Making Life Easier: Pelican Shows Off RALS Lighting System

How many times have you been in an outdoor situation where you needed some light but there was no plug-in to be found? Or been to a shoot where they had to bring in a bulky and noisy electrical generator in order to get the power that they needed? Well, thankfully those days are just about to end thanks to LED lighting and battery technology; both of which Pelican has used to their advantage in their Remote Area Lighting Systems. Just a couple years ago, Pelican introduced this system to the safety and emergency personnel market in order to fill a versatile lighting need. In order to satisfy this market, they needed something that was durable, efficient, and had a small form factor. Coincidentally, this was the very same requirements that many outdoor filmmakers had as well and thus – a new market was born. After hearing about these lighting systems, we felt it was time to go check them out at NAB 2010. So we headed to their booth and talked with Kevin about these versatile lighting systems where we learned that the lights used LEDs rated for 50,000 hours, a gel acid battery that lasted for 7 hours on the high beam, four 4-stage telescoping arms, and to top it all off, a rain proof housing. We also learned that whole rig was also able to be quickly broken down and stored securely in a time tested Pelican case design. This means that the next time you are out on an outdoor shoot or are in an area without plug-ins, you could bring out this RALS system and have a studio set up in less than 30 minutes that potentially lasts for more than 7 hours. That's exciting stuff. After looking at this robust system, we did find a few things we'd like to see in the next model. First of all, when it comes to lighting, barn doors would give you more control over where the light would fall. Also, either gels, or better yet, a dial that would allow you to change the color temperature from 5600 to 3200 K would really put this system into a whole new category of awesome. Lastly, a standard 4-pin XLR connector would help this system to be more versatile as you could then connect other lights you already own to the long-lasting gel-acid battery the kit contains. But we digress, to find out more about this lighting system and to see it in action, check out our interview with Kevin after the break.

Dan Bruns is an award winning cinematographer and editor.