About K5600

K5600 lighting was founded in 1992 to develop and produce versatile HMI lighting systems. Ever since that date, the company has been concentrating on bringing real innovations to the world of HMI lighting. Research, Development and Service are prime concerns within the company based in California and France. K5600 is a small company with a passion for lighting and images. There are no endless corporate meetings to delay decisions but a dedication to offer good production tools. K5600 principles are participating at every show to meet end users at international exhibitions such as NAB, Cinegear, IBC, Cinec, Photokina, Camerimage and a lot of national shows throughout the world. K5600 Lighting manufactures equipment according to today’s challenges of production : tight budgets, small crews, limited production time… Surely, great masterpieces have been made without K5600 lights but with more time and effort. K5600 only makes things easier and quicker. Before K5600 Lighting, there was no bare bulb fixtures, no HMI kits, no 800 W HMI fixtures, no 200,400,800 W extension cables, no Softubes, no lights pointing straight down, no HMI in a Source 4, no 625 mm Fresnel 18K unit weighing less than 60 Kg… Only 10 lights produced over the past 24 years but so many accessories to cover every needs in every situations. Thanks to this policy of a concise range, K5600 keeps an inventory of finish products and spare parts at all times.

  • September 1992 : Birth of K5600 with the JOKER 200 and the JOKER 400
  • August 1995 : Introduction of the BUG 200. FIRST 360° HMI unit ever produced.
  • April 1996 : Introduction of the JOKER BUG concept with the 200 W. FIRST versatile HMI.
  • April 1997 : Introduction of the JOKER BUG 400.
  • September 1999 : Introduction of the JOKER BUG 800. FIRST 800 W HMI unit designed around a UV block bulb requested by K5600.
  • June 2000 : Introduction of the SOFTUBE. FIRST accessory to change the beam of a PAR into a linear source.
  • July 2001 : Introduction of the BUG A BEAM ADAPTER : FIRST accessory designed to adapt a 400 W HMI unit onto an existing Tungsten profile light.
  • May 2002 : Introduction of the ALPHA 4 KW. FIRST AND MOST SHALLOW Fresnel to offer an“open eye” option.
  • June 2006 : Introduction of the ALPHA 18K. LIGHTEST 18 KW Fresnel weighing less than 55 Kg and FIRST 18K to offer the possibility to be used pointing straight down. Featuring THE MOST reflective material ever used in lighting applications.
  • September 2007 : Introduction of the ALPHA 4 V2. LIGHTEST AND MOST SHALLOW 4K HMI with the LARGEST 350 mm lens used on a 4 KW Fresnel.
  • April 2008 : Introduction of the MULTIBUG, the FIRST system allowing to place up to 4 Bug-Lites in a Lightbank. Introduction of the BUG A BEAM FOR THE 800 W. The famous Jo Leko has come to a brighter level.
  • September 2008 : Introduction of the TUNGSTEN BUG-LITE 1 or 2 KW.
  • December 2008 : Introduction of the SPACEBEAM for the Alpha 4K. Accessory allowing to turn the Alpha 4K in the first 4KW HMI SPACELIGHT or into a BEAM PROJECTOR.
  • April 2009 : Introduction of the FOCAL SPOT. An accessory to turn a 200 or a 400 into a small profile light.
  • April 2010 : Introduction of the CROSS OVER ADAPTER. FIRST ADAPTER to help still photographers to use their flash light shapers with our range of Joker Bug up to 800 W.
  • September 2010 : Introduction of the ALPHA 1600. A downsized version of the popular 18 KW and 4 KW Alphas with a 250 mm lens.
  • April 2011 : Introduction of the JOKER BUG 1600 with two options : Regular Par beamer or Zoom beamer (focusable segmented reflector).
  • April 2013 : Introduction of the ALPHA 200, SOFTUBE 1600 and the new LCL 3200K 200W discharge bulb
  • September 2013 : Introduction of the ALPHA 9K and the 800 W Zoom Beamer
  • February 2015 : Introduction of the new 3200K 800W discharge bulb.
  • April 2016 : Introduction of the ALPHA 80W PLUS, first Fresnel 800W HMI of the market, which can be turned into a PAR or a ZOOM
  • October 2016 : Introduction of the BUG A BEAM 1600W

The Joker Bug system has been introduced in 1996 with the Joker Bug 200. Shortly followed by the Joker Bug 400, and later by the 800 and 1600, a vocabulary was created to define some tools that did not exist before. Here are a few words that probably need some explanations.

What is a Joker ?

The Joker was the first light K5600 manufactured in 1992. It existed in 200 or 400 W version. They were the first HMI kits available on the market. The name came from the idea of the “wild card” that can replace any other card.

What is a Bug-Lite ?

The Bug-Lite was introduced in 1995 with a Bug 200 W. The idea was simple : producing a light source that could be quickly and easily fitted to different optical accessories. The expanding use of Steadycam called for a need of lightweight daylight units that could be moved around along with the talents and the moving camera. A Bug-Lite in a lantern on a boom was a good answer. The name Bug was inspired by the miniature microphones used for spying.

What is a Beamer ?

The Joker Bug was the obvious evolution of these two ranges of lights into one. The machined aluminum part that holds the PAR reflector is what we call the Beamer. There are 3 different Beamers : The PAR Beamer requiring 4 lenses to achieve different angles and patterns (maximum raw light, ideal for bouncing and reaching out far distance), the News Beamer (200 and 400 only) offers a quick focusing from 16° to 45° without the need of lenses for ENG purpose, the Zoom Beamer which is a lens-less focusable Beamer which gives 15 to 60 degrees of even light output. With its physical similarities to a faceted umbrella, the soft finish beautifully distributes light. The ZOOM Beamer reflector was specifically engineered around the radiant image of our new 1600 W lamp, providing for the best and most efficient performance possible.

What is a Softube ?

The Softube was originaly introduced by K5600 in 2000. It consists of multiple layers of clear gel rolled up in a tube shape. On one end is the attachment that will fit the desired Joker Bug and a mirror at an angle on the other end reflects the light alongside the tube.

What is a Jo Leko ?

In 1933, Joseph Levy and Edward Kook founders of Century Lighting (a theatre lighting company), created the first ERS (Elipsoidial Reflector Spotlight). By combining the first two letters of their own last names, they called the unit a “Leko”. The most common ERS unit today is ETC’s Source 4. K5600 made the Bug A Beam which is an adapter to fit a 400 W or an 800 W (in Bug configuration) in a Source 4 to turn it into a greater output daylight balanced HMI “Jo Leko”.

Why is a Bug-Lite more efficient inside a lightbank ?

Lightbanks were designed for the still photography world. Flashes are bare bulb fixtures and they use the silver (or white) material inside the lightbank to bounce the largest amount of light in the most even way. This is achieved by the shape of the lightbank itself which is a parabolic reflector. Therefore, when a Bug-Lite is replacing the flash head, the effect is similar and the performance of the lightbank optimized as explained by the drawing below.