There’s only so much you can do with a light on a stand, but a new product from Fiilex is taking lighting skyward – literally. The Fiilex AL250 Light For Solo is designed to work with the 3DR Solo drone for lighting without the stand. While the light will also work with a drone-mounted camera, the product also shows potential for lighting up shots from the ground, from light painting to illuminating night landscapes.
“The Fiilex AL250 is the first aerial spotlight available for a consumer drone,” said Oren Schauble, 3DR’s vice president of marketing. “Now set or photo lighting can be completely dynamic, unconstrained by stands, tripods, or cranes.”
Related: 3DR Solo is a drone for filmmakers
The 2,000-lumen LED can be adjusted to multiple angle positions and used with or without a camera mounted on the same drone. Weighing 0.6 pounds, the light uses a GoPro-style mount for compatibility with the 3DR Solo. The rechargeable battery is big enough to power the light for about 25 minutes.
Attached to the drone, the AL250 can be used for night painting with a long exposure. Early product testers have also had success using the light to reveal the details in a dark background using a composite. By flying the light through various positions in the background, then merging multiple images together, even large rock formations can be lit with just one of the small lights.
Using the composite method, 3DR’s creative director Adam Schlender was able to light up the background in this photo by flying the drone with the AL250 for about ten minutes:
The AL250 was developed as part of the Made For Solo program, which allows other developers to release accessories for the 3DR Solo drone. With the program, drone owners can get new accessories faster than they could otherwise, but the option also made it possible for Fiilex, a lighting company, to develop the drone accessory. Fiilex worked with 3DR for a year before launching the AL250 prototype at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Along with being used as a photography lighting tool, the AL250 is expected to be used in search and rescue applications as well, since both the light and a camera can be used at the same time.
The light is expected to go on sale next month, with a $350 list price; you can pre-order it now. Check out this short film Fiilex created for the recent CES, which used the AL250.