The more 3D Robotics updates the capabilities of its Solo drone, the more I realize just how game changing it is. Not only is this plucky UAV able to perform as a de facto motion control aerial platform, but now with a new LED Lighting attachment from Fiilex, it can support night time shooting by putting the light exactly where you need it.
“Sky light: Dynamic set lighting from virtually any angle. Just pop it up and hover, or use Solo’s smart technology to track with your subject. Just pop it up and hover, or use Solo’s smart technology to track with your subject. The light plugs into Solo’s accessory bay, so you can even use it at the same time you use your gimbaled GoPro.” – 3D Robotics email announcement
The new Fiilex AL250 Aerial Light is an intelligent LED spotlight for drones. And while it can fit on any drone, with the 3D Robotics Solo, it can take advantage of the Solo’s facial tracking capability to keep its light dead on the subject, or through the motion control control cable cam smart feature that night shot can be repeated over and over again with absolute precision.
“With consumer drones the way that they are now, so simple and so easy to use and programmable, it gives you the ability to create precision lighting without big budgets or machinery.” – Andrew Harris, Fiilex
Now we’ve seen shooters put LED lights on drones before, so the idea really isn’t anything new. But the take away from using the Fiilex on the Solo drone is just how many different ways you can apply that LED light right where you want it.
The AL250 has an intensity of 200-watt tungsten with a color temperature of 5600K while only drawing 30 watts of power. It offers fresnel optics that work in concert with Fiilex’s Dense Matrix technology for a flicker-free beam with more than doubling its center lux. The unit is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which attaches directly to its housing, allowing the light to operate independently for up to 25 minutes before swapping out.
Additional features include:
- Attaches to Drone via GoPro Mount
- 200W Tungsten Equivalent Output – 30W Power Draw
- Integrated Fresnel Optics
- Beam angle 33°, Maximum diameter 25.1 at a distance of 23 feet
- Power for 25 Minutes with Removable / Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
The Fiilex can be mounted exclusively on a Solo drone to serve as a dedicated aerial LED light, or you can place it on the Solo’s rear accessory bay and have it support a mounted GoPro to fly and image in extreme low light conditions. That also opens the potential of being able to power the AL250 through the Infinifly power tether for even longer duration flights.
I think this is an outstanding addition to the Solo. For all the smart capabilities of the Solo in this configuration though, what I really like is the light painting capabilities, where photographers can take the drone and fly it all around during long exposures and light up a friggin’ mountain like it was made that way, all using a 200w LED spot light!
The technology is literally the skies the limit right now, with the only thing holding it back is the FAA and its drone rules. To my understanding, the rules govern only daylight operation within the line of sight of the drone pilot operator. But clearly there must be a loop hole here, probably with the private recreational use, that allows for low light drone flight like this, and I like it.