Use Case:

# Filmmaking and Special Effects Lighting

Learn how Relio² helps filmmakers and producers to improve their shots by emulating natural Sunlight with a TLCI index higher than 98%.

Relio² helps Matteo Bertoli (Buttery Films LLC, Los Angeles) to simulate direct Sunlight where it doesn’t occur naturally. @matteobertoli

An explosion of light

What makes Relio² so special?
To simulate the light of the Sun, you need very high luminance, that is a lot of light emitted from a very small source. The five interchangeable lenses of Relio² allow for a complete customization of its light beam, from 10º up to more than 90º.
The naturalness of Solar light, moreover, is dictated by its richness of spectrum, another aspect in which Relio² is the undisputed champion, with an actual TLCI index of up to 98%.

An entire light-set that fits inside a flight-case

We designed Relio² to be the smallest illuminator in the world.
Thanks to the magnetic plate included in the Base kit, filmmakers can travel lightly, carrying up to 10 Relio² lights in a standard flight-case, without the fear of ruining them.
No heavy equipment and no power adapters required: Relio² is powered via USB.

Mount, unmount and restart

Relio² is assembled and disassembled by hand: the standard UNC 1/4-20 attachment makes it compatible with all the photographic tripods, adapters and rigs on the market.

Solar light flares on a rainy day

The magnetic Base is the heart of Relio² modularity: thanks to its interchangeable mounting rods, you can mount up to 5 units on a single support, to create customized light sources for every scene setup.
In this image, Relio² was magnetically hooked to a metallic surface to create natural backlight effects during a movie shoot on a cloudy day.

Macro, slow-motion and backlight

In all those situations where you need a lot of light (macro shots, slow-motion animations or grazing light shots), being able to have a small, discreet and easily positioned light source is the dream of every filmmaker.

Example #1: Macro shots

Two Relio² 4000K with long rods were placed magnetically on a steel plane. Thanks to their small size, they are not framed in the shot even though they are very close to the subject to be filmed. 60º lenses have been used (medium aperture) and the result is an intense and sharp light, like the one that enters a window on a sunny day.

Example #2: Light flares

One Relio² 4000K with 25º lens was used to generate a curious effect that gives the impression of having a strong, natural backlight behind the filmed object.

Example #3: Direct lighting

This example is, more than anything else, a "behind-the-scenes" one. As you can see, the light entering through the windows is weak: during the shooting, the sky was cloudy. With only two Relio² units you can emulate a grazing light like the one that enters through a window just before the Sun goes down.

Example #4: Grazing light

In some cases, diffuse lighting can be desirable. In others, you need just the opposite. In this scene, it was required to highlight the rough grain of a sheet of handmade paper. Thanks to Relio² it’s possible to create convincing light effects with surprisingly natural tones.

Example #5: Backlighting

In this case, we wanted to simulate a setting Sun which permeates through some glass wine bottles. One Relio² 3500K unit was used with the addition of a 3D printed accessory, the "bull's eye beam shaper", which tightens the beam and makes it sharp and circular.

Example #6: Light effects

Sometimes you have to play with light to make a scene more interesting than it actually is. One Relio² 4000K with 60º lens was held with hands while filming with a slider, so that it would shine through and refract into the camera lens.

Example #7: Low-key photography

Thanks to the extreme luminance of Relio², you can craft spectacular low-key compositions.
In this example, we used multiple Relio light sources, all aimed at the same spot, to create a stunning backlit photo where all the ambient light fades to black.
You can't do this with a wide-aperture lamp: you need a very tight and powerful light beam like the one you can generate with the narrower lenses of Relio.

Lighting for portrait interviews

During the shooting for our documentary "Behind the scenes of Relio²", we wanted to test the full potential of Relio². We therefore decided to film the entire documentary in completely dark rooms, lit only with a set of five Relio² 4000K lights.

A breeze!

In some cases we did use some diffusion flags, in others we left Relio² produce some sharp shadows. We did always manage to create well-lit sets, without requiring cumbersome equipment and without ever needing a single power outlet: everything has been powered via USB with some generic USB power-packs.

The UNC 1/4-20 standard thread

Relio² is the new iteration of our famous Relio lamp, originally launched in 2014. This video features Relio 1. Relio² adheres to the same UNC photographic standards. This means that you can anchor Relio² on standard UNC 1/4-20 photographic threads, for maximum versatility of use and compatibility with all of your photographic equipment. We love standards, do you?

A clever carrying box

We paid a lot of attention to packaging design.
No, it's not just a matter of aesthetics!
Each Relio² carrying box can accommodate a fully assembled Base kit, with up to three light modules already mounted.
There’s still space for two USB cables, all the accessories and lenses and even to fit an USB power pack for on-the-road use.
The aluminum parts of Relio² are protected by a special foam coated in soft, anti-scratch velvet.

