The LED technology is moving fast, and if you own a bunch of fluorescent/tungsten lights, it can cost you quite a lot of money to upgrade them to LED versions. If you are like me and still love that excellent Kino Flo quality of light, you definitely should take a look at the Ushio ColourMax LED Tubes. Wipe the dust off of your Diva lights, and let’s take a look!
From Old to New
Retrofitting/relamping fluorescent or tungsten lights isn’t exactly a new thing. In the past, we talked about ReLamp to upgrade your ARRI Fresnels into brand new LED lights. The team at Quasar Science is also manufacturing their Q-Led kits for Kino Flo 4 feet 4 banks.
I love the concept of modding/upgrading an existing light. First of all, if you already have it and paid for it, it will save you some money. Secondly, ARRI fresnels or Kino Flo lights are industry workhorses. They will last you decades of strain. Also, let’s face it, the light quality of these fixtures is top notch.
I’m having a hard time investing in cheap LED lights with poor build quality and random light quality. Most of the time, there is no way to service an LED light without sending it to the other end of the world. Knowing that you can trust your gear and it’ll not let you down stands for some peace of mind.
In the end, that’s why these retrofitting techniques are an incredible way to give a second life to your beloved fixtures, but it usually comes at a premium price – over $500 per light.
The Affordable Ushio Retrofitting
I have a Kino Flo Diva that I love, but some time ago I ended up not using it anymore. The light quality, the form factor, the build quality – everything is impressive. The only drawback is the color accuracy of the tubes. Like every fluorescent fixture, it starts to cast a green or magenta tint after some time.
A few months ago, a company called Ushio released a more affordable product for Kino Flo Diva fixtures – Ushio ColourMax LED Tubes. Let’s start with the drawbacks: these tubes are slightly longer than the original Kino Flo tubes. They fit perfectly into the Diva, but you can’t store them in the transport case. And that’s the only drawback.
Ushio manufactures the ColourMax LED tubes in both daylight and tungsten color balance. With a CRI of 96, they are color accurate – goodbye green/magenta tints. They are dimmable to 10%, and the lamp life is around 50.000 hours. Another cool thing is that the Ushio ColourMax LED tubes are made of plastic. That means they should not break or explode if you accidentally drop them.
Another important thing is that you don’t have to modify your fixture to make these fit. You simply swap-out your old fluorescent tubes for some fresh ColourMax LED tubes, turn the power on, and you are ready to go.
Finally, the price: for under $120 you can retrofit an entire Kino Flo Diva. That’s brilliant, and if you already own a Diva fixture, I think it’s worth the upgrade.
Do you own some Kino Flo Diva that you don’t use anymore? Do you think about doing the upgrade? Let us know in the comments down below!