Aputure INFINIBAR Review – RGBWW Full-Color LED Pixel Bars

The new Aputure INFINIBAR light may sound like a Vegas cocktail experience mixed with Buzz Lightyear cosplay, but it’s actually a new series of DMX-capable, full-color LED “Pixel Bars” that contain internal batteries and are infinitely linkable. The INFINIBAR light is jam-packed with other pro-focused features like frequency selection to avoid flicker and hundreds of gel presets. If you liked connector sets as a child, you’ll like these features a lot. There’s much to discuss — let’s dive in.

First impressions

As the name suggests, the Aputure INFINIBAR is more of a bar shape than the popular tube design that we’ve seen from other brands like Astera, Quasar Science, and even Aputure itself (in the form of their amaran tube lights). The INFINIBAR is also infinitely modular in the sense that by using Aputure’s connectors, you can make a variety of shapes. As long as you’re mindful of how the connectors are powered, you can create long lengths by joining different pieces together. More on that later.

Aputure INFINIBAR. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

For this review, I was sent three INFINIBARS in the currently available lengths of 1ft, 2ft, and 4ft. Lights are named for short: PB3, PB6, or PB12. Each bar comes in a smartly designed semi-rigid travel case that includes:

  • DC Power Adapter (9.8′)
  • AC Locking Power Cable (4.9′)
  • Clamp to Baby Pin Adapter
  • Magnetic Spacers x2
  • Straight Connector
  • Compatible Hex Wrench

As of publishing, I did not have access to the new $99 grid accessory or to the upcoming 8-light kit that includes eight PB12 4′ fixtures in a single hard case.

Each Aputure INFINIBAR comes in a semi-rigid travel case
Each light comes in a semi-rigid travel case. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

Previously, there have been attempts in the market to create connectable and modular lengths of LED fixtures. The INFINIBAR design is vaguely reminiscent of the now discontinued Spekular fixtures from Spiffy Gear, but right out of the gate, the INFINIBAR fixes many design quibbles I had with the Spekular line. A few brands also make connectable LED lengths designed primarily for architectural lighting, but they don’t have high enough CRI, TLCI, or SSI scores for me to feel comfortable putting them anywhere near people or camera sensors. Flicker at various shutter speeds is also a common problem for LED lights not designed with filmmakers in mind.

Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

So, for now, the INFINIBAR stands alone as a filmmaker-friendly connectable fixture, and at first glance, there are many good design ideas on display here. A few of my favorites are:

  • Multiple Mounting Options (Magnetic, 1/4″-20, Baby Pin)
  • Connectors with Passthrough AC Power (the connectors are solid, no gaps between bars)
  • Internal Battery with 120 Min of Life (sometimes you can’t hide a cable)
  • 24 Individual Pixels (per foot)
  • LumenRadio CRMX, Sidus Link, DMX/RDM using USB-C Dongle accessory (not included)

The inclusion of LumenRadio CRMX makes the INFINIBAR an Aputure product and not a more prosumer-focused amaran product. It also seems there is less reliance on plastic with the aluminum housing design of the INFINIBAR when compared to some of the amaran products. If there is a weak point on the bar, it would be the plastic frosted diffusion panel that covers the LEDs, but thankfully that should be a fairly inexpensive piece to replace in case of damage.

A quick word on the baby pin adapter – this adapter mounts from the center and isn’t designed to slide on from either end of the INFINIBAR. This feels a bit counterintuitive when you look at the accessory for the first time, though Aputure tells me this is an added safety layer to prevent the INFINIBAR from accidentally sliding off the accessory.

I don’t see an IP rating mentioned in the Aputure materials, so the INFINIBAR wouldn’t be the fixture to get near water or particles like sand or machine dust.

Aputure INFINIBAR PB3, PB6 and PB12
INFINIBAR PB3, PB6 and PB12. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

Who is the INFINIBAR meant for?

As a Director of Photography and CineD contributor, I spend a lot of time thinking about lighting and what’s coming next, and why. That said, I would not have guessed the INFINIBAR series was next on Aputure’s plate. Maybe I just didn’t know I needed an INFINIBAR, and there are several reasons for this.

For one, I’ve had the pleasure of working on a few stage shows like a Ru Paul spinoff for Paramount+ and several CollegeHumor projects like Game Changer S5 and Dimension 20 S15. On those projects, we heavily relied on background accent lighting elements for which the INFINIBAR series would have been useful. The placement of these types of lights tends to be a collaboration between the production designer and the cinematographer. In Dimension 20, we used LED ribbon with frosted plastic coverings in the main table that are almost identical in light quality emitted (but not feature set) to the INFINIBAR LED Pixel bars. On Game Changer, we had LED ribbon ringing the entire top portion of the rear wall of the set.

Should I immediately begin working with the production designer to swap all accent lighting for INFINIBARS on shows like this? It depends. The first consideration has to be price. The INFINIBAR comes in three lengths (1′, 2′, and 4′) and is priced at $299, $479, and $639, respectively. Building a stage set using only INFINIBARS with the necessary dimensions would be prohibitively expensive in most cases. The best solution would be a combination of amaran SM5c light strips (if we’re keeping things within the brand) and using INFINIBARS only in key set elements like, say, the main host table or in an entryway.

