‘Active Diffusion’ offers remote-controllable lighting softness

Some lights have remote power and zoom control. Now you can adjust the transparency of diffusion panels, too.

Chimera Zylight Active Diffusion

US lighting manufacturers Zylight and Chimera have introduced Active Diffusion panels, offering “infinitely adjustable opacity”. The panels fit onto the front of LEDs or fluorescent lamps, allowing photographers and cinematographers to adjust the softness of their lights continuously at the turn of a dial.

The technology uses a flexible, electronically-controlled LCD screen with adjustable opacity. Changes are instantaneous, with users able to select diffusion from 0–100% (from transparent to around 1.5 stops) via a remote control.

In a press release, Active Diffusion patent-holder Jeffrey Hamel said: ‘Chimera’s new Active Diffusion used with Zylight’s F8 Fresnels, for example, allows you to change from a hard to a soft source immediately, in real time. The ability to change light levels, quality and wraparound without changing diffusion frames will make this a must-have for every shoot. The technology is lighting’s first “follow focus”.’

Here it is in action at the NAB 2017 trade show.

Pricing and a release date have yet to be announced. For more information, visit the Chimera web site.

Would you use a remote-controlled diffusion panel?

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.