Aputure’s new flexible LED panels may be the best in class. Intellytech and Westcott will have some serious competition. How do they all stack up?
Aputure is releasing a selection of flexible LED panels under their Amaran brand. They will come in 2’x1’ and 2’x2’ models, with RGBW options available for both. Caleb Pike concluded that the F22c is the “most perfect version” of a light mat that he’s seen so far.
The notable specs and features are:
- Color temperature appears to be accurate from tungsten to daylight.
- Built-in digital gels for matching lights.
- Compatible with Aputure’s Sidus Link app.
- Holes for mounting around the rim.
- Separate ballast and AC adaptor brick.
- Hard shell carrying case.
Westcott was one of the first notable entrants to this space back in 2015. Soon after, Falconeyes, Aladdin, and Intellytech undercut Westcott. Intellytech’s offering was a solid deal at the time. At the same time, eye watering prices of high-end panels from LiteGear made everything look cheaper.
In particular, Intellytech hasn’t stopped upgrading their lineup. They made RGBW versions of their panels, and have since upgraded them to include the AC adaptor in the ballast, and output more accurate color temperatures and gel reproductions. Their Mega Lite Cloth is a super powerful tool on set. There isn’t much else like it for the price. Finally, they tied it all together with a Bluetooth app.
Aputure Enters the Market
The new Amaran F22 and F21 panels are fully flexible panels, and appear to be a decent bit brighter than the competition. Intellytech’s RGBW 2’x2’ panel outputs around 3,500 lux at 3 ft, compared to the F22’s 7,000 lux. That’s a decent spec bump compared to the competition.
What will really set them apart will be two features: the Sidus Link app and the price. Somehow, these Amaran lights are cheaper than Intellytech. There’s a $300 difference in their respective RGB panels. In addition, the Sidus Link app gives the F22 and F21 panels access to the Aputure ecosystem. I can’t tell you how convenient it is to have a suite of Aputure lights on set, all running on the same app. It’s especially convenient when panels get mounted on the ceiling.
Annoyingly, the F22 and F21 require a separate AC power brick to be plugged into the ballast. Whereas most of Aputure’s lineup and Intellytech’s bundles these together into a single unit. It’s a frustrating decision because these lights tend to have a lot of fiddly bits already.
Aputure is able to dominate a market by adding Sidus Link compatibility to their products. If you already own an Aputure fixture, then the F22 is a no-brainer compared to Intellytech’s LiteCloth. Intellytech’s “Mega LiteCloth” is a serious winner, but if Aputure decides to make their own version, Intellytech might be in hot water.