Aputure has provided the tools to configure the INFINIBAR into a variety of shapes. The $1390 Multi-Light Shaping Kit with a whole series of connector pieces helps you to do just that. That kit is available HERE.

Linking INFINIBARS together is easy, and the connection (held together by multiple hex screws) is solid enough that I’m not afraid of individual bars breaking free and hurting crew members. You’ll want to use steel safety chains when placing anything above people. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that a single DC Power adapter can only power a certain number of INFINIBARS linked together in a chain, — that part is finite because of electrodynamics/physics.

My mind drifts back again to the fact you’ll need to purchase many, many INFINIBARS to make meaningful shapes to cover the background of a 16×9 frame on a music video. For that reason, the INFINIBAR (especially the 8-light kit) may become a popular rental item in major markets. Still, the cost for a meaningful amount of INFINIBARS could become prohibitive for owners/operators.

Aputure INFINIBAR with included baby pin accessory
Included baby pin accessory. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

Tube versus bar

I found the 1′ INFINIBAR works well as a practical in-shot element on a modern set. For instance, the size fits perfectly above a door frame at the end of a hallway. Wrapped with a bit of diffusion or using the upcoming $69 softbox for the 1′ INFINIBAR, it would even work well as a Steadicam or gimbal-mounted camera top light for long ones. Add the grid accessory to the 2′ or 4′ bar, and you have a capable hair light mounted to a C-Stand using the included baby pin accessory.

Why not a tube for any of the above use cases? Good question.

The real strength of the INFINIBAR is in the clean seamless look you can create by adding many bars together. The other core strength is the smoothness of the transitions between so many pixels when using any of the more flashy built-in effects like Pixel Chase. More pixels just make movement heavy-effects like that look better on camera.

However, if you’ve been in the industry for a while, you’ve likely invested in some type of tube-shaped light already.

If you can tell I’m experiencing a bit of conflict between the tube or bar shape, it’s because I am. Let me know in the comments if you can help sway my mind one way or the other. I, and hopefully other readers, would appreciate it.

The point is — if you’re sitting on several grand tube lights already, is the seamless look of the linked INFINIBARS enough to justify a significant investment in both tube lighting and INFINIBARS? The market will decide on that point, and personally, I’m not sure.

Barrel power cable
Barrel power cable. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

Sidus link

I know I’ve discussed Sidus Link in the past, but with constant updates on Aputure’s light control app, things just keep getting better and better. Pairing for the first time is simple. You can see the INFINIBAR pop up quickly in the app by clicking the Bluetooth reset on the fixture itself.

Sidus Link App
Sidus Link App. Image credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

24 Pixels per square foot is an impressive amount of individually mapped pixels, and the Sidus Link app makes controlling those pixels easily. Picking a color, having each pixel fade in or out, or chasing or flash faster or slower — all are possible with the click of a few buttons in the Bluetooth app available for iOS or Android.

The Sidus Link app allows you to go as in-depth into creating an effect as you want to or have time for. Most of the time, you will simply need to select one of the pre-built effects like “Party II” and edit that effect to fit the feel of the piece you’re making. This can be done in the space of a few minutes.

How many times will you drift away from the more standard “Gel,” “White,” or “Color” modes into the arguably more fun Music FX or Pixel FX modes making full use of the many, many pixels at your disposal? That depends on the type of work you do. If you aren’t often in the position of building complicated lighting effects or if you mostly work in CCT mode between 2000K – 10000K, then there may be cheaper tube-based or pre-baked common industry digital gel solutions.

Despite not being a Gaffer or Lighting Designer, I have worked with a variety of lighting manufacturer apps. After a rocky start, the Sidus app has grown to become one of the best in the business, in my opinion. The barrier is also very low to get started and to begin playing around with the different looks in your spare time. You’ll find all that at-home experimentation a ton of fun.


Rear control screen of Aputure INFINIBAR
Rear control screen of an INFINIBAR. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon/CineD

Aputure’s INFINIBAR series is an impressive design swing for a brand that’s taking more and more big swings these days after building quality “staple” fixtures such as the Light Storm Aputure 1200D Pro or 600C Pro, or the Aputure Nova. The INFINIBAR’S main draw is the “blending design,” and that’s the significant benefit of this fixture series, in my opinion. If you have already invested heavily in another tube light or the amaran T4C, T2C, or have the upcoming amaran PT4c on pre-order, ask yourself if you need that seamless look of the INFINIBAR. It might be a rental-only item for you.

On the other hand, rental houses, stages, LED volume spaces, or turn-key studios would be well served by having an in-house plethora of INFINIBAR options that filmmakers can use on an a la carte basis. I see these fixtures as being very popular in that capacity, and if the majority of your work is in the music or event space, then the INFINIBAR may also make solid purchase sense for you.

What do you think? Will you be adding the INFINIBAR to your kit? What about the debate between Tube versus Bar design? Let us know in the comments below!

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