Arri announced the Orbiter, a versatile, directional LED fixture with a six-color light engine and interchangeable optics. It’s aimed at film and TV productions, broadcast applications, and theatrical and live entertainment.
The 33 lb. (15 kg) fixture is designed with the Arri Spectra six-color light engine and is meant to offer light output comparable to a similar HMI fixture. The Orbiter has a CCT range from 2,000 to 20,000 degrees K, high color rendition across all temperatures, and smooth dimming from 100% to 0 without color changes or jumps, the company said. Arri says the Orbiter (with average CRI > 98, average TLCI > 95 and average TM-30 > 94) has a wider color range and better color rendition than its existing SkyPanels and L-Series Fresnel-style lights.
But the real selling point is the Orbiter’s Quick Lighting Mount, which allows interchangeable, front-mounted optical elements to be selected in order to control the softness of shadows or to generate soft, homogenous light. The open-face optic is designed to throw light for long distances, but attachable projection optics define the circle of light, which can be further shaped by cutters, focus and gobos. A dome optic can be used to generate omnidirectional light, and a QLM adapter allows the use of compatible products from Chimera and DoPchoice, Arri said. The Orbiter’s aluminum-cast body is weatherproof for outdoor use.
Watch Arri’s announcement video to see it in action:
The device is driven by Arri’s Lighting Operation System, dubbed LiOS, which has a new user interface accessed via a removable control panel with a four-inch display. (Remote operation requires the control panel be tethered with a 5m or 15m cable.) Informed by Arri’s experience with software development for the SkyPanel, LiOS offers eight color modes including CCT, HSI, individual color, x/y coordinates, gel and source matching and lighting effects as well as a new color sensor mode that measures and reproduces the temperature of ambient lighting. Arri said it plans to update its Stellar app to work with the Orbiter.
On the subject of sensors, the Orbiter also has a three-axis accelerometer and magnetometer to track pan, tilt, roll and heading, along with heat sensors for temperature control and an ambient light sensor that automatically dims the control-panel display.
Connectivity options abound, with support for Ethernet daisy-chaining, two USB-A ports for operating-system updates as well as Wi-Fi dongles and other third-party peripherals. LumenRadio’s CRMX technology is built in for wireless DMX control, and two five-pin XLR DMX ports enable conventional DMX and RDM. A single USB-C port is used for computer connectivity.
The Orbiter looks like a workhorse, but it’s not quite ready for the spotlight. Arri said it expects to ship the first units in the first quarter of 2020, with pricing to be announced by the end of 2019.