Relio Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Produce Amazingly Tiny, Powerful, CRI 96 LED Lights

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

Relio, the Italian LED lighting start-up that stunned us all with their first production run of powerful and highly color accurate USB-powered LEDs has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first big production run.

Relio’s lights, variously described by observers as “awesome”, “cool”, “versatile” and “exciting” are also exceptionally small for their 200 lumens output of ultra-high 96 CRI light. The units come in a choice of three color temperatures – 3000K, 3500K and 4500K — and output at a ripple of 850kHz, perfect for high speed cinematography at 200fps or more. The Relio does not have a TLCI aka television lighting color index rating yet but when it does I am sure it will be in the vicinity of that amazing 96 color rating index.

This is a banner year in LED lighting for shooting stills and movies. The lights I have long been hoping for have been arriving and they are living up to the promise LED lighting held out but did not quite deliver on when I bought my first sets of LED lights several years ago.

The arrival in the coming months of Relio’s narrower beam LEDs, and Rotolight’s broader beam Neo three-light kit and customized Chimera softbox for that matter, will vindicate my having postponed LED purchases for a couple of years and my older Dedo and Rotolight LEDs will soon be relegated to supporting roles where color accuracy and high output are not so crucial.

I have long dreamed of an ultra-lightweight, ultra-portable, narrow-beam three-light kit for shooting portraits and interviews of men when used direct and without relying on bounce or diffusion. Throw in a couple of Lastolite kits to soften the light up — the TriFlips 8:1 is my current location favorite — and a kit like this should do well for female subjects too.

I have a confession — so far I have neither seen nor used a Relio LED so my comments about it here have need to be seen in that light. But what I have seen in the Relio website is very promising indeed. Marco Bozzola and his team have done a great job in considering all aspects of the Relio light from its size and shape, its color temperature and light spread to powering it and attaching it to standard 1/4-20 fittings.


The tiny but astonishingly powerful 35mm-sided cube-shaped Relio LED light for moviemaking, photography, task and mood lighting. Relio is available in three color temperatures from warm to neutral and each unit comes with interchangeable 15-degree spot lens and 30-degree flood lens. 35mm is about 1.38 inches.

The Relio light’s design and manufacturing looks amazing and the proof of quality is a silver award at the A’Design Award & Competition earlier this year.

The Relio’s projected non-discounted retail price looks great too at 417 UK pounds or about $US660 for a three-light kit. Relio’s Kickstarter price is, naturally, even better at 289 UK pounds or about $US457 for a set of 3x 4500K lights — my personal choice — and there are plenty of other options and color temperature variations available at the Relio Kickstarter page.

If cost is not a problem for you, you may want to consider the Relio as an incredibly versatile yet powerful go-anywhere mood and work light for your home, office or studio. Correctly color-balanced task lighting is way too hard to find where I live, hellishly overpriced if you can find something good and too often oversized for the available space.

The Relio solves all those problems in one fell swoop. Don’t be surprised if your treasured set of Relios soon starts jumping out of your camera bag into onto your desk, to your bedside and into every other aspect of your life. [bctt tweet=”Relio launches Kickstarter campaign to produce amazingly tiny, powerful, high CRI LED lights.”]

Relio Kickstarter Campaign Page:

Relio – Your little, personal Sun

Sun-like color rendering

Relio CRI demonstration. Left: top-brand camera phone with ceiling CFL lamp, auto white balance.   Right: same phone with Relio.

Left: top-brand camera phone with ceiling CFL lamp, auto white balance. Right: same phone with Relio.

Via Relio:

This is not a normal white light. The richness of its spectrum will give new life to your colors, and totally blow you away.

Relio emits ~200 lumens of warm, 92 CRI* white light.

New! For specific uses, colder 3500K and 4500K CCTs are now available in ultra-high 96 CRI*.

Thanks to perfect light extraction, you can reach ~20.000 lux at 30cm.

Ultra-low light ripple makes it perfect for high-FPS shooting (200+fps).

RElio camera-tripod

With a standard 1/4-20 UNC “camera mount” thread, you can attach it to your own equipment. Relio is sold without any tripod or adapter. You choose your own.

Relio is powered via USB by advanced electronics.

Check out more information about Relio on their website.

Relio Kickstarter Campaign

Relio kickstarter 1

Relio kickstarter 2

Relio kickstarter 3

(cover photo credit: snap from Relio)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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