Impact Qualite 300 Lighting Kits – Exclusive Review

The interplay between light and dark – this is the essence of filmmaking. Moving from behind the lens of the camera, the lighting is the filmmaker’s brush. John Hess takes a look at the Impact Qualite 300 and B&H Qualite kits. with sponsor B&H Photo wanna give you the opportunity to win a Impact Qualite 2 Light Kit! Show off your lighting skills by creating a short Film Noir themed video. Enter Here! Time is running out!

The Impact Qualite is a basic entry level open face lighting fixture. At 300 watts and priced just under $100 including barn doors, the Qualite is a simple no frills fixture that will be easy on the budget. Since light is light and it hasn’t changed much since the photon epoch 10 seconds after the big bang, the quality of a lighting fixture is not necessarily in the light it generates but how effectively you can controls all them pretty photons.

The Qualite generates a nice even beam of light and that is going to be a huge step for anyone using those terrible halogen shop lights. A knob on the side adjusts the beam from a 21 degree spot to 40 degree flood. In front of the 300 watt bulb (which is included with the fixture) is a piece of safety glass – a nice feature in case the bulb should ever shatter.

Now this glass is purely a safety glass, it’s not a lens. Being that the fixture is an “open face” you’re going to get a lot of different penumbra (mainly three – one from the the light from the bulb and two from the reflector) and none of the hard shadows or soft shadows that a lens fixture or a single point light can give you.

To shape the light, the Qualite comes with a four leaf barn door set. This sits fairly loosely on the fixture which leaves a lot of spill on the sides that you’ll need some black foil to cover up. Behind that there is space for a 5.5” scrim or filter.

Moving back on the fixture you’ll find the power switch. It’s not uncommon to see this switch on the fixture itself and not the cable, but can make turning it off and on a bit tricky if you’ve installed it in a hard to reach place.

The fixture is attached to the a stand receptacle by a single blade yoke which is notched to prevent slipping. The notches also prevent the smooth movement of pitch, which is something that I find a little annoying.

The light body is made of Polycarbonate plastic which is both a good and bad thing. These tungsten lights get hot – very hot. I’ve read some instances online about this fixture melting. Polycarbonate will melt at 267 degrees Celsius  (512 degree Fahrenheit). I won’t say it’s not impossible to reach that temperature, if you leave it on for a long time in a hot space with no ventilation, I’m sure it’s possible. But I ran the light for about 1 hour nonstop in a reasonably ventilated room and I did not see any damage. On the plus side, even thought he polycarbonate gets hot, it’s not going to scar you like a full metal body. Allow proper airflow and this light should be fine.

I do like the handle on the back that stays cool even after hours of operation. This allows for a safe place to grab when adjust the light.

The Qualite is available as a two light kit with accompanying stands. The stands themselves are pretty much your standard small light stand – they’re not sturdy enough for much more than than the weight of the fixture – I wouldn’t put a boom on them. The one nice feature is they are air cushion so they won’t come crashing down when you loosen the stage knobs.

B&H also offers a soft box kit that includes two Qualites with barndoors, two stands, two Fotoflex silverdomes measuring 16 x 22 x 13 and two smith victor speed rings. These pop together fairly easily and when matched with the Qualites, make an excellent soft light for the price. The total weight of the softbox and fixture starts to max out the weight limit of these stands. You should invest a few sand bags to keep the entire thing from tipping over.

Bottom line, the Impact Qualite 300 is a good entry level open face light. At 300 watts, they’ll pack a good punch and will be a useful addition to your lighting kit.


  • Even beam light
  • Big lighting punch for the price


  • Notched yoke makes it hard to make small pitch adjustments.
  • A lot of space between the flags and the fixture that leads to spill.


You can purchase the items featured in this review from our trusted sponsor B&H Photo. We don’t recommend B&H because they our are sponsor, they are our sponsor because they are the only store we would ever recommend.

Items from the review:

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Licensing Prerecorded Music

By Jon M. Garon
Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, PC

Since American Graffiti, the modern film musical has been reinvented as a greatest hits collection of popular or cutting-edge genre music. But if a filmmaker wishes to use recordings of popular songs, she must enter the byzantine world of music licensing. The filmmaker takes on the role of a record album producer, assembling the right mix of sounds and artists—collected from a variety of songwriters, singers, music publishers, and record labels. Each party has an interest in the copyright of the songs to be used in the film, and each must be represented in the licensing process.

