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Illuminati’s Wireless Meter Changes How You Evaluate a Scene

Published On 14 June, 2017 | By Zeferino | About Light, The best lighting, Tips

This week in Zeferino Professional Lighting we want to take a closer tlook to Illuminati, who have created a new cine meter that works remotely to save time on set.

At NAB 2017 we were introduced to a new meter form illuminati, which rethinks entirely how we consider measuring the light in a scene. While traditional meters require a filmmaker to wander to various parts of the set or location, reading a variety of light and color values, Illuminati meters are small units that can potentially be left in the scene and read with either your smartphone or your smartwatch from afar. Even more interestingly, they are priced such that you could potentially have many meters in a kit for taking realtime readings through a shoot.

Product Design

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The illuminati meter measures both light and color values from it’s little sphere, and communicates via Bluetooth back to your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet. The unit itself is designed to be mounted in a variety of ways, with a magnet on the back to make it even easier to clip to a backpack or jacket. In the kit there is a variety of little mounts and clips to snap on the magnetic back to have it stand up on a table, easy to hold in your hand, or clip on clothing.

Light Readings

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The folks from Illumnati were very clear that the model we tested was a pre-production unit that hadn’t been finally calibrated, but despite this, we found it to be useable even in its current state. It was around ⅓ of a stop off from our Sekonic light meter, but it was always consistently ⅓ of a stop off. Anyone who has ever owned more than one meter knows that it’s hard to get them to match up perfectly, even with regular calibration.

The App

One particularly exciting aspect of the meter is the fact that it is app-driven, which allows for a lot of possibilities in the future. For instance, by tying the app from illuminati to the app from Hive Lighting, you could potentially do a day exterior shoot where your key light automatically adjusted its kelvin balance and brightness to match the background. Or you could sync it to a camera through an app like FoolControl to automatically adjust your daylight balance every time you hit record.

Since the meter is Bluetooth, its range is limited, and it would be complicated to set up some sort of Bluetooth repeater or hub, even if that were possible. However, when within range, the ability to have a meter on standby to alert you to changes is very useful.

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