SXSW 2013: Hive Lighting Showcases Free-Roaming Plasma Lamps, Talks Up The Transformation of Creativity on Film Sets

Hive enhances its leadership in energy efficiency and light quality by introducing mobile lighting that fosters photographic experimentation

AUSTIN, Texas, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- This week, at SXSW, Hive Lighting is lighting up the celebrities on the red carpets with its cord-free plasma lamps — ensuring that the thousands of media, fans and, of course, paparazzi are presented with the ideal photographic environment to capture the spectacle exactly as it is happening. Illuminating the red carpets at all 10 film venues is just one of several activities where the SXSW sponsor has been demonstrating how free-to-roam, battery-powered lamps are pushing the creative envelope on film sets.


On Wednesday, the Hive team may be the loudest of the fans cheering the screening of director Joss Whedon's acclaimed contemporary production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Hive played a pivotal role in the unconventional 12-day production, shot at Wheldon's home. Among Much Ado's unconventional production methods, which yielded a film shot in just 12 days, Whedon took advantage of the low energy consumption of Hive's new plasma lamps when house current was the only electrical source.

"The Hive plasma lights were perfectly suited for what we were up against," says director of photography Jay Hunter. "We didn't have a generator, just a house tie-in with only 200 amps to power the entire production: lights, video village and all the other departments. So, it was incredible to get some punchy lights that I could simply plug into the wall."

Hive is also center stage at the SXSW Trade Show, which runs through March 13, at Stand 601/700. Hive brought its entire new line of plasma lamps to demonstrate how much more productive a film set can be without the tangles of cables, generators, and supporting crew and equipment normally required.

Ridiculously low energy consumptiondoth bear the yoke
Hive's newest line of plasma lights burn 50-90 percent less energy than other lighting technologies, markedly reducing operating costs and enabling film productions to lower their carbon footprint. Hive's plasma lights' low energy consumption has sparked a movement in the film industry toward battery-powered mobile stage lights. Directors no longer have to contend with tethered lights, tangled cables, the noisy generators, and can even reduce support equipment and personnel. As a result the lights and cameras have the same flexibility. They can move in concert until the director has the perfect scene before him.

"Advances in our latest low-energy plasma lights are causing a ripple effect that's led to production sites that are cleaner, run at lower cost, generate less heat, and are more efficient," said Robert Rutherford, president of Hive Lighting. "By unplugging our lights from the grid, sets have fewer pieces of equipment to break down and easier logistics. There's less confusion. Things get done quicker. Ultimately, fewer distractions enable everyone to focus more on making great films and commercials."

Energy efficiency is only the start
Energy efficiency isn't the only attribute of Hive lights that is changing filmmaking. In developing its lamps, Hive focused on developments that fulfilled the most urgent needs of producers, directors and cinematographers. In addition to enhancing the freedom filmmakers are enjoying on their sets, Hive's engineering team has made a number of remarkable advancements in image-capture lighting that are providing numerous benefits to producers, directors and cinematographers. Those achievements include:

  • Energy usage so low Hive lights can run on camera batteries, yet produce up to eight times more light than the equivalent conventional studio light.
  • Reliable performance for more than 10,000 hours, long enough to have a useful working life of over a decade with no bulb replacements.
  • Single-point source of light that floods the scene with flicker-free, full-spectrum (94 CRI) illumination that doubles perfectly for the sun.

To provide more information for the film industry, Hive produced the The Plasma Challenge video, which documents the making of the commercial. Photos are available at

Hive's advancements also impressed the cleantech community in October, when it was named a finalist in the Energy Efficiency category of the 2012 Cleantech Open Competition, the world's largest cleantech accelerator.

About Hive
Hive Lighting Inc. makes bright, beautiful, energy-efficient plasma lights for film, TV and digital media production. Made in Los Angeles, Hive's lamps have set new benchmarks for flexibility, energy efficiency and light quality that are transforming the way media is produced. More information is available at and

Hive is a trademark of Hive Lighting in the United States and other countries.                       

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SOURCE Hive Lighting Inc.



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