Review of the Anton/Bauer ULHM-LED by Chuck Pullen


Well-known member
Anton/Bauer ULHM-LED Light Module Review
Charles Pullen, Cheap Shot Video

Most of us will find ourselves in situations where we are forced to shoot under less than ideal circumstances, in a less than ideal environment. For those of us working run-and-gun spot news gathering, or O.M.B. documentary work, this is a daily occurrence. I recently found myself involved in a particularly difficult production, which included a plethora of these of challenges. The task at hand was to shoot for five days straight, almost around the clock. I would be riding on a coach bus with a touring group, and due to space limitations, I needed to travel as light as possible. This meant no light kit, just enough batteries to get through the day, and no one to help me out. We were going to be traveling for a week through the southern United States, each night in a different state, different venue, and different hotel room. Besides the nightly performances, I would also be shooting interviews as well as behind the scenes b-roll footage all along the way.

I knew my camera and audio kits were up to task, my main concern was lighting. It was a huge relief when I was given the opportunity to try out Anton/Bauer’s ULHM-LED Light Module. This LED head which fits on the Ultralight® 2 base which most of us already have. It makes for a simple upgrade, as you don’t need to make any changes other than to switch heads. As a long-time owner of Anton/Bauer products, I have always had the utmost faith in their rugged design and quality. I currently own two Ultralight 2 heads, one with and one without the softbox head.
While the Ultralight 2 heads worked great with the old half-inch Sony workhorse cameras we all used to use, they had some serious shortcomings when using them with the new HD “Prosumer” cameras. This was especially true with the one-third-inch camera that I currently use, which leaves something to be desired when shooting in low light.

While some of you may not yet be sold on the idea of using an LED as an on-board light, let me give you a few reasons why it's a good choice. My first concern when I originally purchased this camera was making it as light as possible. The manufacturer recommends using Anton Bauer’s Dionic 90’s batteries, which are much lighter than the old Hytrons, and it is just barely a small enough Li-On battery that you can bring it with you on a commercial airline flight. The downside is that even though the camera consumes less energy (about 20 watts), the Ultralight 2 would still consume 25 to 75 or more watts, which puts a huge strain on those small batteries. The ULHM-LED head consumes a mere 9 watts. This was a blessing for the tour, as I wasn't able to charge batteries until the end of each day. Another great feature is the 0-100% dimmer, and since it uses LED’s, the color temperature stays surprisingly consistent throughout much of that range.

The only thing that will take some getting used to is changing filters. The ULHM-LED has 5600K LEDs, and comes with three interchangeable filters, 2 diffusion and one 3200K. The only issue I ran into is that it takes a little longer to put these in place when going in and outdoors than it did with the old swing away filters on the Ultralight 2 head. It’s a little larger than your average on-board light, but it is very light and should have no problem mounting to even the smallest of cameras.

On the last day of the shoot, I was dreading what would certainly be the most difficult location. I interviewed the 40 or so members of the group about their memories and reflections on the tour in the cramped, dark bus on the winding roads of Virginia in mid-day. That meant that at any moment, with a twist of the road, my backlight could change dramatically from nearly non-existent, to full sun. While most would think this would be an impossible setting, with the ULHM-LED and its dimmer, I was able to keep adjusting both light and iris to keep each interview as consistent as possible. I can honestly say this would have been nearly impossible with any other light, and I would have missed out on some very important, emotional shots which will easily make or break the final product.

Charles Pullen is the owner of Cheap Shot Video based out of the Chicago-land area. He specializes in streaming multi-camera productions using his newly built hd flypack. E-mail:

• ULHM-LED Light Module: Developed by Anton/Bauer with sister Vitec group brand, Litepanels®, ULHM-LED light module complement Anton/Bauer’s existing Ultralight® Series and ElipZ® battery systems. The versatility of the Ultralight head module has been its most beneficial feature over the past 20 years, allowing a videographer to quickly change to an HMI (UltraDAYlight) or carry a spare head module. The ULHM-LED (4.50 H x 5.64 L x 1.62 W in (11.4 x 14.3 x 4.1 cm), weighs only .40 lbs (18 kg) and provides heat- and flicker-free soft bright light of 5600K. With a very low power consumption of nine watts, the added ability to dim the light from zero to 100 percent with minimal color/temperature change makes this the most efficient LED light available. The ULHM-LED head module puts out 100fc (1100 lux) at two feet while consuming a third of the power of a tungsten light.


Active member
There is one small addendum I wanted to make to my review. Depending on your camera design, you will probably want to invest in a wedge for the Ultralight base when you buy the LED head. Using it on the JVC 250u, I was finding it hits a little high on my subjects (It might also be because I’m tall?) Otherwise, I have been using it in place of the standard Ultralight2 head for a few more months since I wrote that review, and it really is worth the investment.

In this particular configuration, I have the light on the long stud, so that it gets up and over my wireless receiver on the hot shoe. There is a screw missing from the hinged portion of the Ultralight2 base, which causes the light to point down, which works out with the long stud. If I was using the standard base with that screw in place, it would be too high.

Chuck Pullen
Last edited:
I like the lite panel products, but I have concerns about the physical profile. I am afraid the big square box is going to get broken off by omb's racing around packing and unpacking gear in a vehicle. We tested a Sachtler led light with a profile similar to the UL2. It's another Vitec product. It use 8 watts, has a dimmer, and works with the Elipz system. The pattern isn't as nice as the Lite Panel, but it is less likely to be broken off. It doesn't use the UL mount, but give them time.


Active member
That was certainly a concern I had as well Drew, the reality is that I have gotten in the habit of taking the light off when not needed and storing it in the side pocket of my Porta-Brace. If you wear a photog vest, it even fits in those pockets. Much like the other Ultralight heads, it takes all of one second to put on or take off the head, and since it’s an LED it doesn’t get hot. While mine has yet to take a hit, it is very rugged, and I think it could handle just about anything but a direct blow to the front of the LED panel which would be rather difficult to do.