noticeable features of the kit is its case. A medium-sized trunk that weighs about fifty pounds when fully loaded, the sturdy case holds the lighting equipment securely. It’s strong enough to withstand some pounding, and portable and compact enough to take on location. The contents are compartmentalized for easy storage and organization. The kit includes a scrim, eight-leaf barndoor, lamp stand and 1000-watt lamp for each light

The set up was quick and easy. Altogether it took about fifteen minutes to fully set the three lights. The instructions were clear and we had no problem getting the lights ready.

The stands are rugged and sturdy even when fully extended. We suggest placing sandbags over the legs as an extra precaution to prevent toppling if someone accidentally bumps into them. The base of the stand is a pneumatically dampened telescopic tripod that closes slowly and safely.

The lights themselves come with scrims, metal screens that cover the face of the light, to protect the extremely hot bulb if the bulb explodes and to prevent you from burning your finger on the hot bulb. The kit also features three eight-leaf barndoors that screw onto the front of each light. They’re used to direct or block light, and can be very helpful in controlling your lighting scheme. The barndoors come with clips that make attaching gels or diffusion materials an easy process.

It’s Focused

The lamps come with focusable lights that produce flood or spot lighting. Oddly enough, on each of the three lights that we tested, the arrows for spot and flood were reversed. So, when we turned the knob to the left for a spot, we got a flood and when we turned it to the right for a flood, we got a spot. Other than that, they worked great. The spotlight was pretty fat. For a narrower spot, you may have to add a snoot (a funnel shaped cone that narrows the light beam) to the light. Beware that it’s important to handle these lamps with extreme caution, they are hot.

The instruction manual that comes with the kit is clearly written and very helpful. It covers everything from handling the sensitive bulbs, to setting up the lights, to diagramming a number of different lighting setups like fill, background, kicker and the basic 3-point lighting setup.

Wrapping it Up

The heavy-duty electric cables have a handy on/off switch for easy control. They also have hook and loop fasteners attached for easy cleanup. Doesn’t sound like much, but the fact that NRG included these details, reflects the thought that went into the design and practicality of this product. The hook and loop also makes it a lot easier to keep the cables organized.

Breaking the set down was even easier than setting it up. Once the lights cooled enough to handle, it only took about 10 minutes. If you buy this kit, you might want to think about getting a dolly or some kind of travel carrier with wheels – the trunk is heavy and awkward to carry for long distances.

There are a number of lighting accessories available from NRG like filters, umbrellas and brackets that you can add to your kit as your need for them grows.

All in all, the 51903 3-light kit is an excellent and affordable lighting kit for advanced and professional videographers. NRG has incorporated an attractive and sturdy lighting kit that should meet most shooting requirements and last for years. Versatile enough for those who have previous lighting experience and simple enough for those with no experience. If you’ve been looking to use lights for your video production this could be an ideal addition to your video gear that will allow you to create professional, well-lit sets. –DC

Tech Specs – NRG-51903 3-light Kit

Light: Quartz lamps, 1000 watts,

Power: 120 volt AC

Accessories: Focusing light heads with barndoors, safety/diffusion scrims, gel clips, light stands, steel reinforced carrying case.

strengths

  • compact travel kit
  • easy setup
  • barndoors included

weaknesses

  • no gels or filters
  • lights run really hot

summary:

Great studio or location light kit for the prosumer and professional on the go.

–DC


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