Here are the 3D-printable accessories used in these shots

We will never stop telling you this: Relio² is the most versatile professional illuminator ever made. You can make it even better by 3D-printing our already-engineered accessories. Thanks to this, you can polarize its light, tighten the beam, change its shape, direction, intensity and sharpness. Enjoy!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a Relio² kit?

Currently, Relio² is sold exclusively on this website.

Does it have an internal battery?

No. We want Relio² to withstand years and years of 24/7 use. An internal battery in such a small and powerful device would be able to power Relio² for just 15 minutes at full brightness, with a lifetime spanning no more than 6 months. Name - if you can - one product with an integrated, non-removable battery that’s still 100% funcional after years of use...

How do I power it up?

Via the external microUSB connector. Every USB outlet in the world capable of providing at least 1A of current is suitable.

Why does Relio² still have a microUSB plug instead of the newer USB-C?

The answer is simple: maximum cable length and cord flexibiity. USB-C is born to transport a lot of data channels, so the internal wire count is 4x more, making it very thick and more rigid. For the same reason, USB-C cables lenght is limited to 2m. In the Relio² Base Kit package, we include 1x 1.5m magnetic, nylon-braided microUSB cable and 1x premium, gold-plated, nylon-braided 3m microUSB cable from a premium brand.

Can I use USB-C to USB-A, or USB-C to microUSB adapters?

Yes, of course.

Is the magnetic cable user-replaceable?

Yes. Contact us for a suitable replacement.

What if I use Relio² a lot and some parts wear out?

We engineered all the Relio² parts subject to normal-use wear and tear to be of common availability. Contact us for suitable replacements.

Does it have a manufacturer warranty? What does it cover?

We offer 2 years of manufacturer warranty on our terms of use and warranty. Please consult our sales terms for details.

How much power does Relio² draw?

1A at 5V DC. Since it integrates a step-down buck converter capable of up to 15V DC, power consumption at higher voltages will be less.

Can I power it up with a car battery or other sources of electricity?

Yes. Every source ranging from 4 to 15V DC is suitable. Input lines are protected from overvoltage and reverse bias. For more info, please consult the manual or our technical specifications.

Is it water resistant?

Yes, moderately up to IP53. For more info, please consult the manual or our technical specifications.

How many units can be operated through the smartphone App?

On iOS, we successfully tested up to 16 devices. On Android, it varies depending on the platform (around 5 units). Please note that aggregate brightness control function is still in development.

Can I develop a custom Bluetooth BLE application?

Yes. You can refer to our BLE API documentation. Please note that developing commercial applications is not permitted unless an explicit consent is received by us. Please contact us for more info.

I need assistance and documentation on how to operate Relio² via an external, wired microcontroller like the Arduino®.

We will provide you with full documentation on how to operate Relio² through logic-level signals. Please contact us for more info.

I need assistance in determining how many Relio² kits I need for my work.

We can do digital simulations tailored to your environment. Drop us a message via the contact form.

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes, with some limitations in some remote areas. If you don't see your Country listed in the shipping form, please contact us.

You said that the LED will be upgradeable. How will you handle that?

This is a commitment and we will honour it in case the technology advances. All the future LED upgrades will be backwards-compatible, so you'll be able to ship your Relio² kits back to us for the upgrade, for a minimal servicing fee.

Can I disassemble the LED and eletronics by myself?

Yes, and it's rather easy to do, but the warranty will be voided.

I accidentally damaged something in my unit. Are spare parts available for sale?

Yes, depending on stock availability. Please contact us and we will help you.

Do you sell physical versions of your 3D-printable accessories?

Currently no, but we partnered with some local and international suppliers that will be able to 3D-print and ship them to you. Please contact us for more info.

I want to sell your 3D-printable accessories.

Yes, why not? We release all our accessories under the Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 license, so you are free to do that. Please remember that you have to mention us on your sales page. Also, please note that we may also link to 3rd-party items, and they may not share the same license terms of our own accessories. Always check the license bundled with each accessory that you download.

I want to be a reseller of your product.

Sure. Drop us a message via the contact form.

I want to be the exclusive distributor of your product.

Maybe. Drop us a message via the contact form.

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You can help us make a difference.

Send us a message to unlock all our free accessories.

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Let’s know each-other!

We’re a super-small company that listens to its users.
You can help us make a difference.

Send us a message to unlock all our technical documentation.

The download links will appear immediately.

Let’s know each-other!

We’re a super-small company that listens to its users.
You can help us make a difference.

Send us a message to unlock all our technical documentation.

The download links will appear immediately.

Relio² 2020+ Editions. Now Available!

We engineered some majestic Editions of Relio².

After our successful Kickstarter® campaign, they are ready to be delivered. Click here below to discover more!

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