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Light Study: Cineo HS2

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

One of my favorite types of light is remote phosphor. It’s incredibly powerful. Since this technology has been introduced to our industry, these lights have been taking over. It’s because of their ability to produce beautiful skin tones, their unbelievable brightness, and just how easy they make it to switch between 3200, 4300, 5600, chroma green and blue.

It was an epiphany for me when I started lighting green screens and blue screens with them because the old way of lighting screens was putting a lot of Kino Flos with green or a lot of SkyPanels up on truss.

The old way of having to light green screen

Then came the Cineos.

Cineo HS2

You could light a 20 x 30 green screen with just two of these Cineo HS2s.

The way I light green screen now… with Cineos

Nice, even green screen exposure from just two Cineo HS2s

That’s how bright and efficient they are. They give me a perfectly balanced green screen, with ease, and that’s what really caught my attention. Then. I really became impressed when I saw the skin tones.

BTS of “The Babysitter” – Just a couple of little Cineos lighting up that whole green screen

Gaffer Eric Forand calculates one Cineo HS2 light per 20’ of green screen, and that you could even do one for 30’ if you have enough distance between them.

The Cineo HS2 is just one of the lights they have, too. They’ve got lights for all kinds of uses. Some of their smaller versions I used on The Adventurers. I was using the matchsticks that were only 12 inches long and less – they’re very small, but still very powerful.

I was hiding them for the dashboard lights dimmed way down, like I did on Need for Speed.

I love augmenting and sculpting what’s already there, and these little Cineos make it so easy

I was embedding them in sets so they actually look like they existed in there, as well as the MavXs which are another smaller version – bigger than matchsticks, but smaller than the HS2s.

Cineo MavX. Just as awesome as the HS2 but in a smaller package

On The Babysitter we were using these things in softboxes and moving them all over the place with total ease because these things weigh hardly anything, but they still have tons of output.

Cineos are incredibly versatile lights

Eric Forand uses these in softboxes for his key lights on his shows almost 100% of the time because the color is so damn good. It’s insane how high the CRI is on this light.

What these guys have come up with is they’ve used their proprietary phosphor which makes this really beautiful light out of this ultra blue LED light hitting a phosphorus material.

In most of their fixtures the phosphor was on the panels, but with the HSX instead of putting the phosphor just on the panels, they’ve put them on every single LED.

Cineo HSX

So now this new HSX is like a bi-color unit, but it has really high CRI – it’s not mixing RGB, or RGBW, or RGBAW. It’s using one color LED and then they use very specific phosphors to create a bi-color light so now you can dial them in like you can a SkyPanel.

We always talk in stops: A half stop, and full stop. This is the language of film and now it’s been tossed onto digital. Well, so many times I’ll say, dim it down 10%, 30% –  but, what is that? I’m looking for a 3rd of a stop, a half of a stop, or a full stop. This Cineo light actually has true measurable increments built into it. Every 10% is half a stop. With other lights, it’s just a relative (to the light) scale. It’s not exact.

Cineo has actually dialed in the log rhythm in to make that scale. So when you’re dialing in the light, you can dial in how many stops more or less light you’re looking for. It just makes everything faster – there’s no guesswork. All these things increase speed and efficiency on set.

Take a look at what we found testing the Cineo HS2, Kino Flo Select, and Arri SkyPanels:

3200K Direct Light. Kino Select vs Arri Sky Panel vs Cineo HS2

5600K Direct Light. Kino Select vs Arri Sky Panel vs Cineo HS2

3200K Bounce Light. Kino Select vs Arri Sky Panel vs Cineo HS2

5600K Bounce Light. Kino Select vs Arri Sky Panel vs Cineo HS2

These lights are really incredible, and we go way more in depth on how to light a green screen with them in our Inner Circle articles.

We have a whole How to Light Green Screen Series inside the Inner Circle.

If you’re not a member of the Inner Circle, check it out – it could change your career.


These videos were edited on our awesome HP Z840s. The Z840s eat full res 6K playback for breakfast.

Interested in the other gear we used to shoot this video with? Check them out below:


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