Plasma Lighting for Movies from Hive Lighting

March 10. 2014. 3 mins read

When taking a look at disruptive lighting technologies, LED lighting is often at the forefront of discussions. However, another disruptive light source is gaining traction in high-luminescence applications, specifically as a replacement for metal halide and high-pressure sodium lighting systems. Light Emitting Plasma (LEP) offers the same lumens as competing halide and sodium technologies but uses about 40 percent less energy. One company which has found a niche selling plasma lighting to the entertainment industry is Hive Lighting.

About Hive Lighting

Click for company website

Los Angeles based Hive Lighting started offering plasma lighting products for rent or sale in 2012 targeting Film, TV and Digital production. Hive plasma lights are powered by technology from Luxim Corporation, a world leader in Light Emitting Plasma (LEP). Hive’s clients include  Sony, Warner Bros, Paramount, Lionsgate, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, Nickelodeon, BMW, Pepsi, Sprint, Viacom, and Electronic Arts. According to Hive, the company’s revenue in 2013 grew by a factor of ten when compared to 2012. 

Plasma Lighting

Plasma offers daylight balance and high output along with the energy efficiency, reliability, and durability of LEDs, and excels in color rendering and spectrum. Hive’s lighting fixtures use 50% to 90% less energy than conventional studio fixtures. The bulbs are designed to last 10,000 hours without noticeable loss of output or color shift, though the rated life is 30,000 hours. The size of the bulb itself is about that of a tic-tac, and is filled with an inert gas fill:

Source: http://www.scpr.org/
Source: http://www.scpr.org/

When the gas is excited, it shifts its state of matter from gas to plasma and the result is an incredibly powerful light source which is, in essence, a mini-star. During use, the lights get warm but can be touched without gloves. The lights are flicker-free up to a theoretical maximum of 225,000,000 frames per second which is theoretical since no capture device can test that high at the moment. The lighting solution appeals to movie producers for its ease of use as it runs off of AC outlets as opposed to needing generators. Hive’s lighting solutions have been used effectively in lighting commercial spots, TV shows such as The Mentalist, and 50+  full-length feature films including Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Hive Lighting and Luxim

Hive Lighting uses technology from Luxim Corporation, a world leader in LEP lighting with more than 30,000 units in the field. Luxim was originally founded in 2000 and partnered with Sequoia Capital in 2003. Backing by Sequoia is a meaningful accomplishment especially considering that Sequoia-backed companies now collectively represent over 20 percent of the total value of the NASDAQ stock exchange. In April 2013, Luxim merged with Luma Investments, a Singapore holding company. Luma’s JK Yaming unit is a global leader in high power, energy-efficient total lighting solutions. While no information is made available about licensing terms between Luxim and Hive, the accomplishments of Hive are prominently displayed on the Luxim site implying some vested interest between the two parties.


According to LACleantech Incubator, new sales of entertainment lighting fixtures represent an $870 million annual market while replacing old inefficient entertainment lights currently in use represents a $5 billion opportunity. If Hive continues their explosive revenue growth, it may not be long before their energy-efficient plasma lighting technology becomes the norm instead of the exception.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Thanks for sharing the information. I this it has many advantages like
    Less than half the energy consumption
    Powered by AC wall outlets rather than diesel generators
    More portable, lightweight devices
    Full-spectrum light output mimics natural sunlight
    Low heat emissions keep actors comfortable during extended shooting