VMI retires all tungsten rental lighting

October 19, 2021

Tungsten is the most traditional form of TV/Film lighting still in use today, having replaced expensive and dangerous Carbon Arc fittings.

In reality though, tungsten lighting fixtures ought to be called lighting heaters, since 96% of the energy used is output as heat, leaving only 4% to produce light. This makes them immensely inefficient and not at all compatible with modern sustainability ideals and on these grounds, VMI has decided to retire all of its tungsten lighting in October 2021.

Tungsten filaments produce light incandescently based on being heated to a high temperature by an electric current and these fine wires are mounted in a bulb that contains iodine or bromine.

The halogen gas produces a chemical reaction with the decaying tungsten particles which encourages them to re-attach to the filament thus prolonging the life of the bulb.

The most popular tungsten fixtures for us have been 2K ‘Blonde’ (shown right), 1K, 800W ‘redhead’, 650W Mizar, 300W Mizar, Dedo 150W and Dedo Panaura Octodome but all of these have been retired as of October 2021, since supporting tungsten lighting is entirely incompatible with VMI’s net zero by 2030 target.

The efficiency of LED lighting is legendary and soft LED light panel fixtures which were a novelty just 6 years ago, have now become universally accepted into modern production, though the problem was always finding LED spots with enough ‘punch’ to replace lightweight focusable tungsten or HMI fresnels.

The great news is that LED technology has been progressing at such a rate, that many really powerful focusable LED lights are available now, such as the Aputure LS300D IIand Aputure LS600which are much more efficient than their HMI or tungsten equivalents and as a result, almost without exception, all LED fixtures are battery operable.

Expect this to be a long-term trend and believe that LED lighting is now the worst that it will ever be – it can only improve with time.

Article by Barry Bassett, VMI

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