Lupo Actionpanel LED Light Review (in Actionpack Kit)

April 23rd, 2020

Lupo, an Italian lighting manufacturer, has added another LED panel light to their Superpanel line, the Actionpanel. Like their Superpanel 30 (1’ x 1”) and their Superpanel 60 (2’ x 1’), the new Actionpanel (8” x 8”) is available as either Dual Color or RGBWW model.

Lupo has now packed the technology from their Superpanels into a smaller, lightweight and more travel friendly instrument, the ActionPanel. They have also developed a handy backpack portable kit they call the Actionpack. If you’re looking for an ultra portable, lightweight, RGBWW or Dual Color panel light with an impressive light output, you might want to give this a look.

What’s Included

Here’s what’s inside the ActionPack Full Color kit

  • 1 ActionPanel Full Color
    • CCT mode, COLOR modes, local dimmer & DMX
    • 2800K – 10000K adjustable color temperature in CCT mode
    • Color presets and special effects
  • 1 24V AC power supply
  • 1 V-Mount battery plate
  • 1 D-Tap cable
  • 1 Diffuser
  • 1 Backpack

 

At the heart of the kit is the ActionPanel Full Color LED panel light. The first thing that you’ll notice is that is compact. It is 8” x 8” instead of the normal 1’ x 1’ (12” x 12”). Because it’s compact, it’s extra light, weighing in at only 4.4 lbs (2 kg). This makes it perfect for arming out on a C-stand or flying on a ceiling/wall. With less weight and a smaller footprint it make it ideal for travel, whether on an airplane or carrying it around all day in the included backpack.

Features of the Lupo Actionpanel

There are 3 main modes that you can work in: 1) CCT Mode, 2) HSI Mode and 3) RGBW Mode.

CCT Mode, which stands for Correlated Color Temperature.
The CCT mode correlates with the standard bi-color mode.  This is the mode you want to be in if you’re trying to match tungsten or daylight or a mixture of the two.  Instead of the standard 3200K – 5600K range, the ActionPanel is fully tunable from 2,800K to 10,000K.  This gives you that extra spectrum on the top and bottom of the range which is handy if you’re trying to match candle or fire light (~ 2800K) or extra blue sunlight (up to 10,000K).  There is also a plus/minus green correction, which allows you to match other fixture or existing practical lights.

HSI Mode, which stands for Hue, Saturation, Intensity.
In the HIS mode, the top left nob is your hue, where you can easily dial up different colors in the spectrum, from blue to green to red to everything in between.  The lower left nob is your saturation.  You can dial in the amount of saturation you want for 0 – 100 depending on if you want the color to be subtler or more fuller on. In all modes, the right “INTENSITY” dial works as a dimmer.

RGBWW Mode, which is for Vibrant Color Selection
In the RGBW mode you can dial in exact RGB numbers and add or subtract white light.  If you’re trying to hit a precise color, then this is the mode you want to be in.  It’s not nearly as fast as the HSI mode but it has a greater range of colors.

Presets: The ActionPanel comes with 19 presets from basic colors to filters – like a straw filter.  There are also 5 user assignable presets.

Special Effects: There is a pretty full feature set of special effects.  Each effect can be tuned into your specific need. For example, in the cop car effect you can change the speed of the strobe and change the colors from red/blue/white to blue/white to red/blue to just red.  Different countries have different colors in their cop car light.

The current special effects are: Strobe, Party, Cop Car, Disco, TV Flicker, Paparazzi Flashes, Lightning, Explosion, Fireworks and my favorite: Fire.

DMX: There is a DMX in & out on the back so you can patch it into a DMX lighting board.

USB: There is USB port which helps future-proof the ActionPanel giving it the ability to apply new updates and features as Lupo rolls them out.

Hard Diffusion: I do like the hard diffusion that comes with the ActionPack.  When attached to the ActionPanel it sits 3 ¾ inches away from the face of the light.  This is much better than having the diffusion right up against your instrument.  The further away the diffusion, the softer your light.  It is also cleverly designed to fold up for easy storage in the backpack.

V-Mount Battery Plate & Cable: The ActionPack includes V-mount battery set up.  What’s different about Lupo is you actually remove the AC power and replace it with the V-mount, where most other brands will have both the AC and V-mount together.  It does take more time to switch out the plates but it makes the instrument lighter by not having the AC brick when using battery power.

Backpack: The backpack looks to be durable.  It is well thought out with a section for the ActionPanel and place for all the accessories.  There’s also room for many more accessories and 2 lightweight light stands.  It looks to me like you could fit 2 ActionPanels in the backpack.  This would make an excellent lightweight travel kit.

Build Quality

Most of Lupo’s fixtures are made with a reinforced technopolymer shell, which is basically a very durable, ultra-resistant plastic.  Now the word plastic can freak some people out but I’ve had some personal experience that’s made me a believer.  On the feature film I shot in August, my gaffer dropped the much larger and heavier 2’ x 1’ Superpanel off the back of the truck – falling about 6 feet to the hard concrete.  I saw the whole thing and I honestly thought the light was done for.  Upon inspection, there was not a single crack or damage to the frame.  The only issue was the fall jarred one of the fans loose and we simply had to reset it.  We used that Superpanel for the rest of the shoot and it worked flawlessly.

Beam Angle

The front of the ActionPanel has intensifiers for the LED bulbs.  This increases the light output but you should be aware that it also narrows the beam.  For many situations this isn’t a problem and it can be an advantage, but if you need a wide beam angle, then this is not the light for you.  Below you can see the different beam angles for some of the popular LED panel lights.

By the Numbers

I used my Sekonic C-800 to measure the output and color rendering of the lights.

Below is the data for the CCT mode.  The takeaways are:

  1. The output (shown by lux and footcandles) is impressive for a light this size. It puts out as much light as some of the 1×1 panel lights out.
  2. The color rendering measured by the CRI and TLCI is decent but not spectacular.
  3. There is a slight 0.2 magenta shift through out
  4. The color temperature is very accurate at 3200K. At 5600K the light is bluer than the back numbers read.  Instead of 5600K it’s around 6180K.

Conclusion

The ActionPack kit with the ActionPanel is a solid little kit that will work great for run-and-gun shoots, traveling and wherever you only need a simple set up.  It would also a great addition to a larger lighting package.  Because of its lightweight, I can see using it as a backlight armed out on a C-boom or flown on the ceiling or wall.

Is it perfect? No. The main issue is the kelvin readings are not 100% accurate when set at 5600K and above. But because of it’s size and weight, I can see myself constantly using this instrument on many of my shoots.

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