Creamsource Vortex4 – 1’x1′ 325W RGBW Waterproof LED Panel Introduced

December 6th, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 4
Creamsource Vortex4 - 1'x1' 325W RGBW Waterproof LED Panel Introduced

Following up on the previously released Micro Colour and Vortex8 light fixtures, Creamsource have announced the arrival of the Vortex4, a high-powered, water-resistant, heavy-duty, hard, and focused 1’x1′ RGBW LED panel aimed squarely at solo shooters.

Latecomers to the crowded 1×1 space, the lighting company from down under are making a splash entry into the market. While not wise to rig in the surf, you’ll have no problem filming in the rain. With a water-resistant chassis, the Vortex4 is better suited for exteriors than some rivals. But does Creamsource’s upstart 1×1 bring enough other party favors to the beach barbie to create waves in the industry? Let’s find out!

Blinded by the light

The first question to ask about any light fixture is how bright is it? Creamsource have definitely brought the heat, packing a crap ton of firepower into their new 1×1. The Vortex4 comes revved up like a deuce, running 325 watts of firepower, and casting a blinding 53,100 lux from 1m/3.3′ at 5600K.

With this much punch, Vortex4’s future looks bright, but your talent may need to wear shades.

1m/3.3′48,500 lux53,100 lux
2m/6.6′15,000 lux16,300 lux
3m/9.8′6,700 lux7,300 lux
4m/13.1′3,900 lux4,200 lux
5m/16.4′2,500 lux2,700 lux
6m/19.7′1,700 lux1,900 lux
Creamsource Vortex4 Photometrics

Hard and focused

Everyone has heard the adage you can make a hard light soft, but you can’t make a soft light hard. Creamsource have taken this concept to heart and opted for hard and focused light rather than soft and diffused. The Vortex4’s sixty-four focus lenses project a twenty-degree beam angle, concentrating its scorching output across a narrow spread.

As with their Micro Colour and Vortex8, Creamsource supplies an optional dome to soften the beam and widen the spread of the Vortex4. Third-parties such as Chimera and DoPChoice will likely produce softboxes, snap grids, and other modifiers as well to make the Vortex4 a versatile Australian army knife of a light.

Unlike with the soft Nova P300C or SkyPanel S30-C, with the Vortex4 you can have your proverbial cake and eat it, too.

Vortex8 and Vortex4 RGBW LED panels Credit: Creamsource


In full transparency, a few months ago I was in the market for an RGBW LED panel and reached out to Creamsource to see if they had a 1×1 in the works. The Vortex8 seemed like an overkill for my needs, plus it would take up too much space in my van. While more compact, the Micro Colour’s output was on the other hand inadequate for my requirements.

Creamsource indicated at the time to watch this space, tipping their hand they indeed had a trick up their sleeve.

For solo shooters, the Vortex4 is a Goldilocks of a light, not too big and not too small, but just right. Tipping the scales at just under 10 kilos (21.5 lbs) without the yoke, the Vortex4 is twenty-eight percent lighter and roughly half the size of its big brother.

Creamsource Vortex4 RGBW LED panel colorimetry
Vortex4 RGBW LED published colorimetry Credit: Creamsource

CCT, RGBW and effects

In CCT mode, the Vortex4 ranges from 2,200K to a Skypanel-thumping 15,000K, with plus and minus green adjustments. The Vortex4 offers multiple modes to dial in your desired colors, including Hue/Saturation/Intensity, X/Y, RGBW, and gels.

Built-in effects include candle/fire, emergency, television, party, pulse, paparazzi, color cycle, strobe, random, and frame sync.

Vortex4 1×1 RGBW – color accuracy

According to Creamsource, the Vortex4 has a CRI of 97 at 3200K and 95.3 at 5600K. TLCI is listed as 94 at 3200K and 96.4 at 5600K. R9 values are respectable, just under or at 95 for tungsten and daylight respectively.

