Cadillac Photos Pop with Twenty-One Litepanels Hilios

Cadillac Photos Pop with Twenty-One Litepanels Hilio LED Lights snapshot


Litepanels® high-output Hilio™ LED lighting fixtures proved to be the perfect solution for the new automobile photo booth at the Frank Kent Cadillac showroom and service complex in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The Litepanels Hilios not only provide a great deal of light, but can throw that light around 30 feet, and have it still be bright,” said Steve Stoltzfus, whose company 911 Photographic specializes in the design and installation of photo booths for car dealerships and auction houses. The Hilio lighting fixture combines 72 one-Watt daylight LEDs that are focused to a 15° angle.

Stoltzfus explained the heightened importance of top-notch photographs of cars in a dealer’s inventory because of Internet auto shopping. “Car dealers have gotten it down to the point now where you can go shopping on your iPhone, pick out a car, and actually buy the car on your iPhone. It’s critical that the customer have a good first impression when he sees that car online. Simply put, if you don’t have a good looking car picture, you’re not going to sell that car.”

The 30’ x 30’ photo booth at the Frank Kent dealership features a coved cyc floor and walls, painted white, lit with very diffuse light. “It’s about showing off the car,” Stoltzfus said. “What color it is, about the detailing, showing the chrome. The customer has to be able to see what the car looks like.” 911 Photographic’s photo booths provide enough illumination so that the photographer can use both a high shutter speed and a small aperture to provide a deep depth of field.

After shopping around himself, Stoltzfus discovered the Hilio and consulted with Litepanels co-founder Pat Grosswendt on the lighting design of the first photo booth. “Litepanels is the only company out there that has LED lights that are that bright, that use so little electricity and remain cool. They have such a good reputation in the industry and their warranty is like gold. To put it in car language, Litepanels is the Rolls Royce of lights. You can’t get any better.”

The 21 Hilios used for the Frank Kent dealership photo booth run off of a pair of 20A circuits, with capacity left on both. No additional cooling is required. The diffusion material, which is stretched like a trampoline on a frame in front of banks of Hilios, suffers no heat damage from the LED fixtures. The long life of the LED bulbs means the Hilios won’t need attention for over a dozen years.

The DMX lighting control feature of the Hilios allows them to be daisy-chained via CAT5 Ethernet cable to a simple dimmer. “Because we need to be as bright as possible, we’re not using the dimming capability regularly,” said Stoltzfus. “We do use the dimmer to turn the Hilios on and off.”

He said he expects photo booths to take off in the car dealership and auto auction industry. “Car guys are competitive. Everybody looks at everybody else, what’s the guy doing down the street? We’ve got to do what they’re doing and do it one step better.”