Firstly, there is no lamp warm up or cool down time required. Therefore, there is instant full lamp brightness, and you can turn the lamp off immediately after using it, and if for example, on tour, it can be instantly put into its flight case as it doesn’t require cool down time.
There is a built-in power supply, therefore there is no need for the heavy external ballast required in the past. As it is an electronic power supply, the lamp always performs at 100%, previously it was reliant on the input voltage. This consistent power supply allows it to be flicker free, and therefore an excellent choice to use on camera. It has electronic dimming, so there is no colour shift when ‘dimming’ the lamp.
There is no lamp to change, making it a worthwhile investment. With this cool source, it also means there is less maintenance, no mirror to change and less power consumption overall. While the power consumption is proportional to the intensity, for example, the new Arthur 1014 LT, the LED lamp is 1000W (when the electronic dimmer is opened), compared to the old discharge lamp of 3000W of the Aramis, that is burning at 3000W continuously. With the new LED lamp, the follow spot can effectively be ‘switched off’/electronically dimmed when not in use during a performance this means 0W of lamp output compared with 3000W on the old-style lamp and mechanical dimmer, were the lamp once struck, was always on.
The new LED versions come with DMX control as standard, it is very useful to be able to control some elements from the lighting desk, for example, dead black outs. You can also put a percentage limit on the output and there is a choice of dimming curves and response time available on the unit. There is also a strobe possibility.