Sola 6 Lights the Way for Al Jazeera’s Field Crews

The crews from Al Jazeera English have used the 1x1 units and MicroPro lights in a variety of extreme locations

Litepanels, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, has supplied a range of its new Sola 6™ lighting systems to the 24-hour global news channel, Al Jazeera English.

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The renowned English language channel has purchased a sample number of the Sola 6 lights to trial as part of the network’s fly away ENG kits. Al Jazeera will use the Sola 6 alongside three camera mini outside broadcast kits to conduct interviews with prominent political figures in various locations around the world for its Talk to Al Jazeera programme.

The trial has been prompted by the channel’s experience with a range of other Litepanels products, including the versatile 1x1 units, which are now deployed by many of Al Jazeera’s field crews across its 27 worldwide bureaus, as well as the Litepanels MicroPro on-camera lighting fixtures.

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In a separate significant order, Al Jazeera English has also recently purchased a number of Litepanels’  Hilio high output LED fixtures to provide the lighting for its studios and down-the-line live positions in the broadcaster’s Paris, Berlin and Baghdad bureaus.

Paul Quinn, Acting Manager News Operations, Al Jazeera English, says, “We started off buying a handful of 1x1s back in 2010, but the reaction from our cameramen was so positive that we had to make more and more orders. We now plan to have at least one available to each of the 60 global staff crews.

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“This positive feedback prompted us to try out the Sola 6 systems as part of the kit for some of our multi-camera interviews. The benefits from Litepanels’ products, from the compact and lightweight design to the low power draw and consistent quality of light, have really impressed us.”

The daylight balanced Sola 6, combines the advantages of LED technology with the controllability and light shaping properties of a Fresnel light. The Sola 6 draws a small fraction of the power needed by conventional Fresnel fixtures and, like the rest of the Sola series, it provides Litepanels’ famous soft light quality. The Sola 6 is a true Fresnel fixture that produces soft, directional illumination and uses Litepanels proprietary heat-free LED technology.

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The crews from Al Jazeera English have used the 1x1 units and MicroPro lights in a variety of extreme locations and have commented positively about the advantages of the portable design and the battery operation. The products have provided the field crews with much more flexibility in remote locations and enabled them to record live transmissions without the need to use generators or run cables to isolated electricity points.

Paul Quinn concluded, “Al Jazeera travels to some of the most obscure and hostile parts of the world. We need to travel light, but we can’t afford to compromise on the quality of the fixture. The Litepanels units have given us far more flexibility in terms of being able to light and interview the subject.

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“It’s also been a great cost saving solution – not only have we reduced our electricity and air conditioning bills because of the low power draw and heat-free technology, we have also made significant savings on our excess baggage charges.”

About Litepanels
Litepanels was founded in 2001 by 5 professional gaffers and engineers who saw the future and pioneered LED (light emitting diode) lighting for motion pictures, television and the audio-visual industry. Their Emmy® award-winning technology has now been used on thousands of productions worldwide and is trusted by the world’s leading broadcast organizations.Backed by the Vitec Group’s legacy of 100+ years in the broadcast and production industry, Litepanels continues to expand its suite of flicker free, color accurate, fully-dimmable soft lights that talent and Lighting Directors admire. These environmentally friendly fixtures practically pay for themselves with power savings and long life, setting a new standard in professional lighting.  Along with other leading brands in the broadcast and professional videographer industry, Litepanels is part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company. 

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