What is a Flathead 80? Basically, the Flathead 80 is a hybrid Kino Flo. Its design adds flexibility and versatilty to the
popular 4Bank portable system with the outsized soft light quality you’d expect from a large fixture like the Image 87.
It can be hand-held, mounted on a light stand or hoisted from rigging points to work as a cool, energy efficient coop light.
Here are some standard features:
The 8-Lamp Fixture
• Aluminum alloy fixture housing
• Reflector, Gel Frame, Louver
• Twist-on Center Mount
• True Match® daylight, tungsten
The High Output Ballast(X2)
• 4Bank and 4Bank DMX
• Universal input 100VAC-240VAC
• HO/Standard switching
• Flicker-free, remote operation
• Individual lamp control
Flathead 80 System Highlights • 8-Lamp remote fixture
• Fixture includes Reflector, Louver, and Cardholders
• Same fixture takes daylight and tungsten lamps, plus visual effects color lamps
• Mounts to junior stand or light enough to screw to a wall or ceiling
• Removable center mount
• Fixture runs up to 75 feet (24 meters) from ballast
• High output, flicker-free ballasts
• Universal input voltage from 100-240VAC can be used anywhere in the world
• Instant-on, dead quiet
• Individual lamp switching – no color shift
• HO/Std switching
• Auto terminate for DMX
• Using two 4Bank ballasts, low amperage draw at 5.2A/120VAC, 2.8A/230VAC
• Operates at 1/3 the power of conventional tungsten softlighs
• UL listed, CE approved
Dimensions 57 x 10.5 x 29”
(145 x 27 x 74cm)
Weight 83 lb (38kg)
Dimensions 57 x 10.5 x 29”
(145 x 27 x 74cm)
85 lb (39kg)
Flathead 80 System
The Flathead 80 system was designed as a softlight source that can be plugged into the wall on location. With its narrow profile and size, the Flathead 80 can approximate the quality of light from bounced sources without losing set space.
The Flathead 80 system was designed to be compatible with the popular 4ft 4Bank components. In some situations more light was required and users were stacking 2 x 4ft 4Banks. Initial concept for the Flathead 80 was to make it out of plastic like the 4ft 4Bank, but because of its size, the final design called out for a metal wrapper.
Since many customers and rental houses already had 4ft 4Bank components in their stock, Kino Flo decided to use 2 x 4Bank ballasts instead of creating a Flathead 80 ballast. The advantage of this approach is that it increases rental utility, minimizes investment and allows for individual lamp control.
The Flathead 80 system consists of six components: Flathead 80 Fixture (fig 1), Mounting Plate (fig 2), Ballast x2 (fig 3) and
Extension Cable x2 (fig 4). It was designed as a remote-style fixture to give the greatest rigging flexibility for production crews.
Flathead 80 Fixture
The Flathead 80 fixture houses the lamps and is comprised of a removable Gel Frame, Louver and Cardholders (x4).
The gel frame is secured to the fixture by four spring loaded pins. The louver is held in place by a set of leaf springs.
The fixtures can take a variety of lamps. They can be used as a daylight source by using Kino Flo KF55 lamps or a tungsten source using Kino Flo KF32 lamps. Visual effects lamps for blue and green screen and a variety of designer colors are also available.
Kino Flo lamps are color-correct and safety-sleeved. The lamps are safety-sleeved because the lamps are often changed out.
The safety-sleeving offers protection for the user as well as the talent on the set.
MTP-K81One of the design features that makes the fixture so popular is the twist-on removable Center Mount (MTP-K81). When it’s on,
the fixture mounts easily to a light stand; when it’s off, the fixture is flat and can be hand-held, or hidden in a space too small to place a stand-mounting fixture. The screw holes along the back of the fixture are designed to allow the fixture to be screwed to a wall or ceiling.
The Flathead 80 has a removable twist-on Center Mount (MTP-K81). The mount has a junior pin (28mm) to mount
onto a junior stand or into any junior pin receiver. The mount is
at an 85° angle so that it gives a good range of movement.
Mounting To A Set Wall or Ceiling
The Flathead 80 has screw points within the fixture to allow it to be fastened flat against a surface.
Example of Flathead 80’s screwed to the ceiling on a commercial shoot.
The Flathead 80 is equipped with unique cardholder brackets that allow foam core panels to be clipped in place.
In addition, the cardholder squares off the fixture so that it can temporarily rest on the ground by itself.
The 4Bank Ballast
4Bank Ballast – Model BAL-427 4Bank DMX Ballast – Model BAL-457
All the features of the Flathead 80 fixture would be useless if Kino Flo had not developed its own ballasts that could run the fixture heads remotely. Unlike conventional architectural ballasts that need to operate three feet to six feet from the fixture head, Kino Flo ballasts can operate the fixture heads from up to 75 feet (3 x 25ft extension cables).
The Kino Flo 4Bank is a high output, high frequency electronic ballast with universal input voltage from 100-240VAC, that can operate
four 4ft lamps up to 75 feet between ballast and fixture. To power the Flathead 80 fixture, 2 x 4Bank ballasts are used. The Ballast sends
a high output current to the lamps to drive the light as brightly as possible. Its high frequency electronics prevent any type of flicker as well. Custom electronic engineering ensures stable operation without magnetic hum or cooling fans to interfere with the sound recording on set.
