Fiilex K416 Light Kit – How to Light a Beer Bottle

For the packshot of our last commercial film for a local brewery, we got to test an LED Light Kit by Fiilex.

The Kit

The Fiilex light kit comes in a handy trolley case and weighs less than 20kg. Our demo set consists of four lights, namely P100, P180E, P360EX and P200 Flexjet. The lights can be run via AC adapter or Batteries (P-Tap). Many accessories like light stands, barn doors, gel holders, dome diffusors and Fresnel lenses with a handy magnetic click mechanism make it complete. Thanks to a special adapter, a fiber cable can be used to draw a tiny spot with the P200 Flexjet.

The Project

The packshot for the beer commercial we are working on includes a tracking shot from an extreme close-up to a total view of the beer bottle. To achieve a reflection of the beer bottle, we placed it on a glossy black acrylic glass tile. We shot on RED Dragon in 5K with 8fps and 1/16 exposure time which allowed us to move the camera very slowly, shoot at T4 and thus ease our focus puller’s work. For the tracking, we used our MYT Works camera slider with an underslung to get with the camera as close as possible to the beer bottle and still have it centered.

 The Light Set Up

Backlight

First step was to set light from behind the bottle to let the beer shine and to highlight the glycerin pearls we applied on the bottle. Given the fact that the background was supposed to be replaced anyways, we placed a Fiilex P100 portable LED light at 5600K directly behind the bottle. With it’s integrated Battery, the light is really handy. It is continuously variable from 3000K to 5600K, has a CRI >90 and intensity can be adjusted.

Since we shot through brown glass, the beer appeared glowing red, so we dimmed the light down to minimal intensity and a small piece of CTB gel moderated the effect. We could have used more CTO or ND gels, but the intense red actually matches the commercial’s color theme. In case one doesn’t want to replace the background in post, it is possible to use Fiilex P200 FlexJet with the Fiberglass adapter and hide it behind the object to set light from behind, but it is quite spotty (which is great for other purposes), so we went for the P100 portable light and decided to use the P200 FlexJet to set rim light.

Keylight/Fill

To create a soft light at both sides of the bottle, we used P180E from the left and P360EX (which can also be controled via DMX) from the right side. Both LED lights have a CRI >90 and are continously variable from 3000K to 5600K as well as Fiilex P100. Our plan was to use the lights with attached dome diffusors and large Walimex Octagon softboxes, but even the softbox with the largest diameter (210cm) showed reflections of the octagon shape and creases of the front frost on the bottle. Plan B was to light through white IKEA fleece blankets which give a soft light from both sides without reflecting creases or corners, what actually looked better. Shooting glass requires some improvisation and adventurous measures…

Rim Light

After setting soft light from the sides and a light to shine through the bottle from behind, we wanted to create a rim light from above to the bottle’s white swing top. And that’s where Fiilex P200 FlexJet show’s what it’s excellent for: a fiberglass pipe focuses the light from the LED and leads it to any spot required. The fiberglass pipe is quite flexible and has the perfect size to be fixed in place with gobo heads.

High CRI

Fiilex P200 Flexjet has – like the other Fiilex lights – a CRI above 90. Concerning the color selection, it differs from the other lights in our test kit. Color temperature varies in three steps from 3000K to 4300K to 5600K White. It has an additional color selection (Magenta, Yellow, Aqua, Cyan, Blue).

Shooting with the Fiilex light kit was great. The built-in fans are super silent, the Fiilex LED lights are handy, flexible and versatile and due to their small size and their low weight easy to transport and to relocate. Another great feature are the accessories which can be attached/detached with one flick of the wrist, everything, including light stands, well packed in a flight case.

If you want to read more about how to prepare a beer bottle for product photos and packshots, click here.

See more Fiilex lights and accessories here.

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