Thread: Westcott Flex LED vs. LITEMAT (Plus or S2)

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  1. #1 Westcott Flex LED vs. LITEMAT (Plus or S2) 
    I've been ramping up my research on LED panel lights. The ARRI Skypanel is the gold standard, clocking in at a gold-like $5850 for a 1'x2' panel.

    The Westcott and Litemat Plus KITS clock in just below $2000 for similar dimensions, with the Litemat 1 S2 KIT selling for $1300 with special savings offered right now.

    I get it that the ARRI is a robust light that is stand, grid, and modifier-ready, with lots of modifiers available, not to mention built-in ballast, radio, effects, etc. That's cool.

    What I'm wondering is how the Westcott and LITEMAT compare. My google searches have shown no head-to-head comparisons. I have seen some footage about the LITEMAT from the YouTube series "Meet the Gaffer". Any other wisdom folks want to share?

    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

    "Dream so big you can share!"
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  2. #2  
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Aaron Green's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Hey Michael. I can’t speak on the Westcott lights but i have a ton of experience with LiteMats. You definitely want to go with the “Plus” series over the standard S2. The plus models use a heavy duty neutrik locking cable to connect with the control box. The standards use cheap computer type plastic connectors that require at least 2 going in/out of a control unit. They break super easily and get confusing on which cable goes where.
    The Plus series is also much brighter.
    Aaron Green - Chicago, IL
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Mark Phelan's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Michael, I've got two of the Wescott flex lights and they provide a nice light. The only thing I don't like is the number of bits that it comes with. I think there are six separate items for each individual light to function. That gets annoying to fiddle with. But they pack down to nothing in size. I'll definitely keep them in the kit for that reason alone. Great for travelling. The quality is good, not as nice as the Kino Celebs I've owned. Those are still my favorites. Less than the ARRIs, but still ridiculously pricy. But there isn't an easier light to use, imho. One plug or battery. But it's a one-trick pony, soft bank light. Very nice light and durable too.

    Sorry, but can't give you any more of a comparison between the Wescott and the Litemat Plus.

    Great review here:
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  5. #5  
    Litemat as far as I'm aware is more industry standard, hence the price, I personally don't like westcott as I feel they are over priced for what they are. I'd say splash out for the litemat or go really cheap and get something like the falcon eyes LED mats.
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  6. #6  
    F-stoppers review from last year pegs Falcon Eyes as 1/2 as bright as Westcott. Given premiums we all pay for performance, plus the neatness of Westcott design and materials, Westcott doesn't seem quite so overpriced. On a sq cm basis it looks bad. But on a fc basis, not so bad.
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

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  7. #7  
    If you want to spend less than a Skypanel but get a light with a similar function, I'd be more likely to turn to an Astra 6x or an Astra Soft (a little less power, but a really clean beam). These lights are much punchier. There are other cheaper competitors in similar form factors--and some are also RGB like the Skypanels.

    But you asked about the difference between Litemats and Westcott Flex. I own a couple Litemat 3 s2s, have messed around with the Westcott 1x1s but not used for a job. In most ways, they're more similar than different-- I'd class them together by function, in that they're extremely light and thin, so they can both be taped to a ceiling. Both are also kind of fiddly with the many different parts you must combine to use.
    But the companies have used similar tech to accentuate different strengths: Westcott may be able to pack a bit smaller and has a modular approach, with a series of frames and modifiers-- more versatile and perhaps travel friendly. (But you've got to buy and store and then assemble all that stuff.) The Litemats include all the accessories you'd typically want and tend towards bigger sizes, for an instant large soft source. The Litemats are rigid-- no need to build a frame to attach to a stand/add diffusion/add a grid. The Westcotts are semi-flexible fabric-- squeeze them into a corner, curve them a bit to control spill, etc.

    As for quality of light at a given size, I don't know if there's a clear winner. You can find photometrics online, I'd guess.

    If you're flying, I'd go with Westcott-- I've thought about picking some up for travel. But I chose to get a bigger Litemat for some jobs (instead of a light + softbox/frame), and I use Astras or an Aputure C300D (which has the most punch of all) for others.
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  8. #8  
    Member Andreas Gotfredsen's Avatar
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    Nov 2018
    I own two Westcott Flex Bi-Color Mats with Scrim Jim frames that I use a lot . This all depends on what you are going to light . My Westcott are great but because they only are 1x1 size I tend to use a larger diffuser frame like 4x4 that I put a couple of feet infront of the 1x1 to get a a larger diffusion area . I don't think I would need to do that if I get a westcott 2x2 or 1x2... Also the new westcott Cine flex has a wifi dmx controller that's really nice to be able to control the light from 1 position.
    Andreas Gotfredsen - Cinematographer - Digital Creative Lead - Sweden

    1X RED and a lot of gear. Worked for 15 Years in Advertising.

    Most used lens: Sigma Cine T2 18-35
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  10. #10  
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    Feb 2013
    was curious about this as well, its been a few months anyone with more hands on experience?
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