The Nanlite Forza 300 is a LED COB spotlight normally used with a reflector to provide a 55 degree light cone.
The lamp is 300 watts and can be powered from the mains with the included power adapter or vai a pair of V-lock batteries. It is daylight balanced at 5500K and has a CRI of 95 (measured by myself). It has always resulted in very pleasing skin tone whenever I have used it.
The 300 watt LED COB emitter produces a similar amount of light to a 3000 watt tungsten lamp. This makes the Forza 300 suitable for illuminating very large areas or as a source light for a large soft box or for use with large silk diffusers. Nanlite make a very nice parabolic reflectors/soft boxes for the Forza lamps that are very quick to erect due to the use of clever quick locking support arms.
The lamphead has a standard Bowens mount so there are many light modifiers that can be used, but one that I particularly like is the Nanlite zoomable Fresnel adapter. This large fresnel lens can be adjusted to provide a very tightly controlled light beam from just 5 degrees wide to 45 degrees wide. It comes with barn doors and turns the Forza 300 into something comparable to the old Arri 2K fresnel, just without the heat and power draw.
I’m a big fan of fresnels as they give you good control of where your light is going. Make it dimmable as well and you have a very versatile lamp.
The light can be controlled via DMX as well as a couple of very cheap wireless remote control units (around £20/$30) and an app is due to be released soon.
Like many modern lights it also has a number of effects modes including strobe, storm, TV and bad bulb and these can be quickly and easily selected from the lamps control unit and power supply. The build quality is very good. The lamp head is mostly metal while the control unit is a mix of good quality plastics and metal. The whole thing weighs 4.8kg so you don’t need a particularly large light stand to support it.
with a street price of around £650/$850 this is a very affordable yet also very capable lamp. I would suggest that anyone trying to build their own versatile light kit should include at least one spot light and not just rely on LED panel lights. Having a good, bright spot light allows you to a lot more creative lighting as a spot light, especially if you add the Fresnel lens can be used with gobo’s or objects in the foreground to create interesting shadow effects.
For a recent short film shoot I used the Forza 300 to throw light through a forest of trees. The trees creating interesting shadows adding a lot of extra contrast to the shots. For another scene I used the Forza 300 as a backlight through some smoke for an interesting mystic effect. A flat panel light cannot reproduce these effects in the same way.
For this shoot I needed to power the lamp off batteries. It is worth noting that if running the lamp at is maximum output of 300 watts you will be drawing over 10 amps from each of the 2 V-Lock batteries need to run it. This is right at the limit of what many V-Locks can deliver. As a result you may find your batteries cutting off before they are fully discharged. To run a high power LED lamp like this you should consider Lithium Manganese batteries or other batteries capable of at least a 12 amp output. My own preference is to use Pag Paglink batteries as by linking two batteries together you can double the amount of power they can deliver. Using 4 Paglink batteries (2 pairs of 2) I was able to run the lamp for 90 minutes at full power.
The lamp I used for the review was supplied by Prolight Direct UK. They are very knowledgable with many years of experience with all kinds of film and television lighting, so do contact them with your lighting needs.
I highly recommend the Forza 300. It is, in my opinion, one of the best of this type of lamp on the market today and very competitively priced. Please see the video above for more information.