4Bank Ballast (Model BAL-427 Controls View)
There is no delay when switching lamps. The ballast operates the lights on/off instantly. There is also a special Select switch to raise or drop the wattage in the tubes for light output and color control. Keeping the ballast remote from the fixture and lamps makes the controls more accessible to lighting crews who might need to rig the fixtures into set designs or high up in a lighting grid, but switch them easily from a convenient location on the stage floor.
Notice we haven’t used the word “dimming” to describe lighting control. The reason is that dimming changes a lamp’s color temperature and color balance. The 4Bank ballast has individual switches so that each lamp can be turned on/off. Additionally, the lamps can be operated in a high output/standard output mode. This combination controls light levels without the color shift issues you have with dimming.
4Bank DMX Ballast (Model BAL-457 Controls View)
A) Circular Output Connector: Provides electrical power to the lamp head with the use of a 4Bank extension cable. B) DMX-In & DMX-Out: DMX-In receives DMX signals from Dimmer Board. DMX-Out relays DMX signals through other Fixtures or nstruments.
Note: Each BAL-457 ballast has an “AUTO TERMINATE” feature. The last ballast that does not have an XLR cable attached to the DMX “Out” port will automatically terminate. C) DMX Address: Sets DMX Address of Fixture. (Channels 1~4 = Lamps; Channel 5 = 4ft/2ft) D) DMX OK: Lights if valid DMX signal is present and conforms to DMX512/1990 protocol. E) Manual Switches: Turns lamps on and off manually. F) Lamp Select Switch: Set to 4ft for 4ft lamps and 2ft for 2ft lamps. G) Fuse: Provides circuit protection. Note: If Fuse is “blown” or “open”, replace with same type of fuse rating as marked.
Our 4Bank DMX ballasts can be run manually like the standard ballast or via a separate DMX control board. The 4Bank DMX ballast uses five DMX addresses. Four addresses control lamps 1-4 and the 5th address controls the 4ft/2ft setting.
In addition, each 4Bank DMX ballast (457 Series) has an “Auto Terminate” feature. The last fixture that does not have an XLR cable attached to the DMX “Out” port will automatically terminate. This can be a timesaver as it takes the guesswork out of knowing which DMX ballast is the last one that needs to be “closed” or “terminated” for proper DMX signals.
The Kino Flo 4Bank & 4Bank DMX ballast accomplishes all this and still out-performs tungsten lighting instruments when it comes to
energy efficiency. In other words, the ballast uses 1/3 the power to produce the same amount of soft light as incandescents.
Each 4bank and 4Bank DMX ballast draws only 2.6A at 120VAC and 1.4A at 230VAC. The ballast works reliably under most normal conditions, but it’s also trustworthy in more harsh conditions, such as extreme cold. The ballast is designed to operate at temperatures from 14F to 122F (-10C to +50C).
In extremely cold temperatures, the ballast may not strike the lamp(s) initially because the lamp may need to warm up. Switch the ballast to Off, wait seven seconds and try again. If the ballast does not strike after two or three attempts, turn off the ballast, check that the extension and harness connections are secure and re-strike. Once operating for a few minutes, the lamps should re-strike instantly.
The 4Bank Extension cable
Up to 75 feet (3 x 25ft) of extension cable can be used between the fixture and the ballast.
The Kino Flo Lamps
Flathead 80 requires safety-coated lamps.
If the 4Bank Ballast is the brains, then the lamps would be the beauty of the Flathead 80 System. The vaunted T-12 tube offers
a large surface area of soft light. The wide design creates a nearly shadowless display that drops off evenly.
Smaller source fluorescents, such as the compact 55W lamps used in the Kino Flo Diva-Lites, can be brighter, but they are a bit hotter and create denser shadows as well. Kino Flo compensates for the lower light level associated with T-12 tubes by overdriving each one with the ballast as described above.
A discussion of the various lamps available for use in the Flathead 80 System in the lamp section provides more information on the
types of lamps available from Kino Flo. It’s important to know that the True Match daylight and tungsten 4ft tubes common on sets
around the world are unique to Kino Flo because they display broad, even, color-correct light that cinematographers have come to depend on. These are the only high color rendering fluorescent lamps made for the professional film and video production.
The Flathead 80 System will operate any 4ft T-12 tube but the color will not be true and the life span will be shorter. All True Match lamps used in the Flathead 80 fixture are available safety-coated. Safety-coating protects the user from broken glass if the tube breaks.
Fixture Part Number Lamps Lamp Type Dimensions Weight w/Lamps
Flathead 80 CFX-4808 8 F75 / T12 51 x 24 x 4"
(129.5 x 61 x 10cm) 27lb
Ballast Part Number Input
Frequency Amperage Lamp
Switching Dimensions Weight
4Bank (x2) BAL-427-120U 100~240VAC
50/60Hz 25kHz 2 x 2.6A=5.2A 1~4 4ft/2ft 13 x 9.5 x 3"
(33 x 24 x 7.6cm) 4.9 lb
50/60Hz 25kHz 2 x 1.4A=2.8A 1~4 4ft/2ft 13 x 9.5 x 3"
(33 x 24 x 7.6cm) 4.9 lb
4Bank DMX (x2) BAL-457-120U 100~240VAC
50/60Hz 25kHz 2 x 2.6A=5.2A 1~4 4ft/2ft 12 x 11 x 3"
(30.5 x 28 x 7.6cm) 5.3 lb
4Bank DMX (x2) BAL-457-230U 240~100VAC
50/60Hz 25kHz 2 x 1.4A=2.8A 1~4 4ft/2ft 12 x 11 x 3"
(30.5 x 28 x 7.6 cm) 5.3 lb