The Relio² LED light is a tiny 6W LED with ultra high color accuracy, high output and a wide range of accessories.
Not all LED lights are created equal, it is a fact, we all know this. There are cheap LED lights and then there are good LED lights. The Relio² very much falls into the latter category. The Relio² is the brainchild of Marco Bozzola, who has worked to create what testing indicates is an ultra accurate LED light source.
I’ve been using the Relio² for a little while and want to share my honest thoughts with you.
When Size Matters
As some of you will already know. I’m a big fan of mobile filmmaking. I love the fact I can carry two cameras (an iPhone XS Max and XR), a solid rig (Helium Core), anamorphic lens adapters, filters, a slider, a tripod, a monopod, a gimbal, power to charge everything (high capacity power banks), an XRite colorchecker, my laptop and multiple hard drives, all in a backpack. I even still have space for my old film camera and a stash of film. I can take my kit anywhere in the world hassle free, and document anything, wherever I am with excellent results. Up until recently however, lighting was not part of my kit.
I’ve been looking for an ultra portable lighting solution for a while, and there are two big things that are important to me. Being a colorist and imaging nerd, the first is color accuracy, and the second is power output.
Any kind of light to fit my backpacker production ethos is going to have to be very compact, and either have a built-in battery or accept power over USB from a power bank. It also needs to be able to mount easily to anything and smoothly dim to whatever brightness needed. The Relio² fits perfectly.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Relio² is how tiny it is. But don’t let that fool you. This little cube puts out a lot of light, up to 40,000 lux at 0.25m distance with the 10 deg optic installed, which is 5,000 lux at 1m. Granted, that’s a tightly focussed beam at a short distance, but a lot of light exactly where you need it for some situations. Interchangeable lenses allow the beam, and resulting intensity to be very precisely controlled.
Of course this is not a light to replace a larger LED source, but it can augment any larger lighting setup, as a eye light, or to add specific highlights to any background, as a pin light, to add flares and for VFX. It will also serve well as an excellent primary light source for macro photography of smaller products, such as watches and jewelry.
The Relio² can be configured many ways using a wide range of accessories, some of which are made freely available for 3D printing. It comes with a well designed, sturdy mounting base and stand that can accommodate up to 5 lights.
I can imagine being able to use a small array of Relio² lights, perhaps bounced and diffused off a wall or a reflector, for tasks that I’d normally need a single larger source.
Extreme Color Fidelity
The Relio²’s biggest advantage is its impressive color accuracy, with a verified TLCI rating of 98. This makes the light suitable not only for videography and photography but a wide range of other applications such as artwork restoration and scientific research.
The Relio² is available in a range of precisely calibrated color temperatures and wavelengths. These are separated into three ranges, Studio, Art and Lab. Studio version color temperatures available are 3400K, 4000K and 5700K. The Art range are best suited to colormetric and artistic purposes and are available in four wavelengths, these are 660nm (Red), 520nm (Green), 450nm (Blue) and 590nm (Yellow). The Lab versions are available in IR full range and UV 395nm.
All of the photometric data is available, and there is even a LUT available to precisely compensate and correct to a “virtual” TLCI of 100. They claim Relio² is the closest artificial light source to natural sunlight.
The Relio² is bluetooth enabled and is controllable by an official app available for iOS and Android. The app allows a simple but accurate remote control over the light intensity, and has been tested to work with up to 16 Relio² lights simultaneously.
The app is easy to use, and auto detects each Relio² light within range. There is a secure mode and a strobe mode.
Built to Be Built Upon
The Relio² can be dimmed by Arduino and Raspberry Pi micro controllers, and the Relio² API is public for developers to create their own custom solutions based on Relio² lights.
Free Relio² 3D Printable Accessories
A wide range of accessories can be 3D printed. These include a Light Polarizer, Anti-Glare honeycomb cover, Barn Doors, a Diffuser, Gel Holder, Bulls Eye Beam Shaper, UNC Tripod Adapter, UNC Base Adapter, UNC Thread Adapter, Hand Grip, O-Ring Application Tool, Cable Clip Holder, Custom Box Tray, and more on the way.