Two Different Copyright Holders

The recording of a popular song is protected by two separate copyrights. First, the composition (the lyrics and the written music) is protected by a copyright held by the composers. The composers may consist of a song-writing team, such as Lennon and McCartney; a composer and a lyricist, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein; or a single person. Regardless of the number of composers, they jointly hold a single copyright. In most cases, the composers have assigned these rights to the music publisher, so the publisher is the party with which the filmmaker must negotiate to obtain rights to use the music and lyrics in the film.

Second, the sound recording of the song is protected through a copyright held by the producer of the song or the record company that manufactured and distributed the song. The performers on the recording are not protected by copyright but look to employment contracts with the record company for participation in the song’s revenue.

If the filmmaker wishes to use a particular recording, then both the composers (or the music publisher to which the composers have assigned their rights) and the producer or record company must license it. For instance, Motown Records owns the recording of “Trouble Man,” while singer and composer Marvin Gaye owns the composition rights. If the filmmaker wishes to play the Motown version of the song, then both the representatives of Marvin Gaye as composer and Motown as owner of the sound recording will need to grant permission to use the work. In addition, because of a long, strained history, there are a variety of different rights that must be identified and licensed separately. Failure to include any of these discrete rights in the contract can create substantial problems when distributing the film, or it can result in the entire film being unmarketable in some or all markets.

Every film distributor today intends for each film to be shown theatrically and via premium cable, broadcast television, standard cable television, nonnetwork broadcast television, home recording machines (DVD, Blu-ray, etc.), and online downloads and streaming performances. To exploit these markets worldwide, the distributor must acquire a number of different music rights. Most distributors expect that the acquisition of all these rights has been accomplished or arranged by the filmmaker.

Rights from the Music Publisher: Public Performance, Reproduction, and Synchronization

To properly use a piece of music, the filmmaker needs to acquire three specific rights from the composer or music publisher. Typically, all three rights are acquired in the same license agreement. Together, they give the film company the right to make its own recording of the song for use in the film. To use a prerecorded song, the film company needs these rights from the composer or music publisher plus rights to reproduce the prerecorded song from the record label.

Public Performance

In music, the public performance right protects the copyright holder for the composition from any unauthorized public performance of his work. The performance of the songs in the movie theater, on television, or streaming over the Internet constitutes public performances, so the filmmaker must acquire this right before the movie can be played in such venues. Historically, this right was reserved only for the composers in the song, not the record company in the sound recording. Recently, however, digital sound recordings were granted a limited public performance right.

For the theatrical distribution of motion pictures, the public performance right must be obtained directly from the copyright holder, typically the music publisher. For other public performances of music, the rights may also be obtained through a license with a performing rights society, such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.

Reproduction of the Composition

Because the film will be licensed to sell copies on DVD or other physical media or via digital downloads, the music and score also need to be licensed to allow the film distributor to make multiple copies of the composition. The license to reproduce the song is also known as the mechanical license.


In addition to the statute-based rights of public performance and reproduction, copyright also recognizes a distinct right to associate a song with a particular audiovisual image. Whether a song is used in films, television, video games, or other multimedia works, the right to synchronize the pictures with the sound is a distinct legal right that must be separately protected. The synchronization or synch rights are also provided by the publisher (or the composer, if there is no publisher).

Rights from the Record Label: Master Use License

The right of reproduction protects not only the composers but also the recording companies from unauthorized creation of copies of a sound recording in any medium. Most consumers view this as the rule against taping radio broadcasts or ripping CDs, but in a commercial context, it applies to duplicating songs and sound recordings in each print of a film and, more importantly, in every copy of the DVD.

To use a particular prerecorded version of a song, the film company will need to acquire the rights to that particular performance from the record label that owns the copyright in the master recording. If the filmmaker contemplates a soundtrack album, then the reproduction right must extend to use in that format as well.

* Jon Garon is admitted in New Hampshire, California and Minnesota.

Adapted from Independent Filmmaking, The Law & Business Guide for Financing, Shooting & Distributing Independent & Digital Films, A Capella Books (2d Ed. 2009) (reprinted with permission). Jon Garon is professor of law, Hamline University School of Law; of counsel, Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell.

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