Creamsource Vortex4 RGBW LED multiple zone control
Vortex4 Multiple Zone Control Credit: Creamsource

Four-in-one – Vortex4 RGBW

Now you may be wondering, why on earth have Creamsource named a 1’x1′ fixture the Vortex4 instead of the Vortex1? The nomenclature has to do with the fact that the Vortex4 has four independently controllable zones.

Think of it this way, you’re essentially getting the equivalent of four Micro Colours in one, or half of a Vortex8.

Splashproof Vortex4 RGBW LED panel
Splashproof Vortex4 RGBW LED Credit: Creamsource


As mentioned above, the Vortex4 is water-resistant, with an IP65 rating. One factor enabling Creamsource to obtain such a high rating for the Vortex4 is that the power supply unit is built-in to the fixture.

The Micro Colour requires a separate PSU, so the lack thereof is certainly an engineering enhancement on the Vortex models. The absence of a separate PSU will also make set-up and tear-down more efficient and rigging less cumbersome.

Virtually indestructible Vortex4 RGBW LED panel
Vortex4 RGBW LED Credit: Creamsource


Creamsource have long been known for the rugged construction of their lighting fixtures, and the Vortex4 is no exception. The Vortex4 looks built to withstand the rigors of the road and is designed to be ridden hard and put away wet.

Only if you do end up bringing the Vortex4 to a beach barbie, you may want to leave your flip-flops at home. Although the Vortex4 is likely to survive a tumble, your toes are no match for this brawny beast. The added sturdiness means additional safety precautions should be taken on set, especially if you’re rigging the Vortex4 over talent.

The Vortex4 boasts a sturdy yoke with a 5/8″ receiver and solid lock-offs, enabling 360-degree tilt adjustment. The fixture also features two robust carrying handles on the top and bottom.

Cooling fans and vents on the Vortex4 RGBW LED panel
Fans and vents on the Vortex4 RGBW LED Credit: Creamsource


Suitable for use virtually anywhere on the planet, the Vortex4 runs on 100-240V AC at 50/60Hz with a maximum of 3.3A and includes a Neutrik PowerConTrue connector. The fixture can run at one hundred percent brightness using 48V DC input with a maximum of 6.9A.


Fan speed and noise are adjustable with Auto, Quiet, Medium, and High settings. Three fan vents span the back of the unit, and there are also heat escapes on the top and bottom. The Vortex4 can safely function in environments up to 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, a potential Achilles’ heel for the fixture on summer shoots.

Vortex4 RGBW LED panel on the set of The Vortex launch film
Vortex4 RGBW wirelessly controlled on The Vortex set Credit: Creamsource

Vortex4 – connectivity and remote control

One of the advantages of being late to the barbie is the luxury of observing what others have brought or neglected to bring, and how well or poorly those dishes or beverages are received. Rather than disappoint as predecessors have with paltry options or costly add-ons, Creamsource instead elected to show up to the party with a veritable smorgasbord of connectivity to please every conceivable appetite.

The Vortex4 comes equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DMX, LumenRadio, Ethernet, and USB-A, proving you really can please all the people all the time. Creamsource’s uncompromising approach to connectivity means the Vortex4 can easily be remote-controlled via a DMX board on a blockbuster Hollywood set or via smartphone on a low-budget indie.

The Vortex, Vortex4 RGBW LED launch film Credit: Creamsource

Vortex4 – competition

While others say their panels kick-ass, Creamsource have arrived at the barbie with the clear intent of kicking sand in their rivals’ faces. The respective outputs of the Gemini 1×1 Hard, Titan X1, and Full Color 30 pale in comparison. By sheer specs, the Vortex4 is the new alpha dog on the beach.

Specs mean squat if they don’t translate to the screen, but if the Vortex4 launch film is any indication, this alpha dog’s bite is every bit as mean as its bark. Many lighting fixtures promise a cinematic look, but Creamsource truly delivered the goods with their short The Vortex.

Price & availability

The Creamsource Vortex4 retails for $2,799 and is available for pre-order on B&H.

What do you think about the Creamsource Vortex4 325W RBGW LED panel? Is this the 1×1 you’ve been waiting for? If so, why? Or why not? Sound off in the comments below!


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