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Mercedes Sprinter: Interior Pro-Grade Lighting

2017-07-17 updated 2017-08-24 • SEND FEEDBACK
Related: Cineo, Mercedes Sprinter

Photographer and cyclist and Mac expert and software engineer Lloyd Chambers is available for consulting on general Sprinter considerations at his usual consulting rates via phone, or in person in the Palo Alto, CA area. Save yourself hours and mistakes by discussing issues up-front. More about Lloyd....

As a photographer, I care about the best possible lighting—not just something that is cute by being recessed, but by how it performs.

The best pro-grade LED lighting can make a huge difference not just in high-end product photography, but visual acuity for reading or the work, natural tones that make a space feel good, etc. And if I can have a well-lit space with pro-grade lighting for photographing small items in the field, so much the better!

I am not keen on conventional LED lighting, which generally has poor spectral behavior: too blue or cyan, too magenta, dropouts or low output in key areas of the spectrum, etc.

Accordingly, my top pick for lighting based on testing various photographic lights as well as high-end cycling lighting are the Cineo Lighting remote phosphor lighting products with color quality second to none, particular the Cineo Matchbox and Cineo Matchstix lines. They are dimmable, controllable remotely via DMX if desired, and can run on DC power (no AC power inversion needed). A large powerful light or two could be a nice plus also, like the Cineo MavX.

Cineo Matchbox: web page, cut sheet, catalog, user guide <=== detailed info
Cineo Matchstix: web page, cut sheet, catalog, user guide <=== detailed info

Cineo Matchbox and Cineo Matchstix remote phosphor lampheads

In the field

My intent is to use several Cineo Matchbox and/or Cineo Matchstix for the interior lighting. It is high end daylight-quality lighting far superior to the spectrally gappy LED lights installed by Mercedes, and most upfitters. For this shot below, I used the Cineo Matchbox via the cigarrette lighter socket (temporary setup).

I’d like one Cineo Matchbox overhead in the driving cab area for reading maps and such (the built-in light is dim and low quality). Its built-in dimmer is perfect for such usage (the red round dial pops out for 1% to 100% adjustment).

Plus 2 or 3 Matchbox or Matchstix (TBD) overhead on the ceiling for bright but dimmable interior lighting when needed (replacing the two LED panels on the ceiling that the van came with).

Below, note the superb match of the interior color balance to the moonlight: few LED lights can do that.

For the shot below, I used the Cineo Matchbox with a 3200°K panel at about 1% output to illuminate the interior of the van; it has a 160° beam spread, perfect. Here it was powered by the optional 12V adapter; just plug into the vehicle socket and it can run a very long time, taking only 13 watts at 100% power. The Cineo Matchbox and related products maintain color consistency from 1% to 100% with a CRI of 98 and TLCI of 99 for the 3200°K panel. It uses remote phosphor technology, which is far superior to ordinary LED technology, not just for color quality but for the diffuse nature of lighting. It is very well built and extremely compact for its light output—perfect for a van if it fits into your decor—I will make it fit as the light quality is so good.

Before any upfitting fresh from the dealer, high in the White Mountains of California at 11,500' elevation
f11 @ 448.0 sec, ISO 64; 2017-08-07 21:07:16
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

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