Atomos Sun Dragon Announced – Entering Lighting Business with 5-Color LED Strip Light

April 13th, 2024 Jump to Comment Section
Atomos Sun Dragon Announced – Entering Lighting Business with 5-Color LED Strip Light

During NAB 2024, there is bound to be a flurry of unexpected news. This time around, the Australian company Atomos, best known for their quality monitor-recorders, decided to enter the lighting business. They have just announced Atomos Sun Dragon, the first-of-its-kind, 5-color HDR LED light strip with what Atomos claims is 99% sun spectrum accuracy. According to the press release, with a diameter of 3cm, Sun Dragon maintains 2000 lumens end-to-end along its 16ft (5m) length. What other specifications does this unusual LED strip have? Let’s find out together!

Let’s face it: LED strips are not something cinematographers conventionally use for cinema or big video shoots. While it’s indeed a convenient form factor to work with (lightweight, small, bendable, easy to mount), normally most strips don’t provide enough output, and they lack color accuracy and precise control options. It appears that Atomos aims to make its mark in this field with Sun Dragon.

Wherever there are cameras, there are lights. We’ve always wanted to make a production and cinema lighting system, but we didn’t just want to replicate what’s out there, and we wanted to have them controlled from our monitor-recorders.

Jeromy Young, Atomos CEO and Co-Founder

Atomos Sun Dragon’s main goal: flexibility

The idea behind Atomos Sun Dragon is to provide filmmakers with flexible lighting for both HDR and SDR shooting, which can take various shapes: from a long strip to a coiled spiral that behaves as a panel light source.

Atomos Sun Dragon - light strip coiled into spiral
Image source: Atomos

According to Atomos, their strip light is made from densely packed LEDs, providing uniform light without requiring diffusion. This helps to avoid annoying micro shadows and increases the relative brightness (we will talk about it in a moment). Unlike conventional lighting fixtures, Sun Dragon weighs just 1kg/2.2lbs, which makes it easy to carry to any set (even difficult-to-reach ones, say, caves).

An additional point regarding flexibility: this LED light promises to be fully water-resistant, dustproof, and waterproof to a depth of one meter.

The promised quality of LEDs

What makes this light stand out from traditional LED strips and why it can be interesting to filmmakers? Let’s see. 5 different colored diodes (RGBAW) to mix nearly any hue, consistent 2000 lumens end to end, and the claimed 99% output of the full sun spectrum. Atomos states that their provisional measurements suggest Sun Dragon has a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) of approximately 99 and TCLI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) of 98. These numbers mean that new LED strips should provide authentic colors on set that will match camera sensor calibration.

Atomos Sun Dragon - light strip
Image source: Atomos

Control possibilities

Atomos Sun Dragon comes with an active controller with a display and wireless/wired DMX remote control. Basic settings (Brightness, Color, Hue, RGB channels, etc.) are available via Atomos AirGlu RF devices. Also, the new lights are Bluetooth compatible for DMX control from iPad and iPhone apps, and can be controlled by Atomos monitor-recorders as well.

Key features of Atomos Sun Dragon

  • 5-Color HDR LED Light (RGBAW)
  • Color Accuracy Standard: CRI of 99 | TCLI of 98
  • 2800 to 6500K Color Temp | 2000 Lumens
  • 16′ (5m) Strip Length
  • Flexibility: The entire strip can bend to a radius of ~30cm/1ft
  • IP68 Rated for Water and Dust
  • Wireless (DMX/BT/Wi-Fi/Ethernet & Atomos AirGlu RF) or Wired Connectivity
  • Includes Custom Controller
  • Battery or AC-powered

To learn more about other features, please visit the Atomos product page.

Price and availability

Sun Dragon is scheduled to be available in June 2024. The expected price is $999, excluding local sales taxes. You can preorder the LED lights here. Also, Atomos has a booth at NAB 2024 (#C4391), where visitors can take a look and try out the product.

What are your thoughts on Atomos entering lighting terrain? Is Atomos Sun Dragon something you could imagine having in your lights kit, or are you rather skeptical about this development? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below!

Feature image source: Atomos

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