Lit with Relio²
Below are a few examples. The first image by Alessandro Rossi, and the second image by Guido Bartoli.
The specifications common to all versions of the Relio² are below. They can also be found on the Relio² website along with specific information to each version.
|Available wavelengths||3500K, 4000K, 5700K, 660nm, 590nm, 520nm, 470nm, 450nm, 850nm, 1050nm, full- spectrum IR850~1050nm, 360nm, 395nm|
|CPU||ARM Cortex M0 32bit 40MHz, with integrated Bluetooth® LE 4.2 antenna|
|Certification standards||CE, FCC, RoHS, Bluetooth SIG, CRI, TLCI, CQS, TM-30-15, CIE1931, CIE1976, IEC- SDCM|
|Calibration device||Asensetek Lightning Passport Pro|
|Spectrometries are public||Yes||Light Quality Report available to download|
|LED lamp predicted life||>50000h||At ambient temperatures up to 40ºC|
|LED is upgradeable in the future||Yes||We‘ll contact our customers when new LED modules will become available (TBD)|
|Optics type||TIR + Honeycomb pattern|
|Optics material||Clear PMMA||Heat-resistant up to 80ºC|
|Optics aperture (nominal)||10º, 25º, 60º, 90º, 10×70º||Nominal aperture, not FWHM|
|Optics are user-swappable||Yes||Via the included Hex-key tool|
|Optics are upgradeable in the future||Yes|
|Body materials||AL 6082 “Anticorodal“ aluminum alloy, AISI 316L low-carbon stainless steel alloy|
|Surface treatment||MIL-A-8625F Spec. Type III sulfuric acid hard-anodizing, 30µm, carbon black|
|Magnets attraction force||9.32kgf total||4 magnets, 2.33kgf each|
|Magnets are user-removable||Yes||Via the included Hex-key tool|
|Power consumption||5Wh||@ 100% brightness|
|Body-radiated heat||2W||@ 100% brightness; estimated, not including visible light energy emitted by the LED|
|Temperature, Operating||0ºC ~ 60ºC||Temperature gradient (non-condensing): 20ºC/h|
|Temperature, Non-Operating||-20ºC ~ 70ºC||Temperature gradient (non-condensing): 30ºC/h|
|Dust and water resistance||IP53||With magnetic microUSB plug-end inserted, otherwise IP42|
|LED light ripple||<2% @ 750kHz||@ full range of brightness, using a high-quality power source|
|Total electrical efficiency||~90%||@ 100% brightness|
|Flicker-free up to||10000 fps|
|Light control||Pure current drive||No PWM modulation|
|External, logic-level brightness control||PWM @ 20kHz||Incoming PWM is RC-integrated to a voltage curve|
|Bluetooth App||iOS, Android||Google Chrome® web browser controller is coming soon thanks to Chrome’s implementation of WebBLE APIs|
|Bluetooth range||10m||Up to 5m inside, up to 10m outside; varies depending on environment, placement and control device used|
|Bluetooth antenna can be switched off||Yes||Achieved by enabling “Secure Mode” inside Relio² App|
|Bluetooth license||Yes, official||Bluetooth SIG license ID: D039827|
|Brightness dimming curve||Proprietary||Inspired by CIE1931 scotopic curve|
|Integrated thread||UNC 1/4-20||US ANSI B 1.1 standard, 7mm length|
|Bluetooth API is public||Yes||BLE API documentation available to download|
|Published 3D accessories license||Creative-Commons-CC|
|Engineering and manufacturing||Made in Italy|
Where to Buy
If you ever feel the need for a micro-sized LED light that provides highly accurate color and a lot of options for configuration, the Relio² is definitely worth a look. They have a 5% discount code for cinema5D readers, just use 5DROCKS during checkout through the Relio store here.
Do you think this could be useful in your lighting kit? let us know what you think in the comments.