The Relio² LED Light – A Tiny LED That Punches Well Above Its Weight

The Relio² LED Light - A Tiny LED That Punches Well Above Its Weight

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 Relio²

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.

App Control

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.

Relio² Specifications

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.

Model numberR401
Available wavelengths3500K, 4000K, 5700K, 660nm, 590nm, 520nm, 470nm, 450nm, 850nm, 1050nm, full- spectrum IR850~1050nm, 360nm, 395nm
CPUARM Cortex M0 32bit 40MHz, with integrated Bluetooth® LE 4.2 antenna
Certification standardsCE, FCC, RoHS, Bluetooth SIG, CRI, TLCI, CQS, TM-30-15, CIE1931, CIE1976, IEC- SDCM
Calibration deviceAsensetek Lightning Passport Pro
  • Wavelength: ±0.5nm
  • X,Y: ± 0.002 @ 1000lux
  • Lux: ±3%
  • CCT: ±2%
Spectrometries are publicYesLight Quality Report available to download
LED lamp predicted life>50000hAt ambient temperatures up to 40ºC
Total MTBF>200000hEstimated
LED is upgradeable in the futureYesWe‘ll contact our customers when new LED modules will become available (TBD)
Optics typeTIR + Honeycomb pattern
Optics materialClear PMMAHeat-resistant up to 80ºC
Optics aperture (nominal)10º, 25º, 60º, 90º, 10×70ºNominal aperture, not FWHM
Optics are user-swappableYesVia the included Hex-key tool
Optics are upgradeable in the futureYes
Body materialsAL 6082 “Anticorodal“ aluminum alloy, AISI 316L low-carbon stainless steel alloy
Surface treatmentMIL-A-8625F Spec. Type III sulfuric acid hard-anodizing, 30µm, carbon black
Magnets attraction force9.32kgf total4 magnets, 2.33kgf each
Magnets are user-removableYesVia the included Hex-key tool
Power supply
  • +4 ~ +15V DC
  • Continuous protection: ±25V
  • Transient protection (0.1s): ±60V
  • Overshoot protection (10ms): 20kV
Logic-level input
  • +3V ~ +5V DC
  • Continuous protection: ±25V
  • Transient protection (0.1s): ±60V
  • Overshoot protection (10ms): 20kV
  • Logic-level input is on USB Data+ pin; USB Data- pin is NC
Power consumption5Wh@ 100% brightness
Body-radiated heat2W@ 100% brightness; estimated, not including visible light energy emitted by the LED
Temperature, Operating0ºC ~ 60ºCTemperature gradient (non-condensing): 20ºC/h
Temperature, Non-Operating-20ºC ~ 70ºCTemperature gradient (non-condensing): 30ºC/h
Dust and water resistanceIP53With magnetic microUSB plug-end inserted, otherwise IP42
Integrated batteryNo
LED light ripple<2% @ 750kHz@ full range of brightness, using a high-quality power source
Total electrical efficiency~90%@ 100% brightness
Flicker-free up to10000 fps
Light controlPure current driveNo PWM modulation
External, logic-level brightness controlPWM @ 20kHzIncoming PWM is RC-integrated to a voltage curve
Bluetooth AppiOSAndroidGoogle Chrome® web browser controller is coming soon thanks to Chrome’s implementation of WebBLE APIs
Bluetooth range10mUp to 5m inside, up to 10m outside; varies depending on environment, placement and control device used
Bluetooth antenna can be switched offYesAchieved by enabling “Secure Mode” inside Relio² App
Bluetooth licenseYes, officialBluetooth SIG license ID: D039827
Brightness dimming curveProprietaryInspired by CIE1931 scotopic curve
Integrated threadUNC 1/4-20US ANSI B 1.1 standard, 7mm length
Bluetooth API is publicYesBLE API documentation available to download
Published 3D accessories licenseCreative-Commons-CC
Engineering and manufacturingMade 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.


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